Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
Walking on the street of Lissan made Carlos extremely heavy-hearted. Too much has happened today and any of them will cause a dramatic effect for the future. Earlier today, a man as responsible as Carlos couldn’t even spare some time to think about them. Now since the battle has come to an end, he felt the severity of the matters and the urge to go through them one by one.
However, just the slight thought of what could happen based on what just happened exhausted Carlos. He was a considerable man, but now he’d rather die on the battlefield than be burdened with this kind of pressure.
The agony that King Fischer had sacrificed himself in the name of the empire was sorrowful. What was more depressing was the unknown solution for the problems King Fischer has left.
Like many civic courtiers loyal to the Summers House, Carlos did not think King Fischer’s last decision to pass the throne to Cohen was a good idea. Carlos tended to act out of sense rather than impulse. Although Commander Cohen certainly excelled everyone else in certain aspects, letting a man who wouldn’t even want to be a viceroy to be a king was truly worrisome.
Not to mention the civil servants. They gathered in Kheda’s place because the king was there. Amongst them, few had favored Cohen, let along known him. They were going to argue or even fight about whether Cohen Kheda was the proper one to succeed the throne. How could he be the king if he cannot gain the courtiers’ support?
King Fischer should have seen all the angles. But why didn’t he give the throne to Visual Kheda who was loved by everyone in the court? It could be much better this way.
“What was King Fischer thinking? Is there something deeper that I haven’t considered? Could King Fischer just knew Commander Cohen will be the best choice for the position? Maybe this is
The gap between me and him?”
Carlos had to force himself onto other matters because he just couldn’t come up with an answer.
Judging by the most recent intelligence, the rebels had suffered a heavy loss. Therefore Luhrmann will not be able to organize any attacks for quite a while. However, they still had enough manpower to maintain their current defense structure.
The neutral provinces that Cohen and Carlos worked so hard to win over had all joined the Prime Minister’s side. Consequently, a situation like this would not allow Cohen Kheda to attack the rebels with a sheer force and goods of 2 provinces.
Now the food was a problem as well. The 36 Clans Cohen brought back from the P/A Line had increased the population of Darkmoon and Dark City by 2 million. Before today, City Hall has merely come up with a solution to feed and settle these people with every grain and penny they had. Just to keep these people from starving was a huge problem, let alone sparing any food to war.
What about Commander Cohen? He’s alive. But from past experience, his recovery could take a long while. Carlos intended to have a serious discussion with Viceroy Visual and City Hall’s supervisors. If Commander Cohen refused to listen, he might end up being lock away for some time.
And Carlos had no idea how to tell Cohen.
How about, “Sir, think before you act! We don’t have enough food to wage another war.”
Commander Cohen could go furious.
What about, “Sir, let’s wait it out. It’s almost the new year.”
Well, Commander Cohen will swallow whoever said like that.
“Either way, I cannot let him attack!” Carlos made up his mind. As for anything other than attacking, he intended to suffice him anyhow.
Wounded soldiers crowded either side of a broad road as healers and shamans making themselves busy healing them. Carlos was assured that Cohen’s new armor modification worked because he noticed very few dying cases.
As Carlos passed by, those who can still move struggled to salute him as they saw his rank. Carlos was both moved and reluctant to see the scene.
“At ease, soldiers.” Carlos offered his requital, “That’s not necessary for you.”
“It’s okay, sir. I’ve been through worse.” A lieutenant still saluted obstinately. The pain made him stretched his lips, “There’s no wuss in the guarding troops.”
“Quit talking like that. Rest well, soldier.” Carlos showed a smile.
“Yes, sir.” Lieutenant replied then he asked, “Sir, is it true?”
“What His Majesty said on the siege tower.”
“Silence.” Carlos replaced the smile with a solemn face, “You don’t talk about it! There will be official decrees should there be further development.”
“Yes, sir.” Carlos’ face intimated the lieutenant, he naturally wanted to salute again, but Carlos stopped by pressing his shoulder.
He stood up, said slowly, “Do not speak of it again. If Commander Cohen heard soldiers talking, he’d be upset.”
Then Carlos headed to the viceroy’s mansion. On his arrival, Carlos’ deputy caught on and told him there were a total of 40 rebels’ captives, ranked colonel and up. There were 2 brigadiers as well.
“Take them to the LAD. Tell Lord Jack, I want their confession.” Having said that, Carlos entered the mansion to brief Viceroy Visual the battle.
