HCM – 75

‘If I don’t create an opportunity for myself, I’ll eventually lose the throne to Aaron!’

It was an opportunity he created. He thought that since he was the one who killed the first prince and made the position of crown prince vacant, he should, of course, be the one to rise to the position.

But the method was problematic. No matter how much he racked his brain, he couldn’t come up with a better way.

Julien looked at the group of lords rushing towards him with a tired face. They were on their way to greet the prince’s party when they learned they had visited their estate.

Apparently, he and Aaron would stay at the lord’s castle in this estate tonight.

❁ ❁ ❁

“Hmm, it is said that the two princes have halted their procession to Mulia.”

The princes set out with an ambiguous number of 340 knights and almost 50 soldiers. But, considering the number of attendants, it was safe to say that the two of them were dragging close to three hundred people in their entourage alone together.

Frisia felt like delivering words of deep consolation to the lords of the territories suddenly struck by lightning, having to host such a massive party.

“It looks like they heard about my curse.”

“It seems so.”

Reed nodded in agreement. There was a huge difference between the time when the Duke was cursed and the position was vacant and now. He came with an armed force of nearly two hundred men.

They were obviously trying to harm the Duke of Tintalion, so it would be difficult and awkward to enter Mulia.

‘It won’t be easy for them to retreat in order to keep up appearances.’

The nobles, including the Duke of Atreille, were already in the mood to protest against this. So it was only natural that the head of the family sent soldiers while taking advantage of the curse.

Ostensibly it was to capture the Duke wandering in the forest under a curse, but who would believe that?

It was no secret that the emperor disliked and tried to undermine the power and authority of the three dukedoms. However, the imperial family is simply denied it under a thin veneer.

The Duke of Atreille must be running amok, thinking he had come upon a good opportunity.

Aslei had just heard from Frisia about ‘something that might happen in the future.’ Which also contained information about Julien’s failed attempt to assassinate Aaron and his resulting exile.

At first, the Countess, Aaron’s mistress, would be cornered as a suspect, but in the future, Marianne’s party would come forward and clear her name.

‘But the future has completely changed.’

In the dream book, which Frisia saw, there was no Aslei falling in love with her nor falling under a curse.

So it dawned on them that Julien’s assassination attempt on Aaron might take place in other forms.

The ‘fake’ future and reality were different, so unlike the erroneous future, Julien’s assassination could succeed, and Aaron could die.

The emperor’s only children were the 2nd and 3rd princes. Orl IV was very cold towards his children, but he would eventually defend and protect his offspring if he had only one child remaining.

‘The second prince… … .’

And as the second prince would expect, he could ascend to the position of crown prince and then the throne.

Aslei had been disappointed with the current imperial family for a long time, so it mattered little to him and paltry loyalty, but the current situation was the problem.

If he were Julien, he would kill Aaron and put the blame on the Duke.

Although it was his point of view, and Julien’s thoughts could differ, Aslei thought he would eventually come to the same conclusion.

“Aslei, what are you thinking about?”

Aslei looked worried, so Frisia asked. He took her hand that had extended out to him and buried his face in her palm.

“I’ve been thinking about the future and what the second prince might be thinking.”

Frisia knew that he was a dangerous person as well.

“Will the second prince try to take advantage of the Duke?”

“I am still not sure. But if he doesn’t back down within a few days… … . I have to assume they have other plans.”

Saying that Aslei looked at Elman and Reed. Elman was the first knight commander of the Duke of Tintalion, and Reed was Aslei’s most trusted aide.

“Since the lords around Mulia are trustworthy, we should be able to gather information easily.”

“Just give me any orders.”

Aslei opened his mouth as Reed and Elman responded in turn. Then, watching him give instructions, Frisia contemplated the future.

She felt confident facing a future where they, Aslei, and herself were together.

❁ ❁ ❁

Even if he didn’t bother to mention the fact that he was a Beastman, Jen excelled at stealth. So he hid in the lord’s castle and watched Julien for several days.

The content he talked about with his vassals was the same. He asked if there was any way he could assassinate Duke Tintalion and blame it on his younger brother, Aaron.

‘… … What a pathetic fellow.’

Jen clicked his tongue inwardly. He had heard that the royal family members were actually enemies pointing swords at each other. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence in the Beastmen’s lands.

But he could not look favorably on a man planning to murder an innocent man and trying to place the blame on his younger brother.

Jen knew that Duke Tintalion was a good man. He didn’t want to admit it, but he was a man Marianne would be interested in.

‘But he already has a mate. Why the hell do you care so much about his matters? Because he is virtuous?’

He was dissatisfied, but for now, he had no choice but to carry out her request. He also enjoyed the current situation of traveling alone with Marianne, driving away his other competitors.

Jen had been spying on Julien for several days and brought information to Marianne. She looked very serious when she heard that Julien was planning to assassinate Duke Tintalion.

Then, after thinking about it for several days, she wrote a letter and gave it to Jen.

“Give this to the second prince. You must never appear to him nor read this letter… … .”

Jen wondered what was in the letter, but he agreed to carry out her order faithfully. Between a man and a woman, trust was important.

‘What is in this letter? Is it a warning not to do anything stupid since we know all about your plans?’

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