Even though she knew she's going to die.
The words throbbed as if they were stuck in my heart.
"When Shan left the tribe, I tried to stop her. It's enough to avoid a bad future. But she said with a bright smile. 'My husband and child, who I haven't met yet, were so lovely that I can't help but go.'"
My mother met my father even though she knew what would become if she gave birth to me.
"'I've decided to love my fate'. That's the last word that child left."
It seemed to be a very painful memory for my grandmother.
"I still vividly remember the day Shan left. A mother can't forget the day her daughter leaves."
A face full of traces of time looked at me.
"Only once, when she got on a boat and sent a letter to the village. Do you know what Shan said then?"
I shook my head slightly.
Grandma spoke in a low voice.
"'My husband and daughter will live brilliant lives.'"
She made a sound like a deflated balloon.
"That's why I came to see you today, the happiest day for you. Shan's daughter."
My head seemed to be tangled up, but at the same time, I thought I knew for sure.
Mother was a very powerful person.
And maybe it was a predestined fate that I returned too.
"Shan loved her destiny, Florentia. Sacrificing her own life to bring you to this world. So don't waste that life."
My life was far from being said to be wasted, neither in my previous life nor in this life.
I've always thrown my everything and lived.
"No, you are living an easy life right now."
"No, that's what you say without knowing me. I am not a person who is in vain."
I said is as if refuting without realizing it.
Along with disparaging my love for Lombardi, these words are intolerable.
"Don't live a life of complacency."
"I'm not even living in peace."
"That's why you're talking about your next life?"
"Aren't you bragging about being satisfied with it if you become a Lombadi's head in this life? And then the rest will be done in the next life."
"Can you say no?"
I can't argue.
It's true that I sometimes thought about it implicitly.
In this life, there were times when I convinced myself to think about being Lombardi's householder.
"It's as if you have a chance for the next life, right?"
The foggy eyes looked at me sternly.
"You're half. There is no next life for you out of the loop, Florentia."
A life that leaves regrets as if it could be regressed once again.
A life where you don't even try to achieve everything you want.
It is a complacent life.
"So move, because this life is your last life."
As soon as I heard that, there was only one person in my mind.
"Well, there's a place I need to go for a while."
My heart was in a hurry.
This is what they must have meant by stamping your feet.
And the plan unfolded in my head as fast as I was in a hurry.
A plan to have everything I want in this life.
"...Yes, I'd better get going."
This time, Grandmother smiled as if she had read my thoughts.
"If you don't mind, please stay at the Lombardi mansion. There's a lot I want to know, Grandma."
She thought for a moment, and she soon nodded her head.
"For a few days, I'll try to convince Onta."
The name of that red-haired man with a rough face is Onta.
At that time, I saw a familiar face behind Onta and Ana.
The face of my father who didn't know what to do while looking at me and my grandmother.
"And there seems to be one more person out there who would like to talk to Grandma?"
"....That is Gallahan."
It might not be easy to see, but grandmother said that looking at father's side accurately.
Father, who received the attention, flinched for a moment and bowed his head before greeting her.
"I'll be back then!"
I took a quick step.
At last, a coachman was seen in front of the main building organizing the carriage of the Patriarch.
I recklessly opened the door of the carriage, climbed up, and shouted.
"Let's go to the Imperial Palace!"
Coming to the palace that way, I regained some reason only when I got off the carriage.
"The time is ambiguous right now."
The middle of the day when the sun is still hanging up there.
It was also a time for Perez to be busy working.
"I don't want to interfere with your work."
I haven't yet come to the banquet that lasted three days and nights as a commemoration of how busy I was.
It was only this evening that I received a letter in the morning stating that I had only succeeded in making time.
"Shall we go back and wait?"
The impulsive plan on the way in the carriage gained weight of one thing or another.
There was also a pile-up of work to be done in order to leave no regrets.
A way to keep my position as the Matriarch of Lombardi and not have to give up Perez at the same time.
It's not easy.
No, it was impossible under the current law.
"If it doesn't work, I'll make it work."
Who am I?
The first thing I have to do is to talk to Perez.
