Chapter 1 Part 1
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Oslin said with a spiteful voice.
“Obviously there is a bigger mastermind behind all this. This is an old man who has spent his whole life cooking in the Imperial Palace, and all of a sudden he has the nerve to do this all by himself? The problem is …….”
Kwanach bit his lips in frustration, interrupting Oslin’s mid-sentence.
“Can’t find any trace of the poisoning.”
“It’s strange. It’s abnormally clean.”
Kwanach breathed heavily, unable to control his anger, slammed his fist down on the desk. Boom, the pound bang rang in the office.
“We can’t let this go on. There’s a limit to how long we can keep people locked up in the Imperial Palace.”
Oslin nodded quickly at Kwanach’s words.
“Yes, Your Majesty, you have thought this through. Even if we give the nobles the room of honor, they will not be happy. The longer the detention period, the more formidable the opposition from the noble society…….”
“There will be nothing coming out of it if you entertain your guests with such grace, I shall have to interrogate them in person, one by one.”
Kwanach stood up and tried to leave the room.
Oslin jumped up in surprise and approached Kwanach. Then with his eyes, he called for help from Jaxor. The Emperor now lost his reason and Oslin needed help to stop him.
Oslin said in a perplexed voice.
“Come on, direct interrogation? How do you see that many people in person?”
“We’ve sent in agents, but to no avail.”
We’ve started to search the Guilier, please wait a little longer.”
“How long is it? How many more days? It’s faster to catch them one by one.”
Jaxor grabbed Kwanach’s arm. No one could touch the Emperor’s without permission, but the only exception was between the two of them. They were like brothers, having grown up slaves together since childhood.
Jaxor said in a calm voice that was unlike him.
“Your Majesty, you’ve been trying to establish the empire. Are you going to turn the entire nobility against us? The country will be shaken.”
“I don’t care.”
“I don’t care!”
A painful cry tore through the air. Kwanach staggered to a sitting position as he let out his pent up emotions.
Kwanach knew his best friend was right. But he was way out of rational judgment now.
But it was always heartbreaking to face reality. He wanted to put his sharp enlightenment behind him and let go of reason altogether.
The truth was only vague, while Usphere still showed no sign of waking up. A sense of helplessness and despair had driven Kwanach to the edge of the cliff.
Uncharacteristically for an emperor, Kwanach kept slouching, his shoulders shaking. Only now he was not the first emperor that conquered a continent. He was a weak man who would shatter at any moment.
The gloomy voice in his head seemed to be constantly whispering.
<Look at that, you failed again this time. You couldn’t protect her. That’s all you are at best. You dare to think that you will pay the price for a slave disrespecting a noble princess…….>
Unable to watch, Jaxor and Oslin helped Kwanach up on both sides. Oslin patted Kwanach on the back and said.
“You haven’t slept much in five days. You need to get some rest, Your Majesty.”
“If you continue like this, you will collapse. Only when you rest will your judgment be clearer.”
“Do you know anyone who works this hard? Do you think this is what the Empress would want? Please rest. I’ll come to you as soon as I know something.”
“I’m going to the Empress’s. Go there.”
Kwanach waved them off and left the room. Jaxor and Oslin stared silently at Kwanach as he walked weakly.
When Kwanach had completely disappeared from their view, Jaxor leaned his back against the wall and said to Oslin.
“His Majesty, what’s wrong with him?”
“What do you mean?”
Oslin took off his glasses and sighed lowly.
“Why does he have to do this? How long has he been married? At this rate, the country will be ruined.”
“Someone tried to poison the empress.”
“That’s true, but he has completely lost his mind. He isn’t himself.”
“It’s big enough to pose a threat to the country, so he has to be even more cool-headed. Isn’t that what he’s supposed to do? You know what it’s like on the battlefield.”
“I don’t know either.”
Oslin shook his head helplessly, and Jaxor frowned.
Jaxor’s purple eyes flickered with a hint of frustration.
“It’s not the Kwanach we know! I know him. I’ve known Kwanach since I was a child, growing up rolling around in hell with him. He was a man who would not fall apart no matter what… It was only one woman that changed him.”
“Careful what you say, Jaxor. What do you mean ‘woman’? We call her Empress ……..”
“Honestly, am I wrong? You were also against this marriage alliance at first. She became the Empress, but she is still a weak princess of a weak country with no significance.”
