Ch. 238 The First Trap (1)
Redfield eyes widened at Carlisle’s sudden entrance.
Carlisle gave a dark chuckle of amusement.
“How rude that you don’t address me as elder brother.”
Redfield’s mouth twisted into a sneer.
“Yes, brother, how did you know about this place? I don’t know where you got the information, but do you really think you can arrest me?”
Carlisle gave a languid reply to sneering Redfield’s remarks.
Redfield blinked as if he misheard.
Carlisle, however, did not have any interest in speaking to him anymore. He commanded the knights in a low voice to prevent anyone escaping.
“Yes, Your Highness!”
The knights began to move in on the party guests, and there were shrieks of horror as the young nobles were seized. Redfield whirled at Carlisle in an unsuppressed rage.
“Don’t think my mother will stay still if you dare arrest me!”
“Of course she won’t stay still. I don’t want her to.”
An enigmatic smile played on Carlisle’s face.
“Take them all away.”
“Yes, Your Highness!”
The knights shouted in unison, then dragged the nobles away. Redfield and his group caused a commotion as they struggled to fight back, but eventually they were overwhelmed by the trained knights.
As the room began to clear, Carlisle narrowed his eyes at the rising smoke from the burned incense.
At his command, the remaining knights began to carry away the evidence.
This was the first step of Carlisle’s plan to destroy the Empress.
And this was the first trap.
Ophelia was verging on paranoia since the end of the tournament. Despite using poison to paralyze Derek, he managed to win an overwhelming victory with incredible skill. The championship title that was long held by the Anita family was now taken by the Blaise family.
The Empress was in the clutches of a grim mood, but this was just the beginning of her problems. She pressed her hand against her forehead.
“So where on earth did they find the evidence that we tried to destroy Flower Bridge?”
Cesare answered with a grave expression.
“The captured men who were supposed to destroy the bridge must have confessed.”
“We can just pretend it’s a ridiculous conspiracy.”
“Not only that. Remember the plan to replace the materials with ones of poorer quality?”
Ophelia did not respond, but the memories came back to her vividly. The Emperor contracted the Casey family to build the bridge, and Ophelia decided to sabotage the project. Her initial plan was to change out the materials needed for the construction. She would then use the collapse of the poorly built bridge to destroy the reputation of Emperor Sullivan and the Casey family.
The Casey family was observant, however, and noticed unusual activity and inspected the materials and construction themselves. Ophelia’s first plan had failed, and she eventually changed her strategy to destroy the completed bridge with explosives.
Ophelia’s expression grew increasingly dark, and Cesare continued on hesitantly.
“They must have gathered evidence that we were trying to replace the building materials. The purchases could be tracked—”
Ophelia’s fist struck the arm of the chair, and Cesare flinched.
“What the hell were you doing all this time? You uselessly provoked Carlisle’s forces when you should’ve taken care of this!”
“But I was too busy to—”
Cesare cowered under Ophelia’s fiery gaze, looking like a dog with its tail between its legs.
Ophelia was beside herself with fury, but she couldn’t waste time and energy taking it out on Cesare. What she had to focus on now was immediately solving this problem. Ophelia clenched her jaw and forced herself to stay calm.
“If it gets out that we tried to destroy Flower Bridge, we’re finished.”
“Only one leg had collapsed, so is it a serious problem?”
A deep crease formed on Ophelia’s brow. Her brother had no grasp how precarious their situation was.
“What would people say if they found out I tried to sabotage the Emperor? More importantly, if the bridge had collapsed and people had been injured, public opinion would turn on us.”
“What does it matter what trivial commoners think?”
“This is why I can’t trust you with the important things.”
Ophelia massaged her temples, pained by her brother’s ignorance. She continued her explanation in a low voice.
“As individuals, it is true that the commoners have no power at all. It’s a different scenario if the majority are united against a common enemy. Just as how gossip in society elevates the image of nobility, it can later come back as a sharp blade.”
Cesare was unconvinced by her words, but he kept his mouth shut. Ophelia herself also gave up the idea of educating Cesare anymore, and fell back into silent planning. Although the situation was dire, it was not completely impossible to resolve. It was important to mitigate as much damage as possible.
A little later, Ophelia spoke.
“I must convene the nobility soon. We have to come up with a statement that the culprit was someone other than me.”
“The National Founding Festival will be soon, and the people’s eyes will be directed towards the Imperial Family. If we don’t resolve this as quickly as possible, we will be disgraced.”
Soon there was to be a celebration of the founding of the Ruford Empire. Thousands of nobles from different regions had gathered at the capital for the annual celebrations. In addition, the Imperial Family and numerous officials would gather together to discuss politics in commemoration of the founding day of the empire. This year, the capital was more crowded than usual, as the day of the tournament and National Founding were close together.
“Fortunately, the nobles will not turn their backs on us at this event. After that, let’s resolve everything one by one.”
“Yes, sister. I will summon the nobility as soon as I can.”
Ophelia felt a sense of foreboding of things spiraling out of her control. However, she wouldn’t let this all fall apart, so she steeled herself for the coming challenges.
Suddenly, Cassana burst into the room and shouted in a loud voice.
“Your Majesty! There’s trouble!”