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Chapter 92. To Mitigate, and More (4)
The princess Hailey and Greenriver were in the emperor's chamber. Since the emperor's health has deteriorated, she has kept her father's side, volunteering to be the caretaker.
"You come often."
"He is also my father."
"….. I did not mean it that way."
"Of course, I understand."
The relationship between Ragnard and Hailey was delicate. It was nether bad or good. There was one common stake with which they will confront directly. However, as both have "the crowned prince" as the common thread, this delicate relationship would most likely continue forever.
"Is the father, the king, making any progress?"
The princess Hailey did not particularly answer. It is as it appears. What is the point of responding? The emperor was holding on by the thread. He fell into unconscious for over a month now.
"He must have speedy recovery….."
Ragnard murmured as if he was truly concerned. He even ma.s.saged the emperor's hands lightly. It was an act of a true youngest son. There was not a slight sign of disharmony.
However, the princess Hailey kept her guards up higher with more and more of such display. He was not a son that will show such compa.s.sion. She heard the whispers based on all the experiences of observing and listening throughout many years.
'Keep on guard.'
It was only by internal determination, of course.
The princess Hailey did not show her emotions.
The 5th prince has a very quick and keen sense.
He will recognize it from just a slightest of hint.
"My lady, herbal medicine from the imperial palace's pharmacy has arrived."
As uncomfortable silence permeated, a servant girl's voice was heard from outside the chamber, indicating that the herbal medicine for the emperor has arrived.
The princess Hailey said as she stood up from the emperor's bedside. Soon the alchemists of the imperial palace has entered and pa.s.sed the bottle, containing the herbal medicine, to the princess. The liquid's color and even the scent were all strong royal blue.
"Is it the same herbal medicine as yesterday?"
"Yes, my lady. With apologies….."
"No, I am not chastising you. You may leave now."
Hailey stared at the herbal medicine as she spoke.
Then she began to examine the herbal medicine, using many instruments.
However, the princess could not be satisfied with that level of examination. As she could not understand how the emperor's health has deteriorated acutely, she could feel comfortable only by suspecting all possible things.
That was the reason why.
She poured a little bit of the herbal medicine into a small cup.
She could only be relieved by drinking some by herself.
'She is at it again.'
Ragnard quietly bit his lips, watching the princess trying out the herbal medicine. She has always been in his way. Ever since the princess has come forth as the caretaker, he has had no chance of prescribing the flower of Landeor to the emperor. Medicine, meals and even water had to go through the princess. At this pace, he will not die shortly.
'Although he will die in the end.'
The problem was the timing. Ragnard wished for the emperor to die as quickly as possible. That way, his mixed emotions could be firmly in order. That is, it would be so liberating.
Ragnard caressed the leaf of the flower of Landeor that was inside his sleeve. It is a plant that will dissolve as soon as it comes in contact with liquid. All that has to be done was to drop it into that herbal medicine.
'Today, no matter what it takes.'
He wanted to prescribe it to the emperor.
He wanted to cut short the life of his father.
One more portion was deemed to be what was needed.
He would be able to see the end of it within the next two months.
It was then.
The emperor has come back to consciousness with difficulty.
Hailey, who was taking care of him, recognized it too.
It wasn't like an awesome miracle or improvement.
It occurred routinely once every few hours.
Yet, the response of the princess was consistent.
"King, my father! Are you feeling better?"
With sincere joy, she ran towards the emperor. At every momentary return of the emperor's consciousness, such tear jerking reunion took place. An undetectable smile formed around Ragnard's mouth.
'This is the moment.'
This was the opportunity. Although 'Dumpil Moret', the knight and the body guard of the emperor was in a corner of the chamber, he wasn't an issue. It was that old knight, who has indoctrinated Ragnard into the sect, after all.
'All I need to do is to drop it in.'
At last, the deep blue leaf of the Landeor was dropped into the herbal medicine. It was certainly a mysterious plant. It immediately melted away, upon touching the liquid, without a trace. How can a plant of non artificial nature react that way?
