I am the Monarch – Chapter 314: Alliance (6)
Astonishment was visible on the faces of everyone present. Let alone Manus Persion, the various nobles also had their eyes wide open and seemed to have been a completely unexpected turn of events.
It was only Roan Lancephil who kept a calm expression towards Aived Fon Persion.
“When did you notice it?”
Aived asked while staring deeply into Roan’s eyes. Making a faint smile, Roan replied with a clear voice.
“When you heard the news of Prince Reitas’ death and when the identities of the dark elves were revealed, your reaction was way too calm. You also stayed overly calm despite a fierce battle unravelling right in front of you.”
That made it feel like he was hiding something.
Aived nodded with a nonchalant expression.
“You have great eyes.”
It was then,
“Your Majesty, what in the world is happening?”
Manus interjected with the same surprised expression.
Aived Fon Persion – the rumours that spread around him wasn’t very good. He was known to be an extremely incompetent corrupt king who indulged deeply in pleasure and luxury.
That was what Manus and the nobles also thought. Besides, even Roan remembered him as an incompetent king both in the previous and his current life.
‘Were the rumours wrong?’
It was then that a reply to their questions were given, but from a completely different direction.
“This is the true appearance of His Majesty the King.”
Roan, Manus and the various nobles within the throne room turned their heads to find the owner of the voice.
Mutters escaped their lips. The owner of the voice was surprisingly Duke Pseiad Cetale himself who then bowed slightly towards Aived.
“You were safe?”
Manus asked carefully.
‘Since Lorand disguised himself as Duke Pseiad, I thought something had happened to the real Duke Pseiad though…’
Fortunately, his prediction was off and Pseiad appeared completely unharmed.
“I was safe thanks to His Majesty.”
Pseiad gave a short reply and a smile. Hearing that, the eyes of the surroundings all returned towards Aived who made a strange smile in response.
“You all seem to be surprised because I wasn’t as incompetent as you guys thought.”
As soon as those words left his mouth,
“N, no that’s not it and it’s just that…”
“You were just very different from your usual self so…”
The nobles waved their hands with startled expressions. On the other hand, Manus who had once been as surprised as them had now regained his calm, and his face of surprise stiffened coldly.
“Your Majesty. Was everything thus far an act?”
His voice also turned sharp. Leaning on the throne, Aived gave a nod.
“You could say that.”
He seemed extremely calm and nonchalant as Manus quivered the ends of his fingers.
“For what did you hide your identity?”
Beneath his stiff and rigid expression, rage bloomed up as Aived stared directly into the eyes of Manus.
“It was for the Persion Kingdom.”
“For the kingdom?”
Manus’ expression crumpled and seeing that, Pseiad who had been standing back walked forward.
“Back when His Majesty was still a crown prince, he was famous for his incredible talent and great character. The citizens rejoiced and sang of how he would for sure become a wise king but the surrounding countries did not.”
His voice turned softer as sorrow entered his eyes.
“The Right Kingdom, the Byron Kingdom and the Istel Kingdom did not want our Persion Kingdom to become stronger and did not want a wise king.”
Pseiad then continued.
“By the time of his coronation, the interference of the three kingdoms became all the more intense. If they were to ally themselves and attack, then our Persion Kingdom which was already weaker than other nations in military…”
“We were in a situation where we had to worry about the complete downfall of the kingdom.”
Aived added the last words as a bitter smile appeared on his face. Hearing that, Roan and the other nobles gave slight nods as it was in fact quite common to see cases like Aived’s. There were almost no countries in the continent that welcomed a great king appearing in their neighbouring nation.
Manus gripped and formed a fist. Although he could understand the situation, he couldn’t control the overwhelming rage.
“So you acted incompetent intentionally to avoid the eyes of the surrounding nations?”
His voice was thorny.
“Do you know what happened because of that act?”
There were obvious signs of blame within his two eyes but Aived’s expression remained calm and collected.
“What happened? Did our kingdom fall? Or did our citizens have to starve and go naked?”
Manus couldn’t give a reply.
In fact, it was something he had been curious about. Despite Aived being an incompetent, corrupt king who enjoyed luxury, the financial situation of the kingdom wasn’t bad. Unlike other nations, there weren’t any major battles and the citizens had content, leisurous lives.
