# If it’s a dream, I hope you don’t wake up


 Continuing the conversation, Lucerne looked somewhat in pain.

“Is it because you got better?” “You seem to have forgotten how you ran away from me.”


Admit it, it’s a funny situation.
This is the bedroom where the emperor’s women stay for a  while sleeping with the emperor, but it’s not a suitable place for someone to stay.
But Astia.
This is the best I can do.

As if choosing the right expression, Lucerne was speechless for a long time.

Maybe because I’ve been reading Lucerne’s story for a short time, I know that everything he does to me is also done to others.

Maybe I understand him better.

He was afraid that Astia, who had barely caught on to using the children as an excuse, might run away.

He doesn’t have the courage to send Astia further than this.

Poor Lucerne.

In her regretful heart, she let go of the hem of his clothes and took a step behind him.

I’ll do whatever you want.
Because it was such a deal.”

“… Astia.”

Lucerne, who spoke like a sigh, stretched out his hand as if to touch my cheek, and I calmly lowered my eyes.

The tension in the air was unfamiliar.

It was a cheek that no one’s hand had ever touched except when her aunt slapped it.
The hairs on her cheeks swayed and tickled.
How do you express this feeling? Resisting the urge to scratch her cheek, he waited for Lucerne to touch her.

But contrary to my expectations, Lucerne’s hand stopped right before it touched my cheek.

I raised my head, not knowing the language.


“If you go to your bedroom, you will soon have attendants.” I couldn’t walk around the imperial palace like that.
“After I finish dressing up, I’ll meet the kids for dinner.”


I was blown away when I heard that I would be able to meet the children.
She quickly nodded.

“OK!” “Grooming up, I’ll finish it quickly!”

Lucerne, whose lips were twitching as if he had something to say, turned around and walked into his bedroom.

 Kuung… With a heavy frictional sound, Lucerne’s figure disappeared.

Realizing that I hadn’t said thank you, I ran to Lucerne’s bedroom door.

“Thank you very much, Lucerne!” “Children and I…”


I was startled by the moaning voice that came through the crack in the door, so I stopped talking and involuntarily put my ear to the door.

There was a soft sliding sound, followed by Lucerne’s voice again from under the door.

“Am I dreaming?” “To think that Astia is standing outside this door…

A huge sigh was heard, and no more words were heard.
She curled up the hand she had brought to the door and clenched it into a fist.

Would Asteria be that good?

Are you the tyrant Emperor? Why are you showing such a weak side? I mean, act more like a tyrannical emperor.

I felt sorry for Lucerne, who didn’t know what to do because he liked Astia, and I hated him for mistaking me for another woman and behaving so sadly.
Her chest ached, and she stood in a daze in front of his bedroom until the attendants arrived.


                                                          * * *


Sitting on the floor of the dark bedroom, Lucerne leaned against the door and quietly closed his eyes.


Just remembering her name made me feel pain, as if someone were squeezing my chest.

The first time Lucerne met Astia was when she was nine years old.
Her stepmother and three older brothers were killed in a nobles’ rebellion, and her sister and two others struggled to survive.

It was a time when life in the Imperial Castle, where every day is suffocating and tense, was like poison to young Lucerne.
At this rate, he thought he would die before the knife entered his throat, so he sneaked out of the castle.
Ignoring the dirt on his knees, he crawled around the corner of the castle and pulled his body out through a small gap between the walls.

There, Lucerne met Astia.

Seven-year-old Astia was playing alone in a vacant lot under the high wall of the imperial castle, where the tall weeds were overgrown.
She looked indifferently at Lucerne, who suddenly appeared, and held out the flower ring she was holding.

“Are you a beggar?” I feel sorry for you.
Take this.’

He must have been mistaken for a beggar, as he was covered in dirt from escaping the imperial castle.
I was relieved and, at the same time, dumbfounded.
How dare you call the only remaining son of the imperial family a beggar?

However, knowing that he shouldn’t reveal her identity, he accepted the flower ring that Astia offered him without question.
It was a ring made of woven shamrock flowers.
An unfamiliar grassy smell filled his hands.

A tickling sensation that he had never felt in the imperial castle wrapped around his body.

No one was strangling him, but his cheeks were red.

“What is your name?”

‘I’m Astia.
If you received a gift, you should say thank you.
Didn’t you learn from your mother?

His stepmother died at the hands of nobles, and his biological mother had long since fled from the imperial castle with his father.

“I don’t have a mother.”

‘Oh, sorry.
You didn’t have a mother, so you didn’t learn.
When I receive a present, I say, “Thank you.”


“Now, you have to say it.” Thank you; give it a shot.”

