I had less than ten minutes left before my execution.
I had only a very short time left to live.
Unable to cry or be frightened, I sat on the cold floor of the dungeon, silently waiting for the arrival of the officers who would take me to the place of my execution.
My handmaiden, Catherine, who was standing nearby, had been sobbing for over an hour.
The faithful handmaiden who had joined me in the dungeon to look after me must have been unable to bear the fact that her mistress, whom she had served for so many years, was about to be executed.
Catherine knew that I was actually innocent. There was no way I could have committed the “attempted murder of the saint,” and this was all a false accusation.
That’s why this reality of waiting for my execution was too painful for us.
Killing a saint is a mortal sin.
The punishment applied to me was the most severe, “public execution,” and an uncountable number of spectators had already gathered at the execution site specially set up behind the royal palace.
–Everyone has bad taste.
“It’s about time. Get out. –We’re going to the execution site.”
With a click, the iron bars were unlocked and a black-clad officer with a hood over his eyes led me out of the cell.
Catherine, who had tried to accompany me, was stopped by the officer and was not allowed to follow me.
This would be our eternal separation.
In despair, Catherine sobbed and collapsed on the hard, cold cobblestone floor.
Catherine has been my handmaiden in my family since I was a baby. The sight of her in despair almost tears my heart out.
” Catherine, I’m alright. Don’t cry so much.”
I gently touched her shoulder as her hands were on the floor. I smiled as softly as I could and looked at her face. –I hope that when you remember me in the future, it will be me with a smile on my face. I hope so.
I wanted to say goodbye to Katrin peacefully so that she would not have to go through any more pain.
With all my heart, I said goodbye to her in this lifetime.
“Thank you for everything, Catherine”
Perhaps sensing my feelings, Catherine bit her lip in an attempt to hold back her tears. But it didn’t work, as tears flowed from her eyes like a waterfall.
I clenched my teeth to hold back the tears that threatened to overwhelm me.
I will never, ever cry.
If I show my tears, it will only make the saint happy.
Through the small window that was bored almost to the ceiling of the dungeon, I could hear the angry shouts of the people who had crowded the execution site.
“Drag out the woman who tried to poison the saint!”
“Kill the enemy of the saint!”
Not long ago, I, Liesel Crow, was the luckiest woman in the Kingdom of Leia.
In spite of my position as a rural aristocrat from Baral, far from the royal capital, I was proposed to by the crown prince of this Kingdom.
One of the few advantages I had was that I was quite beautiful, if I say so myself, and that I was a magician. So I worked as a royal court magician and helped my parents financially.
Then I met the crown prince of this Kingdom and we fell in love.
In just a few short years, the daughter of a poor aristocrat from the countryside was going to become the crown princess, and in a sense, live a life of great uplift.
But then along came her -the saint.
One day, Iris, the saint, came to the royal palace and changed everything. –A beautiful girl who is the daughter of the prestigious Marquis Zepharm and possesses rare magic powers.
Only a saint can practice the healing arts, and only one saint appears in a hundred years. Thus, the saint was grandly welcomed into the royal palace and immediately became the center of attention.
Iris charmed the people of the palace with her cheerfulness and innocence. It seemed as if every nobleman in the country had fallen in love with her.
One day, the Crown Prince fell from his horse and broke his arm. To the Crown Prince, who was suffering from prolonged pain, the holy saint looked up at the Crown Prince with her radiant golden hair and sweet honey-colored eyes, and said in a clear and lovely voice,
“His Highness’s pain is also my pain. I wish to heal His Highness’s arm immediately.”
The saint gently touched the Crown Prince’s arm and prayed for his recovery. With that, the fracture healed completely as if it had never happened. It was a miracle.
Not only that, she used her healing skills to completely heal the king’s leg, which was crippled from birth.
For the first time in his life, the king was able to run with his own legs.
The king was very pleased with this.