After finishing his job with Visual Kheda, Carlos forced himself into the rear hall. Almost immediately, he saw Cohen Kheda. The latter was sitting in a chair. He was bandaged everywhere but his face including the rest of the head and his fingers. Filled with torpor, luckily, he still looked sane.
The one lying on the couch in front of Cohen was Fischer’s cold body.
Flynn nodded to Carlos, she then hinted to let him know things were much worse than Carlos had imagined.
“Cohen,” Flynn’s eyes were already reddened, she squatted by Cohen’s side, took one of his hand, said, “It’s hard to believe, I know. But Fischer is gone. We’re all very sorry…”
Cohen’s expression did not alter, he didn’t even move his eyes. Men and women beside him once again wept. Princess Bernie Ebbinghaus’ tears didn’t stop since Carlos’s entering.
“Cohen, please, rest. Fischer needs to change…” Then Flynn’s tears stopped her. She could not withhold it.
Eventually, all Cohen’s 3 wives tried to talk Cohen Kheda to go to his chamber and rest. However, Cohen expressed no reactions like he was deaf. His face showed no hint of sorrow nor a single drop of tear.
“Sir, the battle is over. Our army defeated all 3 rebel forces and they are pursuing the runners. And for your information, all courtiers are in the front hall. They’ve been over the edge since His Majesty’s announcement.”
Carlos had no choice but to tell Cohen about the war. He had to at least do something to get some reactions out of Cohen, even it means to make him cry. Cohen Kheda’s personality has always been about showing off, exaggerating. Such a face full of torpor was extremely terrifying rather than abnormal to people close to him.
After Carlos’ report, Cohen’s eyes left Fischer’s body for the first time. He asked his Chief of Staff with a hoarse sound, “What about them?”
“About the throne, I heard. They have questions. Likewise, small, ongoing discussions are taking place as we speak amongst our soldiers. Sir, I advise you to personally present in front of them just to stabilize the rumors, or at least issue an announcement…”
“Flynn,” Cohen interrupted Carlos, “go and search Fischer’s collar.”
“En…” Flynn did as she was told, she suddenly whispered a cry, “There’s something in there!”
Cohen merely nodded, “Letters. Read.”
“There are 2 letters written on pieces of cloth. One being the king’s decree, the other is the king’s private letter for you, Cohen.” Flynn’s voice choked once she saw Fischer’s familiar handwriting.
Flynn wiped her eyes and started reading the king’s decree.
Special Decree of Fischer Summers, 16th king of Swabia
Three hundred years have passed since the day the House of Summers succeeded the empire. Our ancestors have named this land Swabia because they wished her to be free of massacre and catastrophe of any kind. They hoped their people would lead peaceful lives, which has become the main purpose of each and every Swabian king. However, today we have to face a cruel fact: temple ordered officials conspired a rebellion against the throne, which led Swabia into a civil war and ultimately, made its people suffer.
During such internal havoc, in order to eliminate the rebels and recover the empire, I, Fischer Summers, king of Swabia, now decree, all members of the court, military or civil, shall follow, or he or she will be charged with treason.
Cohen Kheda, Viceroy of Dark City shall take over the throne as the 17th king of Swabia. He shall eradicate all rebels on this continent and recover Swabia as a whole.
Visual Kheda, Viceroy of Darkmoon shall be the minister of the empire and oversee all affairs of court.
Martin Luther shall be the empire’s First General to direct army affairs.
Steve Lorenzo shall be the Master of the Royal Academy and First Superintendent of Military Discipline.
Decreed, Fischer Summers, 16th King of Swabia
Everyone remained silent after the decree. No one knew how to comment because it seemed King Fischer had made his decision a long time ago.
“Flynn, bring it to the front hall and read it to them. Carlos, you watch them for me.” Having said that, came a brief silence, then Cohen talked like he was before, “Carey reads the second letter, everyone else out.”
People dared not disobey Cohen’s will so they followed.
Carey was utterly confused to hear that Cohen wanted her to read the private letter. Flynn handed it over a thin piece of cloth that has been folded many times.
Clearly Fischer has spent much time on it!
Once people have exited the chamber, Flynn hinted Carlos with her hand, therefore the latter quickly sealed this place with dozens of guards. They knew that Cohen had a purpose when he chose the most guileless person to read his private letter.
“Keep yourself here, Carlos, I have the front hall.” Flynn whispered, “Please watch Cohen for me. Before you came, he was raving and tried to strike himself with lightning.”
