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After Michael gave the signal, the attendants took out the food that had been placed first and began bringing in new food. The food served at the start of the banquet was rare and nutritious, but it was not suitable for the emperor’s mouth.
Perhaps because of his special ability, the always-healthy emperor tended to avoid foods that were bitter and good for the body.
The Emperor’s eyes gleamed with delight as the second platter was presented before him. It was because the menu consisted solely of the emperor’s personal preferences. The emperor, like most nobles and wealthy merchants, had an epicurean life.
All of the flavorful food on the table was larded with Penina powder. The Penina powder, a flower devoid of taste and scent, could be used in any food.
Unbeknownst to the emperor, he had been relishing the delectable cuisine presented on a plate throughout the whole night.
“Your chef is very good.”
“I’m flattered. He would be greatly honoured to know that the taste is to the liking of His Majesty.”
Michael concurred and ate the same meal as the Emperor. When he suspected he had been poisoned, the simplest way out was to eat the same food.
The emperor ate and drank cheerfully and seemed to relax. He wasn’t sure if Duke Cardian was offended, but he believed that punishing him was something to be considered later.
The emperor’s face was fairly relaxed as he filled his stomach. It was now time to serve dessert and various fruits.
‘Is it because Cardian irks me? I’m feeling a little uncomfortable.’
The emperor lightly touched his chest and looked around at the attendants who were serving desserts and fruits. The emperor disliked sweets, but he preferred fruit. The one known as Armonia was the one he enjoyed eating the most out of all of them.
Attendants carrying teapots were constantly making their way to and from his seats. As he watched the glass being filled, the Emperor frowned.
Michael, who had been keeping an eye on the emperor since he finished his second meal, was the one who noticed it.
“Your Majesty, are you feeling unwell?”
“You seem to feel a little uncomfortable.”
No one else knows, but Orkhan has no fear of poison. Because his unique ability was ‘purification,’ he did not die even if he ate poison.
He had never been sick since he was a child. The poison was naturally removed from his body as soon as it was ingested.
‘Because of that power, I had to revise my plan several times thinking of poisoning Vivian.’
It was because it was evident that the emperor would use his power on the princess for the sake of the prince he cherished. So Michael severely damaged Vivian’s organs with his first dose of poison.
Even if the poison is deciphered with the emperor’s ability, she won’t wake up quickly.
And he bribed a priest from the temple and a healer from the imperial family to prevent Vivian from recovering and periodically administering poison.
Because the Emperor had only given Vivian one favor, the subsequent poison was unknown to the Emperor.
The emperor’s expression changed when he vomited for the first time. Normal people would have assumed that the banquet hall was crowded and that they needed to be patient because The Emperor was eating.
At the very least, it was natural for them to turn their head or try to get out of the banquet hall.
But he was Emperor, and everyone knew that the Emperor was the most important person.
In the dining hall, Orkan hurled his stomach contents directly onto the tables.
Everyone who was present in the banquet hall had been instructed to think of him as the most important person there was. Most of them, understandably, had never witnessed the vomit of others.
About half were shocked by the emperor’s vomiting. Some people retched or turned their heads away in repugnance. Of course, everyone couldn’t even touch the dessert.
The emperor made a blargh and then threw up under the table. He ate a lot, so the vomit had to be a lot.
The attendants were terrified and scrambled to summon the imperial doctor. Phil was guarding the emperor’s side at this time and his face turned white as he realised that he had been in this situation in the past.
‘How could something like this happen?!’
He passed out after getting hit in the head by the time he vomited, so he did not know what happened next.
There was a buzz going around the food in the banquet hall contained poison. The reason behind this was that the emperor, though advanced in age, remained hale and hearty.
The emperor, who had just thrown up everything, felt a mixture of relief and embarrassment at the same time. It was because he had full confidence that he could not be poisoned.
He had never experienced nausea or vomiting in the past, and this was the very first time that it happened to him.
“Your Majesty, are you all right?”
Acting with a confused face, Michael asked. Orkan looked satisfied when Michael asked about the Emperor’s condition.
“Of course. It’s not a big deal, so don’t worry.”
At this time, a frantic doctor approached the emperor. He didn’t even notice the strewn banquet hall table or the emperor’s seat; he was only concerned with Orcan’s complexion.
