Grandson of the Holy Emperor is a Necromancer - Chapter 98
Chapter 98: 055. Charlotte Heraiz (Part Two)
The way I see it, sure, it’d be really great if I could surround myself with people I trusted. And it was certainly not an exaggeration to say Charlotte was someone that I’ve spent the longest time with, out of everyone I’ve met so far.
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She was also the only one that I did trust implicitly in this world too, which was why this kind of left a bitter taste in my mouth.
If it was her… She could’ve lived a happy, fulfilling life as a simple rural farm girl. To serve the Imperial Family reeking of the unmistakable stench of blood, now that was something you couldn’t do with a sane mind.
Since Charlotte had been witnessing their antics from a close vantage point, she should be well aware of that fact. But even then, she still volunteered to become a Paladin, and that probably had something to do with her unyielding determination.
“Alright. However, it won’t do for a Paladin serving me to have a face like that.”
Charlotte flinched and hurriedly lowered her head.
“T-this was…” She hesitated with the answer before finally making her reply. “I need the strength of mind to withstand pain and get back up on my feet, your highness.”
Maybe the thing about sparring causing her injuries wasn’t a lie? That only meant that she was recklessly pushing herself instead.
“What kinda middle-schooler syndrome nonsense is this?”
I mean, really. Someone serving me shouldn’t have to worry about getting injured.
“Who cares about some pain or whatnot? If you get hurt, I’ll just heal you and that will be all.”
“You said you’ll be my exclusive Paladin, didn’t you?”
Charlotte’s eyes opened so much wider.
While looking at her surprised face, I poked her forehead with my finger. I injected some divinity while doing so.
“In that case, you won’t have to worry about getting hurt, you know? But if you do get injured somehow, I’ll definitely heal you.”
I injected a little more divinity.
All the bruises, wounds, and old scars dotting her face gradually disappeared.
I reached out with my hands and undid the bandages wrapped around her head.
“Whether it be small injuries or a big wound, I’ll make sure not even a remnant of a scar remains on you.”
Once the bandages came loose, a face without a single blemish revealed itself, and the pair of red eyes on that face began trembling faintly.
“If you die, I’ll bring you back to life even if I have to strain myself.”
I grinned while taking a better look at Charlotte’s face.
“So, what could possibly be the problem?”
I retracted my hands, picked up my burger, and took another large bite out of it.
Clearly looking dazed, Charlotte didn’t say anything for a while.
I pushed forward her untouched burger towards her and asked, “What’s your answer?”
A change happened in her expression. Her previous emotionless face crumbled away and a truly radiant smile formed on her lips.
“Yes, you’re right. There aren’t any problems.”
(TL: In 3rd person POV.)
The sun set beyond the horizon and the night visited the world once more.
It was late in the evening; Oscal was furrowing his brows rather deeply.
He was observing Charlotte’s movements and continued tilting his head this way and that.
‘Something about her has changed.’
She was currently sparring against the Golden Cross knights.
Her movements were noticeably smoother. Such a thing wouldn’t be possible just because she had her body healed.
Her eyes that seemed to lack energy were now filled with hardened resolve.
Every time she took a swing with her sword, the Golden Cross knights had to take faltering steps back.
‘…It isn’t just the fatigue of her body, but even her mind has been refreshed. Did she find a pillar of support that she can lean on?’
Oscal continued observing her with great interest.
Charlotte sucked in a deep breath. She was recalling the event from earlier in the day.
-I wish to become a Paladin. And I’ll stay by your side, your highness.
For the first time ever, she spoke her true intentions to the Imperial Prince – her resolve of becoming his Paladin.
And to reach her goal…
‘I will not give up.’
…She needed to become much stronger.
Charlotte stepped on the ground and then performed a powerful upward slash with her sword.
The Golden Cross knight flinched in surprise and raised his scabbard to block the strike.
Her sword and the knight’s scabbard collided mid-air.
In that instant, a loud explosion rang out and the knight’s scabbard was shattered to bits.
Even his armoured body was powerfully knocked away, and he crashed into nearby trees before bouncing back to the ground. The Paladin forgot about his pain and stared at Charlotte’s sword, his eyes beneath the helm failing to disguise his shock.
Divinity was permeating brilliantly on her blade. It glowed in a sacred light as if the holy energy from the gods and metal had infused to become one.
Oscal’s jaw nearly dropped to the ground.
His expression became utterly stupefied as he muttered out. “…Truly excellent. You are indeed a monster! Not even his majesty nor I managed to reach your level at your age!” He shot up from the chair. While approaching Charlotte, he extended his hand after failing to suppress his excitement. “You! You will continue to grow even further. And for the sake of the Imperial Family…”
“I don’t want to.”
Oscal’s steps came to a halt.
He stared at Charlotte and tilted his head.
She had her face turned towards him, her glare firmly locked on the old man. “I will not pledge my loyalty to the Imperial Family.”
Oscal’s dazed expression instantly crumpled. “…You foolish child, what do you think you’re saying right now?! You are a member of the Order of the Golden Cross! We brave even death to fulfil our duty his majesty has bestowed upon…”
“I will move according to my own wishes. I’m not anyone’s puppet.”
From this moment on, she wanted to clearly state herself.
