Home Post 890-chapter-93


“He’s gone.”

Enya strained to listen to the conversation on the other side of the wall as her ears pressed hard against it. It was uncomfortable, with her eyes, nose, and mouth the only parts of her face not covered.

A faint voice from beyond the wall made her heart race uncontrollably.

“Tarhan, that man disappeared without a trace, taking only a sword with him. No sign of him was found.”

Hearing Servia’s voice, Enya’s heart sank.

When she inhaled sharply, Silanda next to her gave her a stern look. Enya covered her mouth quickly with both hands and closed her eyes tightly. She focused all her attention on catching Tarhan’s name in the voices she heard.







In the darkness, the mother and son faced each other.

Senu’s eyes, half-hidden by bandages, took in the sight of Servia, still as stern as her age.

Lomba lay prostrate in a corner with head bowed. Uncharacteristic of the usually boisterous Lomba, who was the overseer of the forge, the shoulders shook visibly. Senu stood just as rigidly in front of Lomba, his sickly fists resting on his knees, facing his mother.

It was a futile attempt to shield Lomba from Servia’s fierce gaze with his frail body.

“What do you mean he’s disappeared? The leader of the Allied Forces disappeared?”

Senu’s voice cracked as he spoke.

A storm raged within him, as cold and detached as Servia seemed. This was the first time he had seen his mother since falling into the cave. Still, she showed no intention of explaining to her son. With a click of her tongue, she began to speak.

“I don’t know the details myself. I only received a message from that child, Gernan, asking me to come quickly.”

Her voice was colder than frost.

At the mention of his long-forgotten younger brother’s name, Senu fell silent. The mother he had seen only in dreams remained unchanged.

Servia. His mother.

The stubborn gaze and tightly closed lips surrounded by slightly more wrinkles were the only changes. Even her hair, like black crow feathers, remained lush and untouched by age.

Once, Senu had thought the great rock of Aquilea, if shaped into a human figure, would resemble her.

Surely, it would take after his mother’s firm forehead and solemn mouth, forming the image of a dignified woman. Walking through the plains under the scorching sun, holding his mother’s hand, young Senu looked up at her and thought so.

The reason he could stand tall in front of the doubting elders and tribespeople of Aquilea was none other than the fact that he was Servia’s son.

The fragile and sensitive eldest son found his only confidence and reliance in her.

When idle, Servia would sprawl on the carpets like a languid lioness and affectionately stroke the hair of her son lying beside her.

“You are my eldest son.”

Immersed in his mother’s indoctrinating whispers, young Senu believed fervently in her affirming voice.

“You are my pride. My honor.”

During his boyhood, Senu cherished those words as if they were his life. It was a bond that stemmed from Servia’s womb, a resolve from her to make her eldest son the next chieftain after Kahanti, a destiny entwined with the blood he inherited from her.

Thus, when that bond was severed, the shock was doubled.

It all began with a small spot on his arm.

The spot grew and covered his torso and eventually mutilated his body beyond salvage. Unable to hide his symptoms for half a year, the expression on his mother’s face when she discovered his condition was unforgettable to Senu.

In a moment, Servia’s honorable eldest son became an unbearable burden she couldn’t accept.

In Aquilea, the sick were not to be cared for and nurtured.

They were sinners.

A physical flaw was seen as retribution for an indelible sin. Leprosy, which leads to the disintegration of the body, was among the worst.

According to traditional Aquilea thought, it was akin to the harshest punishment from God, a slow death enveloped in suffering. Therefore, the proud son of Servia, destined to pave a golden path as the daughter of a clan elder and the mother of the next chieftain, became the tribe’s shame.

Initially, she denied it.

“It can’t be. ‘My son’ cannot have such a disease!”

Then came boundless rage.

Servia immediately sought someone to blame, someone to bear the responsibility. Her fury turned towards those in all of Aquilea’s land, sick and weak, as if cursing her son with their existence. Many in Aquilea remembered the incident as a widespread plague, but the reality was different.

Leprosy wasn’t so easily transmitted, nor did it progress uniformly to cause mass deaths.

