1. The Night Entrance and the Prayer
It was a beautiful winter night.
At the balcony of the Royal Palace of Fashitar, which was bathed in an afterglow of violet from the night, ample white roses’ petals were scattered. They were about to fully blossom.
For unknown reasons, those precious white roses could only bloom there, in the Royal Palace. It was the only species that could attain such a pure, silky, white coloration.
The vibrant leaves were a beautiful shade, and the buds hanging on their necks glowed at night.
In the past, a magician who came to observe the white roses revealed that it was a rose of winter night genealogy—flowers that always and only ever bloomed at night.
They didn’t grow beyond the balcony made of pale, gray-green, forest crystals. The garden below was enshrouded in fog.
The sky was clear with sparkling stars adorning the night sky—at a glance, the sky seemed like a jet-black veil and the stars the jewels decorating it.
The blossoms of the winter were in full bloom, albeit the gardens of the Royal Palace were already covered with snow.
“…Even though in a few day will come Evemeria, it seems that you can’t wait for these few days to pass.”
She wondered if the reason she muttered so was because she felt anxious—her heart was both uneasy and lonely.
To swallow the pain as you were abandoned in cruelty—such a miserable thing it was, she thought, to the point that her throat ached.
Evemeria was one of the most glamorous festival in the kingdom—where not only the night but also the winter lasted longer.
At the end of the late autumn harvest festival, people hung beautiful ornaments of the cut-out trees and hung garlands decorated with wild red berries on their doors.
Then, on the day of Evemeria, they would light a candle that had been blessed at a church mass and spend their night with family and close friends, having a feast.
The courtyard of the Royal Palace, too, had been decorated with beautiful and magnificent ornamental trees. Not only did a giant wreath hang at the front of the main gate, but cute smaller ones were also placed on doors here and there.
Most people had finished preparing gifts.
Just a few days before the holiday, Dia suddenly became alone.
“Forgive me, Dia. Would you allow me to break off my engagement with you?”
Dia had her engagement with the kingdom’s First Prince annulled.
It was a conversation that ended with mutual consent, but in truth, the magical contract that was the engagement between the two of them had already been dissolved before the talk. As such, it would be more precise to say that she had been abandoned.
Moreover, the person whom was both the fiancé and guardian of Dia for 13 years had decided on a new engagement with a woman he said he loved.
Dia saw them once—the two of them were walking side by side in the garden of the Royal Palace, discussing the defense of the border area. That moment, she already knew that she would soon lost her fiancé.
The reason I’m so convinced… how do I put it to words…?
When she saw the woman for the first time, she remembered her heart ached more because of the woman’s unreasonable beauty and intellect rather than because she was being deprived of her fiancé. Fate had smiled upon that woman, bestowing upon her a path to attain what she deserved in life.
…even though those people already have many things…
…yet again, tonight, as if it was only natural, another promise—another hope was torn away from Dia’s hand.
Dia had no family to spent Evemeria with.
Up to now, she had spent the holiday night with her fiancé—Ricardo—and his family. It seemed that that year, such wouldn’t happen.
Of course, as long as she was still a member of the Royal Palace, the servants would take good care of her. However, she didn’t want to spend any more time looking at her ex-fiancé gazing at another woman.
But, she also couldn’t help but think;
I’ve been looking forward to that beautiful festival day! Why couldn’t you put a lid on those feelings of yours for a little longer and let me enjoy that day!? Unforgiveable!
—her heart being crushed by misery, Dia permitted herself to indulge in such thoughts, regardless of how unreasonable it sounded.
As childish as it sounded, considering her age, Dia loved Evemeria. She thought she had the luxury of having a delicious dinner with someone.
“Still, you can’t deny the appeal of an annulled engagement these days.”
At such nonchalant words, Dia sighed at him.
Apparently, without a care towards the person whom had just been dumped, nor a shred of consideration that the annulment would hurt Dia—he, the party that wouldn’t be inconvenienced whatsoever, shrugged it off as if it happened merely because of misfortune.
On that chilly night, a tall man stood beside Dia on her balcony.
His jet-black cape swayed in the wind, bleeding into the darkness halfway through—as if stating that his noble, knightly, outfit was not of the human realm.