To announce to everyone that she was a puppet of no one but her own.
Without a doubt, Oacal would rebuke her for it. And he wouldn’t simply let her off the hook either. In order to make her submit, he’d probably train her much harsher than ever before.
However, that’s what she wished for.
Oscal always insisted that she needed to absolutely obey all the commands of ‘his majesty’. The Holy Emperor decreed that Charlotte would become a member of the ‘Golden Cross’, so he had no choice but to absolutely obey that. As long as the emperor didn’t have a change of heart, there shouldn’t be an event of her being cast aside or anything similar.
“Y-you, you fool, what are you even…”
As Charlotte stared at Oscal, she held her head high. “If you wish so desperately to turn me into a puppet, then you better make me submit first.”
“I shall never become a puppet who acts only on the orders of his majesty or you, the vice captain.”
Oscal was left speechless. He simply stood there with eyes wide open from shock. He then scratched his head before glancing at her. “A person with no loyalty towards the Imperial Family cannot be a part of the Golden Cross.”
“I will definitely enter the Golden Cross. But only one person can order me.” Charlotte glared at him with a pair of sharp, unyielding eyes. “Allen Olfolse. The only liege I will serve is him.”
“You speak of pure nonsense! We exist solely to serve the Holy Emperor. As long as his highness is not the emperor, we cannot…”
“If that’s the case, then I shall make him the next Holy Emperor. I will make him the rightful successor that everyone looks up to.”
Oscal firmly clamped his mouth shut.
Even the Golden Cross knights in the surroundings were staring at her with stunned eyes too.
She wanted to make the Seventh Imperial Prince the rightful successor to the throne?
That was an extraordinary thing to say out aloud. One wrong step, and even the declaration itself could be construed as quite ‘problematic’.
Charlotte knew that, but even then, she didn’t hesitate one second to say it.
If the Seventh Imperial Prince wished to become the next Holy Emperor, she was determined to make that dream come true.
As his sword and shield, she would have to do her absolute best in supporting his cause.
“…Did you all hear that?” Oscal turned his head and asked the other Golden Cross Paladins, “I said, did you all hear what she said just now?”
The Golden Cross members wordlessly shrugged their shoulders.
The corners of Oscal’s lips curled up. He looked back at Charlotte and let out a roar of laughter. “Hahaha! This child, she sure is something else. His majesty has sent me a truly interesting little toy, hasn’t he?!”
He sat back down on his chair.
A somewhat hollow expression formed on his face as he lightly clicked his tongue.
“We exist to devote our whole beings to the one possessing the rightful claim to the throne,” he muttered as if he was talking to himself while looking a little rueful at the same time. “It wouldn’t be a problem if his highness does indeed inherit the throne, just as you say. However, right now, he hasn’t. Anyone who rebels against the Holy Emperor’s will cannot remain as a Paladin in the Order of the Golden Cross. Dammit, and here I was thinking that my potential successor has finally shown up. Looks like I’ll have to start searching again.”
Oscal spat out a lengthy sigh, then issued an order to the Golden Cross knights.
“One of you, go and bring me the sword of Heraiz.”
The Paladins exchanged glances with each other before shaking their heads as if to accept the fact that they couldn’t do anything about it.
A couple of them stepped inside Oscal’s hut, and eventually brought out a single sword.
“I hereby declare your expulsion from the Order of the Golden Cross,” said Oscal while tossing the sword taken out from his hut in Charlotte’s direction. “And instead, I assign you to the now-forgotten sixth force of the Imperial Family that used to be led by the old Heraiz house.”
The sword, while still sheathed inside the pure-white scabbard, fell to the ground below her feet.
Oscal continued on. “…The Order of the White Cross.”
She stared at him in confusion.
However, Oscal simply cocked his head as a disinterested expression filled his face. “Charlotte Heraiz, I congratulate you for becoming the new head of the White Cross.”
Her brows shot up. She reached down and picked up the white scabbard, and then carefully unsheathed the sword within.
A smooth, slick blade greeted her view. The weapon in her hands seemed priceless, almost enough to be called a ‘divine sword’.
Meanwhile, Oscal extended his hand to the side. A Golden Cross knight placed a sword in said extended hand.
The old man slowly extracted the weapon from the golden scabbard.
“Charlotte Heraiz. You shall follow the one you wish to serve.”
She immediately realised what he was about to do. She knelt down on one knee and lowered her head.
Oscal’s sword touched her shoulder.
“You shall protect him.”
The sword then touched her other shoulder. And finally, it was placed on the crown of her head.
“I shall treat you as my equal from now, as the head of the Marquis Heraiz house. Now that we’re here, I shall carry out the next part of his majesty’s secret order.” Oscal declared loudly and looked down at the kneeling Charlotte. “I shall turn you into the strongest being in the entire Theocratic Empire. So that you may get to keep your life, unlike those who had to leave his majesty the Holy Emperor’s side fifty years ago.”
He then stepped back.
Meanwhile, the Golden Cross knights quickly created distance from the two.
Their leader raised his sword and pointed it at Charlotte.
Oscal Baldur, the man currently referred to as the greatest swordsman in the empire, addressed her.
“I shall mould you into a true Paladin.”
The moment he spoke, a massive amount of divinity gushed out from his sword.
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