My patreon is currently suspended as of 21st June 2024. Therefore access to advanced chapters is halted until further notice. If you’re one of the affected subscribers, please fill in this form https://forms.gle/W6yhU7Vy2epvidJQ7 and wait for an update. Also keep on a lookout on BT Discord for further update.

    The moment Ian saw the blood on Gale’s hands, he felt as if time had stopped. The sight of Gale approaching step by step seemed to stretch slowly, and it felt like all his senses were being cut off. But at the same time, his hair stood on end, and his brain was spinning rapidly.

    ‘Think.’

    Gale had been attacked, and he would officially raise the issue to Mariv. Mariv had currently secured the seal, and the Emperor’s well-being could not be confirmed.

    If that was the case…

    ‘It’s as good as the Emperor’s authority having been transferred to Mariv. If Gale officially raises the issue of the assassin to such a person—’

    “Gale. So you were alive. I thought you were dead.”

    Mariv smiled, not hiding his disappointment. Instead of answering, Gale looked at the Emperor’s seal and then strode forward. Drops of blood dripped from his fingertips.

    Ian grabbed Romandro’s arm and stepped back.

    “Sir Romandro.”

    “Hmm?”

    “Go to the Ministry of Magic and order the mages to close all entrances to the Imperial Palace, and maintain a protective magic barrier around the Ministry of Magic building itself.”

    At Ian’s whisper, Romandro backpedaled and left the grand conference hall.

    As Gale approached without stopping, Mariv’s subordinates drew their swords.

    Shing!

    “Stop right there, Your Highness Gale.”

    “Soldiers had swarmed my residence.”

    “Stop!”

    “Shut up. How dare you, in front of whom.”

    Slash!

    Without hesitation, Gale slashed the chest of the person facing him.

    It was clear how the blood on his hands had gotten there. It must have been the traces of those who had been stationed near Gale’s palace on Mariv’s orders.

    The officials were surprised and covered their mouths, and all of Mariv’s subordinates drew their swords.

    Shing! Shing!

    “Your Highness Gale! This cannot be done!”

    “What are you doing? Everyone, stop him, stop him!”

    “Last night, there was an intruder in my residence. Sent by Mariv.”

    Gale’s subordinates and Mariv’s subordinates took stances as if they would clash at any moment. The officials were frozen, not knowing what was going on, merely rolling their eyes.

    ‘This is no ordinary situation.’

    He had suspected it from the moment he heard Mariv’s claim to act on behalf of the Emperor’s authority with the seal, but now it was a process of clearly accepting it as reality. Look at the crimson blood flowing on the floor. If that wasn’t reality, then what was?

    “I am under a curse that is tied to the existence and demise of the Great Empire of Bariel. Trying to kill me, and even stealing my father’s seal. How should this be interpreted? Hmm?”

    Gale laughed grimly and looked around at the trembling officials. There was no room for interpretation. This was treason and, furthermore, a grave crime that would shatter the future of Bariel.

    “Tsk, the intruder being the doing of His Highness Mariv?”

    “Your Highness Mariv, please speak.”

    “The death of His Highness Gale will also spell Your Highness’s death!”

    “No, wait! Everyone, calm down. The matter of the intruder can be investigated gradually. The problem is the seal!”

    Even with the momentum of the subordinates who seemed ready to rip each other’s throats out at any moment, Mariv was still seated. He leisurely caressed the seal, as if he was detached from this place.

    “Gale, wasn’t it you who attempted treason? Did you think I wouldn’t know that you were building up forces by contacting the nobles of each border region? Above all, to even stage a ploy to slander me, this is truly disloyalty to His Majesty. Moreover, I know that your curse is a lie.”

    This time, the gazes of the officials poured onto Gale. The situation was divided on the interpretation of who had truly instigated the treason.

    At that moment, the man who had been slashed by Gale and was rolling on the floor screamed and stood up. Simultaneously, Gale’s subordinates rushed in, and the place turned into chaos.

    Clang! Clang!

    “Aaaaargh! Argh!”

    “Everyone, outside! Outside!”

    “Don’t do this, Your Highness! Your Highness!”

    “Find His Majesty the Emperor! We need His Majesty to mediate—”

    Zing!

    Boom!

