Chapter 0 – Prologue
Within her dark and damp prison, Alexandra closed her eyes and reminisced on the past.
She recalled the day she married her husband, the first night she spent with him, the day her parents passed away, the day her husband became the emperor and the day that she became the empress, and…
“Seize the Empress and put her into prison!”
The day her husband cast her into jail.
Alexandra opened her eyes. She stared blankly into the air then suddenly started laughing like a maniac.
There was no way that anyone wouldn’t call her insane after seeing her locked in a prison cell alone. However, even if someone did call her insane, Alexandra continued to laugh and did not stop. All she could do was laugh. That was the only way she could forget she was trapped in Hell, even for just a little bit.
The cell door opened along with the sound of chains, and Alexandra’s laughter subsided. Armored guards approached her shackled form. Her expression void of emotion, Alexandra looked up at them with a crooked upturn of her lips.
“Oh my. Is it time already?”
“…Drag out the deposed empress.”
With those orders, the guards moved as one. They seized her arms and dragged her out of her cell. It wasn’t how an empress should have been treated, but neither the guards nor Alexandra were concerned about that.
Alexandra came out of the prison with dull eyes, eyes that were blinded by the sudden sunlight as soon as she was outside. She squeezed them shut as she quietly walked.
A good amount of time had passed before she opened them again. And the first thing that came into view was…
The gallows. Though she was expecting this, the sight of it made her feel worse. Alexandra steeled her face into a blank state as she walked towards the gallows, ignoring the whispers of the people who came to watch.
“Apparently that woman cursed the emperor…”
“She was blinded by jealousy that she begged for His Majesty to be killed!”
“My goodness, does she not fear the Heavens? How could she do that to the Sun of the Empire…”
The sun. The sun, they say.
In the end, Alexandra laughed coolly and let it go. The man they referred to as the ‘Sun’ was the man whose existence was like the Sun to her as well. The Sun that she was to dedicate her entire life serving. A unique existence that offered everything to her.
“Lead the deposed empress to the guillotine.”
He was a stone-hearted being that sat on a cold, golden throne and ordered for her execution. A hypocritical bastard that wanted her dead. She gritted her teeth. As soon as she heard his voice, it felt like a pit of fire was rising in her heart.
It was an uncontrollable rage. A rage that seemed to consume her entire being.
“Any last words?” the Emperor asked, as if trying to show her some last-minute mercy.
Hearing the question forced a laugh out of Alexandra. ‘Any last words?’ Of course…
“I detest you,” she murmured with a furious expression. For a moment, the air around the guillotine turned cold.
“I detest you, Emperor.”
The Emperor listened wordlessly as Alexandra glared at him with bloodshot eyes. If she were to die, then she was going to say what she wanted to say before she went down. That way, she could somewhat die in peace.
“Regardless of whether I’m alive or dead! Even if my physical being is torn into two! Even in my next lifetime!”
Alexandra spat out her curses.
“I will always detest you. I will make sure that you pay for your sins!”
“Is that all you have to say?”
“…You.” Alexandra’s tone suddenly changed, and her voice trembled. “Do you not have anything to say to me?”
“Not even one word?”
“…Send the deposed empress to the guillotine.”
Alexandra lay beneath the blade with a futile expression. It seemed that she had exhausted all of her energy. With the last ounce of strength she had left, she raised her head and looked at the man whom she loved so much.
‘Did the person I loved really have a face like that?’
Alexandra smiled as tears welled up in her eyes. How foolish she was to leave everything she had for this cold-hearted, cunning man, only for her to die at his hands like this.
If… If I was given one more chance, then I…
“Begin the execution.”
…will become Empress once again.
She would become the most noble woman in this empire so that all the humiliation, tears and suffering she experienced could be turned to him. She would watch him fall to his lowest state as the person closest to him and mock him for it. She would make him understand what it was like to be betrayed by the person one loved the most, the person whom you were closest to.
There was a snap as the blade was released from its position, and with a grim sound, Alexandra was decapitated. While the people who gathered for the execution all turned their heads away from the gruesome scene, only the Emperor watched it intently from start to finish. He then gave a low order to the person behind him.
“Though she committed a grave sin, she was once the empress of this kingdom… Make sure she has a proper funeral.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Finished with his orders, the Emperor stood from his throne. The peculiar expression he wore as he walked away from the execution grounds was neither joyous nor sad. With an unreadable expression that told nothing about his thoughts, he disappeared from sight.
The only thing left behind was the face of hatred etched on the decapitated head and the people that looked upon it.