Her First Death
Diana was well aware that her husband bore a deep hatred for her.
Why, then, did it feel as if her last foothold was crumbling? As she stared at Young Lady Levianne softly stroking her stomach, she had a hunch—there was nothing left for her now.
She heard Young Lady Levianne’s words with one ear and let them pass through the other, although she had to make an effort to do so. In reality, she wanted to kick her out, but sadly, those who served her couldn’t cope with Lady Levianne’s authority.
‘Please forget about it. Just forget it.’
With the poisoned wine that Young Lady Levianne boldly offered to Diana, she had lost her child. Nonetheless, the woman in front of her shamelessly carried her head held high as if she hadn’t been responsible for the loss of her unborn baby.
‘And my husband! He dared to embrace such a woman and father another child?! I’d rather be turned into a slave than take those loathsome marriage vows to the world!’
When Diana’s expression changed, Young Lady Levianne looked at her with amused eyes.
A bright guffaw filled the place. Diana had to make an effort to remain composed.
Young Lady Levianne’s mask fell off, and she verbally assaulted her. The woman who had harmed her was now trying to take even the position of queen away from her.
Everything seemed to belong to that woman.
Diana caressed her stomach out of habit, struggling to control her rising anger. Right. It was only natural. Even that woman’s words were not entirely wrong.
‘I am being punished.’
Her anger had reached its peak and turned into resignation, and Diana had decided to die. She couldn’t keep accepting punishment forever.
Her death would be her salvation.
Diana, lost in her thoughts, finally snapped back to reality; the voices of the royal knights came from below the railing. As she looked down at them, the knights were approaching her way, unfolding a large coverlet.
Even if she fell like this, she wouldn’t die.
As she recoiled, someone swiftly grabbed her hand and pulled her back from the railing. Her body, losing its balance, leaned forward onto the marble balcony, but strong arms caught her. She struggled to break free from the arms that held her like spiderwebs, suffocating their prey, but to no avail.
Guiscard looked down at her, his lips drawing a chilling smile.
“I enjoyed your cute antics, Ann.”
The pent-up anger escaping through his clenched teeth with every word he spoke in his deep voice was crystal clear. There was even a sense of thrill like that of an executioner who was contemplating what punishment to inflict on his daring sinner who had dared to try to escape.
“Trying to escape? I won’t ever let that happen,” that monster proclaimed.
As ever, there was no room for negotiation with this monster. Dominating, subjugating, and snaring—that was all this monster could think of. When what he anxiously believed would slip away from his hands returned to his grasp, his demeanor abruptly shifted again.
“You’ll have to tell me why you did this.”
‘Will he finally resort to violence this time? Or will he, as always, destroy whatever I hold dear? Or perhaps will he restrict my freedom—my very last one—in this fancy prison?’
No, it wasn’t that.
He would make Lady Levianne queen and render her the most miserable. In the end, he would strip her of everything he has given her outwardly and make himself wretched.
‘Why am I like this, you ask? It’s not as if you don’t know. You even destroyed the tiny piece of foothold I had left.’
Her resentment towards Young Lady Levianne tried to well up, but Diana swallowed it back. It was her pride.
“No. You, monster.”
She muttered through her clenched teeth and pricked her finger with a poisoned needle hidden in her ring. The poison worked instantly. Her stomach churned, and blood gushed out as her lips pressed against hard shoulders. Sensing the warmth, he finally gazed at Diana’s face.
Her ocean-gray eyes were filled with hatred, and tears streamed down. This was why he shouldn’t have meddled with the ending; she wanted to say her farewell in an intact state, yet this monster, being selfish to the end, had even ruined their farewell.
Blood continued to pour from her mouth without stopping.
“No, no! Diana, you can’t! Someone…!”
Unintentionally, she leaned against his arms, losing all her strength. It was fortunate that the poison was painless; however, everything began to numb.
Before her tongue stiffened, Diana gripped Guiscard’s collar.
Her stiff tongue desperately called out his name. It was the first time she had called the monster’s name since that day when she lost everything. Guiscard—the man who was both a monster and the one who used to be her husband—gazed at her face.
‘Why are you making that face now? Why do you look as if you’ve lost the entire world? Don’t you hate me? You loathe me. Do you think it’s unfair that I escaped from your clutches?’
Tears filled Guiscard’s eyes.
The hero, once praised for slaying Fanberoux’s dragon, was helplessly crying in the face of her death.
“No, you can’t… don’t leave me, please…”
As if to awaken the dull sensation in her hands, he squeezed it tightly.
Desperate and warm hands of the very same man—her so-called husband—who had conceived a child with someone else. He was now weeping sorrowfully at his wife’s—the daughter of an enemy—death, just like any ordinary husband holding his dying spouse.
It was because of such a scene that Diana let everything out.
“I shouldn’t… have saved you…”
Even with those cruel words that she deliberately said to hurt him, he did not respond. It seemed like he was solely concerned with his wife’s life.
The flame of life was gradually fading.
Although Diana said such words, she regretted them. What right did the daughter of a brazen evildoer have to say such things?
“Back then, I shouldn’t have… saved you…”
“Back then, I shouldn’t have freed you from your shackles.”
“I regret… I truly regret…”
Still, her lips moved freely, driven by her own selfishness and desire to exact revenge for her life’s wounds.
‘I know what a great curse the will of the deceased can become. I hope you come to realize the pain I went through as well.’
The monster’s eyes widened as his face began to contort with sadness.
“Don’t speak. Don’t speak! Please…”
“Diana, please, please! Oh God, please.”
‘You had claimed to hate me… so why are you wailing in such sorrow? You said you hate me, despise me, and that you’d abandon me, but why are you seeking for the God you had forsaken?’
Slumber fell upon her like a cascade.
When tranquility embraced her, she detached herself from all emotions. As hatred and resentment eventually dissipated, she wanted to overlay the will she had intended to leave as a curse.
She wanted to apologize.
She wanted to say she was sorry and that she was in the wrong for not saving him sooner… that was what she wanted to say, but the poison had already spread throughout her body, and her tongue stiffened. Her last remnants of hearing allowed her to hear Guiscard’s cries.
It was too late to turn back.
‘If there’s a next life, I hope we won’t resent each other.’
Whether the tears that she felt were someone else’s tears or her own, she could still feel them streaming down her face.
‘Alas, in the end, I greet death trapped in this person’s embrace…’
Diana’s eyes closed. Even though she may not find happiness in the arms of God after ending her life, she found solace knowing her painful relationship was coming to an end.
In her final moments, memories of a boy covered in bruises looking at her came to mind. One day, when she reached out her hand, the boy…
She had never seen him smile so brightly, though he smiled as if it were his last.
She couldn’t fathom why the last person she saw before dying was the monster that tormented her the most. Her eyes closed.
This was Diana’s first death. It was a truly d*mned life, indeed.
‘I had lived my life giving my very best, but where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently?’
Until her last breath, she reflected on her life over and over again.