Vol. 18: Chapter 02 : Justice

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly

Five days later, the Great Altar of the Capital opened to the public on time.  The inhabitants of the capital had been notified about the execution of Luhrmann. The news traveled quickly, even people from hundreds of miles away knew about it, and they had sent representatives to the capital to watch the execution. Early that morning, the influx of people had long surrounded the altar tightly. 

Good thing that Kirk’s preparation was more adequate. The residents at the altar complied with the police officers. The ones in the front row all sat down, and the ones in the back stood. There was a free passage between every 10 rows. 

The frontmost of the altar was surrounded by a small circle of cloth, and a circle of seats was placed outside, which was reserved for the representatives from other empires. During the war with the rebels, each empire or noble family had representatives in both armies. 

The sun had only been up for a short time when the Lord Justice who oversaw the execution arrived at the altar. Then came the representatives of the various parties, who took their seats one by one under the watchful eyes of the capital residents. However, the delegates were somewhat perplexed by this arrangement, as the punishment known as “death with a smile” was indeed inappropriate for the public to observe. 

For any empire, the death penalty was rarely used on nobles in general, and only for extremely serious crimes. Even in the case of capital punishment, because of their status, nobles were usually not physically tortured, and they all walked through the last step of their lives with a smile on their faces. 

This was a tradition that was usually executed in a secret place by the means of slow-acting poison mixed in wine along with a few foxy women. In the meantime, a mage will release magic that would cause vivid hallucinations, so that the nobles forgot where they were. After he had done the nasty business, he would pick up the wine and end his life for good. 

A large bed in the mantle stands out, that was prepared for the convict. But what were the hundreds of sheep under the altar for? These sheep kept barking in the enclosure, making people distracted. 

On one side of the altar, where it was less crowded, came a carriage under heavy protection, with the curtains hanging low, so that no one, even the Swabian officials here, could see who was inside. 

A guard officer ran to the carriage and knocked on the door. 

“Your Grace, the Lord Justice said that the execution will begin soon.” 

“Ok, stand down.” Came the voice of Queen Flynn Rhona. 

In the carriage, other than four queens, there was another lady, Princess Bernie Ebbinghaus. 

She had smuggled herself out of the Rivalzian palace during the later part of the war to see her enemies die with her own eyes. In fact, she had only found the head of the intelligence system left in Kinshasa by the Kheda army. Like the kidnap last time, she had also put a dagger on her neck, but this time, she was threatening to be taken away.

As for Kinshasa’s subsequent panic, she couldn’t care less. Being able to see Luhrmann executed was more important to her than anything else. At the moment, Bernie was so anxious that she clutched Flynn’s hand. 

On the main road, the convoy escorting Luhrmann and his subordinates was slowly driving towards the altar. 

When the watchers saw Luhrmann in the first car, they started yelling and the noise quickly boomed! 

There were countless fists waving in the crowd, “Kill him!” “Kill him!”, “Kill him in pieces!” The walls of guardsmen were pushed and deformed a ripple extending outward, and it took a lot of talking for the officers to settle the agitated crowd. Soon after, more voices rang out with cries. 

“You devil, give me back my daughter!” 

“You pay my mother’s life back…” 

Countless rotten vegetable leaves, eggs, and small stones flew toward the carriage where Luhrmann was, venting the people’s resentment against the rebel leader. In the end, the soldiers had to protect the carriage with shields in case someone killed Luhrmann in advance. 

It was hard for the fleet to arrive at the altar, the soldiers then escorted a cadre of prisoners off the wagon and made them kneel in a line under the altar first. The act was nominally for the people to confirm the convicts, but actually, it was to let a princess on a carriage see. 

In the face of the people’s angry shouting, Luhrmann’s face was numb. His head was covered with vegetable scraps and egg yolk, and he allowed the soldiers to carry him around with no resistance and no objection to his current situation. 

“Flynn, this is Luhrmann?” Seeing her enemy, Princess Bernie Ebbinghaus’ hand trembled. 

“Yes, he is.” Flynn took out her handkerchief and lovingly wiped the tears from the corners of Bernie’s eyes, “He will soon be executed.” 

“But why can’t they just behead him?” Bernie said indignantly, “Why let a bad person like that die with a smile on his face? It would be better to hang him.” 

“When it comes to hate, no one hates him more than my husband.” Dior Merlin, who was sitting across the compartment, advised softly, “My princess baby, just watch what he will do to punish him.” 

“Dior.” Princess Bernie blinked her big eyes in confusion, “About the execution, has King Cohen told you about it?” 

“He was too busy lately. There were so many things in one empire! We didn’t even have time to see each other.” 

