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“Why was this report so late?”
“I apologise, Your Majesty.”
As the emperor watched the difficult response of trying to silence the voice of the people, he became so frustrated that he felt it would be pointless to ring the bell as a warning of the impending chaos. He wanted to step forward himself, but the ministers stood up like a swarm of bees to stop him, and they said things like, “How dare the emperor act so rashly?”
“I think it would be right to send His Highness the Crown Prince.”
The attitude of the ministers, who screamed at him, told him to leave all of the dangerous work to Alex, and told him to take this opportunity to go out and die, shocked him to the core.
“I will go too.”
Stan, seeing the seriousness of the situation, came forward to offer assistance. However, as soon as those words were out of his mouth, Princess Lotte yelled at him.
Beneath the face of the face, asking what he would do if something happened to Winterbaum’s one and only heir, there was sarcasm towards Alex.
Alex, on the other hand, is not the legitimate successor like Stan is; rather, he is just the Emperor’s illegitimate son.
It is already a problem that Lotte acts as though he does not exist by completely ignoring him in front of her.
“Please excuse me.”
Alex left the palace without a word, holding his sword. Having lived like this his whole life, it’s nothing new anymore, but Stan, feverish to the core, ended up following Alex out to ride his horse.
“I’m going too. Don’t stop me.”
Alex frowned as he looked at his cousin, who was making a fuss.
“Why are you laughing at me because you don’t think I’ll be of any help?”
“If you and I both leave the palace, you know very well what the nobles will do.”
If both Alex and Stan, who are currently first and second in line to the throne, were to disappear, those with even a small amount of collateral blood could potentially rise up and claim that they would become the emperor. At Alex’s point, Stan bit his lip.
“It’s always been like that.”
Stan’s unusually sensitive attitude today made Alex stop in his tracks.
“That’s right. Brother, don’t you think I’m funny?”
As if going back to his childhood, Stan called him an older brother. He was seething with rage all the way up to the top of his head; the skin on his face was flushed; and his temper ran wild all the way around.
“I understand that you’re upset about my mother, but there’s absolutely no need to involve Ciel!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“That’s right. The reason Ciel was brought into the palace was to keep her in check.”
Alex couldn’t help but laugh as he watched his sibling yell at him, asking how he could do this.
“I didn’t know you still called me brother.”
“Go inside and stay with your mother.”
“What, what’s wrong!”
Does he even realise that when he screams, he looks like Princess Lotte? Alex left his cousin alone and immediately mounted the horse. He can’t afford to waste time on useless things.
He then proceeded to climb to the palace’s outskirts in order to assess the situation, at which point the general who was guarding the palace’s outskirts informed him of the situation.
“The situation is quite serious.”
Even Alex found the situation to be quite difficult to deal with. There have been quite a few incidents in which demons have cast a curse, but this was the first time that an incident of such a large scale had taken place so close to the capital.
A patient who thought he had a cold suddenly bit the back of the doctor’s neck. People who managed to run away screaming attacked others with similar symptoms a few days later.
While the situation was calm, it took less than a week for the people who had fled to spread out and reach the capital.
Moreover, this was not a curse that only affected humans. If a cursed bird were to fly into the vast sky, it would be of no use to try to block humans from the outside.
Therefore, Duke Valentine, known as the Great Wizard, mobilised all his mana in order to construct a formidable barrier that encompassed the entire capital.
“I’m glad, but at the same time, I’m in trouble.”
“The demon beasts are somehow buying time, but there is nothing they can do about those who have been infected.”
No one knows how many people have been infected or how far the curse has spread.
They need to figure out what caused it in some way, but there is not much information other than that it cannot be treated with medicine.
“Your Highness. I’m back.”
While Alex was assessing the situation, his secretary, Heine, returned.
“It is said that there was chaos as nobles’ carriages flocked towards the south gate.”
In a situation where it would not be possible for everyone to join forces to deal with the demon beast, the nobles were anxious to escape through the sealed south gate, saying they would live alone.
Finally, he was speechless when he heard that Isaac Valentine had been mobilised. The reality that a talent comparable to Alex was put into stopping nobles who were trying to run away to live alone was extremely frustrating.
“If anyone wants to leave, tell them to do so. Instead, tell them that it is absolutely impossible to re-enter the palace.”
“Yes, Your Highness!”
“Tell anyone who goes out on their own and comes back to be considered infected and beheaded.”
At Alex’s strict order, the messenger departed. He gave them the order to go out on their own and not care if they became infected by being bitten by the cursed bird, but he still had no intention of rescuing the lives of those who wanted to go out.
Only after the people around him had withdrawn to some extent did Heine report the internal situation privately.