At that time, Perez just walked out of the main palace building where I was standing.
I forgot that Knights and servants who stood guard around me passed by and called his name without realizing it.
Perez looked at me, completely surprised with his eyes round.
"Why are you here---?"
"Wait, I need to talk to you."
I grabbed Perez's sleeve and said.
"Originally, I was going to wait until I came to the mansion in the evening. Let's get it over with while we're at it."
I don't like it when I'm waiting with nervousness.
"Is there a place without people?"
Perez thought for a moment to answer my question.
"I know the right place.'
"Well, okay. There would be no one here."
I don't think I can escape the forest today.
The place where Perez brought me was in the forest near the detached palace where Perez lived.
"This is where we first met, right?"
I said, pointing to a round bush a little further away.
"You were eating grass over there Perez."
"Yeah, nobody's gonna disturb us here."
Perez said, nodding his head satisfactory.
He's a real weirdo.
I smiled in vain without realizing it.
Perez stared closely at my smiling face and said.
"In fact, there's something I want to show, Tia."
"What do you want to show me?"
Then Perez reached out to me and said.
"Shall we walk a little?"
"This hand is..."
Do you want to hold hands?
As I looked closely at Perez's hand in front of me, I could see that the tip was shaking a little.
So I grabbed his hand.
Perez was seen panicking.
You didn't think I'd hold your hand like this without hesitation?
I won't hesitate anymore as long as I've made up my mind.
I walked ahead with my chin raised a little brazenly.
Perez, whose ears are a little red, walked with those long legs striding a few times and caught up quickly.
The hand I was holding was more awkward than I thought.
My heart is pounding, and in the woods, only the sound of the two of us can be heard.
Feeling suffocated, I wiggled my hand a little, and Perez's large hand held my hand firmly.
Is it because the day is cold?
Perez's hands were as cold as mine, all tense.
The place where Perez led me was the ruins where he lived.
No, there were no more ruins.
There is only a small, brightly built villa.
"Has it been rebuilt like this in a few weeks?"
Perez nodded his head at my question.
"Because it is no longer a place I want to forget. Rather, I want it to remain in my memory for a long time."
Money and power are the best.
He hasn't been appointed as the Crown Prince yet, but he's practically a Crown Prince.
"You must have had a hard time."
I had a moment of mourning while thinking of the workers who would have to work in this cold winter.
But I was also truly pleased.
"That's a good idea, Perez."
I patted Perez on the back.
This annex was a symbol of the darkest and most disastrous days of Perez's life.
The fact that Perez rebuilt the palace, which was still abandoned after leaving this place, may mean that his wounds have healed a little.
It occurred to me vaguely.
"I wanted to come here to show you this---!"
Looking back at Perez with a smile, I couldn't finish talking.
"What are you doing, Perez?"
Perez, who let go of my hand, took a step back.
Then he looked at me and slowly fell on one knee.
"Don't tell me you're..."
Then, Perez pulled something out of his arms.
It was a piece of folded paper.
He handed it to me.
When I opened it in a hurry, the paper was stamped with the Emperor's seal.
And underneath it were a poor handwriting but clear letters.
[I, Yovanes, Emperor of the Lambrew Empire, amends the following with the Imperial Decree:
First, maintain the right to inherit the Empress's family and inheritance.
Second, the last name of the Empress is maintained.
Third, the maintenance of independent property and authority originated and derived from the Empress's family.
This is my maintenance, so do not dispute the Imperial officials and nobles.]
The maintenance of the Emperor.
It was an absolute imperative that no one could contradict, such as a will to leave in his lifetime.
"Perez, you....How did you get this?"
My voice was shaking.
It was a terrible voice that seemed to be strangled.
But my surprise didn't end there.
Perez called my name.
It was when I reflexively met his red eyes and gaze.
At that moment, I realized what Perez was doing right now.
His eyes, kneeling on one knee and looking only at me.
Instinctively, realizing what was going on, my heart started beating faster.
Then, Perez slowly pulled my hand and asked in a low voice.
"Florentia Lombardi, the Matriarch of Lombardi, will you marry me?"
A/N: Yes!! 😭😍