Yatan's Eighth Servant, Yura—she was a traitor.
Yatan's Seventh Servant, Dark Bus—he died during the mission to infiltrate the Saharan Empire.
Yatan's Sixth Servant, Malacus—he died while preparing a ritual in Winston.
Yatan's Fourth Servant, Neberius—he died during the invasion of Bairan.
Yatan's First Servant, Tallos—he died due to an unidentified magician who invaded the Yatan headquarters.
This was the record of the former Yatan's Servants. It was a shame that the Yatan Church wanted to erase. Those chosen by Great Demon Amoract to serve the evil god, Yatan, had been murdered by unknown people. It was a disgrace.
Likaos was appointed as Amoract’s agent after Tallos died. On the surface, he was Yatan's First Servant, and he gave this command to the other servants, “The beasts who serve Rebecca and the people devoted to catering to them will gather at the Vatican. This is an opportunity to sweep up these bastards. Destroy the Vatican and reestablish the fallen status of the Yatan Church!”
Likaos calculated that the present Rebecca’s Daughters were near the end of their lives. The curse of the Rebecca Church’s three divine artifacts meant they were no more than dead bodies, while the newly recruited Yatan's Servants were young and strong.
With these in mind, Likaos saw a golden opportunity to cause chaos. Apart from the Rebecca Church, this was a great chance to deal a blow to the empire and other kingdoms. So, Likaos sent out five Yatan's Servants and requested cooperation from Baal’s Contractor.
“Kik? Crazy monsters have gathered.”
The top of Kay Mountain was soaked with heavy rains. Rose who was the 1st ranked black magician and Yatan's Eighth Servant, Baal’s Contractor Agnus, and the other four Yatan's Servants looked down at the Vatican.
The so-called Overgeared King? He had the power to ruin the Vatican twice over, but the Yatan Church couldn’t be afraid of one person. The Red Knights escorting the imperial prince? They were people who had lost the emperor’s trust and were on the brink of ruin. Rebecca’s Daughters? They were worn down by the divine artifacts and were on the brink of death.
This was the previous impression Likaos had of Yatan's Servants, and Agnus agreed with it. However, the power here was overwhelmingly strong. Agnus judged this due to the wave of shadows moving behind him. They were the shadows of thousands of black magicians who had been discretely moved here.
“Haha, I see.”
“As expected from Prince Dulandal.”
“I can’t stop admiring you!”
The scenery of the dinner banquet was no different from people’s expectations. Most of the royal families of other nations were gathered around the empire’s 2nd prince, Dulandal. He was said to be far from the succession since he was behind the 1st Prince supported by the emperor and the 4th Prince supported by the empress, but his name was still famous. Dulandal had the power to collapse a small kingdom in one morning, so it was natural for the small royal families dependent on the empire to curry favor with him.
“Hrmm...” Dulandal’s gaze shifted from these royal families toward a corner of the room. A woman with silver hair was shining under the lights. Her beauty, which was rare even in the empire, attracted Dulandal’s attention. Dulandal especially liked the woman’s gentle impression. “Who is that?”
Once Dulandal expressed interest, the royal families explained, “The Overgeared Queen.”
“Hoh... The wife of the Overgeared King?”
The Overgeared King—he was the opponent who made the empire attempt ‘diplomacy’ for the first time in history. Emperor Juander, who wasn’t afraid to invade anywhere on the continent, was wary enough of the Overgeared King to invite him as a state guest.
“Too bad.” Dulandal emptied his drink. He thought it was a trick of fate that this woman had fallen in love with the Overgeared King first. The next person to attract his attention was a young boy. This boy had ocean blue eyes like the Overgeared Queen who attracted his attention just a short moment ago. An innate grace was felt from the boy’s white skin and ebony hair.
“What about that kid?”
“He is the Overgeared Prince.”
The son of the Overgeared King… What type of vessel was he? With his interest piqued, Dulandal moved his feet. The prince of the Fold Kingdom, who was standing with Lord, was stunned when Dulandal approached.
