Empress of Otherverse - Chapter 115
The dowager empress was dragged in front of us. Lucretius ordered to have her kneel close to us so we could have somewhat of a private conversation.
The dowager empress looked at both of us and laughed loudly.
“So you won.”
“Indeed. Are you upset about it?”
The dowager empress frowned. “Of course. I bet everything I had and lost. I can understand how you could have snuck in by yourself, but… How the hell did you sneak an entire army inside the castle? It doesn’t make sense that you brought them here without a single fight with my men in the city or outside these halls.”
Lucretius smiled leisurely and replied, “The castle is full of secret passages that connect to everywhere like a spiderweb. My grandfather let me know all of these. Only the heirs to the throne can know about them.”
The dowager empress murmured in confusion, “He… told you about them? You were born after he passed away. There is no way you’re telling the truth.”
“He left a record of it. The former emperor didn’t get to see this record because my grandfather didn’t acknowledge him to be a worthy heir. After my mother died, Cornelius gave me this record from Emperor Kentius. That is how I found out about them.”
“I am grateful.”
The dowager empress looked faded. At the mention of Emperor Kentius, her voice trembled subtly.
After staring at the ceiling for a few minutes, she suddenly started to laugh.
“Ha, haha… Hahahaha!”
She smiled bitterly and turned to me.
“Do you think you are now the winner, little boy?”
The dowager empress took a step towards Lucretius, not me.
Her hands were tied behind her back and she still had an arrow stuck in her shoulder. One of her fingers was cut off. There was no way she could harm him at this point, so she wasn’t stopped by the guards.
She turned towards me and gave me a bloody glare. I felt like my heart froze in fear.
“Do you think that when I die, it will truly be all over?”
“What are you…”
“But this is only the beginning for you.”
The dowager empress turned towards Lucretius again.
“An emperor is alone for his entire life. He lives with suspicion by his side. Distrust is his best friend.”
She then looked at me.
“An empress is not just the emperor’s partner. She is the emperor’s nemesis.”
Her words were like cold chains around my heart.
“Do you know what happens when the beast gets caught during the hunt?” Katleyanira laughed and continued, “The hunting dog gets put down first. The hunter can’t help but fear that the dog may turn on him.”
Lucretius stood up angrily. “Shut up!”
Katleyanira giggled as she enjoyed Lucretius’s fury.
“I am only telling you the truth. Even the greatest love can’t survive time. Eventually, your heart will return to being a block of ice. When that happens, who do you think you will hurt next?”
I pulled Lucretius’ arm as he got angrier.
“Don’t get emotional. You are hurt, remember?”
I turned towards Katleyanira.
“You got one thing wrong, Katleyanira.”
“Wrong? What did I get wrong?”
I answered evenly, “I’m not a hunting dog. I’m a human.”
Katleyanira didn’t reply. She just looked deep in thought and I didn’t know what it meant.
At Lucretius’ gesture, the knights dragged Katleyanira down to the execution block. It was the very block where I was supposed to be executed. It was the same dull ax that would cut into my neck.
The cutting edge of it was covered with blood and oil, making it even duller. The dowager empress’s death would be the most painful and prolonged.
However, Katleyanira didn’t look afraid at all. In fact, her face was void of any emotions.
The knights grabbed her hair to move her neck onto the block. Even if she tried to fight, there would be no use. She was tied by a rope and those knights were strong.
I knew exactly how she must be feeling.
My hands trembled remembering the moment, but a big hand covered my own. When I looked up, Lucretius was smiling at me warmly.
“You can relax now. I will never let anything like that happen to you again. I promise. In fact, I meant to rescue you earlier today, but things didn’t happen according to my plan.”
I nodded without a word and squeezed his hand.
I must have been very nervous because my hands were cold. His hands felt incredibly warm.
Just then. the chancellor’s cold voice rang.
“Carry out the execution!”
The executioner raised his ax high.
Following a heavy sound, I heard a piercing scream.
The hall filled with the prisoner’s agonizing scream and moan.
The executioner continued on without hesitation. Clearly, the ax was too dull.
Two, three, and four swings.
The shriek became quieter and quieter until it finally stopped as the ax got stuck into the wooden block.
The red-haired head rolled onto the ground. I kept my eyes open and forced myself to watch the whole thing.
Lucretius held my hand the entire time. His warmth helped me to stay calm.
When the executioner picked up and raised Katleyanira’s head high to confirm her death, the hall filled with excited cheers.
How strange it was to see people celebrate such a gruesome death.
No one showed sadness or sympathy. I hoped I wouldn’t become like them.
Katleyanira and the two marquises’ heads were sent to the public square for display. People will throw stones and spit on them until there was nothing left of them except skulls.
I walked with Lucretius slowly to my chamber. He pulled me closer to him, which made me blush.
I whispered, “W, what are you doing?! You are embarrassing me!”
He gave me a sexy smile. “I’m just enjoying our reunion.”
Hearing his corny joke made me feel a little relieved.
He seemed normal.
He came back alive and the dowager empress was dead. She was never going to be able to harm us anymore.
It finally started to feel real. I felt relieved and leaned against him.
Suddenly, he moaned.
That’s right! Luc was injured. I was an idiot, how could I forget?
“A, are you ok? I’m sorry…”
When I asked worriedly, he smiled even though he was sweating and pale.
“I’m tough, so I’ll be fine.” He then chuckled. “Look ahead and smile. The castle is still in a disarray, so we need to smile and show them everything is okay.”
I followed his suggestion. He was right. I smiled confidently and walked on. Everyone we passed by, the noblemen and the soldiers, kneeled to us.
I said to him, “How hard your life must be.”
He was injured, yet he couldn’t even show that he was in pain.
Just then, he replied to me in my ear, “All the pain and difficulty I feel, I only need one person in this world to know about it.”
I felt like my body was burning. I knew my face must be red.
I couldn’t look at his face at all until we reached my room.