It was the middle of winter, when the cold weather was severe.
A fire broke out in the opera house of the royal capital, and many people were injured. The saint rushed to the scene first and healed many of the injured with her prayers. Even though her white robe, the symbol of the saint, was covered with soot and her golden hair was covered with ashes, the saint worked hard to heal the injured, no matter how tired she was. She tended to the wounded with her hands, which were red and blistered.
The people who witnessed this were deeply moved by her pure and beautiful charitable spirit.
Her fame spread to neighboring countries, and she also went on business trips to allied countries begging for her healing skills.
This was, so to speak, the diplomacy of the saint. The saint was desperately wanted by countries all over the continent.
In this way, the attention of the people in the palace was no longer focused on me, who was about to marry the crown prince, but on the saint.
The saint is a national treasure.
She is like the goddess of happiness for the royal family.
Soon, people were praising her openly.
“The beautiful Crown Prince and the saint standing side by side, how well they look together,” a man said.
He went on to say in a lowered voice.
“The saint’s family background is also well matched. –Unlike her.”
The “her” was, of course, me.
Feeling uneasy, I asked the Crown Prince if I should step aside for the sake of the country.
By this time, I was not sure of my position in his heart.
But the Crown Prince took my hand and shook his head from side to side.
“I will definitely tell your father in the near future that I have no intention of marrying the saint. So please wait for me.”
For the King, the Crown Prince was a child that came along late, and the aging King had become quite difficult in recent years. The Crown Prince is trying to gauge the right moment to say something. –At least, that’s what I thought.
Around that time, the Crown Prince went on an expedition to the east of the continent to help his allies.
It was heartbreaking seeing the prince off to war. His skill with the sword was outstanding, and at the same time he could use magic. He would not be defeated so easily. Even though I knew that, I couldn’t help but worry everyday since he left for war.
While his son, the Crown Prince, was away, the King began to make preparations for a grand wedding to be held as soon as he returned home.
Wedding dresses were being sewn at a rapid pace, diamond tiaras were being made, and wedding rings were being made. And it was the saint who tried them on.
Putting on the temporary dress and placing the tiara on top of her head, the saint said to the King,
“I can’t wait for His Highness to put the ring on my finger when he makes his triumphant return. But are you sure it’s …… okay? I feel sorry for Liesel…”
The saint’s eyes watered, probably from the dirt in her eyes.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be giving the ex-fiancee a good talking to. So don’t worry about it.”
The king gently appeased the saint.
Thus, before I knew it, I had become the “ex” fiancée to everyone. It seems that I was the only one who thought I was still the fiancee.
Still, I hadn’t given up hope. When the Crown Prince returns home, he will convince the King. That’s what I thought.
Perhaps I should have left the palace gracefully at this point. I should have given up on the crown prince.
But I also had a woman’s will.
Shortly thereafter, while strolling in the royal capital, an arrow was fired at the saint and hit a nearby handmaiden, killing her. The criminal who escaped is said to have had a Baral accent. It is unlikely that any criminal would speak fluently while fleeing.
That night, the saint also collapsed.
It seemed she was poisoned. The culprit was believed to be “Liesel Crow”.
Because, before drinking the tea, the saint gleefully said.
“This is the tea that Liesel gave me. I thought she hated me, so I’m really happy…”
I, of course, did not remember giving her such a thing. I don’t like the saint at all.
But this is how I was taken to the dungeons of the royal palace. The assailant who fired the arrows was also said to have been hired by me.
I insisted that I had no recollection of the incident and continued to say that I was falsely accused. But no judge would listen to me.
I finally realized.
I was no longer of any use to the royal court. I have become an enemy of the beloved saint and a thorn to the kingdom.
What’s more, when the saint managed to survive the crisis and was able to get up, she told everyone that I had been torturing her here at the palace. What kind of bullying could I, a lowly noblewoman, have done to her?
But the judge believed it. I couldn’t do anything.