The carriage that left the mansion ran smoothly.
The distance between La Lune, where the mansions of the nobles were concentrated, and the Imbert Palace was very close.
But the Emperor, concerned that someone might be following them, ordered the carriage to be driven into the narrow and complicated back alleys of the capital instead of as soon as its tracks were clearly revealed.
The driver of the carriage was an ordinary coachman who didn’t even know what kind of guests he was serving.
They were supposed to change carriages at the midway point, a secret place, just like when they came out of the palace.
It was shortly after the carriage had just turned the corner of a narrow alley that the accident occurred.
It was the middle of the night and no one was passing by, but there was a loud roar of horses as if they were startled by something, causing the carriage to suddenly stop.
Even the carriage they were riding in shook due to the wild movements of the startled horses.
Eugène, immersed in other thoughts until then, came to his senses at the sudden rattling and hurriedly grabbed the chair.
The Emperor, sitting on the other side, barely managed to balance by placing his hands on both walls of the carriage.
For a brief moment, Eugène, bewildered by the unexpected situation, bumped into the Emperor, who was on the opposite side.
Then a horrifying scream was heard outside the window.
It was the desperate scream of the unfortunate coachman.
When a faint light flashed across the Emperor’s eyes, Eugène’s face showed a clear expression of disappointment.
As soon as Eugène realized the situation, he got up from his seat and blocked the Emperor with his own body.
The door of the carriage opened as soon as he was able to take out his sword.
Just as Eugène identified the opponent, he swung his sword to prevent the attacker from entering the carriage.
It was almost at the same time it happened and Eugène reacted.
This may have been a possible response because he had been worried about the possibility of this situation happening all evening.
Just as expected. The insolent attacker, who opened the carriage door without knocking, was holding a pistol with a lit fuse.
As soon as Eugène found him, he struck the gun with the back of the sword.
The attacker tried to target the people in the carriage and did not drop his gun despite the sudden attack, though the pistol’s muzzle turned to the ground.
Eugène fiercely reversed the sword that struck the muzzle and cut off the lit wick.
The technique of moving as nimble as a snake climbing upside down a tree was closer to Austrassie than to Neustrie.
He calmly removed the pistol’s threat and then kicked his opponent in the chest.
The man, who was just about to push himself into the carriage fell out of the door mercilessly.
The horses, startled by their harsh offensive, stamped their feet again.
Even the carriage, which was still attached to the horses, rattled dangerously.
Eugène managed to keep his balance in the carriage, which swayed haphazardly like a small boat in a storm.
Eugène, barely standing in position, looked back unintentionally.
He was worried that the willingness to fight and win of the Emperor was strong as the attackers rushing in front of him.
Eugène knew he was an exceptional swordsman, but in front of an attacker with a gun, no matter how good a knight he was, it was futile.
Furthermore, wasn’t the Emperor’s existence valuable not because he was a good swordsman, but because he was an Emperor He was not a knight to step up and fight, but a symbol of an empire that must not fall until the very end.
Eugène didn’t mind that the Emperor couldn’t help him, he just wanted him to be safe.
“Stay as you are, Sir Gersen!”
Eugène, anxious that the Emperor might step forward, pushed him into one corner of the carriage and said firmly.
The Emperor could not even pull out his sword because of the narrow space he was in, and unexpectedly and meekly took refuge in the corner of the carriage.
He looked at the attackers rushing toward Eugène and ordered in a cool tone.
“Don’t kill them, Muiel.
Aren’t they our much-awaited guests”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Eugène could not understand what the Emperor meant by such a request.
Did it mean that he believed in his own abilities that much Or was it deliberately intended to confuse the enemy However, whatever the Emperor’s true intentions, Eugène could not afford to comply with the order.
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Under the current circumstances, he could not afford to move anywhere else.
The space he was defending now had a narrow field of view and it was difficult to seek an opportunity to counterattack, so it was a position that could not be sustained for long.
But even so, he would not be able to leave behind the Emperor who would be defenseless if he left.
Several fierce battles took place between the attackers and Eugène.
The attackers were also quite skillful, but they could not break through the strong defense of Eugène, a war veteran.
If the gun had been fired, the situation might have been different.
