Longsword, gauntlet, defender.
The King drew his sword and put it on General Johan’s shoulder.
“In the name of Rose, you shall be my defender from now on.”
He gazed into General Johan’s eyes and announced.
General Johan knocked on his heart: “For the glory of Rose!”
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Behind the King, the Iron Rose knights were watching this scene. They drew out their long swords and held them up high: “For the glory of Rose!”
Dignity, glory, vows.
This was the knight!
The King mounted his horse, and General Johan rode at his side, just as the Duke of Buckingham had done when William III rode out to war.
The standing triumphant marched forward again.
The welcoming crowd cheered as the iron torrent passed through on the red carpet laid out inside the city gate. People on both sides threw flowers on the triumphant knights.
The return of Balboa and Newcastle to Legrand territory was an extraordinary victory.
When the news of the death of the Duke of Buckingham, the imperial lion, came back to the country, everyone was sorrowful and despairing, but immediately afterwards the King declared to the people with his victory: following Henry the Mad King, Charles the Lion King, and William III, Legrand once again had a monarch strong and powerful enough to guard the nation.
He had grown enough to take over the heavy responsibilities entrusted to him by his father and uncle and lead the people to victory.
After a thousand years of division and disintegration, all the Legrand people who longed for the previous prosperity were eager to see the unification of the empire under the Rose flag. Balboa and Newcastle were like a prologue, and they were currently witnessing the dawn of hope.
The citizens of Metzl Castle put on the red clothes symbolizing the Rose, and flooded the streets to meet the triumphant king and his knights, extending a warm welcome to the victorious knights. In the streets, people built huge and elaborate fake castles, and painted theater actors sang in the castles odes to generations of outstanding kings recorded in Legrandian history.
These plays were the congratulations of Castle Metzl to her sovereign, as well as the pleas of the people:
They pleaded with the King to continue leading his knights to guard the nation.
When the King and his knights arrived at the center of the castle city, some little boys and girls wearing rose garlands ran out of the crowd, their cheeks painted red. These boys and girls took off the wreaths on their heads and presented them to the brave knights. The King also bent down to receive this innocent and childlike gift from a little girl.
After laying the wreaths, the little girls and boys held hands and sang, leading the way for the King and his knights:
“Long live, flower of the world, brave Legrandian knights!”
A chronicler witnessed the scene where the King took the rose garland from the girl, and he wrote this down excitedly: “The excellent, strong and steadfast king, the loyal defender, the fearless knights, and the people who love them deeply…..such a Legrand, such a Rose family, who can say that we cannot witness the arrival of glory?
After a long period of disintegration, there will be a great and glorious unity.”
The whole city offered her gifts and cheers to the King and his knights.
Wearing a double-breasted coat, first mate Charles stood in the crowd. He watched the King walk into the Rose Palace surrounded by people, and General Johan accompanied him. Charles was slightly reassured. He raised his head and watched the play in the fake castles, which happened to be at the scene where William III commanded the thirty-six nations to bow their heads.
“Is the Rose family all like this? William.”
Charles asked softly.
Tenacious and silent, and no matter how heavy the burden was, they always walked forward step by step with a straight spine, making people feel that they were omnipotent. It wasn’t until the moment they died that people suddenly understood that they were also mortals and would die. William was like this, and so was the Duke of Buckingham.
They would always let people see only their power and strength, from beginning to end, like a knife, a sword, and a shield.
Charles’ voice was drowned in the cheers.
When he received the news of the Duke of Buckingham’s death, Charles was unable to put aside his worries after all, and rushed back from the southeast coast to assist General Johan in dealing with Legrand’s internal affairs. Before leaving, he asked Captain Hawkins if he wanted to come back too.
To at least, attend the Duke of Buckingham’s funeral.
Charles didn’t say this, but Hawkins must have understood.
The slightly cold sea breeze was blowing, and the ghost ship “Jenny” was gently rising and falling with the tide. Captain Hawkins, who was always flippant with a slanted hat, was sitting on the railing, shaking his wine flask: “I won’t go back, you can’t believe a single word the nobles say…..I’ll continue to be a laborer for him here.”
None of the words of the nobles could be believed. The one who once said he would step on the deck of the pirate ship died in the flames of war before seeing his old friends again.
Charles pulled up his collar, and he followed the crowd to the palace.
After completing the entire triumphant procession, the King came to the residence of the Duke of Buckingham.
The residence of the Duke of Buckingham was very close to the Rose Palace. It was given to the Duke of Buckingham by William III. The emblem of the Rose family was engraved on the main entrance of the mansion. But after walking in, one could feel that, as a duke’s mansion, its interior layout was a bit too shabby.
The sudden death of William III caused Legrand to fall into chaos. At that time, the Duke of Buckingham used almost all of his wealth to support the royal family’s expenses. But the Duke never mentioned it to him. After he became an adult, the Duke burned all those certificates of indebtedness.
When the King had just become lucid and wanted to collect 20,000 pounds to pay his cousin’s ransom, he once asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the Duke’s income. The answer he got at that time surprised him.
