The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 165

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin

Chapter 165: The Revealed Truth (2)

-Crumple

Condor harshly crumpled the letter in his hand, his eyes fiercely wide. At this point, nothing was surprising or even questionable to him. The mysterious figure who single-handedly eliminated the Devil Dragon that appeared in Aexilium was, without a doubt, the audacious boy who had left the academy just days earlier.

There was no evidence.

Only the intuition of an old man who had lived for decades was throwing him the conviction that he was the culprit.

Had it been so long since he left that he was already making such an overwhelming presence known?

Condor’s head was in a whirlwind of confusion.

-Slam

Amidst it all, the Chancellor’s office door swung open violently without any knock.

A man walked in as if it were his living room, despite the owner of the room not permitting entrance. Covered in commoner’s clothes that failed to disguise him, Condor furrowed his brows, having already guessed his identity.

“What brings you here, Luinel?”

It was Ushif Empire’s First Prince Luinel Severus.

“Don’t make such an obvious face. Not when my mental state is far from being in the condition to accept such displeasure, even from my maternal grandfather.”

Shedding his cloak to one side, Luinel seated himself in front of the desk.

“I’m not here because I wanted to be. Since it’s been a long time, let’s continue the conversation we couldn’t finish in the Imperial Palace.”

Despite Luinel acting as if he owned the room, the Chancellor sat expressionlessly with an unfazed face.

“Did you come to the palace to shake me down?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Don’t play dumb! Surely you’ve confessed everything I’ve been doing behind the scenes to my father!”

Was he unaware that referring to it as ‘behind the scenes’ didn’t sound very bold?

Nevertheless, his face showed no sign of guilt or remorse, only unfounded arrogance.

“I understand that from your perspective, grandfather, all that I have done may seem to contravene both ethics and law. But what I did was never just for myself! You want it too, don’t you? My ascension to Emperor would certainly raise the prestige of the Quizzel family…”

“I never told you to ascend to a throne soaked in blood,” Condor retorted, cutting off Luinel’s passionate speech.

“Age can make one foolish, but now it seems to border on stupidity.”

It was a highly insulting remark, devoid of any respect.

“Do you really think a peaceful succession to the throne is possible, grandfather? Do you not know how my father ascended? What are the siblings I saw as a child doing now? There are no news!”

“……”

“Can you confidently say that siblings like Violet, Fabian, Nerobian, and even that empty shell Arin will not covet the throne? Knowing the dynamics of the royal court, how can you make such naive remarks?!”

Luinel bellowed with a voice filled with resentment.

Condor looked upon him with eyes tinged with pity and retorted.

“Do you think you, who became Emperor through such means, can truly maintain the peace of the continent?”

His own voice was growing more intense.

“The Emperor should protect the state, not the throne! Someone like you, who excludes all to protect their own interests, makes me doubt whether you, let alone the empire, can maintain peace across the continent!”

“The more stable the Emperor’s position, the more naturally peace in the Empire and the continent will follow! Besides me, who else could bear the weight of the throne? It’s not like a common stone becomes a gem just by polishing it!”

Luinel retorted without giving any ground.

“One never knows. The value of a person can change at any time. Just as a gem may appear like a mere rock, concealed by dust…”

“You call that sensible talk…?!”

-Knock, knock

In the midst of this heated atmosphere, a knock came from the door.

“Come in.”

The Chancellor granted permission immediately.

-Creak

A girl entered gently, in stark contrast to Luinel’s entry.

Seeing her, Luinel’s eyes narrowed.

“What does this mean?”

“Make no mistake. She had an appointment here before you came.”

The girl seemed a little shaken upon seeing Luinel, but promptly bowed respectfully to the Chancellor.

“Third-year student of the Royal Academy, Arin Severus. I’ve come for a meeting with the Chancellor…”

She was Arin Severus, the Fifth Princess of the Ushif Empire, scheduled to meet the Chancellor today.

“Brother Luinel. What brings you to the academy without notice?”

“None of your concern. Leave. Your insignificant meeting can wait; we are in the midst of a far more important discussion…”

Dismissing Arin’s prior engagement as insignificant, Luinel commanded her to leave in highhanded arrogance.

“How dare you lack such basic courtesy and yet aspire to be Emperor? The one who should leave is not Arin, but you Luinel. There seems to be nothing more to discuss, so please leave my office…”

-Bang!

Luinel exploded in anger, slamming the desk as he stood up.

He glared at Condor as if the man were his mortal enemy and then suddenly turned and approached Arin.

Arin maintained her composure, meeting his gaze head-on.

“You’ve grown, Arin, to even look me in the eye…”

“People grow. I can’t always be pitiful, bowing before you…”

To Arin’s unwavering response, Luinel’s pupils quivered in astonishment.

“I know you find me disagreeable, but as your sister, I refuse to be a useless empty shell that cannot serve you…”

“What are you talking about?”

“They say threat can be the greatest motivator for progress. Even if someone as inadequate as me poses a small threat to you, that would be incredibly meaningful, wouldn’t it? It would be the biggest proof that you have recognized me.”

