“Get out.” 

The palace manager bowed and disappeared, behaving like a typical treacherous vassal.

As he headed out, the Crown Prince mumbled in contempt, “What a pest.”  

The palace manager was so transparent that it was obvious what went inside his head.
He must have done it just to ingratiate himself; he was a typical bootlicker who only wanted power without thinking about the responsibilities that came along with it.
‘I’ll get rid of him once the opportunity arises.’

“Am I done for today’s schedule?” The Crown Prince asked Viscount Almond, the Royal Guard Knight who had been silently standing behind him.

“Yes, Your Highness.” 

“I see.” 

The Crown Prince took off his iron mask and placed it on his desk.
Without it, his bare face looked extremely beautiful. 

Viscount Almond, the Royal Guard Knight, glanced at the Crown Prince’s visage; one could never imagine such beauty was lurking beneath an iron mask. 

His soft and delicate features had the same allure as a woman—no, rather, they were far superior.
He looked exquisitely out of this world. 

However, his blue, jewel-like eyes were as cold as ice, befitting the epithet ‘Prince of Blood’.
A mere eye contact with them would give someone the chills. 

“I’m so exhausted.”

“Do you feel uncomfortable somewhere?” 

“No, not like that.” The prince shook his head.
He wasn’t particularly ill, he was just really tired.
He closed his eyes for a moment and then rose from his seat. 

Wondering what he was up to, Almond asked, “Where are you going?”

“I’ll go for a quick walk.”

“Now? In this heavy rain?” 

“It’ll be fine.
I’ll use a raincoat and umbrella.”

He shook his head as Almond tried to dissuade him further.
Taking off his mask to discreetly go out for a walk was his only respite.

“Then I will escort you.”

“No, I’ll go alone.
I want to go to that place by myself.”


“I’ll go see my mother.” The Crown Prince answered, putting on a raincoat.

The grave of his mother, the Third Empress, was located in the garden next to the labyrinth.
The imperial family could not visit it due to her dishonorable death, though it was from a false accusation. 

Since no one had visited the Rose Palace after her death 10 years ago, it was left unattended.
The only visitor was his full sibling, the Seventh Princess.
However, after his sister was poisoned, he became the sole visitor of the Rose Palace. 

‘I had no choice but to visit her secretly.’ 

The person who framed his mother was none other than his father.
No one actually believed she committed a crime, but nonetheless, she had no choice but to die. 

All because it was the Emperor’s will. 

‘What a joke.’ Crown Prince Rael pursed his lips.
His smile was as cold as ice. 

Indeed, how droll.
Just like his mother, his whole life was nothing but a big punchline. 

But suddenly, his musings faltered when he got closer to the Rose Palace, unexpectedly hearing a sound through the rain. 

‘What’s this?’ 

Kkang! Kkang! Kkang! A constant sound of metal and stone colliding.

Rael clicked his tongue.
What on earth did the palace manager tell the sculptor, for them to work this hard on such a rainy evening?

*koreans don’t have gendered pronouns! so im using they/them since he doesn’t know the identity of the sculptor, therefore he doesn’t know the gender~

‘There’s no need for that, so I’ll order them to get in and rest.’ He thought, stepping into the garden. 

Kkang! Kkang! Kkang!

The sound got louder as he got closer, and it wasn’t long until the sculpture’s face came into his line of sight. 

He stopped dead in his tracks.

Without realizing it, Rael swallowed back a sob.
‘This… How is this possible?’

It wasn’t a finished piece yet, as the sculptor was still sculpting its face.
But it made him bite his lip nonetheless. 

“Mother.” He whispered and bit his lip.

A word he had forgotten the moment he chose to walk the path of blood. 

In the stone sculpture lies the image of his mother. 

Despite going through melancholy, she was full of love.
To him, she was everything.
She carried on her wretched life just for them, and even in her last moments, she faced death worrying for him.

‘Rael, Rael.
Don’t be scared, Mama’s here.’ It’s as if he could hear her voice from the past. 

It also felt like the sculpture’s smile was directed at him. 

‘How foolish.’ Watching the sculptor absorbed in their work, he suppressed the heart that moved him to tears, since it didn’t fit his image of being the Prince of Blood. 

‘Who’s this? What kind of sculptor are they?’ He couldn’t see their face at all because they had their back turned with a thick raincoat on.
He could only tell that they were skinny and petite. 

He shook his head, thinking of what to say. 

Kkang! Kkang! Kkang!

The way they carved was sublime.
They looked reverent as if they were worshiping a God, rather than simply sculpting a stone. 

‘I shouldn’t disturb them.’ He thought, turning away.

He must generously reward the sculptor who made him feel like his mother was alive again.
‘As soon as the sun rises tomorrow, I’ll summon them to the palace and reward them.’ 


The sun had already risen.

All the rain from the previous night had stopped by dawn, so Hans and his landscapers were back in the garden to work.
Once they saw the sculpture, they were in shock.

“How did this happen?!” 

The face of the sculpture had been completed.
It was definitely unfinished as of last night!

“What the…” Hans couldn’t wrap his head around it, looking completely spooked. 

