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    Chapter 248

    A/N: Here's the update for today! I was supposed to update this last night but I was so tired so here you go!

    Also! I haven't read the new comments yet but I saw one that was correcting something, I guess? I will edit it when I have time so just leave a comment if you find anything wrong! :)) 

    Happy reading!

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    So it was a few days ago.

    Rulac suddenly visited Yovanes' bedroom without any notice.

    "What brings you here?"

    Yovanes did not hide his discomfort and asked Rulac.

    Those glaring eyes were quite sharp, but Rulac didn't care at all.

    With the vapor of poisonous medicine, he looked back at the hazy bedroom with frowning eyes and answered in a calm voice.

    "I came to say my last greetings."

    "Last greetings?"

    "Tomorrow, I plan to hand over the house to my granddaughter. After that, I am not going to set a foot on this Imperial palace other than Your Majesty's funeral. That's the final greeting."

    "Funeral?"

    Recognizing the implicit meaning of Rulac's words, Yovanes quivered with anger.

    "Now, do you mean I'm going to die?"

    "It looks like you haven't accepted it yet. That Your Majesty is dying---."

    "Lombardi!"

    Yovanes screamed as vigorously as he was filled with anger.

    But that was all.

    "Cough!..Huuk! Ah!"

    Yovanes' paroxysmal cough and breathlessness began again.

    Rulac, who looked sympathetically at Yovanes, twisting his whole body, tearing his chest apart, handed him a handkerchief from a nearby table.

    "Cough!..ack! Gah!"

    Eventually, the Palace Doctor, who had been away for a while, jumped back in and took action so that Yovanes could breathe again.

    "Haa...ahh.."

    Without knowing that saliva flows through his lips that are blue at the end.

    Yovanes lay exhausted and buried deep in a pillow.

    "How..did you know?"

    Yovanes' condition was getting worse day by day.

    They brought famous doctors from the Empire to examine him, including the royal court, but all of them shook their heads.

    Showing that the poison used by the Empress is so toxic that it is a miracle just to be alive and that it was time to be 'prepared'.

    However, Yovanes ventured out his emotions by beating those doctors to the extent that they would not die before throwing them out of the Imperial palace.

    'Quacks! Who's dying!?'

    Yovanes denied it.

    However...

    "Your Majesty and I are very different, but we have one thing in common."

    Rulac approached Yovanes' side and said.

    "We've got a pretty good successor."

    "Ha."

    Yovanes snorted.

    "A good successor. Well, it's none of my business."

    He said, grabbing the bed sheets that were moistened with sweat.

    "Even without me, the Empire works well already. Those who swear allegiance, do not even show their faces."

    Yovanes murmured as he continued his self-help speech.

    Obviously, the Emperor of this Empire was himself, but he was already isolated and forgotten.

    "Anyway, I'm dying. What happens after that, it's none of my business."

    "That's it."

    Rulac said.

    "That's why it's important."

    Yovanes looked up at Rulac with cloudy eyes.

    Rulac clicked his tongue a few more times.

    Yovanes' head, which was once surprisingly quick to judge gains and losses, has already become dull.

    He killed his father with poison, so this bridle of poisoning himself was rather just.

    Still, it was not good to see Yovanes gasping for survival like an animal hit by an arrow.

    Rulac felt sorry for Yovanes and opened his mouth.

    "The dead Emperor has no power."

    "When I die...

    Rulac wonder if there is anything he has realized now, but Yovanes' stupid gaze shook.

    "Now you must accept death and prepare for what will come afterwards."

    "Afterwards?"

    "That's right. If Your Majesty dies like this, what will remain? How will the rest of us evaluate Your Majesty? If you think about it, the answer will come out soon."

    "I...I..."

    Yovanes asked urgently.

    There was even an embarrassment in his eyes.

    "I used to be a pretty good Emperor, didn't I?"

    After entering the bedroom, Rulac closed his mouth firmly for the first time instead of answering.