The doctor looked relieved as he cautiously examined the emperor’s veins.
“……I think you have an upset stomach.”
The tense atmosphere was eased as soon as the doctor said these words. It came as no surprise that the emperor was the one who felt the most ashamed by the response of the people.
“Hmmm. Didn’t I say it wasn’t a big deal from the beginning! Why did you call the doctor……”
“I suppose I should have paid more attention to the type of food.”
The Emperor did not point the finger of blame at Michaell and instead glared at Phil. He had heard that Phil was in charge of the banquet.
“You don’t do anything right!”
The emperor’s roaring scolding made Phil feel unfair. He wanted to point the finger of blame at the palace’s chef as well as the individuals who were responsible for putting together this menu, but he could only recall their faces and not their names.
“……It’s not my fault anyway!”
“That’s all you always say!”
Showing a look of disappointment once again, the emperor left with the help of an attendant. Phil seemed to want to pursue the Emperor as it was, but Michael had no intention of doing so.
Michael was also very disappointed.
‘Isn’t it possible to deprive the Emperor of his powers by feeding him Penina powder?’
Not much had changed other than the emperor vomiting. Even the emperor didn’t know what was wrong, so Michael assumed it was false information.
Even though he thought he didn’t believe it completely, Michael felt his anger rising.
They didn’t say that the emperor’s powers would disappear but that they would alleviate the curse of the Duke of Cardian by taking away the powers of the emperor.
Therefore, there had to be something that could deprive the Emperor of his power!
Michael was left alone in the banquet hall after ordering that all people be migrated to another room.
The nobles had already moved, with the attendants leading the way. Michael looked at the traces of the emperor’s vomit with disgust and noticed something strange.
‘What is that?’
On the table, there was something that looked jumbled up and showed up to be black and hard. Most of the food at the banquet was grilled meat and soup that the emperor could easily digest.
If there were something difficult to chew or swallow, the attendant would have noticed it first and not put it on the emperor’s plate in the first place.
His heart was racing wildly.
Even though he thought it was a ridiculous speculation, Michael took a cup of water and poured it on top of it. The vomit was washed away, revealing a smooth black piece.
If the object had been found on the floor, he would have assumed that it was a stone that had been knocked out of a flower pot. As far as he could recall, the location in question did not contain any stones similar to those. There was no way anyone would have put it up.
‘The emperor vomited this up……’
Poisoning the emperor would have revealed whether or not the emperor’s powers had disappeared. The emperor believed in his own power and was not careful of poison.
Even though he thought it was ridiculous, Michael kept the stone in his handkerchief.
Michael was about to put the stone back in his pocket when he noticed a card sitting on top of a drawer in the hallway.
On the envelope, it said, “To His Highness, Prince Michael.”
‘What is it?’
Michael was nervous as he realized he had just reached something strange.
He had his attendant fetch the envelope. Michael tried to open it himself but feared that the contents were poisoned, so he ordered that an attendant open the envelope and remove the contents for him.
The envelope contained a scrap of low-quality paper. The content drew his attention as soon as he frowned at the yellow and rough paper.
Upon recognizing the name, Michael’s face turned pale.
It was the name of his father.
✦ ✦ ✦
On its way to the imperial palace, the carriage turned around and returned to the Cardian duchy. He knew that the Duke of Cardian in the capital also had a spy. But he wanted Michael to carry out the plot, so he needed to pretend to be at Michael’s banquet.
Celia sat on Leonis’ lap, a tired expression on her face. Leonis looked at her with satisfaction, in contrast to her, who was only taking shallow breaths.
Although it was because of the operation, the night date with Celia was very pleasurable.
Celia, on the other hand, felt as if she wanted to pass out in shame because they had made a shambles all over the carriage’s space.
‘Eventually someone will clean this up……’
It was natural for rumors about the two to circulate in the duke’s residence. There was a limit, even if she asked Leonis to control their mouth.
Celia was embarrassed by the thought and wanted to cry. He said he’d do it in moderation, but Leonis found it just as difficult to finish with one stroke as Celia did when they were kissing each other.
‘I feel better when Leonis touches me, but I’m still getting weak……’
Whether or not he knew Celia’s feelings, Leonis was enjoying the afterglow of her, puffing his lips on her cheeks and shoulders.