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“His Highness Prince Phil was killed by Michael! He was beaten while trying to accuse Michael of not being of His Majesty’s bloodline.”
Michael’s knight tried to tell her to shut up, but after catching Leonis’ gaze, couldn’t even speak. The nobles who followed and arrived in the hallway not long after were taken aback by what they heard.
“What do you mean? Please explain in detail!”
“His Highness Phil found out that Michael was born out of the first empress’ affairs and tried to denounce it at the banquet today. Michael found out about this, murdered Prince Phil, and kidnapped His Majesty!”
“It’s a lie!”
Michael yelled as he exited the waiting room after he had been there. Celia didn’t even bother to look at him as she hastily put the egg back into the bracelet on her wrist.
“That bitch killed my brother, Phil, and even murdered the Emperor!”
“If what I’m saying is true, it’s enough for one of the imperial families here to help! The Duke of Cardian was asked by His Highness Phil to find a wizard who could perform a paternity test……”
Since the First Empress was not part of the imperial bloodline, it was sufficient for them to test her paternity with one of the members of the imperial family, unless the person with whom she had an affair was of the imperial family.
The moment the eyes of the nobles who knew this turned to Michael, he shouted.
“A paternity test? How dare you disrespect the imperial family!”
“Is the death of Highness Phil true, Your Highness?”
When one of the nobles asked, Michael’s ferocious gaze fell. However, because he was also an elderly minister, he met his gaze with a stern expression on his face.
“There has already been great confusion. It would be appropriate for members of the Imperial Family to undergo examination in order to bring clarity to the situation.
“Take the test!”
The suspicion of the aristocrats was growing at the sight of Michael in a fit of rage. If it was Michael’s usual temper, they were right to punish him for disrespect, once he had a paternity test.
They can’t do that……
“There is a weightlifter who was negligent and did harm to His Majesty, a paternity test during the leisure time? You all are traitors! Kill them all!”
The screams of Prince Michael shocked the nobles. That remark was tantamount to declaring that he was not the emperor’s biological son.
“He is fake!”
“Your Majesty, where is your Majesty?”
Where the Emperor had been taken, as he had been missing since his disappearance, and no one had seen him since. Celia thought, as Michael had already said, that the emperor might have been wounded.
‘In the original storyline, he was also stabbed with a poisoned dagger.’
Poison was also one of Michael’s favourite weapons. If the emperor had been harmed according to the plot of the original story, he would have stabbed him with a poisoned dagger and seriously injured him.
Since Giel was not even here, the knights and soldiers of the imperial palace lost their focus and were unable to follow anyone’s orders, and were wandering around.
At this time, Michael’s soldiers entered the banquet hall. They had already dealt with the knights of the Third Empress, who had gathered outside and kidnapped Martin Caesar.
The nobles who remained in the banquet hall were overcome with terror.
They had already heard that Michael was a fake. They realised that Michael had no intention to spare their lives in any way.
“Yes, everybody of you! Are you being loyal even though you know that fake person isn’t part of the imperial family?!”
A loud roar came from one of the nobles who supported the Third Prince Giel. When Michael’s knights entered the banquet hall, however, they did not look up from the face of their helmets but rather stared straight ahead instead.
At that nonchalant silence, the aristocrat shut his mouth as if frightened. Next to the nobleman was Giel’s mother, the second empress.
She had already noticed that the Marquis of Montague and his wife were missing.
‘Have they already left? How do they know!’
The eyes of the Second Empress wandered around the room in search of the Duke and Duchess of Cardian. If she were Leonis Cardian with overwhelming force, she would be able to overcome this difficulty.
The escort knights of each aristocrat had already formed to protect their masters while wandering around. However, it was after they left their weapons that they entered the banquet hall.
It was close to impossible to deal with Michael’s army without weapons.
The nobles knew this, which explains why their complexions were so pale as they stared at Michael’s soldiers, who were surrounding the banquet hall.
Michael saw this and burst into laughter.
“The lords gathered there have already sworn allegiance to me! If you would genuflect before me right this second and swear unending fealty to me, even if it were just for the rest of your life……”
Before he could finish his words, a strange feeling started to rumble in his stomach, and then it moved up into his chest. It was a feeling similar to when he swallowed the strange shape that Celia sent out towards him.
‘How can it be?!’
Michael had been aware of its creature from the moment it was sucked into his body.
Curse! The curse that came down through the Cardian family was clear.
He had no idea how it was done, but Celia Cardian kept it and put it on him. He even felt it crawling up and trying to dominate him.
Michael was in the middle of delivering an energetic speech when, all of a sudden, he got pensive and started to shiver slightly. The aides, who were holding swords and were wary of the knights of the imperial palace, glanced at Michael.
‘Leonis has endured that for over 20 years.’
When the previous Duke of Cardian passed away, he left a curse on Leonis, and Emperor Orkhan used his power to move the curse, which caused Leonis to go insane.
