Chapter 5 – Night of the Hunt (1)
Gregor’s body slumped, his head crashing onto the floor.
Zion’s gaze was then drawn to Artaud, who was standing beside him.
Despite them both being sons of high-ranking nobles who could freely visit the Imperial Capital, there was no hesitation in Zion’s movements.
From coercive speech to threatening behaviour, they themselves initiated the brawl and created trouble.
Artaud stuttered, his eyes wide from shock and an anxious expression on his face.
He had not anticipated Zion’s absurd counterattack.
He couldn’t comprehend what had happened from the moment Zion reached out to block Gregor’s advance, until the point when Gregor’s head smashed onto the floor.
Witnessing such a shocking event, Artaud retreated backwards out of sheer reflex, but Zion rushed forth at a breakneck pace…
Artaud’s necklace, sensing that its owner was in peril, emitted a brilliant light.
In an instant, Artaud’s entire body was enveloped in a blue barrier.
However, Zion didn’t withdraw at all.
Rather, his hand advanced toward Astraud like lightning.
Something sinister rapidly engulfed Zion’s fingertips.
Soon after, the moment Zion’s hand and Artaud’s shield collided…
Artaud’s shield vanished completely.
It didn’t shatter, nor was it pierced by Zion’s vicious attack.
It simply disappeared in the blink of an eye, without a trace, as though it had never existed in the first place.
Astonished by the spectacle before them, Artaud and Priscilla’s pupils dilated.
Then, with a single movement, Zion grabbed Artaud’s head and slammed it against the wall.
Meeting the same fate as Gregor, Artaud’s body dropped lifelessly.
“Take them with you.”
After staring at their unmoving figures for a few moments, Zion turned away and addressed Priscilla, who was standing nearby.
“I left them barely alive.”
As though he had no further need for her, Zion walked away after uttering those words.
Priscilla stared blankly at Zion’s fading back for a moment, before immediately returning to her senses and yelling.
Zion turned towards her, his expression betraying his obvious irritation.
His gaze pierced Pricilla, urging her to state her business.
Wary of Zion’s annoyed state, Priscilla approached him carefully and asked, “I want to stay here for a while.
Is that alright?”
Her two attendants lay unconscious on the floor, yet she seemed indifferent.
Moreover, her eyes gleamed with unrestrained curiosity and excitement.
“As Your Highness is aware, several preparations are to be made in order to annul our engagement.”
Zion had planned to refuse whatever Pricilla requested, but he stopped abruptly, at a loss for words.
What she had just stated was definitely an excuse, and he was certain that assenting to her whims would irritate him later.
In Zion’s eyes, she was blessed with surpassing beauty, guaranteed to attract unwanted attention.
He wasn’t aware whether using Priscilla would be worth the trouble.
Priscilla also possessed a rare trait, which led her to become the “Misfortunate Princess”1 in the novel.
By taking advantage of her trait, it might be possible to expose the “true enemy” lurking in this palace.
“Do as you please.” Zion expressed his indifference as he stared into Priscilla’s carmine eyes.
However, Priscilla was bewildered by the unexpected approval.
She had anticipated that persuading Zion to allow her stay would be more difficult.
After all, her followers had caused an unpleasant commotion, and Zion was rather offended as a result.
However, Zion was continually behaving in ways she didn’t expect.
I owe you a favor.” She said, her heart pounding fiercely.
* * *
Priscilla sighed as she walked through the hallway of Chimseong Palace.
Three days had passed since she started staying at the palace.
She was completely satisfied with her accommodations, but she was unable to meet Zion at all.
He was thoroughly engrossed in his training.
He would train the whole day with the exception of the time necessary for his daily necessities.
He even had his meals delivered to the training hall.
Naturally, Prince Zion also prohibited her from entering the training hall or his bedroom.
“Why did you ask me to stay then…?”2
Priscilla, who had stayed to learn about the new changes in Prince Zion, was frustrated.
The only difference she had noticed so far was the attitude of the knights and servants working in Chimseong Palace.
All that their eyes contained when they spoke of Prince Zion in the past were indifference and contempt.
However, the two emotions disappeared without a trace.
And occupying the vacancy they left behind was a deep-seated fear of Zion.
Only Fredo, Prince Zion’s closest knight, was free of such a fear.
What exactly happened?
Even if she questioned the servants, they remained silent.
As if they would lose their life the moment they revealed anything regarding Prince Zion.
And what was that power he displayed back then?
The magnitude of power Prince Zion revealed against Gregor and Artaud a few days earlier far exceeded the general perception of his strength.
However, it was the ability he used that attracted her attention the most.
Something dark extinguished Artaud’s shield at the touch of his hand.
It was the first time Priscilla, an exceptional wizard, had witnessed such an attack.
I really don’t know anything.
She used to believe that she knew everything about Prince Zion.
They had known each other since childhood.
Yet her familiarity with him was replaced by the impression that she knew nothing about Zion anymore.
Fredo, the elderly knight, walked over and addressed Priscillia, who was deep in thought.
“I won’t say hello.”
Fredo looked puzzled at Priscilla’s blunt response.
“Fredo, you know that Prince Zion has changed, right?”
Fredo was perplexed by the question.
He would have to detail the attack on Chimseong Palace and the punishment meted out to the traitors in order to answer Pricilla.
However, he couldn’t, as Zion had demanded complete secrecy regarding the matter.
Aware of what Fredo’s reaction would be, Pricilla nodded her head and changed the subject.
