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Chapter 11 – Brand

Footfalls stopped outside the door behind Consort Prospect Galelius, who was sitting before a large stone desk in the room as he read the document that were spread on the desk. He removed his glasses and looked over his shoulders while throwing the end of his toga to his back. The person who walked in while being saluted by the spear-wielding guards was a man with sunken eyes prominent against his flat face. Dressed in a similar toga, he— Lucius, was a Consort Prospect as well.

After Galelius and Lucius both raised a hand in greeting, they did not read out any particular holy scripture. One reason was because a person among their trio was not present, and they were currently in mourning because of that as well, so they decided to keep things simple.

“Haven’t you decided how to deal with Medoccia yet?”

Lucius snorted as he glanced at the document on the desk.

“Regarding Cornelius’ death, if we can just find out what the Duke of Medoccia did behind us, we can sentence him to death directly……” Galelius shrugged and said: “Unfortunately, the old fox did a wonderful job of hiding away all signs. Hmph, lucky for him.”

“Galelius, from your age, it is fitting to call you an old fox as well.”

Galelius merely raised his whiting brows at Lucius’ ridicules. In the past, it was rare for a person over fifty like Galelius to ascend upon the position of Archduke after attaining the title of Consort Prospect. However, he did not want to be compared with the Duke of Medoccia. After all, the Duke of Medoccia was still unwilling to pass on his title to his son even though he was nearly seventy, and continued a sly correspondence with the Celestial Kingdom.

“Speaking of which, did the Allied Army return to their respective countries from Epabella?” As though he just realized something, Lucius hurriedly changed the topic, “Although the Archbishop escaped from Cornelius’ clutches in the end, we have taken Santcarillon. That means that we found a chink in their armor. This war is practically ours now.”

“Nobody said that we lost the battle,” Galelius crossed his fingers, “It seems like the Archbishop is now advocating the people to reclaim the Cathedral of Princinopolis, and it was frowned on by the Dukes of the Six Countries.”

Lucius’ teeth showed as he laughed, “This means that the Allied Army might be torn apart if we give them a little push. This is a great opportunity.”

“I know that as well.”

“Then why are you feeling so depressed? You probably didn’t summon me just to inform me of a battle won by our army, did you?”

“There was a new Oracle Decree. It’s about the Royal Consort.”

His words made Lucius’ jaw drop open for a moment…… It was about the Royal Consort, the matter about the esteemed position of the Queen’s husband, that was left untouched ever since Cornelius’ death.

“……. It hasn’t been a month since Cornelius was killed, and Her Majesty is still looking rather fragile. How could she accept an Oracle Decree by use of medication? Is this truly an Oracle Decree by Tuekay?”

As Queen Silvia’s powers of accepting Oracle Decrees was insufficient, she had proclaimed foggy hallucinations as Oracle Decrees quite a few times now. However, Galelius shook his head at that.

“Indeed, the Archduke chosen as Royal Consort died before the Holy Wedding. That is something that never occurred before this, so I’m not surprised that you would doubt this. However, Her Majesty had seen even the brand in Tuekay’s Oracle Decree.”

Lucius looked at the document on the table, “…… I don’t recall seeing this insignia before. From its shape, it looks like a brand of House Epimex……” As he remembered something, he pointed at the insignias on his forehead and then the back of his hand while pointing at the picture on the document, “Someone who has this brand…… not only would he become the Royal Consort, won’t he become the head of House Epimex as well?”

Galelius nodded at Lucius’ question. Although there was no precedent, if one became the Royal Consort, he would of course ascend to the position of the head of the House as well.

“Since House Epimex is so large, we might even have to search for this person elsewhere.”

“No……”

Galelius denied Lucius’ opinion, but did not answer immediately as well. He was hesitant if he should inform Lucius of that. Besides, there was not any proof regarding the actual candidate of Royal Consort chosen in the Oracle Decree, and he did not like acting brashly without evidence as well. However, he thought that things might get troublesome if Lucius did not know of it, and thus spoke to Lucius.

“…… Her Majesty seems to know clues about the owner of this brand.”

“Does that mean that we don’t have to search for him?”

“But Her Majesty is unwilling to reveal his identity.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know.”

Lucius snorted. Galelius was actually of the same opinion as Lucius, just that Lucius expressed his helplessness in a more direct way. If Cornelius was still alive, he would probably force it out of the Queen, disregarding her status……

Although Galelius avoided enraging Cornelius due to his somewhat domineering manner of doing things due to his young age, now that Cornelius was dead, Galelius started to realize that his way of doing things was actually somewhat reliable.

“I shall ask Her Majesty about this. Galelius, you must realize that this concerns the future soulmate of the Queen, which means that it concerns the continued existence of the Celestials. Moreover, Lady Minerva escaped from Cornelius’ clutches as well, so we have no time to lose!”

“I know that!”

Galelius couldn’t help but raise his voice. Lucius realized that he went too far, and thus gave a slight cough.

“Say, the priests of the Inner Palace probably saw this mark before, didn’t they? Did Hieronihica say anything about it?”

Lucius’ question made Galelius furrow his brows.

“……. Galelius?”

The reason for Galelius’ reaction was due to the responses of the priests of the Inner Palace when they saw the picture— pale, terrified.

Apart from that, the leader of the Inner Palace, Lady Hieronihica, moaned when she saw the picture—

“…… Beast……”

Galelius muttered. At his side, Lucius couldn’t help but frown as well, “The Brand of the Beast who devours all stars at the end of time, huh……”


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