Lombardi's carriage, carrying me and my Grandfather, ran quickly toward the Imperial Palace.
Hearing the news that the Emperor was in critical condition, although he is on his way, my Grandfather didn't look so impatient.
"It's been a long day."
I had enough time to comfort myself when I was tired.
"I know, really."
I replied with a shrug, as if I couldn't help it.
"But you don't ask him why he's taking you with him."
"I thought you must have something to show me."
"Yes, you're right."
Grandfather smiled and nodded.
And he asked me in a subtle voice.
"What kind of relationship do you think Emperor Durelli and Lombardi have, Tia?"
"Isn't he some kind of partner?"
"Yes, since the establishment of the Lambrew Empire, the two families have moved together. And they're still in a lot of relationships, like it or not."
The answer comes from how the Emperors treated Lombardi for generations.
Even though they hated and couldn't tolerate Lombardi's existence.
No Emperor tried to destroy Lombardi.
They've only tried to press the household's flag.
"You've been watching it well."
My Grandfather smiled satisfactorily at my answer.
"And when the Emperor dies, Lombardi goes to the palace for one reason. To confirm the Emperor's death with both eyes.
This is a little unexpected.
I took my back off the back of the chair and asked.
"Why do we confirm the death?"
"The Durelli family has been placed in Lombardi's custody, in addition to the assets that have been attributed to the Crown."
"It's kind of like a slush fund."
"Yes, only the Emperor knows and can use the property. And when the Emperor dies, the ownership of the money is temporarily transferred to the Patriarch of Lombardi."
That's a tremendous trust.
I can't believe that the money the Emperor had been collecting over the years will be handed over to the Lomabardi's householder.
"And Lombardi is supposed to announce the existence of the asset and hand it over again when the legitimate person inherits the throne after the Great Emperor."
"The legitimate one..."
The weight of the word was considerable.
As I quietly thought over the word, my grandfather explained it.
"For now, I'm referring to the Crown Prince with the consent of representatives from each region, especially Lombardi. Of course there were exceptions."
My grandfather, who said so, sighed briefly, mixed with dissatisfaction.
"It's been a pain in the neck."
The sound of my Grandfather rubbing his bearded chin spread through the carriage.
"You mean the fact that there is no 'legitimate person' currently, right?"
"Right. Yovanes usually doesn't even want to talk about succession, so no one can guess what's going on inside his head."
"Then if the Emperor is truly dead."
I asked, holding back the desire to swear.
"Then the authority to decide who will succeed..."
"It's with the Empress."
After all the trouble, I managed to turn the West representative from Angenas to Brown.
You're telling me that you have the authority to decide on who will succeed this time!
"You can fall down, but to fall down at a time like this. Yovanes, you fool."
Grandfather said as he clicked his tongue.
"By the way, Grandpa."
"What is it, Tia?"
"How come you're not surprised?"
Grandfather tilted his head.
My question itself seemed incomprehensible.
"When I received the news that Your Majesty was in critical condition. I'm not surprised at all."
My grandfather simply informed his family of the letter's content and stood up.
"Your Majesty was always healthy. But the message that he is critical is too sudden."
Grandfather seemed to be lost in thought for a moment.
And after a short silence, a low voice called me.
"As I reached this age, there is one thing I've realized."
"What is it?"
"That it is true how 'people reap what they sow'."
I also agreed.
If you do something good, you get rewarded; if you do something bad, you get punished.
Everyone heard that when they were growing up.
"And Yovanes poisoned his father, the previous Emperor."
Today, I am learning a lot of things I didn't know.
I was a little surprised.
The death of the Emperor is very confidential.
Ordinary people don't even know what the Emperor's health is like.
Then one day, you will suddenly hear the Emperor's obituary.
"Yovanes, who poisoned his father, knew this day would come."
"But when you say, 'You reap what you sow,' Does Grandpa think someone poisoned His Majesty?"
"...I told you to be careful about what you eat and drink."
Instead of answering, Grandpa clicked his tongue small and muttered.
And then he looked at me.
"Between the Second Prince and the Empress. Who do you think, Tia?"
Grandfather's brown eyes shone coldly in the moonlight from outside.
At the same time, it was a feeling that my mind, which was a little confused, was calmly organized.
"You're saying that that's the only thing we, Lombardi, have to worry about, right?"
I looked at him for a moment and then looked out his window.
It seemed that my Grandfather wasn't expecting an immediate answer from me.
I recalled a few days ago in a carriage returning to Lombardi after passing Bellesac to Serral.
"Estira told me to deliver it."
I held out a small box to Perez.
"One bottle of Titi Spider poison and one bottle of antidote you asked for."
Perez replied, closing the lid of the box again.
"I'll use it well."
I didn't ask Perez how he was going to use it.
Perez didn't explain to me either.
I was lost in thought like my Grandfather.
Perez and the Empress.
Which one of them poisoned Yovanes?
