Be the Householder - 2
"As the maid-chief taught me, I came back after all the preparations."
Perez"s quiet voice rang low as if it was buried in the wind.
"I"m ashamed not to see you off."
The Impigra maid came to the academy once a year around Perez"s birthday, with her decrepit body.
And the last day I came.
The maid-chief Impigra said as if she knew it was her last day.
-"When you return to the palace, you must prepare yourself. Because they"re probably all set up."
In addition, the maid-chief, who made various requests, bowed her head politely for the last time.
"Please be a Holy Army, Your Majesty."
It was treasonous for Emperor Yovanes to say such a thing when he was alive.
It was absolutely not what the maid-chief Impigra, who had devoted her life to the imperial family, said.
Nevertheless, it may be because it was the last thing she wanted to say.
Perez caressed the monument with a bitter face.
At that time, he was embarrassed and remembered that he couldn"t give a specific answer.
Perez was there, too.
Something he had to say, but he couldn"t.
The lips, which had been flapping a few times, struggled to spit out the words.
Even though the sick old woman ran the long way to the young man over and over again.
Looking back, Perez had never expressed his gratitude properly.
And it left a deep regret in his heart.
Finally, Perez, who brought his forehead still to the tombstone, rose from his seat shortly after.
And spoke briefly to Lignite, who was waiting behind the scenes.
"Now let"s go back to the palace."
I decided to spend the last evening with my father when I was 17.
As Gallahan"s clothing store gradually entered the stable zone, my father was taking care of what he had delayed one by one.
Among them, the most urgent was the management of the Chesail estate, which was awarded with the Order of the Foundation International Medal.
My father, who had been down in Chesail all this year, came back to Lombardi for my birthday.
Maybe because he was tired from the long trip, he lost a little weight on his face, but his father is still handsome.
No, as he entered his 40s, the the scent of middle-aged man was exuding.
Somehow, I was looking at it with pride, and my father, who was cutting steak, murmured blankly.
"Our Tia is already an adult."
Oh, you"re crying again.
I knew this would happen, so I brought a handkerchief this time.
It was to prevent a mishap in which my father wiped away tears with a napkin he used to wipe his mouth.
But my father was surprisingly calm.
"Now it"s really time to get out of your dad"s arms."
Though with a bittersweet smile.
Across the table, my father looked at me with friendly eyes.
"Thank you for growing up well and strong under this poor father."
"I was so clumsy and vulnerable that I made you suffer young."
Maybe he was talking about what happened before my father started his business.
"I should have protected you more strongly......."
"Don"t say that, Dad."
I got up and sat next to my father.
"My dad is a better man than anyone else in my memory."
"Don"t you remember? When we went to the palace together, you said, "My daughter was surprised" to the Emperor because of what the knights checked."
"Oh, that"s what happened......."
I scratched the back of my head after my father was embarrassed.
"And most of all, you overcame incurable diseases for me. There"s nothing stronger than that."
My father swept the back of my hand.
"How did such a beautiful daughter come to me?"
"Eey. All beautiful things look like my dad. Of course."
My father burst into laughter.
I laughed with such a father.
"Oh, by the way, I have something for Tia."
My father took a small box out of his arms and showed me what was in it.
It was a thin gold ring made of round, large purple jewels.
"It"s a purple sapphire."
Father took out the ring himself and said.
"It"s something I put in when I proposed to Shan. I was so happy to get this ring."
My father"s eyes, looking at the shiny ring, were filled with longing.
"I"ll give it to you for your 18th birthday, Tia."
"But it"s a precious thing for you."
My father didn"t deny what I said.
"Yes, but I want our Tia, who is now an adult, to have what this ring means to Dad."
My father, who was choosing words for a while, smiled and touched the ring.
"A person to love with all my heart."
My warm father"s green eyes looked at me.
"Although there are many regrets left, I don"t regret every moment I met your mother, Shan, and loved her. That"s how happy we were."
Father put the ring down on my palm and said.
"So whenever you"re ready, Dad wants this ring to bring someone to Tia. Just like your mother came into your dad"s life one day."
My father seemed really happy to say that.
And it looked refreshing somewhere.
I nodded, holding the ring in my hand.
And I carefully put the ring on my finger.
"Oh, it"s perfect."
The ring fits perfectly as if it had been tailored to me.
"Thank you, Dad."
I gave my father a big hug.
My father, who seemed a little surprised, hugged me and patted me on the back.
I"m happy with the ring, of course, but in fact, my biggest birthday present is my father.
It"s my first time to celebrate my 18th birthday with my father.
For this moment, it was so precious that I didn"t want to let go.
