When I exited my room the next day, I discovered there was something strange about the atmosphere in the Royal Palace. Usually, it should pretty much as peaceful as it was in the elven imperial palace, yet when I woke up in the morning, there were more Valkyries present at the outer court. Further, the maids were running back and forth in a panic-stricken manner. I had no clue what was going on. Nier, who was next to me, was dressed in her sleep wear and white stockings, of course… and she came out dressed that way. She asked one of the Valkyries, “What happened?”
The Valkyrie bowed her head to us and reported, “Your Majesties, a high-ranking finance minister was assassinated in the Royal Palace’s flower garden last night. The entire Royal Palace has now been placed under martial law. Please remain at ease in the outer court and not thoughtlessly move about. I am very sorry. We have not been able to apprehend the culprit. In fact, we did not discover it last night. We only discovered the corpse this morning. We are very sorry, Your Majesty, we have failed in our duty.”
“You should apologise to Her Majesty. I am not your superior.” I shook my head.
In all fairness, it wasn’t the Valkyries’ fault. They were responsible for safety at the church until noon. Due to several days of highly stressful work, the Valkyries were all on break last night, so the reins for guard duty in the Royal Palace were passed onto the army that entered the city. Because they couldn’t enter the Royal Palace, interior of the palace was considerably empty. Only a number of Valkyries were on guard duty at the inner and outer courts. It was only natural that nobody paid attention to the flower garden.
I went through lots of questions in my mind: “If the assassin came into the Royal Palace already, why did they kill just a finance official? Also, he should’ve been innocent, shouldn’t he? He was merely staying in his lane and serving Mommy Elizabeth. At least, I never heard of him. They were able to enter the Royal Palace when so many vassal states’ Kings and Queens were present, sneak into the outer court and an inner court, yet they chose to kill only one finance official? Why? Was it a personal vendetta? In the case that it was, why choose the Royal Palace?
Putting aside whether or not the official was important to Mommy Elizabeth for the meantime, the most important point is that assassinating him in the Royal Palace is the equivalent of belittling Mom. In fact, it’s an insult to her. Just how insignificant do you consider Mommy Elizabeth’s Royal Palace? You think nothing of the Phoenix’s Nest, huh?”
I got dressed. I ignored the Valkyries warning and stepped outside. The flower garden wasn’t far from my outer court. The crucial factor at the moment was that the culprit was still at large. There was the possibility it was someone employed in the palace who committed the assassination. Sneaking into the Royal Palace through the military to assassinate someone would basically make them a puppet.
I headed toward the inner court. I noticed the unusual atmosphere in the palace as soon as I stepped outside. The Royal Palace was in an idle state before, yet was extremely intense in spite of the warm sunlight in the morning. Valkyries were active. Maids and servants were questioned over and over. If they said just one thing that sounded off, the Valkyries would drag them out by their hair. If they dared to resist they shared the same fate as the corpse on the ground to my left. The Valkyries didn’t even the time to get rid of corpses, after all.
I then noticed two Valkyries glance toward the outer court and approach me. I knew they weren’t approaching with friendly intent with a single glance. I gently cleared my throat then went to block them off.
The Valkyries gave me a bow before they straightened up to speak to me: “Your Majesty, we are here to investigate all those in the Royal Palace under Her Majesty’s orders. Due to an assassination that has just happened, we are doing this out of consideration for your safety. I hope you take our duty into consideration and allow us to inspect the outer court.”
These Valkyries must’ve been under different orders to the Valkyries outside of my outer court. The Valkyries outside of the outer court were under orders to protect it if I was correct, whereas this group was under orders to inspect and question all suspects. They even had the authority to kill on sight. Mom was furious, clearly.
“Who do you want to check? Nier or Daisy?” I refused to move.
The Valkyries froze and then quickly shook their heads: “You misunderstand, Your Majesty, we do not mean it that way… We are here on orders to investigate the assassination. Should the assassin be at the outer court, it would be risky for both you and Royal Princess, Her Majesty.”
“In that case, you can leave now. There are no assassins at the outer court. I trust them. If the assassin really was after the royal family, they could’ve come after me long ago; there’s absolutely no need for them to assassinate a pitiful finance official. I’ve lived here for a long time and not noticed any danger. There’s no need for you to inspect it.”
“This is Empress Elizabeth’s order. We, too, need to investigate this case. If someone can provide us with clues, then that would be good, as well.”
“I’m a little unhappy with the way you’re asking questions.”
“We must be wary of those who are suspects.”
“And the result of your wariness is indiscriminate violence? You can’t be aggressive and rude to anyone before you have incriminating evidence to prove they are the assassin. What you’re doing will only incite more panic in the Royal Palace. I can allow you to search the outer court and question the people present; however, I will not allow you to be rude to anyone. They’re people who are looking after me; therefore, I, too, have an obligation to protect them.”
I walked off to the inner court. That was all that I said to them. I didn’t hate Valkyries, nor did I want to have any conflicts with them. Their rights were drastically reduced after the last attempt on my life. However, they were allowed to kill at will again due to the assassination in the Royal Palace. I wasn’t worried about the outer court because Nier was there. All the Valkyries would irrefutably respect their senior, Nier.
I went to the inner court but didn’t know if Mom would be there or not. Nevertheless, I believed Mom wouldn’t hold another conference right after her finance official was killed. I didn’t take long before I slapped myself in the face, though, for Mom wasn’t at the inner court. She had gone off to a conference. Seriously, nothing could shake her…
I planned to take advantage of the situation to investigate the incident. After all, it was serious if I was to be honest. It wasn’t so much because the finance official was overwhelmingly important but because the assassination was essentially flipping the bird at Mommy Elizabeth. Plus, it took place while the vassal states were present, which embarrassed Mom even more. That was the reason she’d persist until she got to the bottom of it. I had to find out what happened before she commenced an indiscriminate massacre. Of course, I was just as curious as to who exactly dared to pull off the assassination and what his goal was.