Chapter 3

Translator: Gold

Artizea once destroyed the Ava River embankment to frame Cedric.

At that time, Cedric was returning from controlling the situation on the western border of the empire by order of Emperor Gregor.

The emperor notified him through an imperial emissary to return the command and control of the commander-in-chief of the army and to hurry back to the capital alone.

It was then that Artizea destroyed the embankment.

Several cities and villages were swept away.

The number of people directly affected was estimated to be only about 30,000 at most. The paddy fields were also damaged, but since this was a good harvest year, there was no danger that the whole country would be plunged into famine.

In any case, the most beneficial thing for him would have been to leave the Ava River and return to the capital under the emperor’s orders.

But Cedric did not. He chose to use the army to minimise the flood damage.

However, since he did not return, but acted as commander-in-chief of the army, this aroused the suspicion of the Emperor.

Artizea did this because she knew that Cedric was this kind of person. The same thing happened when Artizea discovered and blamed a village for being rebels in the territory of Grand Duke Evron, or when he devised a plan to get rid of Grand Duke Roygar, and even when the epidemic spread.

Even knowing what might happen to him, in the end he always chose to save the people.

This cost him his position and he ended up becoming a fugitive.

“Please have some tea.”

The butler spoke politely and gave Cedric an iron cup.

Then he sat next to Artizea and he brought a cup of strong tea, full of sugar and milk, to her mouth.

Cedric sat down in front of Artizea, while he drank the tea. As if it was tea time.

Artizea looked at him blankly, thinking of Licia’s will.

「If you ever meet Cedric, please tell him that Licia lived and died without regrets.」

Deep down, Licia did not want Artizea and Cedric to meet again, as that would mean that he was finally defeated and taken back to the capital.

But now the situation was exactly the opposite of what she thought at the time.

Today, years later, Cedric and his forces were still alive.

It was Artizea who fell. Artizea was taken to Cedric’s camp and was now face to face with him.

Under these circumstances, Licia would have wanted her to convey the message.

But Artizea could not keep the promise she had made to Licia. Because she was not able to speak.

Cedric stood up when the butler finished pouring all the tea into Artizea’s mouth.

“Let’s go out.”


Artizea awoke from her thoughts and looked at him incredulously.

Cedric approached her and gently lifted her up.

Artizea struggled to free himself from his grip, unlike with Venia. This time she was embarrassed.

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But she couldn’t resist the strength of Cedric’s arms.

He picked her up in his arms and as he left the tent, knights in military uniforms rushed up to her.

The knights were all dirty from their constant running away.

“Your Grace.”

“Grand Duke.”

Where does he take the wicked woman?”

“I have unfinished business.”

“We will transport her.”

The knights held out their hands. Cedric turned to the side, avoiding their hands.

“Do not speak of people as if they were objects.”

“What is he saying? Your Grace is being too kind to the devil.”

“Stay here. I’ll go alone.”

“No way.”

The knights were scared.

“The Marchioness Rosan, she has no arms or legs, she could not harm me.”

“You can’t be so sure of that!”

“That witch is capable of causing a disaster with her tongue alone.”

“Unfortunately, the Marchioness Rosan doesn’t have a tongue either.”

Said Cedric, clicking his tongue.

He strode across the military camp. Then he mounted Artizea on the horse and he climbed behind.

Because she did not have her limbs intact, he could not ride her in the back, so this was the easiest way to carry her.

Artizea shuddered. She’s never been this close to a man before.

The heat from her chest against her back caused her body temperature to rise.

Cedric rode out of the camp.

It was drizzling.

Looking at the mountains and the streams, Artizea realized that this was the Barquee region belonging to the Grand Duke Roygar.

Barquee was the granary of the eastern part of the Empire.

It could not be compared with the vast plains of the western, but the abundance of water and the mild climate, allowed all kinds of cereals and fruits to be grown here.

The best wine in the Empire was also produced here.

But now there was no trace of it left.

Smoke rose from the charred ground. While he was riding she could only see the remains of houses.

There were corpses everywhere, the vast majority being the bodies of men.

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The city was also destroyed.

Only the rubble of the walls remained, and the survivors, crouched beneath the walls of their destroyed homes, looked up at the two of them with a glint in their eyes.

