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The punishment was too lenient, even if they were half-brothers. Even though he knew the emperor’s punishment would not end there, Michael was distressed.
“The prince’s servants are imprisoned underground for failing to properly protect the prince. Perhaps he intends to execute them.”
It would be to appease the first empress, Michael’s mother—the First Emperor.
‘No way. Maybe my mother wants something else.’
Michael and his mother wanted the same thing, yet their paths differed slightly. Michael wanted to become emperor and seize power, and the first empress wanted to make Michael emperor while seizing power herself.
As a result, Michael did not bring the first empress to his side. She was still dangerous and selfish.
“Leave Giel’s matter to my mother. What you should care about is The Cardian.”
Michael sat back on the cushions after dismissing his aides and adjutants. It wasn’t what he expected, but the big stream flowed as he had hoped.
‘No matter how the Duke of Cardian uses his hands, it’s too late. The Empire, the Imperial Guard…… It will end up in the palm of my hand.’
Thinking so, Michael closed his eyes. The spot of his body where Giel had been stabbed felt tingly as if the medicine was draining away.
✦ ✦ ✦
Leonis climbed the mountain at a breakneck pace while carrying Celia. Leonis’ muscular arms supported her body, but Celia, who was on his back, trembled slightly.
“Are you feeling cold?”
Leonis muttered after leaping over a large boulder.
It was still dark outside, and trees surrounded the entire mountain. It felt like he was climbing into the darkness, but Leonis moved as if he could see ahead.
“Isn’t it dark?”
“It’s okay because there’s moonlight.”
Leonis answered Celia’s whisper. Celia once again buried her face in his shoulder, trying to gauge how far they had climbed.
It seemed that the day would be bright if they continued to climb the mountain like this.
Leonis continued to climb up the roadless path.
“If we keep going up this way, there is a lake and a cave. We’re going to spend the night there….. That’s also.”
At those words, Celia’s face heated up. She said nothing, but her hands were getting colder than they had been a few hours before.
“Not much is left now.”
There was more fear about the spread of poison than about shame. The heartbeat was still normal, and her hands and feet were warm, but she was still anxious.
“Yes. Please quickly.”
As Celia whispered, Leonis’ movement got more frantic. An open-sighted area appeared as he moved through the trees along the beast’s route.
The moonlight was very dim as dawn approached, yet the sky was dark blue-green.
While Leonis was walking, he kept an eye out to see if anyone was following them.
He was one of the strongest among the few sword masters on the continent. He could tell if it was a human, an animal, or a monster coming down the mountain.
He didn’t know where the second prince’s palace pursuers were chasing them, but it was clear that they didn’t care about this mountain.
Their arrival was not far from the mountain’s summit. Leonis walked through a swaying field of grass.
He used to climb to this mountain as a child to hunt monsters. He made the excuse of hunting monsters, but actually, it was to avoid his father, who became nervous with fear of the curse, and his mother, who was hysterical with hatred for her husband.
Crossing the fields and descending to the other side of the mountain revealed a vast, basin-shaped valley. Down there was a large lake surrounded by cliffs and several caves.
It was known as the Dragon Cave and was a shelter for hunters only.
With the sword master’s strong intuition, Leonis knew there were no people in that cave right now.
It was a place where monsters did not usually nest, as if dragons had once lived there. For a time, it was also a haven for those being pursued by monsters and hunters.
“Is that the place?”
The moonlight reflected on the lake’s water, allowing Celia to see the entrance to the cave. Leonis nodded, hurrying into the valley and toward the cave.
“Even if I set fire to this place, we won’t be discovered.”
Leonis had a magic pocket like Celia. Most of what he had were emergency supplies.
A sleeping bag, food, water, and a change of clothes. He could fit many items in there, no matter how heavy they were, so there were flint, money, potions, and magical tools for various purposes.
As they approached the lake, they were greeted by the smell of clean water. Celia looked at the moon reflected in the lake, remembering the fishy smell of the river.
Leonis entered the cave after walking past the lake. Instead of soil, the area around the cave comprised large and small rocks.
The moonlight mixed with the water running inside, casting a dim glow on the cave ceiling.
Leonis carefully lowered Celia to the floor. He then gathered dry branches from nearby and built a fire on one side of the cave.
