A grip tightened on the throne. The body entering the palace was covered with cloth. Because the coffin had not yet been made.
Ordinary coffins were not permitted to those related to the imperial family to the 4th degree. Their noble bodies required something grander.
“Oh, oh… … .”
Tears streamed down his wrinkled face. Julien, lurking like a snake far from the throne, lowered his head like a criminal.
Orle IV, forgetting decorum, descended from the throne and headed for his son’s corpse. The attendants carrying the body on a stretcher put it down while watching the emperor.
The approaching emperor’s hand was trembling.
The body could not come with Julien, so it took several more days to arrive. As the days were hot and humid, it could only be moved with the assistance of a wizard.
Julien announced the news first, going to the capital to make excuses. It was Julien’s and Aaron’s men who recovered Aaron’s corpse.
They came up to the capital with Aaron’s body. The knights who failed to protect their lord bowed their heads.
Now they had no future.
Orl IV slowly reached out to the white cloth.
It was to check what expression his child donned when facing death. He had previously lost three children, but it never got easier. It was just as bad as the first time, more painful than tearing flesh.
Aaron’s mother, the empress, wailed when she heard the news and fainted, so she was absent.
Before Julien left for the capital, he told those who would collect the corpse to carefully take care of the body. Hoping it would alleviate the emperor’s anger even a little.
Aaron’s knights tried to stop it but were already orphaned dogs. So, as Julien’s men argued, their side naturally lost.
When he saw the makeup, well-groomed face, and altered expression forcibly composed by touching the corpse’s face, Orl IV felt his rage welling up.
His son’s corpse was already prepared to enter the funeral home.
“I told you to preserve the scene! Who touched the remains!”
When the emperor roared with outrage, Julien’s men had no choice but to keep their mouths shut. However, some of Aaron’s knights opened their mouths as if indignant.
“This is the order of His Highness, the Second Prince… … .”
Julien’s eyes grew wide, and the emperor quickly turned his head and glared at him. The prince waved his hand and denied it.
“No! The ignorant countrymen did it without knowing how to conduct an investigation, I never… … !”
The emperor’s command to drag him away filled his throat to the end of his neck, but he barely suppressed it. Julien and Aaron had the same mother. The first prince, the crown prince, came from another mother.
That’s why he sent them together, expecting he wouldn’t murder his full-blooded brother.
‘That bastard— I’ll tear off his head!’
Julien was sure by now. The emperor would not kill him. He also knew he would eventually become the crown prince and inherit the throne.
That’s probably why he had a hint of joy in his eyes.
‘How did it end like this!’
The emperor thought with a sense of wrath that had nowhere to turn. From the start, he shouldn’t have sent the two princes to the Duchy of Tintalion. If he had, he would not have lost his one remaining proper son!
Tintalion! His teeth gnashed at that cursed name. They were the root of everything that went wrong!
Since they threatened the imperial family with power apart from his own, he tried to eliminate them.
The emperor believed he had lost his son to Duke Tintalion’s trap.
This sorrow and misery was something he shouldn’t have to bare alone. His adversaries had to pay the same price.
‘Didn’t he say he laid the charges on the Duchess of Tintalion?’
His son must have held a grudge about submitting a marriage proposal and being rejected by the Duke of Atreille. It was a petty and dirty trick that suited him well.
“Your majesty! It’s not what I did! Please believe me!”
On the day he returned to the capital and appeared in the imperial palace, Julien beseeched just like that. He said he didn’t kill Aaron; it was Aaron’s mistake.
It was the story that Aaron accidentally killed himself while trying to poison Duke Tintalion. It was absurd, but the emperor wanted to believe it.
He would never be able to let go of his hatred if Julien admitted to murdering Aaron.
‘Hell is not elsewhere. This is hell… … .’