Just like before, Kieran and Duke Eldar sat opposite of each other.
As for the atmosphere?
It was dead silent just like it was before.
Kieran sat there, waiting for the Duke Eldar to speak about the Viper Sect secret.
He didn’t have the slightest intention to rush the elderly duke.
Half a minute later, the elderly duke looked up at Kieran.
“Before I tell you the secret of the Viper Sect, can you tell me honestly, did you ever look down on James?”
Kieran frowned at the elderly duke’s strange question.
It wasn’t that the duke spoke Kieran’s mind, but that Kieran wasn’t used to such an equivocate way of conversing.
Kieran’s habit made him habitually vigilant; he wouldn’t look down on anyone, not even commoners, let alone a king.
Despite King James VIII’s performance over the years being nothing but weak, Kieran believed that any man who could become a king was not a simple man.
Don’t forget that before this, this “weak” man had restrained Jeanne James and had held back the Duke of Will from the south.
If King James VIII were really as weak as he looked, he might have gotten killed a long time ago!
Kieran never doubted Jeanne James’ ruthlessness and the Duke of Will’s wretched ambitions.
Even more so when thinking of the Viper Sect’s profession!
The assassination attempt on King James VIII from the remaining Viper Sect members had a sense of scruple.
They must have had scruples when thinking of the consequences of killing the king directly but still desired to have him removed for the better days ahead.
Otherwise, a direct approach like a dagger or an arrow would have been much more useful than that painting.
Kieran didn’t believe that the Viper Sect had any scruples with him.
Judging from how easily they were lured out and killed, the remaining Viper Sect members only showed disdain toward his existence.
How could disdain result in scruple?
So other than Kieran, who else did the Viper Sect have qualms against?
Mary? Duke Zilin? Or Raven Sect?
None of them fitted the criteria.
Discarding all these points, all that was left was the seemingly impossible one, King James VIII himself, the king that was lying down on his sickbed, hanging onto his last breath and on the verge of passing away at any moment.
With such speculation in his heart, how could Kieran look down on King James VIII?
“No. There is a lot more to him that he keeps hidden than he lets on. I don’t know why he hides it. Maybe because of Mary? Or something entirely different? One thing is for sure, King James VIII is a person not to trifled with,” said Kieran while shaking his head.
“If James heard what you just said, he would be surprised! The secret that he thought he hid so well was seen through by a barely acquainted young man. 20 years ago, James was ambitious about changing Warren, wanting to liberate it from the control and infestation of the sects. With that in mind, he purposely acquainted himself with people like me. No, not just me alone, there was a bunch of us, including Folly, who you killed.”
THE Folly that caused Viper Sect’s initial extermination?!
Kieran squinted his eyes almost instantaneously.
It seemed like he was related to many more things.
“That’s right, it is exactly what you think. James planned for the destruction of the Viper Sect from the beginning—this is the secret that I wanted to tell you! In fact, not just Viper Sect, but all the other sects that lurked around Warren! They were hiding in Warren either openly or secretly, so we copied them and hid beside them, waiting for the perfect timing to incite a drastic change! Now thinking about the old days, my heart is still racing. Every day was a new battle. Every day we would get closer to our goal. And then… we achieved unprecedented success.
“Those sects indeed left Warren, but after that, failure followed. We never would have thought that the sects had planted their spies among us, inside the core, to be more exact.”
The elderly duke’s excited face turned blank again.
“Ellen, Mary’s mother and James’ lover and wife. Jeanne James, Mary’s aunt and James’ elder sister. These two are made known to you, and there are still others that you don’t know of.”
Eldar’s voice grew dimmer by the sentence and gradually turned into a soft mumble.
Kieran could long hear what he said but he could take a guess.
Ellen, once the First Seat of Raven Sect.
Jeanne James, the unrecognized First Seat of Ghastly Wood Sect.
Since these two esteemed ladies themselves appeared around the young King James VIII, what about the others?
The others such as the average-powered, normal disciples, where would they be?
The answer was self-explanatory.
Eldar’s countenance has already told Kieran the answer, or more precisely, reality told him.
Eldar mentioned that they were a group of people, but other than Folly, who Kieran killed, all Kieran saw was Eldar alone, so what about the rest?
Kieran couldn’t think of any other outcome beside death.
If these group of men hadn’t died, King James VIII might not have been that alone during the invasion of the Prairies men.
“Hmph.” Kieran laughed softly.
“What? You don’t believe me?” Eldar said.
“No, I am just thinking about what Mary would do if she knew what her father did,” said Kieran, slowly.
“That is why there are some things that must avoid reaching Mary’s ears. She…”
Eldar shook his head and didn’t continue.
“You are denying an established fact again. Other than that, you are instilling an ideal that you assume to be correct into my mind.” Kieran frowned.
“I didn’t argue whether it was correct or not! I don’t want to deny it either! But the fact is that Ellen’s appearance and Mary’s birth were all a mistake! Do you know how torturous it was for James to accept his own defeat? He now has to hide in the palace to continue living on till his last breath! Do you know how I felt as my comrades died one after another while I was jailed in the south? YOU DON’T! You will never understand all of this since you never experienced it yourself!” Eldar said with a straightened neck.
He was agitated and flushed, veins popping up on his neck.
Eldar along with his sofa was kicked outside and sent tumbling out the door.
Struggling to crawl up, Eldar’s face flushed further and turned swollen. He pointed at Kieran with his trembling finger.
He obviously never thought Kieran would treat him like this.
“James’ pain, your pain, your dead comrades… What does all that sh*t have to do with me?! I am just Mary’s friend. So you should thank Mary. If it weren’t for her, you would be meeting with your old comrades now.”
Kieran slowly retracted his left leg and hung [Extreme Night] around his waist before heading out the door.
The agitated Eldar shuddered when he saw Kieran pick up [Extreme Night], but Kieran didn’t even care about the old man, instead walking past him.
Though, when Kieran passed by Eldar, he paused.
“Let me tell you a secret as well! The extermination of Viper Sect that you guys thought was so successful, did it really succeed? Do you really think you saw everything? Do you want to know the real truth?” Kieran then walked forward without waiting for an answer.
Sitting down on the ground, Eldar’s face changed drastically. He had thought of something but was unwilling to admit it.
“Impossible! No, no, this can’t be. You’re lying. You’re lying to me!”
Eldar was screaming at Kieran’s back but Kieran didn’t answer.
With the night breeze blowing over his shoulder, the crow feather mantle fluttered in the night.