“……….catch the butterfly!”
In the forest at sunset, a woman was running desperately with her bare feet full of wounds.
Blonde hair and white pajamas fluttered like waves in the blazing red forest.
Her clothes were torn from branches and grasses, and her slender limbs were scratched, but she was so preoccupied with running away that she didn’t even know that.
Maybe it was because she was running too fast, looking only forward, she did not see the thick roots of the trees protruding from the ground, she tripped and rolled roughly.
She felt like her whole body was torn apart, but she clenched her teeth again at the threatening sound that followed her and limped with bloody legs.
All she could think of was running away from that man.
But she soon met a dead-end cliff. She stopped breathless.
At the bottom of the cliff, the waves were raging as if they could swallow her.
The sea breeze made her blonde hair flutter.
But then, a creepy low voice came from behind.
“…….Did you think you could run away from me?”
Asha’s eyes widened and she looked back.
Behind her stood the arrogant emperor with a black cloak embroidered with splendid roses.
His black hair and red eyes, creepy like his blood, stared at her piercingly.
The youngest tyrant ever to ascend the throne, but the only tyrant who could not bloom…….
He’s the Black Rose of the Empire, Karaf Rode Etzheim.
Asha’s eyes shook violently like a candle in the wind.
Aside from his enchanting face, the sight of his red eyes frightened her, as if they had been imprinted on her body.
When Karaf drew closer, Asha stepped back.
They were at a distance where if she took one more step back, she could fall off the cliff.
Karaf looked at her with his bright red eyes burning with anger.
“…… How dare you repay my kindness in this way? I promised to keep you by my side and love you for the rest of my life.
But why do you always try to leave my side!”
Asha answered looking firmly at him with her purple eyes.
“What’s wrong when a butterfly wants to leave a scentless flower?”
“Your Majesty, I am a useless butterfly that cannot bloom.
So please stop and let me go.”
“No, you can’t.
You will have to realize that the more you try to run away from me, the more unhappy you will be.
Every time you run away I will catch you again and again and tie you by my side.
Even if I break your ankles, even if I cut off your wings, I will make you stay by my side.
You will never leave my side…… !”
Seeing his obsession and mad eyes, Asha closed her eyes.
As expected, this man will not change.
If she returns to him, she will never be free.
She will forever be by his side like a stuffed butterfly.
It was impossible to become a butterfly and have to live crawling on the ground having its wings as decorations.
Butterflies are creatures that must fly.
Even if their wings get wet and damaged by a storm, they have to fly in the sky until the moment they die.
Asha looked at him and smiled faintly.
Then I will fly away with those broken wings.
I will fly far, far beyond Your Majesty’s reach.”
As soon as she finished speaking, Asha took one last step back and fell off the cliff.
Karaf’s eyes widened and he yelled like a roar.
But his scream was drowned out by the sound of the crashing waves.
Her torn white pajamas fluttered in the wind like the wings of a butterfly.
Asha closed her haggard eyes and felt the wind wrap around her body.
Ironically, this was her first voluntary choice during her stay with him.
* * * * *
As she fell into the icy water, Asha exhaled and opened her eyes.
As soon as she came to her senses, the terrible cold penetrated her entire body like blades.
She was lying on a slope in the forest-covered in pure white snow.
She thought she fell off a cliff, but this wasn’t the sea.
It was winter, and she was in the middle of a mountain.
She blinked in disbelief and stayed there for a moment.
When she heard footsteps and threatening voices, she held her breath.
“She wouldn’t have gone that far! Search everywhere!”
Asha breathed with her eyes wide open.
She doesn’t know what was going on, but she knew someone was after her again.
Asha slowly turned her trembling gaze away and looked around.
The whole area was filled with thin trees and pure white snow.
She instinctively realized where this place was.
This was the Herta region, located in the northern part of the Empire, where she lived before being taken to the Imperial Palace.
Asha quickly looked down at her outfit.
She was clearly wearing a white silk nightgown dress when she fell off the cliff, and now she is wearing a northern leather robe.
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