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Chapter 58: The Empty Throne
The night before the Dragon God Festival.
I walked unaccompanied into the deathly still audience room.
I proceeded one step at a time until I reached the masterless throne.
It was shining brilliantly, illuminated by the moonlight pouring in through the window, the crystal fragments inlaid on its base reflecting the light. The throne by itself was nothing remarkable.
Six months ago, everything had begun right here.
The moment I saw my daughter faint upon hearing Crown Prince Vikram declare the annulment of their engagement, [I] regained my memories.
I used everything I could.
I had not neglected to prepare a single thing; the stage was now perfectly set.
At the Dragon God Festival tomorrow, Julieta was going to offer the Dragon Pearl to the ancient dragon Kharis and forever change the history of Palcemith.
The [True] ending that the heroine Nasha had originally reached was now in Julieta’s hands. Julieta now had the support of all the capture targets other than the Crown Prince, and she and her brother, Sigurd, had pledged their futures to one another.
Yet even I could not predict the future that awaited us from here on.
The otome game, [The Dragon and the Sacrificial Priestess] would end with the Dragon God Festival. Although each of the endings had their own epilogues, they were a bonus at best. There was no way to know what daily life would be hereafter nor of any incidents that would occur in the days to come.
If I am an existence sent to this world only to save Julieta, my role will end tomorrow. It wouldn’t be strange if I were to die after the Dragon God Festival of something like a heart attack.
If my life didn’t end it would mean that I still had something to do.
The first thing that came to mind was the curse on the Asbal bloodline: that the Asbals’ lives ended like clockwork the day they turned 55. The fortunate saw the birth of their grandchildren. However, they could not possibly hope for anything more.
From here on, even if Julieta and Sigurd got married and were blessed with a child, I would only be with them till they turned ten.
If there were a way to stop this chain of early death, it would begin not with my generation, but with Julieta’s. If I lived to see tomorrow, I would leave this country once the situation calmed down a bit.
The answer lay not in this kingdom, but in one far away from here.
It wasn’t in the bulky character reference collection I had read from cover to cover in my past life either. The true beginning of Palcemith was most probably located “outside the continent.”
The small country of Hinoe, in the easternmost tip of the continent of Yugena, was a country founded by [The People who traversed the sea]. I planned to look for clues there.
Another thing came to mind.
“…Staying up late even when you have an early day tomorrow, huh, Anri?”
A voice called out from behind me.
Turning to look back, I saw a man standing.
Black hair tinged with red and hazel eyes, his beauty hid a strong physique beneath his military uniform. The sword he wore on his waist was the one that had sealed the dragon’s soul, [Quistacis: He who Controls Dragons].
He was the Commander of the Palcemith Royal Knight Order, the famed shield of the kingdom.
…and to the formerly evil Prime Minister, he was my one and only lover.
Jolga gave a faint smile when his name was called out. As I held out my hand to him, Jolga approached me head-on. He smoothly grabbed my hand and placed his lips thereupon.
Jolga’s popularity in the castle had taken a wild turn ever since he became my lover. It wasn’t negative, but rather in praise because he had become much more charming. Being praised as being upright, clean-handed, vigorous, and full of fortitude might sound pleasing to the ears, but the underlying meaning was that he had been a stubborn and inflexible man with no idea how to treat women. Now he responded with seductive smiles even amidst lighthearted banter, would loosen his collar in a grand manner during break, and had the composure to reply to women’s gazes with a flirtatious look.
The fact that such a man was obsessed with me alone was in itself quite funny, but on the off chance that I was to breathe my last tomorrow, this man could quite adeptly bring Palcemith to its future ruin.
If my life were to be spared, I intended to spend a long time with him.
In an idyll, my eyes followed his lips as they parted with a wet smack; he stroked the hair below my ear gently with his hand.
“I visited your room, but you weren’t there.”
“I see I caused you trouble.”
Jolga smiled, raising his head. He looked at the throne I had been gazing at just now.
The empty throne shone brightly under the moonlight as always.
“…You wanna sit?”
When I tried asking him the question as a test, Jolga’s eyes grew a little wider and he shook his head with a wry smile.
“I have never wanted it. What about Anri?”
“Sitting on that precarious throne? I’d refuse even if asked.”
“You’re right. If you sit anywhere, it should be on my lap.”
“…You mutt. Don’t get carried away.”
I reached out to chide him, pinching his nose tightly. A tongue came out to counter, licking my thumb. Taking the opportunity, as it was on its way to tap his nose in chastisement, Jolga grabbed my hand, tightly entwining our fingers.
“I do not know what will change tomorrow, nor what you want. It’s hard to understand everything, but I will promise you one thing.”
Bringing his face close, Jolga’s teeth lightly nibbled my earlobe.
“I won’t reject you.”
“I’ll accept everything you have done. That’s why I want you to take me with you.
After a moment of silence…
Pulling where Jolga held me, I grabbed his hand from inside mine and placed his large palm on the nape of my neck.
The back of my neck, the clear distinction that separated my head from the rest of my body.
I could feel the warmth of his body slowly permeate my skin as Jolga rubbed his palm against me.
“After tomorrow, if Julieta survives her ordeal a new page will be written in the history of the Kingdom of Palcemith.”
And if my life were to be spared…
“I’ll let you mark me…not that cheap imitation, but the real thing. A brand to prove that I am yours, Jolga. Right here.”
I’ll take you along, just as you wish, even if my revenge has ended. Kicking away the empty throne, we will go to the far beyond.
Even if our destination is hell.
Hasr: I just finished TLing the last chapter of SMGO, and boy did the end make me cry
7 Chapters to go