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Chapter 45

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The Requiem of the Nobility (2)
“Get out…”

A Salbuveir retainer declared the first thing upon opening the door of Altonius’s cell. A forced smile appeared on Altonius’s face.
His previous self would never take on such attitude, but his spirit has completely fallen after the month of torture, and he no longer recognized himself as the Emperor, but a slave to the Salbuveirs.
In other words, he was pouring all of his energy into considering what kind of attitude he should have to make his life less painful.

“Yes.”

Altonius obeyed the retainer pliably. Upon leaving the cell, he obediently followed behind the retainer.

(Mm? Where are we going now?)

Altonius was doubtful about the fact that he was taking a different path than the one where the torture took place for the past month.
Altonius followed the retainer into the palace silently. The blood was washed away and the destroyed walls and door were repaired.
People who used to serve in the palace were running around in a busy manner. Altonius saw familiar faces here and there.
However, their expressions suggested that they were frightened by something. It’s as if it was to be their end if scolded. Their figures reminded him of worker bees.

(Am I no longer the object of their loyalty…?)

Seeing his subjects who were once loyal to him serving those who killed them, Altonius’s heart felt heavy. However, he was not grieving for the situation they were placed in, but he felt sorry to himself that his subjects betrayed him.

Knock, knock…

Altonius’s mood became even heavier when the retainer knocked on the door of his former office. To Altonius, this office symbolized the Emperor’s authority. He was furious that the Salbuveirs were using it as their own, but Altonius who has grown into a slave did not speak a word about it.

“Get in.”

The retainer urged Altonius inside after receiving permission to enter. The Marquis Salbuveir’s family, Etra, and Shukul were waiting inside. Moreover, the Crown Prince Altos, Empress Illine, and Side Consort Aluris were kneeling before them.

“You guys…”

Altonius uttered a dumbfounded voice. He did not think he would meet his family here. Moreover, unlike the Second Prince Etra and Third Prince Shukul who were standing up, the former Crown Prince Altos, Empress Illine, and Side Consort Aluris were kneeling down.

“You insolent fellow, kneel down!!”

The retainer hit the backside of Altonius’s kneel with a spear handle, and another two retainers held down his head.

“Kuh…”

Altonius, whose character has grown servile endured even while forced to kneel in front of his family.

“Now, it’s fine. It’s not the first time you have experienced this fool’s stupidity.”

Ortho’s words were full of insults towards Altonius. Although he was outright insulted, Altonius showed no discomfort and smiled pliably instead.

“To think you would not be even able to talk back. Lord Etra, Lord Shukul, you have my sympathy.”

Ortho’s words were not able to crumble Altonius’s smile. Seeing that, pained expressions floated on Etra and Shukul’s faces.

“Etra, Shukul, you have no need to feel ashamed.”

Emilia addressed the two princes. Her voice contained certainty. Etra and Shukul bowed to Emilia in gratitude.

“Altonius, none of us called you here today.”
“What do you mean?”

Altonius asked Ortho with an unchanging self-deprecating attitude.

“The term of your torture was one month. After that one month, you were to be burned at stake.”
“… Eh?”
“I said you were supposed to be burned at stake. Do you remember that you were supposed to be executed back in our fief?”

Every Ortho’s words made Altonius’s face lose color.

“I don’t really care if you forgot, though. Oi.”
“Yes.”

It was Kulm who replied to Ortho. Kulm stood up and snapped Altonius’s right hand in half.

“Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarighhh!!”

His shriek echoed around the office, but Kulm took his other arm and snapped it as well.

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!”

Altonius screamed as severe pain assaulted his body and mind again.

“You have one last job to do as the Emperor of the Fildmerk Empire.”

Ortho said coldly and addressed his retainers.

“Let’s return to Salbuveir. We have no more business in the capital.”

Joyous expressions floated on the faces of the retainers when they heard Ortho’s words.

“Our next job is to revive the Salbuveir fief.”
“Roger!!”

The Salbuveir retainers shed tears after listening to Ortho. The Salbuveir retainers were delighted that they can finally use the power they used to destroy the Fildmerk Empire with to restore the territory.

“And it’s nice to know that we’ve got a bunch of slaves who won’t be used up, no matter how roughly they’re used.”
“Yes!!”

Once again, the retainers responded happily, this time to Kulm. The slaves Kulm spoke about, were naturally the undead other than the Salbuveirs.

“Altonius, with your death, the Fildmerk Empire will cease to exist. However, your hell will never end.”

Ortho declared with a cold smile.

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