‘I thought that was thanks to Brother Reitas and the great nobles of the kingdom but…’
There must have been Aived working behind the curtains. However, that didn’t mean Manus could fully understand Aived’s actions. Because of his false act, a horrible thing happened within the palace.
“Because Your Majesty, father had deceived everyone and acted incompetent, my brother and I pointed our swords at each other. Because of father, my brother tried to kill me and I killed my brother!”
A roar resembling the tip of a blade filled the room as Manus’ two eyes were painted red. However, Aived still retained his calm, nonchalant expression.
His soft voice fell.
“A monarch of a nation before I am a father.”
Light flickered within his eyes.
“I gave up on my life for the kingdom. That’s what I thought would be best to keep this country, and these citizens safe. Do you think I, who had lived a false life for the entirety of my life for the kingdom, could force millions of citizens to death just because of the lives of my two sons?”
As soon as he finished,
“That’s all nonsense!”
Manus screamed as his face reddened.
“If father named either my brother or myself as the crown prince and promised the position of the king, this horrible tragedy of internal killing wouldn’t have happened!”
Intense aura exploded out from his body but Aived only returned a scoff.
“You’re the one spewing out nonsense.”
He stared directly at Manus.
“Reitas attempting to kill you had utterly nothing to do with me. If I gave him the position of the crown prince and promised him the seat of the king, would he have left you alive?”
Manus couldn’t give a reply but knew the answer inside. Aived’s face stiffened.
“And if I gave you the seat of the crown prince, would Reitas have cleanly given up?”
Manus still couldn’t give a reply back but the answer to that question was also rather obvious. Soon, Aived shook his head with a short sigh.
“You two were just destined to point your swords at each other.”
As soon as he finished, Manus bellowed.
“Did you just leave us be despite knowing all that! Why didn’t you just chase me away instead?”
There were drips of tear flowing down Manus’ cheeks. Hot tears of rage and sorrow fell but Aived touched his forehead with his hand.
“You still do not understand, Manus.”
After a short click of his tongue, he continued.
“Reitas and you – one of you had to be killed.”
“What do you mean by that?”
Manus’ voice trembled greatly.
“You two were a lot greater than I thought, and it was to a level that I from my crown prince days would fall short in comparison. However, that was a blessing but also a curse as the kingdom started to be divided.”
“I had never done such a thing.”
Manus rebutted immediately but Aived broke into a sneer.
“Those are things that happen without regard to your own wish.”
That was true.
Even before Manus defended against the allied attacks of the Byron Kingdom and the Istel Kingdom and became famous, there were nobles and forces supporting him from behind. Those were there whether he liked it or not.
“It was a battle that wouldn’t end until one of you was dead. In that sense, Reitas was indeed clever.”
A bitter smile appeared on Aived’s lips.
“He realised early on that only by killing you would the kingdom, the citizens and even himself become safe. However, due to the appearance of an uninvited guest, it all changed.”
His eyes turned towards Roan.
Manus bit his lower lips as Aived continued after a deep sigh.
His and Manus’ gazes met mid-air.
“When you ruined Reitas’ assassination plan and turned it around by detaining him…”
A low voice once again filled the room.
“You should’ve killed Reitas.”
Let alone Manus, various nobles within the room also clenched their teeth in huge shock as Aived continued spewing out horrible, apathetic words with a nonchalant expression. His eyes facing Manus turned fiercer.
“Because you didn’t kill Reitas with a soft heart and sent him on an exile in addition to not clearing away the forces under him, people that didn’t have to die lost their lives. More than anything, the kingdom could’ve collapsed with one mistake.”
Manus couldn’t easily find the words to continue because that was something that he was hugely regretful and remorseful of. He collected his breath before once again letting out a loud scream.
“Then! If you were so worried about the kingdom, why didn’t you personally kill one of us, father! If you did, innocent ones wouldn’t have had to lose their lives!”
Hearing that, Aived let out a short sigh.
“Manus. Young, you’re too young.”
Shaking his head, he continued.
“If I killed one of you two, would the nobles and forces behind you two have stepped back with nods? Besides…”
Strength entered his eyes and voice.
“For the kingdom and the citizens, I wanted the stronger one to take the crown.”
Those were truly apathetic and unemotional words. Manus quivered his body.
“Father… have you…”
His eyes were now painted deep red.
“Ever loved my brother and myself as sons?”