Dior Merlin shook his head, “But as far as Cohen’s character is concerned, do you think he can spare Luhrmann? Luhrmann will die a horrible death…” 

At this time, the people outside suddenly let out a loud cheer as Cohen Kheda, in a royal robe, was riding a black warhorse, surrounded by guards, came racing down the avenue at the other end. 

“Long live the king! Hurrah! Hurrah!” 

The loud cheers were like a tidal wave surging over the capital. After a series of beneficial policies were announced, the people’s support for Cohen was increasing day by day, and at this time, they did not spare their enthusiasm at all. 

Listening to the thunderous cheers in his ears, Cohen’s heart was a little annoyed, he hated this title that took away his friend’s life, but he was also clear that people’s hearts were fragile and sensitive. People would like to see the king respond to their support, therefore Cohen had to force a smile and extend his hand to a small wave. 

After a prolonged period of time, Cohen was finally able to dismount. He took a few steps past the prisoners to Luhrmann. Then he ordered water to wash Luhrmann’s face, before walking up to the altar from the steps by the carriage. 

“That’s odd! He must know you are here, yet he passed without even a glance.” Princess Bernie commented. 

“In case you haven’t noticed, he has waved to us.” Winslet said softly, “It was one of those hand gestures that only a few of us understand.” 

“Huh? What did he say?” Princess Bernie asked curiously. 

The four interior supervisors’ faces flushed but they didn’t answer. Then Flynn eventually glossed over with “general greetings”. 

Cohen walked up to the altar, the representatives of each empire all showed their courtesies and exchanged pleasantries. 

Shortly after, the amplifying magic was set up, and an officer came over to ask King Cohen to speak. 

“Presenting His Royal Grace – silence!” After the imposing officer’s announcement, he immediately withdrew from the sound transmission area. The entire altar fell into silence. 

King Cohen had a serious face as he walked slowly to the fence of the altar with his hands behind his back. His black hair was particularly conspicuous under the sunshine. Hundreds of thousands of people’s eyes followed his figure from different angles, they stood on the altar square, on both sides of the street, and even on the roof and fence. They were looking forward to the king’s first speech. 

“For me personally, this altar has some bad memories. Despite its good repair, despite the fact that it is the place where you first heard of me.” To everyone’s surprise, the king’s opening speech went unexpectedly, “But you, my people, you make me feel close. After a period of dimness and lightlessness, you, the citizens of Swabia, gathered here again! You’re here to witness, with your own eyes, the justice of righteousness, and the justice brought to the sinners!” 

“Long live the king! Hail! Long live the king!” Countless hats were thrown into the sky, and the people bent down to the altar and saluted. In the carriage, Cohen’s wives were telling Bernie about the “Sacred Capital Altar Incident” that made Cohen famous in the Empire. 

Cohen raised his hand, and the people gradually quieted down. 

“You have lost your loved ones, your families have been broken, and all this was caused by the selfishness of a small group of rebels! Cohen walked slowly by the fence, “On this day, we want everyone to understand the truth that no matter who and what he has done, he will have to bear the responsibility and consequences – bring rebel head Luhrmann up to me!” 

The soldiers under the altar complied, then grabbed Luhrmann and ran towards the altar. It didn’t take them much time to climb the long stairs. 

“That’s Luhrmann, the scourge!” Cohen pointed to the individual behind him, “As for the crimes he committed, I see no need to say more. I just want everyone to remember one thing: we will never let go of a single enemy of the Empire!” 

“Never let go! Never let go!” Once again, the people erupted in a huge wave of voices. 

King Cohen walked back to his seat amidst the cheers, and the young Lord Justice walked up with the document in his hand. 

“The rebel leader Luhrmann, formerly an official assigned to Swabia by the temple. He was deeply trusted by the royal family and was later promoted as the prime minister. But this man’s greedy nature had led to his rebellion and committed a heinous crime!” Jack boomed with a face of majesty, omitting his usual frivolity, “After consideration by the royal ministry members, and with the king’s approval, I’m announcing that Luhrmann and his men, executed! 

“Luhrmann will complete his execution on top of the altar, and the rest of them under.” Jack closed the binder in his hand and shouted, “Luhrmann and his men have been identified. Take them all to the execution!” 

“Kill them!” Once again, the people shouted, many of them were already hoarse. These people had been waiting for this day. 

For the last time, Luhrmann was pushed to his knees in front of Cohen. 

Cohen looked at him, ten days of milk bath has made Luhrmann’s delicate skin more tender. He knew that his death was imminent. Looking at this sinner in front of him, Cohen wanted to tell a joke, but at this time, he wasn’t in the mood at all. 

“At this point, do you have last words?” Cohen asked softly. 

“Let, let go of my daughter… please…” 

“I can’t think of any reason to spare her, especially at this altar.” Cohen shook his head, “No one would spare a woman with a heart of a snake.” 

