Chapter 78: The Queen, the Princess and Fate (Two)
Keya rose and put on a pleasantly surprised expression. "No, do not leave so soon. That's right! He has not met his brother and sister yet!"
Thales' heart shuddered.
"Keya!" Jines cried loudly. Her tone was filled with… panic?
However, Queen Keya only turned her head back and walked towards the large bed that was a distance away.
"Lydia and Luther will definitely be very happy to have a younger brother…"
Thales finally realized what was wrong with this room.
His pupils shrank rapidly. The gentle and considerate Queen Keya took out…
...two rag dolls from the bed.
On the other hand, Jines' face was pale.
"Look, Luther, this is your younger brother Thales. Quick, say hello!"
Keya happily played with the rag doll in her left hand. She raised its hand and waved it at Thales, flashing a joyful smile.
Thales furrowed his brows hard.
While speaking happily, Keya raised the rag doll in her right hand and moved its head towards Thales. "And you, Lydia. Sit properly. You cannot be naughty anymore. Quick, greet your younger brother!"
Keya was even laboriously swaying her own right hand, as if the rag doll in her bosom was struggling intensely. It was truly an extremely bizarre scene.
Thales' breathing was starting to become uneven. 'Could it be that…'
The prince was in disbelief. This beautiful and elegant queen was playing with the two… rag dolls in her bosom with a happy expression.
'This… this is…'
Jines' breathing was rapid. She walked forward quickly, and the first thing she did was to pull Thales away.
But Queen Keya's expression quickly changed.
Keya looked at the rag dolls in her bosom, and then at Thales. Her expression suddenly became very strange, and her tone became a flustered one. "Why, Luther… Why are you not- not even as tall as your younger brother, Thales?"
Thales gritted his teeth and took a step back.
The next moment, as if she had seen something unbelievable, Keya's expression became frightened and terrified.
The rag doll in her right hand fell softly on the ground, but it seemed that Queen Keya did not realize it at all.
She only looked towards the rag doll in her left hand with a pained expression filled with sadness and despair. She cried, "I know. You became shorter because you lack… lack…"
Gritting her teeth, Jines told Thales, "Go! Leave first."
However, Thales was already so stunned he could not move.
Keya gripped onto that rag doll tightly with her hands.
After a second, Keya began crying in agony. At the same time, she said something that made Thales absolutely terrified.
"Luther! Luther… head… head… you do not have a head! Luther, your head, where is your head? Where did your head go? Ah? Your head… fell?"
Keya raised her tear-filled face and yelled in panic. She laid face-down on the ground, looking around and fumbling about. "Quick! Quick! We have to look for your head!"
Watching this, Thales' blood froze.
Jines went forward straightaway and hugged Queen Keya, stabilizing the trembling queen with great effort.
Keya abruptly looked towards Jines with her eyes wide open. "You! Have you seen- seen Luther's head? It is about this big… It is round… and rolls… With two eyes…"
Thales watched the scene in front of his eyes in disbelief.
Keya abruptly began struggling, and waved her arms frantically!
"Do not! Do not stop me! I want to protect him! I want to protect Luther! My son!"
Jines gritted her teeth, desperately pulling her towards the bed. At that moment, a hand softly held Thales' arm from behind him.
Thales jumped in fright!
He—having yet to calm down from the fear he felt from what he had witnessed—turned his head abruptly around.
The one who held his arm was a stranger—a long-haired woman wearing a black robe and a velvet shawl. This woman in black had a delicate and pretty face, but that face carried a hint of sadness.
Panting, Thales finally calmed his breathing.
The woman—who wore black and had long hair—held his arm. "It is alright, let us leave first."
Puzzled, Thales turned towards Jines who was trying hard to subdue Queen Keya.
"Thales!" Jines yelled, gritting her teeth. "I will settle the matters here. Leave with the princess first. Quick, get out!"
However, before Thales could think much of it, the long-haired woman clad in the velvet dress pulled him out through the door of the room.
Behind him, Keya struggled harder and harder. She was yelling madly, "Guards! Guards! Quick! There are assassins! Assassins!"
Pulling Thales whose face had paled, the velvet-clad woman quickly walked out, leaving only Keya's desperate voice ringing in the air far away behind them.
