Under the Devil’s Breath - Chapter 3
‘This is a nightmare…’
Hyyan closed her eyes tightly and looked away from the two of them. Before long, the cheers of the people diminished a little.
Only then could she open her eyes.
At that moment, she could see Lenald and Cordelia smiling at each other with their mouths open with an open view. They were about to leave the wedding hall, though before they could take a few steps, Cordelia’s body staggered and she fell onto the rug.
Surprised, Lenald hugged Cordelia, but she lost consciousness.
Her arms stretched helplessly, her parched lips and closed eyes signaled the seriousness of her condition. The scene, which was filled with blessings and joy, quickly turned into a disaster.
While everyone was at a loss for what to do, the Imperial wizard who attended the ceremony came running. He cast a spell and stretched out his hand toward Cordelia, and in an instant, a white light burst out of his hand.
It was healing magic. The magic was exercised for a long time.
However, Cordelia did not wake up.
Despite pouring out the healing magic, she did not wake up.
The Imperial wizard poured so much magic that he was worried that his magic might be depleted. Shortly thereafter, he abruptly stopped his magic and examined Cordelia’s body.
“What are you doing now?”
“Her Highness’ illness seems to be incurable by magic, so I am looking for the cause, Your Highness.”
“Is there something in this world that cannot be solved by magic?”
“There are exceptions in the world, Your Highness. My guess is that Her Highness is probably under a curse based on black magic.”
“Black magic, isn’t that magic used only by evil demons? Who dared to use black magic in the Imperial Castle?”
“I can’t believe it either…”
The sorcerer said, blurring his word, pulling out the ring that had been on Cordelia’s finger.
“I can feel the power of black magic here. Perhaps, there is a curse using black magic. Perhaps, it was the cause of Her Highness’ collapse, I think…”
As soon as Hyyan saw the ring the wizard had taken out, she took a deep breath.
Unsurprisingly, the ring the wizard took out was hers—a relic that the craftsman stole.
There was no way that a curse had been placed on the relic containing holy power. Even though it was a dream, it made no sense, and Lenald opened his mouth while staring at the ring with his eyes wide open.
“How do you know there is a curse on it? On the surface, it’s just a ring?”
“It looks like it has hallucinogenic magic on it. This is proof of the curse.”
The magician picked up the ring and flicked his hand once, and the jewel, which had shone in five colors, was instantly dyed black.
It was already shocking that the jewel was dyed black. However, what was even more shocking was that there was a red pattern on the jewel that she had never seen before. The pattern moved as if it were alive, and its appearance was truly bizarre, so those who saw the ring’s pattern were all terrified.
“Oh, my God! it’s moving.”
“It’s not enough to use forbidden black magic to curse the Crown Princess’ items. Whoever it is, the family is now over.”
There was a buzz around.
It was only Crown Prince Lenald who kept his composure amidst the chaos. He asked the wizard with a supremely cool face.
“Who did this?”
“Speak quickly! Who dares to use black magic in this imperial castle and curse my wife!”
The mask disguised as coolness was easily removed as he got agitated. At his bitter interrogation, the wizard hesitated and glanced at Hyyan.
Soon, Lenald’s gaze also reached her, and his pupils widened.
“Yes, the person who put the curse is the Princess of Haire Kingdom. I feel the same energy as the curse on this ring as the Princess.”
The wizard asserted.
Nonetheless, Hyyan, who was called out, was dumbfounded because she lacked the manifestation of magic, the start of all magic.
She had no intention of making contact with the devil in the first place, but even if she made a contract with the devil, she didn’t have magic, so there was no way she can use black magic on her own.
Most of all, Hyyan saw Cordelia for the first time today. There could have been no time to cast black magic to curse her with the stolen relic.
Still, Lenald was already suspicious of her.
“Princess, did you really curse my wife?”
“I did not. I don’t even have magic, so I can’t even use magic, so how can I use black magic? This allegation is only offensive.”
“The Princess is right. You must have been too agitated hearing the wizard’s words.”
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After Hyyan’s clear answer, even the Emperor came forward so Lenald couldn’t question her anymore.
However, the wizard continued.
“Your Majesty, may I dare to speak?”
“Thank you. In my opinion, there is no law that you must be the one to cast black magic. Since you made a pact with the devil, you could have made the devil curse for you. Above all else, the aura surrounding the Princess is clearly black magic.”
“Princess, if you want to refute that statement, I will give you a chance now.”
At the Emperor’s words, Hyyan held her breath.
“Your Majesty, I swear I never made a contract with the devil. Why would I make a pact with the devil? I fully understand your suspicion of me, though I just want you to know that I do not understand this situation. I wish your Majesty’s wise judgement.”
Hearing from both sides, the Emperor touched his chin and looked at Hyyan and the wizard alternately. In fact, he had always looked at Hyyan well, and even in this situation, he was admiring her calm attitude.
Though that didn’t mean the Imperial wizard was lying…
No one could easily open their mouths, and there was only silence, while someone dragged their skirt and stepped forward softly.
