Chapter 8: Succession Ceremony (4)
There are five palaces in the Imperial Capital that surround the central Baekseong Palace, and the most magnificent palaces of all besides the Baekseong Palace where the Emperor stays, is the top floor of Hyukseong Palace which is also the reddest palace.
There, a man with dark grey hair was swaying carelessly, sipping his tea as he looked out the window not caring how much time has passed.
“The Night of Sabbath is gone”
At an indefinite time, the man opened his mouth at the wizard who was standing behind him and politely clasped his hands.
“…Yes, it was completely erased overnight.”
The wizard bowed his head and replied.
“There were no traces of people on the upper floors except the first, second, and third floors where guests were staying.
The strange thing is that there were traces of battle, but no bloodstain was identified.”
“There were no bloodstains— was the Blood Tower involved”
“We’re looking into it right now.”
“They were supposed to be deployed at this succession ceremony weren’t they”
The man tapped his finger on the window frame as if he was annoyed.
“I didn’t expect to lose my useful card like this.”
Night of Sabbath was a card that could be used and discarded at any time, but at least it was not a card to lose right now.
“The results of their recent work with Zion aren’t very good.”
Zion Agnes, his half-brother.
He was just trying to get rid of him because it bothered him not knowing his place, but he was as slippery as an eel.
The man did not like someone else intervening with him when he had already calculated it all, especially if that person was not even qualified.
If Zion passed the succession ceremony and become one of the candidates for the emperor then these may be variables that could have been caused by his mother’s family.
“Is he lucky Or is there really— something” The man murmured and looked at Baekseong Palace which was reflected out of the window, “If he survives this succession ceremony, I may have to reassess.” But the man thought it would be impossible since the succession ceremony he had prepared this time could never escape by luck alone.
* * *
The only sound in the supervisor’s office was the sound of the severed wizard’s head rolling on the ground which instantly fell silent.
Lambard’s eyes waver as his eyes were fixed on Zion standing behind the wizard’s body.
Bewilderment and shock gradually began to form in the eyes of other supervisors with the appearance of a person who should never be here, “Kill him!”
At that moment, Lambard, who quickly grasped the situation, stared at Zion and shouted.
He didn’t know how he had gotten here, but he had to kill Prince Zion at this succession ceremony at any cost.
The supervisors here are also those who are not powerless and if they attacked all at once, they might be able to handle him lightly.
It went rather well.
It’s better that he came here on his own rather than us finding him.
Before Lambard could decide—
The next moment, the situation completely reversed.
Without warning, the heads of the two supervisors near Zion pop out.
“Attempting to assassinate kins of the imperial family and also manipulating the succession ceremony.
I’m sure you both know the summary of your action.”
Zion talked insensibly through the blood pouring from the bodies of the supervisors who had fallen with their heads gone.
It was only then that the other supervisors who came to their senses began to rush towards him.
Just by turning his body, Zion easily dodged the sword strike of a middle-aged knight who arrived first.
He plucked the heart out of the knight’s chest all at once as blood bursts out within him.
Behind Zion, a fireball was launched, destroying all the surrounding screens.
Zion took a big step forward taking advantage of the aftermath from it, he accelerated further and reached the front of the wizard who launched the fireball.
The wizard was baffled by Zion’s incomprehensible speed, he quickly wrapped his entire body in a flame shield, the flame that was formed was so vicious that it could turn the body that touches it to ashes, but Zion did not stop and reached for the flame shield.
In Zion’s hand, darkness began to densely form.
Soon after, Zion’s hand and the flame shield collided with each other.
There was no explosion neither was sound.
Just a shield disappearing as if it didn’t exist.
The wizard curses as shock can be seen all over his face at the incomprehensible scene before his head was easily smashed.
Along with that, blood and brain marrow gushes out from all sides.
Zion knew that the most effective way to deal with the majority was to engrave an overwhelming fear in the minds of the enemies so that they cannot think and move properly.
Therefore, he took the lives of the supervisors more brutally than usual.
The supervisors were trembling at the sight of him, but they did not stop attacking.
However, they were no longer a match for Zion, who had already lost their momentum.
There were no unnecessary movements but with each move, one loses a life.
All of them were figures with enough status to enter the Imperial City, but there was no mercy in Zion’s hands.
From the time he was an emperor until now, Zion had never spared a figure who tried to kill him no matter who it was.
“Just what is going on…”
Lambard watched the scene in a daze.
The supervisors here were not the best, but each one was powerful enough to lead a small group.
In the first place, there was no way to present those who were less powerful as supervisors in the successor ceremony were valued forces.
However, such people were torn like pieces of paper in the hands of Prince Zion.
Didn’t he show them everything when he was dealing with the Death Knights
He couldn’t believe the reality of being slaughtered by a person that was called the shame of the Agnes Family.
Monster! This is a word that comes to mind when you see a direct line of blood that is rich in Agnes’ blood.
Lambard was now seeing such a monster in Prince Zion.
“S–save me— Argh!”
“Your Highness Prince Zion, please have mercy— Agh!”
The battle that is taking place in the room— no, it could no longer be called a battle but a one-sided slaughter.
The supervisors beg Prince Zion for their lives yet Prince Zion takes the lives of every supervisor without hesitation.
“How can he kill them like that—”
Lambard knelt devastatingly as he looked at Prince Zion, who took the lives of all the people in the room except him— he can’t kill him, that had been decided from the beginning like water flowing from a river to the sea.
Zion slowly approaches Lambard with ominous darkness, smiles, and opens his mouth.
“Perhaps you did this because someone told you to do it.
Maybe you are the one who devotes everything to him, he must be the one you fear the most.”
The eyes of Zion and Lambard meet.
Lambard felt that Zion’s eyes were digging into his mind.
