I Reincarnated As An Evil Duchess - Chapter 26
“Wh, what is this…!”
Morrison screamed in astonishment at the red blood pouring out of his hands and the pain that gradually spread throughout his body.
At that, Joaquin Castle’s soldiers at Morrison’s command raised their swords, aiming to strike the gray-robed knight at any time. However, the knight in the gray robe stood leisurely in such an atmosphere and sneered at Morrison as he sat down, holding his blood-gushing neck.
“You have a slow reaction.”
“W, who are you!”
“Morrison, I thought you would recognize me the moment you heard my voice, though you seem to have lost a lot of your touch in the rear area for so long.”
Towards Morrison, who frowned in confusion, the knight in gray-robed sneered coldly and slowly took his hand with the robe that covered his face. Then, with a slow movement, he took off the robe that covered his face.
At that moment, like a lie, the clouds lifted and the bright moon returned, allowing Morrison to see the knight’s face clearly.
Short black hair, deep blue eyes like the deep sea, and a beautiful appearance like a demon…
It was Seth Persen.
Morrison shouted in an astonishing voice, startled by the unbelievable identity that he had seen with his own eyes.
“…Uh, why?! How are you here!”
“It seems that you still don’t understand the situation. Do you want to know why I am here?”
“Damn it! We must report this to Count Joaquin immediately—!”
“Oh, no. That’s not going to happen.”
By now, the poison from the knife was probably heading towards his heart.
Seth grabbed his chest and stared at Morrison, who was wearing a painful expression on his face as he slowly collapsed.
And, with a look that captured the astonishment just before his death, he kicked the dead Morrison’s shoulder, drew a sword from his waist, and swung it towards the frozen soldiers of Joaquin Castle before his eyes.
Immediately, red blood poured from the bodies of the soldiers whose lives were taken in an instant by a blow that was too fast to follow. He then wiped the red blood from his face with the back of his hand and quickly climbed onto the horse.
Turning, Seth spoke to his knights, who had unwittingly removed their gray robes and exposed their faces.
“Now, it’s time for subjugation.”
It was time to eliminate the traitors who dared to challenge heaven, and change the sun and moon, and shed their blood.
Seth smiled coldly as he watched the knights rushing forward in unison at his instructions.
When the black darkness disappeared to the west and a new sun rose, Joaquin Castle was devastated in a single day. Only the flag of the Persen, which was densely planted on the castle and wall, swayed slowly with smoke.
Count Joaquin, who never dreamed that his operation would have been discovered, had sent all his troops near the imperial castle and to the allied castles, leaving only a minimum number of men behind, so he had no time to defend against an unexpected surprise.
Of course, as the Persen Knights were subjugating the traitors, there were soldiers who tried to sneak out and ask for help, though such an attempt simply failed.
Besides, it was meaningless. It was because the Emperor, who had already received the report from Seth Persen, mobilized the Imperial and Royalist forces to annihilate them. So, Joaquin Castle fell in just one night, with no time to spare.
‘…I will be able to return sooner than the ten nights I promised.’
With that in mind, Seth sat at the top of the main hall of Joaquin Castle, watching indifferently as the former Count Kain Joaquin was being dragged by his knights.
Kain Joaquin, who has lost everything off of a single foolish decision, looked so shabby that you wouldn’t be able to tell he was the owner of the top seat, where Seth was now sitting, until only yesterday.
Seth stood up slowly, staring at Kain, who was staring at him with eyes that seemed to burn him to death. Then, he walked up to him, who was tied to the rope, and bent his knees to make eye contact with him.
“Why did you do this, Kain?”
“Are you not going to tell me?”
“Even if I ask you to spare me by giving you the justification now, could you do that?”
“I have nothing more to say. Kill me.”
In the end, Kain avoided Seth’s gaze and spoke coldly. Rejecting what might be the last conversation, Seth continued as he watched him staring at the floor with eyes blazing with anger and hatred.
“There would have been plenty of opportunities to turn around.”
“If you want to preach, stop. What can you say to a knight who has lost a war and is on the verge of death?”
“It was a battle foreshadowed defeat for you, Kain. Why the hell did you do such a stupid thing?”
When Seth smiled bitterly at him, repeating his question, Kain glanced at him with eyes burning with anger. In his eyes, Seth’s indifferent face was disgusting and he screamed, twisting his face as if he couldn’t stand it.
“…Why the hell did I do something so stupid? Ha! Do you ask because you don’t know? Obviously, you don’t know, Your High Majesty the Duke. Of course! You don’t know!”
“Why did I do that? The reason is simple! I did not rise to the Duke’s seat, even though I roamed the battlefield with you, crossed the threshold of death in the same way, and had the same contribution! The Emperor granted you the fertile farmland in the heart of the capital and gave you the title of Duke. Meanwhile, he only gave me this little Joaquin estate and the position of a splendid count, as if he tossed leftovers to a poor stray dog he ran into!”
“What do you think is the reason? Your dazzling appearance…? Or, is it because, unlike me, who was in charge of the rear, you always fought in the front?! No, everyone got it all wrong! You were able to get to where you are today just because your mother was a noblewoman!”
“Your blood, blood, blood…! Regardless of ability, as long as you are born with a good bloodline, the royal family and nobles will rule over the serfs. No matter what abilities we have, we have to work the land like dogs and pigs! I’ve always been dissatisfied with that situation. In the war, we risked our lives to fight and win, but there is still a wall that we cannot overcome!”
“…So, you tried to assassinate His Majesty the Emperor and seize power.”
“Yes! I wanted to change the world with my own hands! I wanted to kill all the people who only believed in their blood and looked down on the world! Of course, you, too!”
Kain screamed, with his eyes burning with hatred, and spat in Seth’s expressionless face.
Seeing that, the knights standing next to Kain quickly drew their swords, though Seth raised a hand and stopped them. He wiped his face roughly with his hand and said in a low, subdued voice.
“So, Kain. If you take power, will the world change?”
“Even if your thoughts are fulfilled, in the end, instead of the Emperor’s power, your power will rule this Empire, but the lives of commoners will not change. For the common people, it is simply a change of ruling power. In the end, you’re just using innocent people to cover up your lust for power and make up your own fantasy.”
“Oh? What do you know, one of whom is born with noble blood?!”
“Yes. Like you said, I guess I didn’t know anything.”
“Do you understand my situation now? Just end it quickly! I don’t want to beg for my life!”
Despite his subsequent criticism, Seth stood up without saying a word.
Drawing his sword, he lifted it and swung his wrist lightly. The sword pierced the center of Kain’s chest at once.
At the same time, Kain spewed red blood from the corners of his mouth, coughed violently, and slowly collapsed. Seth looked down at him, whose life was slowly dying out, with deep sunken eyes.
“…Now, I think you beat me… you—did it. Don’t even think… you, as well… also have the ending I met—i, it wouldn’t be that different…”
“…You, too, like me, emperors and nobles… just being used—Ugh… You will die, you will.”
“Yes, the great Duke… As it was…other nobles, and also… you—”
Seth cursed himself to the end as he stared at Kain’s cold body.
His gaze was filled with a hint of affection for his colleague, who had traveled the battlefield with their backs to each other, as well as a sense of guilt and remorse that could not prevent his wrong choice.
The knights carefully looked into the eyes of their master, who was agitated with complicated emotions, before speaking carefully.
“Guilty, Kain Joaquin’s supply needs to be burned. He was caught in the fire and died.”
At that moment, Seth, who returned to his usual expressionless expression, gave a command in a numb voice. Then, wiping his blood-stained sword, he passed the knights and the dead Kain’s corpse, and headed out of the concourse.