* * *
Everything in Ambrosia’s family, including Ethan Ambrosia, which Emperor Crombell was anxiously looking for, was here, in the middle of the monster’s forest. After returning from the Alton Estate to the capital’s mansion that day, he moved everything in Ambrosia here with the help of Benjamin, Belluna, and other magicians. The real war between the Continental Army and the Crombell Empire was not taking place in the Imperial family, but here, in the monster’s forest.
“With the help of the magic tower, the Continental Army left the castle of the Marquis of Bollun after deciding that they had slaughtered all the civilians.”
“I heard that the effect of this illusion magic circle is more outstanding than before, but can we hold out until the Continental Army residing in the castle of the Marquis of Bollun leaves?”
Ethan Ambrosia’s face was covered with deep fatigue as he asked his subordinates. After the war began, Ethan Ambrosia secretly made a deal with the magic tower. Negotiations were easy with Benjamin and Belluna at the forefront. It was a condition that they would not have blood on their hands, and that was what Ethan wanted, too. The magicians dispatched from the tower covered the eyes of the Continental Army using an illusion magic circle. Burn the territory, occupy the castle, and get all kinds of treasures. The momentum of the Continental Army increased day by day in the face of victories dotted with lies. It was a victory that would be maintained as long as Ethan allowed it.
“Of course. In addition to the Bollun Estate, magicians from the magic tower reside in each territory and continue to maintain the illusion magic circle.”
“You’re doing a good job.”
His eyes were shining brightly as he raised his hands and pressed down on his temples. The messenger continued to report, swallowing his saliva in the increasingly sharp atmosphere of his Lord.
“The Knights of Ambrosia and Mr. Benjamin have managed to capture several of the Blight Empire’s leaders alive.”
“No, there was some friction in the capture process, but the situation was cleared up right away.”
At the word that there was friction, Ethan clicked his tongue slightly as if the situation was drawn. The purpose was to capture the rats and birds alive, but it was only half successful. This would slow the Blight Empire’s advance towards the capital. It would have instilled a sense of crisis once again in the Continental Army, who had already forgotten their vigilance as they were drunk with the sense of victory.
“I’m sure Benjamin was angry and made a fuss.”
“I am deeply ashamed of myself.”
“I have no intention of blaming what has already happened. The Blight Empire must have sent a negotiation proposal. What did they say?”
“The negotiations are very interesting. Would you like to take a look?”
“Interesting. It’s been a long time since I’ve forgotten that.”
A faint gleam flashed in Ethan’s eyes. But it was only for a brief moment, and his eyes were soon filled with black dead fatigue. Ethan’s face as he received the letter from the Emperor of the Blight Empire handed to him by his subordinates was very calm. Ethan Ambrosia would be the only one who could receive the letter of Emperor Blight with such a carefree face at a time when the whole continent was wary of the Continental Army and its allies.
[Emperor Crombell said that you fled for fear of war, but the true Crombell Empire’s Imperial family was hiding in your arms. ‘The Ambrosia family will forever be the shadow of the royal family and protect Crombell.’ I once envied the phrase I learned when I was a crown prince. However, as of today, I am finally satisfied with what I have. It was Crombell, not the Imperial family, that you were protecting. The current Imperial family has become a stumbling block to Crombell and is being removed by your hand who borrowed my hand. Am I right? I’ll just be content with my faithful servant……]
Ethan, who was looking at the following correspondence, breathed out a small breath. Indeed, he was more intelligent than the old Emperor of Crombell. Although ambitious, he knew when to retreat, and perhaps the war would soon be over. And that wasn’t what Ethan wanted.
“I heard Ilior, the Second Prince, was surrounded. It’s a request to return the way back, since they’re going to retreat.”
“Whether they kill the Second Prince or take him prisoner, His Lord has no intention of giving them a retreat.”
Ethan leaned back in his chair and narrowed his eyes. At present, the Continental Army seemed to be advancing to the Crombell Empire with an overwhelming force. The Continental Army had won, and the news that a certain castle had been occupied was heard one after another. But that was just the outward appearance.
“Sure. At least they will not be able to set foot on their homeland alive. I have to do that much so that later, when Claude inherits everything from me, he will remember the subjects and be careful about his behavior.”
There was no place in the Crombell Empire where Ethan Ambrosia’s hand did not reach out. Therefore, Ethan took a step back and stretched out his invisible hand from the monster’s forest and slowly tightened the back of the Continental Army. This would allow them to get drunk on their victory and move forward without looking back, and to be inspired by their own justice to lose their reason. So when they brought the capital, the heart of Crombell, at their doorstep, Ambrosia revealed it. It was very easy to bite the nape of a defenseless enemy. As a result, Ethan had no choice but to endure the countless emptiness.
“Let’s discuss the proposal when the Third Prince’s army arrives. Let’s go out.”
“Yes, My Lord.”
