The Emperor, Grand Quintin, and the Empress, Lilia Riea, were following a group of Imperial Guards through a secret passage below the Imperial Palace.
Due to the poison in his body, the emperor had to be helped by an imperial guard to advance. He had already drunk a powerful antidote that should be able to deal with the poison, however, it needed more time to work.
“Where are we going, Grand?” Lilia asked after five minutes, but the emperor did not explain much.
“You will see soon.” Was everything that he said.
Lilia was curious, however, she did not ask anything else to not look suspicious. After all, she had a mission, and she could not risk it now.
Five minutes later, the group arrived in front of an enormous door.
The emperor touched it with his hand and heaved a complicated sigh. “I never thought I was going to use it in my life.”
He then took out a dagger and slit the palm of his hand. Then, he used his bloody palm to touch the door.
One instant later, the door started to rumble.
The process was rather fast. Less than five seconds later, the door had opened completely. The group then entered the room that appeared behind the door, before the emperor closed the door once more.
Once inside, the empress saw a pretty big room filled with several illumination magic circles used to light the room and countless gold coins. Besides that, she saw another big magic circle in the middle of the room.
“A teleportation magic circle…?” The empress asked.
“Yes.” The emperor replied. “This place is the most secret hideout of the Imperial Family. Only the blood of the imperial family can open and close it, and once it’s close, not even a fifteenth-layer practitioner can break it easily, giving us time to teleport away if the castle’s defenses are taken down.”
The empress’s expression darkened for an instant, but she quickly hid it to no let the emperor notice anything wrong.
“How do you know if we need to escape or not then? What if your father manages to repel the enemies?”
“You don’t need to worry about that. Look there.” The emperor said while pointing at a table in a corner. “That table is connected to several magic arrays around the palace. Through them, I can see everything that is happening in the palace right now. If father manages to repel the enemies, I’ll know it. If not, we will use the teleportation array to escape.”
“Is It so?” The empress nodded and sighed in relief.
Inwardly, though, she was feeling nervous.
She was supposed to follow the emperor if something went wrong with the initial assassination. Meanwhile, a magic spell on her would reveal their location to Clark, so he could find them and finally kill the emperor.
However, the situation right now was very troublesome.
If the defenses of this refuge were as good as the emperor said, then there was no way for Clark to enter here.
And if they ended teleporting, and the place where they teleported ended being too far from here, then the spell inside her could stop working and Clark would be unable to track her.
While Lilia was lost in her thoughts, the emperor look towards her.
“… You look nervous, Lilia.”
“R-Really?” Lilia stiffened briefly. “W-Well, I can’t calm down with everything that is happening.”
The emperor stared at her fixedly before heaving a long sigh.
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Don’t take me for a fool, Lilia… I’m sure that you are involved in whatever is happening. I find it hard to believe that Alan did something like this without telling you.”
Lilia was startled. Her first thought was to deny it, but when she looked at her husband’s eyes, she realized he was completely convinced of his guess.
Moreover, she noticed the guards that came with him were looking at her warily and positioned themselves around her to subdue her if she tried anything funny.
Seeing that, she could not help but chuckle bitterly.
For an instant, she did not know what to say. But all of sudden, she was startled.
She then sighed in relief and looked at the emperor with an ice-cold look.
“… I don’t understand, if you already knew that I betrayed you, why did you bring me with you?”
“Because I wanted to ask you, Lilia.” The emperor put on a disappointed expression. “Why did you do this? We have been married for so many years, and I have never treated you badly… Why are you doing this? Why did you betray me?”
“Are you sure you don’t know the reason?” Lilia asked with a mocking look. “Hahahaha, Grand, we have been married for so many years, but during all these years, have you loved me even once?”
“What are you talking about? I love y–”
“Lies!” The empress yelled in rage, startling the emperor and the guards around him.
The emperor hurriedly stopped them from attacking her while Lilia continued talking.
“I always tried to be the perfect wife, Grand! Since the moment I knew I was your fiancée, I did my best to be the perfect woman, the perfect empress! I tried my best to win your love! As for you? To you, this was nothing more than an undesired marriage… Not even once did you love me!
“And afterward? Afterward, you fell in love with that bitch! Her! That cursed woman! You whispered to her the sweet nothings that I never received, you treated her with the care that you never gave me, and you loved her with the love I never could get!
“Do you know how it feels!? Knowing that the man that you love, your husband, cares more for a dirty bitch that for yourself…
“Do you know how much relief and happiness I felt when that bitch died? I felt incredibly happy. I thought that you finally would return to me…
“But no. Even after that bitch died, she is the only woman in your mind. The only one! Have I been in your heart even once!?”
The empress yelled the words that she had hidden in her heart for so long. She yelled so loud that her throat started to ache.
However, she did not care.
Right now, she only wanted to let out everything she had accumulated for so many years.
And the emperor did not stop her.
Looking at the angry and disappointed face on his wife’s face, he could not help but feel guilty.
He knew why Lilia was like that. In fact, he had known from long ago.
Indeed, he did not love Lilia. So he had always felt guilty towards her for that.
That was the reason why he never treated Dina nicely.
Even although Dina was the child that he had with the woman he loved, he ignored when Lilia treated her poorly, and never intervened when she bullied her.
Perhaps inside him, he wanted to use this method to make it up to Lilia.
With a sigh, the emperor looked at his wife and shook his head.
“… I’m sorry.”
“I don’t need your apology. It’s too late anyway.”
“I know. However, it doesn’t mean that I can forgive you for what you just did.”
“Forgive me? Do you think that I want your forgiveness?” The empress laughed looked at the emperor with a mocking look. “What I want is to have revenge, Grand!”
“In fact, this is just the start. I want to see you wallowing in regret. I want to see your expression of suffering after you learn about the truth.”
The emperor frowned. At the same time, a bad feeling filled him.
“… Lilia, what have you talking about?”
The empress smirked. Then, she spoke up slowly, as though she wanted to make sure that the emperor heard everything.
“I slept with another man, Grand.”
The sword that the emperor was holding fell on the ground.
“I slept with him many times, and I enjoyed it. Hahaha, it felt great, much better than when I did it with you. Well, he was a much better man than you, so that is normal.”
The emperor turned pale. But one instant later, his face turned red in anger.
With a roar, he grabbed the sword that fell on the ground and rushed towards Lilia with an expression of wrath.
Lilia, however, did not panic.
In fact, she smiled.
Because just at that moment.
Another sword appeared suddenly and stopped the emperor’s sword.
And a red-haired man appeared in front of the empress.
When the empress saw him, her lips curled up in a sweet smile.
“Welcome, my love.”
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