42. [Day 5 (3)]
While being violently shaken by the carriage, Velbutte leaned against the window and closed his eyes.
The irregular creaking of poor-quality wheels scraping the unpaved ground seemed to represent his destiny. He was so miserable he wanted to cry.
“—Velbutte, your position as a crown prince is hereby stripped.”
To the bitter words of his father, the king, Velbutte had no choice but to nod.
Unfaithful to his fiancée, harboring a heavy debt, and showing violence against a maid—with everything that had happened up to that point, it was obvious that not even the king could salvage the situation.
To prevent the prestige of the royal family from being tarnished any further, dismissing Velbutte from the throne of the crown prince was the best course of action.
“—Fortunately, your younger brother is still small. If we begin to educate him now, he won’t repeat your mistakes.”
Velbutte’s younger brother, who was just 10-years-old, was to become the new crown prince.
At the very least, he had to be grateful that his blunders hadn’t ruined the entire family.
“—As for your punishment, you will be dismissed from the royal registry and will have to go on the path of becoming my vassal.”
“There’s a vacancy for a count. To fill that gap, you shall now be known as Count Butte.”
Of course, Velbutte was shocked by that revelation.
Even if he was no longer the crown prince, he was still a member of the royal family. Why would he have to abandon that, as well?
“Why, you ask? Because there are many who can’t allow you to remain in the castle as a member of the royal family. Moreover, the only way to settle your debt is by applying the lump sump paid when becoming a vassal. There is no other way.”
To the king who spoke with a tired expression, Velbutte’s eyes went wide.
“After becoming a count, I will order you to work in a remote area. Unless dictated so by royal decree, you are not to return to the royal capital.”
“I’m your father no longer. You’re not a member of a royal family. You are a vassal.”
Being glared at with a rugged expression, Velbutte had no choice but to leave the room.
The attitude of the servants, who usually took care of him, were also cold.
The maids, in particular, preferred to keep their distance from him.
None of the aristocrats who were supposed to be on his side could be approached.
Everything was the result of Velbutte’s own actions.
He could neither mourn nor get angry. He was also disallowed from visiting Lorona’s tomb to apologize, or to even apologize to Lumina.
Even if he were to cry or shout, he’d never be able to recover what was lost. Trust, love, and even that which was supposed to grow into love.
Velbutte rode a carriage for to the frontier as to escape from his surroundings.
Convinced that he’d never be able to return, Velbutte kept staring at the royal capital as it grew more distant through the window of the carriage.
***T/N: Ta-ta, prince that I don’t really care about. Or, is another carriage accident about to happen?
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