The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 47
“If you want to ask anything about it, you can ask. It would be ridiculous to come here and hide it as a secret.”
“There is none.”
“Yes. Even if I come to find out the truth now, nothing will change.”
Edwin replied with a calm face. As if he had mastered the complicated history of the world long ago. Duon narrowed his eyebrows at the unexpected answer. There’s no way his offer to tell the truth as he pleases wouldn’t have appealed to Edwin.
After that, Duon sighed deeply.
“Yes. If I had heard such nonsense that the family had collapsed at the mere whispers of a prophet, I would have been speechless.”
“But Serronac is not just a prophet, is she?”
Edwin asked quietly.
Serronac. The people called her that way. Whether it’s her name, her maiden name, or a pseudonym. No one knew about her.
Her hometown, her origin, and even her age were unclear. Little was known about her, and the only thing known about her was that she suddenly appeared at some point and that she had entrusted herself to the royal family of Brimdel.
She seldom appeared before the public for a long time, and the people even regarded her as something from mystical legends.
Edwin had only seen Serronac once. It was the day he entered the royal palace to fulfill the king’s command to send him to the outskirts.
The prophet, who was wearing a black coat from head to toe, looked at him quietly from behind the king. The presence of her looking at him, hiding her face in the shadows without saying a word, felt very foreign to him.
But it was the first and the last time he saw her. The meeting between Edwin, the next head of the Redford family, and Serronac, who was known as the most outstanding prophet in the Kingdom of Brimdel. So it was something he just ignored.
“You are right. She is a very talented prophet. We actually haven’t found anything wrong with what she prophesied yet.”
Duon said with a bitter smile.
“But unfortunately, that excellence has become poison. For my father… The king of this country now believes that everything she says is true, and has trusted her so blindly that he hangs his neck to her.”
“He is no longer a leader who is careful and wise and knocks on the stone bridge two or three times before they cross. Brimdel is no longer under the rule of the king; it lies at the feet of Serronac, who sits on top of the king’s head.”
Duon remembered the image of his father who supported and worshiped Serronac like a goddess. His trust in her was so blind that he wondered if he would cut even him, his child and successor, at her word.
He heard that the current king was also wary and suspicious of Serronac like he was now when the king was young. But at some point he began to listen to her, and he became seriously dependent on her prophecies.
And it would not have been only the current king. The countless kings of Brimdel in the past may have walked the same path. As he doesn’t know Serronac, the time she spent in Brimdel and assumed the role of the king’s prophet was at least twice as long as the lifespan of an average human.
‘Maybe one day I will be like that too.’
A thought that had haunted Duon for quite some time came to erode him again.
‘Like them, under her spell. I would become a puppet.’
His eyelashes trembled as he opened and closed his eyes.
“… I said I wouldn’t ask anything, but can I ask you one thing?”
Edwin, who had been silent, asked softly. Duon nodded to indicate that it was okay. Edwin waited for about a beat before opening his mouth.
“Did Lord Duon… believe that?”
“Serronac’s prophecy that Redford will destroy Brimdel and eventually lead them to the path of ruin.”
The cursed prophecy that made the King of Brimdel order the annihilation of all the people of the Redford family, whom he had loved so much. That terrible prophecy that completely changed the situation in the kingdom like turning the palm of his hand overnight.
A secret prophecy that he didn’t even know existed until Vivianne gave him a hint.
[The end of Brimdel, which has endured a long period of five hundred years, is coming. Catastrophe is coming. Destruction is coming. The whole country will be engulfed in fire and become ashes, and the blood of those who tried to stop it will flow as a river. Ahh. This is my song to mourn for a country that will soon be on the road to ruin.
My king. My king, who will be remembered as the last king of the deceased who will disappear without a trace from the map. Kill Duke Redford right now. Otherwise, Brimdel’s future will be scattered like a handful of sand in the wind.]
Due to this, the former Duke Redford, Iorn, who was more loyal to the royal family than anyone else, was falsely accused of treason and died under the cold blade. Rather than the hound biting the master, the king did not hesitate at all to cut off his neck, even though the Duke had devoted all his loyalty to the end.
It was a future that had not yet happened. Or it was a future that could never happen. But the king, afraid of that uncertainty, made a mess of the present and cut it mercilessly.
Why? On what grounds?
The answer to that was simple and clear. Because Serronac, the great prophet of Brimdel, prophesied so.
The moment the prophecy left her lips, the prophecy was true to the king. Before the word took shape and bit him, he had to kill it first. There was no room left for investigation and interrogation.
He ordered the capture of Iorn, to which Serronac’s prophecy pointed, before the sun went down, and he wanted his neck to fall to the ground before a week had passed. Also, fearing that there would be a backlash against him in the future, he wished for the death of everyone with the surname Redford.
[‘It’s good not to leave any kind of spark behind.’]
The noblest being in Brimdel murmured with a flash of madness in his eyes. And his cruel wish came true.
Duon, reminiscing about the past, looked down at the ground for a long time.
“What would you like me to say?”
“Whatever it is, I want you to tell the truth.”
Duon, who was silently repeating Edwin’s words, sighed. He felt like he was being asked a very difficult question. But he had to answer. Because it was Duon himself who allowed Edwin to ask any questions.
“There are only a few families with a history as long as Brimdel’s, including the Redford family. And among them, the Redford family was the only one who stayed by the royal family for a long time and showed unchanging loyalty.”
Duon gazed into the distance over Edwin’s shoulder.
“Weren’t the Redfords’ loyalty to the royal family famous from the beginning? Even I, who was watching from the side, could affirm that. Your father, Iorn, the former Duke Redford, had a character that lived up to his reputation. He was loyal enough to be old-fashioned, and applied it so well that it was boring. He was a great man who would rather betray himself than betray the king of Brimdel. Then he suddenly changes and destroys the country and overthrows the kingship? A passing dog would laugh.”
Duon laughed, as if it was ridiculous just thinking about it. He also seemed to ridicule an invisible object. But after a while, his laughter gradually subsided.
“Yes, right. It was such nonsense that a passing dog would laugh at…”
Duon’s eyes, who were looking at a distant place without focus, darkened.
He remembered the figure of Serronac who was prophesying. She always covered her face and her entire body with a black coat, so it was unknown whether it was an old woman, a young woman, or a young girl who was hiding inside.
The moment she uttered her prophecy, her voice was mingled with various sounds, and her gray eyes gleamed so beautifully that even a shadow could not be hidden. It made him feel both fearful and awed at the same time, to the extent that his legs trembled and his body sweated coldly just by looking at her.
‘It’s definitely not human.’
Instinct whispered to Duon, who was unable to move because of fear. And he realized. In the royal castle, something other than humans lives. No. A parasite.
Something that shouldn’t exist in this day and age.
Duon, unable to withstand the fear that was approaching, ran away from the spot. There was not even time to worry that he would look ugly or clumsy. He just wanted his legs to take him as fast and as far as possible.
“Then why did you keep me alive?”
After reading Duon’s hesitation, Edwin asked.
“Aren’t I also a Redford?”
“Yes. You were a great Redford, too.”
Duon smiled weakly and nodded.
“But Duke Redford in the prophecy was not you, but Iorn, your father. So I had no reason to take your life.”