Chapter 1 Part 1
“To be precise, the man whom we thought was Roman, was not Roman.”
The words seemed logically impossible, but as I knew the powerful magic that Roman possessed, I wondered what trick he had used.
“Tell me more about it.”
“Your Majesty, I’m afraid I can’t go any further, His Majesty’s order…”
Marianne hesitated, not able to continue.
It was obvious that Kwanach had given a very strict order. How could someone who has always worked beside me like a limb hesitate like this even at my request?
A huge thing happened in the span of five days, and I was completely unaware of it.
The person who had instigated the poisoning of the Empress had escaped. This was a national emergency. The Imperial Palace must have been abuzz. I could finally understand the armed soldiers that filled the corridors.
But, only in this luxurious room was there peace. I was the only one who was left out of the chaos.
How did Kwanach not tell me once?
He came to see me every day, in his spare time. No, it was also strange that he made time to see me in a situation where Raman had disappeared.
I was bewildered for a while and my soul slipped away.
Then I heard a lot of noises coming from the doorway of my room. It was the sound of soldiers moving. Rough footsteps on the marble hallway.
Eventually, the door opened roughly and Kwanach walked in.
“Did you go outside?”
Kwanach seemed to have run in a hurry. This was the first word he said while breathing heavily.
There were many questions I wanted to ask him.
Kwanach glared at Marianne with a stern look in his eyes. He was about to give her a hard time so I interrupted him.
“I didn’t leave. I took two steps toward the door.mMaybe just one step.”
Kwanach’s face crumpled and he sighed deeply.
“You are still very ill.”
“Still, I have no great difficulty in moving around.”
I felt sorry for Marianne in the bleak atmosphere so I let her go. Soon we were alone in the room, Kwanach and I.
Kwanach was dressed as usual, but he was carrying a sword on his waist. This was so that he could rush into battle at any time in case of emergency.
Kwanach flinched when he felt my gaze linger on his sword. He pulled it out and placed it on the table. It was as if he was trying to reassure me.
This morning, he didn’t have a sword. Did he leave it outside when he came to see me?
“Why? What are you doing here?”
Now that the empire was on thin ice, Kwanach had created a world full of false peace just for me.
“I was training, then came here.”
“Are you telling me that you lied to me this whole time?”
“Usphere. It’s not like that.”
I got out of bed and approached Kwanach.
When I took my first step, Kwanach stepped closer with a vast stride. He grabbed my arm gently and said.
“Please don’t get up.”
“I know you will change the subject.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Kwanach glanced away and clicked his tongue.
“Marianne told you, didn’t she?”
“Don’t say anything to her. How strict have you been to Marianne to make her lie to me? Don’t do that to someone like my hands and feet.….”
“Now please tell me what’s going on outside.”
Kwanach kept his mouth tightly shut, even though I was acting quite stubbornly, unlike I usually did.
My chest ached and I began to gasp softly. I wasn’t angry because everyone treated me like a weak child and neglected me. I was angry because I was of no use to him when the situation was severe.
Kwanach’s face was troubled as he kept silent. I clenched my small fist in frustration and hit him lightly on the shoulder.
“Why aren’t you talking?”
“I was worried…. I’m afraid that because of my shortcomings, you’ll step forward again and do something that will injure you.”
Kwanach, who had been so worried and overprotective since I jumped into the sclerosis business. After I almost died, it seemed to make his tendencies many times worse.
“I was going to explain after everything was taken care of. Once everything is safe.”
“I don’t see how that’s possible………. I’m not a child. Kwanach.”
“You look as fragile as a newborn baby to me.”
“You’ve gone too far.”
“Even if you hate me, I can’t help it. Because if I let you know, you’ll try to do something again.”
Right on target. But isn’t it obvious? I had to prevent Roman and Diaquit by any means necessary.
I was the Empress. It was not my place to be confined to a comfortable room and sit around while being cared for. But Kwanach seemed to think differently.
I stared at Kwanach and bit my lip hard. Kwanach relaxed his shoulders and patted my lips with his thumb.
“Your lips will get hurt.”
“It’s your fault.”
“If you don’t say anything the whole time, you’re really…….I’ll…”
I couldn’t think of anything bad to say to Kwanach, so I kept stammering.
“I might really hate you.”
“I’ll stand here until you explain the situation.”
“Then you’ll faint. It’ll be a big problem.”
“Whose fault is it?”
“Usphere, you really … Okay, let’s sit down first and talk.”
