Episode 133- Forbidden Secret: Crown Prince
Previous episode: The group of women all looked like Lea. Con broke the death of Kal to them only to be met with pointed fingers. Crown Prince Nexiel announced his identity and the group of women broke down. Lise introduces a woman with no name; the one who makes the ‘‘tribute figures’. Kal keeps figures that are important to him, sells less important ones, and buries the rest under the Royal Lake.
“To be their last.”.
Lise turned to Eugene with a raised brow, “L, last?”
Eugene glanced at her feet with no emotions in her eyes and continued, “For no one to find them. For they can only be bound to him for eternity. To be their last man.” In other words, to be chained even in death.
Eugene felt that the no-name woman was wrong. To leave his tribe figures under the Royal lake could only mean one thing. His hypnotism failed and these women weren’t truly under his control and weren’t obedient. He found this extremely displeasing; hence, they can only suffer in agony even after death.
And for the ones he… gives and sells, they were mostly ones he felt bored with or didn’t care. At least… this was what her former family would have done. To keep people they hate in agony even after death.
The room turned silent at Eugene’s interpretation of the tribute figures. Though they didn’t hear why Eugene had come to this conclusion, they could tell that she was implying that this was Kal’s way of humiliating the women even after their deaths.
Hal shut his eyes tightly closed as he hung his head down. He wanted to say that this was too cruel, but there was something in him that thought agreed with her. He knows how cruel Kal was, and this… was something he would do.
Crown Prince Nexiel exhaled loudly and raised a brow at Eugene, “What makes you think of this in such a… scary way?” He felt that there was something else Eugene was hiding, otherwise, she wouldn’t comprehend the tribute figures in such a… horrifying way.
The no-name woman who had been listening in silence smiled slightly.
“… Because the tributes aren’t just stone figures.” It was Aernest who replied. He walked to Euria’s side once he was finished.
“What do you mean?”
Eugene shifted her eyes to the smiling woman and made known, “The tribute figures are made from real bodies.” Like a natural response to Eugene, the no-name woman’s smile got wider.
Eugene continued, “They are made from the bodies of those who have died. Am I right, Lady.” She directed the question to the no-name woman whose eyes were twinkling in fascination and amusement.
No one knew how to react. They only turned to the no-name woman blankly before a dreadful feeling could be felt in their chest and stomach. Immediately, they backed away from the woman whose face was getting scary and creepier. Unlike her dull appearance and her soft voice that had no presence, the woman now was standing out. And the way she was standing out was spine-chilling; as if her mask had cracked.
The woman chuckled and she stood up, “I wonder how you found out?” Her voice was crisp and cold, no longer soft. The group of women who were beside her ran away to the other side of the room instinctively because of the pure pressure that was radiating off her.
Lise’s body trembled at the overwhelming pressure, “….Older s, sister?” she trailed her words as she stared at the ‘kind’ sister in horror.
Without words said, Con, Dea, and Aedelak stepped in front of the younger children. They had no idea what this woman was capable of, but the fact that she was exerting such immense pressure indicated that she wasn’t ordinary or weak.
“Now, now.” The woman chuckled, “Don’t be like that. Don’t look so threatened. I was just humbly curious as to how you found out.” The woman retracted her creepy smile, put her hands together, and lowered her head as if she was obedient and incapable of hurting them.
No one said anything. The more the woman breathed, the more the children put their defenses up.
“Hmm, then let me guess.” She chucked as she tapped on her chin. Her eyes looked as if they were thinking deeply and all of a sudden her eyes lit up, “Ah! Was it during your training?”
The moment the woman accurately pointed that out, Eugene’s heart dropped to her stomach. She could feel cold sweat running down her back, but unlike her inner feelings, her outer face remained as still as water, giving the woman no hint whatsoever. Just that, Aernest expression gave the woman the answer she wanted immediately. He stared at her in horror with his big eyes and lost his non-existent facade.
The woman clapped her hands, “What? I got it right?” She started laughing as her eyes watered, and when she was satisfied, she modestly wiped the corner of her eyes.
“I know. I know many things. Whether it be inside or outside of the Royal Palace.” She confessed, “How about this? For making me laugh, I’ll answer whatever you want to know within a set time.” she proposed without any condition as she sat back down.
“Only the truth, of course.” Her index finger was raised as she finished her words.
Everyone glanced at each other and hesitated. They didn’t know if they could trust the woman, but at the same time, they were curious and had many things they wanted to know.
Lise was first. She glanced at the Crown Prince nervously before turning to her older ‘sister.
“Is… Is Lord… Lord” Her lips shook with anxiety as she hesitantly and eagerly stared at her older sister.
The woman turned to Lise and knew what her words were referring to. With a smirk she answered, “Dead. If they are here, there’s no way he can still be alive.” she pointed to the children and spoke as if it was a matter of fact.
Lise’s eyes widened and she turned to the children.
The woman continued, “There’s no way that man would allow them to roam around freely. Look. The proof that they are here means your husband is dead.” she shrugged her shoulders when she finished.
‘Means your husband is dead…’ Eugene noticed these words immediately, ‘Does this mean the no-name woman was not one of Kal’s women and was only someone who crafted the tribute figures?’ Her eyebrows were furrowed as she continued to listen in.