On both their sides, from time to time, maids and servants with solemn expressions would rush towards Keya's room.
It was as though they were used to such a scene.
Keya's shrill screams were still ringing in his ears, "Sob... My Luther- No, no! Your head… sob… Why can I not put it back? Why can it not be reattached? Why does it keep falling down? Why?!
"Glue it together! It will be alright if I glue it together! Luther, is this not right?"
Thales only walked forward with a pale face. He felt that what was happening behind him was too cruel. He did not dare to face it.
It was only until Keya's voice disappeared far behind them that the two of them stood still at the corridor.
Still in a state of shock, Thales looked behind him.
The woman said softly, "Sorry. Usually, Keya's attacks do not happen so soon."
Thales looked behind him in a daze. Puzzlement slowly began appearing in his heart.
Thales raised his head and looked towards the woman, then said with great effort, "That year, when Luther and Lydia… my brother and sister were assassinated… the queen and the others such as Madam Jines… were they there? Did they witness it with their own eyes?"
After staying silent for a few seconds, sorrow appeared in the eyes of the woman in black and velvet.
She said slowly, "Yes, that day, Prince Luther was... at the spot…"
The woman shut her eyes tightly. As she was immersed in her memories, she spoke with some breathing difficulties, "Jines and I rushed over after hearing the noise, but we were both too late. It was said that his head rolled under the bed…
"Princess Lydia was kidnapped. Jines snatched a horse and chased after her. I ran to notify the guards, leaving the stunned Keya alone in the room."
Thales exhaled deeply. He suddenly had the answer in his mind. 'I see. That day, we encountered assassins on the way to Renaissance Palace. Jines' reaction was so abnormal… She even startled the assassins—who were actually not targeting me—ahead of time.
'Is this the reason why? They all experienced… such a scene?
'This is why… Jines lost her composure to that extent, and hated assassins and killers so much.'
The woman gently smiled at him and said with great sentimentality in her voice, "But you do not have to be afraid, Thales... Queen Keya has been like this for many years. When she is sane, she is always hysterical, and full of hatred. In contrast, she is quiet and kind during her attacks. She would only think that Luther and Lydia are still beside her, hopping about and playing…"
The woman's expression slowly became dreary and grim.
"After the tragedy happened that year, the palace was in chaos. Even King Aydi and Prince Midier were… The guards were so anxious that they drew their swords out whenever they saw someone… So, no one was able to care about this place. All the servants had escaped.
"Only Keya desperately hugged the prince's dead body and refused to let go… It was said that she locked herself in the room…"
"I was forcefully kept apart in the safe house by the guards… The nobles were extremely frightened. They sealed up Renaissance Palace and locked up Eternal Star City… When King Kessel took control of the kingdom and stabilized the situation, it had already been two weeks later." The woman sighed and lowered her head.
Thales sighed softly.
"During those two weeks, Keya zealously defended the room, hugging the dead Prince Luther and crying, surviving on the water in the vase… You know, after two weeks, the prince's dead body had…"
Following the woman's description, Thales tried to imagine the scene from that time. A chill immediately ran down his back.
"When they broke open the door to the room two weeks later, we saw Keya. She was barely alive and almost unconscious, and in her bosom…" The woman heaved a long sigh. Her face was filled with trepidation. "That scene was practically like a nightmare."
Thales swallowed, not daring to imagine the scene anymore. 'For Jadestar Royal Family… The Bloody Year… Was something like this? To live for Constellation… is this the price?'
There was silence... until Thales suddenly registered the situation.
He raised his head and looked in puzzlement at the velvet-clad woman before him.
'Oh, yeah. Just now, Jines called her— The princess?
'Going by her age, she is probably not Kessel's daughter. So princess means that…
'But didn't I see the late king's youngest daughter, Kessel the Fifth's little sister, the eldest princess, Constance Jadestar in the Jadestar family tomb?'
Questions popped up in Thales' heart.
"So, may I know who you are..?" Thales carefully asked.
"Oh. The 'princess' title must have confused you." Being considerate, the velvet-clad woman resolved Thales' awkwardness. She lowered her head shyly.
"My family name is not Jadestar, and I am not a real princess." This 'princess' shook her head lightly.
