Chapter 32

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The Fallen Palace (5)
“Brother, why did you make Prince Etra undead?”

There was no doubt that Emilia’s voice contained criticism for Kulm. Kulm was aware of this, but he was not timid about it.

“I know what you want to say. I went against Father’s instructions and killed Etra, after all.”
“Yes, why don’t you tell me your intentions?”

Emilia inquired. She wanted to know what made Kulm disobey Ortho’s orders.

“Even if you ask me… I just sympathized with the poor boy who had all the responsibility pushed onto him by Altonius.”

Hearing Kulm’s words, a stunned expression floated on Emilia’s face as she sighed “What a troubling person.” However, the mood didn’t get any worse. It was a common occurrence for the Salbuveir clan.

“I see, that is so like you, Brother.”
“That’s why I came to fulfill Etra’s wish.”
“Prince Etra’s wish?”

Aluris’ vigor returned when she heard Kulm speak. She must have conveniently interpreted that Etra’s wish is regarding their current situation. In other words, he must have offered his life to save the lives of the rest of the Imperial family and his terms must have been accepted.

“Etra… you are a true Emperor!! To use your life to compromise with the Salbuveirs… we might have had a slight unhappy misunderstanding, but let’s walk hand in hand in the reconstruction of the Empire from now on!!”

Aluris said intoxicatedly with tears in her eyes. She was like an actress on the stage. Only Aluris herself didn’t notice the cold gazes gathering on her, though.
Kulm continued talking, ignoring Aluris.

“Etra was worried about Shukul. He was worried he would be tortured for their actions.”

A surprised expression showed on Shukul’s face.

“Yeah, Shukul is the next Emperor in line!! It’s only natural to be so considerate for Shukul’s sake as his elder brother and former Emperor!!”
“Haah…”

Kulm sighed, grabbed Aluris by her face, and lifted her up.

“Shut the fuck up. When did I allow you to speak? No one cares about your convenient interpretation of things.”

When Kulm strengthened his grip around Aluris’ face, she began flapping her limbs violently in pain.

“Don’t speak to us without permission first in the future. Understood?”

Aluris didn’t reply to Kulm. She couldn’t reply because of the pain. Guessing that Aluris couldn’t answer because of pain, Kulm separated his hand from Aluris’ face and she felt to the ground.
Emilia didn’t care about the situation and continued the discussion.

“Brother, what was Prince Etra’s wish then?”
“Etra felt sorry that Shukul would be tortured, so he wished instant death for him.”

Kulm said so, looking at Shukul. The face of Shukul who was on the receiving end of that gaze froze. He must have guessed what is going to happen to him.

“What will it be?”

In response to Kulm’s question, Shukul shook his head lightly.

“I cannot do that. Elder Brother carried out his duty as Emperor and Imperial family member. I also can’t escape from my responsibility as a man of the Imperial family.”

Shukul looked firmly at Kulm as he spoke clearly.

“I see… Etra, it seems that Shukul was much more conscious of the Imperial family than you expected.”
“Yes…”

Etra seemed ashamed of Kulm’s words.

“Forgive me… Shukul. I have taken your resolution as member of the Imperial family too lightly.”

Shukul smiled slightly at Etra who apologized to him.

“No, I understood that you would want to take responsibility for the Salbuveirs after you became the Emperor. Now, it’s my turn.”

Kulm nodded quietly to Shukul and turned his gaze towards Emilia. Emilia, who received his gaze nodded lightly.

“So it’s like this…”
“Yeah, if only they didn’t show such preparedness.”
“Even though their parents and elder brother are like that, it’s quite regrettable that the second and third princes are honest people.”

Emilia nodded lightly in agreement.

“Shukul, we have made the decision to exterminate the Imperial family and we have no intentions of making exceptions.”

“I understand that. What this country did to you was unforgivable. I also have the responsibility as a member of the Imperial family, and I have no intention of escaping from it.”

Shukul said quietly.

“You said it yourself. If you wanted, I would abide by Etra’s wish and consider letting you take your own life, but since you didn’t choose that, you are going to be executed.”
“… Yes.”

Shukul who heard the word “execution” stiffened for a moment, but he soon recovered his expression and replied quietly. He was resolved.

“That can’t be!! I’m against it!! Why do we have to be killed!! Etra!! You fiend!! You are trying to get Shukul and I killed!! You are a disappointment as the Emperor!!”

At that moment, Aluris shouted. Etra closed his eyes in silence as he listened to Aluris’ complaints. His gesture showed “This person doesn’t understand anything”.

“Geez…”

Kulm kicked the face of the shouting Aluris. Kulm went quite easy on her so she did not die from his kick, but her blood and teeth scattered around the floor.

“The child is resolved, yet the parent tries to sabotage them.”
“She’s that Emperor’s woman, after all. Of course, she would be stupid.”

Kulm smiled wryly at Emilia.

“Indeed. Well then, Shukul. I will have you point us in the direction of the hidden passage Altonius used to escape.”

Shukul pointed in the direction of the deeper inner palace with his trembling hand. Seeing that, the retainers nodded.

“Let us go then. That man should take responsibility for the downfall of the Fildmerk Empire. Although… he might have gotten stuck between a rock and a hard place.”
“Naturally. Etra, you capture these people.”
“Yes.”

Etra replied simply to Kulm. Etra who had already turned into undead couldn’t disobey the higher-ranked Salbuveirs.

“Either way, the palace has fallen. Let’s finish the last step.”

When Kulm said that, the retainers of the Salbuveirs nodded simultaneously.

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