Fortunately, however, the enemies did not seem to want to draw other people’s attention by indiscriminately firing shots in the middle of the capital.
The Emperor, who had been hiding behind his back, looked at the man’s strong back, guarding the door with an interested gaze.
Eugène’s back, guarding the door out of volition, was as straight and determined as a knight in a legend.
“It cannot be this way, Sir Gersen.
Eugène analyzed the situation cool-headedly while defeating the enemy’s attacks.
To be honest, he wasn’t sure how long he would be able to last here.
The reason he had withstood so far in such an unfavorable situation was not only because of his excellent skills but also because the enemies were trying to capture them alive.
However, he didn’t know how long he’d be fortunate enough to be able to do that.
Eugène decided that it would be better for him to get off while he still had the strength to spare, so he took a step forward to get out of the carriage.
That seems impossible, Muiel.”
Eugène did not feel the need to exchange opinions with the Emperor even though he made his own judgment.
It was because he believed that the Emperor would immediately understand his intentions just by looking at his actions.
Eugène, about to throw himself away to clear the way, was startled by the calm voice behind his back and stopped.
It was an extremely quiet response that did not suit the situation, but there was something sinister about it that stimulated his instincts.
Eugène, with a spine-chilling instinctive premonition, hurriedly looked back.
Eugène turned his head and saw the Emperor sitting in the corner of the carriage slowly raising his hands, with his lips twisted as he faced him.
And behind the Emperor’s back… A pistol that broke in through the opposite window was shining coolly.
“Whether the gun is faster or the sword, would you like to test it out Swordsman”
The man, like the other attackers, had his face covered with a black mask and made a cold sarcastic remark as he pressed the gun firmly against the Emperor’s back.
Eugène was caught off guard and glared at the masked man with a fiery red gaze.
The masked man poked the Emperor’s back with his gun as if he was warning him and ordered in a low voice.
“If you want to save your master, throw away the sword.”
A cold-hearted order that had not been given even the slightest amount of room for compromise fell from the man’s mouth.
When Eugène heard his order, he clenched his jaw so hard, to the point his molars hurt.
Being unarmed in the current situation was the worst choice he could ever make.
If he lost his weapon in this situation, it was as good as losing the last bastion that could turn the situation around.
However, it was no exaggeration to say that there was no possibility that he would save the Emperor from the face of the masked man.
The flaming wick was burning fast, and the masked man’s bullet would pierce the Emperor’s heart faster than any response he could take.
Eugène, contemplating in the face of a difficult problem in which he could not readily make a decision, and met the Emperor’s gaze.
The Emperor was looking at him with an indifferent expression.
As if it didn’t matter what decision Eugène would make, his eyes staring at him were impassive.
… Are you judging a subject’s potential even in this situation You’re truly incredible, Your Majesty.
When Eugène met that kind of gaze in such an explosive situation, he felt as sick as a parrot.
The Emperor’s attitude, as if he didn’t even care about the muzzle behind his back, was beyond bold.
Eugène was overwhelmed by the Emperor’s incomprehensible equanimity.
However, no matter how much he thought about it, as long as he was concerned about the safety of the Emperor, he had only one option.
When he reluctantly set his sword down on the floor of the carriage, the attackers who were fighting him quickly stepped up and removed his sword.
They grabbed him roughly by the arm and dragged him out of the carriage, as if to vent the anger of what had just happened.
“You have a good dog, My Lord.
What a great and faithful dog.”
The masked man saw the man who had been raging like an angry lion until just now being passively dragged out of the carriage, said to the Emperor in a sneering tone.
The Emperor glanced at the masked man with golden eyes brimming with strange emotions and smiled languidly.
“He’s not a dog.
He’s my hunting hawk.”
The Emperor gently corrected the masked man’s misunderstanding.
The best breed of hunting hawks.
It’s by far the best thing I’ve ever had.
Though I haven’t tamed them all to this level yet, don’t you think it’s quite magnificent”
The masked man looked astonished at the tone of the Emperor, who seemed genuinely pleased.
Even though half of his face was covered, the absurd look in his eyes was evident.
However, the Emperor did not care about the masked man’s strange eyes and looked at the empty space where Eugène had left.
His eyes, as narrow as a smile, were imbued with deep, sweet satisfaction.
