Masked Knight – Chapter 49

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Imperial Family Guards

 

Rody thought about Nicole’s words quietly. He was now no longer an ignorant youth.  These past few days, he did not only learn about swordsmanship but also about scholarly knowledge. As a result, he was no longer ignorant of the world.

 

Rody, of course, understood the situation the Empire was facing right then, after its crushing defeat in the war.

 

The damage to the Northwest Legion was bad enough to say that the whole Legion was defeated. The entire northwest territory was now completely undefended and could be captured by the Great Moon Kingdom. Although the Empire’s total military strength was still stronger than that of the Great Moon Kingdom, it was not possible to mobilize the North Legion and South Legion so easily. At that moment, there were only two possible purposes for the Great Moon Kingdom’s prince to come to the Empire as a diplomatic envoy.

 

The first possibility was to declare war! However, this was unlikely as the Kingdom’s overall strength was unlikely to be able to defeat the Empire, in a full-scale war. Even if it was to declare war, there was no reason for the prince to personally come as an envoy. They would probably send other people as envoys. This was because the Emperor might order the execution of the envoy, in a fit of anger.

 

The second possibility would be negotiating peace! Rody believes that the possibility of this was greater. This was because, after the crushing defeat, the situation had become dire in the northwest region. The Empire would also be more willing to take some humiliation to buy time and build up forces.

 

If Sultan really did come to negotiate peace, then Rody’s earlier actions would really lead him to disaster. Rondor, the person that he seriously injured could also be one of Sultan’s generals.  As a result, that conflict could be considered a serious diplomatic matter, even if the person he injured was just a bodyguard. If Sultan deliberately wanted to make a big issue out of the incident, the peace negotiations would become more difficult. This would also cause the Empire a big problem because there was no way to justify beating up the diplomatic envoy in our own capital.

 

The two sat in silence while the guards escorted them back to the mansion.

 

As the carriage went its way, from a distance, they could see about 20 horses near the entrance of the Tulip Family’s mansion.  There were also about two dozen knights standing, on both sides, waiting. All of the knights were tall and sturdy. They wore golden armors and had specialized sheaths for their swords. Their helmets also had long, red tassels.

 

At a glance, Nicole knew they were the Imperial Family’s guards and was surprised to see them.

 

When Rody and Nicole got down the carriage, a middle-aged leader of the knights walked up to them. He gave a bow of respect and then spoke neither haughtily nor humbly. “I am Gordon, the Deputy Commander of the Imperial Guards. His Majesty has summoned the Tulip Family’s Grade 1 swordsman, Seth. Please follow me to meet His Majesty.”

 

As soon as they heard it, Rody and Nicole exchanged glances and had the same thought. They are very fast!

 

Nicole was unmoved. She lightly replied, “Alright! Let my brother change his clothes first. After that, he will follow you to have an audience with His Majesty.”

 

The deputy commander Gordon did not dare to oppose. He just nodded his head and said softly, “Yes. In that case, we will wait here.”

 

Nicole led Rody into the mansion and immediately instructed a servant to change his clothes. Rody changed from the Imperial Academy’s uniform into a common noble warrior’s uniform. As he had not inherited the title yet, he was unable to wear the uniform meant for audiences with His Majesty. The clothing Rody was currently wearing was a warrior uniform but with a lot of accessories.  However, the most conspicuous accessory on the clothes was the Tulip Family’s crest.

 

Nicole did not look too good and whispered, “How are you feeling right now? If you are not feeling well, I can tell them that you were injured from the fight and cannot go temporarily. In this case, His Majesty would be unable to force you to have an audience with him.”

 

Rody shook his head and sternly said, “No. Nicole, this cannot be done. Even before we arrived guards were already waiting for us which means that His Majesty is aware of what happened. Chances are he also knows that I am not injured. On top of that, Gordon had already seen me. We can no longer tell them that I am injured.”

 

Nicole sighed and looked at Rody. “I did not expect you to be able to think so clearly. However, it happened so fast … we have not thought of a good countermeasure.”

 

Rody nodded his head. “There is no time left. I will have to adapt. Nicole… I am just worried that His Majesty could see through my disguise.”

 

Nicole pondered deeply before she said, “He should not be able to. His Majesty has hardly met Seth and should not be able to see through your disguise. I have also already taught you the basic courtesy. There should not be a big flaw. I only worry…”

 

“What?”

 

Nicole sighed. “I am afraid that His Majesty the Emperor actually dislikes my brother.”

 

“Why?” Rody frowned.

 

Looking strange, Nicole answered, “Because of Jojo!” She continued before Rody could speak. “Originally, I did not know about my brother and Jojo’s relationship but I think that secret could not be kept from His Majesty. Do you know? His Majesty is really attracted to Jojo. Jojo has been in the Imperial Capital for a very long time. Although she is the Empress’s sister, His Majesty did not bestow the ‘Princess’ title to her. This is probably because he wants to have Jojo …”

 

Rody made a wry smile. “So you are saying that His Majesty may know about Seth and Jojo’s relationship and may hate me very much?”

 

Nicole shook her head and forced a smile. “That is also one of the problems I am worried about. However, His Majesty is unlikely to raise such matters openly. Today, the most important thing is to solve the problem of your dispute with the Great Moon Kingdom’s envoy… In other words, whatever the punishment is given to you, you will have to bear it.”

 

Rody gave a cold smile. “What else can they do? How can they push the responsibility to Bayan? He is His Majesty’s nephew!”

 

Nicole sighed and did not say anything. She only concentrated on fixing Rody’s uniform. Rody also did not say anything because he knew that nothing that he can say can help him. He can only take it a step at a time.

 

Before leaving, Rody thought for a moment and asked a servant to bring him the lightsaber hanging on the walls in his room. Although he did not know how to use that saber, having it somehow makes him calm. Even though he could move right now, that earlier fight had used up all of his energy. especially that last attack which almost made him collapse. Although he felt better right now, he was still unable to fight. He just wanted to carry that saber to build up his courage to defend himself, if needed.

 

Nicole led Rody out to board the carriage. She wanted to accompany Rody. However, the Deputy Commander, Gordon, refused her request.

 

“His Majesty the Emperor said he only want to meet Young Master Seth. Miss Nicole, please stay at home,” Gordon said lightly. Noticing the fearful look on Nicole’s face, Gordon’s heart softened and he then whispered to Nicole, “Miss Nicole, do not worry. His Majesty already seems to know what happened when he gave me the order. However, His Majesty seems to be in a good mood and does not seem angry. Nothing will happen to Young Master Seth.”

 

Nicole froze for a moment, and looked at Gordon, surprised. She could not understand why Gordon was on her side.

 

Gordon showed a solemn look and nodded to Nicole. He softly said, “I was one of the Duke’s subordinates many years ago.”

 

Nicole calmed down and nodded her head in gratitude.

 

When Rody got onto the carriage, Gordon gave an order and the twenty odd knights got on their horses and escorted the carriage slowly towards the palace….

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