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Celia went into the empty room next door after seeing it was empty, only to be disappointed when she didn’t find what she was looking for. The secret passage was also not connected to the room.
She remembered the Second Imperial Palace’s structure, which she had seen through the window. For a secret passage to appear, there must be enough open space for the passage’s entrance.
‘To have that……’
Her teeth trembled as she walked through a few rooms and into the area where the decorations were sticking out. It was three stories high, but anyone who fell would break their neck and die.
‘I’m scared. I’m scared.’
Her undergarments, which she wore under the robe, were also annoying. In this outfit, I’m falling and dying…… It would be a humiliating death.
Celia carefully climbed over the back of the giant gargoyle decoration, thinking she hated it. On this side, it was good to see if birds came and went, and there were no bird droppings.
Celia followed the window of the bedroom that appeared past the Imperial Palace’s corner. Thankfully, not all of the windows were shut. Celia opened the window, rejoicing that the Second Prince’s courtiers were slackers.
A sigh of relief escaped her lips as she entered through the window frame.
‘It’s a shame because most of the Emperor’s rooms are empty.’
The courtiers’ quarters were either downstairs or in a separate building. The nobles could also pay for and rent rooms from the imperial family, but they were far from the palace where the imperial family resided.
Celia shut the window once more and stared at the wall. Perhaps it was because her heart was still pounding, and she jumped after stepping on the decorations on the outer wall and moving for a while.
I did it because I had no choice but didn’t want to do it again.
‘Yeah, the footrest was much wider than the standard one!’
She pondered how assassins in romance fantasy novels repeatedly invaded, and the young ladies fled by hanging from the outer wall, so it seemed possible.
Celia examined the wall carvings of vines and roses. The rose pattern was indistinguishable from the top and bottom if she didn’t look closely.
‘This is it!’
There was only one thing that had a rose pattern upside down. The pattern of the different positions of the rose petals looked as if the craftsman had made a mistake.
Celia swallowed her dry saliva and studied the vines on the rose pattern’s left and right sides.
Pressing on one of the corners of the tile lifted the tile. Celia, who carefully pulled it out, replaced the two tiles.
She then presses the rose again,
A secret passageway was revealed when one side of the wall was pushed inside. Celia was so happy that she wanted to scream.
She hurriedly wiped the dust from her feet on the carpet on her floor, and Celia pulled out her slippers tucked around her waist. She then proceeded to the secret passage.
‘Only Michael and the Emperor know the existence of the secret passage……
I can feel safe here!’
Celia quickly went inside and closed the entrance to the secret passage. No one knew that she had entered this place.
✦ ✦ ✦
Celia felt relieved but also anxious when the door was shut. There was no light coming in from the inside.
‘But I had to close the door! If anyone finds out……’
It was over if the Second Imperial Palace soldiers grabbed her and dragged her to Phil’s front. She didn’t think Phil had been found by them yet, but she had to be prepared just in case.
Celia shrugged her shoulders and fumbled towards the wall. In the original work, there were no traps to keep intruders out of the secret passage. At least, that was the only way Michael could get around.
In the original novel, Lily was kidnapped by Michael and witnessed him opening the door to a secret passage so that she could walk around.
‘Commuting on the outer wall with candlesticks or lanterns was impossible.’
It was unfortunate that there was no light. Shaking her body in her darkness, Celia recalled the glowing mist she had seen in her dreams.
It would be nice to see it again. The place depicted in the dream had to be one that could only be reached via this secret passage.
It was an ancient temple. The God of the Heavens, as well as a slew of other gods, were enshrined there.
Celia took a deep breath and looked around her. She was still in the dark but could see the path split into three sections.
The wind was blowing in different directions.
‘Which one is it?’
Celia remembered a mist of light flowing and waving around her. She had the form of a mist, but it appeared to be some sort of divine power.
It seemed that it was not only the God of Heaven, but the power flowed out from many other gods.
