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Carlisle had just arrived back in the capital, where he was receiving treatment with medication that had been flown in from the temple. Because he was in such a rush to get away, he made excessive use of his ability, and his physical condition was beyond reasonable limits.
Ever since he had taken Eleanor under his wing, he had been feeling quite content with his condition.
The process of eradicating the filth entirely seemed insurmountable, given her status as a C-class guide, but he managed to keep his condition under control.
Carlisle clenched his teeth, feeling the frustration well up inside him. It seemed like only a short while ago that his condition had taken a turn for the worse.
Fortunately, he wasn’t as impervious to the medication that the temple provided as Van was. He was quite good at this, so he always had a wider range of movement than Van.
‘Eleanor fall into his hands again!’
From the moment he realised he had regressed, a sense of wariness crept over him. He thought Van was going to the North, but it was clear that the information had been fabricated somewhere.
When the eastern part, which served as the base of the anti-power, fell apart, Van would remember who betrayed him, so he knew he couldn’t afford to make the mistake of blindly trusting the information he had been given.
He felt a sense of urgency as if time was slipping through his fingers.
As he remembered, Eleanor also thought she would surely run away if she did in the past.
There was more than just one of the imperial family involved. With him and Van excluded, there were a total of eight members of the royal family who needed a guide.
Even though every single one of them is corrupt, they are all members of the imperial family, which places them in the same category as other high-ranking aristocrats. It was said that even if they worked together with Carlisle and hid it, it would take years before they could find it again.
‘I need Eleanor to carry out my plan!’
On top of that, Van regressed at the same time with him, which meant that strategies that had been successful in the past could not be used again.
It made him nervous and made him feel like he was going crazy.
‘How did I ascend to the throne?’
He had ascended to the throne as the emperor just a little over a month ago. It was a momentous occasion when he finally followed through with the engagement ceremony he had meticulously planned with Charlotte, during which he experienced her first guidance and he also slept with her.
The moment he touched her body, he knew that something was wrong with her, little did he realise that the ‘mistake’ would cause such a big stir.
Right from the start, he knew that he needed Eleanor to be his guide. Despite his initial inclination to delay until the imprint, he knew he should have taken her to bed so that she could have guided him.
To hide the fact he had a guide, he distanced himself from Eleanor, and on the other hand, it was his fault for not sleeping with her because she was noticing other high-ranking guides.
Because he would never have dared to leave her alone if they had ever had an affair together in the past.
But on the other hand, even if he had slept with Eleanor and impregnated her, it seemed that he would have laid his hand on Charlotte after all.
Because Charlotte Enrique was an A-class guide.
The choice between A-class and C-class seemed obvious, isn’t it natural to choose A-class! Van, a madman from the East, made the same choice.
The one and only thing that was different was that he was unable to grasp Eleanor in his hands completely.
‘Charlotte, I could have known just by holding hands with her properly!’
The fact that he had a favourable attitude towards her because he believed she would one day become his empress was the root of all of the problems.
Carlisle couldn’t sleep and got himself out of bed. It is not typical of the Imperial Family for his guide to be able to get a good night’s sleep knowing that she was with another member of the Imperial Family.
But he had a corner to believe in.
Eleanor would still love him, Van was a fool.
Isn’t he a blind man who has been chasing Charlotte for the past four years but has never been able even to touch her! If it had been him, he would have been able to spend more time in bed.
‘They won’t do anything. At best……The same as the one I got, just guiding by hand would be all.’
It made him so angry that it made the eyes in his head roll back in his head, but it was something he couldn’t control. The difference between Van, who received regular guidance from Empress Luria, and his own physical condition was as great as the gap between the sky and the earth.
Carlisle thought about the tragic end that had befallen his father, and he swore to himself that he would never end up that way.
His father ran to Luria, the only other guide still alive, and begged him to save him after the death of the guide he had imprisoned in an accident that occurred while she was attempting to escape.
However, his matching rate with Luria was disappointing.
On top of that, Luria, who had memories of being forced to guide him before she became empress, spurned him with intense animosity.