Kwanach was finally defeated. He led me to the bed, and I sat on the edge and looked up at him.
Kwanach said after biting his lips.
“How much did you hear from Marianne?”
“Roman is gone. What happened? What’s going on?”
“…… When you came to your senses, I heard your story and immediately began to interrogate Roman. But no matter how much I interrogated him, he refused to admit that he knew anything. He kept saying strange things about how he wasn’t Roman, but then he collapsed in a heap. Then…”
Kwanach’s brow wrinkled as if it was terrible just to think of that time.
“It must have been a day or so later, and suddenly the inquisitive Roman began to change. So it was really bizarre. All of Roman’s flesh melted away, hardened like clay, and he became a different person. Obviously, it was magic.”
“Who was it?”
“It was one of the guards.”
“He must have escaped by casting a transformation spell to make the others look like him. It seems that as the distance between Roman and the object of the spell increases, the spell will be broken. But this kind of thing is.. …….”
Even in the past, when the great families of magic were famous, no one used such powerful transformation magic.
It was impossible to predict and imagine from the start, so it was no surprise that they were deceived by Roman.
“It’s abnormally strong. To the point where it feels uncomfortable. Roman… Is he really a human being?”
Casting a transformation spell on another person was a lot more restrictive than casting a spell on themselves. It wasn’t just to change the color of his hair, but to transform the person into a completely different person, and that kind of magic could be maintained for a day.
Roman must have gotten far enough away from the Imperial Palace while Kwanach was interrogating the fake Roman.
“Did you find any traces of Roman?
“There’s no sign of him in the Imperial Palace. The capital has been sealed off, but he’s a genius at transformation…. If he had transformed into one of the guards, he might have gotten through the blockade.”
“We can’t limit the scope of our search.”
“I can’t trust everyone to be on our side.”
“Because Roman might be mixed in them. What about the Guilier?”
“The people at the Guilier were investigated early on. However, most of them were working there without knowing anything about it.”
“What happened to the forest owned by the Guilier?”
“We are investigating with a search team. However, since the area is so large and manpower is used to find traces of Roman, we haven’t found anything yet.”
It was a difficult situation. Everywhere was clean without a single trace.
There were one or two that were strange, but the strangest of them all was that guard whom Roman had used his transformation spell on.
Perhaps he had been alone with Roman and suffered. But…
“The suspect and the guard in custody are the only two?”
There was no way that only one guard was guarding Roman’s room. He was the Guilier’s owner. He was the most important person present at the banquet.
They would just leave the food for him at the door. They wouldn’t go in the room alone.
“By the way, how did that soldier get beaten by Roman?”
“He had no recollection of what had happened. He seemed to have taken some kind of drug that confused his mind. When he woke up, he was detained in a room, and a short time later, he was brought to me for questioning.”
“Did the soldiers who were sentry with him not feel anything strange?”
“No. None of the guards had ever been in Roman’s room alone. Maybe Roman drew the soldiers to him during the shift change……..”
“There was only one soldier during shift change.”
“That’s not true… I’m so absorbed in chasing Roman that I haven’t even thought about it in more detail here, but it doesn’t seem right.”
“Yes. It’s strange.”
The guard swapped places with Roman, and Roman with the guard. Then they should have been in direct contact with each other, but no one noticed at that point.
‘What’s going on here? Let’s think. Let’s think.’
Suddenly, I thought of the expedient of using deception from the word switching. The pebbles moved gorgeously, like sorcery.
‘What if there weren’t the two?’
One hypothesis came to mind.
No soldier had ever been alone with Roman in the first place. And it didn’t have to be the guard.
An agent, for example. Let’s assume that he was a spy helping Roman. The agent could have a short time alone with Roman for interrogation.
At that time, the agent and Roman would switch their appearances.
The agent became Roman and was detained in the room, while the real Roman walked out comfortably in the form of the agent.
Later, Roman returned to the room with one of the guards, who knew nothing about him, and pretended to investigate the fake Roman. He then fainted the guard immediately and transformed him into Roman himself…….
The agent who became Roman returned to his original form, and Roman transformed into the guard.
They switched twice like that. It was the trick of moving Roman from one place to another.
If they give the guard drugs to make him lose his memory, the spy will get through this job unscathed and Roman will be able to escape.
Leaving only one innocent guard behind.
It was only speculation, but it was not surprising that there was a spy in the Imperial Palace to help Roman. It seemed he also knew about our secret pursuit of sclerosis.