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A rush of memories flooded Amelia’s mind as she recalled a valuable lesson her mother had imparted to her when she was young. The memory lingered, haunting her relentlessly, especially since she was barred from entering the grand palace.
‘You can leave the Imperial Palace, but running away is another thing.’
It was not difficult to shun the maids or attendants. However, leaving the escort driver out of the palace was a different matter.
She tried a few times, but Amelia had never succeeded.
There was also the problem of Lucy.
‘Is Lucy safe? I haven’t heard from you since…….’
Amelia ordered all her maids to leave the room because they were making too much noise. It is possible that they believed the power she was wearing had lost its power, which is why it seemed less energetic than it had in the past.
Amelia let out a long sigh as they discretely slipped away from her sight.
Knock Knock. That was the sound coming from the window leading out to the garden. Amelia quickly turned around, but the person who had been knocking had already left. Nevertheless, she noticed something clinging to the window frame.
Amelia frantically opened the window, and to her surprise, she found the same envelope. She opened her envelope with trembling hands and took out her letter, revealing some very elegant lettering.
How are you, Her Highness the Princess?
I am sure that the treasures that we have were on your mind. We are considering how to return the treasure to Your Highness, the Princess.
If Her Highness helps us with one thing, we would happily extend our assistance to Your Highness.
This is very dangerous and may cost you your life.
If you would like to follow our wishes, we would be appreciative if you could put this envelope back where it came from.
‘Is this something that I have to put my life on the line for?’
Amelia gave the text one more read while she thought about what it could mean. They pretended to have Lucy in their custody and tried to dissuade her from carrying it out, but they didn’t really show Lucy to her. Perhaps they didn’t have Lucy with them.
✦ ✦ ✦
There was one major problem with the plan to return the curse to the imperial family. It was the existence of the sacred object in the imperial family’s secret vault.
The ‘Holy Grail of Nedesmer’ was dedicated to the ancient temple.
There are two legends about the Holy Grail.
One of them was that if you tainted the Holy Grail with the blood of a holy and innocent person, you would gain power but also bring a curse upon yourself.
Two generations ago, the Emperor of Hermos proved this by killing a divine beast and eating its heart.
It could not be confirmed whether the blood contained in the Holy Grail belonged to a divine beast or someone else, but there were still blood stains on the Holy Grail.
The second one stated that if the Holy Grail were found to contain the blood of a lost soul, then the gates of hell would be unlocked.
In the original story, Amelia used the Holy Grail to bring about the destruction of the continent.
It is not clear whether she actually intended to bring about the end of the world by doing this. She was also in a state of madness because she inherited the curse from the Hermos imperial lineage.
“… … Isn’t this the oracle you received?”
Nicole reported what she had been investigating and explained the legend to Celia. Celia, who couldn’t properly remember the end of the original story, thought that the story seemed right.
“I think so. It seemed that there was something about the blood somewhere……”
Celia explained the memories of her previous life in the form of an ‘oracle’. Leonis’s curse and Michael’s birth were all taught by the goddess.
She couldn’t remember it before but remembered it after being revived, so she could have thought that the goddess had taught her.
Celia shared with them that one of the things Leonis was concerned about was the world’s destruction. She couldn’t quite recall that part, so she needed the assistance of the entourage.
The location of the treasure house in the imperial family was a secret, but there were things known to the world about the great treasures that Hermos imperial family possessed.
This Holy Grail was one of those things.
It was an item that the Heavenly God Church was constantly requesting to return, but the imperial family steadfastly refused to comply with their request. The reason for this was that it was believed that the imperial family, which was said to have “sacred blood” flowing through its veins, was in a better position to protect the Holy Grail than the church, which could not prove its divinity if it lost its divine beast.
“Contrary to popular belief, there are those who believe that the two legends are actually one and the same.”
According to the religious priest’s explanation, after the first condition was met, if the second thing happened, that would be the key to opening the gates of hell.