“I, I have told you all I know… and not… a single false word…” Luhrmann shed tears, “Please, let her go…” 

“Depends on my mood!” Cohen showed a smile, “She has half a chance.” 

“If you will promise in front of all the envoys to let my daughter go, I will tell you one secret.” A smug smile suddenly escaped from the corner of Luhrmann’s mouth, “I… have been a priest for many years, and I know its secrets, as well as many hidden incidents. I am willing to tell all of these, which will be extremely beneficial to your future ruling.” 

“Are you telling me that you know these things but did not tell me?” Cohen was not angry, his face was as usual, “Then I can tell you that your daughter’s fate will be miserable.” 

“Cohen Kheda, although you and I are enemies, I always thought you were a wise man.” 

Knowing that this was the last chance, in order to save his daughter, Luhrmann spared no effort, “Yes, you won, you are already the king of Swabia, but how are you going to better rule this empire? How are you going to control your citizens? I know, you have not even thought about these. This is much tougher than defeating me! ” 

“Is that so? You think I will agree?” Cohen understood that Luhrmann picked this moment to disclose the inside story to catch himself off guard so that he could agree to his terms. 

“You can trust me completely on this matter, and if what I say is not true, you can always punish my daughter.” Luhrmann felt that his conditions could move Cohen, “I have been planning for so many years, naturally I am prepared for anything, I am willing to leave it all to you. Please let her go, she is still young, she does not understand anything at all, and she is definitely not likely to bring trouble to your reign in the future. ” 

“I refuse.” Cohen shook his head slightly, “You can just die your daughter, along with your insider information.” 

“You! You should know that these are things that are greatly beneficial to the empire!” Not knowing whether it was fear for his daughter’s life or the fact that the information he was about to hand over was belittled by Cohen, Luhrmann was agitated anyway, “Even if you’re the king of an empire, you can’t ignore these things! They will make you thrive on the continent and your empire prosper!” 

“I have already made a name for myself on the continent.” Cohen smiled lightly, “As long as I, Cohen Kheda, am in Swabia, without relying on your so-called insider info, the empire will naturally flourish.” 

“And… there is also the Temple! With my info, the temple will not dare to oppose you again…” Luhrmann heckled, “Can you despise them? Even if they move a finger, you will be unbearably difficult.” 

“In fact, I have been belittling them and will continue to do so.” 

“Ha… you will not end up well if you ignore the hearts of the people and despise the temple!” 

Understanding that Cohen could not possibly agree to his terms, Luhrmann laughed uncontrollably and wildly, “Foolish, foolishness of the utmost! I’m waiting to see what will happen to you!” 

“You think you still have a chance to see it? What is your so-called ruling master plan?” Cohen grabbed Luhrmann by the hair and dragged him off the ground, “Look at these people down there, they’re waiting to see what happens to you, what inside story? What hidden events? Fuck it, I’m going to fuck it all up! Talking terms with me? I’m not afraid to tell you, I want to settle it with everyone! All the people who made me look bad, I will repay a hundred times!” 

“You you you… how dare you talk like that… you can’t possibly defeat them…” Luhrmann was horrified, he finally understood what Cohen meant, “You… you are the real rebel!” 

“You’re right.” Cohen let go of Luhrmann, laughed, and made a gesture, and two soldiers dragged Luhrmann into the mantle, threw him onto the bed, and tied him up with a cloth. 

It was then that an envoy questioned, “Your Grace, there is no need to tie him up, isn’t there?” 

“This is my way, just look at it.” Cohen replied slowly, “As a king, I certainly mean what I promised.” 

A soldier took off Luhrmann’s shoes, leaving his soles bare, and then brought over a bucket of translucent gel and applied it on Luhrmann’s feet. A few more sheep were brought up to the side, and the delegates of the nations looked on in confusion, not understanding what this was all about. 

“Honey? Is that honey?” One delegate smelled it. 

Luhrmann was tied to death, and there were also physicians who carefully released small magic so that Luhrmann’s teeth could not be closed so that he would not bite his tongue to commit suicide. The foreign delegates saw the procedure, and they already understood in their hearts that what awaited Luhrmann was torture, because only before the use of extremely painful criminal law would the physician release such magic. 

Luhrmann also understood and his body began to struggle, but it was already too late, the soldiers had already torn off several parts of his body and applied honey to his skin. 

The sheep were led to Luhrmann, and the sheep, which had been hungry for days, smelled the honey and stuck out their tongues to lick it, rubbing their rough, wet tongues back and forth on Luhrmann’s delicate skin – and immediately Luhrmann started laughing maniacally! His body was struggling so hard that the cloth straps made a soft noise, and if he hadn’t been tied so tightly, he would have jumped up. 

Only then did the people under the altar react to the fact that there was more than one way to die laughing, this was a real death by laughing alive! For a while people’s eyebrows raised, and they also kind of learned the king’s way. 

