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1559-chapter-107

“I entrust you with this task.”

In the absence of Empress Isilis, the previous Empress, with a pale complexion, looked at him. Beside her, another consort, Tartos, was injecting her with magic, his face full of dissatisfaction.

“Find Isilis and bring her back.”

“Previous Empress! Are you saying the Empress is still alive?”

In unison, the nobles questioned, annoying him. None had asked about Isilis’s whereabouts from the start, only fussing about the barrier. Now, they asked about Isilis as if they cared. He barely managed to maintain a neutral expression on his crumpled face as he addressed the previous Empress.

“I request a private audience.”

Ignoring the curious faces of the nobles, he spoke up.

With a light gesture from the Previous Empress, the murmuring nobles reluctantly stepped back, swallowing his anger. They were not worth protecting, only opportunists swayed by the current situation. They wouldn’t care if it wasn’t Isilis as long as someone maintained the barrier.

‘Leechers.’

He thought. As she observed Berthas’s changing expressions, she wryly commented.

“People are always like that. Don’t bother yourself.”

“Can the previous Empress really not be bothered?”

Tartos frowned at his sharp retort. However, Berthas straightened his face as he looked at Tartos, who stayed silent at Ayla’s restraint.

“I’ll ask of you. Find Isilis.”

“Of course.”

It was only natural for him to go in search of Isilis. Who else would search for his woman if not him? No one else could need Isillis that much.

“Take this with you.”

As the Previous Empress offered him a small dagger, Berthas was puzzled. Looking at his questioning look, she explained.

“This dagger will lead you to Isilis.”

“I have something similar already.”

“Two is better than one. Take it.”

Berthas couldn’t refuse, feeling unable to refuse due to the evident desperation in her expression. He bit his lip.

“I’m sorry to ask this of you.”

“It’s all right.”

“Please find my daughter.”

Faced directly with the Previous Empress’s crumbling face, Berthas found himself at a loss for words. He remained silent, unable to respond, as Ayla whispered to him once more.

“Find my child, Berthas.”

Even after her final words, Berthas took a moment before he could barely open his mouth.

“Of course.”

As Berthas left the audience chamber, Tartos gave him a nod. Stepping outside of the audience room, he was swarmed by nobles buzzing like bees. He asked whether the Empress was truly alive. Berthas didn’t leave any answers for them and just walked away.

At the corridor’s end, Tartos was waiting for him.

“To find Isilis, we’ll need to cross the sea.”

“The sea?”

“Yes.”

Berthas, sensing that Tartos might know something, asked seriously.

“Do you know something?”

“You’ll naturally find out once you find her… but bringing her back might be challenging. The child possesses a power similar to the first Emperor, often called his reincarnation.”

“Then…”

“It seems no one from the Larchen imperial family has an easy path.”

Tartos’s words, spoken with self-mockery, were filled with regret. After a heavy sigh, he continued to Berthas.

“There’s only one thing I can tell you. Cross the sea. Then you might find Isilis.”

“I understand.”

Though he was unsure of his intention, Berthas chose to trust him for now. If it meant finding her, he was prepared to go anywhere, even across unknown seas. It was a place he never had imagined, but his eyes lit up.

There was no place he wouldn’t go to find Isilis.

“We’ll need the cooperation of the Maritime Empire.”

“They should naturally be willing to cooperate.”

“They better.”

A complex tension flowed between them as they exchanged glances.

“I was told not to go to the sea when I grew up.”

Tartos’s murmuring left Berthas speechless. With a wave of his hand, Tartos walked away slowly, in the opposite direction to Berthas.

“I need to choose the right people.”

It had to be that way. To find Isilis, Berthas needed companions for the journey. He planned to select trustworthy individuals from among his followers who had been with him since Hillenton. He couldn’t trust anyone from Larten.

With Isilis gone, there were those who might seize the opportunity to eliminate her.

Disgusted by the nobles who eagerly took advantage of Isilis’s absence, Berthas was disillusioned. Although they were silenced under the pressure from Tartos and the Former Empress, it was unpredictable until when it would stay that way.

The nobles’ schemes were too obvious to the eye.

With Isilis missing and only a young daughter remaining, whoever controlled the young princess could wield power. Day after day, as nobles attempted to cross the threshold to where Erica resided, Dahan drew his sword.

“If you approach, I will cut you down.”

With fierce determination, Dahan guarded the Princess’s door. No could challenge him due to Berthas’s backing. Moreover, Tartos was forced to stay in the palace by the Former Empress and shed his gentle facade.

Unable to adapt to Tartos’s sharp nature, the nobles who rebelled were quickly silenced by his magic.

“If you wish to see my granddaughter, seek Ayla’s permission.”

Of course, such permission was never granted. Erica’s presence was tightly controlled, and no one could meet her without consent. It was a measure taken by the Former Empress, who had experienced the pain of losing a child.

As Larchen’s imperial palace seemed to stabilize, Berthas made his move.

“Erica.”

“Dad!”

Tears nearly dropped as he saw his daughter run towards him. His daughter was oblivious to Isilis’ disappearance due to the strict controls.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m about to leave. You haven’t forgotten what I told you before, have you?”

“To stay by Dahan’s side?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

Berthas gently pressed his face against Erica’s soft cheek and kissed her. Leaving a loud ‘smack’ with a kiss on his cheek, Erica said.

“I’ll protect everything well!”

“You don’t have to. You just need to be safe.”

He noticed the magic ring, encrusted with multiple layers of protective magic, hanging around the child’s neck. It was made by Isilis before she left, intended for Erica.

Seeing it overwhelmed Berthas with tears, and he couldn’t continue to speak.

“Erica.”

Unable to hide his surging emotions, Berthas hugged the child tightly. The warmth of the child soothed his heart. Holding Erica close, he resolved that upon his return, he would dismantle that barrier.

He couldn’t allow Isilis and Erica to be bound by the same shackles. Berthas’s eyes shone with determination as he gazed over Erica’s shoulder.

Dahan, whom he found strange to have not appeared, came looking for her.

 

* * *

 

On the day they were to set off, Tartos said as Berthas selected his companions.

“You can’t take everyone.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“If all of them go to Etort Port, they won’t have enough magic. I can only send you.”

“That’s absurd!”

“It would be better to go and discuss with the wizards there.”

 

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