Chapter 285 – One Thing Holding Her Back (1)
Mary’s face whitened when she realized her mistake. But it was already too late. Their location was no longer hidden. Elena’s two guards quickly pulled out their swords and rushed towards the assassins with a loud battlecry.
The assassins stood up at the sudden attack, and one of them let out a comment.
“…Looks like rats.”
Elena swiftly pulled a small dagger from her ankle to protect herself from the assassins starting to rush towards them. Mary stood behind Elena with a shocked expression, her voice quivering as she spoke.
“I’m sorry, because of me—”
“Mary, you have to stay close to me, or I can’t protect you.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Mary did not want to be a burden, and with tears in her eyes, she tried to stick by Elena’s side as much as possible. Elena quickly took count of the men coming towards them.
‘One, two, three…seven.’
They were more than she expected. More importantly, inferring from the assassins’ conversation earlier, there was the probability of another group nearby.
However, the biggest problem was…all seven of the assassins looked to be elite fighters.
Elena blocked an attack with her dagger and knocked back her opponent with a swift kick. At the same moment, her opponent crossed his arms to blunt the attack.
Dozens of steely attacks and counter attacks were exchanged in the blink of an eye. Elena knew even from this short amount of time that the men would not be easy to take out.
It was then.
A sword ran clean through one of her guard’s stomach, and he fell weakly to the ground. While her knights were also well-trained, they could not overcome the disadvantage of much smaller numbers. Elena wanted to help them, but she herself was in a tight spot.
As one of the assassins grabbed Mary, Elena whirled around in a flash.
She jumped in the air with feline grace, struck the assassin’s chest with a powerful kick, and plunged her dagger into his neck. Elena rushed towards Mary and held her up.
“Mary, you go ahead and warn the others.”
“I’ll take care of this. Quickly now.”
Mary bit her lip reluctantly, but she knew it was no time to argue and started running in the direction of the tents. Several of the assassins noticed her fleeing and tried to follow her, but Elena blocked their way. As she took quick stock of her surroundings, she noticed that both of her knights were already dead on the ground.
Elena gritted her teeth and glared coldly at the men before her. The number of assassins, who initially numbered seven, had now been reduced to four. They also looked confused by Elena’s extraordinary fighting abilities.
Their expressions were twisted in displeasure, while one of them checked the time and spoke with a troubled look.
“We’ll miss the Emperor at this rate. We can’t delay any longer.”
They spoke in secret code between themselves, then one looked towards Elena with an irritated gaze.
Elena could not help but wonder what their mysterious coded words meant.
“What are you—?!”
But Elena’s words did not last long. The four men exchanged glances, then scattered in different directions, leaving her alone.
Although they ran away, it didn’t appear like they had lost their will to fight her. It seemed more like they had more pressing matters to deal with…
There was also a chance that Elena would follow them, but what was so urgent that they would go despite that? Elena racked her thoughts to figure out the answer.
The only reason they would move so quickly was because of Carlisle.
With her red eyes shining brightly, she quickly tracked down the assassins.
‘They won’t escape me.’
She arrived at the place where the assassins went, and Elena’s mouth fell open at the scene before her.
Elena stood at the highest point on the cliff. Below her she saw large boulders tied together with rope so they could be released onto the road at any time. She finally realized their plan. They planned to crush Carlisle just as he was going through the pass. There were many large boulders so he could not even begin to escape them.
Another person at the scene caught Elena’s eyes.
It was a man with fiery red hair and a charming smile, and she vividly remembered saying hello to him at Blaise Mansion. As soon as she recognized it as Batori, she knew who the “family servant” it was that was mentioned.
‘Is he a spy?’
Elena’s face darkened when she realized that an enemy had been hiding under her nose all this time.
One of the assassins that Elena had fought approached Batori and said something in his ear. Soon after, Batori burst out laughing and shouted loudly enough that anyone could hear him in the cliffside quarry.
“Your Majesty, are you here somewhere? Then find a good spot. I’m going to show you the Emperor’s death. Hahaha.”
Elena clenched her fist without realizing it. She was fortunate that she had discovered Batori, but on the other hand, this had happened because of her carelessness. Batori took advantage of his position as a family servant, banishing any suspicion about his trustworthiness.
‘I have to stop him by any means.’
Now that she had discovered that Carlisle’s life was in danger, she couldn’t just sit back and watch. She hoped the other knights would arrive as soon as possible, but she would be forced to act by herself if they were too late.
Elena looked on at the situation with nervous eyes, when another man rushed over the cliff and reported to Batori.
“The Emperor is near.”
Batori gave orders to all the nearby Blood Assassins, his eyes glinting with ambition.
They all swiftly moved to their positions.
Elena could no longer hide herself, and she leapt out of her hiding place. She mentally selected the best place to target—it was where the largest boulder was tied up, and several other boulders were secured to it. A wide grin split on Batori’s face when he saw her.
“I was going to deal with the Emperor first, but you just can’t let it stand, can you?”
“You dare let me go? Let me tell you this, you’re going to regret letting me come here.”