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“Your Majesty, I have brought you, Prince Phil.”
The attendant shouted at the door, but no one answered. Phil waited for a while, then walked inside after noticing that the door had opened from the inside.
The waiting room near the banquet hall was reserved for the imperial family and was large and spacious. Here, the imperial family changed their clothes or did more than that.
That was the reason why the bedroom was attached to one side of the waiting room.
Phil, who looked around the room looking for the emperor, was furious when he found Michael standing with his back turned. He came because the emperor called, but Orkan was nowhere to be found in the waiting room when he arrived.
“How dare you impersonate the emperor!”
The servant who called Phil and Joel was not coming into the waiting room. In the room, Michael, as well as armed knights, were lined up.
When Joel realised how serious the situation was, he immediately ran to Phil.
“Your Highness! It’s a trap! You must stay away from it!”
The escort knight looked back at the door, but it had been closed for a long time. Besides, the other party was not even armed with a weapon.
Phil felt a shiver run down his spine as he remembered Michael lighting a fire in the palace. He had his first glimpse of his own death at that moment.
“Y-You bastard……Do you think, do you think you can cover the truth? Your Majesty will eventually find out!”
Phil heaved a groan as if he were about to exhale his last breath. Michael bent his head to the side, continuing to gaze out the window as the drapes were drawn back slightly. The view of the outside took on a completely different appearance as soon as he let go of the hem of the curtain.
“Truth? What is the truth?”
“I am the biological son of His Majesty! You fools, you are a fake! A filthy illegitimate child without a single drop of royal blood!”
It was true that the blood of the imperial family did not flow in Michael’s body, as he was the son of the first empress, Nell, who had been born through her affairs.
“The truth is…… The truth is that you broke your habits and ended up being killed because you tried to do something disgusting to the Duchess of Cardian.”
Heavy-armed knights approached and removed Joel and the escort knights who were protecting Phil. He tried to resist but could not overcome the force of the majority.
Michael’s knights did not simply bind the two. While two or three of them were holding on, the other one pulled out a sword and cut it at once.
The head of Joel, who had always been loyal to Phil, had fallen to the ground. It was the same story with the unknown escort knight.
Although he pulled them out, they were at close range, and blood got all over Phil’s face. Phil heaved a sigh of frustration as he inadvertently wiped some of the blood that had splashed onto his face.
After taking a heavy sword from one of the other knights standing next to him, Michael approached Phil and said. Phil retreated with a terrified expression on his face.
“Yo-You can’t do this! I-I-I am the real royalty! The real prince!”
“What does that matter?”
Michael laughed gracefully and his eyes became bright.
“I always thought I wanted to kill you every time I saw your stupid face. It was embarrassing to know that the same blood as you, who believes in only one lineage and goes wild.”
If there was one thing that he liked because he wasn’t of the emperor’s blood, it was that he wasn’t related to idiots like Phil or Giel.
“That wasn’t it… … Is there no use in keeping you alive?”
“B-Brother! D-Don’t do this!”
Phil knelt in front of Michael in desperation. Because he usually did that often when he wished the emperor wrong, the action came out reflexively.
He felt like he could do anything if he could escape this moment.
‘As long as I get out of here!’
There were some of his knights waiting outside the banquet hall, and if he were to simply inform the nobles who were already inside, they would all be on his side. The moment he glanced at the door, unable to hide the glimmer of hope in his eyes, a small sneer appeared on Michael’s lips.
“You’re going to go out this door and let everyone know, right?”
“Oh no! I never…… Aghh!”
Michael swung his sword at his neck, but it was clumsy. Phil recoiled in fear after receiving a cut from the knife that split his shoulder. As he tried to run away, the knights grabbed him from both sides as before.
“You are not any better than a pig!”
Michael leapt to his feet and slammed a blade into Phil’s chest. Phil’s chest was pierced more easily than he expected by the well-forged sword. Maybe it was thanks to the mysterious power he had in his hands.
“Each time the emperor orders me to settle what you’ve done! I’ve dreamed of this day!”
Michael drew his sword and swung it once again. His blood spilt like a fountain from a long gash that went from his shoulder to his waist.
“You bumbling idiot! You stupid idiot with only your lower body rolling.”
Michael threw down his sword, pulled the dagger from the waist of the knight who was clutching Phil, and stabbed him in Phil’s chest.
The hard, long-bladed dagger didn’t break even when it stuck on his bone but rather broke Phil’s ribs. The escort knights just watched in silence as the prince thrust his dagger deep and deeper again.
The helmets they wore obscured any expressions they may have had.
Michael didn’t let go of Phil until much later after some time had passed, and he did so with a heavy breath as if his excitement had subsided.