"I am only the late king's adopted daughter. You can say that I am your half-aunt."
Thales opened his mouth in shock.
"I am Elise Sora, and am a little younger than Constance." Princess Elise smiled slightly. A charming dimple appeared on the side of her cheek. "However, I do not have the right to use the Jadestar family name… Sora, this is my husband's family name."
'Why did no one mention it before this?'
"May I know who your husband…" Thales spoke in a stiff manner.
Hearing that, Elise sighed and spoke, "Count Sora… an honorary count from the late king's era. He just passed away a month ago."
'No wonder she's wearing black… Is she still mourning?'
Thales spoke in puzzlement, "A month ago? The passing of an honorary count? Was it because of illness…?"
However, Thales realized that he was a little rude. He immediately bowed and apologized. "Sorry, aunt Elise. It was presumptuous of me."
Princess Elise was at first stupefied. She then smiled bitterly and spoke, "No, there is nothing to hide…"
The adopted daughter of the late king, Princess Elise spoke slowly.
"He died in that huge explosion at the center of Red Street Market a month ago."
'Red Street Market… Huge explosion?'
Thales immediately froze.
'Could it be that…?'
"It was the night the gangs were fighting in XC District and Western District," Elise spoke sadly.
'Yes. I knew it.
'It was the explosion me, Yodel and Asda triggered.'
He immediately felt guilty.
He forced down the unhappy feelings in his heart and asked slowly, "He... Your husband… why was he in Red Street Market that night?"
'Wasn't there a curfew that night?'
However, Elise obviously did not know much. She heaved a sigh.
"Our relationship is not really good. My husband… likes to seek pleasure in Red Street Market… A few days before he passed away, I went there to look for him and we had a huge argument. He did not come back for three days after that…
"I never thought that it would be the last time I saw him."
Elise shut her eyes, shook her head, and sighed.
She tugged the velvet shawl on her shoulders, which was used for keeping her warm.
However, at this moment, Thales' pupils suddenly contracted!
'That velvet shawl… looks a little familiar.
'Velvet… Woman… Red Street Market… A few days before the huge explosion... Looked for husband… argument…
'Could it be that she is…?'
Thales' entire body trembled greatly!
He looked towards his aunt Elise's face again.
This time, his aunt's delicate and pretty face completely overlapped with another face that seemed have come from an event that happened in the distant past.
'It seems like it had happened so long ago that I almost forgot.
'Yes. It's her.
'That female noble clad in velvet.'
Thales stared blankly at that princess.
'That day, it was her.'
She was the one who was clad in velvet and brought along twenty Swordsmen of Eradication. She met Thales, who was taking a risk and begging at Blood Bottle Gang's territory in Red Street Market.
She was the one who donated twelve coppers and… one silver coin on the spot to the unkempt Thales.
However, Thales' transformation was too great. She probably did not realize that the second prince in front of her was the same child beggar from a month ago.
Thales touched his chest.
The scar burned by Quide using that silver coin was there.
Because of that donation, the seriously ill Coria survived typhoid fever.
Because of that donation, Ned ratted them out to Quide.
Because of that donation… he… the child beggars… Quide… Jala… Red Street Market…
Because of that donation… everything else followed...
Thales heaved a deep sigh.
"What seems to be the matter?" Princess Elise looked curiously towards Thales, who had a complicated expression on his face.
"No, nothing much."
Thales raised his head and flashed a respectful but cautious smile.
This aunt suddenly seemed a lot friendlier in his eyes.
"I'm just a little emotional after meeting a relative."
Asda Sakern's smile flashed in front of his eyes again.
'Is this the coincidence you spoke of?
'Or-' The desolate figure of the robust Kessel in the royal family's burial ground appeared in front of Thales' eyes. 'Is this the will of fate?'
XC District. Underground market. Sunset Pub.
"Cast it off.
"Just pretend that it is a piece of wood.
"Cast aside useless emotions and principles, and become a true Charleton!
"Cast it off!"
Jala Charleton abruptly woke up from her nightmare!
She shot up from the bed gasping.
She remembered that after the three child beggars were taken away, she knelt down at Sunset Pub and did not get up for a long time until she lost consciousness.
