Vanheim Glory is a civil ceremony and religious rite of their Kingdom
A long time ago, when wars were ever-present, Vanheim Glory was held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the success of a military commander who had led Vanheim forces to victory on the service of the Kingdom, originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war
To be honest Aero also qualifies but he rejected the honor seeing that he fears he will create more enemies, than friends for a few moments of glory.
It is a wise decision expected of a wise man. Vanheim Glory is the manifestations of Vanheim authority, legitimacy and power.
Only Emperors can grant Glory.
Past Emperors usually celebrate successful war with honoring one of the most accomplished soldiers to inspire bravery and make people aspire to win battles.
Prince James will be wearing a crown, a circlet normal crown, and a golden armor to this ceremony.
He will ride in a four horse chariot through the streets of Vanheim Capital in unarmed procession with his army, captives and the spoils of war.
Letter have been sent to him of his appointment
He will surely be here in a moment notice.
Then at the Zeus Temple he will offer sacrifice and the tokens of his victory to the Gods.
Thereafter he had the right to be described as man of triumph for the rest of his life.
Manners and morality required that despite these extraordinary honors, the general will conduct himself with dignified humility, as a mortal citizen who triumphed on behalf of Vanheim.
There will be the feasting, the procession, public games, which will promote James status and achievements.
"Your Majesty" a voice startled George. The winds blowing, the spring air could be felt by his finger.
It is his favorite season mostly because it reminds him of his departed wife
He turned back from the balcony of his palace and looked at the messengers.
"The Prince will start his procession in a few moments. Your Majesty can go to the Upper Tower now"
George nodded and the messenger walks away.
To him all of this procession looks like a waste of the nation money.
At first he did agree, but now with all this entertainment, it is more like James is campaigning to clear his name.
He knows that his acts in war are quite revolting and only increase fear to the people of Vanheim, now that he returned.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Not to mention he is the Crown Prince.
Nevertheless, the triumph is considered a ceremony which represented Vanheim wealth, power and grandeur.
Suddenly he coughed.
Ah' he said as he clutches his chest and shivers. It's cold here. He began climbing to the Upper Tower
As he climbs the stairs, he could hear the cheer below the tower. His son has arrived.
The procession mustered in the open space of Vanheim Square. The crowds cheered and waving Vanheim flag.
"He looks dashing just like me when I was young" George stepbrother said. He is also looking at the procession on the Upper Tower.
For this couple of months, George have been trying to mend his relationships with his brother, and they even began hunting together and tell and share stories of the past.
It looks like it is truly not too late for them to become a family again.
"He does" And George coughed again
"Brother are you all right?" He said patting George back clearly concerned about his health
"I'm fine, just a little coughing these past few days"
He has been felling unwell these past few days. He experienced headache, dizziness and now coughing.
Maybe he should summon physician later. As the coughing calmed down he looked down at the procession
The Zeus temple will be his son final destination
First, James will lead the procession, and then the captive leaders, allies and the captured soldier and their families, walking in chains, some were destined for execution other for full display as a way of showing their might
"Disgusting" he thought to himself. He had once converse with Aero about how their Empire should be and this is not a part of the Empire that he wanted.
He was convinced that the world he and Aero had dream off could be realized.
Bradheim is also uncomfortable seeing it. After all slavery has long been abolished during the reign of the Emperors of the past
"James is…probably too excited" Bradheim tries to defend his son. George only smiles bitterly
James is too much.
It was almost like his captives are like slave.
Their captured weapons, armors, silver, and curios exotic treasure were carted behind them, along with paintings and tapestry depicting significant places and episodes of war.
Next in line all in foot, came his general, in their red war robe, their head was crowned with crown made of silver
Dan is sharing the chariot with George son
His officer's rode horsebacks nearby. His unarmed soldiers followed chanting Vanheim Glory and singing ribald song at their general expense.
