Chapter 1 Part 1
Kwanach looked at me with a careful eye. He seemed to have many questions he wanted to ask. He looked at me with his large body slightly contracted.
Despite the realization that I had to turn the tip of my blade to Diaquit, my mind was remarkably calm. It was because I had already anticipated that one day this would happen.
Because we were flesh and blood only on the outside. The sincere love and trust I had toward my brother was already gone with death.
I opened my mouth nonchalantly.
“We were never very close, even as children.”
“I heard that he wanted to kill you…. Did that human being hurt you?”
There was a deadly mood in Kwanach’s voice as he got down on his knees. If I affirm this, he would immediately go to the kingdom of Achaia and tear up Diaquit.
I lingered for a while on old memories. A past life in which Diaquit put me down with his cleverly belittling words and tied me up only in the royal palace. I was helpless, not knowing that his words would pierce my heart like thorns.
Still, it was all in the past anyway. I shook my head lightly and said.
“No. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t. I was an Awakener.
That’s why he hated me more.”
“He was jealous of your power.”
“He is greedy and jealous. I knew it would ruin him one day.”
“By the way, do you think Diaquit will invade the border first? It would be very reckless.
“Diaquit would still stay. But we must be prepared in advance.”
Kwanach nodded as I spoke.
I didn’t know how Diaquit would launch his final counterattack, but I wasn’t going to let him get away with it so easily. I didn’t want to shed any blood if possible. With minimal sacrifices, to subdue Diaquit and bring complete peace to the human continent.
That was my goal now.
* * *
Two days before Usphere made her new vow. Many of the monarchs of the small northern countries met in secret.
‘’No. …… is that true? Did the Princess of Achaia suffer such a terrible fate in the empire?”
“No doubt. How do you think I, her brother, feel? To make matters worse, I can’t even contact her anymore.”
Diaquit produced false tears and took out the magic pendant that had recently contacted Usphere.
Diaquit continued speaking in a trembling voice. All the monarch’s ears were on him.
“Usphere is a beautiful child. But she married a slave. …How can I stay here comfortably? I spent a lot of money on artifacts for contact. I told her if she needs anything, contact this brother immediately.”
“You’ve been very considerate of your sister…….”
“Usphere is very mature. And it’s just as I thought. She made it sound like everything was fine. But I knew her marriage was rough.”
“She had never mentioned it in detail, but husband is a rough man. I think he may have treated Usphere harshly.”
The whole sitting room buzzed. Diaquit pieced together the lies fluidly, suppressing his nervousness.
This was his last chance. The lie was going to be exposed soon anyway. He knew that the moment the fact that he was friends with Roman was made public, all of the North would turn their backs on him.
So time was of the essence. He had to move quickly to deliver even the final blow. He couldn’t just tuck tail and run.
‘How much have I done so far?’
As soon as he could convince the northern monarchs with lies and receive military support, he was going to march on.
But war with the empire had no chance of winning. Even the northern monarchs, who value honor and righteousness, would have difficulty acting easily.
Diaquit pulled out a piece of parchment from his pocket.
“The other day there was an attempt to assassinate Usphere in the Empire. You all know that, don’t you?”
“I heard it was committed by Roman, who was the owner of Gullier.
Fortunately, Roman was caught.”
“No, I have been in secret contact with Usphere and have heard the truth about what happened. The truth is much uglier.”
“Have you heard about a disease called sclerosis that is endemic only in the Empire? It’s a disease that’s completely absent in the North.”
“I heard rumors.”
“The disease seems to be a secret experiment in the Empire.”
“The Empire’s ambitions have gone too far. They are trying to create an army of the undead. Here is the proof.”
Diaquit presented the documents that Roman had given him.
“If you ask someone with knowledge of magic to verify it, you will find that the formula described in this document is genuine.”
“How do you ….”
“This is the document that Usphere risked her own life to extract. She sent it to me. However, around the time this arrived, Usphere was in danger of being poisoned. I do not believe this to be a coincidence.”
“…… was the Emperor going to kill his own wife?”
“Whether it was the First Emperor or someone else involved in this experiment. We don’t know that. However, the owner of Gullier was falsely accused…”
Diaquit looked around at the astonished people as they gawked at the parchment, then continued.
“My dear sister’s life is in danger. Please help her. Please.”
“But if all this is true…. there is no chance that we will win the war against the Empire.”
