Grandson of the Holy Emperor is a Necromancer - Chapter 53
Chapter 53: 033. Imperial Prince is Attending a Banquet -4 (Part One)
Count Fomor fixed his attire and exited from his suite. Before leaving, he took a look back inside.
There wasn’t a drop of blood, a piece of flesh, or even a scrap of the maid’s clothing in it.
‘I ended up losing my rationale.’
He felt overstuffed having eaten even the girl’s clothing.
“How are you today, sir?”
Maidservants passing by greeted him.
Count Fomor waved his bandaged hand and addressed them, “Ah, by the way. Regarding the maid named Millia.”
The maidservants stopped walking in order to listen properly.
“I had her sent to my territory as my private maid. I’ve been troubled with a shortage of personnel recently, you see. Can you speak to the grand chamberlain and express my apology for arbitrarily making up my mind on this matter?”
The maidservants all looked surprised.
A maid getting noticed by an aristocrat and then being dispatched to his fiefdom happened quite regularly. And the odds of such a girl ending up as a concubine of said aristocrat and turning her life around were very high, too.
The maidservants nodded their heads, looks of envy clearly visible in their faces.
Count Fomor bade them goodbye with a simple, “Do your best!” and watched them walk away until the end. With this, there shouldn’t be any suspicions regarding her disappearance. As long as he had enough time, all evidence could easily be erased.
The real problem right now, though, was the Seventh Imperial Prince. That boy was suspicious of Fomor. No, wait. He was definitely sure of it.
‘Right, he even used divinity on me!’
There wasn’t even any hint of hesitation, either.
While shaking hands, that damn boy used divinity, then even coaxed Fomor into drinking wine laced with more divine energy.
Was that all?
Nope, he even proceeded to slice up the back of Fomor’s hand with a broken wine glass too. Such a barbaric method would’ve been in use around three hundred years ago.
Of course, if such simple methods were enough to unmask him, Fomor wouldn’t have dared and infiltrated the imperial court this deeply in the first place.
‘However, that brat was certain of my true nature. Why? How come?’
How did he even find out?
Fomor was capable of even fooling the eyes of an archbishop, and yet the brat easily saw through his ruse. Could it be that the boy prince discovered a method to distinguish vampires during his banishment?
If so, he was too dangerous to be kept alive.
‘He needs to be eliminated.’
Killing an imperial prince within the Theocratic Empire would not be simple. In that case, the brat had to be sent back to the Land of the Dead Spirits. Having him banished again would make it easier to eliminate him, after all.
What scheme should Fomor resort to, then?
The count pondered his options for a while, and eventually, the ends of his lips curled up. He realised that there was no need for him to personally step up here.
He was a loyal vassal of the Theocratic Empire, while the Seventh Imperial Prince was the mangnani prince.
Wasn’t there already someone who’d willingly stand by his side, someone who also happened to hate that brat down to his bones?
Fomor quickly headed towards the room where the First Imperial Prince Luan resided in.
(TL: in 1st person POV.)
My eyes continued to shift around the vicinity as I walked around. I was busy confirming the status windows of the ones near me, trying to separate the normal folks from the hidden vampires.
The nobles in the banquet were sneakily shuffling away from me, looking clearly anxious.
That made some sense, though.
I was the mangnani Imperial Prince who even harmed Count Fomor, someone supposed to be close to me. If it had been some other noble, the treatment might have been far worse, not better.
These folks who used to sneer and even swear at me were now nervously minding the atmosphere, avoiding meeting my direct gaze and keeping their mouths shut.
This was simpler for me, actually.
Since I didn’t need to talk to anyone, there was no need to worry about my manners anymore.
“Why, hasn’t it been really a long time! Allen Olfolse, my dear little brother!”
I raised my head up and discovered a young man in his early-to-mid twenties smiling at me.
[Name: Ruppel Olfolse.
Traits: deceitful character, excellent spearmanship, ordinary physique, cowardly.
I shall definitely become the Holy Emperor for my mother’s sake!]
I wordlessly stared at him. For an Imperial Prince, his status window seemed rather lacklustre.
“Ah, right. You’ve lost your memories, haven’t you. I am…”
I quickly cut him off, “The Third Imperial Prince.”
I remembered the majority of what Harman told me.
This dude had almost zero presence, and apparently, even the whole imperial court acknowledged him as a ‘mama’s boy’.
Although some nobles were leeching off of him, his sphere of influence wasn’t all that great. If there ever was a novel’s extra, wouldn’t this Third Imperial Prince in front of my eyes qualify as one?
“I see, so you do remember me.”
Ruppel frowned deeply.