Two white oxen were led for the sacrifice to Zeus, King of the Gods. This much grandeur and all of it funded by the nation
"Uhuk, Uhuk" Bradheim look at George and then he frowns looking at him.
"Are you sure you're alright brother. Why don't you go in and warm yourself up?" Bradheim advises him
"It' alright Brother. I will be fine." Bradheim relented and nodded
So George continued watching.
The crowd is in a jubilant mood, happy and excited to see the triumphant return of their prince.
However, at this moment, George did not know whether he shares their enthusiasm. James is his Crown Prince and his heir
'He is my heir but can he lead this country to a prosperous Kingdom?' George thought to himself.
'Can he? Or will he destroy what I worked for?' he once again mused and remembering what his son had done, he is not too sure that the world he had dreamed off would ever be realized under his son reign
Then as the wind blows, he coughed again.
This time he held his cough with the napkin. He felt something thick and it smells bad and when he looks at the napkin he saw red
Bradheim who have already began paying attention to George since the last time he coughed also got a glimpse of the napkin.
"BROTHER!" Bradheim yelled in shock. His face paled. George noticed the blood on the napkin but it took a little time before it registered to him.
And then he felt the dizziness attack his head as a pain like never before assault him.
His knees buckled and he fall down kneeling in the tower, weak, as his hand keeps shivering
Bradheim approached him and quickly receive him before he falls to the wood platform.
Right now, he felt pain all over his body. George coughed again, this time blood was shooting out from his mouth
Cold. He felt cold.
And hot too. And he felt that Lord Hades is coming for him.
The wind of spring blows again and this time that coolness of the wind turns like a biting cold of the winter as he shivers violently
"BROTHER, BROTHER" Bradheim yell in panic voice and that voice is slowly drowning out.
George glance his eyes to the blue sky above him. The vast beautiful peaceful blue sky.
As he lays dying, his mind become clear.
That is what he fights for, the supremacy of this Kingdom, to make it strong so it will be peaceful.
He did not want this; He did not want an endless war. Not war.
As life is leaving his body he could hear the cheer down the towers. How long until that cheers turns to scream when they found out their King has died?
Pain struck him again.
And at times of this pain he finally realized how his affection and his trust to his son behavior have blinded me.
It was like the Gods in Olympus is helping him to realize the error of his way just before he leaves this world.
James will not change. He is as bloody as the King in the North and probably is even more crueler.
A bird perched itself in the ledge of the tower while Bradheim screams for the Royal Physician
The birds look at George and George could see its white eyes looking at him like it was waiting.
"Brother, hang in there" Bradheim said to him, nervousness and worry is apparent in his voice
Bradheim, his stepbrother.
George was always so suspicious of him, fearing that he would harm him, but he has proven him otherwise.
The Invasion of Vetten proved this. Right now it felt all of that happens a long time ago. Now, it is nothing but an old story.
"br…other" George said weakly, as his words slurred fighting back the pain to relay his message to his brother
"George, do not speak. Save your strength. You will get through this"
But George did not believe that. The raven look at him…. patiently waiting. He knows he will not get through this.
George could see Bradheim eyes. There was Genuine concern in his eyes
Then he heard the footsteps.
By now the ministers must be informed of the incident that is happening and clearly they are rushing upstairs while the celebration is still celebrated down there.
Not all ministers went to see the procession. Some of them are still in the palace doing their duties.
"Brother" George strengthened himself to say a few words that he knew he had to say before he leaves.
"I am sorry for all the things I did to you. For not trusting you, for being suspicious of you I'm sorry' And at this time George drop a tear.
The wind blows and he coughed again, his body shivering because of the cold, harder than the last time.
His time is nearing
"Brother" he said sadly
"Hades is coming to me, Brother…I'm sorry, forgive me Brother…forgive me"
Bradheim looked into his eyes, water also welling in his eyes.
"Forgive me too then" Bradheim said that to him knowing that he doesn't have that much time
George smiled and nodded and for that moment, that one single moment, they understand each other.
