The ritual wishing for the deceased to return to nature was held in a reverent atmosphere.
As it was the funeral of the Imperial Consort, most of the mourners were each occupying a position in the Empire.
The mourners, regardless of age or gender, wore black veils and prayed for the soul of the deceased.
It was not to show the grieving appearance to the deceased.
However, there were only a few people who sincerely mourned Ludmilla’s death.
As she was originally from a minor race, she had no ties to the Empire and only had a few close people during her lifetime.
The only people who truly mourned Ludmilla’s death at this place were her son Trudy, the people of the Imperial Consort’s Palace, and Renato.
Renato’s gaze turned to his half-brother who was standing next to Ludmilla’s coffin and shedding his tears.
“Hic, hic, Imperial Mother……”
Looking at the child who was crying as if his world had collapsed, his heart became heavy.
Renato bit the inner of his mouth to hold back the weeping sounds that almost escaped from his lips.
A faint voice resounded in his head.
‘Renato, I’m sorry to put a heavy burden on you, but…… I entrust Trudy to you.
Please protect that child.’
It was the will that Ludmilla left to Renato when she sensed her own death.
But Renato couldn’t keep her last request.
As a deformed Beta Prince who was ignored by everyone, he had no power to protect Trudy.
No, that was a cowardly excuse.
He made no effort to protect Trudy.
He was scared and busy hiding.
Renato acknowledged his own cowardice and incompetence.
He didn’t fail to protect Trudy, he just turned away from that.
“Your Imperial Highness, Prince Renato El Fleurette, please decorate the final road of Her Highness the Imperial Consort.”
Is it my turn already Renato snapped out of his heavy thoughts when the forest guardian called out to him, and slowly got up.
“O the soul that was born of nature and now has returned to nature.
May you rest peacefully in the arms of the Fairy King.”
His hands and feet trembled as he stood in front of the coffin covered with flowers.
Renato managed to say his final farewell, and gently placed the flower in his hand on top of Ludmilla’s coffin.
I’m glad I’m wearing a veil.
Renato bit his lower lip and felt his vision become blurry.
Had it not been for the veil covering his face, people would have seen the tears running down his cheeks.
Renato took a step back from Ludmilla’s coffin, exhaling a breath that he had been holding back.
He couldn’t stop shaking.
Feeling anxious and restless, he habitually fumbled around the solar plexus area.
However, he couldn’t find the thing he was supposed to catch.
Renato was momentarily puzzled but then exclaimed ‘Ah’ in a small voice.
He realized that ‘it’ couldn’t be with him right now.
It was a natural thing.
Because it was only a long time later did he have it.
‘Do you perhaps…… need my help’
As he thought about the thing he no longer had, a voice naturally came to his mind.
The owner of that thing was a little blunt, but also gentle in everything.
‘I will give you this watch as a token of my promise.’
‘It’s my mother’s keepsake.
This is something that I value more than my life.’
‘Something so precious……’
‘Please make sure to carry it with you.
It has a powerful protective spell on it, so it will save you from danger at least once.
Please take good care of it and return it to me on the day I fulfill my promise to you.’
What that person said was true.
In fact, the watch he gave Renato saved his life.
Had it not been for the protective spell on the watch, he would not have been able to make it to the imperial tomb, and right at that spot, in the hands of Maximo……
“With this, Her Highness, the Imperial Consort Ludmilla Bloom Fleurette is ready to return to nature.
Everyone, please stand up.”
Renato stopped his thoughts when he heard the forest guardian’s announcement of the end of the ritual.
Having escaped from the dull recollection, he stared at Ludmilla’s coffin buried in a bunch of pure white flowers.
The ritual of sending off and blessing the deceased by scattering flowers over the coffin ended with the eldest or highest-ranking member of the direct family decorating the last flower.
Originally, the Emperor or Empress would have placed the last flowers, but neither attended the funeral.
As a result, Renato became the highest-ranking person in this ritual.
So they don’t come in the end.
Renato slightly turned his head and looked around the funeral hall.
Things didn’t seem to have changed from his previous life except that he attended Ludmilla’s funeral.