As the weight of his own mortality bore down upon him, he knew that he had no choice but to swallow his pride and beseech for guidance, even if it meant incurring the emperor’s wrath.
The emperor, who was married to Luria and received daily guidance, and Carlisle’s father did not fight. After being beaten up and sent to the palace of Grand Duke Jabeth, he died of his entire body bursting that evening.
It happened in front of Carlisle and his wife.
As a result, the Grand Duchess went mad and died of illness, and Carlisle became Grand Duke at a young age. Carlisle fell flat before the emperor lived.
The emperor, who naturally had a soft heart, did not feel uncomfortable with Carlisle. Rather, he gave protection to Carlisle, convinced that the untimely demise of the late Grand Duke was somehow linked to him.
Empress Luria harboured a deep hatred for him.
The empress was unsettled by knowing that the guide had been imprisoned by the former grand duke. She stood steadfastly by the side of the guide as she advocated for their cause to be aligned with that of the imperial family with whom they hoped to be partnered with.
Given that Carlisle’s father was already wedded and had a brood of his own, it was hardly surprising that the other guide declined. He did not think of divorcing his wife because of his own greed, so he tried to use her only as her guide, and that was the extent of his plan.
The child was innocent, but Luria felt uncomfortable with Carlisle.
This may be why, while the Emperor’s nephew, Van, had received guidance since he was young, Carlisle had not been granted the opportunity to receive guiding even once.
Contrary to the emperor’s thoughts, Carlisle had not forgotten the death of his parents. The emperor thought over Carlisle’s desire for a guide, a notion that stemmed from the innate instincts of his imperial lineage. Though his intentions were noble, the idea itself was rather imprudent.
Had he found himself in the inverse circumstance, he would have spared no effort in terminating the lives of his innocent children and seizing his possessions.
‘You died because you made fun of me and the Grand Duchess Jabeth.’
Paradoxically, he also despised the existence of Eleanor and he was deprived of everything. But who would have known that she knew there was such a secret passage in the imperial palace and that the gods were sealed underground.
Carlisle couldn’t understand how Eleanor knew that. She was a commoner, even after becoming an aristocrat, she did not even receive a proper education.
He knew the duke had taught her basic etiquette so she wouldn’t make a faux pas if she was taken to a ball or banquet.
‘But the family would have been commoners……’
Eleanor didn’t seem to like her family, so he made her investigate them once. Eleanor’s parents were both abusive.
The extent of the maltreatment remained uncertain, and the child continued to live as a family because it lessened as she grew older.
They said that her family had beaten their children when they were young and that they thought they were sending her to orphanages or distant relatives to work. There was also a story about Margaret becoming enraged and embarrassed when the woman next door asked to borrow her for a few days.
Such parents could never have properly educated their children. Given that the younger siblings were able to live independently and the rumours were not bad, he could conclude that Eleanor’s influence was to blame.
The practise of early marriage was not limited to the aristocratic class alone, as even the low-income commoners. It was common for people to marry for the first time at the age of 18, and the age of 19 was considered the appropriate age for marriage.
Eleanor was still twenty-one when she married, but given the standard of the house, she should have left sooner.
‘……Didn’t she come out because she was worried about her younger siblings?’
Carlisle soon realised Eleanor was concerned about her younger siblings. Eleanor was hiding behind the crowd as Van approached, holding a girl a head shorter than him in her arms.
Carlisle had cunningly instigated the Duke of Armoure to commit the heinous act of killing her dearest siblings.
He didn’t know how much Eleanor knew, but it’s very likely that she did, given that she had not moved so far.
That was why Eleanor betrayed him.
Because at his instigation, Eleanor’s siblings were massacred.
A sensation akin to swallowing a frigid boulder settled in his chest, leaving him feeling constricted and uneasy. Eleanor will never forget it, even if she regresses and becomes nothing.
She was neither resigned nor forgiving him. She didn’t tell him when he had her as his guide, but he now knows.
‘This world, destroyed.’
Carlisle dropped his hand, the memory of the chilling, flame-like voice that reverberated through the charnel house still fresh in his mind. At that time, she tried to destroy the world altogether with him.