“If you have already done the first thing to gain power in the imperial family, you need to leave it to the church to purify the Holy Grail.”
The problem was figuring out how to get into the hidden vault belonging to the imperial family and open the door.
As far as approaching, Celia had already solved the problem. Because she had found out the location of her secret safe through the secret passage she had taught her.
“The rest is how to open the secret vault.”
“If that’s the case, Princess Amelia would know.”
There was no separate key for the secret safe that belonged to the imperial family. This was because the way to open it was very similar to a key to a safe.
Currently, only Orkhan and Amelia can open the safe.
“How does Princess Amelia know that?”
Nile inquired as if he didn’t understand. Celia could explain this. Because it was part of the original.
Princess Amelia’s mother was favored by the emperor until they had a child. The emperor did not intend to see the child that he had with her, but he cared for her as his concubine.
One of the things he did to try to win her favour was to bring her to the imperial family’s hidden vault.
Amelia’s mother put on an act of turning away as she stood in front of the hidden vault so that she could watch the Emperor open it with her small hand mirror.
And he made Amelia memorize it, promising that there would be a day when she would be able to jot it down.
Without being aware that Amelia would one day bring about the end of the world.
“…… If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be better to kill both the emperor and the princess?”
Nicole, who despises the imperial family, voiced his displeasure. Celia made a shaky motion with her head.
“There are only two people I know, and I don’t know who else can actually open the secret vault. If someone breaks into the safe and steals the Holy Grail after breaking the curse, the entire world will be in jeopardy.”
“If that’s the case, then I suppose we ought to also seek assistance from Princess Amelia.”
As he concluded, Zeppel looked around the audience. Nile remained unfavourable.
“Will the princess obediently listen to us? We have a hostage, but we have yet to show her.”
“So she needs to contact me that day and give me permission to contact the communication centre for a while. She’s been weighed down by others her entire life…… I don’t think it’s going to be hard to persuade her.”
All eyes were on Nicole and one other person. Because there may be guards at the secret safe in the imperial palace, Nicole intends to bring along two additional people with him.
Meanwhile, he needed to secure Princess Amelia.
“I’ll see if I can do it. Because I can’t stand it anymore that other people are in danger because of the Hermos royal family.”
As Nicole made him composed declaration, Leonis looked at him in silence. Nicole took a lot of effort to serve Leonis because he has a strong aversion to the people who are members of the imperial family.
One of the people who followed Leonis more closely than any of his other close associates was the person formerly known as Nicole.
“I believe. You can do it.”
The words of Leonis caused Nicole’s eyes to shine brightly. While the others were talking, Zeppel made his way over to Celia and started talking to her.
“I’d like to speak to you for a moment…….”
Celia moved briskly to move to the next room. Leonis cast a fleeting gaze towards them yet chose to overlook their presence for the moment, as his focus was fixed on his adversary, Zeppel.
Celia followed him into the room. After leaving the door only partially closed, Zeppel asked her cautiously.
“… … Are you really in favor of attracting Princess Amelia? It is possible that the Princess will decline to leave the Empire and instead make the declaration that she will stay in the new Empire.”
Celia, who knew Amelia’s secret, was sure. But Zeppel looked dubious.
“Madam might think so, but… … It’s the princess. It is possible for the vassals to put in a request for the marriage of the lord and the princess in order for them to take over the previous imperial authority.”
“For the outside world, I’m thinking of making the princess dead and sending her away. Tell Lucy that too. She will like it.”
“How can you be so sure? People change when they take power.”
Celia looked at Zepel, who was still sceptical and tried to persuade him again and again. Zeppel, had a strong faith in Celia, and he found himself in a position where he needed to use Princess Amelia, but he also needed to kill her.
Her legitimacy was a dangerous thing to leave alone.
Celia smirked and motioned to Zeppel. And whispered in his ear, “the secret of Amelia.”