‘If it’s that kind of energy, it must be detectable.’
Even in the dark, she was afraid to close her eyes. But Celia suddenly remembered about Leonis and then she closed her eyes.
Through this darkness, she will surely return to his side. It will also be an escape once she has completed her mission to discover why the goddess has sent her here.
She closed his eyes and saw something like a mist in a faint golden colour.
Celia was startled and forced to open her eyes once more. But she could only see darkness. Then Celia shut her eyes once more.
‘Oh my God.’
The light mist was shining white and pale gold. Following the string of light, Celia moved her steps.
It felt like Ariadne’s thread for Theseus.
Celia continued on, trying to recall the path of the following secret passage. What lies ahead at the end of this path? Her fears and expectations pounded in her heart.
She may leave the Second Imperial Palace before this night if she moves quickly.
✦ ✦ ✦
Nicole looked at Giel leaning diagonally against the chair in the carriage with his eyes closed. With a nervous expression, the baron sat in front of them.
“Your Highness. You don’t have to pretend to be asleep anymore.”
Giel moved as soon as Nicole’s words hit him. Nicole, who his neck had caught by Giel in an instant, remained expressionless. The baron flinched in surprise as Giel drew his dagger and pointed it at Nicole’s neck.
“……Since when did you know? I wasn’t expecting you to whisk me away to your den in this manner.”
“We don’t have a place like den. I just hope we get a chance to speak with Your Highness without being interrupted…. We just moved like this.”
“Huh, with all this trouble?”
Giel snorted and drew the dagger from Nicole’s throat. He had eyes that were not completely drunk, but his workmanship still worked.
“We believe that among the three princes, Your Highness Giel will be the ruler of the empire.”
Giel frowned at the start of Nicole’s story. He didn’t appear to be interested.
“It’s unnecessary to explain the Second Prince. I want to say that Prince Michael is great, but……There are other reasons why he should not be an emperor, other than why the emperor doesn’t choose him.”
“I’m not interested in hearing it.”
Giel was irritated, but Nicole showed no agitation. The baron in the seat across from him blinked.
“Would you say that even if it was about Princess Carta?”
For a moment, Giel’s eyes seemed to be on fire. Giel grabbed Nicole by the neck again but didn’t hold the dagger to his neck.
So the baron only blinked and looked at them anxiously, not touching Giel and Nicole.
“What do you know? Are you one of those people that the ones my mother sent!”
“No way. We’re just trying to tell the truth to your Highness.”
Giel’s hands kept growing as he heard the truth, but Nicole ignored him and stood up.
“His Highness, Prince Michael, is far too cruel to be Emperor. I believe the prince is aware of his involvement in several cases of human trafficking.”
It was a fact that Giel knew about that accusation. Because it was one of the things his mother, the Second Empress, used to say to him constantly.
When the word ‘be ambitious’ did not inspire much, the Second Empress whispered to Giel, ‘Do you feel sorry for the people?’ Everyone knew about Phil’s shady dealings, but Giel didn’t believe Michael was the same.
“…What does Michael gain from it?”
Giel repeated the question to the second empress. The First Empress’s family, which was Michael’s backbencher, was far too powerful to blame it on money. It was most likely not due to a few pennies.
“I believe it is because he wishes to fight a war between continents. His Highness Michael is buying slaves in order to put them to the experiment with the monsters…..”
This was something he didn’t know. Giel’s fingers which were holding Nicole’s neck in place loosened slightly.
“War will make life more difficult for the already impoverished people. The Duke of Carta is one of only three men who can influence military command.”
“That is why Prince Michael used poison on Princess Carta. To make His excellency the Duke of Carta completely on his side.”
Giel’s expression crumbled as he listened to Nicole’s words. He tightened his sliding hand and grabbed Nicole’s shoulder.
“Again, say it again……What did Michael do?”