On the other side of the bed, which was the corner of the room, a hoarse voice that Jala was extremely familiar with rang up.
"Do you have that nightmare every single time you are upset?"
Jala sighed heavily.
"Old man, when did you come back?"
She shut her eyes and laid back down on the bed.
However, that voice did not have the intention to reply her.
"Jala Charleton, if you cannot look back and face your trauma from that year, you can only be a weakling forever."
Jala opened her eyes. She then pursed her lips and turned to face the wall, turning a deaf ear to the old man's words.
"Who would have thought that even Roda could render you powerless to fight back..? What a waste of those two good knives for killing..."
Jala thought of the three child beggars, who were taken away, as well as Coria's heart-wrenching plea.
She shut her eyes tight and fought back the tears in her eyes.
However, the old man's words were still travelling into her ears. "One single trauma made you shut yourself to this extent. You are just like that Quide… That year…"
The nightmarish memory came.
Jala could not take it anymore. She flipped out of the bed and yelled furiously at the corner.
"Enough! You don't have to remind me anymore!"
The old man laughed in a deep voice.
"Hehehe… remind you of what? Hmph, look, you are so traumatized that you don't even dare to mention it…" the old man continued mocking her.
A clunking sound rang, giving Jala a good scare.
She knew that it was the sound of the old man playing with the blade with his fingers.
Although she felt a little weak, Jala stood up indignantly.
"Hmph, you sound as though you are saying that if I mention it, I will immediately become a supreme class elite."
The old man continued speaking mysteriously, "Who knows? However, if you continue escaping from it, you will definitely not be able to reach supreme class… and what happened yesterday will still repeat itself.
"The Charleton family name will still imprison you all your life like a curse.
"Do you really want the nightmare of that man to rule you for the rest of your life or do you want to experience your powerlessness and weakness again?"
Jala opened her mouth and took in two deep breaths.
"How is this difficult?" She gritted her teeth. "It's just that incident."
"Oh? What incident?" The old man's voice started to gain a little lilt.
Jala's face was distorted. The room made of stone appeared before her eyes.
'It won't do.'
She started trembling.
'It won't do.'
Darkness and blood spread in front of her eyes like current.
'It won't do.'
Her teeth started chattering.
'It won't do.'
She almost could not breath.
'It won't do.
'I must not recall…'
However, the next moment, a small figure appeared before her eyes.
It was a cocky brat with black hair and gray eyes. Although his body was covered in wounds, he was over-confident and spoke firmly to her.
"I will go by myself."
Jala opened her eyes and sucked in a mouthful of air.
In her mind, she returned to that room made of stone.
Trembling, she started speaking.
"Twelve years ago, at Renaissance Palace…"
Her forehead broke out in cold sweat.
*Ting!* In the air, the sound of the old man flicking the tip of the blade rang.
The old man spoke coldly, "Continue speaking."
Jala grit her teeth hard. Her face became paler and paler.
"During my first- first mission…"
Jala's entire body started trembling uncontrollably.
However, the sight of Roda gripping her knife with a calm expression and taking away the three child beggars appeared before her eyes.
That was… Coria's pleading gaze.
Jala shivered. She felt nauseous.
Jala could feel that there was some liquid flowing out of her eyes.
Everything in front of her eyes became bright red in color…
Jala stuttered. Her lips could not touch each other.
At that moment.
The old man yelled violently!
Jala's whole body trembled greatly.
What followed was a streak of silver light that shot rapidly towards her!
A Wolf Limb Blade was embedded into the wall, half an inch away from Jala's left ear.
Jala shuddered violently!
All the scenery, people, sound, and colors from that day vividly appeared before her eyes again!
"That day, I-"
Her eyes were blank. She could not help but roar loudly.
"I beheaded a baby while he was alive!"
After roaring out those words, Jala panted and took large mouthfuls of air. She felt that the energy in her entire body had left her.
Twelve years had pass.
She managed to shout it out.
She finally managed to shout it out.
Trembling, Jala directly threw herself on her knees. Covering her mouth and holding back the nausea and queasiness, she wailed.
At the corner, the old man's voice rang airily.
"Now, pick up your knife, your own knife.
"And not Charleton's knife."