Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 209: Qualifications to Become a King
Adrian’s guess was pretty accurate. When the two armies of Alban and Willard clashed on the border, Ann had already arrived at the palace.
Well versed in the characteristics of Marshall Gallagher’s actions, the focus of the prince’s entire defense was to meet the enemy head-on. No one expected that the famous First Marshal would come out of the sewer with only one companion.
At the moment, Gallagher’s army was still pretending to be active outside the city, diverting their attention. Ann’s behavior had a wonderful effect—people who have seen the Royal Edict with their own eyes tend to be shaken, while the upper echelons who were not on the scene firmly believe that the woman who claimed to be Andrea Alastair was a fake.
Contradictory messages and quarrels were transmitted through communication crystals. Ordinary soldiers didn’t carry crystals that could record images, so the real-time picture transmission couldn’t catch the fleeting evidence.
While the generals of the prince’s faction were arguing fiercely on this point, the two ghostly temporary assassins had already arrived at the palace.
Ann raised her head, and her entire field of vision was filled with the familiar and unfamiliar magnificent building. The ancient castle stood in the middle of the royal capital, and the sense of oppression in the near distance was particularly amazing.
This was where she grew up, yet now she still didn’t like its aura.
“Let’s go, Mr. Mad Dog.” The wound caused by the broken sword healed under the spell, but the pain and cold foreign sensation still lingered.
“You walk behind me, Your Highness,” Gallagher said in a muffled voice in the armor.
“My injury is fine.”
“I know.” The marshal took a step forward on his own, without turning his head back. “I am taller and stronger than you. With me in front, it can attract the attention of the enemy—then you can attack by surprise.”
“…” Ann raised her eyebrows quite unexpectedly and tugged at the corners of her mouth. “Good.”
This time, there was only earnestness and solemnity in Gallagher Salter’s tone, not arrogance.
Ann took out the black crystal that could sense Cat Whiskers. Nemo was indeed not very good at making jewelry. A good piece of communication crystal was processed to look like gravel on a riverbed, but the ugly shape didn’t hinder its function. The delicate silver light condensed at one end of the crystal, indicating the direction of the two of them.
“According to what I said before, I must first ensure Delia’s safety.” Ann used her fingers with half-finger gloves to touch the advanced protective paper roll around her waist.
Taking into account security reasons, the use of teleportation magic had always been prohibited near the palace. She couldn’t teleport the little princess out—although Nemo and Ollie could do this through cooperation, it was undoubtedly rash to concentrate all their troops in one place, not to mention the position of Tumbleweed.
“Then we will restrain the prince. As long as we can prove the time of death of the emperor, desecrating the corpse and overstepping his authority to control the army, according to Alban’s law, His Royal Highness Eldric will lose the right to inherit.” Marshal Gallagher whispered, making sure she remembered clearly.
Gallagher brought the emperor’s evidence with him. As long as the two of them could control the prince, everything would be much easier.
“Don’t kill him yet, Your Highness.” The marshal thought for a while, but decided to speak again. “It’s better to leave room for action.”
They bypassed the stone-brick walls covered with thin vines and climbed over the garden. The two continued to advance to the lounge in the castle. Marshal Gallagher was wrapped in exquisite armor. Ann thought it was inconvenient for him to move, but even though the young marshal was wearing metal armor, he acted quietly like a cat.
It could be regarded as a flattering advantage.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go as smoothly as they thought.
“So many guards?” Delia’s place was surrounded by guards. Ann poked her head out of the corner and frowned.
“Royal guards.” Gallagher was one head taller than Ann. When he poked his head out of the corner of the wall, his vision wasn’t blocked by Ann’s head. “His Majesty…. The body should be there.”
“Tsk,” Ann huffed angrily. “That bastard.”
“Although staying away from here is the least suspicious course of action, I think His Highness Eldric would prefer to protect himself indirectly with the Emperor’s escort.”
“Whatever he wanted to do, he didn’t need to get Delia involved now.” Ann’s voice was gradually becoming colder.
From any point of view, now wasn’t the time to involve the little princess.
Since the prince believed that Princess Andrea, found by Marshal Gallagher, was a fake, he would not be specially prepared here—Gallagher would only take the “heir” directly to him, not to some disposable princess.
He didn’t even have to kill her specifically. As long as he released the news of the Trent Plague, he could use it to announce that the princess was suffering from it and all her future children would pass away from this terminal illness. In the heart of Prince Eldric, he might have already decided that he was the only bloodline in the Alastair family.
But the prince was indeed there.
“A rash attack will hurt Her Royal Highness Delia,” perceiving Ann’s nervousness, Marshal Gallagher whispered.
He fumbled for a moment from the side of the armor and took out a dim metal bead the size of a mung bean. Then Gallagher sighed, pierced his earlobes with sharp armor, and smeared the blood on the metal bead.
Tiny runes lit up one by one, and the entire steel ball became more transparent, as if it was about to dissipate in the air. Seeing the opportunity, Gallagher aimed at the footman advancing towards the door and threw the translucent metal bead into one of their collars.