Artizea stared at the scene in a daze, not understanding what had happened.

What had happened while she was in prison.

There should have been no war in Barquee.

“This happened because a native of Barquee was found to have planned an assassination attempt against Lawrence with the Grand Duke Roygar 12 years ago.”

Artizea was breathless, his heartbeat accelerated.

This was an unnecessary massacre.

Lawrence was already emperor and had the imperial army at his disposal.

The imperial power was solid and stronger than ever. It was Artizea who made this possible.

Lawrence had to keep himself clean. So such things had always been Artizea’s responsibility.

That was the task Milera imposed on Artizea and she faithfully carried out her duty.

So now, without her, Lawrence could have become the perfect emperor.

Do you find that surprising and shocking? This is what you used to do too, Marchioness Rosan.”

Cedric said quietly.

“This was either necessary or unnecessary. I know that’s what you think to execute your schemes. Perhaps this is something that Lawrence considered necessary.”


“Or do you believe, Marchioness Rosan, that your judgment is absolute and Lawrence’s is not?”

Artizea was speechless.

“If so, no wonder you’ve been expelled.”

Cedric said, with a change in his tone.


Then Cedric formed a small, separate troop and moved from place to place. Artizea was taken on the butler’s horse and moved with the small troop.

There were many other places that had suffered a terrible fate.

No one took care of the plagues of locusts, the aftermath of the civil wars, or the restoration of the embankments.

Nor did the granary exist.

Every road was overflowing with wandering people and infested with contagious diseases. Carcasses that had not been collected were scattered everywhere.

The politics of the empire were not just a disaster in the last year or two.

Emperor Gregor was self-centered and selfish, a man who put his authority ahead of the lives of his people.

The struggle for succession ended up ruining the country, Artizea took the initiative to make that happen.

Artizea thought that once Lawrence became emperor, he would be able to restore the empire.

There was hope for the Empire when Licia was Empress.

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Even after her death, there was an effort on Artizea’s part to do something to change the situation while she was at Lawrence’s side.

But now the imperial family seemed to have abandoned everything.

Artizea had already understood what Cedric was trying to tell her.

Instead of condemning her with his mouth as Venia did, he seemed to want to show her the consequences of what she had done.

“Miraila is dead. I heard that she was still scolding Lawrence on the subject of women.”

The day they arrived at the village of the rebels on the other side of the northern ridge, he broke the news.

Artizea was too exhausted to be surprised by the news.

In the village of the rebels, only the graves remained, with thousands of shadows cast by the wooden crosses.

This village was not really a rebel village.

It was the place where people fled when Emperor Gregor killed Cedric’s parents, accusing them of treason.

Later, the truth came out and the empire recognised it. The wanted list of those who fled was also lifted.

Still, they did not leave the village where they lived, trusting and supporting each other.

Licia was also from this village, and Venia’s family also lived in hiding here.

Cedric, who had no other blood relatives, found comfort among the villagers.

Artizea knew this.

This was a terrible thing.

Artizea had just learned about the construction of these tombs.

‘Did Cedric make all these tombs himself? Did he bring me here with the intention of making me reflect?’

Artizea thought.

After standing silently for a long time on the hill overlooking the whole village, Cedric took her back to the military camp with him.

“I don’t think you ever imagined that Lawrence would end up like this, Marchioness Rosan.”


“I knew he was very bad and perverse. But if I had started fighting for the throne, I was convinced that defeat would have been worse than death.”

Artizea was anxious about another matter.

‘Why doesn’t he ask about Licia? Why doesn’t he ask how the Saintess died, who tried to protect him at all costs?’

So much so that Miraila was killed because of the women’s issue. Cedric should know by now how Lawrence treated women.

Therefore, it would be logical that he blame Artizea for taking Licia away from him and forcing her to marry Lawrence.

But he didn’t. His stiff face looked like a public statue erected in a town square.

“But I did not expect to see such tyranny. Why the hell is he doing this? Now that the Crates Empire belongs to him. Has he no desire to protect his people, to save and make this place great?”

In any case, Artizea could not answer because she had no tongue.

She looked down. She just wanted to know. Why was Lawrence like that?

“Devise a plan.”

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Then she raised her head in astonishment at Cedric’s words.

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