The power released from Isadora released itself and flew into space. A few seconds later, everyone in Hortus felt a tremor and looked at the sky in horror. For a brief moment, they had a feeling as if the sky was about to crack apart.

Even though Hortus' space was strengthened by Varian, it couldn't withstand the onslaught of a rank 7. Even in the best case where the space survived, the people would not.

But the fear subsided as Oob broadcasted Queen Radiance's voice in the air. "Some of the Emperor's power leaked. His combat training is halted for now."

The citizens of Hortus were shocked. Was their ruler already so monstrously powerful? The image of Varian in their hearts grew even loftier.

"Haah," On top of a mountain in a forbidden zone whose peak stood above the clouds, Sarah sighed with a wry smile. "He is such a troublemaker."

Varian would've strongly objected to such defamation if he was there in person. But now, holding his breath, he stared at the woman in front.

Black fumes were leaking out of her, enveloping her in their darkness. Because of her black dress, she easily blended in. Only her bright red eyes shone through the darkness.

They exuded a killing intent and hatred Varian rarely felt from anyone. A few moments passed without a sound.

The seal on Isadora activated but since she reached rank 7, it's no longer as active and only pushed her to peak of rank 5. But soon, she'd reach rank 6 even with the seal on, and not too long from now, even rank 7.

"Haaa," Isadora parted her lips and heaved a deep sigh.

With heavy footsteps, she walked towards the corpse or what was left of it. It couldn't even be called a corpse—just pieces of flesh, bones in pools of blood.

A normal person would've vomited at such a scene but Isadora didn't even react.

Isadora stared deeply at the gore she created.

Varian wondered if she was remembering the past. Was she regretting her decision to kill her enemy so quickly? Or, did she regret killing her?

Isadora raised her hands, confusing Varian.

And she slapped down again.


Again. And again. And again.



Whatever remained of that maid disappeared.

"I wish I could revive you as Undead, then kill you again, then revive you somehow, and then kill you again…" Isadora muttered in a wistful tone, a small, dreamy smile on her lips.

'If only she smiled like this during normal times, we could get along well. Stubborn Old…never mind.'

"Do you think I am weird?" Without turning around, she asked in a light voice.

"Weird? Why?" Varian tilted his head in confusion.

Isadora looked up to the sky and her eyes flashed with nostalgia. "Even my 'mother' used to tell me I was vengeful beyond necessity. And that my cruelty will scare any friends I might have made."

Truth be told, even those 'friends' cut ties after seeing her going overboard. Sometimes, Isadora felt like she brought on her own suffering. If she hadn't been like that, perhaps the betrayal would not…

"No?" Varian raised an eyebrow. "You aren't really vengeful, to be honest. You just killed that woman and blasted her corpse to pieces. That's very…kind if I'm being honest.

If that's someone who took my trust, I'll torture the fuck out of them, break their mind, heal them back physically and mentally, and do it again and again.

Or I'll throw them into the Life-Death zone, kill them when in their human form, Undead form…"

Isadora parted her lips and looked at him in surprise.

"Isadora, you are kinder than I thought," Varian chuckled.

"…Okay," She said with a wry smile.

For that brief moment, Varian felt like he was seeing her vulnerable self. The self she hid under her arrogance and coldness. The self that she used to show only to her closest people—which closed up after the betrayal.

"What about Princess Sonya?"

All the weakness in her was gone in an instant, replaced by a soaring fury.

"She still has the gall to come to this place?" Isadora laughed, but her laughter was full of anger.

It was right in Centaurus' neighborhood. The place where her dear sister repaid all her love by stabbing her in the back.

"She has gone to the Zions from the space portal."

Isadora's eyes flashed for a moment. She just reached rank 7 and wasn't so strong.


"No, I won't destroy the space portal." Varin rejected her and he suddenly glared daggers at her.

"I don't like blaming someone else, but this is all the mess of a stupid woman. Had she not recklessly killed a princess of Pala, I'd have managed something. But look at it now, I'd have to resort to scheming, and I…"

All of humanity's lives were put at risk. Varian didn't mind playing a disguise to fool the envoys. He could handle them at any time. But the princes, no, forget the princes, even their maids were beyond his power.

Varian clenched his fists as he remembered Maid Daphne's insulting words about his wives. The reality that he couldn't kill her tortured him.

And the source for everything—the woman in front of him—caused him to suddenly lash out.

"You're an irresponsible woman, Isadora," Varian's voice turned cold. "Yes, I will not let you die because that means letting Sia and Enigma die. Even if I'm in grave danger, I'll ensure their and by extension, your safety."

Isadora felt something sting inside as she looked into his eyes. Unlike his warm gaze or casual gaze, this one was cold, unfeeling, and distant.

"But you take it all for granted. Other than a few basic things, what have you done to solve the problem you are responsible for?" Varian stepped forward, standing right in front of her.

His eyes looked down into hers and she could clearly feel his anger and frustration, burning like the sun.

He suddenly raised his hand.

Isadora looked into his eyes defiantly, bracing herself for the violence that was about to come.

But instead, he placed his hand on her head gently and spoke in a soft, cajoling voice. "Your punishment is not any form of pain. It'll be you watching my happy relationships with Sia and Enigma.

I would kill and die for them. They would do the same for me. I can rest assured even on the scariest days that they've got my back. That they won't abandon me.

We'll have all the love in the world. Once this all sorts out, I can spend my time with them…taking them to all the wonderful places in the Alliance."

Hearing his words as he gently rubbed her hair, Isadora froze. She would've slapped his hand away at any other time.

But now, his words struck her hard. A part of her refuted it all as rubbish. No relationship lasts that long. People just stop caring!

However, a part of her resisted. It was the part that hoped, the part that desired, the part that loved.

"But you…you don't even have a friend, much less a person to call your own. You'll be watching us with envy, Isadora. And you'll know, it was your fault.

You could've found a good friend in me, a good confidant in Sarah. You could've built meaningful relationships."

Varian's voice was gentle, sweet, and soothing, like the caring boyfriend cajoling his girlfriend with sweet nothings.

But Isadora trembled after hearing his words. Her chest felt tight and a fear gripped her.

She didn't believe him! She didn't believe him at all!

It's all false! All these relationships would only break down!


"Isdaora, having a bad past isn't a reason to believe you'll have a bad future. A happy future won't just fall into our hands. We have to grab that future with our own hands, hold it tight and never let go."

Varian withdrew his hand.

Isadora's hand instinctively raised, but in the end, she didn't grab that hand. Her breath grew disorderly for a moment before she composed herself. But her eyes…they looked lost, confused, and chaotic.

"But you aren't even making an attempt. If you're going to be miserable in the future, it's all on you Isadora. You have no one else to blame."

With those words, Varian vanished.

He surprised her twice today. When he accepted the side of her that her mother rejected. And when he lashed out.

With a chaotic mind full of messy thoughts, Isadora stood blankly for a long, long time.