To my beloved Kingdom,
Indeed you are full of surprises. A King has been known in abandoning his Kingdom yet here you are— you abandoned your King.
You swore an oath to me didn't you? You swore loyalty to me yet you have crushed it into tiny little pieces just like my heart.
I am in despair and I am in chaos yet I understand.
You are free now.
I hope that wherever destiny takes you, you shall continue to thrive. Shine your light to whoever may need it. You are the sole proof that a King is nothing without his Kingdom.
I will always watch over you.
I was versed at a very young age of how I should see the world in a perspective in which favor should always be at my side no matter what the circumstance may be.
They wrung every single drop of magnanimity within me and made sure to engrave into my mind that the light shall always be mine and the immaculate shall always be me.
As a result, I ended up standing alone; bearing the light which blinded me from the truth they feared of me knowing. And as I continued to linger under the light that I kept selfishly for me, I realized a priceless lesson:
There was no light in loneliness. I have been there and all I could witness was the darkness of dismay.
As a young boy I was always curious about the world outside of my race's domain. We were the race that isolated itself from the rest of the world and because of that, many have suffered great loss. Our power sustained the life of nature. Our very existence was the reason why the other races get to live yet they didn't seem to appreciate that and pushed us into a retaliation that drove them into their downfall.
We experienced misjudgment, we went through defilement and so we resorted to abandonment.
They committed their own self-destruction when they discovered that those creatures were once us. Without full comprehension of how things ended up the way it did, most of the races that once fought with each other joined forces and attempted to slaughter us all.
During the war many of the ancients lost their lives due to their meekness resulting from a tyrant King that once ruled the nation. The King, my grandfather, decided to amass every ancient into one place and using his body, he created The Great Genshi Tree and sheltered us from the outside world.
The exterior form of the trunk opposed any invading forces from the opposite races and the once submissive race finally learned to bite back— driving the enemy races away to a doom that waited uncomplainingly for them.
Within the sapphire wooden interior of the tree the ancients built an opulent Kingdom of light blue green walls. There stood amidst of thousands of petite and humble houses was the palace of greatly stretched height which only exhibited the difference of status between the ones ruling and the ones being ruled.
As we bloomed and flourished, the world we hid from withered and crumbled. Our absence and lack of mercy became evident to the whole world and I briefly wondered if deprivation can make greedy people regret greed or further give them the drive to become even more covetous.
Twenty years have passed ever since the ancients closed themselves off. No one ever got to leave except for one ancient who opposed the conditions of the deceased King. That man was no other than my brother, Lucius.
My brother was never the one to follow the rules and regulations of the Kingdom. He was audacious, strong, and he was respected despite his reputation of being defiant. I idolized him and followed him everywhere in the Kingdom. I boasted him to every person we meet because he was my brother and I wanted to become like him someday.
Lucius told me stories of the outside world and reminded me to never succumb into our race's selfishness no matter what our parents tell me. He was basically trying to raise a rebellious son in me and our parents were well aware of that.
On the day of my onii-chan's (brother’s) departure, my okaasan (mother) and I saw him off. I held onto my okaasan's hand with a heavy heart and watched as my brother prepared everything he needed for his journey.
After double-checking everything, he bent down in front of me and placed a soft kiss against my forehead. I toughened myself up and willed myself not to cry in front of him because onii-chan was always saddened when I was sad.
"Arrivederci (goodbye) little brother, don't grow up too fast, alright? Goodness, you act and speak so maturely as if you aren’t six years old," he chuckled and held me close to him in a tight embrace.
I placed my two hands on either side of his face and gave his sharp nose a smooch. "Arrivederci onii-chan! Please come back soon!" I told him optimistically.
Onii-chan chuckled and ruffled my head causing petals to fall from my flower crown. Flower crowns were the status symbol of royalty and despite my onii-chan being a big and mighty Prince; he still possessed a rich colored crown that attracted the many women and men in the Kingdom.
"I will miss you otouto. Don't cause too much trouble for father and mother, understood?"
Okaasan let out a "hmph" and onii-chan straightened up and gave her a hug which was not returned.
"Please do not worry for me okaasan, I will be fine," he assured with a small smile.
Our mother glared at him in bitterness and didn't budge from being persistently perturbed.
