For me, my father was stronger than anyone.
The most important person for me, who was born in the royal family of Lakshurusu, Fermeme von Lakshurusu, would of course be my grandfather. But if someone asked me who was the strongest then only my father would come to mind.
Hedwig von Lakshurusu the second son of my grandfather the King and my father.
His sword skills were better than all the knights in the Kingdom of Lakshurusu. I’ve never heard or seen my father lose to anyone.
I knew that there were people gossiping behind my father’s back because he devoted himself to martial arts even though he was the prince. This was done to prevent the threat to Uncle Heifetz’s succession so that problems wouldn’t occur during that time.
Martial arts wasn’t the only thing that my father excelled in, he was also very good at politics. So it wouldn’t be strange if people wanted my father to succeed the throne instead of my Uncle Heifetz.
However, if that were to happen, the country would be divided between two factions, one which supported my father and the other which supported my uncle. If there was a fight for the throne then the kingdom’s strength would decrease and it might give our long-time enemy, Aullène Kingdom, the opportunity to attack. That made my father sad and he withdrew himself from the successor dispute and acted as if he cared for nothing but martial arts.
That was the difficult decision he came to because he loved the Kingdom of Lakshurusu. My father never watched me practice my sword swings, but that was because he was worried about me.
He prepared himself and abandoned his position even though he was stronger than the Captain of the knights and was better than anyone at politics.
I loved my strong father.
I thought it was only natural that my father would be chosen as the supreme commander when I heard that the Kingdom of Lakshurusu had waged war against Aullène Kingdom. My strong father could easily win against Aullène Kingdom.
I thought that my father had the chance to gain another big achievement.
I saw my father leading the army towards the battlefield on a black horse and my heart throbbed as I thought about the stories he would tell me upon his return.
I didn’t know that despair would hit a month later.
I lifted the hem of my dress and ran to the entrance of the castle when I heard that the army had returned from the battlefield.
I believed that I would see my father’s triumphant figure coming back from winning.
However, I didn’t see my father upon reaching the castle gates, instead I saw the exhausted figures of the knights.
I saw my father’s beloved black horse, but he wasn’t on it. Instead, the horse was drawing a roofless carriage with a large black box placed on top of it.
There was a queue beside me. I was dumbfounded by how different reality was from my imagination.
I finally understood what the horse was pulling when I got closer…… It was a coffin.
My heart pounded because of the ominous premonition I got when I saw the coffin.
That premonition made me clinch my chest as I casted my eyes down. Meanwhile, the black horse, that was pulling the coffin, when into the castle and disappeared.
A messenger from my grandfather came to call me as I stood frozen on that spot and I followed him into the castle.
I thought that I would be going to the throne room but the messenger went pass it and guided me to the chapel inside of the castle.
It was a place that was only used for special occasions such as funerals or crowning.
The chapel was tranquil and the coffin that was drawn by the black horse laid in front of the altar. The chapel was dim and only the front of the altar was lit. The light shone on the coffin.
Grandfather and Uncle Heifetz stood in front of the lit coffin.
The two looked sadly at the coffin.
I stared at them, captivated and noticed that the coffin lid was opened.
I couldn’t see inside the coffin from where I was standing, so I approached my grandfather and uncle and looked into the coffin.
My father’s silent figure was inside of the black coffin.
I didn’t know why my father was sleeping in such a place and my voice leaked out.
“It’s just like you see…… Fermeme.” My grandfather noticed I was there because of my voice, he looked up and said that before gazing at the coffin once again. His expression was full of grief.
It’s just like I see……?
What are you saying?
I asked because I don’t know what I’m looking at.
I approached the coffin and tried to wake my father up but he didn’t open his eyes.
Uncle Heifetz called out my name in a sorrowful voice.
“Father, please wake up!”
“Fermeme, look at reality!” Grandfather reprimanded me for repeatedly calling out to my father.
…… I know, I’m not a child. I have a vague idea.
But, I don’t want to! I don’t want to admit it!
“It’s a lie!”
“It’s not a lie. The facts are in front of you. Hedwig… has died.”
Lies! Lies! Lies!
My father passing away is a lie!
Isn’t it strange? There’s no one that can win against my father, so why did he die!?
I tried to yell but I lost all hope and my consciousness faded far away.
“Get a hold of yourself!”
I collapsed onto the chapel floor while listening to the voices of my grandfather and uncle.
The next time I awoke, I was on my bed.
I fainted at the chapel from shock and was carried here.
It would have been good if it was a bad dream, but the butler, Lucas, explained what had happened once again and my single glimmer of hope disappeared.
Lucas told me about how my father had died.
He told me that the army arrived at the fortress beyond the border and attacked it, that Aullène Kingdom had reinforcements, that they collided on the battlefield and that my father accepted a one-on-one battle.
“Julius Rosenberg……” I muttered that single name.
That was the person who had challenged my father to a one-on-one battle and that was the name of the person who had killed my father.
I had heard that name before.
It was the name of an eccentric person from Aullène Kingdom who dressed up as a man despite being a woman.
It was extremely insane for a woman to step out onto the battlefield. Father probably thought the same.
“Your Highness?” Lucas asked worriedly but I wasn’t in the state to reply.
“…… I won’t forgive her, I won’t forgive her, I won’t forgive her! Julius Rosenberg the one that killed my father. I definitely won’t forgive her. I will surely kill you!” I got off the bed and muttered to myself while clenching the sheets.
There’s no way my father would lose to a woman in a fair fight.
I don’t know what kind of sneaky moves were used but there was some foul play involved.
The woman who dishonoured my father and took his life…… Julius Rosenberg!
“I want an assassin from the knight order, Lucas! The person who killed my father, Julius Rosenberg, kill her!” I ordered but Lucas panicked. “Your Highness, that’s……”
“We were defeated and are preparing to make a peace treaty with Aullène Kingdom. It would be ruined if we do something so careless.”
“That’s……! Then hire someone that isn’t connected to the Kingdom of Lakshurusu and pay them!” I said and Lucas nodded even though he was hesitating.
Upon Lucas’ words of defeat, I felt that my father had been looked down upon, blood rushed to my head and I wanted to yell.
However, I was able to keep calm and come up with another plan.
“…… I understand.”
I’ve heard that there were people in the Kingdom of Lakshurusu who would take upon shady matters for money. Of course, I’ve never seen them before.
They didn’t have any direct connections to the Kingdom of Lakshurusu, so they couldn’t be tracked back here.
Of course, I had to hide this from my grandfather and uncle.
There was almost no money I could use without my grandfather and uncle knowing, but if I sell the jewels and ornaments I have then I should have enough to cover the fee.
“Watch, Julius Rosenberg. I’ll definitely repay you for using foul methods to kill my father……!”