Then he used his blood-stained hand armor to draw a few runes on the palm of his hand and then made an inviting gesture—Ann extended her hand and spread out her palm.
Her palm was traced with a string of blood runes and a faint voice sounded in her ears. The sound didn’t seem to be surging with the air, it was more like it was transmitted internally, but that wasn’t the point. The point was the contents.
“Come with us to the hall, Delia.” The prince didn’t sound nervous.
“Why?” The little princess sounded a little stiff.
“Two unknowing mice got mixed in, and the hall is relatively safer.”
“…You don’t have to take me, uncle.”
“Don’t be capricious, Delia. What if those bandits hurt you?”
“Okay.” After hesitating for a moment, Delia agreed obediently.
“Now?” Ann asked briefly.
“No,” Gallagher said solemnly. “Although the terrain here can disperse the enemy, it’s really not suitable for retreat, so let them go to the hall of the palace.”
Delia had already obtained the potion from the necromancer, but treatment was a long-term process. The little princess, who was helped by the two maids, looked a little pale. Delia’s eyes were closed, and the metal brace was still fixed on her legs.
Based on observation alone, Ann couldn’t judge whether she had regained the ability to walk.
The only thing that could make the female warrior feel a little relieved was that she was wearing the black crystal that Nemo had personally processed, and Cat Whiskers had definitely found them—that meant Delia knew they were here.
At least the little princess would not be afraid of facing the unknown alone.
“When they sit down, we will attack from behind,” Ann said in a very low voice. Her lips hardly moved. “I’m going to add protection to Delia, and you make sure that my brother is out of escort range and restrain him.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Many great nobles remained in the hall, exchanging information from the outside world as quietly as possible.
The ancient hall was wide and magnificent, and the white reliefs on the walls were embedded with pure gold patterns. Under the delicate crystal ceiling, a special candle with a light fragrance was burning on a tall and thin gold candlestick. The position close to the throne was covered with thick carpets with complex and exquisite patterns, and the high dome even had a little religious solemnity.
Manipulated by the technique, the emperor’s body sat on the throne, while the prince sat on the chair closest to the throne, looking relaxed and comfortable. Delia was sent by the maids to the prince, who familiarly pulled out the seat beside him and gestured for his niece to sit down next to him.
But the girl, who was like a beautiful doll, didn’t mean to move.
“Delia?” The prince raised his eyebrows.
The maids exerted their strength slightly, but the little princess remained motionless—Anyone could see her resistance this time.
“Be obedient.” The prince’s voice sank slightly. “It will be fine.”
“No.” The little princess cleared her throat.
“Damn it.” Ann gritted her teeth. “She knows we are here, she…”
In the limited communication, Ann couldn’t immediately see through the character of her niece. Delia Alastair undoubtedly had strategy and wisdom far beyond her age, and her control over emotions was also quite terrifying—not anyone could “live in peace” with the enemy who killed her mother.
The little princess was generally calm in the recent exchanges, like wearing a mask made of ice, but occasionally there were moments of excitement. Considering that the little girl was alone in the enemy’s camp, Ann didn’t dare reveal her identity too early, for fear that the other party would cause the prince to be alert because of her excessive mood swings.
Although her brother was headstrong, he wasn’t stupid.
But apart from all this, an instinctive worry had been entangled in her heart. Her niece, the child of her twin sister, has a certain kind of heavy darkness on her body.
And the darkness was about to overflow now.
“No,” Delia announced again.
“Uncle is going to be angry.” There was no longer a smile in the prince’s voice, and his tone became tougher. “Sit down, Delia.”
The exquisite brace on the little princess’s legs clicked to the ground.
Before the maid and the guard could react, she dexterously jumped in front of the emperor, who was close at hand, moving briskly and full of strength.
Then, with her right hand that had been holding the skirt swung out quickly, and with a flash of cold light, she cut the neck of the corpse without hesitation.
No blood spurted out.
“The emperor has been dead a long time ago,” she announced coldly. Her amber eyes opened and she glared in the direction of the prince.
“The emperor has been dead for a long time!” The little princess ignored the roaring prince and raised her voice. She directly proved the emperor’s death in the craziest and roughest way, and the hall was in an instant mess.
Marshal Gallagher was about to rush forward, but was held down by Ann.
“Wait.” She stared at Delia’s face tightly. “Wait a little bit more…”
The Trent Plague that should have taken away the other party’s ability to move seemed to have lost its effect. Prince Eldric himself knew very well that the potion he gave Delia couldn’t achieve such a healing effect.
The prince stood still. The expression on his face is a little distorted. His face was mixed with anger and sadness, and even a few moments of confusion.
There was no need to manipulate anymore. The emperor’s body collapsed to one side with a black and red wound at the neck. It was like a grinning mouth, silently laughing at the chaos in the hall. The young prince clenched his sword and stayed in place.
