Chapter 316

“He is a nutjob. But he’s not just crazy, he’s powerful. And…”

Ian responded to Raven’s words, then turned his gaze to Duke Arangis.

“You knew all of this along with him.”

Arangis remained silent while receiving Ian’s gaze, then soon shook his head.

“No. I swear to all the gods and His Majesty the Emperor. I did not know that far. If anything, my ignorance is to blame…”

“Ignorance? Should you not add greed to the list?”

Raven interjected coldly.

“…..!”

The eyes of Duke Arangis quivered slightly, and Raven continued.

“Your greed and ignorance drove countless lives to their deaths. I am not only referring to the soldiers and the knights, since they are to obey their lord’s orders regardless of right and wrong. But the innocent, those who had nothing to do with all of this, were driven to death. Of course, you would say that sacrifice is inevitable for the greater good.”

Although Raven spoke in an acrimonious voice, Duke Arangis had a placid gaze as he looked at Raven. Just as Raven said, he was a monarch. As a man who ruled over all the others, he thought that a small sacrifice was inevitable.

“But your mistake was that you dragged people who should have been left alone. It’s…”

Struggling to swallow the name of the Valt family, Raven spoke a name that even Duke Arangis could not ignore easily.

“Luna Seyrod.”

“…..!”

Arangis’ expression changed rapidly. He spoke with a stiff face.

“That had nothing to do with…”

“I already know that Toleo Arangis hired assassins. And the weapon they used…”

Raven took out an object wrapped in a white cloth and threw it on the table. As the cloth was slightly unwrapped, an eerie light reflected the sharp edge of a blade. The object emitted a mysterious light. It was evident at first glance that the object was a small dagger.

“It is an object called Carnion.”

“Carnion…?”

It was an unfamiliar object and an unfamiliar name, but it was clearly not an ordinary dagger. Ian slowly reached out his hand.

“Do not touch it.”

Raven quickly stopped him.

“Hmm…”

As he frowned, Raven spoke in a quiet voice.

“Do you know the story of the Mad Count Georgia of Lellen and the Knights of the Red Cube?”

“I do know, but…”

Ian nodded. It was a famous story that everyone in the empire knew. It was a story regarding the lord of the Great Territory of Georgia, Count Georgia. There was a rumor that Count Georgia became infatuated with dark magic and was drinking human blood. The imperial castle dispatched a heresy interrogator and members of the royal knights to investigate the rumor. However, after a month passed, only one knight returned to make a report, and even he was transformed into a skeleton knight after giving a report to the emperor, turning into dust in the light.

Thus, the imperial castle hurriedly dispatched two regiments of the imperial army and the griffon knights. After a ten-day war against the soldiers of Georgia and an army of the dead, Count Georgia was defeated.

“The Knight of the Red Cube… You mean the death knights?”

Viscount Moraine also chimed in.

There was no way he could not know as an imperial knight. At the time, the first regiment, the heavy cavalry, and the capital defense corps, were both employed to take care of a single knight order.

“That’s right.”

“What do they have to do with this?”

Raven replied in a bitter tone.

“Everything happened because of this dagger.”

“What?”

His eyes widened with shock.

“Are you sure? You…”

Ian asked back in an incredulous voice, and Raven nodded in response.

“You should know about it, right? About the Twilight Tower…”

“The Twilight Tower!”

Ian was shocked out of his mind. As a prince, he was instructed in the history of the empire and various other topics from childhood. He had a rough idea about the Twilight Tower.

“It was confirmed by a Master of the Twilight Tower. Both of the incidents were caused by this object, Carnion.”

“Hmm!”

Ian’s gaze turned serious.

“May I ask you a question?”

Viscount Moraine stepped up.

“You said that a Master of the Twilight Tower confirmed this… but as far as I know, those from the tower hide their identities thoroughly. But how did Your Excellency come across a master…”

“It is because Vincent, my advisor, is from the Twilight Tower.”

“What?”

“Huh!?”

Everyone was surprised. All of them were well aware of Vincent, the Raccoon Mask of Pendragon. He was renowned for his intelligence and knowledge. It was said that not only the nobles but also the merchants were helpless in front of craftiness. But they had never guessed that he would have stemmed from the Twilight Tower.

“Ah, no wonder…”

Ian shook his head. Now he could finally understand the unusually fast development and the incredible moves displayed by the Pendragon Duchy.

“Anyways, so, the raccoon told you about this dagger?”

“Yes. After Luna Seyrod died on my behalf, he told me as soon as he saw this knife. The Mad Count and the Red Cube Knights are only a small fraction of the events caused by this object. The biggest event is something else.”

Raven continued, keeping an eye on Carnion. The dagger was emitting a chilling aura as if it were alive.

“The Queen of Death. She was the one who commissioned this weapon from the Nameless Necromancer.”

“Heuk!”

Ian gasped.

Elsaroa, Queen of Alcantia.

The strongest witch, and the most important yet dangerous person in the empire’s history. To be more exact, she was the starting point for the Aragon Empire.

