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Chapter: 232


Chapter 232

Translator: yun

"Something strange?"

"We’re still not sure of anything yet but we think that the high templars are involved too. One of the missing women was the daughter of an intermediate-class templar and we heard a tip that she was last seen in the domus (large mansion) of a high templar…"

"Hm, that sounds likely. So many women have been missing for so long, no one could have possibly carried out the kidnappings alone."

"Yes. We will look into it."

We still didn’t have enough evidence that would outweigh the risk I would be putting the patrols under if I were to tell them the emperor was behind the kidnappings.

"Be careful."

"Yes."

After hearing the truth from Dane, I resolved myself to not let any of them end up as sacrifices to the crystal. If I knew my enemy and myself well, I could win even if I had just lost 100 battles. Staring at Soricks, I lifted the book I had previously placed on my lap. 

"Oh."

When he spotted the book, Soricks had a strange expression on his face. 

"…[The Unfortunate Life of a Templar of Beasts]. Why are you reading that book?"

"Just because. Soricks, I have something to ask… Can a cursed Templar ever return to normal?"

"A curse?"

"I just got curious about that idea because it says here that if a Templar of Beasts never ends up meeting their [Companion], they lose their ego."

At my words, Soricks nodded his head with an ‘Ah’ before grabbing his chin. Meta, who had been lying languidly next to him, looked our way in curiosity as well. 

"You mean the [Beastialisation]. Well, can they turn back? Did you know, princess?"

"Know what?"

"The beasts in the Forbidden Forest were once Templars of Beasts in the past. I’ve never heard of any of them returning to human beings. So, I doubt that they can. Because they would be going against their fate."

"So, there’s no way for them to turn human again?"

"Well… if a power strong enough to change fate is applied, it might be possible. But I haven’t got a clue either."

Before we could discuss my strength, I had yet to even awaken. How was I supposed to help him? I was sure Hernan had signed a contract with Castor. So, I had to muster enough power to separate Hernan from Castor’s control? I tapped on the table. The diary I had placed on the side of the table caught my eye. The diary had been quiet lately. Just when I flipped the diary open without much thought.

"Huh?"

The diary seemed to have gained a mind of its own as the pages fluttered wildly. I looked at Soricks in surprise but he looked calm. Just like its contents, it seemed like I was the only one who could see this phenomenon. I caught one of the fluttering pages. 

[If you want to get close to the truth–]

Sentences without dates or weeks were slowly inscribed on the pages. My fingertips were trembling. 

[You must follow the emperor’s orders no matter what.]

The diary was talking to me. This was certainly the first time this had ever happened. 

[No matter what.]

Ink from the pages continued to fade and reappear again. Like a cellphone on the brink of losing battery, the ink thinned before thickening again. I read the sentences inscribed again and again. And by the time the sentences finally disappeared. 

The door burst open. The man who came running into the room was a patrol. There had recently been more patrols stationed around me to increase my security. Albeit flustered, he lowered his head for coming in so hurriedly. The familiar man approached me at once. 

"Princess, a carriage has arrived from the Central Palace."

"A carriage?"

Lord Francis nodded with a smile. 

"His Majesty has called for you, princess."

It seemed like I was not the only one who was surprised as the whole palace was turned upside down. Rebecca, who had been doing work in an adjacent room, came running over. 

"Rebecca, why did Father call for me?"

‘Father’. It was strange to say. I had always addressed him as ‘the emperor’ but the moment I leave this palace, I needed to call him ‘Father’. Rebecca mullet over it stiffly before carefully speaking. 

"Perhaps it’s because of your Coming-of-Age Ceremony. Mistress, your Coming-Of-Age ceremony had been postponed without properly setting another date because it had overlapped with your performance at the Founding Festival. Also, since Coming-of-Age ceremonies are typically granted by His Majesty, He might be calling you over to set a date. So…"

In that case, there would be no reason for the diary to warn me like this. But it was meaningless for me to think about it now. For now, it would be better if I just go. In fact, since the emperor had ordered for my presence, I had no choice but to go. 

The carriage had travelled without a hitch before arriving at the Central Palace. This would be the first time I visited the place since I first met Prince Cjezarn of the Kingdom of Walter. And I didn’t even manage to see the emperor back then. 

As I was guided by an attendant, I managed to catch my breath. 

The emperor. In the original novel, he had just been the emperor before Castor. He had been a character with little importance. But ironically, he was the source of misfortune for me and the people around me. After a long walk, a door opened before my eyes. 

Why wasn’t I brought to the audience chamber? The room I entered was a bedroom, not a typical place a subordinate would meet the emperor. I stared at the huge bed before me. Perhaps it was because of the thick curtains, the room was dark without a shred of light and the air felt strangely stuffy. 

"Welcome."

An attendant carrying a lantern in her hand stepped forward to reveal her womanly silhouette. She had wavy silver hair and there was only one person I knew with purplish hues in her silver hair. Auresia, my birth mother.  

"Your Majesty, Your beautiful daughter is here."

Something seemed to shift on the bed below the coloured canopy. Pant, pant. His rough breaths only seemed to hasten. I did hear rumours of the emperor being terribly ill. So, that wasn’t a lie? But a growl much like a beast’s broke out from the bed before the breaths calmed again as if he had fallen back asleep. 

