I died when I was eighteen.
My death was on a sunny summer day.
“Laliette Isabelle de Beloit, the eldest daughter of the Count of Beloit, is hereby sentenced to death for not properly setting a good example of a noblewoman with the following crimes: She has committed the crime of extravagant spending, for not sincerely caring for those in the Beloit domain, for daring to embezzle taxes from the citizens, for knowing about the treason of her father, the Count of Beloit, yet concealing and even conspiring with him. There are countless other crimes that are too shameful to be mentioned, so, I sentence you to death.
The cold sound of the judges’ hammer made me forget myself as the court cried out.
Of the many unfortunate crimes that spilled out of that damned judge’s mouth, the most unwelcome one was the crime of extravagance that was mentioned first.
What was the crime?
The crime of extravagance?
Are you so stupid that you don’t know what extravagance means?
Extravagant would be a word more suitable to refer to that ridiculous dress your daughter is wearing!
Even though we live in a country where the Supreme Court is vacant and the judicial process is a bunch of stagnant, inactive doldrums, the crime of extravagance is the most ridiculous accusation I have heard.
I couldn’t hold back my anger and almost grabbed the judge by the chest.
Perhaps he saw my shaking arms that were unable to reach out, or perhaps he had been stabbed before, but the judge couldn’t meet my eyes and only looked off into the void. I could see he was sweating profusely.
There’s no way he doesn’t know.
The fact that the Beloit family has been living frugally is a fact well-known to all nobles.
“Save, save, save! Don’t waste the taxes that the people of Beloit have paid for with their blood and sweat!”
I grew up listening to my father’s harsh shouts every day, his bellows in my ears, and never cared for the jewel-embroidered dresses or the richly decorated brocade ornaments that were said to come from the East.
You don’t know how humiliating it is to attend a ball and hear people whispering that the Young Lady is too ignorant and doesn’t know much about balls.
Despite that, I had prioritized the people of my domain.
So how could I be extravagant?
Even from the first line of accusations of my long, long death sentence is so ridiculous that the next one is certainly to be false, not to mention unheard of.
I didn’t listen to the voice of the judge that was provoking me.
“Laliette Isabelle de Beloit, you will be given the opportunity to make a final appeal.”
The judge even allowed me to make an unprecedented appeal, as if my sharp glare had made him worried that I might harbor a grudge and come to visit him as a ghost.
A traitor deserves to be killed without giving any excuses.
“…… an appeal?”
But I didn’t have any words to say.
What kind of appeal should I make?
Only when someone had truly committed a crime out of the many listed, that they should make an appeal against the court’s decision.
It’s another thing if you could even survive after making a good appeal in your defense.
What’s the point of staying alive alone when your father, mother, brother, and even relatives you’ve never seen in your life have all been decapitated?
After my family’s downfall, bound by the terrible charge that my father had plotted treason, my daily routine consisted entirely of weeping and wailing.
Even if I were to continue living, it would be the same.
I would cry all day long, and even if I lived, I wouldn’t actually be living, only breathing to stay alive.
Such a bitter feeling hampered even my remaining desire to live.
Instead of arguing a defense against my case, I turned to the emperor, who was standing at the end of the courtroom with an emotionless expression on his face as he watched my death sentence.
He didn’t look too happy though, as I was killed entirely out of his remorseless anger, with not a word of my fault.
But I was dismayed to see his quiet face, as if my death was a normal routine.
His mouth slanted slightly as he faced me.
I didn’t miss that slight change as he smiled at me.
I chewed on each and every word of evil as I glared into his green eyes, which had a gentle hue that didn’t match his cruel nature.
Of course, I never thought I would see him again.