42.2 Inside the Queen’s Heart
To pledge one’s future to someone else. To consider someone as their one and only—
—in all actuality, those were never a big deal to the queen.
From the very beginning, after the queen had made the painful decision of welcoming Sharina into the Dahlia Garden, Ulysia had made some ‘preparations.’
Had the two—Sharina and Riol—actually commenced their engagement, the church was to delay giving approval.
But in the end, until the day Sharina was engaged to Roland, the two were never engaged. The queen intended to destroy their engagement when it became final, but it turned out she didn’t need to.
Due to Sharina’s vainness, he queen’s other son, whom was once the crown prince, was tossed away, made into a villain, and forced into ruin.
The suppressed anger was revived within Ulysia’s chest. She clenched her lips.
Along with a modest knock, the queen heard the voice of the maid who had re-brewed the tea.
“Hmm… as expected, when it comes to tea, it’s best to use Sophinel’s brand.”
After tasting the tea with her tongue, she swallowed it.
Ulysia, who had dismissed her maid, finally had soothing tea to herself. She took a breath and smiled in satisfaction… but soon, a sad frown marred her expression.
She muttered the name of her first son, the former first prince whom was currently under house arrest.
No trace of his former, confident, self could be found. As if missing his soul, he rejected anyone who visited the palace. Even his own mother, Ulysia, had barely spoken to him since her return from abroad.
To just casually toss him aside—his first love proved herself to be a woman capable of such cruelty.
The queen wondered—how large was the scar in Leonardo’s heart?
Leonardo had a strong sense of justice and nobility. He also had an unexpectedly romantic side to him.
For him to attempt to turn his rival into a villain, and execute said rival in order to force an already spoken-for woman to be by his side—
—that was utterly preposterous!
Ulysia not once believed the report she received a few months ago. She also didn’t pay any mind to the outline of the events which had been told to her aristocrats soon after her return.
“It’s the fault of that greedy, sly, little girl…!”
Ulysia believed the true story went like this;
When Leonardo courted Sharina, he most likely didn’t know she already had a lover.
Sharina, the vain girl she was, must had tried to upgrade her lover status—from the lover of a poor, countryside, baron, to the lover of the first prince.
But, after failing to separate from Riol Glen, Sharina feared facing the backlash and made-up a story about Riol Glen being obsessed with her.
Leonardo, who swallowed her lies, was burning with the wrath of justice as he stood up to defeat the villain who threatened to harm his beloved.
However, Sharina became impatient. Realizing her ex-lover’s hand, she knew that Leonardo would lose to Riol Glen.
That sly girl then proceeded to devise a self-serving plan. Indeed—again, she planned to switch from Leonardo to her ex-lover.
She dared to send Leonardo to a duel he’d never win and then rush towards the victor. She merely pretended to be a pitiful victim who had been kidnapped by an evil prince.
It was much more realistic and persuasive than the stale love story that seemed to have spread in the academy. Ulysia had already spotted the truth that wasn’t apparent to the immature and naïve students.
“…Despite that, even though I’m aware of the truth, there’s nothing I can do…”
Ulysia tightened her grip on the cup of tea.
The gentle and pure Roland might be thinking of restoring his brother’s honor by exposing her true nature to the sun, but reality wasn’t so simple.
It was fact that Leonardo had voluntarily disbanded the Rose Garden and brought out a national treasure, even if because of her deceit. The curse he received from the national treasure couldn’t be solved by modern magic either.
Hence, rather than revealing the truth regarding the crown prince, something which would never restore his former glory, the queen dared ride on the beautiful story of that sly girl.
The queen would then remake it to solidify the position of Roland, the crown prince.
That way, the benefits were much greater.
“Forgive me, Leonardo…”
For the sake of the kingdom, sometimes, even the affection for her child needed to be cut off as she made a calm and rational decision.
Ulysia placed the empty cup on the saucer. Her hands trembled as she carried the title of the queen, her destiny, and also the weight of her own cruelty on her back.
***T/N: …Has the queen ever considered on writing script for that wandering troupe? I swear the scenario she came with regarding how Sharina is actually a sly fox is way more complicated than the drama my grandma would usually watch on Saturday morning.
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