It was even more impossible to consult with Louis and Luna.
This was because his nanny, who learned of Blanche’s evil deeds in the past, lost her life while trying to protect Renato.
Therefore, he didn’t want to lose them either.
Above all, there was no evidence to accuse Blanche and Marquis Medus.
Would people really believe him if he testified that he heard their conversation
Renato’s face was stained with deep despair.
No one would listen to him.
In this Imperial Palace, Renato was alive, but not alive.
A sidekick Prince that no one would care about.
‘I’m sorry, Ludmilla-nim.
I’m really sorry.’
Not knowing what to do, Renato eventually went to find Ludmilla.
And he lay down in front of her and wept, begging for forgiveness.
So it was poison……’
Surprised by his sudden visit, Ludmilla helplessly reacted to the story that Renato told in tears.
Having struggled with the illness of unknown cause for a long time, she had long lost her former cheerfulness and enthusiasm.
‘What should I do Hic.
I, I’ll go tell Imperial Father now, hic.’
There’s no solid evidence, right And even in the periodic tests, haa, no poison was detected……’
Ludmilla tried to grasp the situation as calmly as possible.
However, it was not as easy as she thought.
Even the smallest conversation would make her out of breath, and the slightest thought would make her dizzy.
‘We don’t know who the traitor is, so, huu, let’s move carefully.
If we do it wrong, cough, we’ll all be in danger.’
It had been five years since Tristan was injured, and nearly two years since she collapsed.
Ludmilla knew that in the last few years, power had leaned towards Marquis Medus.
More than half of the Imperial Palace was also controlled by Blanche.
It was clear that there would be a backlash if they moved hastily.
‘It’s already, ha, too late now.
First of all, I will, tell His Majesty, tomorrow.
And…… Ugh! Cough!’
‘I’m okay, ugh, huff.’
Is it already too late Feeling blood rushing up in her throat, Ludmilla could sense her death.
She didn’t even have time to know the truth.
‘What, what should I do I’ll call the palace doctors right now…… no, ah.
Surprised when seeing her handkerchief dyed red, Renato tried to call the palace doctors.
Then he soon realized that there was a potential traitor among them and cried, not knowing what to do.
‘Ha, huu…… You know, Renato.’
Ludmilla, who once again vomited a lump of dark red blood, called out to Renato while breathing heavily.
It wouldn’t be strange even if she stopped breathing right now.
‘If I die, haa, ha.
Renato, I’m sorry to put a heavy burden on you, but…… I entrust Trudy to you.
Please protect that child.’
‘No, I can’t.
Please don’t entrust that to me.
Ludmilla-nim will not die.
So please, hic.
Please don’t say that…… hic, hic.’
Renato shook his head and grabbed the end of Ludmilla’s sleeve.
The mere thought of her death made it difficult for him to breathe.
‘I have one wish before I die……’
A hand as thin as a withered branch covered the back of Renato’s hand.
Renato’s tear-stained face was captured in her eyes, which had become as murky as dried leaves.
Sensing that her death was near, Ludmilla spoke out loud what she had longed for.
‘Just once, will you call me mother’
Mother. Renato’s body stiffened with that word.
He blankly stared at Ludmilla like someone that had lost his mind.
He couldn’t believe what he had heard.
‘I’ve been, cough, thinking about it before, how great it would be if I were, Renato’s real mother……’
After barely finishing her words, Ludmilla faintly smiled.
Renato didn’t answer right away.
Her words saying that she wanted to be his mother were so dream-like that they didn’t feel real.
Ludmilla and Trudy were already Renato’s precious family.
However, once in a while, Renato felt a strange distance from them.
Of course, the two didn’t draw a line against Renato.
However, there was a special bond between Ludmilla and Trudy.
A bond that only a mother and her son could have.
When Tristan was together with them, the sense of alienation that Renato felt grew even greater.
