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Chapter: 49.1

Iveca stood before Daniel, listening to his usual sweet voice, but this time tangled with a strange sombreness. It broke through his disheveled hair and uniform. She stared silently at his blue eyes, impulsively closing the distance between them, making him look up at her.

"I’m sick and tired of it all," He said, his voice lethargic, looking up to see her reaction. He grinned but the smile didn’t reach his eyes.

"To be of royalty is a great burden, we have to face our blood at some point," He confessed, clearly aggrieved.

Iveca swallowed, carefully preparing herself to give him the right response. "Do you mean Princess Ashe’s child?" She asked, reflecting on his words, "Facing one’s blood."

He spoke, his voice tight but precise, showing no emotion, "The child proved to be a nuisance in many ways, and to be honest, I wanted to get rid of Ashe the second I heard she was pregnant. I’ve received decisive evidence that connects Amethan with the rebels. I cannot risk compromising my military while knowing that."

Iveca didn’t reply, listening silently to the man. He continued, "Not wanting to get my hands dirty, I asked my staff to tip the Revolutionary Army about my sister’s pregnancy, instructing them to either take them or get rid of them completely, out of Amethane. Everything would’ve been done quietly if it weren’t for those damned Republicans, they screwed us over."

Iveca mulled over that, remembering the last time she’d seen the siblings together, talking about the child’s disappearance. At the child’s disappearance, Daniel would have tracked the person responsible and it wouldn’t have been so troublesome if Ethan, the rebel governor, and father of the child, had removed the child. Iveca realized what’d happened, Ethan’s subordinate, who’d received the information midway had eliminated the child.

In essence, Daniel’s information was what had killed the child, even if it hadn’t been his intention.

"Do you know what my first thought was when I first heard about the child?" Daniel laughed humourlessly. Iveca shook her head slightly and he ran a ragged hand down his jaw. "Ashe killed my brother, she pushed me into this." Iveca’s eyes widened but she couldn’t reply.

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"The child didn’t do anything to me though, and I know I did everything right by my calculations. The child… and Amethane- Do you think I should have been chosen as King?" He asked, his composure finally breaking.

It was a difficult problem to work around with; Iveca had seen the horrors of war firsthand while visiting the Empire and also seen the immense power of the emperor. If they’d discovered that the General of the Rebels was hiding in the royal palace, Amethane would have disappeared from the map.

"I became a King who killed his nephew, just so I could stay in power," He heaved slightly and ran a hand through his messy hair, making them stand further.

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Iveca couldn’t bring herself to speak, instead of looking at the man in front of her. In front of the world, he was a kind and just man who had ascended the throne after winning through a bloody war, the young and handsome King of Amethane who differed from other families, who didn’t use dirty tricks to kill his family members.

Iveca knew deep inside that he was a different man than everyone viewed him to him, despite differing from his brothers, he was still one of them. "I was delusional enough to think I’d change but I still haven’t," He said and Iveca watched him slowly change in front of her.

"What do you mean?" Iveca asked.

"I’m going to return to my normal state, this is the end of my grief for my sister and her child, the end of my self-loathing. When I leave the gymnasium, I will bury all my emotions and forget anything ever that happened between us. I will focus on Amethane so you can grow old safely and go back to playing line ball,"

Iveca broke, her tears streaming down her face as she grieved for the man in front of him. The King, who was looking at her with indifference in his eyes now rose in surprise, worried for Iveca. "Eve… why?" He asked but Iveca turned away from his embrace, wiping her tears furiously.

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