Where Edwin stopped before coming here. The reason why the King is not here, unlike other members of the royal family. Those things were like two distant things. Was there a line connecting them?
Duon slowly rolled his eyes and looked at Edwin again. Bloodstains on his face. Drops of blood ran down his armor and dripped onto the floor. And the thick smell of blood wafting from him.
Thud. His heart came crashing down. A realization he hadn’t even thought of came raining down on him like a wave. He vaguely assumed that it was the blood of one of the soldiers, but it might be of someone of his kin. He felt sick to the stomach.
“Stop, please. Don’t tell me….… His Majesty…… ?”
Duon began to tremble hard. Was he trembling out of fear? Or was he trembling with anger? He didn’t even know anymore.
Edwin looked at Duon quietly. Duon understood what Edwin was saying. And Edwin himself noticed that fact. It was something he didn’t have to say.
“You don’t have to be sad. You won’t be apart for very long.”
“That…… What are you talking about?”
Duon forced his voice and asked. He must have felt the growing heat of death, so Philip, who was by his side, pressed his body against Duon. He was like a frightened baby bird digging into its mother bird’s arms.
Sensing that, Edwin’s gaze turned to Duon’s younger cousin. Was he thirteen or fourteen? Another boy’s face floated on top of the boy looking up at Edwin with a youthful face. It was a fleeting moment, but a piece of faint emotion emerged in Edwin’s eyes. It seemed that the face, which was like a statue carved out of ice, had a thin layer of human color applied to it.
But that’s only for a moment.
When Edwin turned his gaze back to Duon, all emotion was gone from him. Looking down at Duon, his expression was as cold and indifferent as before.
“Didn’t I tell you? My third condition.”
This country will never be able to be rebuilt again, Brimdel will be dried of all the royal seed.
Edwin took his hand to the sword slung around his waist.
“Unfortunately, Your Highness Duon.”
Then, slowly calling out Duon’s name, he drew the sword from the scabbard. The long, sharp sword screeched bitterly at its master’s hand. The light of the torch was reflected on the well-forged blade, emitting an eerie light.
“You are included in it.”
Edwin’s eyes burned with even more coldness.
* * *
Like everything in the world, the noise that seemed to go on endlessly came to an end soon. The thumping sound that seemed to destroy the castle had stopped, and the tearing screams had long since died down.
When the chaotic time ended, an unusually thick silence and stillness came. Only black smoke remained in the place where it had been roaring with destruction and chaos.
A person stood in a spacious room filled with extravagant ornaments and luxurious furniture. Covering her face with a deep gray hood, she had a small and diminutive physique to be called an adult.
She stood by the window and stared out of it. The clear sky turned hazy due to smoke rising from the ashes of the capital.
“Was it to your liking?”
Someone asked behind her back. It was a cold voice like a blizzard in the middle of winter.
Seronach took her eyes off the window and slowly turned to look at the man who was talking to her. Edwin, wearing dark red armor, was standing leaning against the doorway, looking at her.
How long has he been standing there? Even though he was wearing a lot of equipment that looked heavy at first glance, she didn’t feel any presence from Edwin. Still, Seronach was not surprised. Edwin was a man who could hide his presence if he wanted to.
“Brimdel faced catastrophe, and the capital burned to ashes. Everything is as you prophesied.”
Edwin said slowly.
“I wonder what it feels like to see a country you so much wanted to protect collapse right in front of your eyes.”
“…… Did you kill the King?”
Despite Edwin’s provocation, Seronach did not sway easily. Edwin stared blankly at her as he asked without any change of expression, like an emotionless doll. The shadow cast under the hood attached to the robe was absolutely black.
Before long, Edwin chuckled.
“Strange. Aren’t you the one who knows everything?”
The great and wise prophet of Brimdel, Seronach. An existence that can destroy the most powerful family in the Kingdom with just one word. Also, a magical being who has been by the side of the royal family and has protected this country for a long time. Living twice as long as an ordinary human’s lifespan.
Edwin’s eyes darkened as he looked at Seronach.
After inheriting the will of his family and spending about a year in a desolate outskirts to protect his country, the news that came back to him was that all members of his family had been executed. That too, for the ridiculous charge of trying to rebel against the royal family.
He didn’t even think to protest the King’s order. From the day he was born until now, he has been a loyal dog to the royal family. So even though he was beaten with a mace for no reason, he never thought of biting his master.
However, the person who put the mace into the King’s hand was the prophet in front of him, Seronach. Why on earth? The Redfords had no reason to quarrel with Brimdel’s great prophet, Seronach. Both sides sacrificed themselves for the safety and prosperity of the royal family.
Questions followed one after another. But he couldn’t find any answer at all.
“Do you think you will be safe even if you have the King’s blood on your hands?”
“He was your King. You and your family have supported and protected them for half a thousand years.”
Edwin’s expression hardened at Seronach’s words. He recalled the image of Gillion, the King of Brimdel, whom he had been alone with a while ago.
As the Kustan soldiers who had crossed the collapsed walls rushed into the castle like a swarm of ants, Gillion tried to get out of the castle through the royal family’s secret passage. But he couldn’t get far. Edwin, who knew about the existence of the secret passage, had placed his soldiers there in advance and blocked the way.
‘Please save that child, save Duon.’
Kneeling on the cold stone floor, Gillion pleaded with Edwin. It seems that he didn’t have time to take the crown as he ran away in a hurry, so his empty head looked very shabby.
‘He was the child who begged to save you. He’s the lifesaver who saved your life.’
He wasn’t asking the enemy general who captured him as the King of a country. It was a request made with a father’s heart begging for the life of his child, to someone he had known for a long time.
‘He is more precious than my life. He is a child who will carry on the history of this country. Please. I don’t care if you kill me right now, so please let him live.’
‘So, did His Majesty protect the things that are precious to me?’
Edwin, who had been listening to Gillion quietly, asked.
‘Did Your Majesty ever give me a chance to protect her?’
Edwin endured even when he was robbed. He wasn’t completely greedy, he didn’t want too many things either. Even though he was pushed into a cramped cage with his wings broken, he tried to live with gratitude for the single ray of light that shined on him.
Herietta MacKenzie. As long as he had her. If only she could have stayed by his side. If that was the case, he would have lived content enough with his life. No matter how gutter-like his life was, he would have endured it somehow.
Was he asking for too much?
‘You can’t kill me.’
Gillion glared at Edwin and assured him.
‘I am the King of Brimdel. Am I not your king?’
Gillion raised his chin slightly and said. It was a shabby figure sitting on the floor without even wearing his crown, but his attitude couldn’t be more arrogant and confident than that. It was as if he was reminding the other person of an obvious fact.
Edwin looked down at Gillion like that.
King of Brimdel. The master of the Redford family.
That had strangled and gnawed at his family for hundreds of years.
‘Wrong, Your Majesty.’
Edwin corrected Gillion’s words. It all started with a false belief that he had forced himself to do.
‘You are no longer my master.’
If only he had realized that fact a little sooner. Edwin deeply regretted it. If he did, something might have changed. He might not have lost her.
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