The empire's largest port city, Galest, had been invaded by the water clan during the war. Thanks to the dukes’ quick support, there were fewer casualties, but it was clear that Galest had suffered significant economic losses. Emperor Juander personally went to Galest in the name of comforting the people.
“His Majesty the Emperor, hooray!”
“His Majesty the Emperor, hooray!
“The empire will be eternal!”
Galest’s people were thrilled by the emperor’s visit and cheered with tears streaming down their faces. The people’s trust in the Saharan emperor was as absolute as faith. The emperor was embraced as a god, and Juander took it for granted.
A god...This was one of the decisive reasons why the emperors of the past were able to control the continent.
In the Galest Castle, the emperor ordered the lord to step down and asked with a sigh, “Why did you want to meet in this place?”
Standing by the emperor’s side, Bain stared at a shadow behind a pillar, and something emerged from the shadow. It was the third imperial prince, Benoit. He had been born with the greatest talent among his brothers, but he had been interested in useless things since childhood, causing the emperor to have a rotten impression of him. Since his mother’s death, Benoit had been wandering about, and the emperor had already given up on him. Yet Benoit asked for a meeting, stating that he had something to say.
“I greet the great emperor—the legitimate master of Saharen, the owner of the continent, and the one who deserves the blessing of eternal life,” Benoit politely greeted the emperor who had a displeased gaze. This was the bow of a servant. It was a far cry from the attitude of a son reuniting with his father after years.
“The imperial palace has many eyes and ears. Thus, I broke etiquette to meet you here.”
Galest was the stage of a battle. No one would doubt the emperor’s intentions for his visit, making it a good meeting place. Benoit shrugged when he saw how displeased the emperor looked upon hearing his answer. “Well, isn’t it also good for you to win the hearts and minds of the people? The story of Your Majesty personally coming to comfort the people will spread, and people throughout the empire will praise your Majesty.”
“Don’t be sarcastic and get to the point. Why should we meet secretly? Did you want me to stop the great demon you summoned before he causes further misfortune on the continent?”
“I can already feel that Berith has been beaten.”
The basic sacrifice required for the summoning of a great demon was the soul of the summoner. Prince Benoit had mortgaged his soul to the great demons he summoned. Then not long ago, his soul was liberated. It was the same as when he summoned Belial. This was evidence that Berith had been killed.
“It doesn’t matter if the great demon was killed. If it is known that you are the one who summoned a great demon, the world will blame and hate you. It will be hard for you to handle.”
“It isn’t just me but the entire imperial royal family. The whole world will doubt Your Majesty as well as the empire.”
“Does the Yatan Church know that you have summoned the great demon?”
“Indeed. Your Majesty knows about this.”
“This person... If you intend to threaten me by colluding with the Yatan Church, it is useless. The mouth of the Yatan Church has already been sealed thoroughly. Do you have another problem? Then I will return now. I can’t control my boiling anger when I look at you.”
“By the way...”
The lord of Galest had hurriedly prepared a throne after hearing about the emperor’s visit. The emperor was raising himself from that gorgeous chair which didn’t fit the practical interior of Galest Castle, only to stop suddenly. He saw terrible resentment and anger in the eyes of Prince Benoit gazing up at him. Prince Benoit’s face twisted, and he growled out, “Why don’t you know the truth about my mother’s death?”
There was nothing in the world that the emperor didn’t know. The will of the emperor was realized even in the emperor’s absence. No one would dare to deceive the emperor...
This was a fact which was well known to the world. Benoit had also believed this. Yet what was the truth? The emperor hadn’t noticed what had happened right next to him. He had never dreamed that Marie was the one behind Empress Aria’s death, and he had even replaced Aria’s empty seat with Marie. The love that should’ve been directed at Benoit’s mother was directed toward the villain who murdered his mother.
Once he learned the truth, Benoit vowed to unleash all the abusive language in the world toward the emperor. However, he couldn’t speak because the emperor was his father. The only man in the world whom his mother loved was the man in front of him. At the very least, he shouldn’t make his mother in the ground feel sad alone.
Benoit had these thoughts. This was the only filial piety he could achieve. Therefore...
“Your Majesty has the duty to know the truth behind Empress Aria’s death,” Benoit said calmly, suppressing his resentment and anger toward the emperor.
“...!” The emperor’s body trembled as Benoit’s story progressed.
“I...” Benoit honestly told the deeply shocked and dazed emperor about how he felt, “I feel terrible resentment toward Your Majesty. I wanted to make you feel the pain and anger that my mother had suffered. However, I think that isn’t possible when thinking about my mother’s feelings. I... I’d rather leave. I will watch Your Majesty kill Empress Marie from a distance and then say goodbye to this sick country.”