"I have nothing left to say to you. You know very well of what's out there and you still decide to leave for these ridiculous peregrinations as if you are taunting death to chase you," okaasan scornfully scolded.
Onii-chan sighed from hearing the same reprimanding for the hundredth time and so he repeated the same explanation he gave the last time okaasan was upset with him.
"The world needs us okaasan. I cannot just enjoy the life within this tree knowing how much the world is dying."
Okaasan turned around in disappointment and my heart dropped from seeing my onii-chan get so much rejection.
Why must okaasan be like this whenever onii-chan will leave? She was being unkind to him just like otousan (father) who refused to see him off and reasoned out that he was buried with work.
"Go Lucius...you know too well what happens to us when we die yet you decide to get yourself slaughtered."
Onii-chan rubbed his forehead with his palm. He was stressed and tired of hearing okaasan complain. I did not like it whenever onii-chan and okaasan fought because onii-chan becomes really sad after and okaasan becomes really grumpy.
I grabbed one of onii-chan's thick fingers with my small hand and smiled at him while my other hand was busy behind me. I grew a white flower within my palm and presented it to him. His melancholic expression brightened and he plucked the flower from my palm making me wince a bit from the stinging pain.
"Thank you otouto, I will cherish it," he said lovingly and kissed the flower.
He mounted Argo, his trusted pegasus, and patted its neck. Its body was a luminous blue which provided enough light by nightfall. Argo was always his companion during his journeys. It was by chance that he found a lost pegasus in one of the villages he visited and they became close companions ever since.
The ippótes (Knights) of the gates placed their hands against the shut exit and gradually, the ivory metallic gates started to open. The sound of the gates wailing was the sound of my unexpressed sadness for my onii-chan's leaving yet I did not want to trouble him with my own feelings of sadness.
I waved at my onii-chan to bid him another farewell and he twisted a bit from his seat to wave back at me. The light from outside the gates shone at him, calling him to come back to his altruistic duties.
At that point, for some peculiar reason in my chest, I realized how much I disapproved of his departure. It wasn’t because I felt that something bad would happen to him yet I didn’t understand it well enough to speak out loud.
"Arrivederci Onii-chan!" I shouted.
Argo galloped out of the gates and I heard onii-chan shout:
The pegasus flapped its wings and soared up high. The doors then shut themselves after and the ippótes put themselves back into their stern positions like statues waiting for a law-breaker to assault on.
"Okaasan, when will onii-chan come back?" I asked her and looked up.
She looked down at me with gloom in her blue eyes and pursed her lips in the same dissatisfaction as she gave to onii-chan.
"I do not know Lucian...we'll just have to wait again," she murmured.
I glanced at the gates in great wonderment and set up my excitement for my onii-chan's next homecoming.
I miss my onii-chan already.
"Okaasan, why can't we go out?" I asked her.
Okaasan grimaced from my inquiry but tried to form a smile as she attempted to structure an answer that will make me understand her side. She squatted in front of me and kissed my hand in adoration.
"It's dangerous Lucian."
I looked at the gates again and back at her.
When onii-chan told me his tales nothing seemed dangerous at all.
Okaasan released a breath of exasperation because of my persistence but answered nonetheless.
"The world is dangerous and...we cannot die any further Lucian. Although our kind is the source of life, we are also the source of death."
Then we were the ones dangerous and not the outside world itself? What were they afraid of then?
I gave her a puzzled look from her vague explanation and pushed on. "I do not understand, please explain further?"
She cupped my cheek and closed her eyes as if to push away memories that haunted her for the longest time.
"Because when we die Lucian, we become the very death that lives to cause destruction to others," she told me.
She opened her eyes once more and great trepidation was instilled in them.
"We become the Catastrophes."
Nightfall came and otousan tucked me under the sheets of the bed. He placed a kiss on my cheek and I rubbed my hands against his stubble causing me to laugh from the prickling yet tickling sensation.
Otousan chortled in response; his deep baritone voice resonated in the room. His skin showed a soft glow in the blanket of darkness but my skin was abnormally much brighter than anyone else's. I asked my otousan once why I was like that and he answered with:
"You're special. You possess so much life in you that no one can match."
"Kalinihta (Good night) Lucian."
"Good night otousan," I replied before yawning.
Before father could stand up, I remembered a question I saved up for the day and grabbed his sleeve. I asked him a question that okaasan refused to answer.
"What's a Catastrophe?"
