11.1 The Queen and the Fiancée
The morning of Evemeria was a special moment.
Families would exchange gifts with each other and discuss said gifts.
The houses would be decorated with beautiful ornamental trees, and the smell of burning incense could be smelled from the entrance of the church, or large buildings in general.
The unique sweet scent of apples and spices used in Evemeria’s desserts were incomparable.
At Fashitar, it’s customary to take one red berry from the wreath hung on the door, put it in a glass of red wine, and leave it on the windowsill.
Of course, for that year’s Evemeria, no one would do such for Dia’s room.
Instead, Dilvier, who made a point to show that such a custom was pointless to him, brewed black tea for Dia.
It was Dia’s first time tasting such a drink…
The tea had a slight sweetness, and a rich scent, to the point that Dia casted aside her manners as a lady to hop around from its deliciousness.
The radiance and misty garden was so beautiful, the sight of snow falling upon it made her swoon.
Dia peered outside the window and wistfully gazed at such scenery.
A little above the ornamental tree that could be seen from behind hung a lovely wreath on the door leading to the Queen’s garden in the back.
To tell the truth, Dia, who couldn’t appear in the mass of Evemeria, should have been able to enjoy such a mesmerizing sight forever.
Even so, it was said that guests would come to Dia’s room due to the occasion.
“I was a little surprised to have been visited at such time. Is it for my gift of Evemeria?”
“…it’s a day before you’re getting killed, why are you being concerned about a late gift instead?”
Hearing Dia nonchalantly said so, Dilvier was somewhat perturbed.
He said that he would talk to Noin last night, but had there been any change since the misunderstanding was resolved?
The King—Noin—seemed to be busy for some reason, and Dia hadn’t met that Spirit of the Midnight Throne ever since talking to Dilvier under that tree.
…But, even if the misunderstanding is resolved, the fact that I have broken my promise doesn’t change. I mustn’t forget that they are not human—their wrath is inherently different from ours. Even in fairy tales, I have never read anything about a spirit being a forgiving creature…
If… if back then in the past, Dia didn’t summon him during that stormy night, and attended the following year’s ball…—
—what kind of future would they have?
When she wondered about such things, it was as if her chest would burst.
In the last 13 years she had lived along with despair, Dia acknowledged that she had indeed ruined her future with her own hands.
However, the sharp pain that ran through her chest—she didn’t feel it for the first time.
…It’s been a long time since that ball.
It felt awkward to walk around while clutching her painful chest everywhere she went.
She wondered if her footsteps of today were still steeped in the blood of that night.
That stormy night…
The wind blew as the heavy downpour hit the windows.
She remembered the bitter smile of her father, whom was reluctant to cut the nicely growing branches of the incense rose that traveled down the walls of the mansion, and were hitting the glass.
However, what remained in her ears were the cries of her mother when her father was killed, followed by the heavy clanks that were the swords of the knights, and the dull sound that was her loved ones screaming.
Giving up to the sound of the wind that swayed through the window, Dia fell on the still warm puddle of blood.
She barely managed to move her limbs, which were drenched in blood, towards the shadow.
A knight, whose forehead was tainted by blood, didn’t think the servant’s child whom he had just struck with his large sword was still alive. Said knight soon left.
However, Dia, who had been knocked unconscious, soon awoke.
She could only afford to roll on the floor—it was a way of traveling, at the very least.
Even breathing felt like the harshest thing in the world.
While giving up the future that shone like a chandelier during a ball of the royal palace, Dia asked for the Prince of the Night to help her.
How many poor words did she have to come up with to summon him there, since she didn’t actually know his name?
Still, she had to summon him.
Please, please make it in time, let me make it in time…
Choking in despair, Dia kept whispering to summon him. She was quivering inside the tragic mess that was her home.
She wanted to marry her beloved Prince of the Night Kingdom.
But, more than such a tiny dream, she wanted her precious family to survive.
She wanted him to help her family somehow—anyhow.
Her family was precious—they were all that she had in the world.
The Prince of the Night might not want to see her anymore afterwards—but such was fine.
He might become furious and kill her—such was alright, too.
Her tears overflowed, while the breath she exhaled burned.
Her body swayed, probably because of the impact to her head. She staggered and hit the wall of the hidden room behind the bookshelf.
The one who found Dia after she fled and brought her there was her injured brother.
Her brother was gravely injured, to the point he barely looked human. Yet he still pushed his younger sister inside that hidden room and smiled reassuringly.
With his maimed body, Dia’s brother wiped away all traces of blood left on the bookcase and moved away.
To keep Dia alive, he tried to divert the knights’ attention from the bookshelf. Thus, he picked up something, and went to a nearby knight.
Dia’s petite body quivered as her heart froze from to the sound of something heavy falling to the floor.
Still, she thought she had to survive. She had to hide herself to her utmost, so she could find an opportunity to call someone who might rescue her family.
…But, by the time Dia managed to utter the correct words and reached him, none of the family Dia wanted to protect was still alive.
“Dia wants to marry the Prince—…isn’t that how it should be…?”
Dia of the present day recalled the words she had uttered during that stormy night and clenched her teeth.
The encounter during that stormy night—
—she recalled that she was trying to apologize to Noin.
Indeed, Dia intended to apologize to him.
“Dia is supposed to marry the prince, but she instead called you here to fulfil her own request, which is to save her family. So please—save my family, it doesn’t matter what happens to me.”
But when she realized that it was too late to grant said wish, and that she had been left alone in that world, Dia couldn’t comprehend anything any longer.
Dia moved forward—one step, then another.
It just so happened that she was taken in by the royal family—it was a blessing in disguise.
After being thrown away by Noin, all that was left for Dia was revenge.
That was her only reason to live.
As such, she had to survive, gain wisdom, and grow bigger—
—until she could attain any means, any measure, to destroy them in any way.
***T/N: So much respect for Dia’s bro over there, so much respect, so much, like BRO TAKE MY MONEY, MY FEELINGS, MY EVERYTHING, TAKE IT ALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BOY, 2 paragraphs into Dia’s past and I’m ready to sob into my handkerchief, THIS IS TOO HEAVY DAMMIT.
And perhaps revenge was the reason that chained Dia in the royal palace…