“It seems like His Majesty the Emperor did not come.
I thought he was going to be here on the last day.”
“If he is not well enough to the extent of being unable to see the end of the person he loves, what will happen in the future”
“Since this has happened, wouldn’t the young lord of Florence Duchy have an advantage His Imperial Highness, Prince Trudy is still young.”
People quarreled among themselves over the fact that the Emperor and the Empress did not attend the ritual.
It was not surprising that the Empress did not come, but the fact that the Emperor did not attend either was indeed a shock.
“I heard rumors that he has not woken up ever since he collapsed a few days ago……”
“They say that he is suffering from insanity because he cannot accept the death of Her Highness.”
Renato sighed as he heard people around him talking.
The Emperor stayed with Trudy until the third day of the funeral, but he did not appear on the fourth day.
He couldn’t overcome the sadness and shock of losing Ludmilla.
In fact, the Emperor was already suffering from severe aftereffects of an injury he had sustained several years ago.
As his weakened body deteriorated, he could not withstand the shock of losing a loved one, making his condition worse.
Then, two years later, the Emperor, unable to overcome another loss that he had to face, finally died.
At least, that was the future that Renato remembered.
Renato’s expression clouded over when the horrific memories came to his mind.
In the present situation, he could assume two things.
Either he had a prophetic dream, or he had returned to the past.
Renato thought it was the latter.
It was because of the scar on his body.
He gently wrapped his hand around his still throbbing side.
Another reason that made Renato think he had returned to the past was the voice he heard just before his death.
A voice that sounded like a soft wind, or a sad melody.
The warmth just like a spring breeze embraced his body.
And he opened his eyes to the past, six years ago.
What if the owner of that voice was the Fairy King If he, the ruler of nature, had made a miracle to turn back time, the situation right now could be explained.
“Your Imperial Highness, Prince Trudy El Fleurette, please come here.
Please give your final farewell to Her Highness……”
Lost in thought, Renato was startled by the voice of the forest guardian calling for Trudy, and his shoulders stiffened.
Trudy, who was walking with the support of his attendant, looked up at Renato with a face wet with tears.
Thank, thank you, hic, for coming.”
The eyes that became red because of crying, the cheeks that were stained with tears, the swollen lips…… Trudy’s face, seen up close, was miserable.
Renato felt his heart ache as he saw Trudy thanking him.
Trudy, whom he met again after a few years, was so small and young to the point of heartbreaking.
What have I done, what have I done in my previous life to such a small child
Not knowing what to say, Renato twitched his lips.
His sin was so great that he felt it hard to breathe.
After hesitating for a moment, Renato gathered his courage and opened his mouth.
He couldn’t run away again.
Trudy raised his head when hearing the unexpected apology.
The eyes filled with tears fluttered.
“I was too late.
I should have come sooner……”
Renato slowly knelt on one of his knees to match eye level with Trudy.
Then he carefully took Trudy’s hand and apologized once more.
It was a very late apology.
“I’m so sorry, Trudy.”
Trudy shook his head in shock when Renato apologized again.
The child was confused and didn’t know what to do, but then grabbed Renato’s hand.
“The fact that hyung-nim came like this…… Hic.”
Trudy, who was about to say it was okay, suddenly closed his mouth.
The corners of his eyes and lips trembled, perhaps because he was overwhelmed with emotions.
Renato’s face darkened when he looked at the child’s expression revealing the agony in his heart.
Unable to overcome the rush of guilt, he bowed his head.
He couldn’t look straight into Trudy’s face.
“I’m sorry I left you alone, Trudy.”
All I can do is apologize. Renato felt a deep sense of self-hatred.
But he couldn’t think of anything other than that.
Perhaps he would be a sinner all his life in front of Trudy.
In his previous life, he couldn’t help Trudy properly.
At the time, all Renato could do was give Trudy some information while avoiding surveillance.
And even that became difficult after the Empress found out.
How anxious must he have been when he was alone How scared must he have been
His pale purple eyes became dark.
The little warmth in his hand was so sad and pitiful that he didn’t know what to do.