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Chapter 101 – The Marquis’ Loyalty

 

(Marquis Gawain’s Point of View)

My troops were trying to somehow suppress the sudden attack while I retreated and tried to analyze the situation… Just who could the enemy be? Maybe someone under the command of the Second Prince? He’d be the one most benefited from my death, but… This doesn’t seem right.

“… It’s barred too.” One of my men commented as we tried to flee from another of secret escape routes, but as with the others, this one was blocked.

“We don’t have any more time! Let’s break this!” Another one of my soldiers shouted as he tried cleaving through the threads barring the door with his axe… Just who was it that could isolate the entire mansion this quickly?

“<Heat Ray>!” Another of my guards used a skill to try breaking the door, but it all seemed futile… Is there nothing we can do other than waiting for reinforcements from the Royal Army? But will they even come? It might be hard if this is the Second Prince’s doing… Is this situation truly hopeless? Even the windows were blocked, so there really seemed to be no escape…

In that case, I should at least try to get as much information as possible and then use my skills to inform the prince… No, to inform His Majesty about it.

“Oh, so here you are.” A girl’s voice echoed in the room. Me and all of my guards turned towards her at once… Her appearance matched the appearance that his majesty described to me before… The appearance of the ‘Apostle of Chaos’. So that was what caused this madness.

More importantly than that though, there was someone together with the apostle. Someone I knew very well, “Your highness, why are you on that side…?” I asked her highness, but she did not reply, “Your highness, Feera…?” I said her name again, but she did not utter a single sound…

“This can’t be…” My commander said. He was obviously shocked, as we all were. Why was her highness by the side of the apostle?

“Oh my? You didn’t hear about the princess’ declaration of war against the Empire?” The apostle asked us.

“Of course we know about it…” I replied. The woman’s expression was mysterious, and she didn’t seem that threatening, but his majesty warned me about how she just disguised herself for the most part, so I must be wary… Though right now, she seems to be willing to talk, so let’s obtain information.

“Do you really need to ask then? She declared war against the Empire in the middle of the turmoil created by the king’s death, so why are you wondering about her side now?” The apostle tried to make me give up on it… That was worth investigating.

“I’d like to hear her highness words on the matter, directly.” I replied. Her highness seemed to be surprised by my words.

The apostle on the other hand, looked bored, she said, “Is that so?” and then she pulled out her shortsword and started attacking my subordinates… I was sorry for them, but instead of trying to find an escape, I focused on her highness instead. She was squinting her eyes, biting her lips, and even trembling a bit… She was enduring something heavy. I’m sure of it, “Your reaction wasn’t what I expected, so I’m gonna kill you all, alright?” The apostle declared mercilessly.

My guards were outraged and tried to defeat her, but this was not an opponent we could beat… We are all going to die here. I’m sorry my men, you were loyal to the end… and I’m going to use your loyalty to find out the truth behind her highness’ actions.

“Your grandparents are so worried about you, your highness.” I told her. She flinched, but did not reply… Is she refusing to talk on purpose? Or is she unable to talk at all… Regardless, she seemed to be in great pain.

“This really is way too boring.” The apostle said as she threw something at me. My guards couldn’t react in time and suddenly I had been pierced. My body felt weak… I see, that’s poison.

As my soldiers noticed what just happened, they tried fighting her with renewed vigor, but she still did not seem troubled by them at all. She kept on killing them one by one without changing her expression at all, no matter how brutal or horrifying the death was… I could hardly withstand this.

But I had to, “Your highness, is this really alright with you?” I asked her, who once again, stayed silent.

The apostle was cheerfully counting, ‘one, two, three, four’ as she beheaded one soldier after the other… My vision was going dark… but I had to focus. Ignore everything else except for her highness… She was suffering. She was suffering a lot, but she could not speak… Therefore… This was not what her highness wanted, this is absolutely not what she wanted, and as such… “Your highness, <When spring comes, it is enough for parent and children to smile alike>.” I told her. She had a very visible reaction to that.

“… What now? Poetry?” The apostle asked, but I ignored her. I focused on her highness, on her reaction to those words that she and the rest of the royal family often used when they were younger, their own secret code, that only a handful of nobles ever heard about.

Her highness nodded to my words, so I continued, “<Brother and sister go to the candy house together>.” She seemed about to cry when hearing this. When hearing that her brother has not given up hope on her, that he still believes in her.

Once more, I continued with the code, “When the dreadful dark curtain of night falls, only fear remains.” Her highness eagerly nodded when asked if something terrible had befallen her. It was a relief to see her saddened and enraged face… Her highness was not our enemy.

“<The bad witch->” I tried saying more, but was unable to.

“This wordplay that I don’t understand ends here.” The apostle said… Before I noticed it, all my subordinates had been wiped out… and her shortsword pierced my stomach. I’d like to thank them all for their unwavering loyalty, “Well, guess you’re about to die.” She commented…

But I giggled. I giggled as I suffered the intolerable pain from this shortsword piercing my belly. The apostle was confused for a second, but then she said, “So you’re still planning something.” She was right, but she was late.

“<Oath: The loyal servant won’t die easily>!” I said as I held her neck tightly while looking deeply into her eyes… Her being an Apostle of Chaos aside, she was actually quite the beauty. This would be a nice final sight, “<Oath: Glory to my lord>!”

And then, my body started shining. Soon, it would explode, ending my life, and attacking all those, and only those, that I consider to be my lord’s enemies… At this distance, there is nothing that can save this woman!

“Your loyalty is quite impressive.” She said even as I held her neck while empowered by my oaths… Unbelievable.

“I’ll take this compliment.” I ended up replying. To think that all my power isn’t enough to even stop her from talking… But it’s alright, my sacrifice won’t be wasted, for this skill allows me to send one minute of the recent events as a message to his majesty… I am sure he won’t waste this, “Now ends the life of the most loyal servant of his majesty! May you witness this from a most special seat!” I shouted… And then, my body melted, becoming an aurora made purely to extinguish chaos!

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