Thinking of his question, Noah smirked and eyed the emperor.
Rayence’s body shook in indignation at the arrogance in the duke’s eyes. “How far have you been looking?”
The outnumbered knights in the throes of death cried out as they were soon slain by the hands of the enemy.
The emperor closed his eyes, consolidating his resolve to summon the army he had put in the dungeons. He needed them to save the palace, the city, and its people.
He had to, even if it meant returning some form of power to his rival.
When he opened his eyelids, an undaunted expression flitted past his exquisite face as he issued an order to the commander of the imperial knights, “Release the Black Knights—let them fight!”
The commander hurriedly nodded as he sprinted with all his might towards the gates of the underground cells.
Gradually, monsters started to ascend the stairs of the palace and began attacking other people.
Noah immediately split them in two with no hesitation whatsoever. Meanwhile, the emperor, who had a sword in hand, had a more indirect approach. He ordered the knights protecting him to do the work for him instead.
Slicing the flesh of a small monster that launched a sneak attack on him, Rayence shook off the blood and frowned at the unappealing scent. Surveying his surroundings, he noted that the interior of the palace was utterly ruined.
Noah spoke in a low voice, adding fuel to his already despairing heart. “It wasn’t foreseen, it was planned.”
Instead of answering, Noah swiftly cut down a monster that rushed towards the two maids. They were all curled up and trembling amidst this brutal situation.
Noah went closer and wiped the blood from the sleeping Adele’s cheek using the back of his hand. Without even turning his head to look, he made a piercing gesture with his sword and immediately impaled another unlucky creature, killing it instantly.
As if feeling the warmth on her cheeks, Adele smiled faintly. Seeing this scene, the emperor smiled bitterly. “If you are happy… then that’s… enough for me.”
Letting out a long breath of air, the emperor walked towards them and drew his sword, presenting it to Noah hilt-first.
“Duke Noah Maktus, a nobleman and knight, in the name of upholding the dignity of the Astrian empire against foreign invaders, I command you—!”
Then his voice boomed loudly, “Protect the palace!”
Noah knelt down on one knee and accepted the sword with both hands.
“Then, I shall gladly carry out His Majesty’s orders.” As an added bonus, he raised his eyebrows.
The emperor wanted to roll his eyes in irritation. I lost… “This bastard.”
Ignoring the emperor’s words, Noah carried the sleeping Adele in one arm. She then subconsciously leaned closer to him and fastened her arms behind his neck, letting out a little sigh like a satiated cat. Suffice to say, Noah was immensely pleased with himself.
Soon after, he saw Adele’s broken necklace and muttered.
“It was good that you left it as it is.”
When it was given by the emperor as a gift, he was hesitant in throwing it away, so he left it behind. This necklace was passable, as its magical powers not only healed her, but also purged the unclean energy in her body.
If not for that, given that it had come from the hands of that hateful emperor, he would’ve already chucked it far, far away.
Maybe the dark energy that entered her when he signed a contract back then had already left her body? Noah thought to himself, but he wasn’t sure if his assumption was correct.
Nevertheless, he was able to reap a great harvest this time.
Adele had confessed to him, and that pesky, unwanted emperor who kept intruding on their relationship, had also been successfully subdued by him.
“I am satisfied.” Noah raised the corners of his lips as he caught a glimpse of the emperor staring at him with a bewildered expression. Walking straight past a broken wall with a protruding floor, he glanced down and saw familiar looking men coming out.
The Black Knights were finally free from the underground prison!
Philip was on his mount and was conducting an aerial inspection when he caught sight of his commander. Soon he grabbed the reins of a bird beast who had no rider in them and subsequently approached them.
Noah straddled the bird without hesitation, securely tucking Adele into his arms, and addressed his men.
“Under His Majesty’s orders, the Black Knights shall protect the Imperial Palace!”
He pointed his sword towards the sky and gave a domineering command.
“Show no mercy!”
The loyal Black Knights picked up their own swords and held it up high as they let out a deafening roar. Altogether, they pierced their swords into the earth and swore allegiance once more to the only master they would ever acknowledge.
And then, like an unstoppable force not to be reckoned with, they began their slaughter.
The Imperial Knights stared on dumbly as the obstacles they faced earlier with extreme difficulty, were being butchered so quickly with their superior skills. A beast going toe to toe with one of them could only last 5 seconds, with the worst being half a minute.
They started questioning life, how can the gap between them be this big?
Noah watched the scene being organized. He then kissed Adele’s sleeping forehead that caused her to rouse from her sleep.
She opened her eyes faintly, “Noah…?”
“Sleep a little longer, darling.”
Distraught by his words and by always finding herself in an unconscious situation, Adele fell into slumber yet again.
Noah stared at her tender face with loving eyes. Kissing her small nose, he whispered, “We’re going home soon.”
And then, he pulled on the reins.