Carlos obeyed. He remained standing close by the stairs, anxiously trying to gather all sounds with his ears.
“Now?” Carey discreetly inquired, “My love?”
Therefore, Carey remained standing closely by Cohen’s side. With a lowered tone, she began reading the nearly uncatchable words written on the piece of thin, narrow cloth.
To the 17th Swabian Emperor, my beloved brother Cohen Kheda,
Hi, Cohen, when you read this letter, I believe you’d have me by your side now. I just know my bro can’t be so dumb that he can’t even get my body back.
“Mo… moron, you fucking moron…” Cohen ignored the fact that Carey’s reading was far from Fischer’s actual tone, he only cursed with the most coarse simple language.
Spare me those F words, I knew it! It’s so you, bad temper like always. I’m sorry, my decisions must’ve given you a hard time. But what can I do? DO you really want me under house arrest in DC, then be killed after a few years? Please, I am more or less a king. Dying this way would make me a wimp emperor. Please do not blame me for leaving you alone. I admit this one is on me.
You once said that there are quite a few things which we can’t ask them to be perfect. I refused to believe then, but I had to give you that now. See? I am the one being imperfect on this particular matter. However reluctant I am, I do not regret, because I have been through the perfect.
By the way, I’ve been thinking, it’s about time that you give Ms. Merlin her proper wedding during the New Year’s time. Our loving Ms. Merlin hasn’t added your family name behind hers, has she?
Cohen lowered his head, made a downcast groan, his body shivered.
Before meeting you, I was just some dumb, naive prince who was taught to understand my status, to know that I will one day succeed the throne, to learn that I have nothing to do with my commoner peers. I forgot when I started hypnotizing myself that all kids, all princes, their childhood, youth, even their entire lives were pointless, and they were the same as mine. I’m sick of this dull life.
However, since the day we had our conversation together in that broken carriage, my life changed. The world started to glow. Beautiful things that I have never noticed began attracting my eyes. I once thought about what exactly about you that has been winning my attention, I was bewildered once. Was it because you had what I hadn’t? You were not a prince, you had no idea how jealous I was, how eager I was to take over everything of yours. You’re lucky I’ve been keeping my senses. Maybe I was lucky that it’s such a miracle that I can lead a life with you in this world.
Later on, I came to know that I can be happy by simply sharing your happiness. Therefore I constantly indulge your nonsense knowing your actions were preposterous. You can’t imagine how much happiness I gained by watching your absurd behavior. Odd, right? I wasn’t so sure until now.
Honestly speaking, it took me a while to get used to you. You never noticed that your personality has been quite a huge pressure for me. Sometimes it embarrassed me, triggered me. Good thing was that I had my king father. He taught me to be tolerant, to see things deeper than others. Therefore I began to learn that being a king was not difficult. Before today, I was the one to forgive, to tolerate; from this moment on, my brother, you’ll have to learn to do the same to others. Grow up, be mature, at least do it for me.
It’s been years since I met you. There is so much unforgettable memory. Maybe some of them were just plain life for a guy like you. But for me, I treasure every moment, every deep-night talk we had, every prank you pulled, I remember every one of them. Literally speaking, you’ve completed my dream. Remember that half a dream I shared with you? It was yours, to begin with. Finish it for me, finish it.
I can’t tell you enough how I felt at this moment. The cloth was just too small for my thoughts. On second thought, I don’t really need to write this much. You’re Cohen Kheda, you know me. To make such a decision was hard. To make you accept it, accept alone was even harder. I am truly sorry. I’ll always indulge you, but this time, please indulge me only once.
Cohen, I hate to think that you have to face the rest of your life alone. But however difficult life becomes, I am certain you can make it through. Promise me, remember our dreams. Never give it up. You’re alone and the road is not even. Don’t lose yourself, for you still have families, friends and half of the dream. They will make your life all the more so colorful. Now, begin your journey as a king and his duty, fight for our dream, our destination.
A few days later, I’m going to announce my decision from Lissan City. My only hope is that you can smile at me when I talk to you. However unreasonably it sounds, smile for me. During the last moment of my life, I want your smile to be there with me, give me courage, be unfear of what’s about to come. Therefore, my brother, smile at me. I’ve prayed to all gods that I can think of. Don’t let me down…
Cohen’s body shook twice. Blood erupted from between his lips. He fell unconsciously as Carey exclaimed.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.