Chapter 251 – A Shocking Development (1)
“We will soon have a coronation to formally pass the throne to Crown Prince Carlisle.”
That made Carlisle the final victor. Many of the nobles who followed Ophelia paled, but they could find no reason to oppose Sullivan’s orders.
“Your Majesty! Redfield is your son! This is too much.”
Although Ophelia raised her voice in objection, Sullivan answered with a steady voice, having already made up his mind.
“Escort the Empress to the palace so she may rest.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Several knights marched towards Ophelia and stood around her. They did not lay their hands on her, but they would do so if she did not comply willingly.
“Please come this way, Your Majesty.”
Ophelia ground her teeth in resentment, but she stood up and stepped forward, knowing that resisting was an effort in futility. Cesare followed her with a face of contempt. Seeing that he would be left alone, Redfield cried out with a frightened expression.
Ophelia and Cesare, however, did not look back, and finally disappeared from view. Sullivan turned his eyes towards his second son.
“Kolog, kolog. The Second Prince will be held in custody until there is a formal trial. Let us deliberate more on what to do then.”
“Father, I’m sorry, I did wrong. Please forgive me just this once…!”
Redfield attempted to rush towards Sullivan, but a barrier of knights captured and restrained him. He was dragged out of the conference hall, begging and screaming for mercy.
A deathly silence had fallen over room as the Anita family crumbled before everyone’s view. Sullivan looked around at the nobles with his sunken eyes and addressed them again.
“Is there anything more to discuss while we’re gathered here to honor that nation’s founding?”
It was impossible for anyone to speak after what had just happened. When the room remained silent, Sullivan raised himself from his throne with a heavy sigh.
“Then let us end this year’s national memorial meeting.”
“Y-yes, Your Majesty! Eternal glory to the Ruford Empire!”
The hall echoed with the loud voices of nobles, then Sullivan walked out the exit with restrained, but dignified, steps. Standing to one side of the corridor was Carlisle, and Sullivan turned towards him and whispered to him in a soft voice.
Sullivan did not know everything that Carlisle had been planning. However, when the nobles had been demanding Redfield’s release, Carlisle had quietly come to Sullivan and requested some time to speak at the assembly. Sullivan suspected that Carlisle had prepared something, but he performed much better than he expected.
However, the outcome was not completely favorable. Just as Ophelia had said, Redfield was still his son.
Sullivan made to walk past Carlisle, but he suddenly stopped.
“Kolog, kolog. Don’t hate Redfield too much…he is your brother.”
Carlisle’s cool blue eyes turned towards his father.
“…That is why he still has his life.”
Redfield and Carlisle were only half-brothers by blood, but it was still the same blood. Sullivan himself tried to avoid killing his own brother as much as possible. Carlisle was aware of that fact, and so he restrained himself in honor of his father. He would only choose to kill Redfield if it was unavoidable. As long as Sullivan was alive, Carlisle did not intend to take Redfield’s life.
Sullivan touched Carlisle’s broad shoulder with one hand.
“Yes. Kolog, kolog. I have deprived Redfield of the right to succession, so spare him if you can.”
“Well…I’m not so sure everyone is happy that he’s alive.”
Carlisle’s eyes turned in the direction where the victims had stood earlier.
“He had committed grave sins.”
Just because Redfield was Carlisle’s brother, it didn’t mean he would be punished lightly. Sullivan shook his head as if he didn’t want to go to such extremes.
“Just spare his life…I do not wish for any more.”
“If that is Father’s will, then I will use it as a guide.”
Carlisle did not commit to a promise, but Sullivan knew it was the best he could do. He understood his son’s militant nature better than anyone else. He was also more envious of Carlisle than anyone else.
“The coronation—kolog—will take place as soon as possible.”
Sullivan’s condition had continued to deteriorate. He sensed his body would soon give out, and so he planned to give the throne over to Carlisle before he passed away. If he did not smoothly hand over succession now, bloody conflict would likely erupt in the Ruford Empire in the vacuum of power. And so, he seized the opportunity that Carlisle provided him, even if Ophelia and Redfield were hurt in the process. When Sullivan thought about the distant future, he knew it would be crucial to make a firm decision here.
“Later—kolog, kolog—come and see me.”
Sullivan’s eyes caught sight of Elena approaching. Carlisle would soon become Emperor, and her face was alight with joy. Sullivan looked at her with a soft gaze, then turned back to Carlisle.
“I will see you later.”
Sullivan turned his heel and left the corridor so the couple could talk comfortably.
Elena quickly approached Carlisle. She glanced at the Emperor’s retreating back and looked back at Carlisle.
“Did I interrupt?”
“No, we finished speaking.”
A somber expression was fixed on Carlisle’s face, but Elena continued on with enthusiasm.
“You were incredible earlier. I had a few moments where I was nervous, but today I witnessed what a great man my husband is.”
The honesty of Elena’s praise caused Carlisle’s lips to lift into a soft smile.
“…I’m happy to receive your compliments.”
“Of course. Didn’t any else say the same to you?”
His words trailed off, and he soon gave a bitter smile. Few people dared to utter a compliment to Carlisle. Those would normally be given by someone of higher or equal status to him. His subordinates were just limbs for him to command, and the words of nobles were not of praise, but flattery. Elena’s words were the only ones he could rely on.
“…No one else can judge my actions as Crown Prince.”
Carlisle simply took responsibility for his own actions. No one else could judge right or wrong about it; such was the unconditional power of the Crown Prince.
Elena sensed a loneliness in Carlisle’s words. She couldn’t express it exactly, but she understood his feelings. She was the eldest daughter of the Blaise family, and always lived a life of sacrifice and responsibility. However, her memories were not filled with much praise. She just did what she needed to do.
She took Carlisle’s hand and took him to an empty corner where there was no one else around. The corridor was starting to crowd with thousands of nobles as they were leaving, everyone buzzing with anticipation about the upcoming coronation ceremony. She had hidden the two of them behind a pillar, and she peered around at their surroundings. Carlisle gave her a quizzical look, but he did not stop her.
Elena then turned around, stood up on her toes, and patted his head, as if she were complimenting a child.
Carlisle’s blue eyes widened in wonder, and she gifted him a warm smile.
“Good work. You worked hard, didn’t you?”
“I’ll praise you more in the future. Thank you. Because of you, you have made my long-held wish come true.”