It was a bold statement that shocked both Luinel and Condor, who had been listening silently.

“Ha!”

After a few incredulous chuckles, Luinel bent down to Arin’s level.

“Well, as your brother, it seems I need to offer you some very important advice.”

He grasped her shoulders and slowly brought his face close, then whispered sharply in her ear.

“Do you wish to die?”

Arin flinched at his chilling threat.

“Just because father looks out for you a bit, you’ve become overly confident. This is why lesser bloodlines are a problem. Give them a little leverage, and they think they can strut around…”

Luinel’s eyes filled with a rage that went beyond mere anger.

“Don’t be mistaken. Right now, I can strangle you to death on the spot. No one will protect you. Especially such a meaningless, empty shell like you…”

“I will protect myself!”

Arin stood her ground with fierce sincerity in her eyes.

“I do not seek protection from others. I am an imperial princess! If a princess cannot protect herself, there is nothing more foolish. To become a respected and honorable member of the imperial family! That is the path I wish to take as a princess.”

Calm, yet bold.

In such an assertive manner, Arin relayed her steadfast resolve to Luinel without missing a beat. Luinel retreated, having been outmatched.

While the struggle between two members of the royal family who could shape the future of the empire continued,

-Knock, knock

The clear sound of a knock echoed from beyond the door, drawing everyone’s attention.

“May I enter?”

A gentle voice that calmed the previously tense hearts, belonging to someone whose presence was unforgettable. Coincidentally, all three people in the room recognized the owner of the voice.

After Condor remained speechless upon this unexpected visit, the door to the Chancellor’s office carefully opened to reveal a blond man.

“It’s been a while, Chancellor Condor.”

How could anyone stay angry upon encountering that smile?

As if a messenger of peace had entered, the mood in the room that once seemed explosive instantly calmed down.

Arin couldn’t look away from the man.

“Aschel?”

It was Aschel Vert, the eldest son of the Vert Ducal House, and up until recently, the betrothed of Arin’s brother, Sian Vert.

“You, what brings you here as well?”

“I came to convey something important. I was accompanying the Prince when I decided to come here.”

“Something important?”

“Yes. It’s fortunate that Princess Arin is also here. I was just about to fetch her.”

“Me?”

Arin was understandably bewildered, not expecting Aschel of all people would be looking for her.

“I swear upon Lumen Del, the God of Light, there’s not a trace of deceit in what I’m about to tell you.”

While it was surprising that he appeared out of nowhere, it was even more startling how he was immediately swearing an oath to a deity.

Still, Aschel’s captivating smile soon turned frosty like the chill of dawn, and the room’s atmosphere followed suit.

“What exactly do you intend to say?”

When Condor finally managed to speak, he asked with curiosity.

“It’s regarding my brother, Sian…”

Aschel’s expression was a strange mixture of joy and sorrow as he replied.

* * *

“Huff, huff…”

Regens struggled to catch his breath.

It had been so long since such exertion caused him to sweat profusely, and it was all due to his own granddaughter.

“Couldn’t you have used that strength for the academy instead?”

He asked her with complex emotions, but there was no answer.

“……”

Lunev held her head down like a leaf wet with dew, the sound of her breath being the only sound echoing faintly.

Having gotten what he wanted, there was no need for Regens to prolong the situation.

He deactivated the restraining barrier he had created and left the room.

Shortly after…

“Lunev!”

Ramella and the other academy members, who had been waiting outside, rushed in calling out to her.

“Lunev, snap out of it!”

Judging solely by the sound of her weak breathing, she seemed to have fainted.

“It’s one thing to do this to your granddaughter…”

It was apparent from the scene what had transpired.

The academy’s Chancellor, Regens, had cast ‘Mental Breakdown,’ a high-level psychic spell, on her.

It was a dangerous magic that could lead to permanent mental disability if its intensity was too great, meant to erode the strong-willed in hopes of a confession.

Could there have been a need to go this far, even for the leader of the academy who highly valued public matters, to treat his own blood so harshly?

While Ramella was about to cast a recovery spell, Lunev suddenly raised her hand and stopped her.

“It’s okay, Ramella…”

“Are you truly awake, Lunev?”

“I wouldn’t be talking if I wasn’t. Stop yelling; you’re making my ears ring.”

Ramella heaved a sigh of relief, yet only for a moment,

because right after, Lunev was bombarded with a downpour of admonishments.

“What were you thinking, engaging in such reckless behavior? How bad must it have been for the Chancellor to use such power? We nearly had a disaster!”

“I’ll listen to the scolding later. Right now, just hear out a single request I have.”

“A request?”

Confused by the sudden plea, Ramella tilted her head.

“Yes. You’re the only person I can ask such a favor of, Ramella…”

Ramella was perplexed.

Never before had Lunev shown such vulnerability, always refusing to depend on anyone.

Though unfamiliar, the humanness of the moment caused Ramella’s heart to naturally gravitate toward Lunev.

“Speak, Lunev…”

(To be continued)

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