The mass deaths were entirely the doing of her wrath executed by the edge of her sword. Countless people died under her orders. Those barely surviving in the barren fields, those hiding as if dead, supported by parents and children, none could escape the sword.

Whether it was leprosy or not didn’t matter.

Anyone found with even the slightest deformity on their limbs, face, neck, or back was immediately dragged away. Taken under the guise of quarantine and treatment to the tent of the ‘merciful’ chieftain’s wife, they were mercilessly killed.

Even the chieftain Kahanti, even her father Haron, was unaware of the true extent. Everything was executed by Servia’s personal soldiers and her slush funds.

What was carried out in Servia’s name as relief efforts were, in reality, a massacre.

Her next target of wrath was the tribe’s other elders.

“Don’t you see? This is a scheme. It could be the work of Haraibo or perhaps Banuka’s doing. Those d*mned clans… plotting to pull us down to claim their share.”

Even after it was clear the other elders had nothing to do with Senu’s disease, Servia’s frenzy continued.

By then, he was as good as dead to Servia—alive but no longer living in her eyes—nothing could stop the deranged actions of a mother who lost her son. The power inherited from her father, Haron, was all she had. It was the foundation of everything she enjoyed.

Facing the threat of losing it all, Servia was determined to ‘solve’ this problem by any means necessary.

“Did you think I would fall so easily? The power, the status… the legitimacy that should have been yours! Do you think I would just quietly let it be taken away?”

Facing the situation head-on, Servia wanted some form of recompense for the loss of her eldest son.

Fortunately, she had her second son, Gernan. As soon as Senu’s disease became known, Servia had to fiercely protect her assets from the impending attacks on her power.

“Senu is dead.”

To her, Senu was no longer a child.

Once a stepping stone and blessing for a perfect reign, he now appeared in her nightmares like a crawling insect, tormenting her.

Senu had become Servia’s greatest shame.

A stain. A yoke.

In a situation that should not have unfolded, Servia chose total resistance. She was truly intent on erasing it all, eradicating Senu from her sight completely.

Servia was determined to kill her own son, Senu.

“It was the “right” thing to do.”

This had always been the way in Aquilea to maintain power and glory. If that way crumbled, everything would.

Servia resisted desperately, unaware of the consequences her actions would bring in the future. The matter escalated just before Senu was dragged into the cave, disguised as having fallen in battle at Zeferuna. The plan was to bury alive the last sixty-three patients brought in with him.

“Mother, I want to live. I want to live with them.”

Senu begged. He stretched out his arms, shielding the lepers with his frail body and pleaded with his mother for life. His arms and legs were wrapped in soiled bandages.

That day, Servia made a grave mistake.

Her heart wavered.

Her son was supposed to be dead. It all depended on it.

‘That’s the only way everything works out.’

The other heinous acts she had committed to cover up Senu’s situation were supposed to be buried along with its root cause—that was how to realize justice in Aquilea.

To protect the remaining people.

In reality, it was nothing more than an attempt to bury her own shame, but for Servia, who had come to equate herself with Aquilea, it had become a matter of life and death for the tribe.

But then,


She couldn’t do it.

The verses she once recited to her son like a lullaby now haunted Servia like a curse. In the end, no woman, whether wicked or noble, could kill her own child she birthed. She broke her most depended principle and spared the life of her eldest son, Senu.

“Live as if you are dead, Senu.”

She didn’t look at her son’s face when she uttered those words.

That final encounter tore mother and son apart completely. From then on, Servia never saw her eldest son again.

As if his absence from her sight would erase the past.

Now, in front of that mother, Servia’s son sat.

The son whom she had condemned to spend over a decade in a cave without a glimpse of sunlight, by her own decree. Even though her eldest son, who was once her source of unparalleled happiness, sat before her, reduced to a pitiful state, Servia didn’t blink an eye. Her expression remained impeccably composed, filled only with coldness.

Senu faced his mother as if it was expected. Yet, in both their minds, the once song-like words that had never been forgotten echoed emptily.

“You are my pride, my dignity.”