“I, I was wrong.”
Alpheus knelt down in front of Aristine and clung to the hem of her dress.
“You know it’s all because that wench, Letanasia, tried to cause discord between us.”
Alpheus started to nod as if that was the actual truth.
“Yes, if that fox of a bitch didn’t hide your awakening from me…”
After mumbling, he looked up at her Aristine.
“That’s right, isn’t it? It’s the same reason you were locked here. It’s because that insolent wench framed you that you were locked up.”
Alpheus was looking up at Aristine and he seemed to truly believe that everything was because of Letanasia.
Aristine felt disillusioned.
Alpheus cherished Letanasia.
He sat her on his lap, stroked her hair, and kissed her cheek. The only child he treated that way was Letanasia. Yet, even to his daughter, the only person he cherished, his attitude changed in an instant.
“If it weren’t for that evil wench who dared to deceive the emperor, I would have loved and cherished you the most. You would have been my successor.”
The person he would throw into the fire pit in his stead.
“You should be grateful to me too. You wouldn’t have awakened your Monarch’s Sight if this father of yours didn’t teach you so well.”
Alpheus changed her pleading attitude and began to scold Aristine.
“Don’t you think it was painful for me too, to whip you as a child? When you were three years old, you were smaller than my forearm.”
He gestured as though he was embracing the little Aristine. Of course, Alpheus had never actually hugged Aristine.
“Every time I saw a red scar on your tiny body, my heart felt like it was bleeding.”
It was bullshit.
Looking at Alpheus right now, it seemed as if he truly cared for Aristine, even if his methods were wrong.
He wasn’t just acting; he was truly immersed in the role.
He truly thought that he felt pained when he was punishing his daughter.
That made it even creepier.
“The only reason I endured that pain was because I wanted you to awaken your innate ability and succeed.”
There was no reason to listen any further.
“I see.” Aristine nodded her head prudently.
Alpheus’ face brightened.
“Then I’ll do the same for you too, because I want you to succeed.”
But her following words cruelly shattered his hopes.
All the things he had done to the young Aristine flashed through his mind. He might really die.
Fear colored Alpheus’ eyes.
“N, No…you can’t, no, nooo!”
With a loud roar, Alpheus rushed towards Aristine. At the same time, an eerie sound rang out.
The sound of bones breaking and flesh tearing.
Aristine stared down at Alpheus as he dripped with saliva and blood.
“I see you never learn. That must be why you ruled like this.”
She clicked her tongue and opened her door. Simultaneously, the light in the room went out.
In the blink of an eye, his vision was dyed black.
The abyss-like darkness felt like it was going to be his future, so even as he coughed blood, Alpheus crawled on the floor.
As Aristine left, bright sunlight pooled through the open door.
Alpheus stretched his hand toward the sunlight.
However, that warm light never reached Alpheus. With a cold thud, the light disappeared completely.
Alpheus sobbed in the darkness.
* * *
“My goodness, did you hear?”
“They say Princess Letanasia framed Princess Aristine and had her imprisoned, right?”
“Dear me, she acted so nice and kind, but it was all fake?”
“Her life itself is a lie.”
“To think such a person was lauded as a model of high society…”
The sound of people clicking their tongues echoed loudly.
Letanasia clenched her fists tightly till her fingernails pierced her palms.
I have to be unshaken, she thought.
I have to be confident, she thought.
That’s why, instead of hiding in her room, she deliberately came out like usual.
However, it was hard to bear those disdainful looks and mocking whispers that were just loud enough for her to hear.
Letanasia was the emperor’s favored child.
Naturally, this was her first time experiencing such humiliation.
“I wonder how she’s shameless enough to crawl out here.”
“If I were her, I’d be on my knees, begging Princess Aristine for forgiveness.”
“No, you can’t say Princess now. She’s Her Majesty the Emperor.”
“My gosh, I can’t believe there’s really someone from such legends in Silvanus.”
“Not only romantic, but I can also see the practical effects. This will change the dynamics in foreign relations.”
“Indeed, we can’t deny that the prestige of Silvanus has weakened due to our defeat in the last war and the deposing situation, correct?”
“If the new Emperor takes the lead, the atmosphere will certainly change.”
People quickly moved on from disparaging Letanasia and words of praise for Aristine rang out.
Their happy faces were riddled with excitement.
Letanasia bit her lips harshly, forgetting to even manage her expression.
Hearing those voices praising Aristine made her feel more miserable than the sound of them criticizing her.
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