He felt as if he was a stone that obstructed the already perfect family of the three of them, Tristan, Ludmilla, and Trudy.
Even among them, he was a sidekick.
So he had hoped.
He hoped that he could become one true family member with his loved ones, and that he could be together with them rather than being alone.
‘I, I also……’
…want to call you mother. Renato, unable to continue speaking, lowered his head.
His real mother, Blanche, killed Ludmilla, so how could he call Ludmilla his mother
‘I’d like to hear it at least once, can’t I’
Ludmilla, as always, reached out to the hesitant Renato first.
Hearing her request, Renato silently moved his lips.
He repeatedly let out some sounds that didn’t make sense from his mouth.
Finally, a terribly muffled voice came out from his quivering lips.
It was more of a sob than a word.
His throat, clogged with tears, couldn’t make a proper word.
‘Mo, mo, ther, hic, huff, m, mo, ther, mother, hic, huu, mother…… hic……!’
After several attempts, Renato was barely able to properly pronounce the word ‘mother’.
With that, his tears flowed down.
‘Mother, huff, hic.’
Renato sorrowfully sobbed while holding the thin hand.
The moment he had longed for had arrived, but he was not happy at all.
‘Thank you, Renato.
For granting my wish……’
Ludmilla smiled with genuine joy.
Her face, pale without a single hint of blood, brightened like a flower in full bloom after a long time.
‘In the next world…… will you, really be born as my child’
‘Yes, hic, yes.
I’ll, be born, huff, ugh, as m, mother’s child, hic.’
Let’s see each other again.
My pretty son……’
A faint warmth touched his cheeks along with a sigh-like murmur.
At that moment, Renato realized.
To Ludmilla, he was already her son just like Trudy.
I’m not good enough……’
Even though I wanted to put a bright smile on your face. Ludmilla inwardly continued the sentence in her mind.
The boy’s face, which was gloomy unlike a child’s when they first met, was still wet with tears even though he had already become a young man.
She felt a deep regret as she stroked the wet cheeks.
Her hand was shaking so much that it was difficult to even wipe the tears away.
Reaching her final limit, she squeezed her last strength and opened her mouth.
‘You must be happy, Renato.’
With those words, Ludmilla became unconscious.
That was the last conversation Renato had with Ludmilla.
She fell into a coma and never regained consciousness again.
And a month later, she passed away.
Renato, who was engulfed in sad thoughts, stood still when hearing the voice calling out to him.
Trudy came running towards him in the misty scenery.
As he walked in thought, he seemed to have arrived at Trudy’s palace.
“It’s been a while, hyung-nim! I really missed you!”
Trudy rushed into Renato’s arms and tightly hugged him just like an energetic calf.
As he laughed and raised his head, Trudy noticed something, his eyes turning round.
“Hyung-nim, did you cry”
“Hmm No, I didn’t.
Why would I cry It’s because the sun is too bright.”
Renato finally realized his condition, awkwardly smiled and wiped the corner of his eyes with his hand.
Whenever he recalled the memories related to Ludmilla, tears would come out like this.
“Really If His Majesty the Empress is angry again because you come to see me, then……”
Trudy, who seemed as if he was about to burst into tears at any moment, slurred the end of his sentence.
The small hand tightly gripped Renato’s cardigan.
“It won’t happen.”
Renato gently stroked Trudy’s anxious cheek, calming him down.
Tears welled up in his eyes again because of the soft touch on his fingertips and the soft warmth that permeated his skin.
Yes, this is not the time to be foolishly hesitant. He had to do anything for this child.
Even if it was cowardly taking advantage of others.
Renato once again strengthened his resolve that had just become weak, gave strength to the corners of his lips and smiled as softly as possible.
The smile made Trudy’s face brighten with relief.
“It’s cold, so let’s go inside.
I have a lot to tell you.”
Trudy grabbed Renato’s hand with excitement.
Renato felt determined by the small warmth clinging to him.