* * *
The three people, who were facing each other in the conference room in the castle provided by the lord of Pavel Estate, did not say anything for a while. In particular, the Third Prince hadn’t said a word since he sat in this seat. Ethan Ambrosia had not been hiding his displeasure from before, and the magician, presumed to be the Small Countess of Millen, was wearing a robe and bowing her head. The Third Prince, who had been waiting for the two of them to open their mouths, finally opened his mouth with a deep sigh.
“So this is Countess Millen?”
“Oh no. It seems that the news of His Highness the Third Prince is too late as his departure is late. Doesn’t Sarah remain with Claude in the Duke’s mansion?”
The Third Prince, who had opened his mouth at the best, shut his mouth again at Ethan’s harsh voice. Ethan knew that the person in front of him was Countess Millen, and the Third Prince knew it too, but he couldn’t say it out loud. Still, he tried to get his words out because there were only three people, but when he was cut off at once, the Third Prince was now speechless. Sarah finally opened her mouth in apology when she saw the Third Prince who was tight-lipped again.
“Why are you being so mean to His Highness the Prince?”
“I put magic all over the conference room to block the sound from being heard outside. So it’s okay.”
Ethan’s hardened face softened at Sarah’s words. The Third Prince looked at it and remembered the greatness of Penelois once again. It was said that the relationship between the two was unusual, and Ethan was obviously favoring Sarah. If the Third Prince ascended to the throne in the future, he would soon become Ethan’s master. Judging from the way he treated him now, he was not even on the same level as the monsters Ethan had left behind on the way.
The Third Prince sighed automatically. However, he was not offended by this treatment. The Third Prince had never had any pride as a prince in the first place. Only Penelois and Elexa needed to know him. It was enough if he was worth it in their world.
“So I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you, Countess Millen.”
“Is there any reason for you to go to Alton with such a presence?”
“Um, I have a presence?”
“Is there any reason to show everyone that there is a magician in this procession?”
Under the robe, Sarah’s lips were seen curving slightly. She said, leaning back in her chair.
“Wasn’t it His Majesty the Emperor’s will to just reassure the people of the Empire who were trembling in fear over the abnormalities that happened in Alton Estate?”
“I say this because I know it’s not His Majesty’s will. If it’s really a black magician in Alton, it’d be a mess to let them know you’re going to visit this openly.”
Sarah nodded her head slightly. She also did not deny the words of the Third Prince. While she publicly advertised that she would come to visit, she deliberately and leisurely rode the carriage and moved while daringly fighting the monsters. Her actions made the other side have enough time to prepare.
“There’s a reason why I made this known, as Your Highness the Third Prince said.”
“Are you curious?”
Sarah leaned her upper body forward and asked in a subtle voice. The body of the Third Prince also leaned forward as if possessed by her.
“If I tell you, what will Your Highness give me?”
“……Do you need a price?”
“First of all, it’s a secret.”
At Sarah’s words, the Third Prince struggled. If there was a fact that Ethan Ambrosia and Sarah Millen were hiding, it became information. To say that it needed a price meant that it was worth it. After completing the calculations in his head, the Third Prince nodded his head slightly and said.
“Jewels, money, or the glory of my later accession must have already lost value to Countess Millen.”
“Then what about paying the price of doing one favor for Countess Millen?”
At the words of the Third Prince, Sarah smiled and nodded.
“It’s a price I like.”
Sarah snapped her fingers and flicked them, and azure magic began to appear in the air, twinkling.
Upon seeing the sight for the first time, the Third Prince opened his eyes wide and looked at the mana that moved according to Sarah’s gestures. A large stem stretched out from the middle of the slowly rotating azure magic and began to draw something in the air. At first glance, it seemed that the dizzying lines were stretching out, but as time passed, he could see that it was a map of the Crombell Empire.
Among them, the Alton Estate part lit up more splendidly, and then only that part started to turn cloudy.
“This is the situation in Alton Estate right now.”
As soon as Sarah finished speaking, the magic that had turned cloudy began to cover the entire Alton Estate in black.
“As you may have already heard, the black magicians have created an unknown veil in Alton Estate.”
