Amid the lingering flames, the Devil’s mirage was long gone, leaving only a dark golden glow swirling around and when Kieran saw the newly popped up notifications, he squinted his eyes.
[Eliminated Crown Raven Soul Fragment, triggered special event: The Hidden Secret, 20 Years Ago.]
[The Hidden Secret, 20 Years Ago: Time is a scary thing, it doesn’t just change the sea into mulberry fields, it changes people as well. What happened exactly 20 years ago? Other than the participants, no one knows! Now, one of the participants has died, and the rest will surely show themselves…]
“Just the Soul Fragment?” Kieran looked at the most concerning description.
Several speculations already formed in his mind and as for which it would be, he will need to get more evidence to support it.
As for the rest of the description in [The Hidden Secret, 20 Years Ago]?
He already had guessed a while ago, thus he wasn’t at all surprised.
Kieran took a deep breath, he then picked up his loot and looked at Mary.
Following the collapse of the meeting hall, not just Mary, Duke Eldar, and Duke Zilin, a lot more of the guards rushed to the scene as well. Fortunately, everything was in order with Duke Zilin’s command.
The young princess dashed into the ruins and stood in front of Kieran, her mouth opened a few times before making up her mind, asking, “Can you tell me what happened here?”
“Sure.” Kieran looked down at the girl’s face, he nodded in front of her persistence and stubbornness.
Mary had the right to know, despite the cruelness of the whole affair.
Warren Palace’s secondary tea room.
Unlike the official meeting chamber and the tea room attached to it, this secondary tea room was prepared for the youngsters of the royal family. It was a place for the youngsters to spend time when the elders were discussing important business regarding the country.
So, to entertain youngsters, there were quite a lot of toys and stuff in the room to kill time.
Other than the basic books and darts, there were still some creative toys.
When Kieran walked into the secondary tea room, he saw an armored dummy for practicing swords.
Judging from the exposed joints and the standing posture, it was sufficient to tell Kieran that the dummy wasn’t the usual stable practice target.
“This is a small gift from an old wizard consultant of the royal family, load it with a spring mechanism and it can perform some simple dodging and attacking poses. Quite a decent choice for a beginner to practice swords,” Mary explained.
“Is that so…”
Kieran nodded again, he glanced over Duke Eldar before sitting down on the sofa.
The upcoming conversation would be a long one, he didn’t want to stand throughout the process.
“Is that James an imposter?”
Duke Eldar asked immediately when Kieran sat down. He was quite agitated.
Not just talking in a higher pitch, he even pressed his arms on the handle of the sofa where Kieran was sitting and stared at him without blinking.
Kieran wasn’t used to being stared down like that by others, he raised his hand and lightly touched the duke’s shoulder.
Duke Eldar felt like an electric current go through his body, causing him to stagger backward.
Kieran then slowly said, “You can say so but that’s not entirely correct.”
“What do you mean?”
Duke Eldar didn’t care about the abnormality of his body, he straightened his body and asked again but this time, he kept some distance from Kieran.
“Just like I said, literally. That James VIII isn’t really James but it is him at the same time; his body is James, most of his soul should also be James, or more precisely, most of the time.”
Kieran was explaining to Mary the way he perceived the situation.
Old Duke Eldar?
If it wasn’t for Mary, Duke Eldar would not even follow Kieran into the secondary tea room.
The elderly duke was respectable but it didn’t mean Kieran liked him. As a matter of fact, Kieran hated his rigid personality and harden actions pattern.
What the elderly duke did to Kieran one time after another even strengthened the disgust in Kieran’s heart.
“Prairie men! Your Highness, please give the order to send the troops to wipe them out! They shall pay with their blood!”
After hearing what Kieran said, the elderly duke looked at Mary with red eyes, shouting repeatedly like a beast losing its pup.
While facing Duke Eldar who seemingly lost his sanity, the young princess looked extra calm.
“Duke Eldar, please finish listening to what 2567 has to say, we are making a decision here,” she said.
Her voice wasn’t loud but persistent enough.
When the elderly duke heard the persistency, his chest went up and down a few times and ultimately, he fell on the sofa, looking blank.
The friendship towards the king made the elderly duke anxious for revenge but likewise, out of the loyalty to the royal family, he wouldn’t disobey the only heir to the throne.
Standing in between the two ideals, one could imagine how painful would it be for Duke Eldar.
Regardless of the time, one shouldn’t lose their cool over something.
Kieran put away his gaze at the elderly duke and looked at Mary, showing a sense of admiration through his eyes.
Compared to Duke Eldar, Mary’s performance was unquestionable.
A reliable partner was someone who knew how to calm down even before the face of vengeance.
“It’s the Crown Raven. But it shouldn’t be related to Raven Sect, it’s just his individual work—although it really doesn’t fit his initial plans. His initial plans should be completing the cleanup plan after he got the Dragon Sect secret. But his collaborator obviously tricked him. Forcing him to survive on a thread like this,” said Kieran.
“Is… Viper Sect!”
“Then what is the Crown Raven’s role in all this?” asked the young princess.
“A supporter,” Kieran replied calmly.
There was one question that used to trouble Kieran though.
20 years ago, where did King James VIII get the courage to make his bold move against Viper Sect?
Kieran was suspecting that the young king back then must have some sort of backer and with the Crown Raven added to the equation, everything made sense.
Crown Raven was the king’s backer.
20 years ago, King James VIII could be considered as a great and strategic king in commoner’s eyes but when he had to eradicate the lurking Raven Sect and Viper Sect in Riverdale, because of the weak royal family, he was forced to delay his move.
That was until Crown Raven found the king.
Immediately, the young king took it as an opportunity, killing with a borrowed knife so that he could take advantage of the conflict.
However, since the very beginning, the young king didn’t know that he had fallen into the traps between the two sects.
The two sects were playing the king like a pampered kid.
One acted as support.
One acted as a target.
The Viper Sect, who played the target in the fiasco took a step back into the dark.
The Raven Sect, who played as the support got replaced.
As for the young king?
He became a puppet in all this.”
“Impossible! James’ reliance is us! Not the sects…”
His worldview and beliefs collapsed, causing the elderly duke to scream out loud. He didn’t care about Mary trying to stop him and ran outside madly.
Mary wanted to give chase but Kieran stopped her.
“Let him be. He needs to truly calm down. Besides… We still have more important things to do.”