Alastair led my hand to his mouth.
Reverently, he slowly kissed my palms and fingers.
Alastair’s lips make tiny suction sounds sneaking up.
Alastair smiles joyfully.
Like a predator who finally finds his prey in front of him.
All this time, he has been building up his strength with hope.
Such cruel words, containing such earnest wishes.
I answered back, calmly. “But you’re not the best jewel at the moment, are you?”
“What if I give you the imperial crown?”
I doubted what I had just heard, and even though I thought he had just said something extraordinary, he remained relaxed.
I decided that I heard wrong.
“I said I’d give you the Imperialist crown from my hand.”
He smiled at my surprised face and repeated the same thing.
My face froze in shock.
I came to my senses and looked around carefully. Fortunately, there was no one around, but us.
I lowered my voice even further.
“Are you crazy? Are you trying to be treasonous?”
“Well, don’t you like it?”
Crazy. He is definitely crazy.
Alastair smiled leisurely with a powerful smile.
But in my eyes, I couldn’t see his figure stepping on a death path for a mere rebellion.
The flower I thought was withering had only changed colors and was still alive. But that flower had lost its original color.
Is he the boy I used to know? I didn’t think so. The reason he’s changed like this is because he had to change.
After all, I couldn’t mention his father’s death until he left this family.
As soon as he returned home, he would have learned many things belatedly. For example, the fact that I replaced him at the funeral.
At that time, Aguernia was falling apart. And it must have been a life-long struggle to prevent it from collapsing.
He worked hard for the Aguernia house in the novel, too.
It was mentioned how in the beginning how humiliated he was in the process of restructuring.
How could he escape from ridicule when his family, once at the top, was collapsing?
Most ignored Alastair, thinking he would take after his father.
But he raised Aguernia in front of those who had first ignored him.
“Are you sure? If you give me the imperial power, this country will be ruined.”
“I don’t care.”
“Aguernia could be ruined, too.”
“I don’t care.”
Honestly, I was sardonic, but Alastair’s answers never wavered.
His thoughts contained only me. He would turn a blind eye to any of my disastrous desires. No, he would even aid me.
“Serina, everything else is worthless to me. It doesn’t matter what happens to them if you’re here.”
He carefully grasped my soft silvery hair and kissed it deeply.
“I love you, Serina.”
My lips went up. It could have been seen as the smile of the victor, but it never was. It was a self-deprecating laugh.
I don’t even know how I got to the room. After the conversation with Alastair, I went up to my room with heavy steps.
My body collapsed on the bed like a falling rock. I wiped my face down with one hand.
From that one day, two years ago, I have been avoiding Alastair.
I didn’t avoid him outright, but I turned him down for one reason or another. But despite the constant refusal, the Alastair still pursued me fervently.
His mansion, which used to be my resting place, was filled with nothing but loveliness.
I had to see him when the Duke of Melford ordered me to spy on him.
‘How did I get away from Alastair?’
It didn’t start with much.
It was that day two years ago. At that time, I was much more ignorant of ‘Amalion’ than I am now.
(Flashback to two years ago)
As I was in a hurry to release his brainwashing and I searched everywhere for herbs to get rid of toxins.
There was a hypothesis that if you took detoxifying herbs for a while, the toxins in “Amalion” would probably come out.
And one day, I found a herb that was very effective in removing toxins.
I made some medicine to feed him, and as soon as I finished, I went to find him. I didn’t think much of it when I saw the blushing and welcoming Alastair.
The only thing in my mind was getting his enchantment gone as soon as possible.
I ignored the cool stomach flower that grazed my throat. I shouldn’t have ignored that sense.
Alastair questioned what the herb I gave him was, and I laughed back at him.
‘Why? I’m afraid I’ll give you poison?’
‘I guess you could.’
Alastair swiftly accepted my words.
‘What the hell do you think of me?’
I opened my eyes and glared at him. He laughed, amused at my gaze.
‘Well, if it’s from you and it’s poison. I’d be happy to drink it for you, Serina.’
He accepted the medicine bottle in my hand. And swallowed the contents without question.
That moment was the starting point for this relationship to change.
How long has it been since he gulped it down? The drugs were affecting him.
Alastair complained of a splitting headache right before he stumbled, and I caught him in a hurry.
‘Alastair, are you okay?’
His enchantments had been loosened.
And in a flash, his mood…
The eyes that looked at me as if I was the most lovable being had disappeared and instead had been replaced by other emotions.
I expected this is how you would look at me when your brainwashing disappeared, but I felt strange when I experienced it myself.
I backed off reflexively. Alastair’s eyes were unfamiliar. We only stared at each other in silence for a long time ago.
He was looking at me with eyes full of hate.