When he died, it was not what she expected.
She expected an uproar. A revolution. The great man who ran the empire had slipped quietly away in the night, and nobody noticed.
It was like he didn’t matter, in the end.
The man who was the lord of the people. The man who built the highest buildings and paid the largest fortunes and squired the strongest of men. She sat in her mourning black and watched as the sun rose on another day.
How dare the sun rise, when he had not risen from his bed? His face was so… blue. So still, so cold. Servants walked around him confidently. How dare they. She burned with fury as she watched them coldly sponge his face and cover it. He would never have allowed them to be so brazen in real life.
He was dead, now. Death spares nobody. He was like all those paupers they carried off through the rainy courtyard. He was like those he condemned for petty crimes. He had become the very thing he threatened others with.
They lowered his coffin into the ground and when they bumped it a little because it was so heavy, he could not scream at them and order their heads on the city walls. He could not sneer at their set faces.
Not a tear was shed.
She blinked, trying to summon some misery to show the masses. Nothing would come. She had glanced down at his face, surrounded by gold and purple velvet, and she felt nothing.
No, that was not true. She felt a stirring of something deep inside her that made her mouth twitch a little. She banished that feeling quickly enough, however, and set her mouth firmly as she stalked away, her black skirts billowing around her.
When he died, the world carried on as usual. They buried his body beneath the ground like they did countless bodies before him, and like they would do countless bodies after him. His flesh would disintegrate, eaten away by billions of microorganisms. His guts would spill out and his gasses would fill the tiny cavity around him, and soon they too would seep into the ground around him and become nutrition for the earth. He would soon be a pile of bones, nothing more.
And nobody would remember him, a hundred years down the line.
Everybody is equal in the eyes of Death.