On top of that, it was completed to extreme perfection.
Not only did it encapsulate the Third Empress’ beauty, but it captured her soul as well. 

‘How does one make such a sculpture like this?’ 

Hans, the best sculptor in the empire, was nothing compared to the person who finished the sculpture.
‘Their skill is definitely on an entirely peerless level.’

‘What in the world…’ He couldn’t believe it, looking at it over and over again.
Who the hell came last night and did this! 

Suddenly, someone next to him sneezed.
“Achoo!” It was Marie.
Her cheeks were flushed and she was sniffing as if she had caught a cold last night. 

“Marie? Did you catch a cold?” 

“Ah… yes.

“What happened? You need to be careful.”

“It’s fine.

“Uh, Mister Hans.” Marie called with a runny nose.


“That sculpture… Is it okay? I know nothing about you know… so…” The oddly conscious way she asked puzzled Hans, acting as if she sculpted it herself.

“It’s the best sculpture I’ve ever seen.”


“Yes the sculpture articulated everything.
It isn’t perfect in outer appearances only, but rather, you can also feel the soul in it.
Such a piece like that is impossible to replicate.”

“Then His Highness won’t punish you anymore, right?” 

“Of course.
This is the best sculpture I’ve ever seen in my life, so I don’t think I will get in trouble.” 

‘Rather than punishment, I’ll be rewarded.
But who did it? It’s as if an angel came down from heaven last night.’ Hans thought. 

As a matter of fact, Hans had been praying vehemently last night. Any kind of miracle is fine, please help me. 

Didn’t that mean an angel truly came  down from heaven?

Hearing Hans’ words, Marie beamed, her face flushed from a cold.
What a relief.” 

But suddenly—


The harsh sound of boots loomed before them.
Turning their heads in confusion, they saw a Royal Knight wearing an eagle insignia approach. 

“I am Viscount Almond, the Royal Guard Knight of His Highness the Crown Prince.” 


Everyone was nervous at the sudden appearance of a Royal Guard Knight, fretting over why he came to the garden. 

“Who’s the sculptor here?” 

“It’s me.
I’m in charge of the sculpture.” Hans raised his hand hesitantly.

The knight spoke in a low voice.
“His Highness the Crown Prince is looking for you.
Follow me.” 


Hans, terrified, followed the Guard Knight. 

‘W-Why me?’ Unaware that the Crown Prince had seen the sculpture, he imagined all sorts of frightening things.

Rael, who rose to become the Crown Prince by shedding countless amounts of blood, was feared by the general public. 

‘I heard he takes a bath in the blood of a virgin every night; or that he consumes human flesh.
Or that he enjoys torturing people.’ Hans thought, recalling the rumors surrounding the Crown Prince. 

‘Is he going to torture me and eat my flesh?’ Hans shuddered. 

Viscount Almond looked at him and asked in a puzzled voice, “What are you doing? Why aren’t you following me?”

“Uh, Sir Knight, am I going to die today?”


“Oh God! Please spare me.
I have a wife at home who constantly nags and a daughter as well who looks like a cute toad…” 

*he meant those affectionately (i cannot stress this enough) i added cute, just in case it won’t translate well

Almond looked at him weirdly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Are you hallucinating right now? His Highness is waiting for you, so hurry up and follow me.”

Thus, Hans halfheartedly followed Almond, riddled with fear. 

Once he entered the Lion Palace, his fear skyrocketed as he gazed at the Crown Prince’s iron mask.

‘What a b-bloody mask!’ It was evident that the blood stains from the civil war had not dried up since.

Hans hiccuped at the thought that his blood might now trickle through that mask. 

However, the words that came out of the Crown Prince’s mouth were completely unexpected.
“I summoned you here to reward you for your hard work.”

“Yes… please spare my life…! Pardon?” Groveling in reflex, Hans’ mouth hung open in shock. 

Nonplussed, the Crown Prince looked at Almond with a slight frown.
“Spare you? There must’ve been some kind of misunderstanding.
Almond, did I not ask you to escort him here in a respectful manner?” 

“…I escorted him nicely.” 

“Hans, was it?”

Hans bowed his head immediately.
“Y-Yes, Your Highness! This humble servant’s name is Hans.” 

As I’ve said earlier, I called you here to give you a reward.” 

Upon hearing that, Hans’ eyes widened.
He’s glad that he wouldn’t be executed but a reward all of a sudden? What on earth is happening? 

But when the Crown Prince elaborated, it dawned on him.
“I saw the sculpture you did last night.
It was really impressive.” 

Hans became speechless. 

The Crown Prince went on.
“I have never seen such a magnificent sculpture in my life.
Is there anything you want? I’ll give you anything you want as much as possible.” 


Hans remained dumbfounded at the unexpected turn of events. 

When he did not respond, the Crown Prince asked in a bemused voice, “What’s wrong? It’s okay, tell me.
It won’t be a problem.” 

“…It’s not me, Your Highness.”


t/n: i haven’t read the manhwa for a while so i had to check what rael looked like in the adaptation, and like, he didn’t look… feminine enough.
i need him to be a pretty flower boy! also he’s the perfect morally grey character, oh my.
it would’ve been perfect if he had dark hair!


点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like