My otousan's eyes widened and he cleared his throat once his composure returned. He laughed a bit and stroked my hair.
"Why do you ask Tesoro (sweetheart)?"
This was a great opportunity!
"Okaasan mentioned it when I asked why we cannot leave. Will you make them go away otousan? If they're gone, can I come with onii-chan whenever he goes out? I want to help others like what onii-chan does!" I stated cheerfully.
Otousan's eyebrows scrunched up from my statement. My smile slowly faltered when I saw how negative his expression became.
"This is our home Lucian. We stay here for as long as we live," he whispered and his eyes glared hard at mine.
"You are not allowed to go out of those gates, I forbid it," he stated strongly causing me to wince from the strength of his agitation.
I was well aware at that time that I wasn't talking to my otousan. He was ordering me as a King of our race and I was required to obey it no matter how much it upset me.
I wish onii-chan was still here.
It was still night time when I woke up. I left my room and walked towards my parents' room in hopes of asking for refuge. I stopped by their door when I heard them arguing with okaasan sobbing.
"What if...what if he decides to leave like Lucius when he grows up? I can't have that Lohann! I...I almost lost him when he was born and I can't lose him again!" Okaasan cried out causing otousan to groan in frustration.
"But you can't just decide on putting him under that training Meria he is our son!" he snapped.
"I know that!" she shouted back.
There was a long pause after that outbreak and I waited for them to continue. My heart pounded strongly against my chest and I felt my feet and hands get cold. Okaasan and Otousan were fighting because of me weren't they?
"But I will do anything to protect him! Lucius is too compassionate because he knows how to empathize and sympathize. If we can train Lucian to become emotionless and loyal to our kind like the ippótes, he will have none of that."
"I can't believe this!" Father gritted out. "This training system...will turn our son into something we don't want. You do understand this don't you?" my otousan questioned.
"I know that my love. I am prepared. If this will make him safe from the rotten clutches of our deceased people, then it must be done."
The door opened and I froze in place from being caught eavesdropping. Otousan was startled to find me there but his expression softened as he knelt down in front of me.
"Lucian..." he murmured.
I looked down in shame and rubbed the tears off my eyes.
"Please don't fight with each other anymore otousan, I get scared…" I whimpered.
I took a peek from under my lashes and found otousan visibly gulp. "How would you like to no longer feel any fright?" he asked.
It was an offer that had taken my curiosity from its place. I did not like it when I feel fear. I had to be brave like my onii-chan. It was an offer that not only took away my ability to be afraid but also my abilities to feel other things.
I felt no remorse.
I felt no anger.
I felt no compassion.
I did not know how to love or feel love.
They eradicated the memories I had of my onii-chan. They destroyed the memories I had when they still showered me with love and affection.
I lost my heart.
“Love…What is love Caleb?”
What were they? I will never know. They had forbidden me to feel any kind of sentiment for this will lead me to my self-destruction.
Emotions were venomous to the heart and mind; I should never have them for they will lead me to an insurmountable pain that would taint the pureness instilled to me at birth.
I was the purest among my kind and it must stay that way. My mere purpose was to exist, nothing more and nothing less. Questioning such would only lead to my punishment bestowed by the law of my kind and the law of which I represent— the law of the Ochi sto de Scarlet Austarch (No to the Scarlet Autocrat).
It was a law passed on by the Higher Order of Ancients who survived from the tyranny of The Scarlet Emperor— a ruler almost considered as the perfect sovereign but became a slave to his emotions when he fell in love with a Cysgod (Shadow) Knight.
I ran my gloved fingers against the wooden wall of the hallway as I sauntered towards the dining area. My fingers dipped into the crevices of the intricate swirls of the ivory wall as my feet took gentle steps on the ebony carpet. I made sure that my feet made no sound as I trudged because even the slightest and gentlest sound can be a source of entertainment.
My father and mother were already seated onto their places with my father sitting at the end of the overly lengthy stygian table and with my mother sitting perpendicular to him.
The servant pulled the chair for me at the far end of the table, opposite to my father, and I bowed before them before taking my seat.
"How was your day Lucian?" Father asked me sternly.
I kept my gaze lowered to the empty space on the table and kept my hearing alert for their inquiries.
"Good father," I replied impassively.
"Do you feel ill?" Mother asked me next.