“By the way, what is Prince Zion busy with? Even though I am staying in the palace, I haven’t seen him…”
“Haha, His Highness has been quite busy lately.
Oh, he is currently with the knights in the training hall outside the palace… Would you like to go there together?”
“Let’s go immediately then.”
Even before Fredo completed his sentence, Priscilla had begun walking.
She almost ran since she didn’t want to miss the opportunity she had finally stumbled upon after a long time.
How long had she walked?
Priscilla opened the door of Chimseong Palace with a powerful kick and found Zion with the knights outside the training hall.
Zion seemed to be instructing the knights.
“Zion-nim.” Priscilla approached Zion swiftly and sang his name, her cheeks blushed.
On the other hand, Zion returned her a strange look, as if there was something wrong with her head.
“What are you trying to do?”
“Why didn’t you show your face even once? Are you avoiding me? If that is the case, why did you ask me to stay in the palace…?”
“First of all.” Zion’s cold voice interrupted Priscilla’s words.
“Watch what you say.” Zion’s piercing gaze penetrated Priscilla’s carmine eyes.
“And, don’t cross your limits.”
It was a warning.
He warned her that he would no longer tolerate her antics.
He spoke in a subdued voice, but his words resounded clearly in Priscilla’s ears.
“I never asked you to stay here.” Zion’s voice rang out again in the bustling training hall.
Priscilla, who had been silent, cast a quick glance at him before Zion opened his mouth once more.
“I simply didn’t stop you from staying.
And am I obligated to see your face?”
After hearing his words, Priscilla realised that he was right.
From the outset, Zion had never asked Priscilla to remain in the palace.
He just stated that she could stay as long as she pleased.
Struck by that reality, she replied with a bitter expression on her face.
“No, you’re not… I understand.”
Zion’s gaze lingered on Priscilla’s fading back.
He wanted to request something of her, but the timing wasn’t appropriate.
Before that, he had a task to complete.
“Over the following week, we will double the number of night guards,” Zion voiced the order as he turned his gaze back to the knights.
“The patrol team will also be increased from a group of two to a group of three, and all knights are required to wear iron plates covering their neck and heart.”
“As you command!”
The knights were puzzled by Zion’s unexpected commands, but no one dared to question him.
They were given orders, and they merely needed to execute them.
At least three days.
Zion calculated the timing in his head.
Contrary to Zion’s expectations, the perpetrator of the previous attack didn’t personally come to confirm Zion’s condition, nor use any other means to do so.
They were unexpectedly quiet.
And such a circumstance could only have one implication.
* * *
Several wizards speculated regarding the cause behind why the moon in the sky was at times dyed crimson.
They claimed that the moon was in actuality God’s eye looking down upon us, and His eye was becoming increasingly more bloodshot from observing us without rest.
Therefore, the lunar eclipse was believed to be a period when God closed His eye and let it rest for a while.
It’s obviously a bullshit story…
Thinking so, No.
4 lifted his gaze towards the sky in which even the moon had lost its luminescence.
There was no doubt that the story was a mere fabrication, but that did not prevent No.
4 from enjoying the nights in which the eclipse occurred, just like tonight.
Because it inspired within him the feeling that all light had vanished and only darkness remained around him.
Furthermore, his assignment’s chances of success would increase in such a condition.
Is that the place?
4 observed the palace before him, which emitted a dim radiance.
4 was tasked with eliminating a target.
That so-called target has resided in that palace for far too long.
I had never considered that I would carry out an assassination attempt within the Imperial Palace.
4 was well aware that he was within the bounds of the Imperial Capital, the heart of the Agnes Empire.
His client was unaware of his knowledge of this fact.
Despite this area being on the outskirts, just by allowing them to operate in the Imperial Capital like this, No.
4 understood that the person issuing this request was of very high status.
I already reported that I failed once.
He had no idea why the operation had failed.
Since none of the dispatched assassins returned, the assassination team to which No.
4 belonged had delegated countless resources to this mission; enough resources to completely annihilate numerous noble families.
It also meant that the organization was wary of these clients.
“Before sunrise, extinguish all life in this palace.”
4 delivered his command to the assassins waiting behind him and began moving in the darkness.
Then, all of the assassins began following him.
Despite the fact that dozens of assassins were moving, no sound was heard.
The head of the knight protecting the palace’s main gate fell from his neck with an incredibly muffled slicing sound.
Without the slightest hesitation, the assassins walked past the dead body and entered the palace.
Soon after, the lights in the palace gradually extinguished, starting from where the assassins had entered.
And, waiting on the top floor of Chimseong Palace.
There stood Zion.
Zion gazed languidly at the palace as the lights gradually disappeared.
This second attempt was executed with enemies far more skilled than before.
But, they weren’t the ones that were hunting tonight.
It was Zion who was going to hunt them this time.
Zion’s gaze trailed the disappearing lights.
Soon after, Zion, who had become immensely more powerful through his intense training, began to melt into the darkness.
T/N: Sorry me and my editor got sick this week, maybe it’s covid lol.
Thanks to my Editor & PR for rushing this I promise next week will be a bit earlier.
Thank you for reading and leave us some reviews on NU if you enjoyed the story, TY and have a nice day!
I apologized, previously was “Princess of Misfortune” but already fixed.
Sorry for the inconveniences. Narakura: When did he ask you? This delusional girl needs to be sober up soon!!; IceCherry: Pffft! Don’t be so mean to her xD; Nocturnal: But then she won’t fulfill her role of being Extra Woman #1.
It’s like a harem MC, he has to be dense in 95% of the series. Sound of light footsteps.
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