Kidnapped By The Crazy Duke - Chapter 31
Eventually, upon hearing the news that Colonel Noah Rothsilde had left the border, Commander Max Rockefeller sat at his desk in his office and swept his face in pain.
What is he going to do against the emperor of the Progen Empire who has absolute power?
“Oh, Your Excellency*, the *Duchess of Rothsilde, please light his path from heaven and protect him.” (*The commander asked Noah’s parents to protect Noah from heaven)
He bowed his head, feeling the hardships he would face in the future. The salute that Noah gave him was not a general salute, but a final salute with a parting thought. The words Noah had faintly scrutinized as he left Max’s office finally became clear.
“It’s time to leave the chessboard.”
The current world war was a giant chessboard of monarchs trying to expand their territorial control as much as possible, and it seemed to be their only political battle. It was all about chess played on a chessboard.
A smile suddenly appeared on the lips of the Commander, who was suffering a lot from worry and anxiety. If the former Duke was alive, what would he have said to him? Probably, he would have told him to leave it the way it was.
Perhaps Noah and the former Duke would have no problem with it. They lived in an era where citizens were fighting against monopolistic power through revolution, and the idea of freedom and equality for rights was gaining power.
The old days of aristocrats becoming mere symbols of appearances and the monopoly of power by royalty and royalty will soon be over.
‘I’m sure he’ll be fine somehow. He’s not a normal guy.’
Max gazed out the window at the birds that were fluttering through the dry branches.
He looked sad but felt relieved, as if he was watching a fully grown bird fly away on its own. This was the moment when the Duke of Rothsilde, who had served the Progen Imperial family for so long, would disappear into the history of the Empire.
When Commander Rockefeller heard the news, Emperor Meyer III laughed like a madman.
“Oh, I really liked it! What a crazy Duke!”
Facing him, the Commander was worried to see the emperor rejoicing in the face of a pleasant celebration.
“Your Majesty, he’s an excellent strategic tactician who shifted the position of the battle lines and used the terrain to thwart our war plans. Please understand his young vigor, he just wanted to marry the woman he loves…”
“You cared for him very much, as if he was your son.”
“Yes, he was. If you give me the opportunity, even considering the connection to the Duke of Rothsilde’s family of merit, I will persuade him to bring him back again.”
The emperor, sitting arrogantly on the sofa in a white monarch uniform, twisted and loosened his legs, tilted his head as if he was going to fall backwards and laughed.
“I tolerated him last time. If I tolerate him this time too, what happens next? At that time, he will dare to challenge me. He even tried to change the system, making my existence and authority false and insubstantial.”
The Commander, who was sweeping his face roughly, sighed deeply and could not answer. He already knew that the emperor was afraid of Noah without saying so. The steely gaze of the monarch known as the Thunder Emperor curved narrowly. He gave a heartless order with a sneer that contained cruelty.
“Since you beg so, I should tell you to capture him alive. He had the heavy honor of dying at my hands for all the compassion I’ve shown him. Maybe I’m getting old, but I’m getting pretty sentimental. Isn’t that generous compared to the crime of betraying the nation?”
“Your Majesty, in the context of war, it is tantamount to a great human loss.”
”The ones from the successive generations of the Rothsilde were excellent people, but they always turned against their country. Now we’re going to lose them at the hands of the third generation. Death is the best threat, and it will set a good example for revolutionaries with vain dreams of freedom and equality. Everyone must work according to one will. One of them is the state, and the state is the monarch.”
News quickly spread within the empire that the Duke of Progen and the colonel of the military betrayed his country and fled to the enemy country.
There were various views that it was a challenge to the Emperor, that Noah had betrayed Progen, and that he was trying to start a political revolution.
He was described by the world as a promising young man, but the idea of losing everything and becoming a sinner had long since left his mind. In fact, Noah had only one thing on his mind. The goal that he had to get to Diana without delay.
The arrayed code in the fairy tale writer’s one line of text hinted at Diana’s death and its expected date.
Returning to the mansion, Celine staggered into her room and grasped her shaking hands tightly.
She sat in the rocking chair made out of teak wood and warmed her hands in front of the fireplace. Her fingertips, which had grown cold even against the fire, were still all chilled.
Her constitution made her cold, but she blamed it on the intense tension and fear. The flickering flame from the fireplace tinted Celine’s green eyes.
‘Confidential documents? What was she talking about?’
It was Diana’s words that came out harshly. It was new to Celine.
Diana was just accused of being a spy because of the alleged connection to the enemy Duke and locked up in prison. Even if she was the Admiral’s beloved daughter, she had no talent for retrieving classified documents.
Diana was always confined to her room and only went out occasionally to see the Lieutenant Colonel, so it was unlikely that Diana had stolen it.
One of the servants reported on all of Diana’s daily activities, so Celine herself knew very well that Diana had been framed. Celine’s heart beat wildly.
“Is there a reason for you to go that far?”
The operational leak of the war at sea was evident that her father had done it. Perhaps he had been planning it right after Diana’s return. If this fact came to light, her father would lose everything and would not be able to escape the death penalty.
Right now, Diana was likely to be released with the Duke’s influence, but would she dare to take such a risk?
Celine’s eyes, which had been continuously closed, suddenly fluttered open as she realized something. The realization was so certain that it made her makeup-free face as pale as white paper.
A dead man can’t speak. Death is an unspoken acknowledgment of the charges. Her father was going to kill Diana.
Celine’s pale lips quivered noticeably.
“Is that right? Even at the expense of countless people?”
