[Translator – Angel Dust]

[Proofreader – Prototype]

Chapter 188

“It’s been a while, Sergeant Karl Adelheit. Ah, should I call you Young Lord now?”

“Call me whatever you’re comfortable with, Your Highness Miquella. Ah, I heard you were promoted to Lieutenant Colonel recently. Congratulations.”

“Congratulations? Hardly. It’s just a rank they gave me before I retired. I’m still a Major.”

Two years ago, this was Princess Miquella, who had awarded me my first Medal of Honor.

Now, she had become the Emperor’s younger sibling, the Imperial Princess, and had stepped back from all frontline duties.

The emperor I know would never doubt his own sister. He would have encouraged her to stay and serve the empire.

But as soon as the crown prince ascended the throne, Princess Miquella… Ah, this is awkward. From now on, I’ll just call her Lieutenant Colonel Miquella.

In any case, Lieutenant Colonel Miquella, like all direct descendants of the empire before her, chose to step back from all her activities to avoid causing any trouble in the political scene.

It was a strong statement of her intent to not leave even a spark that could ignite conflict.

“You must be disappointed.”

“Disappointed? Not at all. I’m relieved. Did the military ever go easy on me because I was a princess? They gave me even more work! Young Lord Karl, you know what I mean? It’s a blessing to be discharged early from the military. Honestly, I was terrified when His Majesty told me to stay longer.”

“Hahahaha!”

I doubt that. If it were the Lieutenant Colonel Miquella I know, she would have stayed in the military.

Considering she rose to the rank of Captain on her own merit, she’s more than capable.

“And I need to see my niece more. When she gets older, she’ll start to remember people’s faces, and I’d be pretty hurt if she looked at me and asked, ‘Who are you?’”

“The Crown Princess may be young, but she’s smarter than anyone, so I think your worries are unfounded.”

Indeed, our niece is already recognizing faces.

Otherwise, she wouldn’t babble exclusively to me.

In front of others, she either cries or just stares blankly.

It might be a blessing in disguise for Lieutenant Colonel Miquella to step down now.

If she starts visiting her niece diligently from now on, she might get to see her niece happily calling out ‘Auntie! Auntie!’ in the future!

“Compared to when you received the Medal of Honor, this is on a whole other level. It’s gotten so massive.”

“It was a bit smaller back then, wasn’t it?”

“Don’t get me wrong. It’s all relative, I’m not trying to downplay the Medal of Honor.”

“As if I would take it that way. It’s a joke, a joke.”

Suddenly, I remember the first time I met Lieutenant Colonel Miquella.

Let’s see, she was still a captain then, right?

And I had just returned from a leave of absence, still a bit dazed. A soldier who hadn’t quite shaken off the military life. Sᴇaʀᴄh the n0vᴇl(ꜰ)ire.ɴet website on Gøøglᴇ to access chapters of nøvels early and in the highest quality.

“Sergeant Karl Adelheit! It’s an honor to meet you! Your Highness!”

“Oh, um, yeah. Sure. Just don’t shout so loud.”

Pfft. Thinking back to that time, I can’t help but laugh.

What was I thinking? Why did I have to report my rank and name like that?

I don’t think I’ve ever been that enthusiastic, even with our platoon leader.

“What’s so funny?”

“Ah, I just remembered the first time I met you, Colonel. I was a bit stiff back then, wasn’t I?”

“Hmm… Ah, I remember. You were really nervous about receiving the Medal of Honor, weren’t you?”

To be honest, it wasn’t the Medal of Honor that made me nervous, it was the fact that the princess was coming.

Back then, I wasn’t the heir to the family yet, just a naive young nobleman who suddenly enlisted as a soldier, caused a big ruckus, and then got discharged.

Lieutenant Colonel Miquella seemed to recall those days too, as she soon burst into laughter along with me.

“It seems like just yesterday, but it’s already been two years. Almost three years now? Time flies by so mercilessly. It passes too quickly.”

“Back then, I thought that was the end of it.”

“And yet, you’ve led all sorts of incredible things since then?”

I’m being wronged. I didn’t lead them, they followed me.

I was about to retort, but I decided to hold back for a moment after hearing the next words.

“His Excellency has arrived.”

With those words, both I and Lieutenant Colonel Miquella stood up from our seats.

Though he has stepped down from the throne, the aura of the Emperor still lingers heavily around him.

“You’ve arrived.”

“Were you here first?”

“Yes. I wanted to have a brief chat with Young Lord Karl.”

After a short conversation between the father and daughter, we sat down.

I had met the Emperor when he was still on the throne, and Lieutenant Colonel Miquella had also met him during his reign.

But this seems to be the first time we’ve had a three-way meeting like this.

“Your Excellency, is your health alright now?”

“Hmm? Ah, yes, I’m fine. Young Lord Karl, it was just old age, so there’s no need to worry too much.”

The former Emperor, chuckling heartily, suddenly looked at me and smiled.

Why is he smiling like that? Did I do something wrong?

“I asked him to keep it a secret, but seeing that you know, it seems he must have told you.”