For so many years, the Duke of Buckingham, like an ascetic, did not value material pleasure. His only hobby was probably collecting weapons and armor.
The King walked along a long corridor where many armors were displayed.
He looked at a set of armors. These armors were not antiques, and even most of them were in quite dilapidated shape. General Johan told him in a low voice that some of these armors belonged to the Duke himself, and more were left by his soldiers. After every battle, the Duke of Buckingham always tried his best to collect the armor of his dead knights.
“He looks at these armors a lot.”
General Johan looked at the blood-stained armor.
The King looked around, as if he saw the white-haired old man walking alone through this corridor——he put his armors and the armors of the knights who sacrificed their lives together, was it because he felt that they would still accompany him in this way?
“He was always a good general.”
The King whispered.
That was why there were so many people who would charge into battle with him without hesitation when he drew his sword, why there were still so many people who forgot their fear on the battlefield and continued to fight on after his death, just to let his coffin step on the land he wanted to reclaim for Legrand.
They came to the end of the corridor, which was the Duke of Buckingham’s study.
“I put the things on the desk.” General Johan looked at the King. “Every time he goes out, he would write a letter to me. If he failed to come back, it was to be given to you. If he came back, to just burn the letter. That’s the only thing I didn’t do that he asked me to do…..I’ve kept them all. I thought you’d want to see them all.”
The King put his hand on the doorknob, took a deep breath, and slowly pushed open the extremely heavy door.
Candles were burning in the study, the fireplace was also still burning as well, and many manuscripts were displayed on the floor-to-ceiling bookcase. The desk was placed by the window, and a chair with worn-out armrests was slightly pulled away from the desk. On the back of the chair was the red cloak gifted by the King to the Duke of Buckingham.
Everything looked as if the owner of the study had just left for a while and would be back soon.
The King looked at everything in the room quietly for a long time, then closed the door and walked in alone.
He looked around the study, walked to the desk, reached out and picked up the neat stack of letters.
Opening the first letter, the familiar strong and powerful handwriting came into view:
Please allow me to apologize to you, when you read this letter, I will no longer able to walk on with you…..”
His vision suddenly became blurred, and the King slid down slowly against the desk, a stinging sensation surged up into his eyes, and he could no longer hold back.
The cold truth had never been so strong——
In the future, the Duke of Buckingham would no longer accompany him to deal with those tedious political affairs…..No one would read all the letters first and sort out the important ones for him. No one would ever say to him, go out with me for a walk.
In the overwhelming sense of coldness, the King raised his hands to cover his face, and he gasped in a low voice.
From now on, who else would give him a fatherly hug?
There was a thick stack of letters, each of which represented a battle of the Duke of Buckingham. After William III died of illness, what was left for the Duke of Buckingham was not only his infant nephew, but also a turbulent, war-torn Legrand…..Over the years, the Duke had been like this, with one battle after another, not knowing whether be would survive in the end or not, defended the Rose family’s territory.
Every time he went off into battle, he was ready to die on the battlefield.
The King read the letters.
In each letter, the Duke of Buckingham wrote a detailed analysis of the changes in the domestic situation after his death, from which nobleman’s character to what action which vassal state might take, who was loyal to the royal family…..
If he died in battle, the King could follow his advice to stabilize the political situation. If he won, the King would not know what kind of mindset his uncle had while preparing to go into battle.
So many letters, so many battles in which survival or death was unknown.
Everyone was afraid of the flames of war where human lives were worthless, and no matter how outstanding a knight was, it was possible to die in any unexpected incident in the war. What kind of person could prepare himself to die in battle time and time again?
He was indeed worthy and deserving of the title of the imperial lion.
The King read them one by one, as if seeing a chaotic political situation gradually calming down in the face of the Duke of Buckingham’s determination, and seeing himself growing up gradually through the years.
The tone in the Duke of Buckingham’s letters remained gentle but firm throughout.
He was a ruthless general, a brave and fearless knight, and a gentle uncle.
Finally, only the last letter remained, longer than all the previous ones.
“…..I’m very sorry, Your Majesty, for making you bear the entire fate of Legrand from birth.”
This letter was written before the settling of the Northland rebellion. At that time, he had already woken up from his madness, and the Rose family’s crazy gamble had won in the end. The Duke of Buckingham had never mentioned this matter in his previous letters, when he was still under the torment of madness. The Duke did not want to make him bear any more responsibility.
In the last letter, the Duke of Buckingham told him all about his and William’s choice back then.
“There is one last thing I couldn’t tell you before. I hope this will make you happy, my dear child.” The Duke of Buckingham’s tone finally revealed some lightness, as if a heavy stone that had weighed on his heart for a long time had finally been moved away, “About your mother…..”
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
The door was gently pushed open.
The King looked up, realizing that the Duke of Buckingham had left him one last gift.
In front of the door, a woman with long black hair and green eyes looked at him with tears in her eyes, trying her best to show a smile.
TN: the tears are finally falling out, feeling like the aftermath is even sadder than when the duke first died 😢😭
If you would like to show some ♡ then please consider supporting this translator! ლ(⌒εー)ლ