Chapter 1. Prologue
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The second Empress’ hands began to grow cold. She threw a spoonful of arsenic as cold as her cooling body temperature.
“Really, you’re out of your mind.”
“Wasn’t mother the one who told the twins to sleep together? Wouldn’t you have liked to have seen them doing it in front of you?”
If Karzen calls, the second Prince cannot disobey. And if the Princess, who was as mad as the emperor, wanted to roll in bed with the second Prince, obviously…
“I’ll ask Karzen.” (Raha)
The empress’s jaw tightened. Her eyes turned red. She held her breath again and again. A voice came out, barely suppressing the anger.
“Raha del Harsa.”
“You’re a real b*tch.”
“How is it that you are still alive after all that has happened to you? It’s crazy.”
A whispering voice.
No reply came back.
Raha’s smile was still the same. It was enough to make the second empress go crazy.
“Why shouldn’t I be able to live, when the second Prince can roll over like dogs and live too?”
The face of the second empress, who had preserved the nobility and elegance of a noblewoman to the end, gradually began to distort.
Could it be that the years of bifurcation that had held her down like a vase could not prevail any longer, or that the stabilizers she had been taking ever since her son was taken to the wastelands had taken effect…
“Raha del Harsa! You madwoman!”
The second empress finally screamed. Just before she strangled Raha, the guards, who were waiting in the distance, rushed in and removed the second Empress.
“I’m coming for you!”
“Bring the stabilizer!”
The guards dragged the second empress away, and the maids rushed in to straighten up Raha’s disheveled appearance.
“Are you all right, Princess?
As soon as she was well dressed again, she sent the maids away. Karzen liked her to wait until he finished his visit with the previous emperor anyway.
After a while, however, the imperial order came. Raha swallowed her saliva. She wanted to go back to her palace, pretending to be sick after being beaten by the second empress.
“Your Majesty, Princess Raha is here.”
An elderly attendant said politely. Raha stepped into the palace of the previous emperor, whom she had seen for the first time in many years.
* * *
“Your Majesty. The Princess had just entered the emperor’s palace.”
At the report of Captain Blake, Karzen took a step and asked,
“What about the guards?”
“I’ve put them up.”
Karzen frowned and stepped into the New Year banquet hall.
As the only New Year’s party held in the continent’s only empire, it was so large that even other countries sent delegations.
More importantly, it was the emperor who had succeeded to the throne after the previous emperor had “abdicated” the throne.
This was before the New Year banquet was held and before the emperor hosted the New Year banquet. There was a courtesy that one had to have an audience with the previous emperor and the Dowager empress in the afternoon hours.
It was literally a formality. While Empress Dowager’s were present from time to time, the number of times there was an emperor was few and far between in the history of the empire.
Thanks to this, time was short, and Karzen left his seat first.
“You will come directly to the banquet hall with Raha. Go wait for her in front of the emperor’s bedroom.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Blake bowed his head. The previous emperor was extremely averse to the idea of decent surveillance measures entering his bedroom. This was the previous emperor who abdicated. In other histories, he would be treated as a “tiger without fangs,” but not in the Delo Empire.
For Karzen was still the emperor who did not inherit the eyes of the heir.
It was Raha who was the real tiger. But it was Karzen himself who held the collar of the beautiful beast.
As soon as Karzen left, Blake immediately headed for the palace, where the bedchamber of the previous emperor was located. The imperial palace was very large, so the sunniest and most luxurious palace in the south was his residence.
Even though it was secluded, it was as beautiful as paradise on the outside, so what did it matter?
“And what about the Princess?”
“She’s still inside.”
Blake stood motionless and gazed at the pond in the annex. It was a winter afternoon, so it didn’t have any sunlight, but it was still quite beautiful with the crystal lights. As he was quietly looking at the pond, he heard someone’s presence.
Blake turned around and immediately gave a slight bow.
“Oh, Marquis Sona. Duke Esther.”
“It’s my turn to present the gift.”
No one was allowed to enter the bedroom, and if they were high nobility, they could present gifts every year.
Duke Esther simply nodded his head as usual, and Marquis Sona spoke to him.
“The Princess is inside.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
”I see….I must give her a rare jewel.”
