Annette attended the dinner following Heiner’s promotion ceremony.


She sat directly across from him and listened to him talk.
Sometimes she even laughed a little, covering her mouth with her hand.


The atmosphere was much more convivial, but Heiner could not erase the feeling that he was alone and apart.
It was as if he existed in a place where he should not be.


Heiner was the only one who recognized her presence and was struck with a strange fear every time she called his name, making eye contact.


This was the person he had always seen from afar.
She was the one he had longed for.
She was the one he dared not speak a word to, the one who was far away.


The gaze of the young lady, who was thought of as an unreachable Saint was more terrifying than exciting.
In front of those glassy eyes, Heiner couldn’t even breathe properly.


He was no longer the shabby orphan boy he had been when he was officially commissioned.
He was a promising young officer and a trusted confidant of the Marquis.


Still, Heiner felt infinitely low.


He hated himself for not being able to take his eyes off her.


Since their first meeting they had met quite often.
They met at the Marquis’s residence, at a social party hosted by a certain nobleman, and at a  performance hall.


Sometimes it was coincidental, sometimes not.
In any case, they met quite often.


Around that time, the Sutherlane Island training camp was briefly abandoned because of the search for spies.
Marquis Dietrich ordered a rigorous search.


Trainees who had not yet reached adulthood were interrogated.
If they were unlucky, they were suspected of being spies and executed.
Many who had already graduated and were active in their current positions were also taken away.


Heiner did not know if there really were spies in the training camp or if it was just a groundless fear.
Of course, he didn’t think it was just a lie.
He had seen the precedent of Jackson.


But was this really the right way the Marquis was taking?


Heiner wondered.
He was not a qualified judge of good and evil, but he could at least question it.


Was this right?


He questioned and questioned, but he could not come to a conclusion.
But…… he wanted to bring down the Marquis.


It was around that time that Heiner began to gradually join the revolutionary forces.


He had learned of the existence of the Padanian revolutionary army when he stole secrets from France and fled.
France had sponsored the revolutionary army in order to create internal strife in Padania.


He originally intended to report it to the Marquis.
However, when he returned to Padania alone, he destroyed the document.


After that, Heiner occasionally passed on military information and supplies, large and small, anonymously to the revolutionary army.
He did so knowing that if he was discovered, he would be summarily executed.


It was not because he had a great sense of justice or a sense of purpose.
It was motivated by the outbursts of a broken and distorted mind.


The woman.


Annette Rosenberg.


Having so much blood on his hands, having lived this way

was entirely the woman’s fault.
His twisted mind convinced.


Someone had to take the blame.


No matter how.


Heiner prayed every night in front of the forever-lit candle.
He didn’t believe in God, but just memorized and re-memorized it like a life prayer.


I hope you despair as much as I despair, I hope you lose as much as I lost.


As long as my life has been dark, may yours be too… 


Prayers that reached nowhere scattered in his mouth.
Whssh, the candle flickered.




On the fourth day they met, Heiner stopped her for a moment before returning and asked.


“Miss Annette, may I have a moment of your time this weekend? If it’s not too much of a burden……… I’d like to treat you to a meal.”


Annette nodded with a shy, but familiar, smile.


She had liked him from the first time she had met Heiner.
Heiner could see that fact without difficulty.


But he also knew how light and shallow the liking Annette had for him was.


“Miss Annette is a great romantic.
And look at her appearance.
That’s why  it’s not always a matter of dating men of high status.” (A colleague)


She had probably met a lot of men with whom she was slightly attracted.
And if she did and her heart cooled, she would have broken up with them.


Annette Rosenberg was the most beautiful and noble woman in Lancaster.
There would have been no man she could not have had if she had wanted him.


He was sure he would be one of her many dates…


He wouldn’t let it go that way.


He would not be one of those men she met and broke up with easily.
He had to be the ideal partner she wanted.


It was not difficult to play the perfect lover.
Heiner had once approached the colonel’s secretary and briefly pretended to be her lover in order to assassinate Colonel Rowanov.


