Chapter 72 – Following the ray of light in the darkness (4)
Rakshul’s condition quickly deteriorated. His skin is covered with black spots and he couldn’t even move because of the fever.
I stood next to him all day long.
I’m sure he’ll overcome this. Rakshul can’t die like this.
If I can find Ser, I’m sure she can cure his disease. But no matter how much I cried to my necklace, Ser didn’t answer me.
He called me by my name after a long time.
I put down my necklace and held his hands tightly.
“Laontel, thank you for everything.”
He couldn’t open his eyes properly because of his fever, but there was a smile on his face.
My heart sank. Rakshul was saying goodbye.
I’m barely smiling, squeezing my last strength to smile at him for the last farewell.
“Don’t say that!”
“I think I should to now!”
“Where are you going?!”
His hands stroke my cheeks.
“I’m sorry. I wanted to be with you all my life. I wanted to be old together with you. I want to share our burdens.”
“Then don’t go! Stay with me!”
I couldn’t accept this even though I know he was saying his farewell.
“If only I confesed earlier…I woild have said I love you a lot. If we had another life, and I met you again. I’d tell you that everyday.”
“You can start now! Tell me that everyday!”
“You have to live happily. Always smile and have fun.”
“How can I be happy without you! Don’ die! If you want me to be happy, don’t die!”
His eyes started to shut.
“No! Rakshul! Open your eyes, please open your eyes. Don’t die! Don’ leave me behind!”
I begged him and prayed earnestlu. But Rakshul didn’t open his eyes.
I was in the darkness again.
Tears poured down like a waterfall. I sat down on the spot and cried.
Rakshul is dead. The sorrow seemed to tore my heart and struck my whole body.
Even though it happened a thousand years ago, I couldn’t stop crying.
I didn’t do anything.
Laontel helplessly lost Rakshul.
But I couldn’t keep being sad like this.
If I didn’t save Serphania, the curse won’t go away.
I couldn’t lose him again this time.
I wipe away the tears in my eyes.
Rakshul passed away, the Crown Prince died but they didn’t hold a proper funeral.
After his death, plague spread throughout the capital and even to the emperor who fled the palace.
Many people kept being sick and died again.
The palace and the whole capital is in a chaos, there was no time for a funeral.
I understand that but I was sad.
Me and my brothers prepared the funeral for Rakshul instead of the imperail family.
“You shouldn’t cry like that on the funeral.”
I wanted to let Rakshul go with a smile but tears won’t stop.
I regretted everything.
‘Why didn’t I confess earlier, if he didn’t deal with the monster, he wouldn’t have been the Crown Prince. If he wasn’t the Crown Prince, we wouldn’t need to stay in the palace, and he won’t die.’
Despair seized me and I stood in the room.
In the meantime, many changes have come to the empire.
The emperor position is empty, not only his children, but even his brothers died of plague, so we couldn’t choose the next emperor.
Suddenly, Phillip appeared.
He used the power of light to treat the plague as people cheered.
Although he doesn’t have the black hair that symbolized the royal family of Zelcan, he was crowned as the new emperor with the praise of many people.
I didn’t attend Phillip’s coronation.
The next day, he came to find me.
The man who I was searching for stand in front of me.
“Long time no see Laontel. I thought I would see you at the ceremony yesterday, but you didn’t come.”
“I greet the emperor.”
He was now the emperor of the Zelcan Empire.
I bowed my head.
“Oh, thank you but there’s no need too. We have a special relationship right?”
He raised the corner of his mouth. My face remained stiff.
“Are you mad at me?”
“No, why would I?”
“I heard Rakshul died.”
He said his name without hesitation.
“I left here and went to the valley of chaos so I didn’t know that you’ve been searching for me. I should’ve come here earlier.”
That place is an abandoned place, no one lives there. That’s why I couldn’t find him.
“Do you hate me?”
I shook my head. I didn’t hate Phillip. He only left with his beloved and came back home.
And he treated the plague. He didn’t do anything wrong.
“I just resent myself.”
But I hated myself for not saving Rakshul.
“It’s not Laon’s fault!”
I looked back, started by the voice.
At that moment, Ser was suddenly in my arms.
“Sorry Laon, I’m sorry. I didn’t know what happened to Rakshul. I’m sorry. It’s mu fault…”
She burst into tears like a child.
They didn’t know it at that time.
But I resented Ser and Phillip, who never showed up until they suddenly came and saved the people.
Of course I know it wasn’t their fault. But the resentment got accumulated over time.
“No, don’ say that.”
“I’m sorry Laon, I’m so sorry. Do you hate me? You hate me, don’t you? I’m sure you do. I’m so sorry.”
“I don’t hate you, I’m glad you’re back.”
But the friend I once knew was different.
The Zelcan Empire’s name was changed into Asteric Empire. Altar Palace also changed it’s name to Tenlarn Palace.
The plague was completely gone and the empire gradually recover.
But the peace didn’t last very long. Phillip went to build new palaces, make stone plates and statues honoring his achievement and hold a royal ball everyday.
Each time, he spent a huge budget and people had to struggle with the huge taxes.
I went to visit Phillip, it is a country that Rakshul loved and wanted to protect so much.
It didn’t matter if the name changed, but I couldn’t see the people suffering.
If Rakshul is alive, this wouldn’t have happened.
“Until when are you going to hold a royal ball?”
“Why are you saying that all lf sudden? Aren’t you being rude to the emperor of this empire?”
“Do you know how much taxes are collected everytime? The people are starving for days and you’re also taking away all their crops!”
He gave a slight response as if he didn’t care.
“A lot of people died because of the plague. There’s a lot of dead bodies everywhere before and now, you’re just making the situation even worse.”
“I am the emperor of the empire, why should I care about every single one of those stupid people?”
I was speechless by his attitude.
“You’ve changed haven’t you? Or is it your personality that I didn’t know about?”
“Be careful with your words, no matter how close we are, I won’t forgive you.”
He said to me arrogantly.
It seemed that this conversation didn’t work. But I couldn’t back away like this.
“When are you going to announce Ser as the empress?”
Phillip hid Ser’s existence.
Without revealing the fact that they were married, she was sent to live at a shabby annex.
I have protested about this many times. But Phillip didn’t react everytime.
“Are you starting again?”
He’s saying that again.
“How long are you going to lock Ser in such a place? I heard you didn’t even visit her these days.”
“If you’re so upset, take her back with you.”
“You…Ser have given everything to you!”
Phillip covered his ears due to my screaming.
“Yes, Ser gave me everything. And now she doesn’t have anything left. She lose her power, she doesn’t have any wealth nor status. She’s just an incompetent woman. Do you think such a person could become the empress?”
Phillip said arrogantly. I was speechless, and I barely spoke out.
“…are you crazy?”
“Just accept the reality.”
“Ser lost all of her strength for you! It’s all because of you!”
“What’s the use of the past anyway. Right now, she doesn’t fit to be the empress.”
“What? Have you forgotten how you got your position? It’s all thanks to the plague! You cured the disease with Ser’s power! Thanks to her, you became the emperor and yet you’re just going to throw her away?!”
“Be careful about your words.”
Phillip said to me coldly.
“You’re really crazy, did you have an amnesia?”
“I told you to be polite.”
I snorted at him.
At that moment, Phillip grabbed my wrist.
“Get your hands off me! What is this!”
I screamed in a fit of surprise but he didn’t let go of his grip.
“I’ve decided who will be my empress.”
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