“But he’s not the one you should be afraid of right now.”
There was no need to backbite because he would have already understood without him telling.
The darkness gathers at Zion’s right hand— Lambard, who felt an inexpressible fear in that ominous darkness, hastily shouted.
“I’ll tell you! I’ll tell you everything about the person who made me do this, so please spare me!”
Lambard thought that he had to save his life at all costs.
The reason he was still alive in the first place was probably to hear the information he have.
However, Zion’s words exceeded his expectations once again.
“You don’t have to tell me.”
“Because I already know.”
With these words, Zion sliced Lambard on the head without hesitation.
Lambard’s head rolled around the floor with eyes full of questions.
Zion, who looked at his head for a while, opened his mouth as he looked at one of the bodies scattered around.
“How long will you stay like that”
It’s a strange situation to talk to a person who is already dead.
Obviously, it was normal to have no answer to return, but Zion’s eyes were convinced that the answer would come back.
“Did I get caught”
A neutral voice was heard along with that—
One of the dead bodies of a heartless wizard body jumped up and began to twist and turn into something.
A body similar to a person but with a different proportion of clear horns rising above his forehead.
His skin is almost black and his pupils are without whites.
The thick demonic energy that flowed out with him showed that it belonged to the demon.
Among the fiends that live in the demon realm, demons are the closest to humans and at the same time, they are also the most difficult to deal with.
I think he’s a higher level than the one I saw last time.
He didn’t know when he first entered the control room, but Zion could tell by the magic that flowed out a little while ago when that demon in disguise broke one of the human hearts before.
Moreover, his clear pronunciation and neat appearance indicated that he was superior to the demon he had dealt with previously in Chimseong Palace.
Demons were in Chimseong Palace, and it’s weirder if demons weren’t here because I would be disappointed if there weren’t any.
It was an opportunity to find out the power of the demonic race, so Zion quietly smiled and raised the Astral Darkness.
In the meantime, the demon, who has completely changed to his true self, opened his mouth while looking at Zion.
“I didn’t expect this to happen.
I never thought that the imprisoned prince was hiding such power.”
The demon, Delikes, was really surprised.
It was a scenario that even he, who had been hiding in the Imperial City for a long time, never expected.
He never imagined that his identity would be revealed in this way.
On top of that–
“— You’re not surprised to see a demon tribe inside the Imperial Castle”
Delikes’ eyes, which had an expression of surprise when he saw Zion, who did not move a single eyebrow at the sight of himself, became increasingly cold.
It was natural for those who did not belong to the demonic or fiend tribes to panic or be astonished the moment they saw the existence of the demon tribe, the demons who were the enemy of mankind and the whole world.
However, there was only one thing that could cause such a reaction.
“You already knew.”
How much did he know that he is a demon tribe Or even other beings that live in the Imperial Castle Dark magic energy began to flow from Delikes’ body.
“I was just going to go— but I changed my mind.
I had something to ask.”
The demonic energy of incomparably higher purity than the demons Zion once saw— an average person would have turned white in the face just by being near him.
“It’s not you who decide—”
However, Zion looked at Delikes with quiet eyes and quietly recited.
“I’m the one who decides.”
Soon, thread-like darkness began to leak from both Zion’s hands with a sound similar to scratching on a blackboard.
* * *
On the second floor of the exam of the Qualification Palace.
“Where on earth did he go”
A member of Hermes, one of the top exploration teams with only five teams in the world and Renette, who is also collateral blood of Agnes, was searching for Prince Zion who disappeared in front of her eyes.
If I want to survive this crazy succession, I have to stay next to Prince Zion.
It had been a long time since the suspicions of Prince Zion’s unknown power have already been put aside.
Only if she survived here could she solve that suspicion.
The possibility of living will increase a little if she’s next to Prince Zion who quickly disposed of four monsters like those Death Knights a while ago.
But the problem is that I have no idea where Prince Zion has gone.
She was well-versed in tracking as one of the exploration team, but she could not find any traces of Prince Zion who disappeared right before her eyes.
Should I give up
It was at this moment of helplessness that in front of her—
The sound of footsteps came from the corner of the maze right in front of her—
As soon as she heard the sound, Renette drew her crescent-shaped sword and swung it toward the sound because if it was a Death Knight, she was going to give it a shot and run right away.
“Shouldn’t I at least check if it’s a person or a monster before I swing it”
With a familiar voice, her sword was blocked by a steel shield.
Soon, a man enters Renette’s eyes.
It was Bale of the Steel Tower.
Bale’s condition was not so good as blood kept leaking out of the deep cut from the side of his shoulder.
He then kept on trying to stop the bleeding urgently all over his body.
“You’re still alive”
“I thought you were going to die on the first floor.”
Well-wishing remarks came along with him.
“Have you seen Prince Zion”
Renette then opened her mouth as she took care to stop Bale’s bleeding more thoroughly.
“Prince Zion I didn’t see him.
Perhaps he is long dead.”
“No, he’s alive.
And we have to find him.”
“What do you mean”
Bale asks her with questioning eyes.
“You know that this succession ceremony is weird, right”
“To survive this ceremony, we must find Prince Zion.”
“So I’m asking what you meant by it.”
“Because he’s the strongest amongst us.”
“No, what nonsense— !”
The moment when Bale got angry at Renette’s nonsense that something happened—
The Palace of Qualifications began to shake with a loud explosion from above.
At the same time, the magic circle controlling the entire palace loses its light and the tests on each floor began to stop one by one.
“What is it again this time!”
At that moment, a bewildered shout came out of Renette’s mouth at the unexpected situation.
Renette and Bale could feel it along with the gruesome demon energy extending from the top of the palace, they also felt the dense darkness that swallowed the demon’s energy.