“Come on, let’s get in already.
The king is waiting for us.”
I couldn’t deny the feeling that I was the only one being left behind, but we had to move on.
Gramps nodded his head.
At the same time, the guards opened the heavy-looking door.
There was a palpable sense of unease in the air.
For once, the situation was different from usual.
I straightened up and went inside.
The king was sitting in a luxurious chair with a small, detailed pattern carved on it.
He looked dignified, but his expression changed the moment he saw Gramps.
His expression was not angry or disgusted at all, but a mixture of happiness and guilt.
He was just thrilled to see Gramps.
His eyes widened and I could see his pupils shaking slightly.
“It’s been a long time.”
Gramps said this in a slightly different, more youthful tone than usual.
It wasn’t quite an emotional brotherly reunion, but the King was certainly overjoyed to see his brother again.
For the first time, I noticed how young the king appeared.
When you put his brother’s face in front of him, the resemblance was definitely there.
I mean, Gramps, you should always speak with a youthful tone.
You might even look good.
Then you could fantasize about getting married, too.
Gramps called out the king’s name calmly.
The sound of his voice startled the King out of his reverie.
“Brother…, it has been a long time.”
The King was using honorifics for Gramps….
I should tell everyone when I get back to the village.
There was tension in his voice.
“I knew she was really…”
He stared wide-eyed into those eyes.
There was a big difference between what I said and what he actually confirmed by looking at him.
And as far as I know, her eyes were not discussed much among the five noble families….
Well, it couldn’t be helped when thinking about such a powerful woman.
“I think she’s been deported, though.”
Gramps said this happily, not looking particularly sad.
He was a kind and wise old man in front of Alicia and me, but his dignity increased after he became the leader of the impoverished village.
And now, talking to the king, he looks like an entirely different person.
…It felt like he was getting younger and younger.
“I’ll leave her case to Duke.”
“You have a very difficult son.”
“Really, he is so good that I will never be in a position to do so.
…Brother, I have something to say to you.”
With that, the king rose from his chair and moved a little closer to Gramps.
The king’s movements were a little stiff.
He was probably still nervous.
“I know that an apology will hardly be acceptable.
But please forgive my mother’s foolishness.
I am sorry.”
He bowed deeply as he said this slowly and politely.
The king apologized to Gramps.
I watched him silently, amazed.
For a moment, the whole room was silent.
This strange sense of urgency makes my heart beat faster.
I wondered what Gramps would say.
All of us were waiting for him to say something.
“I’m sorry, but you didn’t do anything wrong in the first place.”
The king looked up at his words.
“The problem, now that I think about it, is that I didn’t handle the situation well.
I was simply overconfident in my own abilities and let down my guard.”
Unintentionally, Gramps, who could say such a thing despite being framed and badly hurt, revitalized me.
He wasn’t being sarcastic or anything; he was speaking from the bottom of his heart.
I would never be able to do that.
There were only two options: make him suffer the same fate as he did, or receive even harsher retribution.
…Am I too much of a bad character
“There could be many things as dirty as that in this world.”
The king said nothing.
Or rather, he could not say anything.
Gramps continued his story.