This went beyond the level of hating and loathing one person. Of course, Celine didn’t think that the treatment her sister received was normal.
Ever since she was a little girl, her father always told her not to take pity on her mother for dying because of Diana, and she thought it was only natural.
It wasn’t until her head got a little bigger that she realized it was different from others, and Celine made a choice.
It was aiding and abetting. And because of the artificiality of her treatment, she framed Diana and forced her into a villainous image.
She didn’t want to disrupt her firm trust in her father and her satisfying life. Because the father she had seen was a kind and gentle man. He was better to her than anyone else.
“There must be some inevitable reason why he had done so. So I suppose there is.”
There was no telling what reason he would have to kill Diana, who had become known to the world as the Admiral’s daughter. Celine remained seated in front of the fireplace, not moving a muscle until a quiet darkness settled in. It was New Year….
She could hear the sound of fireworks being set off in the harbor, probably to signal the start of the fireworks display.
The colors of the fireworks covered the sky through the large window and disappeared in a flash of light.
That day must be today.
This sounds like the gunfire of war would rather bring silence. She was only defending the good with no lack. It was just necessary to protect her precious thighs. she would never be cheated or get cut. Even if it was a tragedy for someone else.
In the end, Celine again chose to stand on the sidelines, turning her back on the truth, in shuddering silence.
I sat in an uncomfortable iron bed and stayed motionless.
Life in solitary confinement was not that inconvenient. The stove was on, warm bedding and decent food was provided.
“Miss Diana, it’s hard, but please bear with it. You’ll be able to go out next week. I’ll let you go out as soon as possible.”
Lieutenant Colonel Grenendall, who had probably just returned from duty and was dressed in his military uniform, spoke politely as he handed me a wrapped pie. I didn’t have much of an appetite, so I took the pie and left it on the bed, creating a smile on my mouth.
“Thank you, sir.”
I asked Jeffrey again.
“Why do you always help me? I’m under suspicion of being a spy, so you might be in trouble with the military. Is it because of the promise and interest you mentioned before?”
The light shining through the prison window illuminated Jeffrey and cast a shadow on his face.
“I want you to be happy. It was my greed that brought you here, perhaps to fulfill my responsibility and duty.”
He still looked as guilty as ever. What in the world could he be so sorry about? Perhaps he had been looking at me like that since the beginning. Before I knew it, the visiting hours were almost over. Jeffrey looked at his watch and adjusted himself.
“The New Year Festival will be held tomorrow. There are supposed to be fireworks tonight and I’m sorry I can’t show you. The festival period runs until next week, so I hope we can go together then.”
I had nothing else to say, so I nodded without replying. Jeffrey stood up, smiling as he put on his coat.
“I will come back tomorrow.”
He looked at me with eyes filled with sadness and frustration. He turned and departed. I felt very lonely as one person who had been warmly occupying a corner of the small cell went away.
The night was drawing to a close, and the stars were peeking out of the darkened window. I could hear the guards talking outside, as if they were taking turns.
“There won’t be many people on duty today. Many have taken their leave due to the New Year’s Festival and the holidays.”
“Only unmarried people like us suffer. Because they have to be considerate of workers with families.”
“Hahaha, you want to get married as soon as possible, don’t you?”
It was a silly conversation.
I sat up in bed, stared at the hard iron door, and took a piece of pie that was still warm. It seemed like Christmas was just yesterday, but before I knew it, a month had passed since I left Progen. I was going to be eighteen years old on January 1st, alone, and the family that was destroying me didn’t even celebrate the New Year. I was used to living alone, but at some point, I felt completely empty.
I suddenly heard a voice that I missed, and I jumped up and looked around the quiet area.
I jumped up and looked around the quiet area. It was an embarrassing nickname, but I didn’t mind.
It was a title that no one called me except Noah. Originally, even when my parents were alive, my grandfather, who was my guardian, was heartless and cold towards me. Today, I felt uncomfortable to exhale because my chest was in pain.
Even the air in this space felt humid and rough, and it seemed to crush my lungs. I felt trapped and stuffy, unlike when I was free to be alone in a room without being disturbed.
I looked up at the small window in the high wall. The faint moonlight was coming down like a narrow staircase.
From outside, I could hear the sound of heavy shoes slowly approaching.
The iron door of my cell, which had not been opened for an eternity, opened with a rusty sound. The door opened and what I saw were two magnificent men in guard uniforms.
They looked at me silently, their faces expressionless, but as soon as they made eye contact with me, I had an abominable thought. Something was wrong. My inherent keen intuition warned me that I was in danger. Long-forgotten fears seemed to ruminate.
My nerves were focused on them. I kept calm and read the emotionless look in their eyes. I had been living in constant danger from the richness of modern life, and my gut feeling of obsession with life whispered to me.
‘They’re here to kill me.’
There was a silence between the three of us that felt like an eternity. A sense of tragic finality invaded my periphery.
One guard nodded as if sending a silent signal and went outside, and the remaining guard’s hand was holding a thick rope. The guard with the rope glanced at me and sighed.
“I can’t believe you’re the same age as my sister. I don’t want to do this but I can’t help it.”
There was a whistling sound as the fireworks that were setting off outside the window to signal the start of the fireworks display broke the sky.
Soon the roar of exploding firecrackers sounded deafeningly loud. It was so loud that even my screams were dismissed as silence.
‘I want to hear your true feelings, beautiful.’
‘And I want to tell you from the bottom of my heart that what I said was a lie.’