As a red grand coach touches the ground with it's route directly heading to the Imperial Palace, the coach took great stride passing the monuments of the Palace; and the red coach finally stopped in front of the Palace's grand stairs. The coachman had opened the coach's door discreetly, as the Duke sets his foot on the ground. He turns and he sees his daughter for the last time, Ekaterina had bid farewell in expectation that her father will join her later; but her father wasn't thinking the same way she did. 'Farewell my daughter, Ekaterina. May god help you on your way to this perilous journey you're going to take.' he said to himself.
The couch's doors finally closed and the coachman obeyed the duke's last orders to him. The coachman immediately alarms the horses, and the coach finally leaves the entrance. The duke could see the coach in the distance leaving in grandeur. 'Whatever might happen to this country, i'll make sure i will lay the way for Ekaterina to save our nation from this chaos we're about to face'. He turns and walks into the entrance lifting his footsteps to go upstairs through the grand staircase, the extravagance of the staircase could be seen with statues representing the Empire's military achievements throughout it's history. As he enters the Main door to the interior of the palace, he is welcome by a long red carpet, made of the finest silk from the east. undoubtedly signifying the wealth and glory of the emperor to its visitors, he could immediately feel the Emperor's authority in the Palace. He is welcomed by the servants and guided to go through the Throne Room, they walked in the halls of the palace. The halls are decorated with ornate golden symbols in the walls, often several meters apart. As he breathes heavily and thinks to himself 'Just how much did the furnishing of the Imperial Palace cost? the palace is built extravagantly that i think the Imperial Treasury might be running out of funds soon' he turns all over the hallway to see the paintings commissioned by the previous emperors, the paintings often portrayed the emperor riding in a horseback in a victory a battle against the decisive battle of Ophelburg in which the forces of the Summerwyn Kingdom was invading the empire a hundred years ago.
The battle was a turning point in the history of the continent, as the Kings of Summerwyn began to lose power and influence after the battle of Ophelburg 108 years ago. The duke was proud in part that his grandfather played a huge role against the defeat of the Summerwyn forces, as when the duke was young. His grandfather would used to spend time with him in his childhood telling tales about his grandfather's epic journey's and battles he spend through his lifetime. The duke remembers and still cherishes those joyful carefree days of his childhood. He turned and continued walking in the hallways "We are here Sir",the servant said to the duke. He built up his courage and proceeded to walk in the room, as the doors open; a strange looking tall object can be seen erected touching the ground in the throne room.
As he steps his foot on the Throne Room, the guards had pointed their muskets towards him "RAISE YOUR ARMS OR ELSE WE WON'T HESITATE TO SHOOT!", the duke immediately raised his hands in the air and assured the guards he didn't bring any weapon. The guards proceeded to handcuff him, and tied in a post in front of the presence of the Emperor to avoid his escape.
"So, if i am mistaken; you are the the Duke of Ophiel. Am i correct?" The Emperor calmly asked directly to his father in-law.
"Yes, Indeed i am your majesty." The Duke humbly replied,
"Gustav Von Ophiel, you are hereby charged by the following crimes committed against the state; Treason"
As the Emperor and his subordinates charged Gustav his' crimes against the state, he isn't guilty of the crimes he committed. Because he knew what he was fighting for.
One of the General Staff stood up and explained as the eyewitnesses of this supposed crime.
Maria stepped out and firmly stood in front of the Emperor, she took something out of an envelope she bought with her, in it is a mail and she immediately reported her account in the presence of his highness,
"Your highness it is my pleasure to serve as an eyewitness to this crime, around a week ago, the General Staff just finished the general war meeting in the HQ. So i headed to my office in the main building which is ,not far away from the war planning room in which where i came from. So, someone had sent me a letter in my mailbox."
"So i decided to take it and read at it in my office, so while i was at it and read every content of it, the letter was from the duke according to letter with his official signatures on it. I searched through my documents and even asked the others to find any documents with a similar Duke's signature with it, and we found one document which has the signature of the Duke. We compared it with the letter and confirm the authenticity of the letter. According to the contents of the letter, the duke is persuading me and the General Staff to conclude the war and negotiate immediately on the peace table. Which is hugely humiliating to the Empire" She added,
Maria kneeled and gave the letter to the imperial servants before returning to her seat, she is deeply in honored. the Emperor received the letter, read and analyzed every contents of the letter.
While the Emperor was reading the letter, the duke whispered 'i will sacrifice myself for my daughter,my grandson, and the homeland' he said,
The Emperor didn't heard what the duke said so he asked the duke if he has any objections and explain what happened so that he has a chance to live.
But to the Emperor's dismay, the Duke did not answer...