    Beric, who had been glinting his eyes, contemplating whether to slyly join the fight, came to his senses and stood at attention. Ian had released his mana. His eyes, flashing with golden pupils, were clearly filled with murderous intent.

    “…Everyone, calm down.”

    “Don’t interfere! We are in the midst of achieving a great cause!”

    Clang!

    Someone who was excited swung a sword at Ian. Beric instinctively blocked the attack and counterattacked with a natural stance, as if water was flowing.

    “You stay out of it too. My master is speaking.”

    “You impudent bastard—!”

    Bam!

    Beric grabbed the man’s hair and slammed his head onto the table. The sound of a skull cracking against the marble slab was heard. Continuously, without stopping, endlessly.

    “Enough.”

    “Who are you?”

    “Riama. You must be the mad dog who clashed with Jeirutt.”

    “You’re Friends with Jeirutt?”

    It was Riama, one of the three captains. If she was friends with Jeirutt, she must be strong too! As Beric’s eyes sparkled, ready to pounce, Ian released his mana once again.

    Boom!

    “…I won’t say it twice. From now on, anyone who causes a disturbance will face consequences.”

    A low warning voice. It was so majestic that one could never imagine it coming from a child. Those who had been shouting to bring the Emperor all shrank back and covered their mouths. Who would know that the Emperor they wanted had come?

    “Sir Ian Hielo. I am curious about your opinion. Who do you think is the one who plotted treason and caused chaos in the Imperial Palace?”

    Mariv tapped the seal suggestively and asked. As if telling him to properly choose his stance now. The intention was that he was sick and tired of walking a tightrope and to clearly take a position.

    ‘It’s a mess.’

    None of them were doing anything right. The situation was so twisted and tangled that it was impossible to know who was tied up first and who was being untangled. Ian looked at Mariv and Gale with an indifferent gaze.

    “Both of you—”

    If it came to this, there was no need to bother untangling the rope.

    “Will not be engraved in history.”

    Just cut it and discard it.

    At Ian’s words, Mariv and Gale’s eyebrows twitched simultaneously.

    “Until I can confirm His Majesty the Emperor’s well-being with my own eyes, I cannot acknowledge His Highness Mariv’s authority. The seizure of the seal is a clear act of treason. If you tried to harm His Highness Gale, that is also an act that would lead to the decline of Bariel.”

    “Correct! If it was done before lifting the curse, it can only be seen as being instigated by a demon!”

    “As for His Highness Gale…”

    Ian looked Gale up and down and swallowed a sigh. This side was even more hopeless. He had known Gale was the mastermind of the rebellion since his time at the border.

    Boom!

    At that moment, a roar was heard from outside. The forces confronting each other in front of the grand conference hall had clashed. No one had given the order to attack, yet they shouted with bulging veins.

    “Kill them!”

    “Aaargh!”

    Like a fire ignited by a subtle spark. No one could tell what had started the battle. There was already swordplay inside, and there was no guarantee it wouldn’t happen outside as well.

    Clang! Clang!

    “Hand over the seal! Prince Mariv!”

    “How dare you! How dare you utter His Highness Mariv’s name!”

    “Oh no, dodge! Dodge!”

    Once again, without knowing who started it first, they began clashing swords. The officials, judging that they absolutely could not remain here, all bowed their heads and evacuated.

    “Ian, what should we do?”

    “Let’s go too. There’s no point in staying here, it’ll only give us a headache.”

    The last sight Ian saw as he left the grand conference hall was Gale pouncing on Mariv. As the soldiers, caught up in excitement, swung their swords without distinguishing between friend and foe, screams erupted from all around.

    Clang! Clang!

    “Aaargh! It’s not me! I have nothing to do with this!”

    “Everyone, go to the Ministry of Magic building! For the safety of the citizens and to prevent chaos, all access to the Imperial Palace has been sealed off. Those seeking safety, go to the Ministry of Magic building!”

    “Come to the Ministry of Magic! Hahaha!”

    Slash!

    Beric shouted constantly while clearing the way for Ian. The banners of each family that had been fluttering gloriously began to be driven into the ground one by one. Even though they were the most prominent figures in the central region, perhaps from today onward, only a very few families would be able to continue their lineage.