Luhrmann’s laughter continued, and the faces of the foreign representatives paled, but seeing Cohen’s icy face, no one dared to go forward to plead for mercy. 

Only a short time later, Luhrmann’s laughter began to go out of tune, and breathless. The tone of his voice began to jerk up, but the sheep’s tongue was so powerful that he could not even find the time to curse. 

Cohen got tired of listening, stood up, and was ready to leave. He took a last glance, Luhrmann’s body was shaking badly. 

Under the altar, Luhrmann’s men were not so well treated, they were all tied naked to stakes, and the court-martial experts were preparing pocket knives to cut them to pieces. 

The people standing close by could not wait, shouting for revenge and waving their fists in excitement. 

Cohen looked around, knocked on the door of the carriage, and sat inside. As soon as he raised his eyes, he saw several ladies with somewhat white faces. 

“What’s wrong?” 

“That sound is so unpleasant to listen to, it makes your bones tingle.” Carey’s face showed an expression of disgust, “Darling, let’s go back to the palace!” 

“You can’t stand it? He still has to laugh for a day or two before he dies. I specifically arranged for someone to power him and also let him rest every once in a while.” Cohen said indifferently, but seeing the ladies’ even paler faces, he hurriedly changed the subject, “Well, Bernie, do you wanna go back too?” 

Princess Bernie has long felt unbearable. She quickly nodded. 

“Well then, let’s go back!.” Cohen opened the door and sent a few orders, and the royal guards drove the carriage away. 

Under the altar, the living-death sentence officially started the first cut, and the people were rejoicing. 

Cohen looked at the people outside the carriage window with an impassive expression, which gave the ladies an odd feeling. Winslet asked, Cohen only said he was just a little tired these days. 

In fact, Cohen was thinking about other things. 

If the war turned out to be his own defeat and he was executed by Luhrmann here today, what would the people look like? If Luhrmann had handed out benefits, they would have cheered the end of the war as they are doing now, right? 

For these people, justice or not is the most important thing, the most important thing is to have food, clothing, and fun. They only fear one thing, power, absolute power! 

God’s power as it was, royal power as it was, military power as it was, there was no exception to anything. 

The excited people did not know that it was their eager reaction to the siege of the death penalty that stirred in the heart of this king, a matter that had no small influence on the future strategy of governance of the empire. At the same time, Cohen also abandoned some of his previous unrealistic ideas, determined to develop the most suitable laws and power institutions for the people. 

The kind of people determined the kind of law implemented. Having thought of this, Cohen’s face also regained a smile. 

“Princess, I have sent a special envoy to explain your runaway, so you don’t have to worry about it.” Cohen looked at Princess Bernie who was nestled in Flynn’s arms, “In addition, you can also be the guest of honor at my enthronement ceremony and stay in the capital for another two months, what do you think?” 

“That would be best, I would also like to stay here for a few more days with you all.” Princess Bernie reluctantly sat up straight, “Thank you, Your Grace.” 

“You’re welcome.” Cohen added, “Besides, I have another idea, do you want to hear it?” 

“Your Grace, please go ahead.” 

“You know, I only have two brothers, and my parents don’t have a daughter.” Cohen smiled and said, “If it is possible, I would like to be your brother, that is to say, you will be a princess of Swabia, and it will be easier for you to come here. If you ever want to take a break anytime, just come over, the door of the palace is always open to you. ” 

“This…” This was something sudden for Princess Bernie, “I have no problem with it, but I don’t know if my king father will agree.” 

“Then, we shall immediately send an envoy to your father, he will bear a letter written by my father’s own handwriting, and also bring enough gifts to show our sincerity.” Cohen smiled and said, “I would like that! Even if it is only for the sake of the harmony between the two empires, your father will agree to it.” 

“If it is my father who agrees, of course, I will not have any objection.” Princess Bernie also smiled and replied, “In that case, I can stop calling you Your Grace, and I also like to be with my sisters.” 

Among the people in the carriage, only Flynn knew that Cohen’s suggestion was not purely motivated, but as Cohen’s wife, she naturally would not say. 

“Look at you, you haven’t slept well for the past two days.” Philine stroked Princess Bernie’s cheek and said without compassion, “Go back later to get some rest. Let us cook for you, okay? Winslet’s soup will make you forget all your troubles.” 

“I have no such good cooking skills.” Winslet in turn embarrassedly said. 

“Whatever, as long as everyone is happy.” Cohen looked at the ladies in front of him, “Everyone, the past ends today, and with today as the starting point, everyone should be ready to meet the challenges ahead.” 

Before the queens could say anything, Princess Bernie raised her hands and said, “Good, little spy princess will write these words to the secret letter for my father.” 

The sound of laughter in the carriage reached outside, bringing a smile to Leila’s face. 

This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation; any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.

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