Chapter 0227 Behind The Scenes…
It has been three days since the fall of the Royal Capital.
By this time, most of the cities in the Kingdom already caught wind of the rebellion of the northern nobles and the fall of the royal capital by the imperial army.
Needless to say, there has been no announcement from the royal capital, nor the royal family or the kingdom government….
Since the fall, the gates of the capital have been closed.
This was partly to prevent attacks from the outside, but also, or more importantly, to prevent anyone from escaping the city.
To prevent who exactly?
Dignitaries, Kingdom citizens, and saboteurs.
“They’re coming your way! ”
“No killing, we need them alive! ”
“Okay, now you’re just asking for the impossible. These guys aren’t amateurs.”
“That’s the order!”
The site that’s being burned was once the Knights’ headquarters. Now it is the Imperial Army’s supply depot.
Five shadows were running away.
“All right, we succeeded!”
“Not yet. It will only count as a success if we can escape! ”
The magician said happily, and the party leader, a swordsman, chided him.
In fact, the area was dotted with the armies of the imperial army and the northern nobility.
“Now, this should make it easier for ‘them’ to infiltrate once the enemies assemble…”
“But it will all be meaningless if we get caught by them after gathering them.”
The priest reaffirmed the significance of the operation and the female scout expressed her concern.
And one more, a spear-wielder, carrying a portable spear, ran in silence.
After running for about ten minutes, the five finally caught their breath.
“Did we manage to get away?”
Hector, the swordsman, asked in a hushed voice.
Oriana, the scout, nodded as she searched for any presence around them.
Kenzie, the magician, and Tarlow, the priest, were trying to catch their breath and were unable to speak.
The five who carried out the sabotage were ‘Morning Star’, a C-rank party in the royal capital.
They were adventurers who had once attempted to kidnap Abel, then, after some twists and turns, were hired by the Marquis of Heinlein to infiltrate Count Gothar’s territory in the north, until recently.
The five were taking a breather.
The fifth, the spear-wielder Isaiah, is always silent but ….
Isaiah asked sharply, which was a little out of character.
At the same time, he extended his folded portable spear and held it up.
“T-There’s no one there, is there?”
Oriana, the scout who is just as good at detecting signs of her surroundings as Isaiah the spear-wielder, whispered while glancing back and forth between Isaiah and the dark alley ahead.
Muttering this, a man emerged from the shadows of the alleyway.
He was young, with brown skin and a fearless face, but his hair was a magnificent white, and he so calm that it was disproportionate to his apparent age.
Oriana, the scout, muttered softly.
She could not pick up any sign of the white-haired guy.
Hurriedly, she took out her dagger and readied it.
By that time, the leader, swordsman Hector, had also moved to the vanguard, alongside the spear-wielder Isaiah.
However, the rearguard was slow to act.
Priest Tarlow was simply still exhausted from all the running, but the earth-attribute magician Kenzie was clearly acting strange….
Tarlow called out to Kenzie, who was looking so different from his usual self.
“I-It’s no use…”
Tarlow could barely make out Kenzie’s mutterings.
Tarlow called out to him again.
At that moment, Hector, the vanguard swordsman, moved.
Kenzie, the magician, shouted, but it was too late.
Hector approached the white-haired man in a flash and brought his sword down from directly above him.
However, the sword did not reach the white-haired man.
In a flash, a sword was in the white-haired man’s hand out of its sheath, easily catching the full force of Hector’s, a swordsman’s, strike.
Failing to strike, Hector stepped back and returned to his original spot.
“It’s no use, Hector…let’s run away…”
Kenzie’s voice, though weak, reached the ears of the entire party.
“What’s up with you, Kenzie? What’s no use?”
Hector asked sharply, his eyes peeled at the white-haired man.
Hector, the swordsman, could very much tell that the white-haired man in front of him was quite capable of using a sword, as he was able to take on his strike perfectly and with so much leeway.
Hence, he could not afford to take his eyes off him.
“We’re no match for that person…”
Kenzie said in a weak voice, and Hector glanced behind him as he asked.
There he saw Kenzie, the magician, pale and wobbly on his feet, and Tarlow, the priest, looking equally pale and drained of color.
After a few seconds, the white-haired man muttered softly, put the sword away, and started to walk.
The white-haired man approached the five one step at a time.
It was only then that Hector, the swordsman, finally began to understand.
The reason for Kenzie and Tarlow’s pale faces.
It wasn’t logical.
Not something one could wrap their heads around.
But neither was it necessary to wrap your head around it.
Every pore opened and sweat flowed unceasingly.
Every part of his body, except his head, understood…that he was an ‘opponent he should not fight’.
Not only Hector, but also Isaiah, the spear-wielder next to him, felt it.
Oriana, the scout, could not stand and fell on her butt.
The five of them could almost feel their spirits leaving their body while the white-haired man walked past them.
It was more than two minutes after he had left that they were able to move.
“Is everyone all right?”
Hector, the swordsman, asked in a whisper.
All four nodded without saying a word.
As if, if they spoke out loud, the man would hear it and come back…that’s how they felt.
“Let’s just get out of here first.”
The five of them managed to walk away.
“Who the hell was that friggin’ white-haired man just now…?”
Hector asked aloud.
“Perhaps, the Explosive Blaze Magician.”
Kenzie, the magician, answered.
“That was him…?”
Oriana the scout muttered, and after that, everyone fell silent.
“Are you sure about letting them off, Deputy Commander?”