The military bureaucrats have been wanting to eliminate the influence of the Ophiels for a long time, and it is now the perfect chance. They want to execute the Duke as soon as possible, so that the military can finally rule the empire.
"He is a Traitor!!"
"Get off with his head!"
The demands of the military bureaucrats can be heard all throughout the room, they demand the duke's head. They wanted to show off the duke's head to the masses immediately. As the Emperor stands from his throne, he begins to deliver his speech from his most ornate throne made of precious metals,
"As the Holy Emperor of The Holy Estermage Empire, it is my utmost duty to uphold justice and peace to my loyal subjects. I will never tolerate disloyal subjects in my empire, those who betray the name of the Empire will be severely punished!"
"And as such, Duke Gustav von Ophiel. You are stripped off of you noble privileges, and you will be sentenced to death by the guillotine."
'i can not let this man be alive, he must be eliminated as soon as possible or else my plans will fail'
the Emperor thought to himself
The Emperor's words are considered absolute, and no one is allowed to defy him. He then sat in his ornate throne. The executioners began to transfer Gustav from his chains and the guillotine was moved outside the Palace.
While awaiting his execution the next day, Gustav is locked in a prison in the most tallest tower in the palace. He was there, preparing for his death. He is stripped off his clothes and locked by the chains in the prison, there he awaits the day of his execution.
-- The next day--
----- Imperial Square, Ostshore ---
The former-duke's execution has been prepared in the Imperial Square, crowds began to form in the square. The Guillotine was gloriously standing in the ground, with its mechanisms enough to give everyone here a terrifying sight on how painful it is, the Guillotine is rarely used and it is used for an instant death, the Emperor was merciful enough to let his father-in law die in a much lesser pain than using axes. And as such they're not used that much. But a Guillotine being used to the head of the most powerful noble house in the empire is enough to send alarm bells to everyone else.
The crowds began to fill up the Square, everyone from the lower to the upper classes visited this public execution of a formerly powerful individual.
Back in the tower, Gustav began hearing the footsteps of numerous people on his cell. His guards finally went to escort him to the execution site. As he went downstairs from the tower, and proceeded to the carriage. He is unsurprisingly calm. a guard who had scored him in the carriage had asked him "Why are you so calm despite all of this happening?", in which Gustav replied, "I am sacrificing myself for the sake of this nation, i am doing just what is right. You will know the meaning behind my words in the future."
And then suddenly, the carriage stopped into their final destination. The carriage's doors opens and Gustav was guided by the guards with his hands in chain, and stripped of almost any clothing.
"Oh my, so this is what happened to the former duke?"
"i pity him"
"did he really betrayed the empire?"
The masses are waiting for the arrival of Gustav, and as he leaves the carriage. His guards had led him to the Guillotine along with the executioners. But before being executed, he had one request to the executioners. Allow him to have his last speech before his death, in which due to the former-duke's persistence.
The Former-Duke walked upstairs until his footsteps reached the execution board. He turned and looked towards the crowds of the square,
"Listen Everyone!, Before i can get to be executed by the guillotine. I am here to tell you that, my death is not for nothing. The reason I'm being killed is not because i betrayed the country, YES i betrayed the empire, but NOT our fellow countrymen!"
Everyone was still curious on what the Gustav was talking about,
"The Military Bureaucracy has been taking over our government! They take what is ours and take the country's resources for their benefit! the cause of the current war to dominate the continent is to advance the agenda of the bureaucrats! they are only interested in gaining more power and influence! while they conquer more and more land, all of those resources won't be received by the commoner and alike, but the Military only!"
"And that is why i believe, we should establish a country that will value everyone's rights and freedom; a country in which society is equal. a country that never oppresses its citizen's and does not invade countries aggressively. And mark my words, the empire will lose this war."
As he runs out of voice, he is immediately took by the executioner to the guillotine and prepared for his execution. He stepped onto the board and his head is locked onto the frame. The executioners then proceeded to release the blades from the top, beheading Gustav's head in a clean fashion. He's head was immediately picked by the executioners and showed it to the crowd.
The reaction of the masses after seeing the execution is uneasy. They are enlightened by the former duke's ideas and this would later spur a movement that will eventually change the empire.
The news of the execution would soon spread throughout the empire, and later to the Empress.
-- Imperial Palace --
numerous sounds of footsteps of can be heard outside the Throne room until the doors we're opened,
"Your Highness!, the Empress and the Crown Prince are missing!" The Imperial Guards informed the emperor,
The Emperor was shocked that the Empress had made their way away from the Palace undetected and immediately sent a force to the Duchy of Ophiel.
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