Chapter 2 - Prologue
When people saw that Amber still wasn’t pregnant, they were worried about how the duke’s bloodline would end if she didn’t get pregnant. The people all acted as if the duke’s problems would be solved if he were to only gain a successor. Therefore, Amber thought that her husband would be overjoyed to hear about the child.
However, her husband found her pregnancy a tragedy instead. “I didn’t want anything like a successor!” for the first time in their marriage, he raised his voice.
On that day, Amber lost all of her hopes. Filled with despair, she endured many more months.
Time passed and winter arrived. Amber was just on the cusp of giving birth.
That year’s winter was especially harsh. The territory was in tatters due to her husband frequently leaving to do battle. She thought he’d stay in the Eastern lands from now on, but every time he went out to war he would bring about a miraculous victory, which brought about great fame for the Duke of Thales. However, the emperor ignored the great contributions the duke had made to the country.
“A revolt? Us?” Amber asked, “The people of the Eastern lands?”
The emperor charged the Duke of Thales with treason, accusing him of fomenting a rebellion against the crown. The emperor’s army was sent to subjugate the people of the Eastern lands. As the East was already starved and weakened, there was no way to resist the emperor’s scheme.
“…You have to run away,” staring at the emperor’s army that had surrounded his castle, Duke Kalix spoke those words to Amber through clenched teeth.
However, Amber, who was already used to despair, simply shook her head. “Even if I were to run away, how would I be able to survive when I am so heavily pregnant?”
In the end, everyone including the Duke of Thales was captured by the knights serving the emperor.
“Please let my wife live. She knows nothing at all,” Kalix begged as he kneeled before the emperor.
“Looks like I’ll need time to come to a decision,” the emperor declared and had husband and wife placed inside the same jail.
“Why did you do that?” Amber asked Kalix that night, “You don’t know anything as well! This revolt they’re talking about is a lie!”
Though her question was asked calmly enough, inside her heart there was a storm whipping up.
She saw Kalix’s tired face in the dark. He gazed at Amber with eyes that showed an emotion she couldn’t understand at all.
Silence was all that existed between the two. It must have been the longest time they had looked at each other in the eye since they married.
For the first time in her life, Amber realized that her husband’s eyes were dark blue. He must have realized the color of her eyes for the first time as well—a glowing, orange tone that matched her name.
“For my child,” after a long silence, he spoke with a dry smile on his lips, “I wished for my successor to survive.”
“I… see.” Amber dropped her head low.
‘You didn’t want a successor previously. But now that you’re going to die, you’re suddenly regretful and want your bloodline to continue just like any other man?’ In the last moments of her life, she felt stupid for believing that she could share something with him.
The next day, Kalix was the first one to be taken away.
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