Chapter 396. Bloody Tears (1)
Translator: Aura / Editor: HB168
Back in the capital, Kapmen visited the chancellor and informed him that Duke Zemensia was making plans against the Emperor and the Empress.
However, the chancellor looked at him with a sullen expression.
“You don’t mean Old Duke Zemensia, but Duke Zemensia?”
“Yes, the son.”
“Grand Duke Kapmen, Duke Zemensia has lived with friends ever since his father threw him out. He hates his father and his sister due to the situation he is in now.”
“I know for sure that Duke Zemensia is planning something.”
Kapmen recalled the determination with which Duke Zemensia vowed to avenge his sister’s death.
“Duke Zemensia plans to attack the Emperor and Empress as soon as they return to the Western Empire.”
The chancellor frowned. His pride had been wounded.
“Since it was an unofficial visit to the Eastern Empire there will be no grand welcoming ceremony on that day. They will return quietly. And upon their return there will be stricter controls than ever before with knights stationed everywhere and restricted access for visitors.”
The chancellor added a warning without hiding his displeasure.
“Don’t meddle in our country’s affairs, we are well prepared.”
Kapmen might be a representative from an allied country, but he was still a foreign noble. The chancellor didn’t think that a foreign nobleman should meddle too much in the affairs of the Western Empire.
Moreover, while Kapmen was in Compshire, the chancellor was offended by the report that the Grand Duke had been snooping around the investigation department regarding the incident involving Empress Navier. It could be considered an act of contempt towards the Western Empire.
[He seems to imply that the Western Empire’s security is unreliable.]
Kapmen felt uncomfortable as he listened to the chancellor’s inner voice.
The chancellor’s reasons were valid. Kapmen would also have been offended if a foreign noble tried to meddle in his own country’s affairs. However, what mattered now was not anyone’s pride, but Navier’s safety.
“But it would be nice to increase security just in case. It’s reliable information.”
“Where does that reliable information come from?”
The chancellor sighed and spoke with confidence.
“The Duke Zemensia, the Duchess, and their children are staying with friends who live far from here. Due to Emperor Heinley’s strict orders, there are knights who keep us informed of the location of the Old Duke and his soldiers. We also have knights all over the Imperial Palace.”
“Duke Zemensia has no soldiers at his disposal as his father has everyone with him. Besides, Duke Zemensia left on a trip a few days ago to a place farther away.”
These weren’t lies. Kapmen could tell by reading his thoughts.
In the end, Kapmen had to leave without success. The bad feeling he had didn’t go away, so he monitored the way back to the Western Empire as a precaution. He also instructed his personal guards to look out for anyone making suspicious movements.
He did this for a few days and saw no suspicious movements, just as the chancellor had claimed.
Neither when the Emperor and Empress entered the capital of the Western Empire in their carriages, nor when they arrived at the Imperial Palace.
‘From what he said, I thought he would attack the Emperor and Empress on their way back to the Western Empire. Did I misunderstand him? Perhaps he meant that he would take advantage of any opportunity when Heinley and Navier are alone to attack?’
Once the procession reached the entrance of the Imperial Palace, Kapmen finally calmed down a little. He decided to tell Navier about this separately.
At the entrance of the Imperial Palace, Heinley was talking to McKenna while Navier beamed with happiness. They looked like two lovebirds whenever their gazes met.
While watching the chaotic scene as servants unloaded the luggage from the carriages, Kapmen suddenly heard from above the inner voice of a person.
[I’m sorry to leave first, father. I’m sorry, my wife. I love you, my children. Sister Christa… I’m going to give you one final gift before I join you to keep you company.]
Kapmen raised his head in shock. This was a person prepared to die.
A red cloak fluttered high above, on the roof of the Palace Imperial. Just then, Duke Zemensia jumped.
As if the world had slowed down, Kapmen could clearly see that fleeting moment.
Everyone was scattered at the entrance of the Imperial Palace. And right over Navier, Duke Zemensia fell…
The last thing Kapmen knew was that he had instinctively lunged to protect Navier with his body.
A person fell on top of them both with a thud.
After a brief silence, shouts erupted.
Ketron, who watched the scene from a distance, collapsed to the ground having lost strength in his legs. He covered his mouth with trembling hands and crawled back.
A few days ago, after returning from Compshire, Duke Zemensia went to find Ketron to ask for his help. Zemensia confessed to him that he had discovered that his sister had not committed suicide, but had been murdered after being imprisoned, tortured and humiliated. He planned to commit suicide in the place where his sister used to live.
Remorse wouldn’t allow him to remain alive.
A shadow of death loomed over the face of Duke Zemensia, who asked his cousin for one last favor. As much as Marquis Ketron tried to dissuade him, Duke Zemensia did not want to hear him and shouted,
“If you don’t help me, I’ll stick this dagger in my heart right now.”
“Alright, alright. Calm down for now. Who will take care of your wife and children if you die?”
Marquis Ketron eventually relented. Not only to fulfill his cousin’s final request, but also because he felt some guilt for switching his allegiance to Emperor Heinley so shortly after Christa’s death.
So the prior night, Marquis Ketron used illusionary magic to hide Zemensia from the gazes of others so that he could climb to the roof of the palace.
But no matter how much time passed, there was no news of his cousin’s death. He thought that his cousin might have faltered in the final moments, so he had rushed over to try to persuade him to give up and live.
Emperor Heinley’s anguished cry ripped through the blue sky.