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The unexpected things caused Zeppel’s eyes to widen in response.
“Do you understand now? Princess Amelia will never stay in the Empire again. If I suggested that she stage her own funeral, how would she react? Would she be happy with the idea?”
“I-I suppose so. I can’t believe it.”
“Even if the truth about her is revealed at a later time, people won’t believe it because me, Leonis, and even Zeppel are now aware of this information. Therefore, there is no need for you to be concerned about Princess Amelia’s legitimacy.”
Celia was well aware of the potential consequences that could arise as a result of her decision to let Amelia live. Her very existence serves as a justification for rebellion.
Even if she hadn’t wanted to, Amelia could have been coerced into doing what she was asked to do. Especially in the current situation where Lucy was being held hostage.
But because she was Celia, she wanted to let Amelia live even more.
Celia was aware of the humiliation and pain that Amelia had to go through in order to survive because she knew the memories from her previous life as well as the contents of the original story.
She believed that a reward had to be given because the abused child she had grown up with had become an adult and because she and her siblings had made an effort not to become abusive adults themselves.
“I think Leon will be a different emperor than the Hermos family. However, a person’s determination can at times be lacking… Choosing to spare the life of Princess Amelia should serve as a lesson to her.”
It was almost like an anchor that reminded him that it was not over yet and that someone other than the Hermos family might rise up against him and turn his world upside down if he continued to be corrupt.
Zeppel’s heart beat faster when he heard what Celia said. He even wondered how she had gotten that far in her thoughts already.
“Have you done talking with Madam?”
After hearing that, Zeppel reacted with composure by lowering his head.
“Then I will also obey your will.”
After he said that, he looked at Celia quietly.
“I am happy to be able to help the world that the two of you will open.”
“I’m not ready to say that just yet…….”
Celia laughed and continued, but Zeppel remained silent and focused. He had been daydreaming about the brand-new empire that Leonis would find for some time. On the other hand, it was the first time he had ever been as inflated with expectations for that world as he is now.
‘This is the only one that we have. A woman who is strong enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with my lord.’
Zeppel made up his mind once again, recalling his oath to the two of them.
✦ ✦ ✦
Nell, the first empress, was in a state of fear.
‘I can’t believe this!’
She couldn’t remember who heard the story and moved his residence to one of the suburbs surrounding the capital. Someone just whispered that there was nowhere near the capital where Prince Michael could be caught off guard.
‘Michael doesn’t even know he’s alive……’
Nell considered Martin Caesar to be her best hope for extending her own life. She intended to manipulate the young prince into doing what she wanted by teaching him the secret of his birth, but the young monster instead revealed his true nature when she said those words.
Nell could still feel the suffocating heat and excruciating pain from that day. Since that day, Nell had not even so much as touched her mouth if the beverage in question was tea. With the help of divine power and healing, her blisters went away, and her distorted skin returned to its normal appearance; however, the reddish discolouration that had previously been on her skin remained.
To her, who was proud of her own beauty, it was no different from the disgraceful scars.
She would not have forgiven anyone else for their actions, but the fact that it was Michael, whom she had given birth to and who came from a troubled family, only added to the complexity of her emotions.
‘If that vile scumbag knew the truth, he would kill me this time……..’
It was because she still needed the background of being the first empress. Even if Nell died, Michael’s maternal grandfather would still be there for him, whereas in the past, he would not have been able to provide such support for Michael.
With the manifestation of Michael’s power, the situation underwent a drastic transformation.
The emperor had long since recognised Michael as the crown prince and eagerly anticipated the manifestation of his abilities. Since he finally had the ability, the emperor would unreservedly support Michael.
‘I can’t let this happen right now!’
Michael had a face that looked exactly like the emperor, so he was never once asked if he was the emperor’s son. It was for this reason that the emperor favoured Michael the most.
He stated that he could not help but admire a child who looked like him because the child was so talented. Because of this, he had a strong conviction that Michael would finally manifest the imperial family’s hidden power, even if it were decades later.
‘Who the hell…… Where did this leak?’
She couldn’t think of anyone, no matter how much she tried to point out. Everyone who was involved died, and when Michael asked her to decapitate Martin, she instead decapitated his twin brother and gave him in exchange.
Everyone who was close to Martin, including his friends and family, was killed, and now there was no one left.
Her lady-in-waiting approached the First Empress, whose nerves were on edge. The lady-in-waiting kept talking while she was choking back her screams as Nell opened her eyes and glared at her.
“His Majesty has dispatched a messenger. You must return to the capital at the latest by the crown prince’s inauguration ceremony after the Imperial banquet…….”
Nell had a fleeting thought that she wanted to rip the maid to pieces and kill her, but she forced herself to repress that urge for the time being. She needed to be careful about what she said and did so as not to attract the attention of the Emperor, who was constantly watching her.
The emperor was suspicious that she was doing it on purpose after her last miscarriage of Nell’s child. He didn’t even know that it was the work of Michael, the first prince whom he favoured.
“I will go…… Kindly respond to it on my behalf.”