A country where discrimination was treated as normal...
A country full of arrogance and self-righteousness...
It was a country where conspiracy and danger couldn’t be removed. Even if it hadn’t been for Empress Marie, his mother would’ve been threatened for the rest of her life. His mother’s death was caused by this cursed nation. Benoit didn’t want to be involved with such a nation anymore. In any case, he also had to pay the price for summoning the great demon.
“Then I’m going.”
3rd Imperial Prince Benoit held his left arm, which had started to rot in exchange for opening the gates of hell with his human body, and left quietly. The emperor couldn’t stop him.
On the outskirts of Titan, Duke Grenhal’s huge villa—which was made entirely out of a small mountain—had become a battlefield. Dozens of buildings collapsed due to the heavy winds, the horse-riding grounds disappeared without a trace, and the observation platform that gave a panoramic view of Titan collapsed. At the center, one man was standing alone.
“Cough! Cough, cough!” There were many wounds on his muscular body, and he coughed up blood every time he breathed. These marks were a medal of when he protected the empire and its people, but they were currently an object of ridicule.
“How long do you plan to resist with such a broken body? You should’ve stepped back as soon as you saw me. Why dig your own grave? Tsk tsk.” It was the 4th Imperial Prince Edan. He succeeded in excavating six magic machines, but only five were actually operating. This was because it was extremely rare for a rider to be able to control a magic machine. It was still impossible for a human to fully control the relics of the giants.
However, there was nothing wrong with this. Edan had no reason to rush for complete control. Even if the magic machines could only be operated for an average of 30 seconds, they were able to beat the strongest people in the empire. There was Trauka that wasn’t operational at the moment, Nevartan that resembled a human, and Raiders being operated by Zibal.
Edan leaned on a black giant and asked his question in a ridiculing tone, “What were you going to tell His Majesty the Emperor when you met him?”
“I wanted to announce Marie’s sins,” Grenhal replied honestly. The sharp claws of the lion-shaped and leopard-shaped magic machines were aimed at his neck, but his eyes weren’t shaken. It was an imposing attitude that made Edan uncomfortable.
“Do you want to lower your gaze? Otherwise, if you say something wrong, I will pull your eyes out.”
“I’d rather you kill me. As long as I am alive, your mother’s sins will be revealed to the entire world.”
“I can’t kill you.”
For Edan, the worst thing was his position weakening when his mother’s sins were revealed. However, he had to worry about the worst if he killed Grenhal. He would become a criminal like his mother and lose his right to succession. So, he had to calm his agitation. Edan took a deep breath and murmured, “Calm down. Be patient, even if you want to act according to your personality. It is enough to start acting after I become the emperor. At that time, I can enjoy it...”
“Pffft! Puhahaha!” Grenhal burst out laughing after he heard Edan’s words. He sincerely found it funny. “4th Imperial Prince, do you believe you can be emperor?”
“Then who?” Edan asked seriously. “1st Prince Roland is too submissive, and 2nd Prince Dulandal is incompetent because of his impatience. Even his red energy isn’t up to par. Do I even need to mention the 3rd Prince? Perhaps a princess? Basara? Can she sit on the throne of emperor?”
“It isn’t about gender.”
“There is definitely a gender limitation. Look at my mother now. She was stupid and didn’t do it properly, leaving a tail behind. That’s why I’m doing this right now. I never dreamed that Piaro would still be alive. Tsk, females are really incompetent.”
“...Your personality is broken.”
“Is personality part of the qualifications to be an emperor? Kukuk.”
One knight ran to Edan and whispered something. A smile spread on Edan’s face. “The Sword Duke has secured Morse and Basara. Now I have to go after Rachel. Let’s finish our conversation here.”
Edan made a gesture, and the knights started to surround Grenhal. Grenhal was able to identify the short operating time of the magic machines because of Zibal’s past demonstration and focused on escaping during the battle, but he was completely exhausted. Edan enjoyed watching Grenhal being tied up, and his nostrils flared. “Trying to use a human body to drive away a magic machine... Raiders must’ve seemed ridiculous. Well, it was easy to capture you thanks to it. Should I at least reward the deserter?”
“Why do you think you can detain us? If His Majesty returns, he will give an order for our release. Then the truth will be revealed. What is the point of this for you?”
“Everyone has a plan. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you guys and use you well. Oh, before that.”
The darkness came accompanied by a sharp pain. Edan devoured Grenhal’s screams as he lost both his eyes to a sword. Prince Edan was smiling. “I told you to lower your eyes.”