Dark. Cold. Hunger. Pain.
That's how the beautiful woman in the red dress who sat in the corner of the cell felt. Her eyes were closed, and her hands were clenched – she was praying.
TAP TAP TAP
There was the sound of approaching footsteps.
Hearing that, she smiled.
"Finally, you came, Rion." Her eyes opened. She gazed calmly at the man standing outside the prison cell. The beautiful woman rose from the floor and walked over to the man. For five seconds, her clear brown eyes met with those hazel eyes that threw her a piercing gaze. She smiled and spoke with her sweet voice. "Have you regretted what you did? It's okay, I forgive you."
She smiled widely, her eyes sparkling. However, those two beautiful things disappeared in an instant when she heard him speak coldly.
"Lucas has been executed. Tomorrow is your turn."
Her eyes widened, and her bones seemed to tremble at the man's shocking words.
"W-what…? Y-you really did it…? Why?" Her voice trembled. Tears welled up in her eyes. Her chest tightened. She froze, staring at the cold face of the grey-haired man in front of her.
"You know exactly why," he replied curtly.
"What did you do, Rion?! Lucas is innocent."
"You're right. He's innocent. It was my fault for loving you and trusting him."
"So you believe that Lucas and I betrayed you?" She stared intently at the face in front of her. That face seemed to have no trace of emotion at all. Five seconds later, the man still did not give any answer.
"I understand." She realized it was futile to change his mind.
"Say your final wish."
Those brown eyes stared deeply into the pair of hazel eyes, that had always looked at her with love and warmth. Now those hazel eyes really had nothing but hatred in them.
"I... I have two requests," she said quietly.
"Every death row inmate only receives one."
"I know, but do you remember when we got married, you gifted me with three wishes? I already used two, meaning I still have one left."
On a cloudy morning, people gathered in the town square to witness a great event that was about to go down: the king would execute his queen.
The news that the king sentenced the queen to death had been shaking the palace and its surroundings since the past week. The uproar got more intense when, last night, the king said that he would behead the queen with his own hands.
On the execution altar, he, the man with hazel eyes and sturdy body, was unmoved, looking at the crowd below with an expression that was hard to decipher. The wind at a height ruffled his long grey hair.
[For my first request, I want you to be my executioner tomorrow.]
The sentence was repeated in his head. No one knew that at this moment, his entire body was covered in a cold sweat that even the tips of his fingers turned pale.
"Traitor! Traitor, booo!"
The screams from the crowd below snapped him out of his thoughts. Now his eyes were focused on a woman in a red dress who was led to the altar by a brown-haired knight and a soldier in uniform.
"Your Majesty… Please, have mercy on the queen. We beg you... Please… spare her life....!!"
"No!! Traitors must be punished!"
The noise from the crowd below was split in two. One half wept bitterly, pleading for the queen not to be punished, while the other half demanded that the queen be punished. It was obvious that this was going to mess up with his mind.
"Uff--" His breath hitched. He was dazed and lost in his own thoughts again that he didn't realize the three figures he had been watching were already close.
For a moment, he glanced at the brown-haired knight, then turned to the woman in the red dress. For a few seconds, their eyes locked.
"Thank you for fulfilling my first request. I hope you will also fulfill my second wish."
"Trish, take her."
The noise from below grew louder as the queen's head was placed on the hole of death. Those who did not want the queen to be executed, burst into tears and shouted hoarsely for the king not to continue the beheading.
Meanwhile, those who wanted the queen punished, screamed at the top of their lungs, provoking the king to continue under the pretext of enforcing the law.
"Your Majesty." Trish was worried about his king's condition, as he knew very well that his king was currently very stressed.
The king didn't say anything. He started to raise his hands to hold the hilt of his sword, as his hands shook.
Trish was getting worried.
Five seconds passed and the king was unmoved. He was staring at his hands that gripped the hilt of the sword.
Heavy, it felt very heavy. It hurt. It hurt so much. His heart was bleeding.
[Why did you do this to me, Rose? I love you so much, but you... why?!] He felt like screaming.
He was upset, angry, disappointed, sad. His emotions were all mixed up.
"Your Majesty, punish the traitor!"
[Ah, that's right. Traitors must be punished.]
He tightened his grip on his hand and made up his mind.
He closed his eyes and struck down. The sword swung down and...
The queen's head fell off in one clean slash. There were cries and screams from below.
"Your Majesty!" Trish quickly held his king's retreating body with staggering steps. The king would have fallen to the ground had he not arrived in time.
"Your Majesty ...." He hugged the king's body tightly. The body was trembling badly and cold as ice. "Oh, God."
Trish looked up at the sky, desperately trying to keep his tears from falling. He had never seen his king tremble like now.
Hundreds of roses sprang from the ground and grew unnaturally in such a short time after the queen's body was buried.
Of course, this phenomenon shocked and confused those who witnessed it. The king was no exception. He looked the most surprised.
Quickly, the red rose petals bloomed, and, no one know how it happened, the petals shone and showed something that made the king's eyes widen.
[This is my second request. Please bury me in the place where you proposed to me. If the land there becomes barren, then it means I am guilty. However, if the land is covered with many roses, it means I am innocent. My love for you is true, and my death will be your deepest regret.]
Thus, the rose petals showed a flashback sequence of the queen's truth.
"W-wh… what have I done?" The king fell to his knees. His eyes looked blank.
[I hope you can forgive yourself, my king. Your queen asked permission to leave.]
The queen's soul smiled and then disappeared, leaving the rose petals fluttering, dancing with the wind and opening the story of Odette and The Cursed King.