She had no intention of telling Michael this at first. On the other hand, if the emperor found out about this scandal, both Michael and she would be put to death.
‘Who in the devil could it be…… Did someone take him?’
✦ ✦ ✦
The sight of Martin Caesar’s face shook Phil to his core. It was a face that had a remarkable likeness to the emperor in all of its distinctive features. He was certain that the fact that he was taller than his father and more handsome than his father while also resembling the emperor would turn his father’s world upside down.
“You mean this guy is really Michael’s biological father?”
“Yes. Because he is under the influence of medication, he has completely lost his mind…. The confirmation was clear.”
He said he had asked the priest and the wizard to examine them, just to be sure. Both sides proved parenthood, so it was certain.
“I can’t believe that that brash and arrogant woman was deceiving His Majesty…… Considering that His Majesty has been living with fake ones, he is furious!”
Phil, who had always been compared to Michael. He considered himself handsome, but it was only natural that women’s eyes would always focus on Michael when they saw the two of them standing side by side. Michael was the more attractive of the two of them.
Phil was always evaluated as being inferior to Michael in his ability to manage administration and overall state affairs.
“Even though I was His Majesty’s biological child, how could a fraud such as that trick him! I can’t leave this guy alone! I must inform His Majesty immediately…….”
“Your Highness, there is a solution to this problem!”
One of his aides, with a slightly pale complexion, spoke to Phil. Phil desired something, and he was filled with a desire to report this information to the emperor.
“What is it?”
“If you tell Your Majesty right now, Your Majesty might try to handle the situation with Michael in a quiet manner in an effort to conceal the shame that has been brought upon the imperial family. If something like that were to take place, wouldn’t His Highness’ reputation be preserved?”
Is that so?
Phil stared at Joel with a look of bewilderment on his face. His countenance was a portrait of perplexity as though the notion had never even crossed his mind.
“But this is a serious matter…… I do not believe that putting it off is a good idea.”
“Your Highness, it will only be for one day. At the imperial banquet to be held tomorrow, we will have to inform the whole world of His Highness’s accomplishments.”
Joel observed Phil’s countenance as he reiterated his statement. Phil found himself easily drawn in by Joel’s words, but Joel was displeased with the situation.
“Your Highness, I fear that the information I bear may not be to your liking should it reach the ears of your Majesty.”
“No! As this guy said, His Majesty will consider this a disgrace and will make every effort to deal with Michael in a discreet manner.”
Either he would have called Michael privately and given him the order to consume poison, or he would have murdered the first empress together with Michael. It was even more important considering that the Emperor would be a laughing stock if the news got out to the rest of the world.
‘If he does… … The ball I built will also quietly disappear.’
He will continue to compete against Giel even though Michael, his most formidable adversary, is no longer in the picture. Phil was recognised for his accomplishments in this matter, and he desired to occupy the position of the crown prince in addition to being reinstated to his previous position.
“I think this guy is right! While seated in the most prestigious seat, you will have the opportunity to experience the thrill of watching Michael fall!”
When Phil stated that with such conviction, Joel was at a loss for words and decided to keep quiet. The person who had been discussing his thoughts with Phil suddenly took a deep breath and attempted to conceal his sense of relief.
‘I bought time right now, but……’
Something big happened.
He quietly shrugged his shoulders as to whether his upcoming fate was expected to come.
✦ ✦ ✦
There was already a growing mountain of gifts from the aristocrat in the palace of the first empress.
The aristocrats who didn’t seem to come over also expressed their intention to support Michael. This was true even of the nobles who supported Phil or Giel.
The second Empress and third Empress, who noticed that their parties were dispersing, made a valiant effort to bring their parties back together, but their efforts were in vain.
Giel had committed a serious crime by stabbing Prince Michael with a sword, which was in addition to the serious crime that Phil had already committed, which resulted in him losing his position as the crown prince.
The emperor showed compassion and forgiveness towards him, meting out only a minor punishment, but that was all there was to it.
As soon as Michael showed his power, rumours began to circulate that the emperor intended to make him the crown prince, and the general consensus was that the emperor would make the announcement at the next imperial banquet.
‘I can’t let it happen!’
The Third Empress hastened her approach to the residence of the Second Empress. She was a woman whose teeth ground together at the sight of her, but she was an adversary against whom she had to unite her strength under these circumstances.
The second Empress, who was also Giel’s mother, was having some quiet time to herself in her garden. When they saw the third empress coming, the maids who stood in her wake swiftly lowered their heads in a respectful bow.
“Your Highness, the third Empress.”
As the third Empress cast her gaze upon her, the second Empress returned the stare while sipping her tea with poise and asked what was wrong with the third Empress. The Third Empress was astounded when she first laid eyes on her. Didn’t you know what rumours are circulating in the imperial palace right now?
“I have something to say to the second empress, so I need you all to get out of here!”
This was stated by Elise, the third Empress, and when she did so, the second Empress, Karen, as well as her maids of honour, looked at her. Karen nodded her head.