Sarah closed her eyes tightly at Ethan’s words and endured the pounding of her heart. Despite spitting out words that shook her whole heart, Ethan seemed infinitely relaxed.
It was said that the one who liked first lost, but her condition was too serious. Standing only in front of Ethan, Sarah easily lost her composure and became nervous. Her heart and hands were trembling, and she couldn’t even spit out a single word. Unlike Ethan, who casually spit out words that could be misunderstood.
‘I’m the only one who’s trembling like this, and the Duke doesn’t care.’
Sarah was not only affected by the leeway that came from Ethan’s toughness but also hated it. She had a small room for unrequited love while Ethan didn’t. It felt as if it was a gap that came from the difference of mind, so even though she was excited, she felt a numbness in her heart.
‘Sir Jade said that no woman has received his kindness more than he does to me.’
Sarah squinted at Ethan, who smiled affectionately at her. Jade’s voice, which used to be chattering, said, “If there is anything to gain, it can be sweeter than anything else,” continued in her head. She glared at Jade with a sharp gaze as she hated Jade, who was standing still with an unconcerned face.
Jade, who had no idea, tilted his head at the sudden cold gaze.
“Countess Millen, if I had done anything……”
Sarah shook her head and turned away from Jade.
“Let’s move quickly.”
Sarah was determined to make Ethan Ambrosia her man on the way to Alton Estate this time. There was no time for such a delay here.
* * *
Philip Alton, the Lord of the Alton Estate, closed his eyes tightly, unable to lift his gloomy face. His second son, Powell Alton, grunted his teeth on behalf of his father and shouted in a voice full of hatred and killing intent.
“Are you really trying to make Alton a contribution to the continent? Are you out of your mind, Brother?!”
Powell, who was imprisoned in the dungeon of the Lord of Alton’s castle, rushed forward as if he was going to come out of the prison bars at any moment. The eldest son of Alton Estate, Python Alton, faltered back under the influence.
“It, it can’t be helped. How long are you going to be stuck in this frontier territory? We should go to the center, too.”
“How can our family get to the center! Our Alton is like an iron fortress that protects everyone from the forest of monsters. If it’s not so then why is the family’s mission to protect the people of the Empire at the closest point in the forest of monsters!”
Powell’s throat had been hoarse from shouting.Each and every word he spit out as if he were vomiting blood was stuck in Python’s chest like a dagger.
“Besides, I don’t know what’s going on with the First Prince, but he’s using black magic! A person who uses black magic becomes the Emperor of Crombell? It’s sure to be a continental achievement. What the hell can you do as the right arm of the soon-to-be-fallen Imperial family!”
“Don’t, don’t take it that way. Nobody knows yet. The First Prince’s use of black magic is……!”
“Now the territory has reached this point, it’s only a matter of time before the whole continent will know, Brother!”
Seeing Python, who could not speak at all, Powell beat his chest in frustration and cried.
“I wouldn’t even say this if it was something that could be hidden easily. Do you think the First Prince will succeed to the throne even if he hides it well?”
“Brother has been like that since you were a kid. You used to obsess over what you had in your hand, and what you didn’t have without even looking at it.”
“What kind of stupid thing are you doing this time!”
At his little brother’s scream, Python didn’t say anything. How could he not know that his little brother was saying the right thing in every word? But there was a reason for him, too.
“There is no turning back now…… At, at first, I was just trying to use a little bit of the First Prince’s connections.”
There was deep regret in Python’s voice. If only he could show hospitality to the First Prince a little better, if he looked at the First Prince’s convenience a little more positively. Then maybe when the First Prince went to the capital again, he might not forget the Alton Estate and lead him to the center. It started with such a small hope at first.
“But who knew……, who knew that there would be a black magician behind the First Prince?”
Python screamed, recalling the horror he felt when the First Prince cast black magic in front of him for the first time.
“He said that he gave the First Prince the power of black magic! Who could have imagined that the Prince of the Empire would use black magic……!”
“You should have corrected it from the moment you knew it! Why didn’t you report to His Majesty? If only you had told me and Father in advance!”
“I can’t do that.”
“He said he’d kill you and Father as soon as I opened my mouth!”
At Python’s words Powell was momentarily able to realize what his father, who bowed his head behind him, would say. His father, the Lord of Alton, the faithful servant of Crombell, would certainly have said this.
“You should have let him kill Father and me to report to His Majesty, Brother.”
“As a noble of Crombell, as the heir to the Alton Estate, you should have made that fact known.”
In Powell’s sullen voice, Python realized that his little brother was more worthy of Alton’s successor than he was at this moment.
“I am, I am……”
He finally bowed his head and knelt down. As much as Python’s regret, thick veins swelled above his clenched fists. Powell saw it and said, reaching out to Python over the bars.
“It’s not too late now, Brother. Father and I are all right, so please avoid the eyes of the First Prince and inform His Majesty the Emperor as soon as possible.”
“Please inform them that the Alton Estate has been taken over by the black magician, and that the First Prince is under the control of the black magician. If that’s the case, the Imperial court will rescue Alton.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Are you still out of your mind? Come on and let them know!”
Seeing Powell shaking and holding the bars in a rage, Python smiled hollowly. Seeing Python shaking his head bitterly with an empty face, Powell couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
“No way, don’t tell me Brother……”
“The black magicians created a large veil surrounding Alton. I couldn’t go out either from the outside or from the inside.”
“We’re stuck here. With the crazy First Prince and the black magicians trying to devour this Empire.”
As soon as Python finished speaking, Philip, who had lost all his will behind Powell and was bowing, jumped up from his seat. Standing firm, the gaze directed to Python was not the gaze of a father looking at his son, but the gaze of a Lord looking at one of his subordinates.
“Let me meet the First Prince.”
“Father, the First Prince is dangerous now!”
Powell staggered and rose from his seat, trying to pull Philip back. It was clear that if he left him like this, he would yell and make a riot and say he would meet the First Prince.
“The Lord of Alton is me. I must stabilize the permanent people and I must lead Alton. So, let me meet the First Prince.”
Philip ordered in a loud voice to Python, who stammered and hesitated. Python trembled as if he had been struck by lightning at the dignified voice of the Lord of the estate. His sin was so great that it was difficult to bear Philip’s wrath.
Powell hastily opened his mouth as he watched Python bowing, unable to say anything or do anything.
“Where is the black magician now?”
“Who, who are you talking about?”
“The black magician who deceived the First prince. The one who gave him power!”
“He hasn’t been seen for days.”
“So you’re saying that the First Prince is alone now?”
“Yes, the remaining black magicians in Alton rarely move and stay near the veil, and the First Prince……”
Python recalled the First Prince, who was holding the monsters, tearing them apart then throwing them away as if discarding mere trash.
‘Kuhaha. This is my power. This is my power! That damn Emperor, princes, and nobles will all be torn apart like this!’
After gaining power from the black magician, the First Prince seemed to have gone completely insane. His madness made Python feel gradually suffocated.
At Python’s answer, Powell and Philip exchanged meaningful glances with each other. After a while, Powell, who seemed to have made up his mind on something, opened his mouth with a soft voice.
“The First Prince doesn’t know that you’re here right now, right?”