‘I didn’t know that an imperial prince would come...!’
The Fold Kingdom had become a tributary of the Overgeared Kingdom during the founding ceremony. After that, they had stopped all exchanges with the empire and left their fate with the Overgeared Kingdom. However, the slavery which had been imprinted in their genes for generations wasn’t something that could change overnight.
1st Prince Shining of the Fold Kingdom was afraid of what Dulandal would do. He forgot that he had a strong ally in the Overgeared Kingdom and was afraid that the Fold Kingdom would be destroyed by the empire. Prince Shining’s hands shook.
“Stay back,” Prince Lord said while grabbing him. Then something interesting happened. Prince Shining suddenly became calm. Prince Lord’s gentle voice melted the anxiety and fear in Prince Shining’s eyes, while Lord’s small and warm touch gave him courage.
“No. I will protect you.” Prince Shining held Lord’s hand and gritted his teeth. He didn’t flee from Prince Dulandal and kept to Lord’s side. “I am 1st Prince Shining of the Fold Kingdom. I am honored to greet a great imperial prince of the empire.”
“Hoh...” Dulandal was puzzled by Prince Shining’s polite and dignified attitude. What type of royalty could be so proud before an imperial prince? It was amazing and disgusting that no fear could be sensed in Prince Shining’s eyes. Still, Dulandal wouldn’t be an imperial prince if he expressed such discomfort.
Dulandal smiled and patted Prince Shining’s shoulder. He pressured Prince Shining using political reality, rather than personal feelings. “Didn’t the Fold Kingdom declare that it would no longer rely on our empire?”
“Yes... How can a small and poor kingdom like ours rely on the empire? There is no value in the Saharan Empire protecting our small kingdom while consuming its resources. Father thought he could no longer bring anything to the empire and was forced to become independent..”
“It doesn’t consume a lot of resources to take care of a small kingdom.”
“Independence is a matter for the emperor to decide, not you.”
“His Majesty’s wrath is very large. I am wondering if the Fold Kingdom has forgotten the grace of the empire.”
“That... How can that be? We can never forget the grace that the empire has shown us...” Prince Shining paled again. His voice and his body started shaking.
The Fold Kingdom had been built on a desolate land, and the king’s will to reclaim the wasteland and feed all the people couldn’t be achieved. This was all due to the empire!
The Saharan Empire, which had the power to trample on the Fold Kingdom at any time, had demanded massive tributes from the Fold Kingdom for 200 years, preventing the Fold Kingdom from developing. This was despite the fact that the persecuted people couldn’t afford to give the tributes.
That’s right. For the past 200 years, the Fold Kingdom had been collapsing slowly and steadily. Resistance? It was useless. Several kings and countless officials who tried rebelling against the empire had been killed for the outrageous crime of ‘treachery.’ The Fold Kingdom was thoroughly helpless and continued to build up anger and fear toward the empire.
This fear was completely manifested in Prince Shining. The moment that Dulandal brought up the emperor, Shining seemed to become smaller and his eyes darkened. He was worried this would be the end of the Fold Dynasty. Then Lord grabbed his collar, and Shining once again overcame the fear. He regained stability in his heart, and his courage grew again. Shining felt a warm aura wrap around his body and came to know clearly that this was a blessing!
‘This young child has divine power...?’
Lord smiled brightly at the confused Shining. “Pope Damian taught me.”
The pope taught the prince of a country? It was ridiculous. Prince Shining thought that Lord’s words were too absurd, but he didn’t doubt Lord. He simply interpreted it as a child’s misunderstanding.
On the other hand, Dulandal felt something strange.
This was already the second time. Did this person introduce himself as Shining? The prince whose name Dulandal would forget tomorrow was being influenced by something.
‘Is it an artifact?’
