Author: alyalia

I looked back as I drove the horse. With all of the saddles cut off, they couldn’t chase right away, but I had a hunch that this wasn’t the end for some reason. She’s someone I never wanted to see again. I hoped that I would never see Moyak again.

 

“How long does it take to get to Kelteman?” I shouted.

 

“We’re not going to Kelteman right away.”

 

“But you promised!”

 

At my shout, Paku slowed down the horse. “If we head straight to the Kelteman, we won’t even get near the emperor. We have to get help.”

 

“Is there anyone who can help us?”

 

I stared at Paku with a suspicious look. The more people knew about it, the more dangerous it was, but do we need to get help from someone else?

 

In response, Paku smiled brightly to say that I should be relieved. “That person is someone you can trust. It’s also the safest way to get to the emperor.”

 

“You may be thinking like that, but there is no guarantee that person will be kind to us too.”

 

Charter is the commander-in-chief of Harpion. They didn’t know who would help us, but if he had a different mind, he might have used the Charter as a hostage for the war.

 

Paku turned his head and said, looking at Charter. “Unfortunately, I have nothing else to say except trust me.  I never say two different things from one mouth. I promised to bring you to the emperor, so I want you to know that this is the only way to keep that promise.”

 

Charter knew what Paku said was the truth. He couldn’t go to someone who would hurt Arianne, but they never know about people. Yesterday’s allies often became today’s enemies. In the current situation, it wasn’t enough just to be careful. And,

 

Even if we go back to Harpion…

 

Even if they returned to Harpion and received military support from the allies, it would be less than 3 million. Moreover, if such a large-scale war took place, it was also established that the Harpion Empire would be devastated.

 

The emperor… Should I meet him?

 

He couldn’t make a judgment. There was a high probability that the Kelteman Emperor couldn’t be a negotiable partner. There was a high probability that he would use him as a hostage too. But he couldn’t give up that feeble hope to go back like this. This was also an opportunity to reduce the deaths by at least a million. And…

 

Even if he takes me as hostage, Duke Krow won’t blink an eye.

 

If so, the scale tipped toward meeting the emperor.

 

“I’ll trust you.” Charter’s firm mouth opened.

 

Paku smiled faintly and began to drive again.

 

* * *

At that time, fierce competition occurred in the imperial cabinet meeting room.

 

“The commander-in-chief is missing! We need to send a search party right away!”

 

“What nonsense is that? He fell into the river of death, didn’t he? How can you survive there?”

 

“You never know! We need to send in a search party right now!”

 

Bang. Someone slammed the table and shouted. In response, the nobleman with a stylish mustache raised his eyebrows as if it were nonsense and said, “That’s beyond the border~ Only foolish soldiers are dying there. Why bother with such pointless actions?”

 

“Pointless? Then, are you saying that we should just wait like this!”

 

The crown prince faction and the second prince faction were raising their voices over the countermeasures against Charter’s disappearance. But no one spoke about Baroness Devit, even her father, Count Bornes.

 

Count Bornes fixed his eyes on Duke Krow, who was watching the noble quarrel silently. Krow. How dare you touch me and think you would be safe?

 

Count Bornes had a secret that Duke Krow didn’t know. The fact that Duke Krow and his family’s business and the financial line for investment were all in contact with Count Bornes.

 

Most of the unfaithful business in the capital involved Count Bornes. Like a spider’s web, finding a place his hand hadn’t reached was hard. Duke Krow wouldn’t know that Count Bornes was holding his breath in the assets of other nobles that he used with confidence.

 

Many nobles favored Count Bornes, who was vicious but kept secrets without end. Unfortunately, Count Bornes kept a thorough record of the ledger. If he wanted to, he could immediately put Duke Krow and all the nobles of the capital out on the streets. However, he treated them as customers who would continue buying something from him.

 

Did they say that Duke Krow has been buying weapons lately? Count Bornes knew that Duke Krow was secretly buying military supplies without anyone knowing. If you could collect small pieces of information that others would pass, you could see the complete picture you never imagined. Duke Krow would have thought no one would notice, but all the information in the back alleys of this capital was held by Count Bornes.

 

Well, let’s see how long you can relax like that. Duke Krow had caused great damage to him, so he intended to make him pay accordingly. No, he had to pay back the double of what he had suffered.

 

I’ll have to catch him first.

 

Count Yabai, the main customer of the abandoned gambling house and the son-in-law of that damn duke. Count Bornes coaxed him to do this in preparation for such a time. The corner of Count Bornes’s lips stretched out and twisted.

 

Meanwhile, Duke Krow was alone in deep thought despite the commotion around him. This is it. To think that something that wasn’t supposed to happen by itself. Heaven must be helping me. He was relieved to have solved one problem. However, there was still another problem with the Kelteman Empire.

 

I sent someone along with the letter, but why is there no answer yet? Right… probably because of the distance… He wanted to believe that, but for some reason, he felt anxious. According to his plan, the crown prince should have been safely in the imperial palace by now, and the Kelteman Emperor’s letter should have arrived.

 

Could it be that the barbarian is thinking nonsense?