When he stopped resisting, the attackers immediately turned into kidnappers and dragged the two away.
Of course, Eugène had foreseen that this would be the case.
From the beginning, their intention was not to assassinate but to capture them alive.
If they didn’t want them alive, they wouldn’t have tried to achieve the elusive goal.
The Emperor and Eugène, who had been disarmed, were forcibly transferred to another carriage, blindfolded with a black cloth, and the attackers remained vigilant until they reached their destination, with guns pointed at each of their backs.
Contrary to the orderly first impression, the back alley of the capital, Michèle, was nothing more than an unintented labyrinth.
Complex alleys were intertwined like spiderwebs between buildings illogically without a specific plan.
Paths that a carriage could barely pass were tangled up in a mess like skeins scattered by children, trapping unlucky strangers who had set a foot wrong in the labyrinth.
The carriage, which was running along a rough road with broken pavement, reached the back door of a mansion after a long time.
Even Eugène, who had a good sense of direction, had a hard time guessing the location of the mansion because they deliberately went around the complicated road.
The attackers, wary of him, put iron handcuffs on Eugène’s wrists and dragged him up the stairs.
The Emperor, on the other hand, was treated much better than that.
It was partly because of the elegant appearance that looked like a typical salon noble, but it seemed that the response closer to non-resistance he showed at the time of the attack was the bigger cause.
They did not even handcuff the Emperor because he seemed relatively less threatening than Eugène.
The attackers tied his hands only with a silk cloth, and rather than them tied behind his back, they were tied forward.
Eugène checked the Emperor’s appearance after the blindfold was removed, and secretly felt at ease as he sighed when he realized that they had not caught on to the true identity of the Emperor.
If they had known who the Emperor was, they would not have taken care of his body in such a lax manner.
“Are you okay, Sir Gersen”
Nevertheless, when there were only the two of them left, Eugène habitually checked up on the Emperor first.
The Emperor, trapped with him in the cold cellar without a single window, looked at him through the dim vision barely lit by a torch on the wall.
“I’m more worried about you than myself.
Do you know that your forehead is bleeding”
The Emperor observed Eugène’s appearance for a moment and asked in a low voice.
The attackers were not as uncouth as they thought, so they did not take their anger out on Eugène, who had given them a hard time.
However, the handling itself was very rough, so it was impossible not to have any wounds at all.
The blood flowing from the forehead was a mark left by the corner of the carriage when he was being transferred to one.
Eugène answered calmly as he wiped the blood that ran down his cheek with his shoulder.
“It will stop soon.”
Even with seven attackers bearing pistols, this was his only injury.
He felt quite lucky.
Although it was an inappropriate expression to describe the incident of being kidnapped by armed men while being on their way at night, it was safe to call it good luck.
“… Do you know who they are”
He examined the room in which they were confined and turned to the Emperor.
The cellar in which they were confined appeared to be a place originally intended to be a prison.
In the corner, there was a toilet, and on one side of the wall was a bed lined with straws and fixed with nails.
But other than that, there was absolutely nothing.
There were no porcelain bowls or mirrors that could be broken into pieces and used as weapons, and there were no chairs or tables to break legs of.
There was a torch that lit up the darkness, but even that was hidden in an alcove.
The torch, which was fixed to the outside so that it could be changed in the hallway, was safely tucked behind a grid-like solid grate.
“Why do you think so”
While Eugène looked around and stood still at the door vigilantly, the Emperor moved and sat on the bed in the corner and asked calmly.
He rested his back against the wall in a comfortable position as if he were sitting in a court salon, with one leg over the other.
Then he placed his tied hands on his knees and looked at Eugène with amusement.
Eugène looked into his golden eyes, glistening faintly in the darkness.
Those eyes, as thick as freshly melted pure gold, were shining with pure joy that could not be hidden.
“Though it has not been that long, it’s not like your disposition is out of my understanding.
As far as I know, you are more aware of your position than anyone else.
If you had judged that their attack was a threat to your life, you would not have stood back as coldly as you are now.”
The Emperor that Eugène knew was a man who never gave up.
Moreover, he was immensely enthusiastic, so he would always achieve what he wanted, even if he had to dirty his hands.
However, the Emperor had not at all shown the active tendency unique to him earlier.