“Should we leave the remnants of the monarchy of Padania as it is?”


Annette put the newspaper away after skimming the title with tasteless eyes.
Discussing the disposition of those who had benefited from the monarchy was a topic that was dragged out on a daily basis.


Most of the nobles’ property was confiscated.
It was Heiner Valdemar’s doing.
He exposed every economic and military injustice and secrecy and scraped them to the bottom.


But the citizens still debated atonement and reckoning for their crimes.
This was because some of the aristocrats and military officials had fled into exile, fleeing to foreign lands.


Countless letters of condemnation and threats were sent to Annette, the wife of the Commander-in-Chief.
This became even more intense after the Republicans’ proposal for a law to liquidate the monarchy.


Annette, who was staring blankly at the letters piled up on the table, covered her mouth.
It was maddeningly disgusting.


It seemed like she would get sick any time soon.


After drinking a sip of cold water, Annette jumped up and left the room.
The air was too stifling to bear.
She wanted to walk in the deserted backyard.


Annette crossed the mansion at a fast pace.
She felt the stares of the servants touching her like needles.
It was extraordinary how much the servants gossip about her.


By the time she passed through the first floor corridor, she ran into a face she was not happy to see.


“Madam Valdemar.”


Major Eugen.”


It was Eugen Markov, a loyal subordinate of Heiner.
He was also one of the many who despised Annette.


“It’s been a while.
Are you at peace?”


Eugen asked with a smile.
It was a common greeting, usually with the answer, “I’m at peace.”


But the bottom line was different.
He meant that you should not be at peace.


“As usual.”


Annette replied as such with squeezed vanity.
She walked away with a small murmur, “Bye.” She didn’t want to talk any more with Eugen.


“Congressman Günther put in a marriage proposal.”


The voice that followed dragged her feet.
His words were out of the ordinary.
Annette turned her head slightly and smiled.




“Not to me, but to the Commander-in-Chief (Heiner).”


Her lips hardened as she smiled.


“The marriage opponent is Annelie Engels, who was in the militia.
She is also a colleague who’s in operations with the Commander-in-Chief.”


His tone was matter-of-fact.
Eugen always taunted her with his casual tone of voice.
Annette gently gripped her sleeve with one hand. 


Republican Günther Engels.


He was the main force behind the victory of the revolution by disarming the illegal trade unions and was a great figure who had participated in the establishment of the Provisional Government.


His wife and son were killed by gunfire during the demonstrations, and his daughter Annelie Engels was active in militia organizations. 

Naturally, he had been receiving great support from the public to this day.


In many ways, he was the opposite of Annette.


“…What about it?”


“By the way, madam.” Eugen sneered.
“Do you still live in the flower garden?”


A rose in a flower garden.
It was a derogatory term people called her in mockery.


The moment she heard it, her head became frighteningly calm.
Annette looked at Eugen with a face devoid of emotion.

Eugen said sarcastically.


“Madam is no longer the daughter of a powerful man.
You’re merely a remnant of the past that must be lost.
Read any number of lines in the newspaper and you will understand.”




“It is purely at the mercy of the Commander-in-Chief that madam still be able to carry your head like this.
You are his stain.
What people are saying about your marriage………..”


“I asked my husband for a divorce yesterday.”


Annette cut him off with a tired look.
Eugen delayed a beat before asking back.




“I demanded a divorce.
Heiner didn’t accept it, and apparently he wanted to see me unhappy up close.”


Until yesterday, it had been hard for Annette to grasp Heiner’s intentions at all, but now that he had said it out loud, it seemed a little more understandable.


“Because Heiner hates me.
I realized that fact far too late.
The Major hates me, and people hate me too, so why couldn’t he be that person?”


Annette’s plaintive voice echoed through the hallway.
Eugen looked perplexed, pretending otherwise, as if he had not anticipated this situation at all.


It could be that way.
For Annette, her last life preserver was Heiner Valdemar.
There was nowhere in the world that would accept Annette if she divorced him.


It was common sense that she would not want a divorce, even if Heiner did.


“So I asked for a divorce.
I would be grateful if the Major could persuade my husband to agree.
Since your intentions and mine seem to coincide.”




“Do what you want with this information, whether you want to spread it to the newspapers or not.”


Annette smiled beautifully.




The next day, an article about Senator Günther making a marriage proposal to Heiner Valdemar was widely reported.