 

It was a national marriage with the Harpion Empire. For those barbarians, it was nothing short of an honor. Even if they went to war, they would continue to fight sluggishly for several years, and the only thing they could get was the devastated land and poor empire. Harpion couldn’t lose, but the war was exhausting, so if you could avoid it, just avoid it.

 

Of course, that Kelteman lineage would never be conceived in this Harpion’s imperial family. No, the bloodline of the Harpion imperial family was supposed to end in this generation.

 

Since the crown prince is infertile… Duke Krow had been feeding the crown prince infertility drugs since the year his youngest son was born. Eventually, the crown prince is now completely infertile.

 

I ordered him to return to the safe imperial place, but how could he be stubborn… What a fool.

 

Duke Krow couldn’t figure out why the crown prince suddenly became stubborn. However, since there were many eyes to see to force him back, he decided to wait and see for now.

 

The mere fact that the crown prince was on the battlefield would solidify his position. If there was a major battle, then he considered it sufficient to bring him back. And for the Kelteman… Duke Krow decided to wait a little longer, thinking the news must be delayed.

 

“Your Majesty the Emperor is entering.”

 

At the announcement of the chief chamberlain, the meeting room door opened. Emperor Beirut took the top seat with a firm face.

 

“I’m sure everyone already heard and knew about it. Duke Kaien and Baroness Devit are said to be missing. Is there any countermeasure against this?”

 

The emperor was aware that they lacked a smart strategy. During the war, they had been swept into the enemy territory, so even if they got out of the river safely, the way back to the border wouldn’t be easy.  

 

“I apologize, Your Majesty. It’s unreasonable to send a search party right now. It’s a situation where more than 100,000 troops are confronting each other. Just in case…”

 

Count Proud, who was watching Duke Krow’s eyes, struck a point.

 

“Your Majesty, we must fight now and drive them back to the plains! And we must find Duke Kaien as soon as possible!” Exclaimed Viscount Cowin, who belonged to the second prince faction.

 

In response, Count Proud rebuked him. “Huh! Do you mean fighting to save just one person? What about the lives of our soldiers who will be sacrificed for it?”

 

Unlike usual, he said the right thing for some reason, which made Viscount Cowin speechless. Seeing this, Count Proud’s attitude became more energetic.

 

It was then. The noble who had been sitting silently next to Viscount Cowin opened his mouth. “I guess you valued the soldiers’ lives that lobbied and enlisted your soldiers to be deployed in the rear.”

 

“W-what!”

 

Count Proud’s face flushed red. Not only did the lobbying fail but rumors also started spreading.

 

“Never have I ever!”

 

He had no choice but to make excuses. For nobles, denial was a matter of refinement.

 

“Are you saying this despite there being witnesses?”

 

“Who on earth is that witness! Bring it before my eyes and see it!”

 

The one who screamed out loud always wins. Count Proud shouted to the point the meeting room reverberated.

 

“Can I really bring them here?”

 

Count Proud began to feel uneasy as he asked sarcastically as if he would really bring a witness. His eyes were focused on him for something unintentional. This isn’t it…

 

Tsk.”

 

Count Proud’s mouth closed tightly when Duke Krow, who was watching this, kicked his tongue low. He tried to make up for what happened last time, but it didn’t seem right.

 

“What do you think, Duke Krow?”

 

In response to the emperor’s question, Duke Krow politely bowed his head. “I don’t think it’s something that can be decided easily. First of all, how about dispatching a small number of elite members to find Duke Kaien?”

 

“Small number…”

 

Emperor Beirut stretched his words as if lost in thought.

 

“I have someone to use under my command, so I’ll set up a team and send them off right away.”

 

At the words of Duke Krow, Emperor Beirut shifted his gaze and stared at him. Looks like he’s trying to confirm that he died. Even the emperor was well aware of the relationship between Duke Krow and Duke Kaien. Also that Duke Krow wanted to bring down the second prince somehow.

 

“Let’s send the knights belonging to the imperial knights as well.”

 

A fox-like man. Duke Krow also knew exactly what the emperor was thinking.

 

“Yes. Then I will prepare it right away.”

 

It didn’t matter, even if a few more of the emperor’s people joined. He just needed to kill them all anyway. What could be a stumbling block to what was happening in the enemy empire far away?

 

The emperor was trying to pretend to be calm, but inside, he was disturbed. We don’t know what snake-like Duke Krow will do if he goes to the battlefield. No, I’m sure he’ll do something. Where else can he get a chance like this?

 

The crown prince, who was now on the battlefield, could not command the army. In the end, he had to leave it to Luiden…

 

Duke Krow wouldn’t stand idle watching such a sight. He wouldn’t even need to step forward himself.

 

The emperor wasn’t afraid to go to the battlefield. However, if he died on the battlefield, he was only afraid of the situation after that. I should try to give power to Luiden somehow while he is still alive.

 

The odds of Duke Kaien being alive were extremely low. That meant that Luiden’s position had become even narrower. The emperor’s anxiety deepened.

 

And at that time, Arianne’s party passed through the endless grassland and entered a barren land without a single blade of grass. 

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