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Giel was late, preparing to attend the imperial banquet.
It was a banquet attended by the emperor. Giel already knew that he had lost the Emperor’s favour, but he did not want to hear the Emperor’s scolding for not attending on a day like this.
‘Michael became the crown prince……’
There has been no confirmation regarding the date of the coronation ceremony, but there have been rumours that it will be announced today. Giel was in a hopeless situation because she had not been able to find out any information about the incident that left Phil injured.
There is no way to get Vivian back.
The only thing that could be hoped for was that the emperor would not leave Vivian alone as the crown princess.
No matter what the Duke of Carta had to complain about, there was a good chance that he would force the sick Vivian out of the palace and provide Michael with a hand in the marriage of another young lady.
‘It would be good for her if Michael let her go, even in that way……’
For some reason, Giel had a feeling that Michael would never let Vivian go. Even for the sake of using the Duke of Carta.
“Your Highness! Your Highness, we are in trouble!”
Giel, who was changing clothes under the care of his servant, frowned. It was almost nighttime. He wondered what could be a problem now.
“What do you mean by big trouble?”
What’s the big problem now? Does the emperor get angry just because he’s late for the banquet? However, the servant shouted without breathing hard.
“You must evade now! Michael raises an army, and now……”
The words of the servant were cut short when there was an echoing scream that came from somewhere. He could hear the soldiers yelling at one another, the sound of their weapons clashing, and the sound of their footsteps echoing with the sounds of a large number of armed soldiers.
Giel realised that the situation was serious and looked at the other attendants. Some of the escort drivers could be seen running to check on the situation in the hallway.
“My sword! Where is my sword!”
The attendant hurriedly brought out the sword. His escort knights tried to close the door, but they screamed as they were stabbed by the spears of the soldiers who pushed in first.
Giel drew his sword and glared at them.
“How dare you come in here! Do you know who you guys are aiming your sword at!”
A heavily armed knight was stepping forward. They were different from the soldiers of the first prince’s palace, whom Michael had to move quickly after hearing the news about Phil.
It was the knights’ order and army that Michael raised and made his own first. They were the ones who moved by holding the strand in rebellion after Phil was killed and captured the emperor.
“Giel and Amelia… There is no need to keep them alive.”
Michael, who had not yet broken free of the madness brought on by the curse, said so. His secrets had already been revealed to the nobles. It was too late to hide the fact that he was the illegitimate son of the first empress.
So the only way left was to become a traitor.
“Since Phil is already dead, it is enough to make him the only child left to the emperor. Regardless of whether I am the emperor’s biological son or not, I am the one who received the surname Hermos that was granted by the emperor! I will kill everyone but Hermos!”
Giel’s eyes widened at the heavy voice that emanated from his helmet. It wasn’t just because he was rude about calling his name.
Despite having this level of presence, it was a voice he had never heard before.
“Who are you? Show your face!”
“We don’t have to show our faces to someone who’s about to die.”
Soldiers were already in the room. Giel could not help but clench his teeth in frustration when he saw that they were standing in a semicircle around him. At this time, it would be very difficult for him to get out of there through the window.
“… If there is no resistance, only the body will be left intact.”
Saying that, the knight drew out a huge greatsword. Giel found a pouty tooth in the darkness of the helmet that seemed not to belong to humans and swallowed a dry spit.
While the knight’s gaze was on Giel, Giel’s escort knights moved. Except for the knight in the lead, the rest were soldiers, so he decided that if he decapitated the knight, he would be able to overwhelm them even momentarily and create an opportunity to escape.
However, it was the knights of Giel who fell while spurting blood. Two of them received mortal wounds, but the third was the only one to run head-on and was cut in two from the waist down.
The knight swung his sword at Giel as if he didn’t want to delay any longer. Giel hurriedly opened his mouth, but he was already taken aback, and his head fell to the floor.
“Ugh, aaaagh! Your Highness!”
The two surviving escort knights and the remaining attendants each let out piercing shrieks at the same time. The knight picked up Giel’s head and turned his back on them as if he weren’t even interested in them at all.
“… … Take care with it.”
Following the knight’s orders, soldiers with yellow eyes resembling those of reptiles charged the remaining attendants and knights.
✦ ✦ ✦
‘I know what I can do isn’t great.’
However, she had recently uncovered the hidden passageway within the imperial palace. She thought that if His Majesty was being held imprisoned in some part of the imperial palace, she might be able to free him if she approached him stealthily through a hidden passageway in the structure.