The tone of their voices had no hint of compassion or affection of a parent which was suited for this conversation and for my benefit.
"No, I feel nothing," I answered.
I always had and will always be empty.
More servants arrived in their black uniforms and placed a bowl filled with bread in front of me and a glass of water. They were careful not to touch me for doing such was punishable by the law.
I took a bite of the bland bread and we ate in total silence. No further conversations were exchanged among us and not even the servants dared to utter a noise unless their services were requested by my father or mother.
I slowly drank my water as soon as I finished everything in front of me and I rose from my seat and bowed before returning to my bedroom.
My chamber was located in the left wing of the castrum (castle). Only a few personnel were allowed inside specifically the chosen servants and the ippótes.
I walked to my white semi-soft lectus (bed) and sat firmly at the edge. My eyes then focused to my lap and then to my window. The view was blocked by vines purposely raised there to hinder any possible entertainment or distraction that could elicit an emotion from me.
As far as I can remember, for the last eighteen blue moons, this had been my quotidian life. It was unchanging, ascetic and monotonous just as what I had expected.
I lied down on my lectus and shut my eyes. I circled the castrum earlier to waste time but made sure not to push myself to exhaustion.
As I attempted to catch some sleep, I heard my door creek open. The bed sank from the weight of the intruder and I felt a hand on my forehead. A shaky breath was released as I felt the hand stroke my head in a manner which was forbidden by the law of Ochi sto de Scarlet Austarch.
"Oh Lucian...my musuko (son)..." she whispered. "Te iubesc (I love you)..."
My mother had always been a law-breaker. She was the type to let her emotions get the best of her and this was one of those occasions. She should face the consequences but it was not too late to save her from the poison that lived through her rotting form. There was still time.
I opened my eyes and turned my head to face her. She was startled and looked ashamed from her actions and I merely bore my eyes at her.
"You are tainting my purity mother. What are you doing here?" I questioned.
She opened and closed her mouth in obvious edginess. Her blonde hair cascaded down to her waist and framed her small face. Her clemency, though opposed by the law that I was under, was still considered a treasure to the Kingdom and to the many who hadn’t deposited themselves under the grasp of the Higher Order.
The law shall be applied only to those willing and those who dip their hands in blood for the Kingdom. The Higher Order was still fighting for its equal application but the late King Genshi did not allow its mandatory utilization.
"I..." she trailed off, lost on what to say.
She seemed to be holding so many emotions inside of her that it was obvious that she was being destroyed by it. She should have undergone the training with me. This Kingdom did not need a fragile Queen.
"You should not be here. Please manage your motherly instincts. You are endangering my life and you are violating my rights."
She closed her mouth and pursed her lips in attempt to conceal her shameful acts but was failing miserably.
"Of course... omlouvám se (I’m sorry)," she murmured in a hurried manner.
She rose up and left with her head lowered. She closed my door, lightly releasing an audible click, and her footsteps became louder as she evidently departed in an upset sprint.
The night passed and I awakened to perform my daily routine of grooming. After bathing and cleaning my teeth, I suited myself up in an ebony blouse with puffy long sleeves. I slipped into the same shade of fitted pants and wore my ivory high boots.
A servant knocked to my door to inform me that breakfast was prepared and I thanked her flatly. The same bread was served to me and while I consumed in small bites, I noticed that my mother did not have any appetite as she played with her food.
Her emotions must be eating away her manners.
"Okaasan? Otousan?" a deep and baritone voice resonated from a near distance. Both of my parents looked at each other in shock.
Mother suddenly stood up; causing the chair to fall back down to the floor and she ran towards the source of the voice.
"Lucius!" she yelled out in joy.
"Okaasan!" the male replied blissfully. Father followed suit and I was left alone to continue with my meal.
Three bodies emerged from the tall and wide arched threshold. My parents surfaced with the person they gleefully welcomed. A blonde-haired male who was taller and more built than father frantically looked around and once he spotted me, his already wide smile grew more in width and if possible, his lively aura became livelier.
"Otouto!" he addressed and charged up to me with wide arms.
"Lucius wait!" Mother panicked.
The man named Lucius brusquely and unlawfully picked me up from my spot and lifted me up into the air.
"You have grown otouto!" he commented.
Who was this lawbreaker and why was he even allowed in here?