“It will be difficult. But it’s not impossible. Radon itself was built by a revolution from below. Let’s use the same method to destroy Kwanach. If the people of the empire know what Kwanach had done, they will stand up against him.”
Diaquit knew that everything he said was the voice of a dog barking at floating clouds. However, some took his words and were outraged, but some looked at him with suspicion.
The risk burden was very high to believe only Diaquit’s words and surrender their army. It would be more believable if Usphere would come and testify in person. The monarchs knew that evidence like a written letter was easy to fabricate.
In the previous life, there had been the obvious incident of Usphere’s death. So at that moment, the marriage alliance was spontaneously annulled.
But now Diaquit was trying to strike first, forcing the marriage alliance to be broken. Naturally, the monarchs had to move more cautiously.
Diaquit knew he wouldn’t be able to raise much of the coalition at this rate. But it didn’t matter. Just one chance to attack. If only he could get it.
So he hoped he could get the chance to cut off the head of that hateful Usphere. He was going to kill Usphere and fall down himself.
It was an all-or-nothing situation anyway. Diaquit was prepared to die. But he was never going to die alone.
He did not need to convince all the people here. Just enough troops to endure for a few days until Usphere arrived.
Diaquit’s face was smooth and his voice soft, but there was a hint of the madness of one who had lost his reason in his eyes.
‘I will not die alone.’
Diaquit inspected the last card he held. A one-man plan that he had not told anyone, not even the monarchs whom he had proposed the alliance with.
It seemed perfect at first glance. Usphere would not be able to get away.
* * *
Around that time, Kwanach issued a statement regarding the barbaric acts of the Gullier. He revealed one by one all that the owner had ever committed.
All the people of the empire were shocked. The disease was transmitted through the water they drank every day.
It was decided that from now on, the imperial family would provide the cure for the sclerotic disease free of charge. The quantity of the cure medicine that had been made by the Gullier piled up in the warehouse was considerable. All of them were seized and belonged to the imperial treasury.
It was fortunate that the disease was not life-threatening as long as the medicine was taken. But the seized medicine will run out of stock at a certain moment.
They had to find a way to mass produce and supply the cure medicine, just as the Gullier had done. This was one of the challenges that Usphere would have to solve in the future.
Nevertheless, the fortunate thing was that the number of patients with sclerosis was gradually decreasing.
Roman’s experimental record also contained a short note about the curse that caused sclerosis. In order for the curse to remain in effect, it had to be re-enchanted every few years. Now that this was no longer possible, the water of the Fahar River would gradually be restored to its original state.
However, until the full purifying power of the river’s water returned, people were to continue to be concerned. Would they have to drink the water knowing that it was contaminated? Even if the cure was available free of charge, the discomfort will not be eliminated.
Naturally, the people were upset. What’s more, the Empress’s homeland, Achaia, was involved in the incident. There were signs that confidence in the empress, which had just begun to pile up, was wavering.
Half of the people said that the empress did a brilliant job in catching Roman, so they must believe in her. Still, there was a class of people who gave a cold stare of utter discomfort.
Perhaps the most effective way to regain trust would be for Usphere to reveal the crimes of Achaia, her homeland, with her own hands.
So far, this was what both Usphere and Kwanach had expected.
The problem was that the northern movement was suspicious. Despite the shocking statement released, the reaction in the north was tepid.
No one stepped up to question Diaquit, and no one defended Diaquit in response to the statement.
* * *
“How did Diaquit play tricks in the North?”
I asked, leaning against Kwanach in the rocking carriage.
“That’s what you’ve been thinking all along?”
“I want to rest my head too, but it doesn’t work well…….”
It was all too suspicious. The lukewarm reaction in the north was evidence that Diaquit had already done something about it.
They decided as such and immediately headed for the North border region. To the area where Diaquit had bribed the captain of the guard.
As soon as he got the information from Jax, Kwanach secretly sent people to keep an eye on the captain of the guard. But there was nothing suspicious yet.
But the movements in the north were strange.
Small forces were moving in a very stealthy manner.
A rallying of forces. Calm as on the eve of a storm.
It was evidence that gave strength to my speculation that Diaquit was going to force a preemptive attack.
But that’s not all, I thought. He must have more dirty tricks in mind.
Whatever it was, I had no intention of getting hit. The reason I went directly out into the border region along the Kwanach was obvious.
To end Diaquit with my own hands.
In the past, he took my life, so now it was my turn.