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Running as fast as he could, Sinbad slowed down as he reached their quarters in the Soleil Palace. Catching his breath, he stopped in front of their door. Sensing two presences behind it, he narrowed his eyes. But, he didn't mind. Back then, he would've but, he was no longer the insecure fool he was. Partly because of his own actions in making sure that Lucy would not turn to Masrur by negotiating with her the two's safety but also because he had spent the last five years competing against Masrur for her heart. After all the effort the two put in, it could be said that the two were on equal footing in Lucy's heart. Having caught his breath, he knocked on the door.

"Lucy, I'm coming in," he said before opening the door.

He saw Lucy sitting at the edge of their bed and next to her stood Masrur as always. The two exchanged a glance and it was only during these times that the two were on the same page, calling a truce. Sinbad nodded his head, telling him he had taken care of it. Knowing that Lucy needed Sinbad right now, Masrur reluctantly left. Even though they were on equal footing, it was clear that Sinbad had the upper hand since, in the Royal Harem, the only one she could turn to was Sinbad.


He furrowed his brows in worry and pain as he called out to her in the most tender and gentle voice. His heart broke seeing her sit there in silence as he was reminded of the days she had been Kouen's Imperial Noble Consort where her only duty was to sit there and look pretty next to Kouen, her authority as the Head of the Heartfilia Household completely ignored.

"I," she began, her lips trembling. "I just wanted to continue the relationship we had back in the Imperial Palace."

He pulled his lips into a firm line as he shared her pain.


I wish Lucy-neesama had died in the Cold Palace.

She closed her eyes as the tears welled up in her eyes, her lashes wet with tears as they rolled down her face. She had said those words so easily as if she had always longed to say them and thinking of the long years they had been together, she wondered if everything had been a lie. But, most of all, she couldn't help but think it was all her fault. Since her arrival and even after Sikandar and Masud's birth, she couldn't help but be on guard as a result of what she went through in the Imperial Palace. As a result, she might have distanced herself from Kougyoku. But, she tried her best to not let the thoughts of others sway her for she knew Kougyoku would never try to harm her or her children. She trusted her. Even then, she was the one who distanced herself from her and so, was the first to betray her.

"It's my fault," she broke down and Sinbad widened his eyes. "It's my fault that Kougyoku was hurt. I was the one who hurt her."

"No!" Sinbad argued. "None of it was your fault!"

"But if I hadn't come here...if I hadn't asked you to free me from that place, then maybe Kougyoku would..." she trailed off before lowering her head in guilt. "I should've died there. If I did, none of this would've happened. My existence only brings about trouble," she laughed hatefully at herself.

Sinbad stopped her from saying any further as he gripped her hands firmly yet tenderly, careful not to hurt her. He looked her in the eye and she stared back.

"Even if you had died then and there, she would've never become my Queen."

Lucy smiled softly. "You can't be sure of what has not happened and what cannot happen."

He shook his head, his amber eyes firm and unwavering. "I'm certain," he answered without the slightest hesitation. "Remember the vow I had made on our wedding day?"

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