Stairway to Heaven.
“About Lord Anton… I heard he will be sentenced today. It seems that Lord Denis is going.”
The sentence of execution. This means a bestowal of a cup of poisoned alcohol, which has been decided on before. It seems that His Majesty Liamus himself begged Denis to pretend that nothing had happened because Anton would be beheaded for attempting to kill the king of Troyl.
Therefore, it seems that the King of Ligisia was not informed of the matter. No, perhaps His Majesty knew and pretended not to know.
“Still, what did Lord Anton plan to accomplish?”
Mother and Father heard from Denis after I was officially divorced from Anton that he eloped with Anna to Troyl and that Anna was a Troylan spy. On top of that, I thought they might direct their anger towards Noah after I got kidnapped and confined by Anton, but I’m glad their attitude towards Noah didn’t change.
I didn’t tell my parents that Anton was actually the biological son of King Liamus and that he was plotting to kill his father, so they don’t know what Anton’s motivation was for going all the way to Troyl.
“Who knows? Did he perhaps get deceived by the Troylan spy that Anna was after abandoning me and Noah?”
“I got completely deceived by her myself. I did you wrong. I wish I did not place her by your side.”
“I sometimes think about it. If only I kept an eye on Anna. By this time, you three might have lived happily together.”
My mother was remorseful that she wasn’t a good judge of people. I don’t think it was my mother’s fault. It’s just that Anna was one step ahead. It’s just that my mother’s good intentions ended up taking the rarest of the turns for the worst.
I did not want my mother to lament over it any longer.
“Mother. It all in the past now.”
“I cannot undo what happened.”
Anton had resented his own biological father for a long time. That feeling would not have been an easy one to change.
I had thought many times the same way Mother did. If he ended up moved by our affection, would he have time to think about revenge? I wondered whether there was anything I could have done to help him, having been his wife for a while.
Today, I feel unfulfilled when I think of him dying. I had been frustrated with myself from the moment I saw Anton being captured and taken away to Capital. I didn’t even realize that he was planning something so big and I couldn’t stop him from doing it.
I had been playing too much of an understanding wife for him. I had been too busy with housework to accommodate his convenience. If I had made a little more effort to turn his attention to our family, this tragedy might not have happened. It filled me with mixed feelings to think that I might have been a factor in pushing him over the edge.
Anton didn’t believe in anyone. He had built an invisible wall around his heart and was struggling to be a lone survivor. He was a pitiful man.
When I let out a sudden sigh, Noah came to my side, pulled on my hand and pointed in a certain direction.
“Mother, look, look.”
“Noah. What is it?”
“Look. There’s light coming from those clouds. It looks just like the Stairway to Heaven.”
The light was shining through the gaps in the clouds in the direction Noah was pointing.
Noah was not supposed to know what was going on. He would have said it because he genuinely felt that way. The Stairway to Heaven. Hearing those words, I burst into tears. The light that spread like a curtain through the clouds seemed to be shining in the direction of the prison tower where Anton was being held.
It felt as if Anton’s sentence had been carried out. Had a messenger come down from Heaven to mourn his lonely death?
The curtain of light continued to stay in place for a while, gradually reducing the width of the light. I continued to stare at it as it disappeared, holding hands with Noah.