Unsealing Emptiness -
Chapter 406 - 406 Reluctance
The carriages began to move, as the soldiers marched along with them.
It was the same scene as it was a few days ago, but it was all real this time. The princess was really having a tea party at one of the duke’s mansions.
She had a friend of her age there.
As the one with the most heightened senses, Ozul lazily followed the carriages, knowing full well there wasn’t a single threat near them.
And if there was, but he couldn’t sense them? He would simply give up. If someone could hide their presence from him, he had no chance against them.
Seeing the royal guards escort the carriages, people hurriedly got out of the way, letting them march unhindered. That’s why it didn’t take long before they arrived in front of a manor that seemed to lose only to the royal palace in its grandeur.
Seeing their arrival, the gates to the manor opened as they were led inside wrapped in another layer of guards, with uniforms of different colors but the same symbol of a blue lion made in a different pattern.
The princess got out of the carriage and was received by another girl of her age who also wore a luxurious dress.
Before she walked away with that girl, the princess shot Ozul another look and turned around just as quickly.
Meanwhile, a chosen few guards were made to follow the two girls from within an adequate range.
And that chosen few guards included the group of Ozul, all being led by Sir Hamel.
A few minutes passed, and they witnessed that indeed, all of them were made to walk all that way from the royal palace to the duke’s manor because the little princess wanted to have tea and eat cake with another little princess.
Another unfortunate event that took place was a maid’s slight mistake as she twisted her ankle. The tea in her pot shook and a few drops left dropped on the princess’s bright sundress.
It was almost unnoticeable, but the princess wrathed in anger.
“You!” she shouted while pointing at Ozul and ordered him, “Execute this maid immediately.”
Since he was going to act obedient and loyal to the king, he was prepared to follow whatever he told him. But being ordered around like this by the weak little brat of his irked him.
Narrowing his eyes, he didn’t immediately follow the orders but looked toward Sir Hamel instead.
The latter sighed while closing his eyes and nodded slightly, indicating that this wasn’t anything out of ordinary.
‘She... will be glad in death. There is nothing interesting in living a life like this...’ He didn’t go around killing innocent people, but he had no qualms about it.
The maid kept shouting apologies while banging her head on the ground, but it was all for naught. The princess desired a twisted form of entertainment by having Ozul kill for her.
And the act happened in the blink of an eye, a line of black passed by her neck before blood squirmed out and the maid’s head fell off, leaving but a fountain of blood dripping out of the neck and soiling the table’s cloth.
Raven looked at this scene with a blank face, but Ozul could feel the emotions raging inside of her.
He shot her a look, staring her dead in the eye before moving past her and standing under a tree’s shade again.
The princess was due for the same fate even if she didn’t know it yet. She and Blaze understood, but Zier was horrified. This was the first time he had seen Ozul kill anyone completely innocent since he had decided to follow him.
Despite his shock, there was surprisingly no sense of disgust.
On the other hand, Ozul could feel a sense of distaste from Kumaou. He seemed to have lost some goodwill from the man.
‘That might be a good thing,’ he thought in his mind. That bearish man was a little too clingy.
The tea party proceeded without a hitch after that. The maid’s body was cleaned up and everyone pretended as if nothing had happened.
Ozul could hear the princess talking about them, but it was a pointless conversation about them being related to dragons.
Soon even that conversation ended and the star began to drown into the horizon.
Sir Hamel approached the princess before speaking politely, “Night will fall soon, my lady. We should depart soon.”
The princess obediently nodded her head and they departed from the Duke’s estate.
The group was allowed to disperse as soon as they entered the walls of the royal estate.
However, Ozul didn’t plan to nap till the next time they were called to march along with the princess this time.
He asked to meet the king and was immediately granted a council with him. When everyone stood up with him, he shook his head.
‘They will be a hindrance,’ he thought, telling them to stay in the room.
He also didn’t explain the reasons he wanted to meet the king, and having gotten used to his personality by now, none except Rose asked. But as always, he ignored her existence and walked out.
The reason he wanted to meet the king alone was simply that he wanted to assert to him that his group wanted to leave the job of protecting the princess.
It was simply a ruse to make the king feel as though he isn’t interested in the task. It wouldn’t make him drop his guard, but when something happened in the future, they would be subjected to less suspicion.
After all, it was the king himself who would have forced them into this job. They really didn’t want to do it in the first place.
He wanted to do it alone since he could gauge that man’s emotions at all times, being able to tread that thin line without slipping.
And it went just as he expected when he showed reluctance without explaining anything, the king sighed and shook his head. It seemed he had no men to spare at all.
“I will talk to her, and she will behave better. Do this until I say so, and I promise it won’t be long, and you can expect generous rewards.”
From his words, it was clear that he was already briefed on the entire incident before this meeting.
Ozul genuinely sighed, and weakly nodded his head, muttering, “Alright.”
The king’s eyes gleamed as he believed these generous rewards were really what the Dragon Hatchlings were after.
As Ozul was dismissed, he sighed multiple times on the way back. It wasn’t because he was still trying to convince anyone but at his own state.
He never thought a day would come when he would use words to do his work, words that he believed were useless and exhausting in this power-dominated world.
In the following days, they were called multiple times to escort the princess out of the estate and sometimes even when another one of her friends visited the royal estate with her guards.
However, true to his promise, the king seemed to have really talked to the princess as she never pulled another stunt like that with him.
Though she would continue to steal glances at him when she thought he wasn’t looking.
At that point, Ozul was relieved that he showed his ‘reluctance’ to the king. That little brat would have probably made him do quite a lot of things to satisfy her ego.
It might have just made him kill her on the spot, ruining his plans to let the blame fall on the steel-mountain kingdom.
The whole group was surprised, having already anticipated the princess to keep throwing tantrums.
And just like that, another month passed with little to no progress.
They couldn’t do anything if there wasn’t an incident.
From the general situation around the royal palace with the guards occasionally seen running around in large numbers, they could read the overall situation of the kingdom.
And all of them knew that the kingdom was really in an uproar these days. Each day there seemed to be a new incident in some remote area.
Seeing the situation turn for the worse, Ozul felt that it wasn’t just Ember anymore, thinking, ‘The neighboring kingdoms must have begun to contribute their share as well...’
Unfortunately, there was no unusual incident surrounding the princess except for this one time when their destination was at a considerable distance and a group of bandits thought it was a good idea to loot people wearing such expensive armor.
Their group was big and everyone was at least in the Core Formation realm, but in front of an Origin cultivator, all of that was for naught.
They couldn’t use that incident to do anything.
The situation had to look dire and there should be a desperate struggle to make it all look real.
Despite the upheaval in the kingdom, the king allowed the princess to roam anywhere she wanted. But he couldn’t be blamed after assigning three Origin cultivators to protect her.
Even a single one would have been a big deal, not to mention three of them!
‘At this point, there won’t ever be an incident,’ Ozul thought with a troubled mind.
“I will have to do it by myself then...” he muttered lazily before rolling on his bed.
Raven and Blaze looked at each other, nodding in understanding as the latter also informed Zier when they were alone.
Having consolidated their cultivation base in the soul liberation stage, they were ready to face new challenges.
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