    In the ensuing silence, Yovanes breathed several times and asked again.
    "Do I....What should I do?"

    ****

    "All that money really...Do you want me to hand it out, Your Majesty?"

    A high-ranking official at the government office in charge of Imperial finance asked again as if confirming.

    Because he couldn't believe his ears.

    It was Yovanes who had never given to anyone who worked for him throughout his reign.

    But suddenly, he summoned him and he was assigned to distribute a large portion of the budget as rewards, including the bureaucrats employed in the Imperial family, and even servants who do simple chores.

    "Yes, in the meantime, you've been through a lot. It's a gift from me."

    Yovanes nodded, pretending to be nonchalant as if the money was not a waste.

    "Everyone will rejoice in your grace."

    Leaving Yovanes alone, smiling contentedly, the official slowly exited the Emperor's bedroom.

    He thought he'd see a doctor.

    It was to make sure that he was able to make a proper judgement.

    "Oh, Your Highness the Second Prince."

    Then he ran into Perez, who was walking into the bedroom.
    He bowed his head deeply with respect, completely different from what he did with Yovanes a while ago.

    "Are you on your way back from seeing His Majesty?"

    "Yes, that's right. But..."

    The official explained to Perez what had happened a while ago.

    And he asked as if asking for permission at the end.

    "Can I really do that?"

    It was a question that anyone could find strange things with a little thought.

    He was even asking the Prince, who was not appointed as the Crown Prince yet, if he could carry out the order.

    But the official was not aware of that.

    Perez, who he had watched for only a few weeks, was much more trustworthy and easy to follow than Emperor Yovanes, who he had been assisting for decades.

    "Let's do that."

    "Thank you, Your Highness!"

    It has been confirmed by Your Highness.

    At the thought of receiving incentives, the official was elated and distanced.

    ****

    "I'm here, Your Majesty."

    Perez was on the way to make tea twice a day as promised.

    "How come you're late?"

    Despite arriving on time, Yovanes nitpicked for no reason.
    "If you neglect me, it won't do you any good."

    Yovanes smiled, twisting his purple lips.

    "I'm sorry, I'm taking care of Astana's affairs."

    Perez handed over a report with an expressionless face.

    "Astana's legs...amputated?"

    "Yes, he was attacked by a monster, but he quickly severed one of his legs at the scene and saved his life."

    "Stupid thing. Rather, he should have died."

    Yovanes said with a frown.

    Then he threw the report out of bed, as if pushing the ugly garbage into a corner.

    "So, you're only late because of Astana's affair?"

    "I think Your Majesty will need Astana, so please take care of the convenience as much as possible. I am on my way back after replying."

    "What do you mean?"

    I can't believe I need Astana.

    Perez replied with a calm face.

    "I'm afraid I won't be able to be the Crown Prince."

    "..What?"

    Yovanes was stunned and couldn't stop his mouth from reacting.

    "My lineage is a stumbling block to what I want to do most."

    "Huh, you're crazy."
    Yovanes was so surprised that he smiled in vain.

    "The Royal family, the bloodline, stands in your way?"

    "That's right."

    Perez replied immediately without hesitation.

    Yovanes, who was staring at Perez, asked.

    "What do you want?"

    Because he's not crazy.

    No one in this world is reluctant to take the throne as the future Emperor.

    This is what everyone wants.

    "When someone become the Empress, change the current law of losing your family's right to succession and title. Then I will think about it."

    It was an odd condition.

    However, there was a point.

    "Lombardi, is it because of that girl?"

    Yovanes asked, twitching his face.

    Perez replied in silence instead.

    "You're crazy. Just because of a girl, you're going to throw away the throne! Are you blind!?"

    Yovanes began to shallowly breathe more.

    I don't appreciate the vulgarity!

    How dare you make a deal?!

    Is that also because of Lombardi's half-bitch?

    "Never mind! There will be no throne to be passed on to you!"
    Yovanes rejected hard.

    If I go this hard, Perez will reluctantly change his conditions.

