Everyone was curious about the lady that had captured Canillian Vale’s cold heart.
But they had no way to find out.
They were mainly focused on whether or not there would be a fight between the brothers for Princess Rosina.
“The young ladies’ gaze is passionate.
Is it because of Sir Canillian”
The sarcasm stopped her.
As Lia turned around from walking towards the principal’s office for her diploma, she saw Tolin for the first time in a long while.
“You haven’t changed,” said Canillian.
“I thought you entered the war.
Perhaps, your brother is fighting on your behalf”
“Sorry to say, but I was exempt as I am the only male in my family.
Why didn’t you enter the fighting Is there something wrong with you” Tolin countered.
I’m weak and useless.
Even if I joined, I would’ve been baggage.
I know my place very well, young Count.”
A few people laughed at Canillian’s retort.
Tolin blushed at such a remark, looked around, and coughed.
“I didn’t mean it like that.
I had no intention of making fun of you.
I was just,” Tolin hesitated, “worried.
Congratulations on graduating with honors.” He offered his hand.
Lia looked down at it in annoyance.
What is this Is he trying to apologize Or just bully me in another fashion
She looked him in the eyes and grabbed his hand.
She frowned at the way he clenched her hand, but their handshake was brief.
“Congratulations on graduating as well,” Canillian said.
Lia walked into the principal’s office and received her diploma.
Principal Jonathan hugged her looking deeply moved.
He had sent two sons off to war and has aged rapidly since the war started.
The principal gave the entire class their diplomas and became teary.
There were many diplomas in front of him that hadn’t yet been picked up—their recipients busy with war.
Everyone in attendance hoped for a safe return of their classmates and their loved ones.
Through the crowd ran someone who looked like a reporter.
“It’s the end of the war! His Majesty Prince Wade declared the end of war!”
The response was disbelief.
“It’s true! Right now! They executed Eren Sergio! They executed the enemy!”
Everyone greeted the news with raucous cheers—almost loud enough to shake the building.
Lia stood in the midst of the cacophony and closed her teary eyes.
The long, life-changing war was finally over.
“It’s finally over.”
Prince Wade brushed back his bloody hair and sat on the sofa.
He then stared at Duke Claude who was looking out the window.
A long three years.
Through the window Claude observed a sobbing King Rowan hugging Eren Sergio’s lifeless body.
But Rowan’s sobs were ended by a single discharge from his first son’s gun.
It was when Ian Sergio joined the allies that the scales tipped toward the Empire.
“It’s too soon to declare the end of war,” replied Claude, his shoulders wide, his blue eyes cold, his black hair long and unkempt.
Claude pulled the cork from a wine bottle and drank.
Even though he has been drenched in blood throughout these past three years, he was still elegant.
What changed, if anything, was that his body became stronger and the atmosphere heavier.
Any craziness that didn’t show now, lurked inside dangerously.
Wade looked at his cousin, who exuded depression, and shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s been three years.
It took three years to kill Eren Sergio.
It’s time to go back.
Duke, let’s be honest.
You can’t hold back any longer.”
“We still haven’t found Marquis Gliad.”
“He’s just missing.
He’s not dead.
We can find him, Claude.”
The Duke filled his glass instead of answering Wade’s comment.
The capital of Geore had been completely taken over by the allies.
As the disinherited Pierre Sergio requested an alliance with the Empire, the killing machine Ian Sergio naturally followed.
It was the new king’s job to clear the palace.
Claude, disappointed in both the wine and the circumstances, threw his glass into the fireplace.
The fire flared and popped.
Is it really over Has Claude avenged his father’s death
As Claude walked through the hallway smeared with blood, he saw Ian Sergio, who just finished dispatching someone with a bullet to the head.
Ian wiped off the barrel of his gun, but left it when he saw Claude.
Ian walked towards him smiling.
The dark sky was pregnant with snow.
The two men faced each other, both keenly aware of the scent of blood.
Neither of them held a weapon, but the atmosphere was as tense as if they held swords against one another’s throats.
“I found the Marquis,” said Ian, wiping blood off his cheek with the back of his hand.
“He’s being held prisoner by General Dibuiser on the western front.”
“Did you save him”
“Save him,” commanded Claude, glaring at Ian.
“Hm,” said Ian as he tapped his cheek like a scholar deep in thought.
He slowly circled around Claude.
“Do you remember That Geore and Kayan will soon be allied by marriage”
Claude’s eyes slowly narrowed.
Ian’s words hung in the air, taunting Claude.
“I put in a marriage proposal to Marquis Vale back then.
But I haven’t received the answer.
Perhaps he didn’t want to send his only daughter to another country.
He has one daughter.
Someone who should be mine,” Ian replied confidently.
Claude seized upon Ian’s collar and pushed him roughly against a pillar.
Ian maintained his nonchalance through the pain.
“Ha! Why are you so angry”
Claude remained expressionless as he said, “So, are you saying you’re going to make a deal with the Marquis His release in exchange for a marriage”
“And if I do”
Ian grabbed Claude’s hands that were still holding his collar.
A cruel, chilling smile spread across the Duke’s face.
“You dare to use my Canillia”