‘Are you all right?’
Lighting a fire and stacking firewood in an appropriate area so that smoke does not accumulate within the cave did not appear to be skills that had been practiced once or twice. Then Leonis took off his clothes.
“W-hy are you taking it off?”
“It’s because their blood is all over my clothes.”
He was very clear in his explanation: He didn’t want to hold Celia while their blood was still on his clothes.
Leonis hurriedly stripped off his clothes, including his underpants, and tied them up. There was a sack in the magic bag for the clothes he wore, so he tossed them in there.
She thought the water from the lake was rushing into the cave as they got closer, but she was mistaken. Clearwater cascaded from the cave’s interior and flowed into the lake.
Leonis dipped his naked body into the cave’s running water. The water was just above his waist depth.
“Isn’t it cold?”
Celia asked, standing near the campfire. She hadn’t even removed his cloak, which Leonis had wrapped around her.
“It’s kind of cold to me, but…… It could be freezing for you.”
Leonis said so and dove deeper. After watching him sunk down his head for a moment, Leonis pushed his face out of the water and tugged his hair back.
The light from the bonfire was reflected in the cave’s water, creating a variety of lights and shadows on the ceiling. Leonis stretched out his hand in the water.
“You should stop staring at me and take your clothes off…… Why don’t you come here? I’ll keep you warm.”
Celia’s face heated up as she looked at Leonis. She hesitantly took off her cloak and placed it near the pouch containing his clothes. She also untied the belt on her gown.
Celia was barefoot because her slippers had been lost somewhere in the secret passageway. Leonis let out a low groan as Celia removed her gown.
He was concerned about Celia’s bruises from the carriage accident, but Celia’s clothes…..
‘Phil Hermos! I will kill that bastard!’
The bright light revealed Celia’s unique features. Her underwear, which only covered her slight curves and private parts, naturally heated her body through the thin fabric of her negligee.
“Ca-can I take it off? Or just wear it as it is……”
Leonis came up out of the water, filled with rage and lust. Celia was surprised to see water flowing from his body and a huge penis bouncing between his thighs. It was shockingly large and once again appeared menacing and erotic.
“Those clothes…… Can I rip it up?”
Leonis asked, his eyes alight with lust for Celia. Celia nodded and swallowed her dry saliva.
As soon as the permission fell, Leonis reached out his hand to her. The hem of her thin negligee, which barely covered her nipples, was ripped apart instantly.
He was so ecstatic that blood was rushing to his head. Leonis examined Celia’s body greedily before removing her lingerie.
If it hadn’t been for this situation, removing the clothing would have been a shame, but it was a cumbersome item to apply medicine to Celia’s body.
Celia, who thought she would have sex with him, blushed when she saw Leonis step into the magic pouch. It was because she thought she expected too much from him.
“Apply for medicine first. Your bruise is too big.”
“It doesn’t hurt.”
Celia covered her flushed cheeks with her palms. Leonis, who had taken out the potion, applied it to Celia’s skin quickly but delicately.
The effect was fantastic because the duke’s family delivered the remedy. By simply applying the remedy, the black bruises recovered to normal color.
“It tickles me.”
“Does it tickle?”
Leonis asked and put the empty potion bottle down far away. Then he grabbed Celia’s thigh and spread her legs.
“You have been soaking wet like this…You’ve been holding it in well.”
“Ugh….It-It’s because I’m on the run….Eung…..”
The petals of Celia were then stimulated by a finger slipping along the string of her panties. Celia’s vagina was already soaked wet from drinking poison several hours before. Leonis pushed her stringy undergarments to the side with her fingers.
Her back arched as the warm, firm fingers pierced her delicate mucous membrane.
“You can put it in right away. If you keep doing this……”
Celia’s tearful expression made Leonis smirk. He gently stroked Celia’s insides with his other finger. He kept squeezing and gently caressing her sensitive areas, and she thought she was going insane.
“Ugh, Ungh, Please……”
“You said before you’ve been holding it in until now, but you can’t stand it anymore?
It was more difficult to hold it in because she had endured it until now. She pretended to be calm and endured it until her juice overflowed, but as he gently rubbed the sensitive spot, she felt like she was going to die.
“Ugh… … no, I do not want it. Please….. Put it in…..”