Even though Phil had been dead for quite some time, the two knights still held him in their arms.
At the same time, his eyes, mouth, and nose were all filled with blood. Michael smiled at Phil’s horrified appearance, which was highlighted by his wide-open eyes, and reached out a hand to his side.
The attendant trembled and held out a bowl of water to wash. When Michael’s hand went into the bowl of water in the silver dish, the blood mingled with the water and left a red mark.
Other attendants hurriedly came and wiped Michael’s face and neck. It could be said the same thing about the two knights that were standing by Phil.
The knights were waiting on the attendants with Phil’s corpse on the floor.
In the meantime, Michael was changing out his blood-soaked clothes following the hand of the attendant with an expressionless face.
There were three dead bodies on the ground. Michael’s cold gaze turned to it.
“… … What did you say Phil’s plan was?”
“When His Majesty raised a toast in the banquet hall, then Martin Caésar was brought into the banquet hall.”
It was a plan he had already heard about. However, Michael asked for a second confirmation.
“Is he still outside the banquet hall?”
“Yes. He is surrounded by knights wearing a mask.”
He knew that he would never be able to keep it a secret for all time. Even if today is blocked, it will eventually reach the ears of the emperor or anyone else.
Even if he killed Phil, it would be more than just a few of Phil’s aides who knew about it.
“You must make a decision, Your Highness.”
Now, when everyone was gathering thinking that Michael was the winner, it was the right time. Michael’s head started to spin around like a top as soon as Phil’s spy came running up to him and told him the story.
Rebellion! I can only survive if I start a rebellion!
‘If that fact leaks out, nobles will continue to doubt whether I am the imperial family or not.’
It crossed his mind to eliminate Martin Caesar and put the emperor through a fiery death so that he would be unable to perform a paternity test, but he was aware that this would be useless.
Because he had two younger siblings, Giel and Amelia.
They were nothing at all like their mothers in appearance.
There were also other members of the royal family. If they conduct the test with their blood, the results will be clear as day. Not a single drop of imperial blood flowed in Michael Hermos.
‘That’s why I have to keep the emperor alive.’
Borrowing the emperor’s authority, he had to make it public that he was his paternity. It didn’t matter if he was an emperor who would not give in to anything. There is no business before torture.
‘No, that alone is not enough. More likely to turn the nobles’ attention……’
The crinkled eyes of Michael reached out and touched Phil’s corpse. He had already concocted a scenario in which the Duke of Cardian murdered Phil in a fit of rage after witnessing Phil attempting to rape Celia.
How about taking it one step further?
What if we say the Duke of Cardian even murdered the emperor because of this? No, he was difficult to kill. Because he still needed the emperor’s approval. However, the storyline of the Duke of Cardian attacking and injuring the emperor seemed to be a good one.
‘This is… it’ll be all right.’
Because Leonis Cardian was a strong man. Even if a swarm of imperial knights rushed at him, they would not be able to subdue him. He thought it would be a good picture of him going mad because of the curse. Then……
‘Let’s kill Celia Cardian!’
If his beloved wife is dead and he holds the horribly mutilated corpse in his arms, the madness of the curse will drive him insane.
✦ ✦ ✦
Celia and Leonis were following Michael’s servants. Another person ran in front of the attendant who was about to enter the passage outside the banquet hall and led them to the inner chamber.
He asked for an understanding from the Duke and Duchess of Cardian and whispered to the attendant. The attendant spoke to the pair of them with a look in Leonis’s eyes.
“Your Excellency…… He said he would only look at the Duchess first.”
Leonis’ expression shifted and became more serious as he glanced at the attendant. Leonis didn’t raise a finger, but the attendant bowed his head as if Leonis had brandished a whip.
“Your Excellency, this is an order.”
Saying this, Celia looked back at the attendant.
“Can I take my maid?”
Miline was expressionless as she waited. Leonis made a reluctant grimace at the two attendants.
“I will go to His Majesty and ask him if he really gave such an order.”
The faces of the attendants instantly turned pale as Leonis was about to move. Celia shook her head as she stood in his way.
They planned to kill time in order to give Nicole and Amelia enough time to steal the Holy Grail from the Imperial Palace’s underground vault.
In the end, it turned out to be essential, but in order to accomplish this purpose, Phil was manipulated into entering information about Michael’s biological father.
Leonis’s spies infiltrated Michael, Phil, and Giel’s forces, respectively, but they did not penetrate deeply into Michael’s forces.
On the other hand, he has advanced to a position that is relatively close to being the closest on the side of Phil or Giel.
They were the ones that encouraged Phil to divulge the truth about Michael’s birth at the banquet. And since Phil has Michael’s spy, he manipulated him into reaching Michael’s ears.
Right today, around this time.