TL/PR : Nesta/YoruNoTsuki
“What are you talking about, Otoman! What do you mean by killing my brother and father?!”
Her slurred voice was trembling at the end of her sentence.
She wished to overthrow the Imperial Palace, but she had no intention of killing her own bloodline. At best, she wanted to capture them alive and imprison them, if not, then send them to other territories, away from power.
She wanted to be an emperor, but she never thought of standing on top of a pool of blood belonging to her family.
Joseph only watched the two fighting and clenched Lapyan’s sword. He couldn’t decide who to side with nor what action he should take. He was just a small fry manipulated by their hands.
Count Otoman burst into a fit of rage.
“We have to kill them, Princess!”
“What kind of nonsense is that!? No way!”
“The Imperial Army is attacking the Shinsu now! If the Emperor and his successor died, whom do you think they would be loyal to?!”
Adelai didn’t reply to his last words.
If both the Emperor and Lart were killed, the third in line to ascend would be Princess Adelai.
The Imperial Army, who lost their master, might put down their sword and swear allegiance to Adelai. History always favours the winners.
She was lost in thought for a moment. After getting back to her senses, Adelai slapped Otoman and shouted with all her might.
“How dare you try to attack the royal family?!”
“Please understand the situation, Princess!”
“All of this happened because you couldn’t foresee the Imperial Army coming to their rescue! If you had prepared well, I could sit on the throne with all the Shinsu backing me up!”
Touching his reddened face, Count Otoman’s face distorted in anger. The pupils that shook violently burned like a fireball.
Count Otoman ruthlessly slapped Adelai’s cheeks. Adelai stumbled back due to the shock.
“This….Y-You……How dare you!”
Adelai covered her burning cheeks. Adelai raised her hand toward Count Otoman with flashing eyes.
How dare you, Otoman!
How can my faithful dog behave so rudely? You clearly went insane because of how the situation unfolded right now. After spouting nonsense about killing the Emperor and the Prince, how come you even slapped me, the Princess?
However, her wrist was snatched by the man’s large hand.
“Have you gone crazy, Otoman!”
“No, you’re the crazy one, little girl. At this point, I gotta take out all those damn scoundrels to save my own life.”
Adelai staggered, her eyes were filled with shame and anger.
He was out of his mind. She didn’t know that her faithful count would change so quickly. It’s like he wasn’t the same Count Otoman who was always smiling, speaking to her respectfully and putting up with her patiently.
Now Otoman looked down at her red cheeks and fretted.
“You’re useless now, Princess Adelai.”
Adelai could only quivered her lips. She couldn’t understand any words that went into her ears. She couldn’t even retort as she was dizzy from the feeling of betrayal that she felt for the second time that day.
“Is there anything you achieved on your own, Adelai? Nothing, nothing at all.”
Count Otoman’s eyes were filled with mockery and contempt. The malice he had been holding back toward Adelai slowly morphed his face and eyes.
“A fool who doesn’t know how to do anything like you, must be thinking that you can own everything.”
The foolish princess believed in her noble blood which was given to her by luck only to run around like a wild foal. He had to swallow shame and resentment every time he had to bow down, pretending to obey Adelai.
She was just a scarecrow. Everything was planned by Otoman. Everything was accomplished with his own ability.
From finding Barahan’s descendant and coaxing that descendant into doing what Count Otoman wanted, like a puppet in his hand. This incident was also thanks to his effort of manipulating the situation. Gathering Shinsu to attack the Imperial Palace was all due to his ability.
Adelai didn’t have any ability. So even if she had power, he had a right to take it.
“H-How dare you….!”
“How dare, huh? My blood is also mixed with royal blood. It means if the emperor, the prince, and you die too, I can become the emperor.”
Adelai was stupefied.
What happened to the man who was busy chasing after me like an obedient dog?
I thought you were my faithful follower, but to think you stab my back like that. This shouldn’t have happened.
However, she couldn’t deny what Otoman said. Count Otoman was the collateral relatives of the royal family, so if he took the power of all the Shinsu controlled and ascended as the Emperor, his legitimacy would be recognized.
Deception after deception, it seemed like Otoman would win at the end of this foul race.
Adelai’s hands shook faintly, and she finally vented her overflowing anger.
“No. You will never achieve your goal! I’d rather kill Joseph! If Joseph dies, the control over the Shinsu will be lost, and the battle will end with my father’s victory!”
It was the last threat she could make. However, there was no sign of anxiety in Otoman’s face. Rather, he just laughed at her.
“Do as you like.”
Looking at him raising the end of his lips, Adelai felt extremely humiliated. Now she truly concentrated her power to kill Joseph.
“I will kill that guy! I’ll kill you too! I’m going to kill you all! I will watch you being ripped to pieces by His Majesty!”
Meanwhile, Joseph, who had been watching Otoman and Adelai, was extremely confused.
Killing me? All I did was listen to the Princess and the Count obediently!