The subordinate bowed on his knees and left the office. The messengers who had been diligently running from the battlefield stood in a line in Ethan Ambrosia’s office. All of them would have important matters in their arms that Ethan had to be briefed on and dealt with. Looking bitterly at the figure, the subordinate asked, looking at Veron, whose face was as full of fatigue as his Lord.
“Veron, is His Lord taking a rest?”
“He doesn’t even eat properly, let alone rest.”
Veron shook his head and bit his lips tightly.
“Perhaps if it had not been for the words of Countess Millen to always have breakfast with Young Master Claude, His Lord would have……”
A year has passed since Sarah collapsed and was unable to regain consciousness. However, the traces she left behind were still steadily influencing Ethan and Claude. Eat breakfast together every day. Have some play time with Claude. Ethan kept his promise to Sarah every day. As if he couldn’t stand it if he didn’t even do it, he always kept it no matter how busy and desperate the situation was. Thanks to this, Ethan was able to eat a little and rest.
“Even if Countess Sarah Millen lies down like that, she’s still protecting His Lord and Young Master Claude.”
At the name that came out of Veron’s mouth, all the people outside the office bowed their heads with wretched faces. Some of them could not overcome the overwhelming sadness and began to sob.
“Ha, oh God……”
“I want to hear the Countess’s voice.”
“I think she’ll wake up right away and greet me with a bright smile……”
But their grief didn’t last very long. There was a lot of work to be done for Ethan and for Crombell. From the first time things happened to the Alton Estate, Ethan planned and implemented everything. The Alton Estate was a place where the Continental Army was wary of black magicians and monsters, so they avoided it. Thus, it was the most appropriate place for the people of Crombell who had lost their way. Hide in the monster’s forest and keep the Imperial people of the Crombell Empire safe from war. The Ambrosia Knights expanded their scope by steadily solving the monsters in the monster’s forest from time and time. Ambrosia’s informants spread across the continent and spread rumors so that the people of Crombell Empire could head to the monster’s forest. It was close to a miracle that it only took about a year for the Ambrosia family to establish a foothold in the monster’s forest.
“Let’s work hard so that Countess Millenwill not be ashamed when she wakes up.”
“Let’s do that!”
Ambrosia’s mansion, located in the forest of monsters, once again overcame the sadness and moved busily.
“Ah, Mr. Veron. The Third Prince has requested additional medicines and weapons.”
“We will deliver that amount through Miss Belluna. He’s doing pretty well. What is the reaction of the people of the Empire?”
“He eats and sleeps with the people with swords instead of agricultural weapons for our country, and he travels directly through the battlefield with LadyPenelois…… In fact, he is more trusted than the Second Prince Ilior.”
Exiled from the Imperial family, the Third Prince Eleon and Penelois were revered as heroes among the people of the Empire. All small territories and villages that Ambrosia could not reach were protected by the Third Prince, Eleon. The story of easy-going Penelois and the noble prince exiled from the Imperial family was made into a romance novel even during the war and was so popular that it was found in the capital.
“Everything is going well…… Only Countess Millen is still unable to open her eyes.”
Veron looked at the office with sad eyes, then shook his head as he looked toward the room where Sarah was lying. There was a beautiful magician who fell into an eternal sleep. Claude stayed by her side, never leaving. Even when having breakfast with Ethan or play time, it all happened beside Sarah, who closed her eyes.
“Young Master Claude must be chatting while waiting for an answer that won’t come……”
In the end, Veron showed tears. Sarah was also his benefactor, and she was also the one who breathed vibrancy and life into this bleak mansion. After Sarah became like that, Ambrosia was gradually submerged, as if it had fallen into an endless swamp. He pounded on his chest as if he was suffocating, but from afar, May and Ronda were running towards him, contemplating.
Looking at the two people running as if they were out of their minds, Veron narrowed his forehead. He approached the two of them, ready to nag them to the fullest.
“Ronda, May. Don’t you know that His Lord reacts sensitively to even the smallest sound, so……”
“Lady, Lady Sarah!”
May urgently interrupted Veron’s words. His heart skipped a beat at the sound of the name coming out of her lips.
“What happened to Countess Millen?”
“Huu, hu……, Lady Sarah, Lady Sarah……”
Tears welled up from May’s eyes. Those who were waiting for her report outside Ethan’s office, including Veron, looked at May’s lips with a nervous expression.
“No way, you’re wrong……”
When Veron assumed the worst situation in an ominous mood, the door of the office suddenly opened violently.
“What happened to Sarah?”
“Huh heok, My Lord.”
Ethan’s face turned pale and hardened when he hurriedly opened the door.
“Say it. Aren’t I asking what happened to Sarah?”
The end of Ethan’s voice, clenching his teeth and urging for an answer, trembled. Seeing this, May and Ronda collapsed to the spot. Then they reported in a voice wet with emotion.
“Lady Sarah……, opened her eyes. She…… hic, opened her eyes.”