And the tears welled up in George eyes.
'What happens?' and when they saw the scene of the King splatter with blood, laying down on the embrace of the Duke, the scream fills the towers
The cheers under, can still be heard.
Here I am in the tallest tower in my palace, my minister screaming, my brother is in state of shock, while all the while below, a celebration is ongoing.
It is almost like a good joke by the Gods.
"Your majesty…..." the other minister, the courtiers exclaimed s they kneel around him. At this time however George had something else in his mind.
'I've made the wrong choice on choosing my heir' At the time of his death, he finally understands it.
James will not bring peace to the land, he will wreck it. Before his death, he need to rectify this.
"Hear my last decree" George said strengthening himself for every last bit of word he is about to say
'I must say it…I must' he thought to himself as he fought the pain that is coursing through his body
The courtiers and minister all straightened their back
"My heir will be changed. Prince Edward will be the Crown Heir and ruler of this Kingdom when I'm gone" George declared to the shock of everyone that is in the Upper Tower.
'One last deed' he thought to himself.
"Brother!" Bradheim almost shout in shock as he is clearly rejecting the idea.
Edward is weak in many areas, he is not charismatic like his brother, not very talented in battle either and he surely not that good with strategies but if he is assisted by talented men he believes that Edward will be a great king.
He kind of reminded him of himself.
A peaceful King, he prayed
Another decree, he reminded myself.
His lungs feel like he is on fire, and his veins like it is being cut and shredded. And Every breath he takes is a chore.
He will sleep…. but not yet.
"Chancellor Aero will be forgiven for whatever small offences he did; short of treason. "
This shocked George minister and courtiers
"The royal physician is about to reach here. Let's talk after you are well" one of the minister suggested
Then George laughed.
It's been a long time since he laughed.
So many wars, so many battles, and intrigues and plots and betrayal, that laughing, laughter and smile is almost like a luxury.
"Said it what it is, my wise and honorable ministers. I'm dying. Let at least let your King finishes his decree before I met Hades" George said glaring at them. Daring at them
They quieted and just listen.
Half of his court is here now, while the other half is at the procession.
Aero is his benefactor, the one that gives fang to this toothless tiger.
This is the only way he can repay him.
Any crime he will do will be pardoned by the Royal Family short of treason.
"Remember, the new heir is Edward, not James" George reminded them again. They nodded even Bradheim
'My loyal brother. My brave brother. I am off to see Lord Hades'
Edward not James he muttered as he is slowly losing his consciousness
His voice becomes weaker.
'BROTHER, BROTHER!' George heard the shouts
More shouting and slowly, and slowly his sense dimmed.
And then he feels it.
Cold licked him, biting cold, the cold that burns, and slowly the cold crept and spread, his body shiver, probably for the last time, spreading across every single strand of his nerves, like the frozen tide of a frigid winter.
His lips tinged with biting sensation, and his teeth is chattering
Oh, the pain. Oh, the pain. The cold burns, it always burns. And George knew that this is the end.
His life has ended. After this…what journey will he encounter?
Did he do good…or did he do ill? This is the question he is asking himself.
Then the light came. Actually George had one last secret. And he did not share this secret with anyone but Aero.
He heard of the new religion by the church and he secretly converted to the Lucetian religion.
And as he saw the light he ponders whether this is his punishment? Did he get punished by the Gods?
Or did he get punished by this new God?
In the new religion he knew he was going to hell. Of course, he hopes he was not. But with little time to repent and right his wrong, he is pretty sure he is going to hell now.
Better hell than the Gods idea of afterlife.
The populace knows me as a benevolent King but he knows what he had done.
He has been poisoning people, killing people; frame his enemies, during his early years, because of the many threats the nobles pose for him and his rule.
With Aero, his burden lightened and his enemies decrease.
Aero is his shield. And he has always hide behind him.
When he converted to this new religion he imagines a new life. he treated his sons better and he tried to men relationship with his brother no matter how feeble the attempts.