There was no order, and no one dared to step forward for a while. Her beautiful eyes opened wide, and her icy gaze swept across everyone in the hall. The gaze was too sharp, and within an instant, the nobles who had just exploded into a ball held their breath.
In the end, the gaze stopped on the prince.
There was silence in the hall.
“Uncle.” The little princess who always had a dull expression came to life and revealed a sweet smile that sent chills down everyone’s spine. “What are you thinking, dear uncle?”
The guards next to the prince were about to move, but they were stopped by a hand stretched out by Prince Eldric. The handsome middle-aged man stood up; the relief on his face was gone.
“Your illness has been cured,” he calmly asserted, but his body trembled with anger. “And at the same time, controlled.”
“Because your Delia is not such a person.”
The little princess neatly untied the bow on the side of the long skirt and tied the skirt that was in the way into an easy-to-move style. Her movements were extremely proficient. No matter how one looked at it, they were the result of countless exercises.
“Because your Delia has countless opportunities for revenge, but she didn’t do it.” Delia raised her chin; her voice continued.
“You’ve been tricked by bad people, Delia.” The prince’s tone began to sound irritable. “Throw away that dangerous thing and look at me—I am the one who has taken care of you for eight years!”
Eldric had never been so frustrated.
At present, the attackers have not appeared, and most of the heavyweights in Alban are present. He had made countless preparations. Whenever the intruders tried to prove that the emperor was dead, he had words to deduct the crime of “using unknown magic to assassinate the emperor and frame the prince”.
But the person who did this was Delia.
He couldn’t kill all the people present to silence them unless he wanted to plunge the upper class of Alban into chaos.
He just wanted to revitalize the country. The prince clenched his teeth. As if the heavens were deliberately making things difficult for him, someone had entrapped his simple niece and was possibly even manipulating her. The opponent was absolutely strong. His unknown enemy had the power to suppress the Trent Plague.
Or, his Delia was dead, and the one in front of him was also a manipulated corpse.
But as soon as this thought passed, the little princess in front of him slowly sliced her palm with a dagger, and blood suddenly dripped.
“You’re thinking, I was entrapped and manipulated, and maybe even dead. You’re trying to test me.” Delia still had that sweet smile on her face. “Am I right, uncle?”
“You’re thinking, the blood is still there, so maybe she just died not long ago. Or this girl isn’t Delia and her body was switched while I was out of sight. Or maybe—some magician of great power has broken the illusion array in this hall and is performing some kind of advance illusion.”
It was like she could see through people’s hearts.
Eldric felt his blood become cold and his brain burn. He thought this emotion was anger at first, but it was too far from anger—the cold sweat was exploding on his back, and the air around him was rapidly getting colder.
Perhaps this was “fear”.
He had never been so scared; he could only guess that it was like this. Then he became angrier at himself for being so afraid—the prince gulped and drew his sword.
“Delia, come back!” he shouted hoarsely. “I can still forgive you.”
“You’re thinking that you can still find a reason to prevaricate in the past… Dear Uncle, guess why I chose to do it now?”
The young princess’s skirt was tied high. The blood stained her plain skirt and soiled the carpet under her feet. There was something moving in the beautiful and complicated hair ornament—a dark spider slowly crawled down her cheek and stayed on her naked shoulders, looking weird and terrifying.
An audible intake of breath rang out in the resplendent hall.
“…” The prince stared at the spider tightly and opened his mouth, but shock blocked his throat.
The stupid girl who had been following his ass for eight years had completely become a dangerous stranger. Everything that was originally firmly in the palm of his hand collapsed and turned into quicksand, and was frantically running out of control.
He began to feel… indescribably uncomfortable.
“I have had many opportunities to kill you. When I was leaning against you, when you smiled at me… at my mother’s funeral, when you let me cry in your arms.” The taste of ridicule in the girl’s voice was getting stronger.
“But that was too fast. You will only be in momentary pain. If I prolong that time, I bear the risk of you being rescued. And you—Until the moment of your death, you will think, God, this woman is really stupid. She doesn’t know what she did. How can she let me die a complacent winner?”
The resentment in the little princess’s voice made people’s limbs cold. She stood quietly in front of the throne, slender and thin, but no one dared to step forward. A thick and cold sense of oppression slowly spread down, like a cold reptile swimming through their skin.
The guards were silent, like stone carvings. This scene was beyond common sense that it made the respected nobles tremble. It wasn’t that it was unprecedented. Even if Gallagher’s army were under their nose, they could still maintain their composure, but this scene was closer to unconscionable horror than danger—like a twisted nightmare completely divorced from reality.
“Let me tell you that the feeling you feel now is called ‘pain’. Is it completely different from the words you have read? Let me tell you why you are not qualified to be a king—”
“The so-called “king” is a job of ranking and sorting everyone’s ‘pain’ and ‘despair’.”
“This is not something that can be done by being ‘smart‘ alone, dear uncle. “
I bow to Empress Delia.