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The goddess moved slowly towards Celia, dragging the hem of her dress and placing her hand on Celia’s cheek. She was apprehensive about how it would feel because it was a goddess’s touch, but it was unexpectedly warm.
“Yes, you are a blood relative of mine….You are able to see into the future, right?”
Celia recalled the novel she had read.
If that hadn’t been a novel, and all of her memories from her previous life had been nothing more than a stepping stone to her return to this world….
“There’s nothing too complicated to consider. The worlds you live in here and there are all real. It’s just…. It’s a shame that this world is collapsing.”
It came as a surprise to her. Because Celia thought the goddess would have no good memories in this world. But the goddess smiled.
“It was painful, but….It wasn’t all bad memories. I had a child, and I met her here in this world…”
The goddess’s expression softened, as if she was contemplating something. She then fixed her gaze on Celia and spoke in a sluggish tone.
“He…. He promised that if they returned the heart of the divine beast, all curses would be lifted. The anger that descended upon this land, and the continent’s ruin… You have the ability to alter it.”
“I’ll do it! What should I do? Uh…”
Celia, who was holding a bouquet of flowers in her hands, was embarrassed. The flower was the penina flower. It was originally a flower for priests’ graves, but it was now also known as a flower for the poor.
The flowers were eaten in the season when food was scarce because it grew well in all seasons and was not poisonous.
The flower was neither sweet nor bitter, and it had no discernible flavor. So, it was a flower that they didn’t have to eat if they already had other food.
“The flower possesses the ability to protect believers. Feed it to those who have taken the power of the divine beast.”
Celia nodded as she hugged the flower. She became concerned after that.
“Why was it me? When everything is finished…Am I going to die the way I’m supposed to?”
The goddess’s appearance was already dissipating into the light. Celia heard the goddess’s sweet voice as she cried out in sorrow.
“No way. To lose everything just because you trusted someone you love… Wouldn’t it be unfair?”
✦ ✦ ✦
‘You saved me because you felt sorry for me for commiting suicide after being deceived by my lover….’
That was the first thing that came to mind when she woke up. Leonis’ eyes widened as he hugged Celia with a pale face.
His strong arms encircled Celia. She twisted her body and looked at his face; despite being already in his embrace, he hugged her more tightly and desperately this time.
Fortunately, she had asked him to wear pajamas and to bring the saintess’s relics.
The most time she and Leonis spent together was in the Duchess’ bedroom, which was next to the Duke’s room. The servants and maids who thought Celia had passed out were horrified for a brief moment.
“Madam has woken up!”
Celia was looking at Leonis while hearing the servants’ cheers. Those red eyes were tense, but Celia saw only fear in them.
“I’m perfectly fine. I also got a clue about the curse.”
Tears welled up in his eyes as she spoke in a low voice that only Leonis could hear. Celia, as well as the servants who were watching them, were terrified.
Celia quickly hugged Leonis’ face, and beckoned for the servants to leave. They appeared to rush out of the bedroom.
“I don’t care about the curse. You are the most important….”
When she heard the words he spit out that were mixed with emotions, she couldn’t help but smile. Celia was delighted to learn of his undying love for her.
He lost Lily in the original story because he couldn’t decide between lifting the curse and keeping Lily. But now he had decided on Celia.
“You’re the most important thing for me, too.”
Celia whispered and raised Leonis’ face to make eye contact. She had no idea a man who shed tears like this could be handsome, but he looked even more so because he was a man who cried for her.
“Celia, please don’t do anything dangerous anymore. If something goes wrong….”
“It wasn’t dangerous. I don’t know what I did before, but I met the goddess. She gave me a clue.”
Leonis made a sullen expression and didn’t ask what the clue was. Celia kissed him on the cheek and touched his face.
It was lovely. He’s now angry.
“It’s a penina flower. She said that if you feed it to the imperial family, who have the power of a divine beast, they will spit out a piece of heart.”
“Penina… Do you mean the flower of a priest?”
Some high-ranking nobles would have no idea what the flower was. Pancakes or porridge made from penina powder dough were consumed in the poorest households. Because bread would not rise at all with only flour.