A union between a Republican Senator and the Commander-in-Chief.
There was a conflict between welcoming and alarming glances, but it was a terrific issue anyway.


The positive reaction was a bit more predominant because two years ago the two had handled an internal dispute between the revolutionary leading forces fairly and cleanly.


Needless to say, Annette’s position, which had been almost non-existent, had narrowed even more.
All her relatives who still tried to connect with her in order to connect with Heiner also turned their backs.


Heiner and Annette’s divorce became a fait accompli amid rumors.
And it was quite pleasing to the public.


People wanted her downfall.
But her position as the wife of the Commander-in-Chief limited her unhappiness.
As for Annette, this place was just another hell, but from the outside it just looked like she was living peacefully with her eyes closed and her ears covered.
On the surface, the words were also true to some extent.


So it was only natural that they would speak ill of me – Annette thought to herself.


She lay in bed and looked at the high ceiling moldings.
Lying alone in this huge room, she felt like a corpse in a coffin.


Annette turned over and lay on her side.
Several copies of the newspaper she had read earlier were scattered on the floor.


One of the evening papers had an article that listed and criticized the price of every dress and piece of jewelry she had owned in the past.


 “If you read even a few lines of the newspaper, you would know.”


‘Ah, newspapers.’


 Annette also read the newspaper often.
The problem was she couldn’t read it all the way through.


She closed her eyes, but she couldn’t sleep because of the overwhelming headache.


The migraines, which started out as stress, became chronic over time.
There were more and more days when she had to take headache pills or sleeping pills so she could get some sleep.




Suddenly there was a knock on the door.
Annette lay dead against the wall.
Soon the bedroom door opened quietly.


Annette held her breath as she watched the leaking light reflected on the wall.
Footsteps echoed through the desolate room.




Heiner sat down on the bed and called out to her in a quiet voice.




Annette did not answer.
Not because she didn’t want to answer, but because she just didn’t feel well.
And her head hurt.


Heiner let out a low sigh behind her.


 “I know you’re not sleeping.
Just listen.”




“I don’t know if you know this, but I received a marriage proposal from someone in Congress.
I tried to quietly decline since I had no intention of accepting it in the first place, but the article got out…..
In any case, there is no overturn.”




“If you’re looking forward to it, I’m telling you to give up.”


There was a brief silence before he spoke again.


“You’re leaving this place.”


He acted like someone who didn’t necessarily want to utter the word “divorce.” Would the sky collapse if he said that word?


“….We all do.”


Heiner could feel Annette listening to him.
Annette lay back and said quietly.


“They said that I had to completely fall, and yet I live so richly thanks to being the wife of the Commander-in-Chief.
They wondered why the Commander-in-Chief had not divorced the woman.
No matter how much he helped the Revolutionary Army……….he was once the Marquis’s subordinate and the Commander of the Legion, so that’s why he still couldn’t give up that habit?”


“Just words anyway.”


“I’m your stain, people say.”


Annette sat up.
Her golden hair cascaded down her shoulders and back.


She turned and looked at Heiner.
His eyes, which she met up close, seemed blackened by the darkness.
They were eyes that knew no joy.


Annette had once loved her lover’s joy.
She loved his smiling face and gentle voice.
But it was not all real.


Heiner Valdemar was truly a competent spy.


 “Do you have any resentment left for me to such an extent that you even suffered a loss?”


 “I don’t know where you will live well when you leave here, Annette.
Maybe you have hidden your wealth away without my knowledge?”


Annette laughed out loud.
She was astonished that Heiner would say such a thing.
Wasn’t he the man who knew everything in the world and everything went through his hands?


“I have nothing and nowhere to turn.
As you know.”


“Have you forgotten that you have been in contact with those who were in your father’s inner circle in order to uncover my past?”


 “How can they help me when they are in prison? And it was long ago that I started digging into your past.
In the meantime, all of them were either executed or sent to prison camps on the island.
I can list them by name if you wish.”


“Your father had great connections.
You might never know.
And it’s not like you don’t know that some who escaped are living well in exile abroad.”


“I promise you that I will not go abroad.
Nor will I take anything from this house with me.
Just a divorce.”


“…Since you want it so much, I don’t want to listen to it even more.”


Heiner threw away the minimum amount of smoke and pretense and looked completely chilled.

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