‘It’s not going to turn out as well as it seems it will in the story, but……’
She learned for the first time today not only that there is a hidden passageway, but also that it extends quite a distance in every single direction.
The problem was that she didn’t know how to open the entrance.
‘How do you think that blond man opened it?’
She just grabbed and touched anywhere on the wall, and it felt like a door had been opened. After Amelia slipped out of the secret passageway, she lurked nearby as if she had walked away.
Then, when Nile disappeared and the door to the secret passage closed, she went back to him.
As she listened with her ear to the wall, she seemed to lose sight of them. So she was relieved and tried to open the door again…
‘I can’t open it! Can’t I open it from here?’
The wall of the concubine’s quarters, which was directly across from the lily garden, was the place where Nicole took Amelia and entered the hidden passageway. Amelia left the room with the thought of going there again.
Outside, things were already in a state of mayhem. Courtiers and guards fled, and it seemed that screams and fighting could be heard from somewhere.
She came to the idea that she didn’t even know which of the many imperial palaces she was in. She was a princess, but none of the runaways cared for her.
“No! Do not come!”
When Amelia turned around to look at the pitiful scream, she was terrified to see something dressed as a soldier gnawing the maid’s arm.
‘What? What the heck happened……’
It had a human-like face, but its mouth was wide open, exposing teeth that were monstrous in appearance.
It wasn’t just one soldier who was involved. She saw a monster dressed as a soldier devouring the dead bodies that were strewn about the corridor.
“Amelia…… Ah princess……?”
Amelia was startled by the sound of the voice that seemed to recognize her. When she turned around, she saw a woman dressed as a knight approaching her while dragging a sword across the ground.
It’s over. She shouldn’t have gone out this way.
Amelia closed her eyes, looking at the blade flying towards her. Not long after that, her head tumbled off her shoulders.
✦ ✦ ✦
A group of men stormed into the Cardian duchy. After having a conversation with them, the butler, Evan, greeted them in a customary manner, as if he were familiar with them; however, his countenance changed after the conversation.
He quickly conveyed something to the head maid and ran to the servants’ quarters.
Edna, having been roused from her sleep by the noise, wondered what might have caused this situation. For some reason, most of them were running out of the duchy with only the valuables they could carry.
‘What’s going on?’
Oddly enough, no one had come to wake her up, and she didn’t even hear a single knock on her door either. The thought of being left out made her anxious.
‘Is that all right? It’s like the whole family is running away at night.’
Literally, the servants were only bringing the most important things with them into the garden because that was all they could carry. They were either riding on horseback or in carriages, just like the people who had already made preparations for the evacuation.
‘What about me? Why don’t they wake me up?’
Edna said that she was still waiting for the money that was owed to her from Joel, who worked as an assistant to the second prince, Phil. Therefore, it would be a difficult situation if she ran away at this point in time.
Because she decided to receive a massive amount of jewellery rather than a few pennies or nickels.
So she had no intention of doing it with them. Even though she begged them to take her with them on their escape, she ended up being the one who was forced to sneak out in the midst of the mayhem and remain in the capital.
She secretly got out of bed, and Edna sneakily opened the door and crept out into the hallway.
As was to be expected, the door to each of the other servants’ and maids’ quarters was not only left unlocked but also left wide open. They escaped without waking Edna, and she was left alone.
‘Fun little things. They are all running away, leaving me alone? Can I really sneak in?’
Edna had been threatened several times, so she knew who the second prince’s spies were. There were times when she would go to him and ask for help when she was in trouble.
She slipped through the corridor, and Edna went into the quarters of the servants, thereby evading the watchful gaze of the busy people.
She was worried about what would happen to her after he, along with the other maids, left without her, but when she returned to his room, she found only his door shut, even though most room doors were open.
‘No, it’s not just this room that’s closed.’
There were only three rooms that were still closed. Edna felt strange, and she went over to the nearest door. It wasn’t the room where Joel had hidden the spy he’d planted.
She turned the doorknob slowly so that she wouldn’t make a sound. When she looked inside, she saw that a part of the bed was sticking out from behind the wall. Even with all of the commotion going on around him, he seemed to be sleeping.
‘Hmm… You must be a hated person like me.’
Edna hastily closed the door because she couldn’t be sure who else was inside the room, and then she went to the room of a servant that she was familiar with.
Edna opened the door and noticed that his room was dark and that he was not awake either. It was a disqualification for being a spy to have such a dark sleep for a subject who was her spy.
“Why are you still sleeping? Are you deaf? It’s so noisy.”
“…… He is dead.”