“Yes. There is no poison, no smell, and no taste…. It’ll be good in food. Even if you put it in, you’ll never be guilty or be punished.”
The imperial family would never have to touch the flowers that are frequently eaten by the poor. It was a powder that couldn’t possibly end up in their mouths by chance.
Leonis seemed to pause for a moment before speaking, but he did so without looking away from Celia.
“Okay, so leave it to me. I’ll take care of it.”
“How? The Emperor will be easy for Leonis to move around, but…if it’s a princess, it’s better for me to approach her.”
Celia’s words elicited no response from Leonis.
He only recently learned about it. He would not be able to live if something happened to Celia.
“You…didn’t breathe earlier. The doctor went to see you, but you….”
Leonis tightened his grip on Celia as he couldn’t continue speaking. He looked like he’d stay this way all day.
“I didn’t breathe?”
That pendant was a dangerous item.
From the Duchess’ room to the Duke’s room…He only spent about 10 minutes carrying Celia and listening to the doctor.
Meanwhile, Leonis had to endure a living hell.
He couldn’t come up with anything. The pendant on the floor of Celia’s bedroom had long since been forgotten.
He urged the doctor as her body became colder, but he only repeated the words Leonis couldn’t accept.
Leonis climbed onto the bed and hugged Celia, saying it couldn’t be. He began to shake her body and touch her cold face. He hugged her body, and warmth began to flow within her.
He thought he was mistaken at first because he was crazy. The servants who were watching this felt the same way, and Celia opened her eyes just as they were trying to persuade Leonis.
He had never felt such fear before. Even the day he learned his father had committed suicide, and even when he was first thrown into the madness of the curse… it wasn’t that frightening.
He seemed to be suffocating from the thought of Celia being in danger again.
Leonis could not live without Celia.
“Celia….please, please….I’ll beg you.”
Tears that had appeared to have dried up began to flow again. Leonis spoke in hushed tones while desperately calling out to Celia.
“Now, never again….Don’t do anything dangerous. Whether it’s for you or for me. I’ll take care of everything, so I’ll find a way…”
Her heart sank as she stared into Leonis’s eyes filled with tears. She couldn’t, however, leave Leonis to handle everything.
Celia was knowledgeable with the story’s original plot and was confident that she would be helpful in a variety of ways.
“I know I am selfish. However…I can’t breathe just imagining that you’re in danger. I won’t be able to live without you.”
When Celia saw Leonis desperately begging while hugging her, she was lost for words. She was aware that what she had done was dangerous but it was not something to say to someone who witnessed her breathing out and her body becoming colder.
Celia was the most precious person to Leonis. Because she is more important and precious than his life…
He sighed deeply as he drew Celia into his arms.
His trembling didn’t seem to stop for a long time.
✦ ✦ ✦
Phil was walking down the hallway when his father called him. All of the courtiers who were passing by stopped and bowed their heads.
Phil had nothing lacking in his life, which was natural for a prince to be admired by others. He had been treated like that since birth, and he had been treated like that since the first time he had shown his abilities, surpassing Michael.
His gaze quickly scanned the faces of the court ladies who had their heads bowed. It was to make sure there was no one to take to his bedroom
Since he had already touched all the women with attractive faces, the third empress came forward and instructed the palace’s head not to select women with outstanding beauty. When the second prince inquired, the head of the palace told him that the seeds of beauty appeared to be dry.
Furthermore, rumors that a young lady would ruin her life if she went to the Imperial Palace prompted the third empress to vomit angrily. This was because they were all aware that Phil, the second prince, was responsible.
The third prince, Giel, did not cause any problems, but Phil had a lot of issues with women. If the opponent had been a low-status person, she might have been able to get rid of it, but if it had been a woman or a wife of a high-ranking noble, the problem would have been much more serious.
The third empress had already covered up Phil’s scandal four times. The third empress scolded her own son, and he tried to soothe her, but that was the only time.
‘What should I do with him?’
If she had a second son, she would not have pushed him. However, the Empress’s body could not give birth to another son. The Emperor had the daughters sent to a foreign country to marry.
The third empress’s concern was similar to a mother’s worry, but what about the Emperor’s thoughts?