I Want to Die One Day Before You - Chapter 3.1
Sarubia was dead.
Everything changed dramatically with her death.
The king lost his life, and the throne was empty. The foundations of the country began to shake.
The people have been told that the king tried to kill Rufus. They also learned that innocent people have been sacrificed in the process.
In response, Crown Prince Birren1 urgently tried to calm the situation.
He ordered the death penalty for Rufus and Baron Inferna and tried to ascend himself to the throne, but the people had long turned their backs on the royal family.
The people were indignant and they had no intention of suppressing their filled up to the brim resentment.
The end of the kingdom was already set in stone as the prince raised the crown over his head – the people have abandoned him.
A civil war broke out.
Awaiting the death penalty, Rufus and Baroness Inferna were released by a group of rebels made up of commoners.
Rufus undesirably became the head of the rebels. And once again he was trying to protect his family.
He cut off the head of Crown Prince Birren. He also killed all the other princes who had raised an army to kill Rufus. He purged all the aristocrats who opposed him and his people.
Rufus couldn’t figure out why he was wielding a sword and killing people. But it didn’t matter why.
Sarubia was dead.
The existence that had become all of himself has already disappeared.
The world without her was just a hollow chessboard-like shell.
Everything was meaningless, everything was in vain.
Rufus could no longer tell what he even wanted.
That’s how almost a year of bloody war went on. And finally…
“Long live the King!”
“Long live our only king, Your Majesty Rufus!”
Rufus was placed on an unwanted throne.
Everyone raised his name. Everyone bowed their heads at Rufus’ feet. Everyone trembled at Rufus’ dignity.
Rufus looked down at his servants kneeling in front of him with empty eyes.
For aught, he cared.
Everything was meaningless, everything was in vain.
Even if he looked at the gold and silver, the treasures, and all the ecstatic people of the kingdom, bowing their heads before him, pledging their allegiance – Rufus didn’t laugh.
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Another night came.
Today marked a year after Sarubia’s death.
Rufus stood alone at the highest point of the royal palace.
The night air was cold. Her words came to his mind as a chill covered his skin.
I’d rather freeze to death than being suffocated in my sleep2.
‘Sarubia’. She used to hate the heat. If she could have had a day like today, how wonderful would it be?
Rufus looked down at his hand. The red mana stone placed on his palm was glistening. It was the devil’s mana stone, which was given as a gift to Sarubia.
He never imagined this would be her last memento.
‘Sarubia.’ Rufus thought of the nostalgic name in his heart.
How many times has he called it? Thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of millions of times.
Every time he missed her, it lit up. Sarubia had said clearly she would be by his side when Rufus died. But now she was gone.
The last trace she left behind was a grave. Her body had returned to the soil. There was no more Sarubia. Then what was the meaning of Rufus’ death that she saw?
Like that, Rufus was locked in his thoughts.
“Your Majesty Rufus,” somebody called his name. “Why are you out this late at night?”
It was Princess Sordid. No, she wasn’t a princess anymore. Queen Sordid. It was Queen Sordid now, who became the wife of King Rufus.
It was an unwanted marriage.
Rufus hated Sordid for abusing the woman he loved and insulting his grandmother.
Sordid also hated Rufus, who killed her father and her brothers.
It was purely for political reasons that the two married.
After the death of the king and the princes’, Princess Sordid was the only one who inherited the royal bloodline.
Some nobles argued that if even Princess Sordid was thrown out, the royal legitimacy would disappear.
Sordid, who became Rufus’ wife, was well aware of her plight. If she fell out of this man’s grace, she will die. So Sordid used every means she could to turn Rufus’ mind. However, Rufus never once brought Sordid into his bedroom.
“Don’t put my name in your mouth!” Rufus shouted coldly at Sordid.
“Rufus, I am just worried. As your wife…”
“Go away!” Rufus cut off Sordid’s words fiercely, but Sordid did not listen to him.
“Rufus, how long will you be thinking only of the dead? I am your living queen…”
With a crashing sound, the small statue next to Sordid split in half. There was a sharp sword in Rufus’ hand.
“Don’t,” Rufus’ hand holding the sword trembled, “…call my name recklessly.”
“…You are really ferocious to the end… you are a cold man, with neither blood nor tears.” Sordid, trembling, took a step towards Rufus. Hidden behind her back, she was holding a dagger.
Rufus looked at Sordid with indifferent eyes.
Cold-blooded. After a long time, Sordid finally said the right thing.
He was indeed a cold-blooded man.
He was such an indifferent man who didn’t feel any reason to live anymore but still lives because he was breathing.
“Today is my father’s anniversary. A year ago, your grandmother killed my father.”
Rufus clenched his teeth and glared at Sordid.
“Yes. And today is Sarubia’s anniversary. Your father killed Sarubia.”
But Sordid was not listening to him.
“You’ve killed all my brothers. You took everything precious to me.” Sordid bit open her dry lips as if possessed by a demon.
“As if not enough,” she said, “you’ve taken my father’s throne and you have abandoned me and turned me into a laughingstock for the people.”
Tears welled out of Sordid’s bloodshot eyes.
“You insulted my family, you defiled my father’s palace! Rufus, I curse you!” Sordid, who made a terrible scream, rushed at Rufus.
The dagger she was hiding behind her back was revealed under the moonlight, but it never reached Rufus.
Rufus, who had noticed her intentions from the beginning, wielded the sword he was holding. With a clicking sound, Sordid’s dagger rolled helplessly over the marble floor.
“You should have died on the battlefield! You should have been bitten to death by the demons!”
Sordid, who had lost the dagger, threw herself at Rufus like a madwoman. She twisted the neck of the fallen Rufus and dug her fingernails in.
As he was suffocated, Rufus instinctively clasped the sword.
The half-crazy woman voiced out, her words entangle with inhuman like screams.
“This is all your fault! You’re the reason I’m doing this! I’ll curse you even if it kills me!”
As Rufus’ sword stabbed Sordid in the heart, red blood poured down.
That was the last of Sordid. Breathless, she was staring fiercely at Rufus with her eyes wide open.
Rufus pushed away from the dead woman and raised up. Sordid’s body flopped over the marble floor. He had killed the princess and queen of this country, whom he once had longed for.
Nevertheless, he could not feel any emotions to the point where he was afraid of himself. All this seemed to be an illusion. It was as if Rufus had already died in the past, and the dead body was staring at this illusion in the blood.
Several shadows were seen disappearing hurriedly when he looked up. The clerks and knights watching this scene from afar were running away.
They may think the king was carried away by madness and killed his queen. Now they will have to find a new king again. The king they need should not be an empty shell, therefore it was time to end this now.
Rufus moved aimlessly. The raw blood of the queen was still dripping from his body. After seeing it, the people of the palace turned their heads and were in a rush to avoid him.
No one escorted the king and no one prevented him from vanishing into the night.