Blake’s eyes widened a bit at those words and returned to their original position. Then he said in my ever-changing voice.
“Yes….the Princess likes jewelry.”
Duke Esther, who was listening, chuckled. Marquis Sona and Blake’s eyes turned towards him at the same time, but that was it.
The nobles abound, and tens of thousands of times more than that, the commoners abound, some of the greatest nobles in this huge empire.
None of them knew the true meaning of the earlier conversation.
Whether or not the emperor was holding the leash, Raha was a successor with the eyes of the heir.
Moreover, the previous emperor even called her to meet in person. He had never called her in the last few years…
This was going to sound like strange news to the conservative aristocrats who still adhered to their traditional position. It meant that perhaps Raha would be able to inherit the throne after all, or God willing.
This was why Marquis Sona offered to present the Princess with a rare gem.The nobles, who had not yet fully committed their hearts to Karzen, would not do so, because by giving Raha a precious gift, they would be slowly expressing their support for him.
Understanding all this, Duke Esther simply laughed. He wondered why it was difficult to say so, but in any case, it was in the Imperial Palace. It was also important to use aristocratic speech well.
Duke Esther looked around the spacious Palace of the previous emperor.
“There is a story circulating in the social circles that His Majesty disposed of the Chamberlain immediately on behalf of the Princess.”
Blake swallowed a sigh. They shouldn’t have killed the chamberlain without so much as a trial process. The question of the emperor’s authority was rather trivial. In the first place, it didn’t matter so much because Karzen was a young emperor sitting in a seat of power that was stained with blood.
The problem was…..
It was for the sake of the Princess.
Blake was curious about that proposition.
Karzen was not the type that actively cared about public opinion. It was only natural. He was an emperor who trampled on great enemies, conveyed victory, and held firm to his imperial throne.
Above all, Blake could not admonish Karzen.
Because of that Princess Raha.
It was a problem that occurred in her bedroom, while having a affair with a slave gifted by the emperor. It was unknown how the Princess did, but the emperor killed the chamberlain without hesitation.
Blake did not know.
However, Blake, who had been supporting Karzen from the battlefield for a long time, knew for sure. It was too foolish to bring up that story, which has already sunk below the surface…….
It was like throwing a fireball into a powder keg.
He couldn’t point out exactly what it was, but it was the kind of intuition the knight had.
“I think we need to discuss this…”
As if to push Blake’s thoughts aside, Duke Esther spoke up.
“What’s more, the previous emperor was allowed to meet with the princess alone…………………….. There will be people who will have impure thoughts.”
“Oh, of course not many and not aggressive enough. For that matter, a few years ago, all of the frontier Count’s families were hung on the chandelier in the grand banquet hall were too horrific.”
Blake said nothing. It was the same for the Marquis. It was a straightforward way of speaking that overshadowed the way Marquis had just been circled.
Duke Esther was probably the only one in the empire who could talk like this openly. Or perhaps only a wise man who had now gone to the desert.
To put it objectively, the Princess was just a beautifully decorated doll. It was a position that even a bedroom slave would be gifted with. It was too much to say that her movements were dangerous. Objectively, it was.
But only the “blood emperor” with iron armor all over his body would be particularly hypersensitive to Raha.
That was the problem.
Since the ruler was always overreacting, those below him would react in a similar way.
“By the way, Marquis Duke has been quiet lately.”
Blake frowned. His father, Marquis Duke, had fought an informal duel with the imperial slave and returned home terribly angry.
He had heard that the Marquis Duke’s Order had been a mess for some time because of this, but as Blake, who had left home and lived in the imperial residence, it was impossible to know the details.
At first, there were extremely few people who knew about the fact that Marquis Duke’s commander of the Order had been cruelly defeated by the bedroom slave. It was the reason why he was so desperate to stop his father. Blake put up a good word.
“He had been feeling a little sick lately.”
And Duke Esther, one of the few people, except the Duke’s family, who knew about the terrible duel, chuckled.
“He must be terribly uncomfortable.”
Marquis Sona listened intently and Blake looked uncomfortable. But Duke Esther finished his speech at that point. Their gazes naturally drifted to the detached palace where Raha had entered.