Inside the sturdy paulownia wood coffin they were flowers, green laurel leaves, and you.
A simple, red cloth covered the Emperor lying in his coffin. The cloth covered his feet that can no longer touch the ground and his heart that can no longer beat. Seeing the shadows of his face through the cloth made me not want to do anything anymore.
“Your Majesty, I have to send you away now.
Where did it all go wrong? Was it the day I started taking your love for granted? Or was it when I believed you wouldn’t die under any circumstances? Or was it… when I first entered this body?
I wanted desperately to go back to the past, the things I want to forget were heartbreaking. I didn’t want to believe that this was real. You saved me from my loneliness, but I considered your love a force of fate. I felt overwhelmed that your heart that couldn’t help but love the heroine was not mine. You would have loved this body even if another soul filled its place. When I thought about that, your voice that confessed to me was something I didn’t want to hear again and again. Eventually, hearing you whisper ‘I love you’ became annoying. It was almost burdensome for you to fall in love with this body that was too good for me.
“I never told him I loved him.”
What the hell have I done? Repeating these regrets sounded like empty echoes. I felt sick every time I breathed. Why didn’t I say a word to you? I was too busy thinking of you leaving me that I couldn’t see what was right in front of me.
I pretended to be annoyed by you and gave you the cold shoulder a dozen times. I treated your confession of love as a meaningless echo a hundred times. And it was a thousand times that I turned away from you, hanging on to me with a pained face. All of my actions piled up and tormented me.
I love you… Rose.
…Yes. I love you.
Why have I not seen you begging miserably for me. Even though I saw your wounded face, why did I just take your love for granted? You must have been hurt. It must have been painful for you. It must have hurt so badly. I knew you couldn’t speak and you wouldn’t speak about it, but why didn’t you say anything to me?
“I, I never hated you but…”
How could I hate you, the one who reached out to me who was afraid and new to everything. I was just a coward. At first I was afraid of the idea that you weren’t mine, but then I just became frustrated that it could be true. Every time you whispered you loved me, I became more and more frightened. My bursting heart felt like I got kicked in the chest. I was too miserable to even say I love you back.
I was afraid of being pushed out of this place and I was jealous that you would love this body even if I left it. The more I loved you, the more I pushed you away. It seemed that I could no longer pretend to not know my own heart because every time I saw you, I was shaken to the point of collapsing. So eventually, I started to avoid you.
You told me you loved me year after year, but I believed your love was determined by destiny and I pushed you away. I didn’t know this is what fate had in store for you.
I never did anything about it. I only hurt you multiple times with my selfishness. I regret what I did as I tried to bear with the pain by grasping my chest. Thinking about all the mistakes I made was unbearable, it was getting harder to breathe.
“It’s too bitter, too painful. Help me…”
If I could apologize for what I’ve done, I would kneel on the cold hard ground tens of thousands of times. I will bear the pain, the scratches on my hands and knees, if it was for you.
If you come back, if you only survive, I can do anything. But his body was engulfed in silence. He will never wake up again.
Why? Just Why? I clutched my chest like a madman. I broke away from the maids who tried to support me and collapsed on top of his body. His unbelievably cold hands made my chest jolt.
What do I have to do to touch your face again? It was awkward to touch you myself, but your face looked so sad it was unbearable.
His hard, firm face made me guess that his last moments weren’t comfortable. What were you thinking?
At this moment, I looked cowardly. I don’t want your last glory to be empty. Otherwise I couldn’t stand it and I would beg not to know it.
Noark Arthur Blaze. The young and beautiful emperor of this proud land. My proud husband. I stood in the most glorious position in the world and I dropped your star that should have shone brighter than anyone else.
I killed you.
I washed up and ate as soon as I could. I didn’t know if I put sand in my mouth or food, but I didn’t stop chewing. After eating I was able to leave while everyone was still busy eating their meals. It didn’t matter if his loyal knights chased after me on horseback. The place I was heading to was one where it was hard to navigate.
I won’t go crazy with grief today because I still have hope of saving him.
When I went past the misty forest, the sound of someone calling me made me stop. I dismounted my horse and started walking. The foggy forest shook and the space around me changed. Then, there appeared a huge silver body in front of me surrounded by a green forest.
The last dragon of this world gracefully lifted her head. As she stood up her legs shook from the pressure, but her eyes were still soft. “You are finally here. I was worried about not seeing you before I left. “
Silvystera was already a dragon in the rank of God. As she was preparing to give up her dragon’s body to be reborn as a god, she mistakenly lost her heart. When she tried to retrieve it, she called me to this land on accident.
“Do you remember the moment you found your heart? I think I have something I want.”
She acknowledged her mistake and promised me one wish. Although I wished to return to my original world right away, she couldn’t grant me that wish because that would mean losing her heart again. I once held a grudge against this dragon. I hated and hated her for not being responsible for the trouble she caused me. But that was okay now.
“I have a wish.”
He used to confess to me several times a day. One day, I got so annoyed with his confessions that I asked him why he would repeat something so meaningless.
This is the only thing I can do.
One day, I accidentally touched his body. I gave him a look of scorn and he gave me one of reluctances. I didn’t hide my feelings and he was hurt by it. Noah’s confession made me cry out in frustration.
What’s so good about me?
When you smile, I see dimples, warm hands, a nice voice talking to me …
He kept answering my rhetorical question until I asked him to stop. His words, which were filled with such deep and pure emotions for me, were so heavy that I ran away again.
I have ruined him to satisfy myself over petty things. Judging from the original novel, it was obvious that my influence made him die instead of returning safely.
He would’ve probably laughed and would’ve given me a relieved smile; however, there was no laughter when the time came. He always showed me a bright smile and now it was time for me to give one back. I walked one step forward and wiped my tears away with a fist.
“Please make him happy.”
“Noark Arthur Blaze, do you mean you want me to save him from the dead?”
“Yes. I want to make him the happiest.”
“This might be different from your expectations, are you okay?”
If he was happy of course I would be okay. To save him, I would do anything.
“Anything is okay.”
“Then good luck.” She reached toward me with her huge hand and her sharp claws started emanating a red light. At the same time, both my ears heard a piercing scream and I doubled over in pain, blood dripped on the ground.
“Time will start again from the beginning. Make your own man’s happiness.”
Finally, I lost consciousness to that compassionate voice.
Proofreader: Arie Bee
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