Chapter 1 Part 1
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As Kwanach approached with a sword, one of the nobles said in a raspy voice,
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty, we are indebted to you. We would never do such a thing. Huh, I’m sure the culprit is among the Guilier’s.”
Roman, who had been standing quietly, countered.
“The servants and attendants who participated in this banquet have been verified many times. Guilier pledges to cooperate with any and all investigations and interrogations by the Imperial Family.”
“The people we brought from our family are all perfectly innocent, Your Majesty. First of all, pressure people with force like this…”
Kwanach spoke in a low voice and stopped in his tracks. Then, with his chin’s gesture, he gave the order to the Kingsguard.
The sound of clashing steel echoed in a high-pitched form. Then all the soldiers took out their swords, and raised them to the people.
In the atmosphere of fear, occasional sobbing could be heard.
Even if he was an Emperor, he shouldn’t detain imperial nobles without any physical proof or treat him as a criminal.
But logic does not work on those who have lost their reason.
Unfortunately, Oslin, the only closest person who could control Kwanach, did not attend this outdoor banquet. He did not like hunting, and he was tied to the Imperial Palace because of the heavy workload of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Kwanach looked at each one with cold, sunken eyes. He wanted to rule by rationality and not by blood. He wanted to create a livable country.
But the reason for all of this was solely for Usphere.
It has been a few years that he had been running with only the desire to properly care for the country where Usphere will spend the rest of her life.
What’s the point of everything without her? It didn’t matter if this Empire was ruined by madness and blood.
Although Usphere had not yet completely stopped breathing, the fuse that would destroy Kwanach was already ignited.
Kwanach’s mind was flooded with horrific memories of his past life. From the time of Usphere’s death till he brought her back to life, his life was empty, desperate and terrifying.
If he lost her this time, it would truly be over. Such was the deal.
There would be no second miracle.
Ha. Kwanach gripped his sword tightly.
“From now on, the capital will be closed indefinitely.”
Moans of astonishment erupted from all sides.
“All those who participated in the banquet, regardless of rank, will be detained in the Imperial Palace until all those behind the attempt to poison the Empress are revealed.”
“Oh, how can this be …!”
Kwanach’s life was an act of challenge by the imperial family to the front of the aristocratic society. However, no one was able to utter a word of protest.
The situation was surrounded by numerous blades. Everyone seemed to value their own lives.
But suddenly, a thin, senile man came out from the back and shouted,
“I did that!”
It was one of the cooks from the imperial palace. All eyes were on him. Kwanach stared at him, only his eyes moving.
“I poisoned the empress.”
It was a face that Kwanach knew. He had been working in the Imperial Palace since the first years of the Empire’s existence.
From what Kwanach had investigated in advance, he was a man with nothing special. His family all lived in the capital, so he couldn’t afford to do anything rash. If something went wrong, his family would be taken hostage.
However, he unexpectedly came forward and claimed to be the culprit.
The guards rushed to the scene, forced the old man to his knees, and put a sword to his neck. The old man did not put up a single fight and was caught quietly.
The old man’s face, so ordinary, had a bright look in his eyes and a strange smile on his face at the same time.
“When the revolution began, I felt my whole body’s blood boil with its reforming ideas. I had always hoped that the Radon Empire would truly become the Land of the Sun.”
The old man continued in a phlegmatic voice.
“I can’t let that woman destroy it…. I must kill her with my own hands for the sake of the great deed!”
Kwanach approached without words. Thud thud. The sound of footsteps trampling on the grass was loud.
Standing in front of the old man, Kwanach pointed the tip of his sword at the other man’s heart without hesitation. The knife didn’t penetrate completely, but it tore the old man’s clothes and scratched his skin.
The blood leaked from the old man’s skin wet the cooking suit.
“Woman? Woman? Did you say that? Say it again.”
Kwanach said in a calm, cold voice. The figure that held Usphere, comforting her and crying out for her earlier disappeared without a shadow of a trace.
Kwanach was completely calm and completely mad.
A person who could not place the reason for life in any but one place, who looked at only one and ran to insularity, had no choice but to collapse as he did when that only one disappeared.
In Kwanach’s world, there was only Usphere. Therefore, without Usphere, it was a perfectly natural procedure for the world of Kwanach to collapse.
