Chapter 276 – The New Emperor (2)
“How dare you betray me?”
“Your Majesty, betrayal? That is something you say to someone who is on the same side. I had served Lord Lunen since the beginning.”
Fear crept up Ophelia’s spine. It was hard to believe that Paveluc’s spies had been around her for so long. Redfield, who was quietly watching the situation unfold, trembled in fear.
Ophelia now understood that coming to Paveluc for help was the worst possible choice she could have made. However, the deed was now irreversible.
Paveluc slowly approached Ophelia and drew his sword from his waist.
“I was wondering about the status of the Kelt Kingdom, so thank you for coming to tell me about it before you died.”
“G-Grand Duke Lunen, think carefully. It will either be Carlisle or Redfield who will be emperor—”
“Can you still not see the situation? Why do you think it is only those two who can claim the throne?”
Ophelia’s eyes flew open in shock. She had missed what was at the heart of this, but suddenly, the motivations of Paveluc’s words and behavior became stunningly clear. The man had been keeping his claws hidden while dreaming of treason.
“Why do you think I am not fit for the Emperor’s seat?”
He grinned meaningfully at her as he slowly approached, and Ophelia began to shout in a terrified voice.
“S-stay your sword. I’ll do whatever you say.”
“Then beg. Convince me.”
Ophelia quickly knelt to the floor, terror rising to her throat. It was the first time she had ever put herself below anyone.
“If you can’t, then…not Redfield! Please.”
In contrast to Ophelia’s panic, Paveluc was leisurely stroking his dark beard with one hand. After a moment of thought, he smiled.
“It’s better to just kill you.”
Paveluc’s sword neatly separated Ophelia’s neck from her body. Blood spurted from the neck, and the body soon lost strength and collapsed to the floor.
Paveluc stepped on her back with one foot and wiped his sword on her maid’s outfit.
“I had wanted to bring down that high-nosed expression for a long time. Well, it wasn’t a total loss. She had given me information about the Kelt Kingdom.”
It was an undignified death for Ophelia, who was once called one of the two pillars of the Ruford Empire. Paveluc’s gaze slowly turned to Redfield.
Redfield’s legs gave way beneath him, and he collapsed to the ground. His pants were wet as if he urinated in them. Pavel Luke mumbled, frowning.
“Tsk, and they were going to make him emperor.”
He swiftly assessed that Redfield was not a threat to his plans. The Second Prince had come here solely because he was Ophelia’s son. Redfield clasped his hands and pleaded for his life.
“P-please spare me, Uncle.”
Redfield, once so arrogant, had devolved into a sniveling boy. Paveluc and Redfield had never considered each other as blood. It was a fact that didn’t have to be spoken. The Grand Duke gave a low chuckle of amusement.
“Is it just a matter of seeing your mother die with your own eyes for you to beg me?”
“I-I want to live…”
“Yes. It’s too much of a waste to kill you like that.”
Redfield’s face flushed in shame. Paveluc looked up and shouted for the knights.
“Hey out there!”
Cassana opened the door, and dozens of knights rushed inside. They saw Ophelia’s headless body lying on the floor, but did not so much as bat an eye.
“You called, My Lord!”
“Take Redfield away. Show him what the most painful death in the world is.”
“Yes, My Lord.”
Redfield’s face turned as white as a sheet at Paveluc’s words. As the knights seized Redfield’s arms and began to drag him away, Redfield screamed into the night.
“Uncle! Please spare me! I will be useful! Aaaagh!”
As Redfield wailed loudly, Paveluc picked his ear disinterestedly.
“Cut out his tongue first.”
The knights finally disappeared with Redfield. Paveluc then turned to the remaining soldiers.
“Are we ready to leave the palace?”
“Yes, My Lord.”
“Let’s hurry up while it’s still calm here. There is no reason to stay in the palace anymore.”
The winner of the fight between Carlisle and Ophelia had been decided. It was an overwhelming victory that Paveluc did not want most, and he would be busy making adjustments to his plan.
As he stepped outside, he suddenly turned around and looked back at Ophelia’s corpse on the floor.
“Bring that. It will be useful later.”
“Yes, My Lord!”
Paveluc slipped away quietly through the turbulent battlefield of the Imperial Palace.
A large group of nobles in armor were gathered in the largest hall of the Imperial Palace. They all the victors that had contributed in taking back the palace that day. The hall was filled with voices as they regaled stories of the battle with each other.
“His Royal Highness the Crown Prince has arrived!”
Suddenly, there was a voice announcing Carlisle’s entrance, and everyone turned and bowed as a show of respect.
The sound of shifting metal armor as they bowed resounded majestically.
“Hail the Crown Prince. Eternal glory to the Ruford Empire!”
Carlisle proudly stepped inside. Right next to him was Elena, dressed in black light gear, followed by Zenard and Kuhn trailing like shadows.
In fact, the topic most talked about by the nobles was Elena’s unexpected performance. They knew she was a member of a knight’s family, but none had even had a hint that she possessed such outstanding fighting capabilities.
With everyone’s attention on them, Carlisle and Elena walked through the room. Carlisle’s confident footsteps echoed on the floor, until it finally stopped right before the golden throne. He looked at the throne for a moment, then turned around and seated himself naturally.
According to standard practice, the crown prince could not sit in the emperor’s seat before the coronation ceremony. However, no one spoke one word of protest.
“Congratulations, Your Highness!”
Once again, the celebratory voices of the nobles rang in the hall. Indeed, the emperor of the Ruford Empire had been decided, and would not change even if the sky fell now.
Carlisle looked down at the assembled nobles, the position befitting him as well as a well-crafted suit of armor.
“Then let’s begin the meeting.”
Today marked a new birth of the Ruford Empire. It was the first day.