Oslin angrily shoved Jaxor’s shoulder with his hand, but Jaxor, who had been trained as a soldier for a long time, was not fazed. Instead, his momentum intensified.
There was even a flicker of intense hostility in his purple eyes.
“A weak Kwanach is not Kwanach!”
“I told you to be careful with your words. The empress is not the one to be evaluated like that by you either. She is a wise woman who cares more for her people than anyone else.”
“You and His Majesty are the same. You all are possessed by the woman in only a few months.”
Jaxor walked away with a broad stride, shaking off Oslin.
Oslin sighed as he looked alternately at Jaxor’s back and at Kwanach’s vanishing direction.
* * *
Kwanach made his way to Usphere’s bedchamber. A large number of Kingsguards and attendants guarded the room without the slightest gap.
Kwanach said to Marianne and Simon who were in the room.
Simone replied with a wry look on her face.
“The fever is down. But she’s still unconscious…….”
“Leave. I’ll watch her.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Kwanach staggered closer to the side of the bed . He didn’t even sit on the chair, but remained on one knee, looking at Usphere.
It didn’t seem like she was a living person. If he closed his eyes and opened them, he felt like she would disappear.
Her skin, which was originally white, turned even paler as the blood drained from it. Her eyelids, which were tightly closed, showed no signs of opening. He hadn’t seen her beautiful eyes, which used to glow a light green, for some time.
Kwanach carefully held Usphere’s hand. He placed his rough lips on the back of her soft hand.
His broken voice escaped from between his chapped lips. Kwanach squeezed his eyes shut and whimpered. His eyes were moist.
“What am I supposed to do? Will you come back?”
As a whisper of despair echoed through the room, Usphere’s eyelids fluttered faintly as she lay there like a doll. It was as if her eyes were moving in it.
* * *
It had already been two days since the Empress’s poisoning conspiracy incident occurred. The nobles and other powerful people who had attended the banquet were spending their time stranded in the luxurious prison of the Imperial Palace.
Among them was the owner of Guilier, Roman.
“I’ve brought you some food.”
Roman turned his head to the voice coming from outside the room. He had a stiff face, but he made up a smiling reply.
“Thank you very much.”
“I left it outside, so take it.”
The door opened softly as Roman approached. A tray of food came through the crack.
‘It’s like feeding a dog.’
Unlike his true thoughts, Roman received the food with the smile of a friendly, warm, middle-aged man.
Immediately the door slammed shut. Roman’s face hardened.
“D*mn it. I can’t even do the shapeshifting spell because I don’t know when someone will come in. It’s so frustrating.”
He didn’t like the food, It was a mouth that only dealt in precious delicacies from all over the world. There was no way he could be satisfied with the food that was spread out in bulk.
Roman nervously put down his fork. All the possessions he had brought with him were also taken.
Roman slammed his hand down on the table in frustration. With a clink, the fork flew up and fell, making a screeching sound.
Nothing went as planned.
He never thought that he would be detained for such a long time. Of course, it was all a waste of time, since the First Emperor couldn’t find anything.
Isn’t it still boring and suffocating? Roman had a lot to complain about.
‘The First Emperor is politically overwhelmed.’
He expected to be called in and interrogated, or have the Guilier raided. However, this measure was excessive.
‘This is what I get for attempting to kill the Empress?’
Roman swept his chin with his hand. His thick lips twisted.
‘I didn’t think the Empress would survive. She must have felt like her whole body was on fire as soon as she took the medicine…In a matter of seconds, did she come up with a way to calm the toxicity while enduring such pain? I took the woman far too lightly. Well, it just got more interesting. Crisis brings excitement.’
Ronan looked quite comfortable for the real culprit who had poisoned the Empress.
That’s right. Roman was the real culprit who Kwanach didn’t even have a slightest idea who he actually was. That’s as it should be. Because Roman’s transformation magic was perfect.
When Roman met the old chef and gave him the poison, he was not in his current old form.
Even if the chef couldn’t endure the torture and confessed, Roman, the master of Guilier, would be able to escape in another form.
Roman met the chef in his true appearance. Silver hair, purple eyes.
He was the last of the Pernen royal bloodline. He was the eldest of the mad king’s twin sons.
That was Roman’s true face.