The old man shrank for a moment at Kwanach’s deadly pursuit, but soon recited his twisted beliefs in a dignified manner.
“That’s right. That foreign woman! I can’t believe you would allow a Northerner, a near-barbarian, to sit on the throne of the Empress. This is not the country I had in mind when the revolution broke out.”
“So you tried to kill her?”
With a light twist of his wrist, Kwanach scraped the old man’s skin with the tip of his sword. It wasn’t enough of a wound to cause internal injuries, but it was enough of a move to cause the old man pain.
The old man groaned and shook his shoulders. Kwanach said with a look of utter depression on his face.
“What drug did you use?”
“I can’t tell you that…..”
The old man chuckled even as a blue streak appeared on his forehead and he was in pain.
“Numerous tests have shown no abnormalities. I’m sure it wasn’t the drug you mere cook can get your hands on.” (Kwanach)
“A person who has cooked all his life can’t be expected to make everything.” (Old man)
“No, there must be someone behind you. There has to be, right?” (Kwanach)
“No, there is not. So don’t need to go through all the trouble and just kill me.” (Old man)
“Kill you? I don’t think so. I have no intention of killing you.” (Kwanach)
Kwanach finally took out the sword that had dug into the old man’s skin. Blood rained down on the lawn and pooled on the edge of the blade.
“I’ll make it that you would wish you were dead.” (Kwanach)
“You’ll spend the rest of your life buried in pain, begging and pleading with me to kill you. Do not dream of suicide.” (Kwanach)
Kwanach stepped back and beckoned to the Kingsguards. The guards tied the old man up and dragged him away.
The others trembled with fear as they saw the old man disappear. They had never seen him in person, but they had heard countless rumors about him, the invincible emperor of conquest.
They could see his face in the current Kwanach.
Is he really going to detain so many people until he gets to the bottom of the incident? Many people were curious, but no one could ask directly.
The night wind was particularly colder than usual. As if to foretell the cold times to come.
* * * *
Kwanach came out of the prison with his hands stained with blood. He wiped his hands with a cloth that had been given to him, but the smell of blood on his skin did not disappear.
Kwanach thought it didn’t matter. There was no reason to pay attention to the smell of blood anyway.
Five days had passed since Usphere’s fall. The fever had been caught to some extent, but it was still a matter of life and death.
Since he didn’t know the identity of the poison that had gotten into Usphere’s body, he couldn’t use the cure.
He had to rely on the patient’s willpower while only treating the immediate surface symptoms.
He tortured the old man severely for days to find out everything he could, but without much success. The only responses he got were, “I don’t know anything” and “I can’t tell you what the drug is.”
It was hard to believe that someone with no specialized training could endure so much torture.
It was becoming more and more suspicious.
Everyone at the banquet had been tied up in the Imperial Palace and were being interrogated, but the income was far from over.
It was a situation where all the investigators in the Imperial Palace were mobilized. Still unable to find a clue, Kwanach was going out of his mind.
He could hardly sleep for five days. His bloodshot eyes were blurry, and the shadows of his eyes were dark and droopy. His nerves were so on edge that they seemed to explode at the slightest hint.
The truth was that he wanted to brutally torture everyone in the banquet hall, regardless of their status, and get whatever he could out of them.
No, on the day of Usphere’s fall, he was really going to do that.
If Oslin didn’t reason with him, and if Usphere didn’t miraculously catch her breath, this imperial palace would have been stained with blood.
Usphere was still alive. Thankfully, her frail body has survived the toxicity.
As such, Kwanach grabbed the barely remaining strands of reason.
When he returned to his office, he found that his old friends, Jaxor and Oslin, had arrived. Jaxor had been clamoring to keep retiring, but when the Empress fell, he stopped demanding retirement and cooperated with the investigation.
When Kwanach entered, the smell of blood that filled the room made Oslin frown.
“Did the guilty party confess to anything?”
Kwanach sat down in his chair and pressed his fingers to his throbbing brow.
“He’s a very tough man. I tortured him until he passed out, but he just kept repeating the same words.”
Jaxor said, his forehead wrinkled.
“Are you sure there’s someone behind this?”
“Of course. I’ve been tinkering for days and haven’t been able to get a single shred of information about the poison. I don’t know when the poison got in the food. There’s no way that one person could have been so thorough in setting things up.”