Jurgen, the second-in-command, asked Oscar.
He was watching from a distance and saw him let the members of ‘Morning Star’ go.
“It’s not our job to maintain security.”
Oscar said, and kept on walking.
“Well, you’re not wrong…”
That was about the only thing Jurgen could say.
They are the ‘Emperor’s’ magic division.
This means that they are under the direct control of the emperor, and although they are part of the expeditionary force, strictly speaking, Marquis Musel, the commander-in-chief, does not have the authority to give orders to them.
Nevertheless, even Oscar is basically following the policy of the expeditionary force, as he is not actively trying to sabotage the expedition.
However, he is self-aware that maintaining security is outside of his duties.
It’s a different story if this was the mainland of the empire, but it’s just a mere enemy stronghold.
“Jurgen, tomorrow we’re leaving the royal capital and advancing on the surrounding cities. If we remain here, we’ll only get up in all sorts of trouble.”
Jurgen also understood what Oscar was concerned about.
So he agreed to his plan.
Just like what just happened, insurgents were already beginning to emerge.
And tomorrow, more troubling things will arrive.
“Only three days after the fall, and insurgents are already attacking the supply depot…. That’s way too soon. I wonder …who the hell is calling the shots?”
Oscar’s mutterings were too soft to reach Jurgen’s ears.
The next day.
A luxurious group arrived at the north gate, passing by the emperor’s magic division, led by Oscar, who had left the royal capital.
It was the king’s younger brother, Raymond, Duke Raymond of Flitwick, and his royal guard.
On that day, the fourth day after the fall of the capital, the north gate was finally opened.
However, the streets were empty except for the soldiers patrolling the streets, as martial law had been imposed in the capital and unnecessary outings were forbidden.
“These empire lot are just strutting around like they own the place.”
Raymond muttered to himself in the carriage as he looked out over the royal capital, where no one but the imperial soldiers could be seen.
Nodding broadly in agreement with Raymond’s words was Parker Fletcher, the Count of Kirkhouse, who is in charge of the Flitwick Dukedom as his right-hand man.
“But it is also true that the imperial army is powerful. The Empire’s cooperation can’t only be for the sake of lucrative trade interests. Please be careful.”
“I understand. You worry too much, Parker.”
He frowned nervously but did not become agitated.
For those who knew Raymond when he was in the palace, it was a remarkable change.
The reason why Raymond, who was not incompetent by any means, could not win the support of the nobles was because of his petulant nature.
He was even given the bad nickname ‘Prince Tantrum’ behind his back, which spoke volumes about his volatile temperament.
However, after his demotion and establishment of the Flitwick Dukedom, Raymond gained a variety of experiences.
Much of which came from Parker, his right-hand man.
Although Raymond lost some privileges because he was no longer royalty, he was able to gain emotional stability and opportunities for growth.
“We have been expecting you, Your Royal Highness.”
“Marquis Musel, congratulations on the success of this operation.”
None was the wiser about what the both of them were thinking deep down, but on the surface, they smiled and shook hands.
There, in the King’s office.
The Marquis and the Duke were conversing.
Numerous social pleasantries flew back and forth.
And apart from the two men, the only other people present were Marquis Musel’s eldest son, the chief adjutant, Viscount of Kruger, Linus Warner and Raymond’s right-hand man, Count of Kirkhouse, Parker Fletcher.
“Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount…now if we just throw a Baron in there, we’d have ourselves the five ranks of nobility!” Or so Ryo might have said if he had been there.
It was Raymond who broke off the social pleasantries and got down to business.
“By the way, Marquis Musel, I would like to ascend to the throne as soon as possible.”
Marquis Musel’s reaction to this was one of bewilderment.
He glanced at Linus, the chief adjutant, who was standing behind him.
In response, Linus opened his mouth.
“About that, the security in the capital is still unstable. Just last night, insurgents set some part of the capital ablaze. I suggest that you wait for a while until the people of the royal capital have calmed down.”
“All the more reason, Viscount Kruger. Not just the people in the royal capital, but the entire citizens of the Kingdom are worried about what is going on. That is why I need to ascend to the throne and lead the kingdom on the right path going forward. My brother is no longer able to carry out his duties as king, so I will take his place, and address the nation to reassure the people.”
Linus was surprised by Raymond’s even-handed rebuttal.
(I guess they decided to put this guy, the king’s brother on the throne because they thought he would be easy to deal with, but…I’m not so sure it’s a good idea? According to the reports, he is easily provoked and easier to manipulate than King Stafford, but…I wonder if that truy is the case…)
“Is something wrong, Viscount Kruger?”
“No, sorry. I understand, Your Royal Highness. I will make every effort to prepare for the coronation, so please wait for a while.”
Linus did his best to try not to make any clear commitment to Raymond….
Marquis Musel and Linus left the room after handing over the king’s office to Raymond, the king’s brother.
“We must delay the accession as long as possible…. In the meantime, many things need to be done.”
“The king’s brother must have sensed something.”
Yesterday’s friend is tomorrow’s enemy….
“I will attempt to stall for time.”
Linus frowned and promised to work out a plan.
But a big stir came from where the Imperial Expeditionary Force did not anticipate.
The next day, urgent news reached the royal castle.
‘The Union has invaded the Kingdom’.
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Thnks for the chapter
Waiting for the Blaze Magician got frozen in ice.
Thanks for the chapter.
Tomorrow is Thursday, this week is gonna be awesome!