"King, my father, please try drinking this herbal medicine."
It was when the leaf of the Landeor was completed melted away.
Hailey took the herbal medicine as an afterthought.
She wanted to serve the medicine to the emperor.
"Please drink so that you may have a speedy recovery….."
However, something strange has happened.
The princess cautiously held the herbal medicine bottle.
It wasn't too quick or even tangled.
It was like that for sure.
The bottle, containing the herbal medicine, hit the floor.
The herbal medicine spilled all over and smeared into the carpet.
"Why, why is this…..?"
The princess could not understand.
What if thoughts have gone through her mind.
There was no reason to drop it at all.
Even Ragnard became filled with frustration upon seeing that.
What the heck is she doing dropping the herbal medicine bottle at such a moment?
'No way, could she have suspected it?'
The timing of it was such that Ragnard even had such thoughts.
Ragnard observed Hailey cautiously.
On the outside, she did not show any such signs.
'…..Let me leave for now.'
Once decided, Ragnard exited the chamber as if he was being chased. In the process, he met the emperor's eyes, but escaped his eyes with only an insincere bow. The eyes of the emperor that were looking at him had bothered him.
'Do not look at me that way!'
The eyes of the emperor that were looking at Ragnard.
Those eyes were filled with regret.
That's what made him all the angrier.
'Why now when you will soon be a forgotten corpse!'
Ragnard felt unexplainably dizzy.
He returned to his own room quickly.
He felt as if he wouldn't be able to go outside for a long time.
At least until the emperor was dead.
'Why now! Why now! Why now!'
While Ragnard struggled from the uncontrollable, old bitter feelings, the emperor, who had briefly awoken, had relapsed back into coma. It was the symptom that has been repeating for the past several weeks already.
"King, my father…."
It was abnormally acute loss of consciousness.
And the sporadic return to consciousness.
No one was able to explain the reason for it.
Hailey was unsettled, and also scared.
"You cannot die like this. Never….."
For the daughter's heart towards her father,
And for her brother, the crowned prince,
The death of the emperor would be the beginning of a tragedy.
"Only if Sir Ian was here at times like this….."
What would happen if he was here? Of course, even a sorcerer would not be able to save a life that is dwindling away, yet she thought that it may be different if only Ian Page was here. She even had a vain hope that with such great power of sorcery, he would he be able to heal the emperor's illness.
The princess Hailey's sigh permeated throughout the room.
The breaths of the emperor, the princess Hailey and Dumpil Moret, the old knight were heard.
Certainly, it was like that up until just a moment ago.
The voice of a third person, which didn't belong to the emperor, the princess or Dumpil, was heard.
That voice came to life within the chamber.
"Who, who is!"
Jumping with surprise, the princess Hailey looked behind.
It was the obvious reaction since the voice came from behind her.
Dumpil Moret, the old knight, first came into Hailey's eye sight. As if he did not hear any sound, he simply stood in his rightful place like a statue. However, something was different.
"Du, Sir Dumpil?"
Dumpil, the old knight did not even blink his eyes, or respond to Hailey's calling. Only breathing quietly, he seemed to have been frozen in that position.
Marveling events did not stop there.
The quiet 4th voice that was just heard,
That voice was heard once again.
But, this time, it was heard from a closer distance.
The princess asked surveying the empty s.p.a.ce.
Her heart was beating loudly as she asked.
It was because the voice was a very familiar one.
"It is I."
Finally, someone has appeared.
The transparent body has become semi transparent.
Finally, a complete shape and color were formed.
"Sir, Sir Ian?"
It was Ian Page, the tower lord of the Ivory Tower, who has been discretely crisscrossing between places within the imperial city, using cloaking magic and teleportation for a while.
"How….. I mean, first…."
Hailey has lost for words to say with the very sudden appearance of Ian.
"It's alright. I know everything."