    “Ian! This way!”

    Slash!

    Beric effortlessly deflected the blind attacks and escorted Ian. Officials who had come to work without knowing anything and were humiliated trembled and followed behind Ian. With the words “seek safety at the Ministry of Magic” ringing in their ears, it was like a survival instinct.

    “L-L-Lord Ian, what should we do now?”

    “We need to find the ministers who have not yet been involved in the power struggle between His Highness Mariv and His Highness Gale. And also the whereabouts of His Majesty the Emperor. Since the Imperial Palace will be sealed off, he must be inside.”

    “Hik! Hiiik!”

    Clang! Clang!

    From dawn until morning. It was a short time for the Emperor to go outside. Regardless of what Mariv had done, if they wanted to find him, they had to search inside.

    “Kill them! Kill anyone carrying a red flag!”

    “The fate of Bariel is in our hands! Will you hand over the future to someone who isn’t even the legitimate heir?!”

    “Shut your mouth!”

    As they left the First Imperial Palace, Ian suddenly looked back. The scenery felt familiar.

    ‘Find the Emperor!’

    ‘Kill! Only death awaits those who stand in our way!’

    ‘Your Majesty, you must flee. Chrony is now—!’

    ‘Slash!’

    ‘Aaargh! Your Majesty! Your Majesty!’

    ‘Set your sights straight. Will you pledge the future to that child who descended from the throne, or will you pledge the future to me, who will ascend to the throne? I, Chrony, oppose my uncle, no, Emperor Ian.’

    The shouts of the opposing forces that had similarly engulfed the Imperial Palace when he was the Emperor. The sight of chaos descending upon the Imperial Palace, which was always solemn, peaceful, and maintaining its center, evoked a truly strange sense of unfamiliarity. Even for the second time, it was so difficult to get used to.

    “Lord Ian! Lord Ian has arrived!”

    “What exactly happened?”

    At the Ministry of Magic building, all the mages had come out. Following the orders conveyed by Romandro, they had drawn magic circles at the entrance and nearby areas to create a protective barrier. It was the same defensive formation they had used to block Wesleigh.

    Zing. Zing!

    “Lower the strength of the mana to its minimum value and instead expand the area. More and more people will likely seek this place.”

    Ian placed his hand on the translucent glowing wall, gauging its sturdiness. It wasn’t meant to block Wesleigh or magical beasts, but merely to deflect the swords and spears of humans. It didn’t need to be this sturdy.

    “I-Is it true that all the entrances to the Imperial Palace are being sealed off? We have temporarily prohibited passage, but…”

    The magic falling like an aurora at each entrance of the Imperial Palace. It was a device of the Ministry of Magic to identify individuals and filter out outsiders. As it stopped, the guards in charge of access control also had their work paralyzed, so they locked the gates completely.

    “Even a short distance outside the Imperial Palace is the citizens’ territory. Should the filth of a mud fight splatter there? Strictly control it.”

    “Understood.”

    In the distance, smoke began to rise from the place where the grand conference hall had been. As if they were truly going to burn each other. When the chaos subsided, it would be known who would be standing on the blood. Whoever it was, they would clean the floor together.

    “…Portal.”

    “Pardon?”

    Ian muttered to himself and entered the main building of the Ministry of Magic. And he was about to order Beric but hesitated.

    ‘I need to check on Arsen and Jin’s well-being, but Beric has no sense of direction, so it would be difficult for him.’

    “Why, why? Why are you looking at me like that? You have something to order me to do?”

    “No. Just protect the people here.”

    “Huh? There is? There definitely is?”

    “In a moment, go to Dilaina’s palace. Bring Prince Arsen and Jin.”

    Ian remembered that near that area, there was a prison where Xiaoshi was being held. Boom! Another roar of unknown origin echoed, and smoke rose.

    “Huh? Take a look at that. What the hell is that…?”

    “What’s going on inside the palace?”

    “I heard His Highness Gale was also injured.”

    “They said entry is prohibited in the morning? Did the Ministry of Magic blow something up during an experiment?”

    The citizens of the Empire living near the Imperial Palace also saw the smoke. No one could guess what was happening inside.

    Want to Read Ahead? Purchase Blooms or Subscribe Now

    Email Subscription