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‘The previous emperor was greedy and cunning.’
Orkhan was a guy who was eager to take the money that the Duke of Balthazar handed him, but he was hesitant to keep the Duke of Balthazar close to him. The person he wanted to keep close to was the Duke of Carta, but the duke always treated the emperor with proper respect.
‘When it comes to temperament, the traitors and the previous emperor are on par with one another. Does he understand that he stayed close to Michael all the time!’
However, he thought that if it were him, he would have noticed early on that he was a fake and would have done the paternity test in secret. Nell, the first empress, was a cunning and cold woman, even in his eyes.
No matter how beautiful she is, a child born to a woman who despises him must be viewed with suspicion.
‘She must have been greedy for him too….. He must be running away to a foreign country by now.’
It is said that Karen, the mother of the third prince Giel, ran away, but it is known that Phil’s mother, Elise, died while staying at the imperial palace.
“Your Excellency, the door is now open.”
The gates of the capital were so massive that it took time to open them. Immediately as the door was opened, the leading knight conveyed a message. After Leonis gave the signal with his head nod, the procession started moving again.
The flag of the Duke of Cardian fluttered on the huge flagpole held in the hand of the soldier in front. Since the armies of various nobles moved slowly, the capital must have noticed that the army would arrive around this day.
It was a sign that those who wanted to escape would flee, while those with few sins would take care of themselves.
The capital city continued to maintain its silence even after the passage of the soldiers through the gates. On the streets, there were neither bystanders nor anyone who had fled the scene.
The brows of the dukes who were standing on either side of Leonis creased, indicating that this was something that was upsetting them. They seemed to think that the people of the capital were slow to notice.
They are the ones who saved the capital from the rebels!
Even though it was the end of winter,it looked like the flowers were still hoping someone will come and cheer them up. On the other hand, Leonis was proceeding with his horse while maintaining a serene expression.
Their target was the imperial palace. The ostensible reason for bringing the army to the city was to enter the imperial palace and find the emperor.
“… … By the way, may I ask why you did not bring the divine beast with you? On a day like this, shouldn’t we all be here together?”
“The Divine Beast is resting from the last battle.”
Celia implored Leonis to take the beast, suspecting it was a trap. However, the divine beast and Leonis refused it.
― He has the armour I gave him!
It was too late until they fought Michael’s army, but the plate pieces arrived after that. The Divine Beast obtained the piece, and he truly transformed a piece of armour the size of his palm into a single piece.
It was a sight to behold as they morphed into silver armour, shining as if a piece of metal had grown on its own.
The armour returned to normal as the light faded. It was unbelievable from the outside that it had been created with God’s blessing, but as soon as he touched it, he could feel a surge of reviving energy coursing through his body.
―The God of Heaven acknowledged and allowed you as a paladin, so you should be happy!
The Divine Beast puffed out his chest and spoke so arrogantly. What Leonis was wearing now was that armour. Since the armour itself had no patterns engraved on it, he was wearing clothes and a mantle with the family crest embroidered on it.
“Tsk, this is an honourable position. If only the saintess could join us…”
When the Duke of Balthazar mentioned Celia, Leonis’ eyes suddenly went quite cold. As soon as the Duke of Balthazar became aware of this, he turned the head of his horse.
He reasoned that touching Celia should be postponed ‘for the time being’ based on the current situation.
‘Any man’s affection will wither over time after he marries.’
That would be an opportunity. Up until that point, he ought to keep the emperor’s favour under control and stop Celia, who later became the empress, from having children with him.
The duke was contemplating his future endeavours as he rode beside him. He hopes that if he marches in the same manner as the Duke of Cardian, it will give the impression that he is more respectable.
✦ ✦ ✦
The great iron gate that led into the imperial palace was still in the same state it had been in after the Knights of the Red Lion destroyed it. It had to be since there was no time to fix it because everything happened at once.
Where should the search begin? The nobles at Leonis’ side said such things, but there was no need to bother.
Because Emperor Orkhan’s body was in the main palace of the Imperial Palace.
