The Abandoned Empress Chapter 338 - TAE 338
The Abandoned Empress Chapter 338
Update 4 months ago
As if he was so dumbfounded by Jiun’s response, Rublis said, staring at her, “The late emperor gave you the opportunity to choose a family you wanted to join. He even said that he wanted to adopt you as a royal daughter. Despite such options, you chose the Jena family, right? Then, why is it that you don’t want to share his destiny now?”
“You claimed I used you, but didn’t you approach me to use me, too? I admit I treated you too coldly, but I did so because I realized that you were not as useful as I thought, and that you did your best to use me without any sincerity.”
“You approached me because you needed me, and I used you for my own needs. We met for each other’s needs, to say the least. Don’t you think it’s funny that you accuse me when you are also at fault?”
Although he spoke to me coldly, he hit the nail on the head. Looking at her pale face for a moment, he said, “Everyone demanded you be executed, and I agreed. The only one who asked to save your life was Aristia.”
“She visited me even after the meeting and begged me to save your life. It wasn’t an easy decision for me, but I had to accept her request, after all. I had no choice but to accept it because she said she wanted to repay her debt to you who had saved her before.”
Jiun released her clenched fists unconsciously. Then she opened her trembling lips and asked, “Oh my God…Then, what’s that bottle?”
Until now she gave up all hope because she was going to die anyway, but when he said that, she began to feel that she could survive.
“It’s a drug that temporarily puts you in a state of suspended animation.”
“It is a simple choice. In other words, do you want to die like a nobleman or survive as a commoner? If you want to remain an imperial noblewoman, come to the execution place ten days from now. If you want to live as a commoner in a small country, drink that. It doesn’t matter which one you choose. Whether you drink it or not, ten days from now you will be recorded as dead.”
After he was done talking, he put his hood on. Then he turned coldly and said, “I know it’s useless to tell you this, but…”
“I really want to thank you for saving her life.”
Then he walked toward the door without hesitation. The solid iron door opened, then closed silently. Finally, there was only darkness hanging over her room.
How much time passed? After looking at the door for a long time, she slowly turned her gaze to the doorknob, the cold stone wall and finally the soft carpet, where there was a glass bottle colored black because of the shade.
She slowly bowed down and picked up the bottle. The small glass bottle that fit into her palm was cold as if it had ice in it. She felt as if the cold that started in the palm reached her ears, but she only bit her pale lip without relaxing her clenched fists.
‘It’s a matter of choice …’
She unconsciously tightened her hand holding the bottle.
She got angry. It was a question of whether to live or die until a moment ago. Now that she heard his explanation, she knew that she had a third choice, which was to survive at the same time while choosing death. If she chose this way, she would only live with a deep sense of defeat, which she knew.
If Aristia were in her shoes, she would certainly choose death like a noblewoman. In fact, before returning, didn’t she die without losing her dignity until the end?
However, she was different. She was sick and tired of harboring hostility alone or being gripped by an inferiority complex. But she didn’t want to end her life, which she barely regained, in vain like this, even if she was despised by that noble couple.
“Hahaha…” She made a hollow laugh.
What she had now until the last moment was only defeatism. She now had nothing left.
Staring at the bottle in her hand for a long time, she opened it with a determined expression. Then, she drank it quickly.
She felt drowsy. She felt a sense of extreme enervation. Closing her eyes that blurred gradually, she leaned on the fluffy carpet. A drop of tears rolled between the tightly closed eyelids.
Goodby, Rube and…Aristia.
I was sick and tired of everything. My first life was not my choice.
My second life was my choice, but I always wished I wasn’t the empress.
At some point, I wished I was not the duke’s daughter.
So, every night I went to sleep, I prayed that I could be sent back to the old me one day in my 19th year of life when I didn’t know anything, and that if that was impossible, I could be freed from the harsh reality and live freely.
Looking at the bottle in my hand, I asked myself, ‘Can you make me like that? Can you free me who has been exhausted and already ruined?’
“…My lady, lady? ”
Jiun woke up when she heard a strange voice, and got up. The moment she blinked her blurry eyes, hot tears rolled off her wet eyelids.
She hurriedly bowed her head and wiped the tears. Even though a servant was serving her even after that day, she didn’t want to show her weakness in front of the old man, who could be called Marquis Monique’s right-hand.
“…Yes, please go ahead.”
“I heard that you seem to have a bad nightmare. So I came in, though I knew it was impolite…Are you alright? You look very pale. Can I call a doctor? ”
“No, thanks. You don’t have to care about me.”
Having said that firmly, she pretended to raise her body. The old man, who spent his whole life serving a great noble family, turned aside gently and said, “I’ll tell them to prepare breakfast for you then.”
The old man, who turned and walked away, was dressed up perfectly.
While looking at him for a moment, she sighed deeply. She knew he was taking care of her, but she felt uncomfortable for some reason. Perhaps it was because his neat attire often reminded her of Aristia, or she heard the conversation that day.
Was it because she had a nightmare, or was it because she saw face to face with the old man the first thing in the morning? She suddenly recalled what happened on that night half a year ago when she opened the transparent bottle and drank the drug in it.
After Aristia and Rublis came to see her and went back at night on the day, she drank it.
When she woke up in a drowsy state after sleeping, she was already in a strange place, not in the prison where she had been jailed. The one she met there was Marquis Monique, Lady Monique’s father.
When she shuddered with fear, he told her that the emperor ordered him to expel her from the empire without being caught by anybody. According to the order, she would not be allowed to return to the empire, but she would not need to worry about her livelihood because she would be offered a considerable sum of money in return for her saving Aristia. Then, she was ordered to leave for the border area immediately, escorted by somebody.
She remembered the moment when she flinched at his very cold voice in the past. Even before her return, Marquis Monique was one of the persons that she found very difficult to deal with. She felt so partly because of his blank expression, but all the more so because of his cold gaze at her.
When she came back home without saying anything, but went back to express gratitude for the last time, she got goosebumps when she overheard their conversation between him and the butler through the half-open door of his house.
<…Of course, sir. >
What made her feel more creepy was when she met his eyes when she was about to turn. She still couldn’t forget his look, who looked at her indifferently, as if he knew it already.