“That’s where it started…”

Ravenly calmly broached the story of the Queen of Death, Carnion, and the Pendragon Duchy.

“…so I am certain that is the aim of the Nameless Necromancer.”

Raven concluded his story.

However, Ian took some more time to think things over, perhaps because of the massive shock delivered by the newly discovered facts. Soon, he slowly lifted his face.

“In conclusion, his purpose was to kill you to create the King of Death. And if Soldrake went berserk in the process, it would be catching two birds with one stone.”

Raven nodded silently. Ian’s gaze shifted to Duke Arangis.

“In the meantime, you completely grasp the South in your hands.”

“…..”

He did not respond. But the silence served as an affirmation to Ian’s words.

“Ha! Amazing. What an astounding plan. I thought he was just crazy, but he was a scary crazy guy.”

Ian was not joking. In fact, he had goosebumps on his arms without realizing it. If the assassination of Raven had been successful then, the empire would be in unprecedented turmoil by now. The Mad Count of Georgia and the Red Cube Knights had forced several legions of the imperial army to step up. What would have happened if the Duke of Pendragon was transformed into the King of Death and the White Dragon Soldrake went berserk?

Just imagining it made him break out in cold sweat.

Your Excellency. But if it is just as you say, then Lady Seyrod is now…”

Viscount Moraine had a dark expression as he trailed off.

Raven nodded with heavy eyes.

“Your guess is probably right.”

“What are you… Ah, don’t tell me?”

Ian joined in.

“Are you saying that… She might have become the Queen of Death?”

Ian asked. His voice was ever-so-slightly quivering. Raven responded in a subdued voice.

“Of all likelihood. It’s not just me, but Vincent and Soldrake agree as well.”

“Oh, my…”

Ian was speechless. As a direct descendant of the Aragon family, he knew better than anyone the fear of Elsaroa, the Queen of Death. She was a great witch who terrorized the whole world before the empire was founded.

Now, hundreds of years later, such a presence was reborn.

This wasn’t a problem that only encompassed the survival of the empire and the Aragon imperial family. Instead, the safety of the entire world was at stake.

“I do not know if we should count it as a blessing or a curse, but… She is not like the Queen of Death in the past. A doll without will… It’s highly likely that she is a mere puppet of the Nameless Necromancer.”

“Hmm…”

Ian’s expression distorted.

It was truly an ambiguous situation.

Elsaroa was a witch who thought and acted on her own. In other words, she maintained a close relationship with the Nameless Necromancer but did not follow his orders. However, the new Queen of Death, Luna Seyrod, was different.

It was highly likely that she took orders from the evil sorcerer.

“Elsaroa was a grand master who reached the pinnacle of magic and sorcery. But Luna Seyrod was a normal girl. I do not know how wide the gap will be, but it is likely that she will not possess as much mana as Elasaroa did.”

“But instead, she will be a slave who follows the orders of the damned sorcerer…”

Rave nodded at Ian’s words. Then he turned to Duke Arangis, who was sitting with a gloomy expression.

“Do you see now? Your ignorance and greed have caused this situation. Did you think your glory would last thousands of years if you established your dynasty in the South? Think again. Did you never think that the Army of Death and an enraged dragon would come looking for you?”

“I…”

He eventually lowered his head after attempting to respond in a dry voice. It was just as Raven said. Jean Oberon was capable of doing so.

But he had been confident at the time.

He believed that building a nation as powerful as the Aragon Empire, or even more powerful, would solve all of his problems.

“I should add one more thing.”

Raven continued while observing Duke Arangis.

“Arrogance. Duke Arangis, you are ignorant, greedy, and arrogant. That is the biggest reason you’ve come to be in this state, as well as your relatives. Your arrogance is the main culprit for making you yield to another duke of the empire and for your humiliation.”

Keugh…”

A groan eventually escaped the dry lips of Duke Arangis at the piercing words. He had nothing to say.

As a monarch of equal status, and neither a winner and a loser, he could not refute the young duke’s words. He had been prepared, but anger, disgrace, and shame filled his body as he trembled.

But there was nothing he could do now, except for gripping his fist so tight that his blood vessels were popping.

“Ian, now you know how the situation is.”

“Yes. I guess it wasn’t an appropriate time to talk about crown prince this, crown prince that, in a leisurely manner.”

Befitting his status as a descendant of the great imperial family, Ian quickly regained his calm and spoke with a cool gaze.

“This is not the time to be fighting for power. The high lords and the other dukes… After we arrive at the imperial castle, we need to shut them up so that they will not be able to utter a single word regarding the throne.”

“I guess so. That will be exactly what the damned sorcerer wants.”

“Yes. So on our way to the imperial castle…”

“We are going to have to clean up the situation.”

A shared goal.

The young dragon and the lion shared a gaze while thinking the same thoughts. In it, Raven was gripped by a strange feeling, something that was different from revenge.

‘What could this be…?’

He did not know at the moment, but what he felt now was only experienced by the very few who held the power to change their destiny… It was a sense of duty.

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