"We've arrived at the Imperial palace."
At the voice of the coachman, both me and my Grandfather woke up from our thoughts.
And out of the carriage door, we frowned at the same time.
"It seems like something happened in the Imperial palace, Grandpa?"
The surroundings of the Imperial palace were cluttered.
There were soldiers moving in groups and Imperial Knights were rushing into the Imperial palace.
"...Let's go to Yovanes' bedroom."
Grandfather hurried and told me. As soon as we entered the corridor where the emperor's bedroom was located, I could see at a glance what was going on.
"Get out of the way, Second Prince!" The Empress's rant rang through the corridor filled with Knights.
"It's worth seeing."
Grandfather spoke in a low voice.
"It's like standing in front of the Emperor's bedroom with swords of Knights standing in a row."
The Empress and Perez were staring at each other.
"What did you just say?"
The Empress asked the palace doctor in a trembling voice.
"Your Majesty....you said he'd crossed the hurdle?"
"Yes, that's right."
The Imperial Doctor pinched his head in an unusual atmosphere.
Then, the tightly closed bedroom door opened and Perez appeared.
"...It seems that news has already been delivered to the Empress's Palace."
There was a sign of disapproval in Perez's way of saying that.
"....so the Prince was already here?"
"I found the fallen Emperor."
Perez said in a calm voice.
Empress Lavigne was just opening her mouth to find out the situation.
Again, the door to the bedroom opened and the soldiers took one person out.
It was the maid of Otua.
"They'll take you to the Knight's Building...Don't let anyone approach her until I go."
"Yes, Your Highness."
The maid of Otua, who had her arms taken and half dragged by the soldiers, looked at the Empress.
'You stupid thing!'
The Empress chewed her lips.
The Otua maid must have made a fool of herself.
Titi spider venom was a deadly poison that few people knew, and the symptoms were similar to those of a normal sudden illness, so there was little risk of getting it.
But something was strange.
She thought she would be dragged right away, but Perez was just staring at Empress Lavigne.
The moment she realized it, the Empress laughed without knowing it.
'There is no evidence!'
And there was one more lightning-like enlightenment.
"Get out, Prince."
Perez was standing guarded by the door of the bedroom.
"I have to check Your Majesty's condition myself."
The Empress said, clenching her fist with joy.
'The Emperor is dead!'
'The Second Prince is now trying to somehow conceal the Emperor's death!'
"I am the Empress of this Empire!"
The maid of Otua was dragged away, but she didn't open her mouth very easily.
As long as the dreadfully thoughtful family was in the hands of Angenas, the maid of Otua couldn't betray the Empress.
So Lavigne's voice grew louder and louder.
"Your Majesty is safe and sound. It's His Majesty's order to not let anyone come in."
"Ha!" What are you talking about?
There's no way a dead emperor can speak!
The Empress snorted unconsciously.
"Your Majesty is resting now."
"I have the right to see what he looks like!"
Eventually, a screaming high voice rattled through the empty corridor.
Perez, who was staring at Lavigne, asked.
"Why are you doing this?"
"Your Majesty, who is not well, says that he will not meet anyone, so why are you being so forceful?"
"Are you not believing my words that Your Majesty is safe, or are you convinced that it will not be possible?"
Perez's red eyes stared coldly at the Empress.
"I think it's the latter, I wonder why."
"...Get out of the way."
Instead of answering the Prince, the Empress took a step closer.
Perez stepped aside and blocked the Empress.
The moment he grabbed the Empress by the shoulder.
"You dare touch me with a dirty hand!"
The Empress slapped Perez on the cheek.
"Do you think I'm going to step down because you're blocking me?"
The Empress said so and called her attendant.
"Go ahead and let them know!"
After hesitating for a while at the behest of the Empress, the servant quickly ran down the hall.
And after a while.
"Get out of the way, Your Highness!"
"How dare you disobey the Empress, wake up!"
The Imperial knights, each running to the call of the Empress and Perez, roared at each other.
Those who were contacted belatedly joined their respective forces, and the corridor of the bedroom was gradually filled with no time to step on.
"Shame on you as an Imperial knight!"
"Who's going to tell who!"
Tension flowed between the knights, which had been divided into two forces, as if they would draw a sword at any moment.
"Get out of the way, Second Prince!"
The Empress cried out loud once again.
There was a little smile on her face.
Despite such a big uproar, there was no reaction in the bedroom.
This could never have happened if the Emperor was alive.
The Empress was convinced of victory.
The Emperor's absolute power was right in front of her eyes, and she seemed to be able to hold it if she reached out.
It was then.
"What are you doing now!"
With a loud roar, the Knights split like water.
"Empress! Prince! Both of you stop this instant!"
At the end of the hallway, Rulac Lombardi, with his hands behind him, stood with angry eyes.
A/N: This chapter reminds me again of the fact that Lombardi is really powerful. I mean, they look more like the Imperial Family more than the Durelli. Lol.