Red flames glowed in the middle of Dulandal’s black eyes. It was the appearance of the ‘red energy’ that only flowed in the empire’s royal bloodline. Dulandal was amazed as he observed Shining with red eyes. Yet it wasn’t Shining whom he was surprised by. It was the little boy standing by Shining’s side.
‘What is this divine power?’
‘All beings apart from me are evil.’ This was what the divine power felt from Lord seemed to be saying. If this child kept training in divine power, in 10 years, he would gain a divine power that even transcended Pope Damian’s.
‘Is he really the child of the Overgeared King?’
It was understandable if he had the talent for blacksmithing, but divine power...?
‘A mutation appeared when he was born.’
Why had the Overgeared King sent a little boy to the pope’s celebration? Dulandal was now able to solve this question.
‘His son was born with a high divine power, so he thinks it is better to send him to the Vatican early on.’
Lord was lacking talent as an Overgeared Prince, but he was worthy for the Vatican. It was clear that the Overgeared King showed his son to the pope and elders in advance in order to leave him in the Vatican one day.
‘It will definitely greatly benefit the country if a bond with the Vatican is formed...’
Wasn’t this why the empire supported Pascal in the past? Dulandal grasped the Overgeared King’s intentions and honestly admired them.
‘Even using his young son as a political tool... As expected from the Overgeared King. He is the adversary that His Majesty acknowledges.’
A smile appeared on Dulandal’s face as he thought about the Overgeared King that His Majesty the Emperor acknowledged.
“Hello, Your Highness. I am Lord, the son of the Overgeared King.” Lord smiled and bowed to Prince Dulandal. He was a six-year-old. It was hard to think that a child with such pure and innocent expressions would be an enemy in the future. Right now, Lord was just cute and adorable.
“Hum hum.” Dulandal was dazzled by Lord’s charm and coughed when he belatedly regained his spirit. He struggled to make a serious face and spoke sternly, “It is nice to meet you. I have heard about your father’s reputation...”
Dulandal didn’t finish his greeting though. It was because the knights escorting Dulandal suddenly pulled out their swords.
The inside of the hall became chaotic. People were filled with confusion at the sight of swords being drawn. The paladins came rushing, and Prince Shining embraced Lord. Coke, who was guarding Irene, ran over and shouted, “What are you doing?”
He felt a bitter hostility toward the Red Knights who drew their swords in front of Lord. Coke misunderstood that they were trying to harm the Overgeared Prince. However, Royman had a different interpretation of the scene. She glared at the shadow that Lord was stepping on. ‘King of Shadows—this man...!’
Kasim, the person hiding in Lord’s shadow, suddenly shot a killing intent at the imperial prince, and the knights reacted to it.
‘For you to cause this situation...’
It was an urgent atmosphere.
“His Holiness, Pope Damian is entering!”
The main character of the celebration had shown up. Damian pretended not to know about the commotion in the hall and changed the topic itself. It was to protect Lord from being in a disadvantageous situation.
“Ick...!” Although the imperial prince might’ve been threatened, that did not mean the Red Knights could act freely. The Red Knights were furious but couldn’t say anything. Even a solo number knight couldn’t go against the pope easily. In particular, they couldn’t act freely in this sacred place.
“Your Holiness!” Prince Dulandal came forward directly, shouting to Damian in a voice like he was giving a speech. “A rodent seems to be hiding. Shouldn’t we find the rodent for the sake of Your Holiness and all of our safety?”
Lord and Chucksley made embarrassed expressions, while Kasim in the shadows regretted his mistake.
On the other hand, someone on the ceiling of the banquet hall was amazed.
‘How did he know?’
It was Yatan's Fourth Servant, Silvenas. As a darkness type demonkin, she could fully assimilate with the darkness and become darkness itself. When it came to stealth, she was confident that she was comparable to the legendary assassin, Lantier. Yet she had been caught.
‘Their skills... are better than expected?’
No, she hadn’t been discovered yet, but her position would be exposed if she moved in a panic now. So, Silvenas stayed still and gulped.