“Your Majesty, it is infinitely insignificant to come out here, but I have something to tell you despite rudeness. May I dare to speak up?”
“Who are you?”
“I am Sevia, the maid of Lady Cordelia Vi Lyat.”
Hyyan was greatly shaken when she saw the woman named Sevia, who came out in front of her.
It was because she was the craftsman who stole her relic.
Even though the clothes she was wearing at the time were different, how could she forget her face and her black hair?
At that moment, Hyyan understood why Cordelia’s hand had a holy relic. Although she was puzzled by her sudden appearance, she found it difficult for her to think normally as the situation was.
“I dared to come forward to tell you what I saw. Could you please allow me to speak?”
“I’ll allow it.”
With the Emperor’s permission, Sevia held her breath for a moment before opening her mouth.
“I don’t know if that ring is cursed, as the wizard said. But, I can be sure of one ring. That ring is the one the Princess gave to Lady Lyat.”
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“Did I give the ring to Lady Cordelia?”
“Yes. Your Highness gave me the ring, and I gave it to her.”
Hyan let out a smile without realizing it. The maid’s demeanor was so shameless that she could only let a smile out.
She tried to refute the maid’s words, telling her to lie as much as possible, although her spine suddenly became cold.
As she looked around, hostile gazes were staring at her. It was the same with Lenald and the Emperor.
“Princess, is that maid true?”
The green eyes looking at her were full of disbelief, not to mention the words he asked. Although Hyyan didn’t know how to describe herself like this in the words of the maid, she felt her head turn white.
“Your, Your Majesty. That maid is telling lies. I lost that ring yesterday, and I’m actually surprised by the situation. Also, I saw Lady Cordelia for the first time today, and I saw that craftsman yesterday.”
“What do you mean you saw Delia for the first time? Haven’t you met Delia with me a few days ago? Though you say, this is the first time you’ve seen her?”
Hearing Lenald’s words, Hyan just felt wrong. Before coming to the wedding hall, Gina had also said that she had met Cordelia.
She knew that all this is a dream, except to those who are the people in her dreams, her words would feel like a lie full of loopholes.
“All the evidence points to you, and it turns out that even your excuses are false, so we do not need any more reason not to suspect. Your Majesty, please allow us to investigate the Princess.”
“It’s not me. No.”
Nevertheless, Hyyan knew that her excuses would be useless.
The eyes of Lenald, who had always looked at her with affectionate eyes, were contemptuous, and the face of the emperor, who proclaimed her fairness, was supremely cold.
“Certainly, since the evidence and witnesses have come out like this, we have no choice but to investigate. I will allow you to investigate the princess. I will also delegate all of the investigations of the princess to the Crown Prince.”
As soon as the Emperor had finished speaking, he left the room.
It was evident that he no longer wanted to see this. As soon as the emperor left the ceremony, Lenald gave the order.
“Capture the Princess.”
At his command, the guards grabbed her and tied her hands with ropes, bent her arms behind her back.
Soon, she knelt down on her knees.
It was by others’ will, not hers.
“Princess, you have committed the unforgivable.”
How did things go like this? Hyyan chewed her lips to the point of crushing them, then barely uttered a word.
“Your Highness, I really did not.”
“I can’t believe you still went out of the way of all the evidence and the witnesses until the end… Princess, I am truly afraid of you.”
“It’s really not me.”
“You have tried to assassinate the Imperial Family, and you have learned black magic through a contract with a demon forbidden in the Empire. I sentenced you to death according to the laws of the Empire.”
“No, I really don’t.”
“The execution is tomorrow. However, since you were once my fiance, I will give you my last favor and take care of your body and return it to your homeland. Don’t blame me too much.”
Hyyan screamed at her apparent death sentence.
“It’s not me, Your Highness! It’s not…! I’m sorry! Why don’t you believe me? I really am not!”
She tried to claim her innocence, yet no one at the scene believed her, and she was taken to the dungeon.
Despite being thrown on the cold floor of the prison, Hyyan couldn’t believe the situation and stared blankly at the bars. Then, suddenly, she realized that all of this was a dream.
‘Yes, this is a dream. If it’s a dream, you can wake up.’
Even though she lightly slapped her right cheek, the situation did not change.
‘It’s too weak. I should hit harder, so I can wake up.’
Hyyan once again raised her hand and slapped her own cheek. She hit it hard enough to make a sound, but it still didn’t change the situation in front of her. She felt only pain from her swollen cheeks.
‘It’s too early for her to give up.’
She banged her head on the floor. As Hyyan thumped and banged her head, the guardsman opened the door of the prison and seized her.
The guards who tied her body to the bars of the prison with ropes recited the words, ‘It’s difficult to die by self-harm,’ and went out again.
At that moment, she burst out laughing. At most, she did self-harm and didn’t wake up. She couldn’t believe it.
It was such a horrible and absurd situation, how could it not be a dream?
She lamented and lamented over her own condition, and while she hugged her body, Hyyan prayed to God. She begged and begged and prayed that she might wake up from this terrible dream.
But, God did not grant her wish.