“Prince Michael was the one who poisoned the princess. We were able to find out with the information because the Duke of Carta was trying to find a way to save the princess.”
Giel was enraged when he learned that the monster’s poison had been mixed with the poison passed down through the first empress’s family from generation to generation.
‘Is it Michael’s?’
His mother, the second empress, was falsely accused, and there was no indignation from him. Michael poisoned Vivian to satisfy his greed, and Giel became furious when he heard it.
“This happened when the princess knew Prince Michael’s ambitions and tried to stop him! Please, Your Highness……”
Nicole made up the story that Vivian tried to stop Michael. While in reality, Nicole had never met Vivian. However, he realized that the fact that Michael had hurt Vivian had caused Giel’s eyes to turn around.
That kind of guy has Vivian? The thought that he might even let her condition worsen made Giel crazy.
Leonis had figured out how to wake Vivian from her coma, but Nicole and the Baron remained silent.
It was a card to be used when convincing the Duke of Carta, not Giel. To deal with Giel now, it was enough to inform him that Michael had poisoned the Princess of Carta.
“Can you prove that?”
Giel said this while staring at Nicole with his bloodshot, red eyes.
A normal person would be terrified and tremble just by looking at them, but Nicole was unfazed. He, too, had come this far after enduring a dreadful time.
“I am protecting anyone who knows that Prince Michael has bribed the maid and poisoned the princess’s tea. He secretly exchanged what the prince was trying to kill for someone.”
Even though he only said this, Giel was angry and at a loss.
He wouldn’t look her in the eyes. How surprised he was to find out that she had collapsed. Hearing that she had even been poisoned, he sought to see her several times.
Just seeing her face once was enough! Still, I did not go to meet Vivian because of my position.
Only his family had the opportunity to see Vivian’s sickly face.
The evidence Nicole presented could be manipulated, but Giel’s mind didn’t go that far. He couldn’t control his rage simply because Michael, the subject of his jealousy, had hurt Vivian.
The carriage stopped in front of a store. It was a salon frequented by high-ranking nobles. They had already received Nicole’s message and prepared a fine horse.
“I hope Your Highness will consider what we said today. If you would like us to help you again……”
Nicole gave the name of a store, but Giel did not listen. He wasn’t sane because his eyes were wide open with a desire for vengeance.
‘It’s not going to end like this.’
As soon as the carriage door opened, Giel jumped out. Even the cool night air did not cool his anger.
“I would like to escort you to the imperial family, but we are in a position to avoid the attention of the first prince, so please forgive us for doing this.”
Nicole followed him, then got off the carriage and said, he blinked at the servant who held the reins and the servant who stood beside him. The servant was holding a glass of water and medicine.
“It is dangerous to drive a horse while drunk……Here you go. It’s a medication that can help you get sober.”
Giel knew that medication. He was often drunk, so his mother, the 2nd Empress, often prepared some similar medication.
Even so, if you’re cautious, you won’t accept it.
Nicole and his party could have been the nemesis of the other two princes.
But Giel, whose eyes widened in rage, took it and put it into her mouth without hesitation. He then drank the water from the glass that the servant had courteously held out to him.
Giel was given a sedative, but other ingredients were also mixed in.
Nicole seemed to understand why the first prince Michael and the second prince Phil did not see Giel as an opponent. He was impulsive and lacked vigilance.
Michael and Phil, whoever of the two remained, would have thought that Giel could be dealt with easily.
As soon as he took his medicine, Giel felt his mind clearing a little. Riding the horses right away was dangerous because it didn’t have an immediate effect, but Giel just approached it.
His attendant was scared to look at Nicole, but he handed him the reins when he saw Giel’s angry expression.
Nicole approached Giel with a puzzled expression as if trying to stop him. Giel spurred on his horse, which had a red and blue face.
Nicole smiled contentedly as Giel left.
Drugs that made it difficult to make good decisions were added to the sobering medications.