“Alright, it’s getting late. You should go back to your room and rest,” Rufus said wearily, waving his hand.
The decision to appoint his eldest son as the heir to the throne was not only because he recognized his capabilities. He was also driven by a sense of guilt, wanting to make amends.
Unfortunately, Dustin lacked ambition and harbored no aspirations to rise above others. Therefore, Rufus refrained from pressing too hard.
As a dying man, his only wish was for the well-being and happiness of his sons. The rest was no longer a concern.
Dustin opened his mouth as if to speak but ultimately remained silent. He then stood up and left.
He had no desire to become the next prince, at least not now. To the outside world, the title of Prince of West Lucozia symbolized supreme power, boundless wealth, glory, and the pinnacle of prestige. However, to Dustin, it represented a burdensome role.
Assuming the throne meant bearing an overwhelming load. He would no longer be able to consider only himself. His responsibilities would extend to include all of West Lucozia and its people.
Being just an ordinary man, Dustin felt incapable of shouldering such a heavy responsibility. Thus, he decided to be selfish just this once.
In the ensuing days, Dustin spent his time within the castle. After quelling the rebellion, which included the eradication of the Dragon Guard, countless trivial matters demanded attention.
Since Rufus was not in good health, Dustin took on his father’s responsibilities, fulfilling his duty as the son. The first task on Dustin’s list was Julius ‘affairs. Dustin offered him two options.
The first option was for Julius to surrender his military insignia and remain within West Lucozia. He could enjoy the leisure life of a noble, strolling through parks, engaging in horseback riding and archery, and living a life of wealth and luxury.
The only condition was that he couldn’t maintain any affiliated forces, and the number of his guards must not exceed one hundred.
The second option allowed Julius to leave West Lucozia with a substantial sum of wealth and establish himself elsewhere.
Regardless of the outcome, he would bear the full responsibility, and the monarchy would refrain from interfering.
It was easy to understand what the two options pertained-either lead an idle life or venture forth into uncertainty.
Dustin only extended the privilege of choice to Julius primarily due to their familial relationship and his significant role in the successful elimination of the Dragon Guard.
Ultimately, after considering the advantages and disadvantages, Julius opted for the second alternative-to set out on a new journey.
He preferred taking his chances outside of West Lucozia rather than leading a mundane life within.
Perhaps one day, he could rise again and establish his own sphere of influence. A highly ambitious person, Julius was unwilling to be subservient indefinitely.
He would rather lead a humble organization than be a follower within a prosperous one. He was going to seize control of his own destiny.
Respecting Julius’ decision, Dustin provided him with a substantial sum of money and personally bid him farewell from West Lucozia. Their paths diverged from that point onward, with no anticipation of further interaction.
After settling matters with Julius, Dustin proceeded to prison to confront Elijah and the Northern Four Sovereigns.
Rufus had been merciful and promised not to end their lives. It was a promise that Dustin upheld. However, their escape from the death penalty didn’t grant them immunity from punishment.
Whether it was Elijah or the Northern Four Sovereigns, they had committed the grave offense of leading a rebellion and mobilizing their forces, resulting in severe ramifications.
Naturally, they would not be let off easily. Otherwise, their actions would set a precedent and plunge West Lucozia into chaos.
Therefore, Dustin decided to confiscate their assets as punishment. Firstly, they were stripped of their official positions, and all accumulated wealth over the years was seized.
Moreover, anyone who had benefited from the five individuals shared the same fate-complete confiscation of assets.
As a way to ease public concerns, all the funds seized from them would be allocated to local development and distributed among the people.
Ultimately, aside from the confiscation of assets, the Northern Four Sovereigns were sentenced to prison for 20 years. Elijah, facing a life sentence, would spend the remainder of his days behind bars.