"Remove the curtains."

Then, Auresia smiled, pushed past the canopy and entered. And in just a little while, I heard something obscene. The sound of saliva mixing. Though I hadn’t had much experience myself, I had heard enough moans through a screen to know what was going on. Though, from what I could hear, the sounds were mostly from Auresia. 

"Ha… how indecent."

"You seem to have fallen for me, Your Majesty. Who knew there was such a lustful animal inside of you?"

As soon as I grimaced, I made eye contact with a strange pair of golden eyes through the curtains. His eyes that did not lose light even in the darkness reminded me of Castor’s. 

No, I needed to deal with the emperor first. A golden haze seemed to linger within the brilliant glow of that old man’s eyes. 

"Are you the princess?"

His voice was filled with ridicule. I lowered my head as he droned on.

"Go to the academy in Ripe. There was a tip that the Templars of Snow and the Sea are planning a rebellion there. Look into it and find out more."

I pressed my lips. What was he talking about? The Templars of Snow and the Sea? A rebellion? Why was he leaving such an issue to a mere princess? Even in my silence, questions continued to fill my head. But I couldn’t bring any of them up.

[You must follow the emperor’s orders no matter what.]

[If you want to get close to the truth–]

[No matter what.]

The running words that appeared in the diary came to mind. With my lips dry, I replied.

"Yes."

I could feel his unbridled gaze towards me. 

"I wish you well."

The old man’s eyes were once again covered by the canopy but the sight of his eyes long remained in my mind. 

"… Ho. Are you not going to ask why?"

I could tell. He was talking to me. I took a deep breath before replying quickly. 

"Hm, well. Rebecca told me that an order by Your Majesty is absolute… this humble servant can only follow."

The old man laughed at my response. I could hear a rough hiss in his laugh. I wanted to quickly leave this stuffy room. As soon as I opened my eyes, the emperor’s voice lowered. 

"You’ve become an adult."

"Yes."

I smiled softly but I felt as if I was having indigestion. He was the one who abandoned me in the first place. I had no expectations of him as a father but when I heard the truth from Dane, I was reminded again that he was a piece of trash that deserved to be incinerated. 

"I can’t believe you haven’t awakened. How useless."

Ah. Had it reached the emperor’s ears? Then, how much did he know? That I had the [Power of the Lords] too? 

The emperor smirked once more before muttering, "Just a little girl."

I lowered my head and pondered about the possibility that our Administrative Office might have a spy. The emperor knew… Then, a spy was a possibility. Or maybe Castor had told him about it.

"The emperor used to be able to see the future. Though he has no divinity now."

Perhaps the emperor himself had seen this future. 

"You will be leaving a week from now. Excluding your travelling time, you will be given three days."

He issued that order with annoyance as if he had nothing more to see from me. 

"When you return, your Coming-of-Age Ceremony will be held."

He turned back to me and spoke as if he thought he was being benevolent for doing so. He took a pause before sneering. 

"Be grateful you get to live longer, even if it’s just for a moment. You’re only living now because you haven’t managed to ‘awaken’."

Did that mean he was going to capture me the moment I awakened? I had been such an idiot. He revealed what he thought about me unabashedly and was clear that he didn’t trust me. Funnily enough, I had survived after dying over and over again like a weed that continued to grow no matter how many times I got stepped on. Upon first glance, his arrogant gaze reminded me of Castor’s but at the same time, it felt different. 

"Yes."

The thin cloth lowered again, completely blocking any progress in my relationship with the emperor. My gaze lingered on the silhouette of the man and woman behind the canopy. 

Auresia and the emperor.

In the original novel, Auresia had been a hedonistic villainess who found pleasure in playing with men and manipulating them in the palm of her hand. What pain should I feel? This was a movie only the audience would enjoy. For Auresia, the biggest catch she could find would be the emperor. In the original novel, Auresia got tired of the emperor and joined hands with Castor. When she had first found out that Castor had fallen in love with Rusbella, she suggested a way for him to capture her. Her plans ultimately failed and she died in the hands of Castor. 

As soon as I left the room, I made eye contact with Auresia. The eyes that were the same colour as my eyes. She lowered her back gently and parted her lips. 

As I left the emperor’s room, I swiftly walked down the hallway. The moment I reached the main gates, I swivelled around.

"Are you not getting on?"

The driver hesitated before asking.

"… Wait."

I gently bit my lips before pivoting my feet and walking towards the garden situated next to the carriage. Thick grass brushed against my skin. After a while, a mob of fluttering hair appeared before me. I had no idea how she managed to get here so fast but it was Auresia. 

"You’ve arrived."

"… That’s what you mouthed me to do. Wait at the carriage."

Auresia smiled before tilting her head slightly. No matter how much I looked at her face, I couldn’t easily imagine herself being with that old man I saw just now.

"What I’m trying to say is, uhm, anyways, well done for making it to the garden without letting anyone see you."

She placed her hand on my cheek before tilting her head. There was a slight smile on her face.

"Is it because you’re my daughter, you’ve grown to be this smart?"

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