“The commander has sent a message to His Majesty,” replied the other. “News will come soon.”
The Archduke of Kyrstan seemed to be discussing the princess’s disposition with the emperor. All sorts of worst thoughts ran through Elise’s mind.
“As long as the princess’ affairs are resolved, we can finally go home. I’m tired of this dusty battlefield. Of course, our commander will have to endure His Majesty’s nagging for a while even after he dies.”
“Every time he sees the commander, His Majesty pecks at him like a picky mother-in-law. He’s always urging the commander to have a strong child as soon as possible.”
“Are you tired of that insistent person coming to see His Majesty?”
“But the commander’s bloodline is too important to be cut off. It’s easy to say, though, isn’t it?”
The knights chuckled for a moment.
“He’s not a normal man. Is there a woman out there who could stand him?”
Elise hugged her knees, lost in thought. She had always heard rumors that the Archduke of Kyrstan was not human, and now it seemed that those rumors were true. He was a transcendent being, with dragon’s blood running through his veins. And apparently, he didn’t have a woman who could match him.
The thought of the Archduke of Kyrstan being a dragon sent chills down Elise’s spine. From the books she had read, dragons were half-human, half-beast creatures with ugly appearances, low intelligence, and poor social skills. But Rezette Kyrstan was nothing like that. He was beautiful, with perfect physical features and a statue-like appearance.
It was hard to imagine the man in the pictures of monsters, who were often depicted as being unable to control the madness of the dragon blood flowing through their veins, being someone as beautiful and composed as the Archduke of Kyrstan.
Elise took in this new information, knowing that it could be useful in the future. She needed to gather as much information as possible about the Archduke of Kyrstan, hoping that it might save her life. But her greatest hope was for Emperor Van Yella to show mercy and keep her alive. With her forehead resting on her clasped hands, Elise closed her eyes and prayed for a miracle.
After five long days, the messenger finally arrived.
The news that the emperor’s messenger brought was not at all hopeful for Elise. She had hoped for mercy, but what she received was far from her expectations.
As she looked at the Archduke of Kyrstan, she was struck by how different he looked from five days ago. His hair was neatly styled, and his formal attire, complete with a long sword at his waist, made him look more like a statue than a real person.
Elise couldn’t help but snap at him, “Put away the hypocrisy. Is there any reason for a person who brings things to kill herself to the princess of the defeated country to be treated with courtesy?”
But the Archduke of Kyrstan ignored her and simply said, “This is a message from His Majesty the Emperor Van Yela. I will give the last remaining princess of Argan a chance to end her life for herself.”
Elise bit her lip as she glared at what her reaper was holding with both hands: a dagger with ornate patterns and a black vial. It was easy to guess what the vial contained. The archduke continued, “Choose. Will you commit suicide honorably, or will you be brought to the capital of Van Yela and beheaded on death row?”
Being able to choose the form of death was definitely a generous offer. It was a more honorable end than being taken into slavery by a foreign country. Elise knew that Emperor Van Yella would not offer anything cheap, so it was a good deal. And of course, the chosen method of death would leave no unpleasant marks on the body and cause less pain, allowing the person to die clean and comfortably. It was a consideration that allowed one to keep their dignity in front of the enemy.
But Elise couldn’t hold back a laugh at the thought. Haha… where am I in the spirit to take care of that? she thought to herself.