    That's what Yovanes thought.

    "Okay, then please write a letter to bring the First Prince back to the Ecliptic. I'll send it for you."

    Perez casually prepared a paper and pen then he handed it out in front of Yovanes.

    It was Yovanes who was embarrassed when the situation come to this.

    Even if he called Perez with a wrestled, the response was only cold and without any regret.

    Yovanes realized with shock.

    "You're seriously thinking of throwing away the throne."

    "That's right."

    Standing with his hands behind his back, Perez nodded.

    "There would be no Empress unless it's the Lord of Lombardi, and it would be better for someone other than me to become the Emperor in the future. I will live as a spouse of the Lombardi family."

    "This crazy guy...you're crazy."

    Yovanes was now repeating just that.

    "If you don't like Astana, would you like to send a letter to the Meyer family?"

    Yovanes's shoulders flinched greatly at the words of the Meyer family.
    The owner of the Meyer family was an illegitimate child from the government.

    If the sons of Yovanes could not succeed to the throne, they would be suitable successors.

    Yovanes, who was staring at Perez to death, asked.

    "You want my maintenance."

    The opposition of the aristocrats would be formidable if that humble thing that became the householder of Lombardi was brought into the Empress.

    The maintenance of the bedridden Emperor will be able to silence all the noise at once.

    "I would recommend Astana over the Meyer family. Although he lacks one hand and one leg, and his head is dull, he is still Your Majesty's blood."

    Perez said to Yovanes.

    "It would be better than passing the throne to the Lord of Meyer."

    "You punk!"

    Yovanes squeezed out his milking power and shouted.

    But nothing changed.

    Standing upright with his hands on his back, Perez looked down at Yovanes with an emotionless face.

    The Knights who were guarding the door didn't jump in either.

    Since he was lying on his bed, Yovanes has been having his emotions come and goes twelve times a day.
    They are now trying to do so.

    It was a clear demonstration of Yovanes' situation.

    Snatch!

    Yovanes took the paper and pen from Perez's hand.

    "Yes, I'm gonna have Astana..."

    Yovanes was likely to write a letter to bring the First Prince back to the Ecliptic.

    "Astana..."

    However, his hand holding the pen remained steady, contrary to his wheezing breath.

    Why do I feel like I'm standing on a cliff?

    His heart beats as if he was looking at a dizzying cliff under his feet.

    Then, Perez spoked behind him.

    "Your Majesty, choose. Would you like to call Astana or leave your maintenance?"

    Only Yovanes' breathing sound rang in the bedroom.

    Then a moment later, Yovanes began to move the pen with his hand, which had smudged ink.

    Perez looked down at the figure and quietly raised one corner of his mouth.

    ****

    (Florentia's POV)

    "Florentia Lombardi, the Matriarch of Lombardi, will you marry me?"

    Perez's question seemed to be distracting.

    Before I knew it, he had a ring in his hand.
    It was the red diamond ring I refused when I announced my engagement to unlock my grandfather's golden decree.

    "I..."

    Perez' red eyes trembled to shred as I began to talk.

    He is genuinely anxious.

    He's afraid I'll refuse.

    It's as if what you put in front of me is not a red diamond ring, but your own heart.

    Perez had a face as if he'd die if I shook my head.

    I really want to remember this face.

    I looked at Perez for a moment and said.

    "Yes, let's get married, Perez. Let's live together forever.

    The next moment, Perez's trembling hand put a ring on my finger.

    "Tia, I'm really....I'm..."

    Perez hugged me tightly and muttered a few words of unknown meaning.

    Thump, thump.

    I could feel Perez's heart beating hard.

    And his face slowly approached.

    When our lips got so close.

    Ump!

    Some of my fingers blocked Perez's lips.

    I said to Perez, who looked very offended, with his mouth shut.

    "Before we announce the engagement again, there are a few things I must do."
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    A/N: And she said 'Yes!', everybody! No kiss though... Poor Perez. 😅

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