“And these are where the energy similar to that veil was discovered.”
Black dots began to appear throughout the map of the Crombell Empire made of azure magic. Starting with the Alton Territory, the black dots were spread throughout the Crombell Empire as if they were gradually expanding their territory.
“Are you saying these are all traces of the black magicians?”
“You could say that.”
“If so, what does it mean to be able to see it that way?”
At the question of the Third Prince, Sarah looked at the part marked with the black dot with a meaningful gaze. Of course, because she was wearing a robe, the Third Prince could neither see nor feel Sarah’s gaze.
“This is a very old trace. It’s like…… it’s more than a few decades old.”
“Does that mean that black magicians have been roaming around in this Crombell Empire for a long time?”
“They are clearly traces of black magic, but they are not those of those who are now active in the Alton Estate. Of course, some people exude a similar aura to some extent.”
Sarah stretched out her hand and unleashed more mana. Then, the magic that had the form of a map of the Crombell Empire spread widely, drawing the shape of the continent.
“Right now, the borders with Crombell are the Principality of Senia, the Domelus Kingdom, and the Blight Empire.”
“Traces of black magicians were also found in these three countries.”
At Sarah’s words, the Third Prince leaped up from his seat, reclining his chair. It was because there were countless black dots everywhere on the continent that she created with her magic.
“……I can’t, I can’t believe it. I’m sure the report should have come in before this happened!”
“It’s no wonder that the Crombell Imperial family didn’t get it. These are all traces that were recently discovered.”
“So you’re saying that Countess Millen figured it all out?”
Sarah looked at Ethan quietly at the words of the Third Prince, who could not hide his surprise.
“Duke Ambrosia did?”
“The Duke worked very hard with the magicians of the magic tower.”
Ethan cooperated with the magicians under Sarah’s orders and was reporting all traces of black magic spread across the continent. It wasn’t for nothing that he was plagued by his insanely busy schedule. It was from the moment he learned that Oliven had made contact with the First Prince that Ethan followed every step of Oliven. What he did before he entered Ambrosia’s mansion, what he did when he vanished alone and headed for Alton. Ethan had been paying attention to the First Prince and Oliven even before the formation of the Alton Estate’s veil.
“It seems that the First Prince is preparing to usurp the throne with the help of each country.”
“It’s not that easy to talk about, Duke.”
The Third Prince shook his throbbing head and said.
“The prince of an empire is trying to claim the throne by borrowing the power of a black magician. The neighboring country, the Blight Empire, is a Holy Empire. Do you think they’ll leave it alone?”
“Why would they leave it alone? You don’t know if they’re trying to help out.”
“Impossible. The most taboo in the Blight Empire is the power of darkness.”
“That’s why the Blight Empire will try to help the First Prince. Of course, they won’t show it outwardly.”
“Once the First Prince takes the throne with the power of black magic, the Blight Empire will have the right to execute the Crombell Empire.”
Ethan sighed when he saw the face of the Third Prince hardening fiercely. When he first learned about this, he had the same face as the Third Prince. And at that moment, the Third Prince also recited exactly what Ethan said at that time.
“What an idiot.”
The Third Prince took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. Even though Kazer suffered from madness, he was the First Prince of Crombell in the end. Such a person, blinded by the fleeting glory, couldn’t tell to whom he was giving his own leash. It was so pathetic.
“It must have been that someone was with my stupid brother. Someone who leads the throne to the brink with sweet words before his eyes.”
At the sharp point of the Third Prince, Sarah shrugged her shoulders as she made eye contact with Ethan. Whether it was because they were half-blooded brothers of the same Emperor, the Third Prince knew immediately that Kazer was not the one to do this much on his own.
“That’s the reason I went to Alton with my presence as a magician.”
“I have to trick that child twice to get him out of Alton.”
Saying that Sarah clapped her hands. Then came a robe of the same design as she was wearing, but a little larger and longer. Sarah nodded her head happily, saying, as she looked at the robe around the Third Prince’s body as if she was roughly satisfied.
“Your Highness the Third Prince, why don’t you try being a magician for a little while?”