Chapter 0 – Prologue
“I can’t believe you’re leaving.”
The voice that spoke sank down, as low as darkness itself, like a shackle that would fasten around one’s ankle. Reina flinched at the response that she didn’t expect.
She knew that he wouldn’t be happy about it, but she didn’t know that his eyes would have this kind of look.
“It’s just that, what I mean is…”
She hurriedly opened her lips to clear up the situation, but rather than alleviating the situation, the effect was the opposite. Seeing his expression harden, Reina’s voice also became stiff.
“It’s not that I’ll leave you forever…”
Cutting her off mid-sentence, he reached out towards her alabaster cheek. Goosebumps rose over her skin.
“I will not let you go.”
“You should have tried to leave far earlier. Or shouldn’t have tried at all.”
He spoke with a whisper, as though he was casting a spell. He took one more step closer to her, but at this, she stepped back, like a deer being driven to a corner by a lion. Eventually, her back hit the ornate red wall behind her.
Reina placed a hand on the man’s wide chest, pushing him slightly in an attempt to calm him down.
“Let’s… Let’s talk firs—”
“That friend of yours who keeps meddling.”
“J-Just calm down for a moment and—”
“Those followers that keep being a nuisance in the name of your ‘protection’.”
He continued speaking, his voice gradually getting more and more tinged with wrath. As the tension rose, her throat clenched even tighter as though it had been blocked by beads.
“And even those bastards who pretend to cooperate yet look at you with such dirty eyes…”
Spitting out the words with such derision, he slowly closed his eyes, then opened them once more as he pressed down on the woman’s lower lip with his thumb.
“I took care of everything. Offered salvation.”
When the woman realized that she had gotten reincarnated and chose him as her lifeline, she didn’t doubt this choice for one second because this situation did not cross her mind.
That’s right. She really didn’t imagine that this perfect man would change to this degree.
“But why are you leaving. I did everything you told me to.”
“…It’s really not what you’re thinking. You know how much I love you.”
Fortunately, the timid words she spoke now softened his hard expression a little.
“When I said I’m leaving, it wasn’t to say that I’ll be apart from you forever. I’m just saying that I’ll be away for a short while.”
She comforted him with a gentle tone.
Before she knew it, their hands were clasped together, and he kissed her forehead as though to express just how lovely she was to him.
“Even so. You can’t.”
“I’ll do everything for you. If you want the ocean, I’ll make one for you. If you want a tropical paradise, I’ll change everything and make it like that.”
“Or is it autumn leaves that you want to see? Then I’ll make it so that the entire empire is stained red.”
At a loss for words, Reina turned to the dark night sky. Whilst the countless stars filled her sight, a sense of lamentation steadily enveloped her.
In the same way that she realized she had reincarnated, so too did she realize the hopeless ending ahead.
She just tried to change the story. Just a little bit. But then the result was that it all slipped out of her control.
“That’s why, don’t say that you’re leaving. If you ever try to utter those words once more, I don’t know what I’ll do.”
note: this novel’s chapters are half chapters, but they’ll be numbered normally to make things simple (similar to how Remarried Empress does it). moving forward, i’ll be posting often to compensate for the length
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