A crescent moon was hanging over the night sky, accompanied by stars.
A group of black ceremonial guards were gathering quickly.
Not just the ceremonial guards, even the horses they rode were black and the Warren royal family emblem was changed to black and white, at the moment.
Donning a black dress and a funeral hat, Mary walked among the group. Beside her was Kieran and behind them was the coffin of the late king, James VIII.
There wasn’t a body inside, just some personal belongings and some clothes.
There were no complicated rituals or prayers either.
After the group gathered, they moved towards the tomb outside Riverdale.
The royal tomb of Warren had been situated behind the palace since King James III’s time, but as time went by, more and more deaths in the royal family filled up the small tomb and it was no longer able to hold any more.
During the reign of King James IV, the royal family built a new royal tomb outside Riverdale.
The group went out from the palace gate, moved through the inner city and entered the outer city.
A lot of civilians appeared on the street.
All of them were in black clothes, voluntarily wanting to send off King James VIII.
The king that “combined” the Crown Raven and James VIII wasn’t a good king from a traditional viewpoint.
But, he wasn’t all that bad either.
He didn’t rule in tyranny, nor did he kill innocents. Quite the opposite, as he would try his best to lower taxes each year.
Though the civilians didn’t know much, they did remember that the lowered tax rates had helped them survive through a couple of harsh winters.
Therefore, they were grateful to the late king.
More and more civilians gathered on the street to send off the king.
They prayed softly. Some even sobbed.
The atmosphere quickly tainted the solemn ceremonial guards and the others in the group.
Mary, who had been holding it in, had tears in her eyes as well.
They slowly rolled down her cheeks.
The young princess didn’t cry out loud. She didn’t have that deep of a relationship with her father.
She didn’t allow herself to cry either.
‘Remember to be strong when you take up responsibility!’
Her mother’s teachings were branded in her heart at all times.
Even with Kieran as her backer, the young princess would choose to be strong and persistent.
Kieran, who walked beside her, saw the strong persistence in Mary, and his eyes showed admiration and praise. He always admired a strong person, just like himself.
Perhaps, because of that, both of them quickly blended well together after their first meeting.
The group continued forward.
After the outer city area, they arrived outside the city. They moved along the small paths blanketed with black cloths and slowly moved towards the royal tomb.
The guards that guarded the royal tomb were 200 fully armed soldiers. Even when an emergency transfer occurred during a war, a sufficient amount of men would be left behind to guard the tomb.
Tomb raiders existed in every time period, especially before an obvious target.
Eldar, who was also in black, stood in front of the tomb, waiting patiently. When the group entered the tomb, the elderly duke didn’t speak, instead quietly following beside his friend’s coffin.
For the elderly duke, the things inside the coffin were like his friend.
Kieran glanced over at the man. Within a few days, the elderly duke managed to look even older. His back was hunched and he even walked in a stagger.
Obviously, the news that night had left an unimaginable impact on Duke Eldar.
But Kieran was helpless against it.
Since the things had already happened, it wasn’t something that could be turned around with his own will or anybody else’s will at all.
James VIII’s chamber was diagonally behind James VII’s chamber. In front of them was the other kings before them, James IV, James V, James VI. The first king of Warren, who founded the kingdom, appeared in statue form at the front of the tomb. The statue was covered in moonlight, like a god protecting the later generations, regardless of whether they were the living ones or the dead ones.
The last part of the ceremony began.
With the knights as escorts, the coffin of James VIII slowly entered his chamber.
Other than those who were moving the coffin, only Mary, the heir, was allowed to stand beside and watch while the others formed a circle and looked outside.
The place where Kieran stood coincidentally allowed him to have a look at the statue of King James I. He looked up and stared at the statue.
Despite being carefully looked after, the statue had a lot of marks of time.
However, even with the marks of time, one could see the intricate image of the statue from back when it was first finished. It was very lively but one question baffled Kieran.
“Are you curious about why there isn’t a statue or chamber of James II and the queen here?”
Duke Eldar, who stood beside Kieran, suddenly spoke.
“Um.” Kieran didn’t conceal his burning thoughts.
Based on Kieran’s understanding, the reason for Warren owning its current land was inseparable from the queen back then.
The late queen didn’t just make vigorous efforts to turn the tides, she even expanded her conquest and united three small kingdoms that were originally on the land as well.
In simple words, this queen had a lot more celebrated achievements than King James I.
And based on that, the queen should have been respected by the generations to come, but in fact, she wasn’t.
It wasn’t just the royal tomb; the queen was rarely heard of in other places as well.
Kieran had his own guesses before but he tended to listen to professional opinions and the old duke beside him was undoubtedly one of the best professionals.
Looking at the nodding Kieran, the old duke smiled suddenly.
He said, “I won’t tell you!”
Kieran was stunned. And when Kieran looked at the old duke with a strange gaze, the old duke spoke again.
“The light of dead silence, pierce the sky and land. This is what those bastards wanted to know. Now that I’ve told you, my mission is complete. Don’t need to thank me, don’t be grateful, I am just doing what I should.”
The old duke then turned around and left.
Kieran turned around and watched the old duke walk towards James VIII’s tomb chamber.
The coffin had already been placed in the chamber and it was sealed shut from the inside.
The ceremonial guards gathered again and saluted to their late king.
The old duke walked upfront to the tomb chamber under everyone’s gaze and took out a bottle of wine and glasses.
The cork flew and the old duke poured the wine into the two glasses.
A loud cheer later, the old duke finished the wine in his hand.
Another loud cheer later, the other glass of wine was poured in front of King James VIII’s chamber. Then, the old duke faltered and leaned on the chamber’s sealed door. His eyes stared at the sky, the light in them fading away, followed by the signs of life.
He had completed his mission.
He had completed his task.
He would now… go ahead and search for his time.
In that said time, there would be memories that belonged to him.
In that said time, he would be surrounded by a group of friends who shared the same ideals.