His long, light blue hair gently fluttered. It reflected light, as if spun by the finest stone of the night mist. Depending on the angle, the color assumed that of pale violet.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t a gentle Samaritan that worried about Dia’s cause, of she whom had just been abandoned, but a mean person who came just to observe a pitiful person that had lost everything in her desecration.
When she turned at him, she could see his purple eyes which reflected the night’s glow. The edge of his lips were lifted, replicating a gorgeous smile—however, there was no warmth there.
“My predicament isn’t an entertainment, so hold your tongue. Other than that, if you’ve come to play, I doubt you will get any leeway tonight.”
“…I’ve been thinking about this, but you, do you think I’m some kind of forest beast, or something?”
“You came out of the forest to seek amusement, and that’s the definition right there.”
Listening to Dia’s words, he threw his gaze somewhere far away. Then, the beautiful outsider sighed.
So he can make that kind of face, too? He wasn’t human, as such—well, let’s leave him to his own desecration.
“Anyway, so, did you dress up fancily like that just to be dumped? Humans are strange.”
“He is the prince of this kingdom, and until yesterday, my fiancé—albeit ostensibly. I assumed this is what was required of my position.”
She didn’t know how this outsider had lived until now, but there was a hierarchy in human society.
Even if she knew the purpose of her fiancé’s visitation was to annul the engagement, Dia was still obliged to dress appropriately, she thought.
However, it was true that the wide hem of her dress made some distasteful rustling sounds and that her beautiful dress was both heavy and tormenting to the body.
Her fingertips, which was exposed to the wintry night breeze were frozen stiff. Nevertheless, the coldness helped in clearing her anxious and disappointed mind.
With little time left, Dia had a lot to do…
“If you stay like this, at the Royal Palace ball held the next day after Evemeria, you’ll end up being killed by the people of this kingdom?”
To the low, sweet, voice of that man who laughed happily, Dia grasped her fingertips tightly.
The strange outsider with a terrible smile looked at her way had no care whatsoever—after all, to him, Dia’s life was but a speckle of dust. As such, even if her tiny life was crumpled, she doubted he would even feel a tinge of sadness.
…Despite so, for a creature that commands the night—I can’t deny how beautiful he looks.
Said outsider was the one who controlled the night—in this kingdom, he was known as the King of the Night.
At the face of the cruel demise that awaited her, just like the night, he remained indifferent—basking in his own beauty and luster, and because of the bordering winter, he exuded a dignified, glorious, aura.
She considered it a luxury for someone of her disposition to be able to mingle with such creature. However, if she stood too close, wouldn’t her miserableness of someone whom had just been thrown away be apparent?
I have nothing left.
Her hands were empty.
There was no one to help her; no one to protect her; no one to love her; no one to even snuggle with in that cold—
—what was there left for her to do?
She could feel her eyes getting hot—as such, she closed it under the guise of pondering. In her mind, she could picture the handsome prince dancing right underneath the chandelier of crystals on the festive night. The surrounding walls glittered due to the light.
In the hall, people wore beautiful attire and danced happily. In the middle of the circle, the prince was also dancing with someone.
Elegant steps that spun around; the rustling of dresses being spread elegantly—
—the ceiling was incredibly high. Music played by the orchestra. The glasses of drink would sparkle when people toasted.
Recalling his dazzling smile felt heartbreaking—it seemed that Dia still harbored some feelings towards him.
…what a foolish person I am, to be lovesick like this…
Dia turned away from the peering eyes of the outsider whom was drawn by her expression.
“Tonight, I’m retiring early…”
“As of now, I’m not only feeling miserable, but also tired… if they want to kill me, fine, I still have a few days to spare. Because I only have a few days left, I choose to do nothing. All I can do tonight is sleep. On the contrary, even if were still energized, I would still opt to go to bed due to the irate feeling… I’m going to bed.”
“…as usual, you don’t spare a thought regarding your own life.”
To the other party who uttered so, she ignored him and went to bed despite his frosty glance. Dia giggled in her heart.
Instead, I wish I could be greedy.
However, such a pitiful, fleeting, wish was pushed deep into the corner of Dia’s heart.
***T/N: I hereby brought you a new project!!! The title and the atmospheric writing are what captivated me the most!!! I’ll be in your care, guys… and that’s another asshole prince in the bin.