In the Imperial Palace, a conference was being held in which high-ranking nobles and emperors gathered.
A break in the middle of an hour-long meeting.
Emperor Yovanes sat alone in the lounge next to the conference room, clearing his boredom.
There was nothing interesting.
Beautiful lovers, hunting that once made his heart beat like crazy.
It was no longer fun.
The emperor suddenly felt the emptiness of life.
At that time, the servant, who approached carefully, announced in a small voice.
"What is it?"
"Your Highness Second Prince is asking you to say hello."
Yovanes sprang to his feet.
"Tell him to come in."
After a while, the door opened and Perez, dressed as if he had just returned from a trip, walked in.
Yovanes smiled in vain at the sight.
Perez had really grown up as if he had taken over the image of the Former Emperor.
Yovanes"s father, who was cold-hearted and had no mercy on his children.
"The second prince, Perez, greets His Majesty."
Perez, such as that, fell on one knee and politely tightened his head.
There was an oblique smile on one end of Yovanes" lips.
He liked how the Second Prince, who looked just like his father, always looking down at him with cynical eyes, bowed on his knees.
Yovanes suddenly became curious.
What would the Former Emperor say if he saw the appearance of his son, Perez, who said, "It"s not enough to become an emperor, but you"re lucky to know that you"re the firstborn."
The boredom that had made Yovanes lethargic a little while ago disappeared like a lie.
"All the civil servants and the military officers graduated first, right?"
"And you cut a year and graduated early in five years?"
It was a completely different move from Astana, who only had accidents.
It"s worth seeing.
Yovanes thought, recalling Astana, who is now in the conference room.
Astana, who showed no interest other than hunting and women, had been attending a monthly conference for a while ago.
It was the result of Astana"s repeated pleas in personally.
And there was no way Yovanes didn"t know what was going on.
He want to show himself sitting next to the emperor at a conference where important issues of the empire are dealt with.
And he could also imagine that it would have come from the Empress"s head.
Nevertheless, Yovanes was glossy.
It was because Angenas decided to hand over the newly discovered emerald lode to the top of the red.
But Astana didn"t do anything else.
Throughout the competition, he just sat there and failed to express his opinion among the experienced aristocrats.
And the appearance of the First Prince was enough to touch the unpleasant memories of Yovanes sleeping deep inside.
To the point where he don"t want to hand over what the First Prince and Angenas want.
"Get up and follow me, Perez."
Yovanes stood up and said.
With Perez following silently, Yovanes opened the door to the conference room.
"Is that the second prince?"
The nobles who were talking quickly recognized Perez and became quiet.
"Prince Perez, the second prince, graduated from the academy brilliantly and returned to the palace."
Yovanes, wearing a mask of proud father, smiled broadly and declared.
"Thank you, Your Majesty!"
"Good work, Your Highness Second Prince!"
The nobles scrambled to offer congratulations.
Perez stood with his hands behind his back and looked expressionless, but Yovanes liked Perez"s arrogance even more.
"You"ve grown up in a few years."
"The social world is going to be crazy soon, haha!"
There were a lot of people joking around.
As he did, Perez was still in a shabby outfit when he returned from the trip.
He look like a prince.
The nobles were instinctively feeling favored.
Perez, who silently drew favorable attention toward him, found Lulac Lombardi in the crowd.
At the moment, Perez"s red eyes sparkled without anyone knowing.
Perez, who had been sticking to his noble attitude, paid his respects to Lulac.
It was a distinctly different greeting from the way he nodded to other nobles.
The figure seemed to others to bow politely to their guardians, and their affinity for Perez rose further.
Yovanes sneaked a look at Astana.
Astana"s face was already red, even though he tried to put on a brave face.
Yovanes can"t believe Astana can"t control his facial expression even when he"s 23 years old.
Yovanes clicked his tongue disapprovingly.
And spoke to Perez in a loud voice so that everyone could hear him.
"Go back to Poylac Palace to rest today, and from next month, make sure that Second Prince is present at the conference."
It felt like a big rock was falling down in the conference room.
People stared at Astana unknowingly with startled eyes.
It was because Astana was famous for winning the right to attend Emperor Yovanes at the conference.
In that quiet mess, Yovanes slipped another word.
"I"ll save you a seat next to the First Prince."
Perez sat silent, looking at Astana"s reddish face, and turned toward the emperor.
Perez kneeled on one knee and bowed his head.
Black cape flapped low.
And spoke in a polite voice.
"I will obey your orders."
It was a moment when Astana and Angenas" hard-earned ticket flowed naturally into Perez.