Running Away After Getting Pregnant with the Tyrant’s Child (33)
* * *
Launelian leaned back in his chair, staring at the document in his hand.
It was information on the forces directly under the emperor’s command.
‘Hm, once negotiations with the Marquis Carnelian are over, we’ll practically be in control of a majority of the empire’s troops.’
Even if all actual power were in Launelian’s hands, the Emperor would never abdicate peacefully.
A bloodless victory was impossible.
And in the first place, Launelian also had no intention of taking the throne peacefully. He wanted to cruelly rip it away from the emperor and have him bleed and crawl on the ground.
Just like the emperor did to Aristine.
But aside from that, he didn’t want to shed any unnecessary blood.
‘The problem is his direct command unit.’
He tried to make contact once in secret, but he was unable to recruit the emperor’s direct troops. If he tried to drag them by force, he could have been counterattacked and accused of plotting treason.
No clear evidence could be found until the rebellion happened.
‘His forces are stronger than I thought.’
In preparation for a new war with Irugo, the emperor sharply raised taxes. And most of those taxes were diverted to military funds.
‘Thanks to that sharp increase, it was easy to negotiate with the nobles. And public sentiment is also growing distant from the emperor.’
The emperor was not popular with the empire’s people to begin with.
He started a war, lost it, and even raised taxes, so it would be odd if he were popular. In exchange, the love of the people was directed to the prince and princess, not the emperor.
In any case, thanks to the increase in military spending, the empire’s forces were clearly strengthened. And considering that a large portion of their troops were lost in the war against Irugo, this was a fairly quick accomplishment.
However, considering the astronomical amount of military funds invested, it still fell short.
‘And I was wondering where all that money went; so it was here.’
Launelian’s fingers drummed against the report of the direct command unit.
If an armed conflict broke out with this many forces, a lot of blood would be spilled that day.
Just as he was lost in thought—.
A voice calling Launelian quietly rang out. At the same time, a man suddenly appeared as if he had materialized from the floor.
Launelian’s calm gaze moved to the man.
“You don’t usually report today. What’s the matter?”
“The security of Chrysea Palace has been strengthened.”
“What?” Launelian’s eyes widened slightly, before they sank, “…The emperor knows.”
The sudden strengthening of the Chrysea Palace security meant only one thing.
The emperor had noticed Aristine’s pregnancy. He may even have discovered that the child had authority.
“After Princess Letanasia returned to the palace, she had a private meeting with the emperor. Immediately after, the emperor gave an order to strengthen the security of the Chrysea Palace.”
Once he heard that, Launelian’s face contorted with anger.
“Again, that annoying bitch…!”
Because of Letanasia’s words, Aristine was imprisoned. But this time, because of Letanasia’s words, his nephew/niece was exposed to danger.
“I shouldn’t have let her off so easy earlier…”
With how devastated Letanasia was earlier, you had to wonder if he really let her off easily but, by Launelian’s standards, letting her live was in itself a generous act.
“She didn’t even understand my warning.”
She must have thought Launelian would never hear of this, seeing as she behaved in this manner even though he threatened her with those photos and videos. She probably didn’t think that he would learn every detail, even if he heard that the Chrysea Palace’s security had been strengthened.
And so quickly at that.
“How was security strengthened? Out discussions with the Imperial Knights are almost halfway through anyway.”
The fact that the emperor knew of Aristine’s pregnancy was alarming news, but the increase of the security around Chrysea Palace was not that worrying. If anything, it might be possible to procure Chrysea flowers through the Imperial Knights in charge of security.
However, the answer that the man gave completely shattered Launelian’s expectations.
“The emperor’s direct command unit was assigned. I wasn’t able to find out how many were allocated there.”
Upon hearing that, Launelian fell silent for a moment. Slowly, his eyes moved back to the documents.
“The emperor is determined, huh.”
Deploying this much force meant—.
“He knows that the child in Rineh’s womb had innate authority.”
Crunch, the document crumpled in Launelian’s fist.
With these forces, it had become difficult to sneak into the palace and get the Chrysea flowers.
“The meeting with Marquis Carnelian needs to be moved forward. Since it has come to this, we will remove the emperor and take over the imperial palace.”
“Just give the order.”
The man bowed his head.
“Then the flowers for my little sister will naturally be in my hands.” Launelian smiled.
The plan to use overwhelming force to shed as little blood as possible had gone awry, but he had another plan.
‘Tarkan and the Irugoian warriors can…Ah.’
Launelian paused, as he was suddenly reminded of something he forgot.
“Come to think of it, Tarkan went to Chrysea Palace.”
Launelian’s eyes turned to the crumpled document.
He didn’t know how many of the direct troops were stationed at the Chrysea Palace, but Tarkan was alone.
“…Will he be okay?”
* * *
The sound of a faint groan could be heard. Aristine tried to force her heavy eyelids open.
“Rineh, are you awake?”
With those words, a gentle force helped raise her upper body.
“Here, have some water.”
Something cold touched her lips and Aristine frantically swallowed the water. Only after finishing the glass did she come back to reality.
“Yes, it’s me.” Launelian patted Aristine’s hand.
‘Did I collapse? The baby…’
“The baby is okay.” Launelian said, seeing her hand move to her stomach.
Aristine’s gaze turned to him, “What’s wrong?”
“Why do you look like you’re about to get scolded?”