Under the Guise of Work
“Why are there so few people today? Didn’t I say the nation is currently faced with a crisis and requires everyone’s best efforts? I’ve even sold my dowry. Did they not come because they didn’t want to spend money or effort?! Look at me! I have to personally go and raise the soldiers’ morale in this shape, yet none of them came! Disregarding me, are we?! I’m going to kill them before I concern myself with the demons! They’re the greatest threat to the empire!”
The trembling ladies-in-waiting knew why Sisi was throwing a tantrum. She asked the nobles and businesses to come to the imperial palace for a meeting to collect war funds, but only a few showed up when it was time. There should’ve been over twenty of them waiting for Sisi, yet there was only a few present.
“Your Majesty, it is not that they did not want to come, but that… they are all ill. We do not know the reasons… but it is true. You can go and see for yourself, Your Majesty. They genuinely are lying in hospital. The doctors are also unable to identify the cause. They found lots of worm-like things from within their ears. They are unconscious at the moment, so… so… they genuinely cannot make it,” an individual fearfully explained.
“I can believe one person being sick, but you’re telling me that many people are sick at the same time?! Are you telling me that there’s a plague breakout in the imperial capital?! Why are they the only sick ones? I haven’t heard of that plague. Why is it only you lot?!”
“Umm… The doctors could not identify the cause. In saying that… we think we have found out something. They all visited, umm, that place after arriving at the imperial capital. When they left the building, they did not feel too well. By last night, they had passed out. We could not wake them up no matter what we tried, so… so… we are very sorry… Sadly… it is true.”
Sisi folded her arms and coldly asked, “Where did they go?”
Sisi felt there was a problem that needed to be addressed. If two nations were engaged in warfare and her vassals were in dire straits after going to that aforementioned place, then it might’ve been enemy spies who were sabotaging her. She, nevertheless, reasoned that demons were incapable of sending out spies. Sure, they were smart compared to before, but saying that they were capable of sowing discord sounded outlandish.
“The… red building…” Embarrassed to mention it and fearing he’d trigger Sisi, he resorted to using a metaphor.
The ladies-in-waiting all didn’t know what the place referred to was. Sisi, to the contrary, instantly figured it out. She was quite surprised. Initially, she suppressed her desire to query them further, rendering the ladies-in-waiting surprised.
Had it been anywhere else, Sisi would’ve immediately given the directive to investigate it. That red building was the one place she didn’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole simply because it was part of her history in the gutters and where her heart was broken. The succubi knew what she went through, and her disgrace was a weakness to blackmail her with. Rather, her pride was now her enemy. If they revealed what happened, she’d become the laughing stock of the world. To add, she even ingratiated herself with a child there, yet Lin Dongqing still rejected her. Consequently, she couldn’t send anyone there. Still, the issue couldn’t be ignored.
War was knocking on their doors. The matter didn’t end once the soldiers headed out; their Queen needed to boost their morale on the frontlines. At the rear, Sisi had to prepare provisions and equipment. Although she could let them fight on empty stomachs and with their bare hands, that wouldn’t allow her to achieve victory. Soldiers who aren’t loyal and empowered are useless.
Sisi, heaving a big breath, instructed the lady-in-waiting next to her, “Prepare clothes and a horse carriage. I need to make a trip there personally. Don’t use the imperial family’s carriage. The more unadorned, the better. You two follow me. We don’t need guards to accompany us.”
“Your Majesty, would that not be too risky, not to mention your current condition? It is not safe outside the palace for the demons’ attack has rendered the people panic-stricken. Wh-what are you leaving the imperial palace for…?”
“That’s none of your business. You just need to make the preparations.”
Sisi ignored her trembling vassals and stomped out of the conference room. The vassals were afraid precisely because Queen Sisi didn’t mention their punishment. Who could say for certain if she was overwhelmed with rage and forgot to say something, only to then turn around and exact vengeance on them later on? As a consequence, they were afraid in spite of the problem not being their fault… They couldn’t control where others went. Plus, who would’ve imagined the cute succubi would harm them?
To be fair, it wasn’t just them who were infected. Lots of nobles and high-ranking officials had lost conscious. The people who were targeted all had money and resources. With them out of the picture, Queen Sisi wouldn’t even have someone to discuss things with.
The majority of businessmen had gone to the North, and it would be too late by the time they returned. Sisi had to resolve the succubi’s deeds. She knew well and truly that they didn’t voluntarily do it. She knew Leah was their mastermind. As Leah was the one who started it, Sisi reasoned that it might not be too hard to talk the succubi out of it. If the succubi steeled their hearts and ruthlessly followed through with their leader, nobody knew what would become of humanity, having said that.
Succubi weren’t formidable combatants. Rather, they were fodder for well-trained soldiers. However, they were the most difficult for humans to deal with…
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