I simply returned a grin at him and bowed slightly. “No. Harman had informed me earlier, dear brother.”
“So that’s how it was,” the Third Imperial Prince muttered before scanning the surroundings. “I don’t see any of our other brothers present today. I’m sure they had to return to their individual territories as they are all burdened by their duties. So don’t be too dejected by it. I too am bound by my own duties and can only stay here for a short while.”
He smiled back at me, but judging by how his lips were twitching like that, I figured that he was just as bad at lying as Harman.
“Thank you for those words.”
I put on a smile and responded, and the Third Imperial Prince Ruppel lightly patted my shoulder.
“I saw you raise a bit of a commotion earlier. I feared that you’ve reined in your wild streak after returning to the imperial palace, but my goodness! You and your fiery temper! Haha!” He continued yapping on and on, but still didn’t forget to study me closely. “It’s truly a relief that you are not harbouring any foolish thoughts.”
The smile on his face moved over to his eyes this time.
“If you were attending this occasion with the hopes of trying your luck at the emperor’s throne, you and I would’ve ended up as enemies. So all I can say is I’m truly relieved.”
The corners of his lips curled up with his head now cocked to a side.
“Just like how it used to be. We carry on as we always have, do you understand? You only have to do what I tell you. Ah, if you want, then I can make sure that everything your heart desires will come true! Haha!”
He patted me on the shoulder again.
“Well then, I’ll be on my way now.”
He then promptly exited from the banquet’s venue.
No sense of presence, was it…? I thought that I could figure out the reason why. That fool’s style was to say what he wanted to say and then leave, just like that.
I ignored that idiot and continued with compiling the list.
I returned to the corner of the hall again and settled down before pushing the list towards Harman still standing there stiffly.
“Here, this is the list of the vampires within the imperial court.”
“Have you really located everyone, your highness?”
Harman received the paper, his eyes opening much wider than before.
“This is merely a portion of them. If I really start looking around seriously, I’m sure that many more can be found. If I don’t get a good look at their faces, then I’ll find it hard to determine their true identity. And guess what? Most of them have their faces turned away from me as if I’m too hot for them to handle or something. If that’s not it, then they saw what I did to Count Fomor, figured something was up, and deliberately avoided me.”
“Are you saying this is only a portion, your highness?!”
“I’ve only gone through the ones on the ground floor. I haven’t had the chance to go up to the first floor of the banquet hall yet.”
“There seems to be a lot of nobles, your highness.”
Yeah, I was surprised by that too.
About one hundred aristocrats, servants, and maids were present in the hall. Twelve of them turned out to be vampires, five aristocrats plus seven servants and maids.
Most of them were well regarded by their peers, apparently. They probably treated the others well in order to hide their true natures. This would be rather similar to the owner of the farm sprucing up the livestock pen.
“Your highness, are you sure all these people are vampires?”
“You don’t trust me?”
Harman shook his head at my question. “No, I trust you.”
“Even though there isn’t any proof?”
“Anyone would trust you after witnessing all the miracles you’ve managed to pull off so far, your highness.”
Well, that’s a relief then. Here’s one person who did believe in my accusations.
Ah, hang on. It’s two people now, wasn’t it?
I glanced at Charlotte for a second before continuing on, “Absolutely bloody brilliant, this damn Theocratic Empire. I had no idea that it’d be this hopeless.”
This was only the banquet hall. Which meant that there should be an even higher number of vampires hiding within all corners of the imperial palace.
Even at a casual estimation, there should be at least over thirty of them.
Why was the imperial court letting them run around unchecked, anyway? Did Gaia’s love and mercy really embrace every fool under the sun equally?
“There’re more of them than I thought. Wait, they all can’t be as strong as the Vampire Count back in Ronia, can they?”
Harman shook his head. “They shouldn’t be the ‘Progenitors’, your highness.”
“You already know the evolution process of an undead, don’t you?”
If a zombie managed to maintain its body and gather enough demonic energy, thus evolving even further, eventually it’d end up as a vampire.
The ones called ‘Progenitors’ were existences ‘born’ through that process, and their origin would be considered as ‘vampires’ to begin with. As for the existences ‘birthed’ from such a Progenitor as a sort of a clone, they were called a ‘blood-creation’. These were beings that inherited the powers of a vampire without going through the undead’s evolution.
Harman continued on, “They should all be blood-creations, your highness. Unless the Progenitor’s balls are made out of pure grade-A steel, the creature itself wouldn’t dare and hide within the borders of our Theocratic Empire.”
Thankfully, this meant that they were all considerably weaker than the Vampire Count we ran into back in the Ronia fiefdom. On the flip side, it also meant that they were craftier little buggers, instead.
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