When they approached the building through the main entrance, they were startled to see what they thought was Orkhan hanging from the high ceiling of the Hall of Glory. It was impossible for him to commit suicide by hanging himself at this point.
Balthazar was not surprised to find the body of the emperor, but the sight was so shocking that it left him speechless.
The sight of the dead body dangling from the third-story balcony of the enormous hall was enough to create a sense of dread in and of itself.
“Take down the body.”
Leonis, who got off the horse and entered the main palace, was calm, unlike other nobles. As he spoke, several soldiers and a knight busily moved.
“The rope is too short.”
Uh, as it sounded, Emperor Orkhan’s body had crashed.
Puck, and the corpse fell into the centre of the hall, where it was crushed. Since the body had already died a long time ago, there wasn’t much blood flowing, but it still wasn’t a very pleasant sight to behold to see it lying there.
‘It’s not going to end nicely.’
The Duke of Balthazar glanced at it, covering his nose with the hem of his cloak. Even after the owner died, it was still a luxurious imperial palace, but it has now become a foreboding place.
He felt terrible for Leonis when he imagined himself controlling the empire from this palace in the future.
‘Well, even if you have broken free of the curse, doesn’t that mean that your history of being a killer has been erased? It could be a better match for him.’
Balthazar turned his head away from the scurrying troops as they raced to retrieve the Emperor’s body, and instead focused his attention on the throne seat.
“Would you mind taking a seat… Would you like to look at it?”
Balthazar said to Leonis. Unmoved by the splendour of the golden throne, Leonis gazed at it in silence. Leonis had already thought that was stupid.
‘It was said that it was difficult to transport it because it was entirely gold.’
Even the chairmaker kept trying to steal the gold, so several people had to be put to death. In the end, it was said that the technicians had guards attached throughout the work.
“The chair will be broken down. It is no different from symbolising the incompetence of the Hermos royal family.”
“What? Oh no, but…”
The Duke of Balthazar was surprised, as if he had not been expecting such an answer. Leonis spoke as if he had accepted and moved towards the entrance of the palace.
“If you want to sit down before we break it down, sit down.”
At those words, the dukes could see that they were looking at each other. Only the Duke of Carta, worried about his daughter’s safety, stood near the entrance with a dark expression on his face.
It is expected that the less powerful dukes and knights serving under the Duke of Carta are currently conducting a search of the first prince’s palace.
“Then, starting with his father-in-law….”
The Duke of the East also wanted to sit down, but Balthazar, who had two sons-in-law, took priority. At the words of his sons-in-law, Balthazar’s face showed a satisfied expression.
“Then let me sit down and see.”
The Duke of Balthazar approached the throne seat, not realising how pompous he was acting. As he sat there with his hips gripped and his back arched over his throne, a burst of light flared all across the floor of the palace.
The sound of something falling deep beneath was heard, and the floor began to crumble from the area around the throne. The square-shaped floor was beginning to fall apart. There was no sign of the Duke of Balthazar, who had been the first to fall, just as there was no sign of the golden throne.
The other two southern dukes and their entourage sank, and people all screamed and ran to the walls and entrances of the palace as the floor collapsed all at once.
The Duke of Carta was at least waiting near the door for news from the palace of the first prince, thus he was able to avoid becoming caught up in the chaos, although the other people were not.
When the floor collapsed, Leonis and the other knights fell together.
The survivors were taken aback by the massive presence that emerged as the floor crumbled.
It was because a monster resembling a dragon, a race thought to have become extinct a long time ago, emerged from the collapsed floor.
The drooping skin wings and chains imbedded throughout the body showed that this was no ordinary dragon.
“What about the Duke of Cardian?”
The Duke of Carta shouted in an urgent voice. An unusual sound was echoing outside the palace.
The presence that arrived with screams or yells surprised the high-ranking aristocrats and their enlisted men who had marched into the palace.
“Monster! It’s a monster!”
The knight who swiftly ran inside was taken aback when he saw the inside of the palace for the first time. The Duke of Carta took a seat with his back against the wall and his legs crossed in front of him.
‘It must have been a trap.’
He thought that they were going to die here.