Ch. 202 The Curse on The Imperial Family (1)
Sullivan’s expression was grave as he opened his mouth to speak.
Elena’s neck tensed as she waited for his words. Somehow, she felt a sense of foreboding from what she was about to hear from Sullivan.
“…To obtain the power of a dragon, human blood is needed.”
But Elena didn’t immediately understand him.
She gave Sullivan a searching look, and he continued his words.
“You don’t understand what this means yet.”
“Let me explain. A boy who inherits much of the dragon’s blood begins to manifest physical signs around the age of ten. The signs vary, but in Carlisle’s case, his whole body turned pitch-black and then pale again.”
Upon hearing that, Elena understood that Carlisle truly did have the blood of a dragon. Although she still didn’t fully trust in Sullivan’s words yet, everything that she had wondered about lined up—the black scales on Carlisle’s arm, Sullivan’s sudden consent to the couple’s marriage.
Elena decided to listen further to the emperor’s words. She could make a judgment after she heard everything.
“When does one need human blood?”
“There’s no need for worry. They don’t have to keep feeding on blood. It only takes seven to ten days to wake up one’s ability, and it needn’t come from a living human being. The child may try to resist, but eventually the need will overwhelm them and they’ll be soaked in the craving of blood.”
The more Elena heard, the more horrified she became. Sullivan seemed to be speaking from experience, and if her guess was right, then he was talking about Carlisle.
In her mind’s eye, she imagined Carlisle as a young boy, hungrily devouring red blood. A chill shivered in her heart. When she spoke, it was with a colder voice than before.
“That’s not what I meant. Why is something as sinister as human blood needed to awaken such a blessed power?”
“That it is a blessed power is correct…but the process of obtaining it, not so.”
Sullivan interrupted Elena and pointed to one of the paintings.
“What does this look like?”
She studied the macabre-looking scene and spoke in a cautious voice.
“The dragon…it looks like it’s dead.”
“A man is eating something in front of the dragon’s body.”
“You see well.”
Sullivan looked satisfied, but Elena was still unsettled. She did not misinterpret the painting, but she still didn’t understand what it meant.
“The man who first founded the Ruford Empire was a skilled dragon hunter. After studying dragons for many years, he discovered a secret that only our family knows.”
“The source of a dragon’s magic comes from its heart.”
As soon as Elena heard those words, she grimaced.
She wondered if her suspicions were correct, but she waited for Sullivan’s last words. He gave a calm smile at the sight of her anxiously trembling red eyes.
“Yes, your feelings are correct. If you remove the heart of a dragon that is still breathing and eat it, you will absorb its power.”
She was as stunned as if someone had struck her on the head. She had believed the myth that a child born between the union of human and dragon would have special abilities.
But that wasn’t the truth. The man in the painting looked consumed with greed as he ate the dragon’s heart. In order to satisfy his hunger, he did not hesitate to cross the line into a sinful act.
“Because of that, the dying dragon left a curse on our family. Anyone who inherits its blood would be consumed with madness and a thirst for blood.”
Elena’s eyes widened to the point where they could not widen anymore.
She remembered how the previous emperors conquered other kingdoms and created a history of blood and war. According to Sullivan, it was because of the dragon’s last curse.
Goosebumps pricked on her flesh. This was completely different from what Elena had known.
“So you’re telling me that human blood must be fed to a child?”
“Yes. The more power is inherited from the dragon, the stronger the craving of blood. And if something is wrong with the body, one must be fed blood as well.”
“Do you know what Carlisle said when he was a child?”
“He said he was a monster. Ha ha ha.”
Sullivan gave a sardonic chuckle, but Elena wasn’t amused at all. She remembered what Carlisle had said to her.
—Let me ask you this. You know about the prophecy regarding my first bride. Do you have any regrets about your decision? And you know…I could be a monster.
The first time they met, Carlisle had said these words with an expression of loneliness on his face.
— Think carefully before you answer the question. This may be your last chance to escape.
Not only that, but he had spoken disparagingly of himself.
—Didn’t you read fairy tales when you were a child? Monsters…aren’t killed easily.
Elena had replied, wondering why he had said it.
—It may not be easy to kill you, but that doesn’t mean you have two lives.
—I’m afraid I can’t hear your words.
She understood now why Carlisle called himself a monster. He despised the blood that coursed through his body.
As Elena recollected her interactions with Carlisle in the past, Sullivan’s voice turned to displeasure.
“To say he’s a monster, it’s absurd.”
Sullivan seemed to have a completely different viewpoint from Carlisle.
“He cannot appreciate the blessing that’s been given to him. No matter how much I desire it, I cannot have it for myself.”
Sullivan’s face was despondent. Having that power did not unconditionally make one heir to the throne, but Sullivan, however, immediately made Carlisle the crown prince as soon as he discovered his ability.
It was because…
“Father…do you truly want to be like that?”