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Lucy turned her head when she heard someone knock. After a moment of staring, she heard a second knock on the door.
Although she was kidnapped while she was unconscious, she would soon be able to free herself. Lucy also felt good about them because of how they treated her.
She had never been treated this way in the imperial palace or at home.
The door opened, and an unfamiliar face entered. Lucy was surprised to find out that it was the same guy who took her from the imperial palace the first time.
‘This person is…’
Lucy was nervous, as if the day she was sent out of the mansion had already been decided. Zeppel’s countenance relaxed, as if he had observed.
“It’s been quite a while.”
“May I sit down?”
In addition to the standart furniture, the room assigned to Lucy had a chair with a table. Lucy said as she hurriedly got up from the bed.
“Oh, please just sit down!”
Zeppel went and sat down in a chair.
“The news is…… I received a report that you’ve heard. That’s why you’re not eating well?”
Rather than responding, Lucy just dropped her head. The mere thought of Amelia made her heart choke.
“Princess Amelia did that, but since she has done us a favour, we will also do you a favour.”
“Wh-What did the princess ask for?”
Her voice had already begun to crack with tears.
“I understand that you said that I must be released.”
Lucy let out a gasp as her eyes filled with tears. After a moment of looking at Lucy, Zeppel took his handkerchief out of his pocket and held it out. She didn’t refuse it and used it to wipe her tears.
“The first thing we suggested to the princess was that we would allow the two of you to run away and live. Even if the princess is no longer here, promises are promises, so I want to keep them.”
“Yes. You’ve heard rumours that war might break out here. They are actually evacuating residents.”
Lucy gave a small nod. She never went out of the mansion, but the rumours were heard.
“You can’t just guess how the war will end, so I’m asking you to evacuate, at least for your own safety. I will give you enough money to live on, of course. Where would you like to go back?”
Even though Lucy knew it would happen eventually, she was merely dazed.
“Wh-Where I want to go back is……”
If she left this mansion, she intended to return with Amelia. If she could ever escape with Amelia, she had dreamed of moving to and living in the seashore kingdom outside the Empire after all the upheaval.
But everything ended up being a pipe dream. Because the princess would no longer be able to come to her side again.
“If it’s war… Are you going to fight Prince Michael?”
Zeppel nodded slowly. Lucy glanced at him with gleaming eyes.
“I’d like to help! I can do anything, any chore…”
Zeppel scowled in response to Lucy’s reply. He must have recognised how she was feeling at the time.
“You are talking nonsense. Do you think people here will be understaffed?”
“Wh-Wherever a war starts…….”
“Those who stay here will have to fight.”
Lucy couldn’t say anything in response to Zeppel’s stern words. Zeppel went on.
“You have to follow the refugees out of the mansion. It would be nice to go back to your hometown. There are… … Live the free life you dreamed of with the princess. That’s probably what the princess wanted from you.”
Zeppel had spent this amount of time with Lucy. He left Lucy feeling upset and quickly left the room. Lucy had a perplexed expression on her face as she thought of Amelia.
If he were her, he would certainly wish for Lucy’s happiness if she were Amelia.
Now, all she wanted was for Michael to die, and all she wanted was to see it for herself.
✦ ✦ ✦
The two High Priests seemed to have arrived at the headquarters of the Church, where the Pope is located, but it took some time to return to Asylus. It seemed that it would not come until tomorrow, when Prince Michael’s army arrived.
In a nutshell, the armour that the God of Heaven was attempting to provide Leonis could not be worn.
Celia apologised, but Leonis was unconcerned.
He said he knew it would happen.
“The Church is not supposed to help at the critical moment.”
At Leonis’s words, the divine beast rushed at him in a huff, but the people around him seemed to acknowledge it to some extent.
It was treated the same as the police, who are dispatched after the incident is over.
‘It might be helpful….’
In fact, wasn’t the divine beast helpful to Leonis this time? Otherwise, Michael’s rumours might have caused suspicion.
“Popo, take care of Leon. Don’t get hurt either.”
Celia approached the divine beast, who was fluttering around, and said, The divine beast rolled his eyes at Leonis and looked at Celia.
― Of course! Don’t worry, and stay safe!
In fact, even because of her own power, Celia wanted to wait in a place where she could meet Leonis if necessary.
According to the divine beast, Celia has the power to heal like other priests.
Celia, on the other hand, said that the ways were different and that she needed to lighten up because her power is to use her divine power, not his divine power.
Celia had to be safe no matter what, so it made sense to go to the back and wait. Even though it’s frustrating to have to just wait.
“……It won’t be long.”
Leonis spoke with confidence as she held Celia by the waist and kissed her on the head.
He wanted to do it on the lips, but they’d already kissed before getting out of bed in the morning. More than anything, she said, Celia would not like to be in a crowd of people.
May the good news come back. At that time, the monster knight who had been chasing them thought that it might not have been Michael’s secret trick.
They should be able to get to the neighbouring town by this evening.
Leonis wanted to finish the battle before they reached the city. Before she unpacked, Celia planned to tell him something good.
✦ ✦ ✦
Lucy was in the last group to leave because she didn’t give up until the very end. It seemed strange that the leader’s family would be the last ones to leave the war zone.
‘The Emperor would have been the first to leave.’
Is that all? He would have departed first, bringing with him only himself, a few of his favourite concubines, and the two princes. The rearguard should have been assigned to Giel, who was harsher than either the prime minister or the other prince.
It would be better if the last remaining commander was the chancellor, but if the commander was Giel, the empire would be in grave trouble.
Fortunately, large invasions have not been launched against the Empire as of yet. It was mostly a civil war, and the Empire’s expansion into neighbouring countries was the primary cause of conflict.
It was because the Duchy of Cardian in the north was so powerful, and there were no neighbouring countries that could compete with the Yelmor Empire in terms of its military might.
Comparatively, there was a country on the continent over there that had just lately proclaimed itself an empire; yet, this nation was still located across the ocean.
The existence of the Duchess of Cardian, who was called a saintess and was said to have brought down the divine beast through prayer, was a subject of curiosity even to the citizens of Asylus.
They were certain of Duke Cardian’s victory because the divine beast chose the monarch. Because of this, there were some citizens who insisted on not evacuating, and the guards had a hard time.
Lucy was also curious, but she didn’t think she’d ever get to see her face.
The Duchess of Cardian was always accompanied by a knight with a bloody aura and dozens of maids and servants who kept an eye on what was going on around her.
It seemed like part of the reason was that suddenly more people wanted to talk to her after word spread that she was a saintess.
‘At this rate, the Duchess of Cardian will become the empress.’
Before, the person who spread these rumours would have been kicked out of the church, and after proving her divine power, she would have been made an official saintess. But now, she was a duchess.
That too, The Duke of Cardian, who is likely to be the next emperor.
After the Duke of Cardian had punished the traitorous Michael, it was certain that he would ascend the throne as well.
‘Duke. Please kill that traitor!’
Lucy prayed earnestly, hoping that Michael’s death would be painful.