"What happened to Sir Dumpil….."
"It is an innocuous magic. He is simply frozen."
Time sleep is a step towards the ultimate magic of paralysis and sleep that causes loss of memory between first being under the spell and waking up from it. Yet, the awareness will continue without interruptions. As long as it is not used for an extended amount of time, that is.
"I am aware of the situation. I will soon resolve it, so I beg you to follow my instructions as I say from now on. Is that possible?
The princess nodded her head upon hearing these words.
She had the aura of ultimate determination and decisiveness.
"What do I need to do? My teacher."
In replying, Ian soon realized what she was getting at.
He had completely forgotten about the promise that he had made with the princess.
Ian has accepted the t.i.tle of teacher.
He soon began whispering to the princess.
A few hours have pa.s.sed.
Ian came out of the imperial palace.
In his hands were the flower and leaves.
It was the flower that was found in that b.a.s.t.a.r.d, Ragnard's, bedroom.
They were the petals and leaves cut from that flower.
'The flower of Landeor.'
The effect of neutralizing the so called mana force,
It is the ingredient for the ultimate poison that had killed Ian, in his previous life.
It was the key that will heal Radio's mana poison.
Since the flower's nature of instantly dying as soon as the root is removed from its original location, even growing it, not to mention collecting them were impossible. However, that such strange flower appeared flawlessly in Ragnard's bedroom.
'Has the emperor been harmed by this also.'
He did not antic.i.p.ate in finding the flower of Landeor in such a way. Wasn't it the flower needed to heal Radio's illness as well as to eradicate the only weakness in Ian, himself?
'How is it kept normal?'
Ian has been diligently studying up on the flower of Landeor for the past 6 years. He needed the ways to grow, collect and concoct medicine from it. However, he wasn't able to find any clues.
'Ragnard, it does not seem like his work.'
Ragnard reached his objective in his previous life and in this life by using the flower of Landeor. It definitely was not a self achieving, and there was only one outside force that came to his mind.
The leader of the Order of the Dragon.
The dragonian Evantus.
If that b.a.s.t.a.r.d has approached Ragnard?
'I must find him first.'
Is it truly that b.a.s.t.a.r.d's work?
If so, would he know the method to neutralize the poison?
There was no way to guess that.
However, he could find him and ask.
'Although he would not reveal it without resistance.'
The immediate task at hand was to find him.
Just at that moment, Ian had a method.
Carrots and sticks, both sides were perfect.
'Maybe start with the story of the dragon.'
'Beat it out of him with magic.'
The latter would be the better way to start.
He wanted to spar with him at least once.
The sorcerer that has reached the similar level as he has.
A battle against such an ent.i.ty with the equal strength.
Of course, he didn't think he would lose.
'As far as magic was concerned, no one would be above me.'
After deciding what to do, Ian set out to the next destination.
Auburn Parker, an aristocrat of the imperial city, who was a faithful servant of Evantus.
His mansion in the imperial city was not too far away.
'Let me first change my facial appearance.'
Ian was still hiding the fact that he has returned, so in order to deceive the people's eyes, he needed to change his appearance.
Mary, the dispatched sorcerer to the Pherick Territory.
It was the same magic spell that she uses.
However, Ian's sorcery was on a different plane.
It wasn't just simply changing the facial appearance.
His eyes narrowed like thread, sharply protruding forehead and even widened nose and wrinkles. Although he may not have been an attractive young man, there was no trace of the face that was ripe for attention.
"Have I gone too far with the disguise?"
He soon changed his mind.
The purpose is to hide the true ident.i.ty.
'It is better to be certain.'
Has it been thirty minutes since he has started walking?
He has stopped in front of a mansion.
The aristocrat that was deemed to be Evantus' faithful servant,
It was the grand family mansion of Auburn Parker.
"Who is it?"
The guard that was watching the house asked.
Was it due to Ian's worsened appearance?
It was rather a rude and aggressive tone.