Legends of Varlaurea: The Dragon Emperor - 67 THE GREY MAIDEN 9

Chapter 9: A peaceful night

Nightfall, the field outside the fortress lit up by numerous of pyres, pyres for the death, and a giant pyre to get rid of the cultist bodies, which been placed inside a giant three lias deep hole as Empress Aucelen order, their bodies must be burned into ash and burry to prevented any future "complication" may happen. Empress Aucelen and Emperor Lam, their son and the disciples of Ochwesi has took turn to use their magic to kept that pyre burning, at this rate is might took an entire night. The heat can be felt from the fortress's wall.

Emperor Lam sitting on the fortress wall watching the flame, he's all too familiar with this kind of sight. The memories of the Hundreds Year War, of the destruction of Schivelon city again haunting him, sipped his cup of tea, Emperor Lam gave of a big sigh, disappointed and annoyed at the fact he has to see this kind of sight again after he ascended to the throne. This to him… felt like a failure, he has try his best to be a good enough emperor, to bring prosperity and up held peace for his subjects, to… never saw this sight again, and yet, here is it.

Inside the fortress, a small celebrate being held, look down to the crowd below, seeing their smile is like a consolation, it somewhat eases his exhaustion in both body and soul.

"Your Majesty, why're you up here?" Prince Tua came up to his father "Why don't you join the other?"

"Really? You're my son, stop that formality alright. Beside… I like it up here. How about you? Still holding up?" Emperor Lam said

"I guess…" Prince Tua smiled, leaned at the parapet next to his father "Tough day isn't."

"Well… I get used to it." Emperor sipped his tea "You did a pretty good job here too, son."

"Thank, father. I don't think I'm that good, at least compare to you." Prince Tua smiled, looking at the haft moon above "wonder… if I ever be like you. I mean… if can become a good enough…"

"Don't." Emperor Lam stroked his beard

"What?" Prince Tua surprised

"Don't be like me, son. Be better than me." Emperor Lam said, gazing at the giant burning pyre.

"That…" Prince Tua gave off a surprise gasp "…wow… that is a pretty big task to say the least… I mean… look at you father, battled monsters and such. And what of me? What of me… what has I archived up until now, aside from…" Prince Tua sigh "…aside from get my hand stained with my own father blood." He mumbled

A hand smack at the back of Prince Tua's head

"Ouch! What was that for?" the Prince flinched

"For your stupidity, what else? Still beating yourself over that?" Emperor Lam scorned his son

"Well… I… er…" Prince Tua scratching his head

"You did save 3000 innocent souls from the grasp of that lunatic isn't, I'm proud" patted on his son shoulder, Emperor Lam continue "Being an emperor…" leaned at the parapet "…is not all about glory, or achievement, or conquest, or 'battling monsters and such', son…" sipped a gulp of tea Emperor Lam stare at the burning pyre

"See that pyre, son?" Emperor pointed at the giant pyre "Those cultists… they are all my subject, to let thousands of them turned into some kind of mindless animal like that by a mere lunatic, and I have to cut them down and burn them like this. I considerate that is a failure, son. Being an emperor is about protecting your people. If…" Emperor Lam look at his son "…if you can protect them, to make them felt safe and hopeful even in darkest days, feed them when they're hungry, to make life grow and nation prosper, and…" the emperor looks at the pyre again "… and make sure, that… while you still sit on that throne, that sight will never happen again. If you can do just that, I'll considerate you're a damn fine emperor, and a better emperor than me, and when I went to Mien Papa arms and meet the ancestor, I'll brag to them how great my son is."

"I… well… I'll try my best." Prince Tua smiled

"Yeah… you better be, son. Or me and the ancestor are going to have a very, very, very disappointed look. No pressure." Emperor Lam said, the father and the son share a laugh.

"And one more thing… about… your marriage status…" Emperor Lam stroking his beard

"Oh, please… can we not going there." Prince Tua groaned

"Oh, I'm going there, son. You're nearly 30 already, what on earth are you doing? I already have you when I in my twenty, didn't I. There are some fine court ladies I'd found for you. For example, there are lady…" Emperor Lam enthusiastically spoke

"Alright, stop…" Prince Tua interrupted his father "…stop, I know you care for me, and I thanks you for… that, I'll marry when I ready. And…" Prince Tua scratching his head again "…well… I did meet someone… I think she… will be suited for me."

"Is she a beauty? Care to let your old man know the name of that lucky girl?" Emperor Lam smiled

"That it's, I'm out." embarrassed Prince Tua run away from his father.

Gazing at the moon and finished his mug of tea, Emperor Lam head back down. While cheering with the celebrating people, he met Kwanjobo came back from firing the pyre outside.

"How are you feeling, Kwanjobo? Didn't over work yourself too much, I hope." Emperor Lam asked the old Orc

"Wajam! Emperor, thank for you concern, nothing a good rest can't fix." The old Orc smiled

"When the scout comeback there may be more fighting, can you still kept up?" Emperor Lam said

"Worry not, Your Majesty. These old bones still can go for another round." Kwanjobo said

"So, what will you do after all of this had over?" Emperor Lam asked

"Er… not much, I'm afraid, after retrieved the tome my duty will resume…" Kwanjobo said "…but… before that I will go and visit my son and wife graves and… er… find some way to improve our security." The Orc smiled.

After a few more chat with the old Orc, Emperor Lam went to his chamber. Inside, his wife, Empress Aucelen felt at sleep on the chair with the magic mirror in her hand. Put the mirror on the table, Emperor Lam stroked her golden hair and watch that peaceful gorgeous face. He reached down, caring her in his arms and bring her to bed, Empress Aucelen stirred and open her eyes.

"Oops, did I wake you up?" Emperor Lam said

His wife just smiled and snugged her head into his chest as he carrying her to the bed.