“It is said that Princess Lotte has also begun preparations to leave for the Winterbaum Estate.”
“I knew so.”
They are proud of the sacrifices they made for their country, but at the end of the day, they are still just human beings who only know themselves. Even though they were unaware of her hypocritical behaviour, the people continued to regard her with affection and referred to her as their poor princess.
Alex promised to take off that mask someday and vaguely asked what they were most curious about.
“What is Ciel doing now?”
Heine, who had been nonchalant about other reports, was silent when the story about Ciel was brought up. After Alex’s brows had begun to furrow, only then did he begin to speak haltingly.
“Didn’t you just say that there is no cure?”
“They said they were using poison, not a cure.”
“It’s poison. What does that mean?”
Heine recited exactly what he heard.
“It was said to be a poison that paralyses the functions of the entire body in order to prevent the condition of the patients from becoming worse. It is common knowledge that it does not pose a risk to one’s life and that it does not have any lasting effects.”
“Is there such a poison?”
“Miss Ciel says that she has found the cause of the infection.”
Unlike those who did not get sick even though they were in the same space, those who came into contact with the blood of an infected person fell ill and experienced a seizure a few days later. As long as the infection is not transmitted through the air, infected people can be treated.
“You use poison for treatment.”
Even if a seizure occurs, it is only temporary. If you tie them tightly to the bed and wait, the seizure will stop.
“Shouldn’t we send support personnel?”
“However, Ciel did make a request to the Lily Palace, and Her Royal Highness is said to have dispatched someone to assist.”
“Someone came from the Lily Palace?”
Alex couldn’t help but be taken aback by the sudden offer of assistance. Heine also showed signs of agreement by nodding his head as if he was surprised by that.
“Let’s go for now.”
If the internal situation, which was expected to be chaotic, becomes stable, Alex can also go to the front line with peace of mind. Holding the sword at his waist, he rode his horse to the place where he was in battle with the demon beast.
Theo, exhausted after using a large spell, found Alex. Baphomet, a demonic beast with goat horns, burned five villages northeast of the capital and advanced towards the capital at high speed.
As soon as he told him about the situation in the capital, Theo’s eyes widened.
“What do you mean, Clara, by taking care of patients?”
Before he had even finished speaking yet, he drank the potion in his hand and straightened up.
Theo’s eyes were already focused on the capital. If Theo leaves the battlefield in this state, there will be no one to lead the wizards.
Despite being fully aware of the situation, he showed signs of leaving the battlefield. Theo grabbed Alex by the collar and pulled him around when the soldiers blocked his path.
“Why did you stop me!”
Theo, who never loses his temper, blew his stack today. Alex calmly shook off his hand and clenched his fist.
“Your sister is not weak.”
Alex showed no sign of flinching, despite Theo’s shrieks of terror. They were numb as they stood around the two men’s battle of spirit, but neither Alex nor Theo budged an inch while they fought it out.
“Why don’t you know that if they are pushed out of here, all of their hard work will have been for nothing!”
Only after Alex screamed did Theo take a step back. Facing his trembling fist, Theo looked around the battlefield.
If the defence line is breached, Duke Valentine, who was protecting the entire capital, will eventually have no choice but to step forward. Then, if a bird flies into the sky and causes an infection in the capital city, the hermetically sealed inside will quickly devolve into anarchy.
It was only after hearing Alex’s persuasion that Theo finally came to his senses. He told her not to go out like that, but he didn’t know why Clara was there.
“Don’t worry. Ciel is there too.”
“What do you mean? Why is Ciel…”
Even though Clara is a pharmacist, Ciel is still just a child. Alex shook his head in front of the astonished Theo.
He never thought the day would come when he would be grateful to have Regina by Ciel’s side. If the situation arises, they will step in, so for now, there is no other way than to protect this place.
Alex also wants to run to where Ciel is right now.
What should he do when he sends this tomboy to stay at home but she hardly ever listens to him? He clenched his fist and stifled the rising feelings of anger and frustration. It’s not too late to talk about everything after they’ve sorted out the situation.
“Princess Lotte is also sending someone to take care of the patients. We found a way to stop the infection from spreading, so our top priority at this point is to deal with that demon beast.”
Theo finally regained his senses thanks to Alex’s persuasion. Theo, who had recovered some of his mana, contained magical energy in his bracelet and levitated Alex’s body.
His magic ultimately only binds their feet, and in order to strike directly, a direct strike containing sword energy is the most effective.
Knowing that they wanted Alex dead while hiding in the safety of the capital, Theo couldn’t let him die even more.
They worked together and made a beeline for the demon beast in a coordinated effort to eliminate it as quickly as possible so that they could get back to Clara and Ciel.