“How many troops are available for the current battle, aside from the First Battalion?”
“Anyone will go into battle with Your Majesty’s command.”
“That’s fortunate. From the First to the Third Battalion, everyone will accompany me.”
“Where are we going, Your Majesty?”
Isillis brightly smiled as she watched the commander move quickly without asking when.
‘At least that much is needed to call them my loyal subordinates.’
She stood up from her seat, eagerly anticipating tomorrow.
As Berthas prepared to return to Hillenton using the magic circle, Isillis attached a brooch with defensive magic she had prepared in advance to his collar. It was a magical device set to relay to Isillis if something happened to him immediately.
It was created last night out of unnecessary anxiety and sleeplessness.
As Berthas and his group disappeared with a bright light, Isillis summoned the wizards. She planned to use the same portal to go directly to Hillenton.
“Your Majesty, are you okay?”
Feeling a tingling sensation in her magic, Isillis staggered. There was definitely a problem with Berthas’ condition.
“Is the magic circle ready?”
“Just give me a little more time!”
There was no time to waste, as Berthas could be in trouble. As soon as the magic circle was complete, Isillis used her magic to teleport.
* * *
A bright light spread.
Isillis and the wizards arrived through a large-scale teleportation. The situation unfolding before her eyes matched her expectations perfectly, making her let out a bitter laugh. They still managed to strike the back of the head of the Empress’ father, the Regent, and a Swordmaster, even if he had been away from Hillenton for a while.
‘How dare you touch my people?’
With undisguised anger surging, Isillis unleashed her magic. The crowd that had been rushing towards Berthas halted abruptly at the sudden appearance of Isillis and the wizards.
In that fleeting moment, they all succumbed to her magic. The flames conjured by her hands wrapped around them, transforming them into ashes in an instant. Even in that brief moment, Isillis identified the noble at the forefront.
‘Probably the instigator’
Looking at the elderly noble, Isillis spoke.
“You must be the mastermind behind this incident.”
“Larchen, step back from this!”
“Why should I? This is my empire now.”
Seeing her summoning her magic resembled a burning fire. The red magic enveloping her body signaled the preparation of a large-scale spell. Watching Isillis, the wizards cast protective spells on Berthas and his group.
“Berthas, do you have anyone to protect?”
With her usual temperament, she should have bombarded the magic without asking him, but given that this was his country, she gave him a single opportunity.
“No, I don’t.”
He conveyed that there was no one with a resolute nod.
Isillis, observing his firm response, poured out her magic. The wizards were mesmerized as they saw red energy falling from the sky.
The spell, known as the most powerful on earth and considered part of a dragon, unfolded from her fingertips. Red flames covered the Hillenton palace. In a single moment, the place with a long and storied history was reduced to rubble.
The citizens of Hillenton who directly experienced the destruction fled from their homes. In the midst of the collapsed ruins of the palace, Isillis revealed herself. It was the appearance of the Crimson Goddess.
In the moment when the Hillenton citizens, who were left speechless by the situation, were about to shout at her, she opened her mouth with amplification magic.
“Hear me. I am Isillis Larchen, the Empress of Larchen and now will be the Empress of Hillenton. From today, we will no longer use the name Hillenton. This country will be incorporated into Larchen, and you will become citizens of the Larchen Empire. I will not tolerate rebellion. Kneel, all of you.”
Her voice was loud and carried an imposing presence. For those showing signs of rebellion, she directed her magic. Those she missed were targeted by the wizards.
As everyone lowered their heads, Isillis spoke again.
“I understand well the hardships you have faced due to the noble’s tyranny. I am giving you a chance. A chance to seek revenge against them.”
This was the most effective way to mobilize the common people.
“Expose the sins of the nobles. Before me.”
Those who hesitated to speak in front of her started coming forward one by one.
* * *
“Your…Excellency. I failed… cough! I can’t… persuade my father.”
“You did your best, Sir.”
“I know… Your Excellency…hates….betrayal…hup.”
Looking at Hector, who was on the brink of death, Berthas closed his eyes. Thanks to Allure’s protective magic, he could survive Isillis’s large-scale magic. However, the rest of the palace people perished.
Even the nobles who plotted from within.
“Your Excellency’s…soldiers… outside the…palace gate.”
“I told you don’t talk.”
As Allure, who observed Berthas’s death with closed eyes, was about to use healing magic, Hector grabbed his hand firmly.
“I can be…with Your Excellency… I’m happy.”
With those words, Hector closed his eyes, letting go of his hand.
It wasn’t supposed to burden him like this. It was an incredibly heavy burden for someone with a delicate heart. Berthas closed his eyes, reflecting on the emotional suffering he had caused Hector. Death was something that never became familiar, no matter how many times one experienced it.
“Don’t think about it.”
Watching his expression, Allure spoke.
“Don’t think about anything and go to Her Majesty.”
Berthas’s gaze turned at those words. Allure, who observed his face filled with anger, flinched but stood firm and spoke again.
“Go to Her Majesty. She needs you.”
At his words, Berthas’s head turned towards Isillis. Her fiery red hair sparkled in the sunlight. Even the ruins around couldn’t hide her brilliance. With Hillenton now in ruins, it would undergo significant development under her rule.
Would he be needed in such a Hillenton? He, who was once mocked as the Emperor’s dog.
“I understand what you’re thinking. However, go to Her Majesty. She needs you as her strength.”
Allure’s firm words made Berthas hesitate. During this moment, Isillis turned her head, and Berthas’s gaze met hers.
In his moment of hesitation, she extended her hand.
All eyes were on him as he hesitated, but ultimately, he took her hand.
As Berthas approached, Isillis smiled. Momentarily uneasy with Allure’s stern expression, he quickly reassured himself. While he stood next to her, holding her hand, Isillis spoke to the people of Hillenton.
“I will govern this place together with Berthas Hillenton, the rightful heir of Hillenton. I hope you have no concerns about that.”
In response to the doubts from the people about trusting an emperor from another country, Isillis offered an answer. When Hillenton citizens accused Berthas of being a traitor, she intervened. To them, he was a traitor, but it wasn’t appropriate to say that in front of her.
Her aura shifted as she spoke.
“What did you do when he, the rightful heir, was kicked out of the imperial palace? I know that no one has given him a warm hand. A passing dog would laugh to say that he is a traitor.”