When was the last time I had trouble sleeping? Perhaps never. But with all that has been going on, it was a wonder I even went to bed at all.

Today was the day when the official news of Emperor Rosensheins death was published across the Rose and Lilan empires. The same day Princess Ciella discovered that her beloved father had passed away weeks prior. Duke Evelyn had not felt the need to tell her this back when the nobles were informed, and she had to learn of the emperors death from the morning paper.

”Shes probably weeping in her room right now, ” I mumbled with my eyes fixed on the ceiling. ”And by morning she will probably have overdosed. ”

That incident was the turning point in the original story. With no one knowing she had not come out of her room for two entire days, Princess Ciella decided she had had enough. She had lost the one person she loved the most in the world. The person she had endured two years of hardships for. With her father gone and her brother, Crown Prince Cesare Von Rosenshein, ascending the throne, there was no more merit in her title as Princess of Rose. The late emperors protection (though it had little affect before) was no longer viable. Thus, her treatment at the dukes estate was going to worsen significantly. And that was made apparent after her overdose.

I jolted into a sitting position. I would stay awake till morning at this rate. I felt my way to the candle stand and lit a flame with the nearby matches. Was I inclined to jump off my balcony and head straight to the dukes estate? Yes. But that would hinder her highnesss plans. From what I recall, it took about a month of preparations after news of the emperor for Ciella to escape. I cannot interfere until then.

”Ha. What am I saying? Even after that, what could I do? ” I laughed helplessly. ”I am just an unknown son of a slightly well-off count. A character who never even appeared in the original story. ”

I sighed deeply. What is wrong with me? I have read about misfortunate people on the news all the time, so why does my heart hurt so much more when thinking of her? I do not even know what she looks like! I feel like a fool. A lovelorn fool.

I took a seat at my writing desk, which was being illuminated by the evenings moonlight. With my thumb still bandaged up from when I had bitten it, I was careful while filling up the fountain pen with ink. My head tilted, as I was not sure what I wanted to do with the blank sheet of paper before me. Then, my subconscious took over.

***

A rose. I had drawn a blooming rose, similar to the one which symbolized the Rosensheins. I had tired myself out enough so I could fall back asleep. I was about to toss the paper into the fire. But I hesitated. There was no point in keeping it, so why?

”Perhaps I just don want to be stuck in a drawing in my next life. ”

I chuckled at my own joke and turned the paper around. The blank side was looking quite inviting. I grabbed the fountain pen again and quickly wrote down a few words. Twenty-three to be exact. In hindsight, the unusual string of letters I had chosen to engrave on the paper did not make much sense together. But it was a message all the same. A message which had come from depths of my heart I never even knew existed.

I folded up the message into a paper plane with the rose side out. Despite knowing that the freezing winds would greet me, I built up the courage and opened my balcony window. So cold. I knew there was no chance it would reach her, but it was better than moping around feeling helpless.

”Ciella. Please do not cry. I swear it will get better. ”

I gave the plane a light peck and then let it go. The winds immediately picked it up, and soon it had disappeared into the night sky.

”There. ”

I could not help but smile. I felt like I had done something.

Feeling a bit less useless than when I had walked out, I crept back into the bedroom, which was now the metropolis of cold.

I jumped back into bed. Now I will be able to fall asleep.

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