“…Ah, that…”

“No, it’s actually a good thing. It means he trusts you more than anyone.”

Occasionally, history has shown us monarchs who, despite the unwavering loyalty of their subjects, harbor a deep-seated distrust.

Afraid that they might outshine them.

A sun that fears the stars, attempting to banish the night yet only consuming itself in the process.

“In that sense, it seems the Emperor intends to take you, the star, with him.”

“I will dedicate myself fully to supporting him, so I trust His Majesty will do the same.”

“That’s admirable. A capable subject is invaluable, but a lifelong companion who shares the journey is a true blessing.”

He’s subtly expressing his relief that the young Emperor has a steadfast ally by his side.

Come to think of it, if the Emperor weren’t my brother-in-law, I’d likely regard him with the affection of an older brother.

The reason I got along well with the former Crown Prince who is now the Emperor, more than others might be because of that.

“As I understand it, Miquella, you and Young Lord Karl have known each other for a long time. You were the one who awarded him his first Medal of Honor.”

“That’s right.”

“Indeed.”

“But I’ve also heard that the two of you have never sat down for a cup of tea together.”

At the former Emperor’s words, Lieutenant Colonel Miquella began to speak, ‘Ah, about that…’

“That was my initial intention. However, Young Lord Karl’s status has become quite elevated. If I had approached him without a clear reason, it could have sparked unwanted rumors and ultimately caused difficulties for His Majesty.”

“Lieutenant Colonel Miquella is right. As someone from the military, a personal meeting with me would be enough to raise suspicions from others.”

“Tsk, tsk. By that logic, I should have worried about summoning you while I was on the throne.”

What can I do? Meeting someone because the Emperor summoned them and meeting someone because the Princess summoned them feel completely different.

Even if I were like other nobles, I would have been more sensitive to the latter than the former.

Fortunately, now that the new Emperor has ascended the throne, there’s no problem at all.

We can sit here and chat like fellow Imperial soldiers, and no one will look at us strangely.

“Speaking of which, Your Excellency, I heard you’re heading south after your visit to the Holy See.”

“You’ve heard that much? Hmm. I’m starting to worry that our Emperor trusts Young Lord Karl too much! I didn’t realize he’d tell you everything!”

Your Excellency, didn’t you just say a moment ago that I’m a trustworthy subject?!

Even if it’s a joke, I’m a little bit hurt that you changed your words so quickly!

When I purposely put on a hurt expression, the former Emperor’s laughter grows louder.

Something I couldn’t even imagine when he was Emperor.

Seeing this side of him, I’m reminded that he’s no longer bound by the formalities of the throne.

“I must go. I must go and pray for the souls of the fallen heroes of the empire who haven’t been properly mourned.”

“I’ll go with you.”

“You stay in the capital and spend time with your niece. Why do you insist on coming along?”

“Wouldn’t you be lonely alone, Your Excellency? I think it’s only right that I accompany you.”

The former Emperor tells her to stay in the capital, but Lieutenant Colonel Miquella insists on going with him.

They were once bound by the formalities of Emperor and Princess, but now, released from those constraints, their interaction has the familiar warmth of a father and daughter. It’s a sight that warms my heart.

* * *

In the end, Lieutenant Colonel Miquella won.

It’s almost impossible for parents to win against their children.

Moreover, since he needed someone to accompany him on his journey, it was only natural that he would eventually accept.

“Young Lord Karl.”

After Lieutenant Colonel Miquella excused herself to prepare, the former Emperor called me.

“Yes, Your Excellency.”

“This might be sudden, but sometimes I get scared.”

“…Your Excellency?”

“Those who selflessly gave everything, even their lives, for this empire, for this imperial family… I can’t help but wonder if, in their final moments, they felt any regret. If they now harbor any resentment towards us from the afterlife. That thought terrifies me.”

Words he had never spoken to me before, during his reign as Emperor.

Perhaps the weight of his past decisions, the lives lost on those battlefields he could never visit as Emperor, now bore heavily upon him as he prepared to finally face them.

Fortunately, I was able to answer that question with more certainty than anyone else.

“Your Excellency, I assure you, that will never happen.”

Even if they could go back in time, they would all make the same decision.

I was the one who witnessed their final moments, their unwavering courage and devotion until the very end. That’s why I can assure you, without a shadow of doubt, that their spirits find solace in the sacrifices they made.

“…What did they like?”

“Simple things. An apple, a grape, chocolate, coffee, and… cold water. Ice-cold water. That was enough.”

The former Emperor nodded and replied.

“I’ll make sure to bring those.”

[TL/N: Idk about y’all man but this made me sad… damn.]

[Translator – Angel Dust]

[Proofreader – Prototype]

Sᴇarch the NøᴠᴇlFire.nᴇt website on Gøøglᴇ to access chapters of nøvels early and in the highest quality.

Tip: You can use left, right keyboard keys to browse between chapters.Tap the middle of the screen to reveal Reading Options.

If you find any errors (non-standard content, ads redirect, broken links, etc..), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.

Report
Do you like this site? Donate here:
Your donations will go towards maintaining / hosting the site!