‘… Thanks.’

“That’s right, you’re doing well.”

Then, like a fluttering butterfly, she fluttered across the grass.

Nine-year-old Lucerne fell in love for the first time, and the following year he killed her parents with his own hands.

I remembered the face of seven-year-old Astia, who was as white as a rabbit, and her breathing was difficult.

Lucerne cupped her neck with both of her hands.

“I was forced.”

He tried to make excuses, but he had no one to listen to.

He never dreamed that Astia’s parents were the leaders of the rebel faction.
Ten-year-old Lucerne wanted to live, and he did his best to live.

Astia was looking at him, but he couldn’t forget her terrible eyes.

‘Kill me.’


“Don’t call me by my name!” Dirty killer!’

‘No, I… They wanted to kill me first, so I just did it because I wanted to live!” “Do you really think those people are your parents?”

“I hate to hear it! Go away! Get out of my way right now! I want people like you to die!

The curse that was poured out was also vivid.

After driving out the rebels, Lucerne became emperor.
As emperor, he had nothing to gain.
Except for one, the girl who gave him the first flower when he lived in hell.

Why does he have everything, but the girl who first gave him flowers doesn’t look back at him?

He tried to win Astia’s heart somehow.
For nearly 20 years, he hung around, begged, soothed, bullied, and threatened, but all he got back was a cold reaction.
It was just the pain of watching her live happily with a man who wasn’t him.


“I will not run away from you.” And, someday, I will give you my heart.”

“I’m sorry about that.

Won’t you run away? Will you give me your heart someday? Until I reached out my hand, saying sorry.

She shouted and threatened to get out of the way as before, but Astia, who lost her memory while recovering from her illness, was very different from before.

“I can’t believe…”

Maybe I’m dreaming.
If this moment is a dream, I hope you never wake up.

He hopes that if Astia loses her memories, she will never regain her old memories.

He prayed earnestly, very earnestly, just as he had prayed to an unknown god to save his life one day in the imperial castle.


                                                          * * *


While I was waiting in the drawing room, some of the maids came and took me into my bedroom.
They lined up in a row and bowed politely.

“Nice to meet you.” I am Asilis, the maid who has come to serve Lady Astia.

“This is Iris.”

“This is Rosley.
It is an honor to serve Lady Astia.”

It was awkward to see her hardened face with only the corners of her mouth raised.
It seemed that she was reluctant to meet me.

The three maids were busy bringing dresses and accessories and putting them on my body.
As if it had been prepared in advance, the dress fit me perfectly, as did the fancy hair ornament, and the earrings and necklace matched well.

The red dress made Astia’s shoulder-covering golden hair and green eyes stand out even more.

The splendid beauty reflected in the mirror was unfamiliar, so I couldn’t take my eyes off it for a long time.

Unlike me, who was silent, the ladies-in-waiting chirped like sparrows throughout the preparation.
At first, it was just a whisper in a small voice, as if I noticed, but when I didn’t respond or restrain it, later they chatted comfortably.

Most of the words were ignoring me, a nerd who didn’t even know where she came from.

“The more I look at this necklace, the brighter it gets.” After all, His Majesty the Emperor has an excellent eye.
“He is a worthwhile person to serve.”

“Who was it for?” “I wondered who wore a necklace like this, but today I see it.”

“Oh, come to think of it, wasn’t the necklace that Countess Bloom gave to Lady Asilis a while ago similar to this one?”

“Oh, you remembered that.” “Lady Iris has a very good memory.”

“How could I forget that?” When Lady Asilis put on her necklace, to put it another way, she stood out like a red camellia blooming in a field of white snow.
It was very beautiful.
Even if you search all over the empire, there will be no lady who can wear red as well as Lady Asilis.
“Isn’t that so, Lady Rosley?”

“Of course.
“There is no other lady as beautiful as Lady Asilis.”

“Thank you, Lady Iris and Lady Rosley.
“For the next dinner, I will make sure to invite Viscounts Ulla and Lombast.”

“If you do, thank you very much! “It is an honour for me to be invited to the dinner of the Bloom family.”

Every time they had a conversation, she gave strength to titles such as “young lady,” “count,” and “viscount.” I laughed, saying that the decorations on my body would suit them better.

They seemed to want to show off their superiority in front of me, but honestly, I didn’t think of anything.
It wasn’t once or twice that I had seen the children of the same family laughing at me for being worse off than they were.
It’s just a waste of my time to care about things like that.

Yes, I think your mouth hurts, doesn’t it?

I raised and lowered my arms, stood forward, stood back, bowed my head, and lifted my arms as the maids told me, waiting for the time to meet the children.

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