It was to kill the spirit of Leonis, who became the newly crowned Duke of Cardian.
Just for that reason, Leonis almost killed everyone in the duchy. It would have happened if the duke’s vassals had not acted promptly in accordance with Leonis’ order.
Dark energy radiated from his face and flowed through his body. Michael’s eyes, which were originally blue, had turned a dark crimson, and he glared at the people who were standing next to him.
Its movements were more akin to those of a beast or monster than those of a person, which is why the person who was standing guard by it flinched and was cautious around him. It turned out they were right.
A fire broke out in Michael’s grasp and suddenly attacked them.
“Aagh! Your Highness!”
“Your Highness, come back to your senses!”
Michael couldn’t calm down the madness that had grown in an instant. It was because Celia and Leonis were adjusting it to be like that.
She didn’t just touch Michael. Seeing Michael run amok, he also made Michael’s soldiers, who filled the banquet hall, shake.
Madness, fear, and confusion were originally chaos.
This was an easy task for Celia, who had power derived from the goddess of chaos. And Leonis did not miss the gap Celia had made.
The knights and nobles of the Imperial Palace, who were startled when Leonis stepped forward with a hook, retreated to the left and right to clear the way. After that, Celia and Miline, who embraced Celia, quickly caught up.
Leonis’ escort knights, who were carrying airlifted swords from somewhere else, were pursuing them.
“Back off! I am Leonis Cardian, The Duke of Cardian. Everyone who sides with Michael, who is a traitor, shall become rust on my sword!”
With his lion-like spirit, no one stood in his way. Karen, Giel’s mother and second empress, knew that now was her only chance to survive.
“Duchess! Protect me, please protect me. I’ll pay that debt for sure!”
Celia was casting a sideways glance at those words. Celia nodded, and the Second Empress rushed beside her, along with her own escort knights.
The nobles who saw this started running behind the Dukes of Cardian. They did not want to be loyal to Michael in such a way, and they also did not want to die at the hands of his soldiers.
“Me too, please save me as well!”
Going back and forth between ignorance and madness, Michael breathed fire from all over his body. Its appearance was more like that of a demon. Someone muttered, “Hik!” as a curse.
“He was cursed for killing Prince Phil!”
Michael’s ire reached a boiling point when one of the nobles screamed and ran away. The soldiers who heard his order and attempted to attack each other did so, but Leonis’ sword cut off the heads of both of them in an instant.
The soldiers who saw the blood had every right to be thrilled, but Celia, through her own power, managed to raise their fears to an even higher level than they already were.
“Will you die here as a traitor?”
If only Leonis or Miline had been there, they would have been able to get away easily enough. Celia, on the other hand, had to be safely taken out, and all the nobles could not be abandoned.
These were all witnesses, and it was necessary for Leonis to convince them to take his side.
As Leonis took a step forward and brandished a sword dripping with blood, Michael’s soldiers retreated. Michael’s bloodshot scream, which he had been frantically trying to suppress out of lunacy, reverberated through the high ceiling as he stood at the exit of the banquet hall and at the entrance of the connecting hallway.
“They are traitors! Kill those lowlifes!”
“If there is someone who wants to die……”
Exploding his energy from his body, Leonis took a couple more steps forward.
“Get out in front of me!”
Not only were people afraid, but it was also the beginning of a time when some of the people who had felt refreshed by Leonis began to pass out. Some of the soldiers standing at the entrance to the banquet hall seemed to step back, and then they turned around and ran away.
Seeing this, the rest of the soldiers and knights began to retreat. When Leonis approached him as if he was about to attack at any moment, he screamed ‘ahh’ and began to throw him out.
Michael, who witnessed this and became outraged, threw everyone, including the knights of the imperial palace and his aides, into the flames and then ran.
Dozens of nobles collapsed under the direct blow of his flames, and screams rang out from all directions. Mirine quickly wrapped her arms around Celia and ducked to her side.
“Aaaah! Run away!”
The nobles, scattered in all directions, fled out the door of the banquet hall. Leonis, who turned around in an instant, redirected his mana to his body to block Michael’s flames and at the same time swung his sword at him.
He was about to spit a blow that would have severed his head, but an arrow flew!
“Sir! This is Archer’s unit!”
Miline was already escorting the knights along with Celia. The archers were the ones Michael called in hastily, thinking of framing Leonis.
The archers were aiming for Celia, not Leonis, as Michael’s aides instructed.
Leonis was furious, but it seemed that he would sooner endanger Celia than kill all the archers.
“I will cut your throat!”
As Leonis made his way out of the banquet hall, he let out a shout after separating Michael from him with a mana-charged kick. Michael yelled until the very end while he was pinned to the floor of the banquet hall. His saliva was mixed with flames, and he spat it out.
“You, You bastards!! Kill them all!”