Chapter 9 - Pray Fast and Sing Faster
The door opened and a strongly-built knight of red hair entered. He was the imperial knight commander Kane, the man who was called Estian’s right-hand.
“Regarding your order from a while ago…” Kane began.
“The one about the tutors who were in charge of educating the empress.”
“What, you’re already back after killing them? Were they in such a close place?”
Estian had ordered Kane to kill all those who were in charge of Cecile’s education. Cecile had called him handsome the moment they met. This indicated that those so-called tutors had not taught Cecile about how he utterly despised talk of his looks.
It was not that they forgot. It was clear they had omitted it so that Cecile would die.
“No, Your Majesty. I was preparing to make a move when I received contact regarding the matter. I was told that all of them have suicided by poison.”
Estian nodded without a trace of emotion at Kane’s words, as if he had seen this coming. If they remained alive, then the person behind them would have been revealed. It was either that they were educated to commit suicide, or forced to suicide.
“Unsurprisingly, it appears a company of connivers have made their move.”
“Was it not all according to your design?”
“Why do you think so?”
“Because you would have otherwise been closely monitoring everything. But you were apparently all too indifferent to the wedding proceedings, were you not? Which was why the enemy snatched the opportunity, despite their suspicion. What a great bite from the start. Ah, how was the empress? Did she look versed in the sword? Or in poison?” Kane asked, curious.
Estian recalled the image of Cecile at Kane’s question.
Versed in the sword? It would be remarkable in of itself if Cecile could even lift a sword with her willowy arms, let alone swing one with expertise. Poison? Possibly, yes. He did not sense from her the dark vibes characteristic of those who wielded poison, however. In fact, he felt that a mere touch of poison would cause her to keel over and die. “I don’t know about that. She just looked pretty.”
Estian’s words left Kane astonished. Estian, however, gave not the slightest care for Kane’s expression as he resumed reading the document from before. It was a report regarding Cecile. It contained detailed information as to her degree of status as a princess, how she lived, and even whom she met after coming to the empire.
“Unsurprising.” He murmured. Be it the tutors who educated her after coming to the empire, or the maids who frequented the mansion she stayed at, there was not one person who was not suspicious.
‘It’s all so suspicious that she may as well be the leader in all of this.’
How else could her being swarmed around by nothing but questionable individuals be explained? But Estian easily perceived that it was all part of a scheme. The situation had been set up so that if anything were to happen, Cecile and the kingdom of Navitan would take the blame for everything.
Estian put down the papers and closed his eyes. For some strange reason, the flashback of a certain woman saying ‘Hello, beautiful?’, facing him without a trace of fear, was disrupting the order in his mind. Estian felt a wave of irritation at the unfamiliar sensation.
‘The plan was to bring in a suitable woman and smoke them out… It would’ve been even better if they wrung their own necks.’
But what he got was not a suitable woman, but something strange.
“Hell if I know.” Estian leaned against his chair, muttering to himself. “Whatever the case, I’ll do what I need to do today.”
“Your schedule for the day is…?”
“I got married.”
Annoyance spread across Estian’s face. “Right. Uninvited guests will come calling.”
“Well, then? If you’re done reporting, go out? And today, you’re responsible for the security of the empress’ palace. It’ll get a little noisy after dark, but play deaf. Because it’s going to be an absolutely incredible night.”
“Un-understood.” Kane stuttered with a stiff face as he left, and Estian opened the drawer of his desk. Inside it, there were dozens of daggers neatly arranged inside. He picked the sharpest one of them all and placed it on his desk. If things played out as he had predicted, tonight was going to be a wildly hot night.
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