"Father, allow me to excuse myself."
"Your majesty, allow us to excuse ourselves."
Adelar and the two other imperial eunuchs offered before Olrich could say anything. With a wave of his hand, Olrich dismissed then, and they quickly stepped out of the hall.
"What news do you have?"
Olrich asked his eunuch spy as soon as Adelar, and the rest were out of sight. On his knees, the eunuch trembled.
"Your majesty…for the past week, her grace has been acting in suspicious manners. From morning to evening, she wards her entire courtyard through Semi-Holy Force, preventing anyone from peeping while at night, she does the same to her chambers…"
One second, Olrich was still a calm and stately emperor, the next his eyes went bloodshot while he gripped his chair's arm.
"Any variables potentially leading to this?"
As he proceeded onto the next part, the eunuch's entire body trembled.
"…this…coincides with the appearance of a new eunuch boy. Not long afterward, her grace's strange behavior began. I haven't had time to investigate him yet but…I suspect…"
Olrich chair's arm broke within his hand as the eunuch carried on with his words.
His True Origin Saint force erupted, barreling into the eunuch to obliterate his bones and severely damage his internal organs.
The eunuch fell face first with blood gushing from his orifices.
Wild with rage, Olrich stood up, crossing the distance, separating him from the eunuch in a single step.
"How dare you insinuate such a thing?! How dare you slander my consort?
DEATH! DEATH! DEATH!"
"Your majesty, mercy! I'm merely reporting my assessment as per your…"
The eunuch stammered, terror-stricken. But it was too late Olrich's boot came crashing on his skull, grinding it into debris of bone, blood, and gore.
Olrich breathed in and out, regaining his composure.
"Now that I killed him, how do I recognize the intruder? Hateful, incomparably hateful. Couldn't he die later?"
Olrich shook his head in disappointment. Finding good help nowadays truly was a daunting task.
"Well, it's not that difficult a problem to solve. I just need…to kill them all. Without male servants, is there still a problem?"
Olrich felt his reasoning made perfect sense and was about to head toward Yvonne's palace when he recalled he still had a lot of work to handle.
"Tomorrow. I will kill them tomorrow. Tonight, we tend to the realm!"
As if nothing had occurred, Olrich returned to his seat to carry on with his work.
That following day, Yvonne awoke from her deep slumber. Her head hammered by the hangover.
However, with a simple rotation of her cultivation base, she dispelled it and stood up.
*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*
Not long afterwards, someone knocked at her door.
"What's the matter?"
"Your grace, his highness, the sixth prince, asks for an audience."
Hearing of Wenzel's arrival, Yvonne's face contorted into a frown.
"I'm not seeing him."
Yvonne snapped, terrifying the maid who still stood behind the door.
"Since dawn, he's been kneeling in your courtyard and said he won't leave until you meet him."
Though Yvonne's displeasure didn't decrease, her face softened.
"Fine, bring him in."
The maid left at breakneck speed, rushing back toward Wenzel to announce him the news. Without delay, he followed her back toward Yvonne's chambers where the maid left him.
Nervously, Wenzel opened the door and stepped in. Within the room, Yvonne's cold back awaited him.
Immediately, he dropped onto his knees.
"Mother, your son greets you!"
He exclaimed in a deep bow. For a moment, Yvonne said nothing, letting him bow on his knees while she still refused to face him.
The current Wenzel was a far cry from the initial dashing imperial prince. His body was emaciated, and his face haggard. His mind had also undergone drastic changes.
Thanks to Else, he didn't remember his clash with Konrad, thinking that he owed his current eunuch state solely to his father.
Since then, he'd reflected on himself, only wishing to experience a life away from troubles and the cruelty of the imperial palace. However, no one believed in such a change, blaming his current deeds on his lack of manhood.
More importantly, he realized that besides Yvonne, he didn't have anyone.
"What do you want?"
Yvonne asked, following her brief silence.
"Mother, I…want to beg for your forgiveness."
Wenzel began while still not raising his head.
"I know I'm an unfilial waste. I know I disgraced your name, forever staining your reputation through my shameful deeds, but mother, I hope you can forgive me. I hope you can look beyond the past and give me an opportunity to become the son you wished for.
I know my wrongs. Mother, please forgive me!"
Wenzel begged in a kowtow. However, he couldn't move Yvonne.
Although he was not her biological son, she'd raised him with painstaking care. Painstaking care he trampled on at any given opportunity, showing neither love, gratitude, or even a semblance of filial piety.
Truly, a waste of effort.
Now when the world crashed on him, he suddenly wanted a chance at redemption? Was there such a good thing in the world? Late, it was far too late.
"Mother I swear I…"
But before Wenzel could finish his words, Yvonne's cultivation erupted.
"I said, get lost! In this world, I do not have a son named Wenzel von Jurgen."
Struck by her formidable aura, he flew out of her room, crashing back in her courtyard.
With great pains, he struggled to get back on his feet.
"Mother…I will come again. Please…take care."
Wenzel bowed, then headed toward the servants' quarters to find a place to rest before leaving from whence he came.
On the road, he passed by Konrad who headed toward Yvonne's place, but thanks to Else, couldn't recognize him.
As for Konrad, he simply didn't care enough to spare him more than a glance.
Not everyone was entitled to second chances.
But as Konrad headed toward Yvonne's quarters, bone-chilling killing intent covered her entire palace's domain, causing all its denizens to shiver.
"His majesty, the holy emperor, arrives!"
An imperial eunuch announced as Olrich reached Yvonne's gates.