"Guards," I called out blankly to the ippótes who didn't know whether to intervene or just stand there and embrace the rock life. The man before me laughed and stared at me with much adoration.
"I do not know you and if you don't put me down now, acquaintance of the royal family or not, you shall be rightfully punished," I threatened.
This was a first offense and for the King and Queen to let this happen to the Prince they deposited willingly under the law of Ochi sto de Scarlet Austarch, this was alarming indeed.
Pain was visibly seen in his eyes and he gently placed me down on my feet.
"Who are you if you don't mind me asking?" I questioned him. I need to know what name I was going to put in my report.
Lucius placed his hands on my shoulders and smiled sadly. This was the second offense. I would now need to ask the servants for a pen and paper next time to write my letter of report.
I gave one of his hands a look of disapproval and swatted it off of me.
"I don't blame you for forgetting me. I have been gone for so long but still...ouch!" he jokingly laughed.
"I am not amused. Do not touch me; do not even get a foot closer to me the next time. I do not know you and I will never bother to know a criminal," I stated firmly.
Lucius looked shocked with my blunt statement; nonetheless, he didn't wipe the smile off his face.
"Woah, you turned out to be a grumpy young man. No need to be cold to your own older brother Lucian," he said with a lowered tone and a dying enthusiasm this time.
I scowled at him."I do not have a brother—"
"Yes you do!" he cut me off, clearly offended before I could even finish.
I will make sure to add Disrespect to the Monarchy to his list of offenses.
Lucius' expression showed great distress and once he had touched my face that was the last straw for me.
I slapped his hand away with the back of mine causing his eyes to widen.
"De Scarlet Austarch lebt timi bhitra...(The Scarlet Autocrat Lives within you…)" I murmured.
Upon hearing my words, Lucius's mouth hung open and his face slowly distorted into that of shock and disbelief. He took a step back as his eyes watered and his hand clamped on his lips. He then took a sharp turn to my parents and glared at them with seething rage.
"You put Lucian in that training didn't you?!"
The King and Queen looked at each other before mother took the courage to speak. "We have no other choice Lucius. We must protect him from—“
"Rahat! (Bullshit!)" He cut her off. "You aren't doing this for him, you're just being selfish! How can you stand seeing him like this? What have you done to him?!"
So much emotions leeching off of him...
"They are helping preserve my saintliness, would you care to help?" I asked him. I didn't want to save a criminal but the Higher Order was looking for more recruitment.
"No, you shouldn't be like that Lucian! You are not supposed to be a heartless being!" he snapped at me.
"Being heartless saves you from...being what you are right now. Do not fret you still have a chance to change. Would you like to undergo training?"
The man visibly gritted his teeth as anger radiated from him.
"You cannot blame us for wanting him to be safe Lucius," father told him calmly.
I sat back down and continued eating my bread even if there was an obvious rope of tension connecting the three of them
"You...made him into an empty shell. This isn't protecting," he argued back causing father to sigh.
"Lucian, go to your room," the King ordered.
"As you wish father," I replied and rose up.
I ignored Lucius's desperate calls and I headed straight to my chamber. The silence healed my ringing ears from the entire ruckus that that man caused. Father should know what to do with him. I will see to it that everything will go smoothly with the jail documents.
I lied down on my bed and stared at the tree outside. Just as when I was finally regaining control of tranquility, the door opened revealing the offender.
This was getting out of hand.
My father was a useless ruler.
"You should not be here."
"I know...just lend me your time," he assured with a smile.
He sat at the edge of the bed and I scooted far away from him to show my disapproval of him being in here. Where were the ippótes making rounds?
"Why thank you for the space," he chuckled and lied down. He quickly wrapped his arms around me and pulled me firmly to his hard body causing immediate alarm to my principles.
"Let go of me, you are not allowed to touch me, you are destroying my purity!" I shouted at him.
This was the first time that someone had invaded my personal space for multiple times in a day. How can someone be so persistent in disobedience? I must push him away. I must get rid of him! He will take away my life. He will ruin everything I worked hard for!
His arms tightened around me and the strangulation of being forced into such position was making me cease my breathing. "Let go I say!" wheezed out.
"I will not. Please calm yourself," he gently spoke reassuring that he had harmless intentions in which I do not believe even if my own mother was at stake.
"I am calm. Why are you here?" I questioned. My tone was slightly higher from the usual.