So Joseph tried to dissuade Adelai with a panicked expression.
“Princess! I pledged my loyalty to you only! Please don’t kill me! Please!”
It was a situation that Joseph’s mind couldn’t fully process nor comprehend.
Count Otoman dared to slap the Princess in the face and blabbered absurd remarks that he’d become an emperor. Only death would await them at the end of this frightening internal fight.
I thought I’d be living extravagantly after this! Isn’t this only a vain death?!
As his face was swept by fear, Joseph cried for dear life.
“Please spare my life!”
He gasped in fear as his life was about to end in Adelai’s hands.
However, he didn’t feel the pain of death even after some time passed. Since Princess Adelai said she’d be going to kill him, the magic stone in his stomach should’ve exploded by now.
Joseph calmly lowered his hands that covered his eyes. As soon he faced the situation in front of him, he gasped and stumbled back.
A bloodied Adelai was staggering weakly in front of him.
Adelai grabbed Count Otoman’s wrist with eyes full of pain. Blood dripped from the nails that dug into his flesh.
Thick blood flowed out from Adelai’s chest and was beginning to color the elegant dress in red.
Otoman thrusted the dagger deeper into her chest, pulled Adelai’s waist closer to his body and whispered in her ear.
“Sorry, you are not the one who holds the life of the Barahan’s descendant, Joseph.”
She couldn’t even answer anymore. Only a groan came out when she tried.
Otoman laughed like a snake.
“The magic stone you ate was fake.”
His hands also began to turn red with blood. He held the body of a woman who was close to her death, and continued to whisper.
“The real one is in my stomach.”
A few hours ago.
Belinda barely came to her senses. A familiar sound of a bird was splitting the air like a scream.
“Belinda, wake up! wake up!”
Small wings slapped her in the face.
Belinda struggled to lift her eyelids. An old wooden ceiling appeared at the end of her blurry vision. A ceiling without a single pattern, and there was a small opened window underneath it.
She slowly turned her head and looked out the window. The dark coniferous forest passed by quickly.
Where is this? Is it a carriage?
The tip of her tongue tasted like medicine. It was something that she was forced to eat before she fainted. She swallowed the bitter taste and got up. She felt nauseous whenever the carriage shook.
She hadn’t properly grasped the situation, but based on her last memory, it seemed like she was being kidnapped. A brown-haired Shinsu attacked the Guest Palace, and someone knocked her out soon after.
Pressing her throbbing temple, Belinda shook her head.
“Belinda, Belinda, are you alright?!”
She could hear Mazetto’s voice next to her.
Surprised, Belinda pinched Mazetto’s beak with two fingers. She was afraid that the talking little bird would also be harmed.
“Mazetto? What are you doing here? It’s dangerous.”
When she asked in a whisper, the bird who couldn’t open its beak was flapping its wings. Belinda finally let go of her fingers.
Mazetto pouted and began to ramble.
“I went to the Guest Palace to see Belinda, and now, Mazetto is so scared! There’s blood everywhere and the Shinsu I saw there, his energy is strange! Belinda suddenly collapsed! I was so scared that Belinda would die, too!”
Amid his chaotic rambling, Mazetto’s tiny body trembled.
The Shinsu killed humans in the Guest Palace. She could see how traumatized Mazetto was upon seeing the pool of blood everywhere and humans falling on the floor of the Guest Palace like broken dolls .
Mazetto always came up against Aymon or Shanti fearlessly, but Mazetto never actually faced a real threat from them. Both were dangerous Shinsu, but they were always friendly toward the small bird.
It was the first time Mazetto experienced real fear. Still, the reason Mazetto didn’t run away and stuck next to Belinda was because he treasured her so much.
“Belinda, are you awake? Hmm? Hmmm? Let’s run away now!”
As she tried to soothe the crying bird, she looked around. The carriage was running toward an unknown place.
“Mazetto. How long has it been since I passed out?”
“I don’t know. Belinda just sleeps a lot. Mazetto thought Belinda was dead! So, Mazetto was really miserably sad!”
“Mazetto, calm down.”
Belinda hugged the trembling sparrow and tried to soothe it. Mazetto clung to her arms.
“I wanted to bring Aymon here, but I didn’t know where this carriage was going, so I couldn’t go because I was afraid I’d lose it! This stupid horse keep running, and Belinda didn’t wake up!”
“It’s okay. It’s okay…”
Belinda stroked the tiny bird shaking with her fingertips. As he slowly calmed down, the bird who kept squeaking and panicking earlier, breathed now more steadily.
Oh, you poor thing. How scary it must have been. It would have been better if you just flew away pretending to not know anything.
Belinda looked up at the sky from the window. The sun’s position had changed. It seemed like some time had passed.
She held her breath and listened to the sounds around her. The sound of horse galloping through a rough forest path, and the sound of friction on the carriage wheels.
And two other sounds in the midst of that. Two unknown sounds.