But there is still intrigue he employed in the Court for the greater goof of his realm
Will God like that? No, he answered to himself
God would not like that at all.
He opened his eyes, as the blackness faded and now he is sitting on a stool of a cut off tree.
It was a vast area around him. Then he heard footsteps coming to him. It was an old man. He just sits down beside him watching the horizon with no words.
George too looked at the horizon.
Endless horizons stretching so wide, that he couldn't even imagine what is on the other side.
"You must be George" the old man said suddenly talking to him while smiling a knowing smile
"I've been expecting you" he said
"Expecting me?" George said startled by the old man words
The old man smiles and then pointed his finger at him
"Yes, I have. You've been quite the naughty boy…killing and poisoning. And more" The old man giggled
It was at this time George finally understand who this old man is. He is God.
The only God
With this realization he buckled and began to cry.
He remembers all the bad things he has done.
The pristine environment just makes him feel even more ...
"I tried God, I did. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" He is begging, pleading, regretting not because he is afraid of Hell but he was so regretful that he never have time to rectify his mistake
The old man just looked at George like a father looking at their sons.
"Do you remember your bad deeds?" He asked suddenly
George nodded. And the old man nodded and he smile a kind smile.
"So you must also remember how you also give the people you kill some compensation for their family, the very same people who tried to kill you. You also care for them secretly, trying to undo your past mistake and repenting on your sins since you see the Truth. You must remember also the good deeds you do. Contrary to the way the Church portrayed me, I'm not that judgmental." And He chuckled
"You did your best in an age where people use violence and evil means." George looked at him in puzzlement
God scratched his head
"I'm not saying what you did is right but I guess forgiveness is in my nature more than my wrath. I do not know why they always popularized the story of my wrath." The old man said like he was complaining.
He looked at George and then smirking he said
"The people love it when God gets angry" he chuckled again.
He blows a wind from his mouth
Then spring grass grew, flowers of every kind bloomed in beautiful colors, each giving off a pleasant smell, and from them came the perfect scent of spring George most favorite season.
"Heaven" he said to George and smile
Then he said
"You tried, George. And that is what I want for the people. For them to try being better, to live everyday facing darkness and the vileness of their hearts and still the lights survives. Hope survives, George. Hope that everything, someday it will get better. And that hope turns to resolve. Humanity will lay that brick. A brick of road that leads to a path of enlightenment'
The Old man just pat George shoulder and added
'Listen to me son. Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. Faith, hope and love, George. Faith, love and hope. And you have all three."
George repeat after him and he smiled. His smile is comforting, as the cold slowly disappeared
"Heaven will happen someday." Then he laughed and as he looked at George he realized George did not understand everything he was saying.
'Sorry…you must hate my ramblings. To be honest I like stories'
'No, it's fine' George said
He leant in closer and his eyes beaming at George proudly
"I love you, George. I love all of you. That is what a lot of people don't get"
George was thinking of his wife. Is she not here?
'Thinking of your wife?' God said reading his mind
"Would you like to see your wife now?" suddenly he declared
George was surprised but he nodded and then as he blinks his eyes, his wife appeared, beautiful as the day he first met her, her hazel eyes looking at him, her brown hair waved gracefully in the open field.
She run to him and wrapped him in a tight embrace
"Liaya" George said muttering, mumbling
It's been so long. Too long.
The old man leaves a smile before disappearing and for the first time, he felt at peace.
And the tears fell…and he knows it will be the last time for tears.
3… 2 more chapters until the end. How is that? There will surely many question left when you read the last chapter. For now, you have to make do with this. Give your thoughts and thanks for the support and encouragement, the comments and the critics, and to those who helped me
Hah, it almost seems like this is the final chapter…...doling out thanks already.
2 more chapters. 2 more chapter. And there will be an explanation at the end of the last chapter so stay tuned. And when I say end, I don't mean the story is ending…I just mean…. Hah. Anyway, just read that last chapter and then you will understand.
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