The colonel’s secretary preferred a rational, intelligent man.
Heiner approached her under the guise of a fake lawyer.


A competent lawyer, with whom she could have a sophisticated conversation about international affairs and economic trends.
Heiner brilliantly portrayed her ideal type.


For a short period of time, the secretary was completely smitten with Heiner.
The operation was successful before they officially became lovers, and he simply walked away without a word to the woman.


Everything would be the same as it had been then.
Heiner thought.
Changing his identity and personality was familiar to him.


Heiner began to gather all the information he could about Annette.


Her hobbies, food preferences, favorite books and operas, artists she admired, recent concerts she had seen, places she had and never been to, the types of men she had met before, the reason she broke up with them…


He had a perfect grasp of Annette Rosenberg and led every conversation around her 



“Oh my, have you read that book?” (A)


 “Yes, I have.
It’s one of my favorite books.
The scene right after Ivan escapes from prison is so memorable that it stays in my memory forever.” (H)


“I like that scene too! The twisted and broken psychological portrayal of Ivan as he wonders if he should go back to jail again is really ……” (A)


“It’s not a very famous book, but it’s amazing that Miss Rosenberg read it.” (H)


“I am very curious about Mr Valdemar too.
I thought all soldiers didn’t like literature.” (A)


“Haha, why did you think that?” (H)


“Don’t think it’s an outdated prejudice; it’s not.
As you know, half of the men I met, including my father, were in the military.
They thought that literature made the world unhappy and pessimistic.” (A)


“It is the job of writers to show the light and dark side of society.” (H)


Valdemar is very literary in your choice of words.
Aren’t you actually working as a writer on the side?” (A)


 “Oh, I’ve been found out.” (H)


“Haha, what kind of books have you written, writer?” (A)


 “I wrote a book on tactics, analyzing aspects of second generation warfare.” (H)


“I won’t look at it then.” (A)


Heiner met regularly with Annette.
He ate the foods she liked, went to the places she liked, and did the things she liked.


He always gave her flowers whenever they met.
If there was anything she noticed while they were together, he would secretly buy it and give it to her right before they parted ways.


Heiner worked hard to mold himself perfectly to her tastes.


A young and promising officer who was handsome, fashionable, kind, affectionate, romantic, yet not too lighthearted, and a lover of culture and art.


All was well. 


Annette was a different woman in every way from him.
She was accustomed to being loved and was also equally lovely.


Heiner rather wished she had been less lovely.


All was well.


Occasionally, Heiner would suddenly find himself engrossed in the pretense of a fake lover.
When he left her and went home, he felt as if he had awakened from a sweet dream.


All was well. 


Every time he saw Annette, he would find a new aspect of her.
She was good and kind, but at the same time aristocratic.


It was not because of her nature, but because of the life she had been given.
Since no one attacked her, she did not have to attack anyone either.


She could be good because of that, and because of that she could be kind.


Realizing the brutality of the world was the challenge of life, the opposite of his life, where he had to kill to not die.


Heiner both admired and hated everything she enjoyed and wanted to destroy it.
The more frequent his encounters with her, the greater his longing and obsession became.


All was well………..


“What are you thinking, Mr.




Heiner came to his senses belatedly.
Annette was looking at him with her shining eyes.



The sleepless night had left him in a daze.
He swept his face once with the palm of his hand and then apologized.


“I’m sorry.
I’ve been working very hard lately.” (H)


“I heard you’ve been busy.
Why did you come out when you could have just rested? It wasn’t even the day we were supposed to meet originally—” (A)


Heiner smiled and replied calmly.


“Is there a day we should and should not meet? I just want to see the lady whenever I feel like it.” (H)


To which Annette did not answer for a moment, but stared up at him.
A strange silence followed.
Heiner looked at her, wondering if he had said something wrong.




But the words that came out of Annette’s mouth were a little different than he expected.


“Are you confessing to me?”

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