Similarly, his voice also greatly quivered. In response, Aived took a deep breath in.
“I told you before…”
He once again gave a short response.
“I am a monarch of a nation before I am a father.”
Instead of his family; his sons, he chose the country.
Manus closed his two eyes to forcibly suppress the anger. On the other hand, Aived seemed relaxed like he had taken a heavy load off.
“Manus Persion. I am thinking of giving you the crown today.”
His calm voice etched into the ears of the listeners.
They widened their eyes in shock as it was way too sudden. However, Aived seemed to have been planning it from a long time ago as there was not a slight hesitation in his decision.
“During the past dozens of years, Persion Kingdom had grown enough that it could stand shoulder to shoulder with the surrounding three nations. Now, we don’t have to heed to their moods.”
He slowly stood up from his seat.
“It is now all perfectly aligned. Although you defeated Reitas’ evil plans and showed him benevolence, Reitas forced another rebellion and pointed the sword at you. Despite your own life being in danger, you cared for the citizens and became the king after suppressing the rebellion.”
A smile appeared on Aived’s lips.
“That could for sure be called the chronicles of a hero. Our Persion Kingdom had earned a great king who would leave his name in history.”
He took the crown off his head and reached forward with it.
“Manus. Wear the crown. The current you would be able to endure the weight of this crown.”
Slightly, his voice quivered but it was unknown whether he was nervous, excited or sad. Manus slowly opened his closed eyes and stared at the crown before him with his body still trembling.
“Do you think I will leave you be, after I become the king?”
A cold voice was carried by the wind.
“Are you planning to kill me or something?”
Aived asked back with a smile. Hearing his question, Manus raised his head higher up as he stared directly into Aived’s eyes.
“Do you think a savage who has killed his brother can’t kill his father?”
Aived’s smile deepened in response.
“If you kill me…”
His voice remained calm.
“The people will think of you as the hero that killed the incompetent, corrupt king who loved pleasure and luxury to save the kingdom.”
In that instant, murmurs of admiration left from the surroundings.
Aived Fon Persion – he had planned everything so that there would be nothing downgrading Manus even if he were to kill him. Aived had truly thoroughly poured everything in his life for the kingdom.
Manus ground his teeth.
“You are seriously a disgusting person.”
“I have long heard those things from way back.”
Giving a carefree reply, Aived placed the crown on top of Manus’ head. Without dodging and stepping back, Manus only stood still and glared at Aived.
“From now, you are the monarch of this nation.”
Aived heaved out a deep breath with a face that appeared to have put a heavy weight down.
“No matter what you think, I do not regret my decision. I was the monarch of the Persion Kingdom, and I only did what ought to be done as a monarch.”
A bright smile appeared on his face but seeing that, Manus gave a frown.
“I’m surprised you can smile in this kind of situation. Have you ever shed tears before?”
Aived gently gave a nod.
“In my entire life, the day I shed the most tears was the day you were born.”
A curious light appeared within Manus’ eyes as Aived continued while tapping on his shoulders.
“I was very happy and very sad.”
It sounded complicated, but those were perhaps the most fitting words. On the day Manus was born, the king of a powerless small nation, Aived had already predicted the horrible tragedy that would happen in the future.
Manus couldn’t hold himself back and closed his eyes to suppress his anger. In that very instant, Aived’s eyes which were resolute without a single quiver trembled ever so slightly.
‘Manus, my poor child. Please forgive this worthless father.’
A sorrowful light entered his eyes.
‘Live on while just blaming this worthless father. Now, it is time for your father to lay down the crown and take out my sword of revenge which had been polished over and over throughout dozens of years.’
His thoughts wouldn’t be understood even if anyone heard them. Aived still had many untold secrets. Suddenly, Manus opened his eyes and stared directly at Aived.
“I will not turn into a father or a monarch like you.”
Hearing that, Aived let out a smile.
“Well… will it be as easy as you think?”
He then faced Pseiad who quickly approached and reached out a letter. With a frown, Manus received the letter as Aived’s voice entered his ears.
“It is a letter sent from the Church.”
“From the Church?”
Manus opened the letter with a frown.
Instantaneously, a low mutter escaped his lips as his face turned rigid. Aived quietly stared at Manus.
“Now, it is the first decision you have to make as the monarch.”
A short question followed it.
“Friendship, or the kingdom?”
<Alliance (6)> End.