I froze in place when I felt him place a kiss on my forehead.
"Because onii-chan misses his otouto," he whispered.
I snapped out from my stupefaction and narrowed my gaze at him.
"I do not know you," I deadpanned.
"Yes you do, they just erased your memories of me," he pushed on, being a lot calmer this time compared to the first time he arrived.
"Relinquo (Leave)," I ordered. "Your visit here is meaningless."
"You're meaningful to me. Stop pushing me away," he slammed back.
"Stop being in my way," I retorted and continued with my struggle within his steel grip.
"Lucian, this is getting childish. Look at me," he demanded.
His fingers pushed my chin up and I tried to resist the force and back away however; his arm guarding my back prevented me from making a distance.
He placed a heavy leg to trap my own two legs and pushed my body further to his own, crushing me in his embrace. I gave up and let him lift my chin only for him to meet closed eyes.
"Otrolig… (Unbelievable…)" he groaned. For a few seconds the criminal became silent and he leaned his forehead against mine before sighing in resignation.
"If only I came home sooner...this wouldn't have happened," he murmured regretfully. "They must have deprived you of love and affection..."
They did the right thing. They made the right choice.
"It must be done," I told him. If they showed such weakness to me, I will be fragile.
"It shouldn't have been done!" he protested and a wave of silence followed thereafter.
Lucius' tensed form relaxed moments later while I was devising plans on how to speed up the process of putting him behind bars for one-hundred blue moons. I will also make sure that the ippótes assigned in this wing shall meet consequences for not being in time to arrest this man.
"Have you tasted cocoa seeds?" he asked me.
"No and never, taste buds retrieve emotions. I advise you to stop piling more offenses to your list but for the sake of speeding up the process of you being tossed to jail, please, go on," I deadpanned.
A second later, I felt something soft pressing against my lips and I had to purse them to prevent whatever it was that he was forcing in. Lucius poked my side and my body reacted negatively to it. My mouth opened and the small and soft object was pushed inside of my mouth. He immediately pushed my chin up and covered my lips with his hand.
"Chew it or I will never leave you alone," he threatened causing me to reluctantly obey.
You shall pay for this farbrekher (criminal).
I clenched his arm tightly and chewed sluggishly. My strength was already drained from dealing with him. The soft seed ruptured and something thick and rich coated my mouth. My eyes opened in wonderment and I met blue eyes that were darker than my own waiting in anticipation. He let go of my lips and the taste stayed in my tongue as it dried up and thirst spread across my cavern.
"What is it?" I questioned. It tasted better than the bread I eat every day.
I will have to confess my crimes to the Higher Order once this man was out of the way. The punishment will be lesser in my condition because I was forced.
"It's chocolate, what you tasted is sweet," he explained.
"I shouldn't have tasted that. It will-"
"Hiberent! (Stop!) They have lied to you. Emotions show the beauty of life. If you lock them away, you learn nothing," he scolded.
He raised my face further and forced me to look at his eyes that pinned my attention in place.
"You are beautiful Lucian but you are nothing but a monster inside. I will train you how to use your heart. You will come with me the next time I go out."
I gave him a defiant expression. I was trained to show expressions of disapproval when it came to unreasonable simpletons.
"It's better to hurt than to be hurt. You are blind if you think otherwise," I told him.
Lucius held my face firmly and disappointment was traced on his tone of voice. "It's better to not hurt at all. You are a creature of life not death."
He pulled my body up with him and went to my closet. Did he really believe I'll come with him? What made him think that the Kingdom will allow him to take me?
"Your clothes are all black and white," he commented as he rummaged through it.
"It must be done," I stated. His head popped out from the hanged clothes and he pointed his finger at me with a displeased face.
"No it shouldn't. When you were a child your clothes were colorful. What happened?"
I was enlightened.
"I grew up and...It must be—"
"That's it, we leave tonight!" He cut me off out of frustration.
He grabbed a bag and began to stuff my clothes inside. I watched him blankly as he caused rampage. He was too raucous. If I was sensitive like my mother, I could have whacked this man's head.
Once the dullard was finally done packing my things up, I took the chance to speak.
"I refuse to come. Please return my clothes to where they belong. I will add Invasion of territory and Damage to property into the list of your offenses. Aren't you wealthy with years in jail?"
"Otrod'ye…(Brat...)" he hissed.