Lise stared at the woman in shock and quickly asked her another question, “What… What of my child?” She turned to the group of her older sisters and turned back, “And the other children? Are they… H, have they truly passed away when we gave birth?” she stuttered as she looked to the no-name woman for answers.
This was a question that has always been in her mind. She had always had an inkling that something was wrong but no matter how much she tried, she could never bring herself to ask her husband or the other women. It felt like there was something in her that stopped her from doing so. But at this moment, she didn’t feel like that. She felt a small crack and through that crack, she mustered up everything and asked this ‘sister’ of hers.
The no-name woman chuckled, “You’re finally getting smart.” They are finally breaking their cage filled with lies and oppression.
The praise came out of nowhere and stunned Lise and the other women. Everyone had a bad feeling…
“Until yesterday…” The woman leaned on her arms and dragged her words. She watched Lise’s every changing expression before crushing her,
“They were alive.” She shrugged, “You’re too late.” She broke into a huge creepy grin as she finished.
Everyone sucked in their breaths. Their racing hearts felt dropped as despair set in.
‘We… We were too late…’ Their bodies trembled in hopelessness and emptiness.
“…..” Eugene didn’t dare look at the group of women. If she was right, these were the children Kal accused them of murdering. That they were the ones who massacred his children.
Eugene’s gaze swung around and met the woman’s. She froze when she realized the woman had been staring at her for quite some time. The way the woman’s eyes were staring at her was intense. Like an automatic response to shift the woman’s attention away from her, Eugene blurted a random question,
Crown Prince Nexiel who was next to Eugene jolted before raising a brow at Eugene. He was surprised and didn’t understand why Eugene would suddenly mention the King.
“The King…?” The woman sighed as if she was tired.
Eugene blinked and realized her mistake. She changed her question and decided to focus on the overall situation, “Was everyone manipulated by Kal?”
The woman sighed again as if disappointed that Eugene would ask her this question but she admitted, “Yes.” She said blandly.
“The King. The knights. His wives. Everyone.” She said with gestured arms that indicated that everyone was manipulated.
Lise and the group of women frowned, ‘Ma… manipulated?’ They could only stare at the no-name woman and Eugene in confusion.
“….” Crown Prince Nexiel’s eyes trembled and he clenched his fists. For some unknown reason, he had a bad feeling. A very bad one at that…
Unlike the Crown Prince, Eugene felt relieved. She felt relieved for the Crown Prince because if the woman’s claims were true, the King did not choose to harm the Crown Prince on purpose; he was manipulated to hate the Crown Prince.
Crown Prince Nexiel stared at the woman straight in the eyes and asked about his mother, “What of Her Highness, the Queen of Zene?” He paused for a moment, “What happened to her?” Since he can remember, all he knew about his mother was that she was a bad person who deserved to die. If the no-name woman’s claims were true, didn’t that mean that the Queen was also hypnotized?
“…….” The woman remained silent for a few seconds before replying, “The Queen wasn’t hypnotized. Only the King was.”
Eugene’s eyebrows furrowed. ‘Then why are you smiling like that?’ she couldn’t help but refute the woman in her mind. The smile the no-name woman was showing to the Crown Prince showed that there was more to what she let on.
The woman sighed when she saw that everyone was staring at her in anticipation, “What happened to the Queen was…Haha.” she dragged but at the end, she chuckled. From then on, she proceeded to tell a tale no one expected or anticipated. An unbelievable stomach-churning tale.
“The Queen loved the King with all her heart. The King did too. Just that his love towards her wasn’t one of romance. He nevertheless treated her with the utmost respect and gave her everything to compensate her for being unable to give him his heart.
They grew up together and have always been together since they were young. They knew they would wed when they reached a good age so they tried to love each other. However, only the Queen could and the King could not. No matter what he did, no matter how much effort he put in to love her, he could not. He loved her, but he couldn’t love her as a woman.
Still, because they had been together since birth, this did not make them break or fall apart. They were strong, and they eventually married.
The Queen felt bad at one point and because she loved the King with her entire soul, she eventually decided to bring in male concubines. She couldn’t stand the fact that the King wanted to hide his feelings and not be true to himself so she made this decision herself. The King wasn’t happy and disagreed strongly. He had promised to make the Queen his one and only wife, to be together and grow old, to only have each other, and because of this promise, he never touched the men the Queen brought in. Ever.
One day… the Queen got pregnant with the King’s child.”
“….” Eugene frowned. This was not the King she’s met and conversed with. The King from the story and the King in real life are worlds apart from each other that she couldn’t help but doubt if the woman was telling the truth.
The woman continued, “Lady Lea and Kal were already living in the Royal Palace then. Lady Lea got pregnant with her child at the same time the Queen did. Lady Lea and Commander Kal went to go help a village but when they returned, everything began to fall apart.
Kal thought that manipulating the King for the commanding post wasn’t enough so he began to increase his hypnosis and manipulation on the King. He manipulated the King to hate the King, made the King break his promise to only have his Queen, and began bringing in male concubines during her pregnancy. He made the Queen’s term and life miserable whilst carrying her child.”
Everyone in the room sucked their breaths in. Lise and the group of women finally realized what the no-name woman meant by them being hypnotized. They have been manipulated this whole time, just like the King and the Queen.
‘But for what purpose?’ Eugene thought.
“There are two reasons.” The no-name woman continued,
“The first reason was that there was no one the King could trust. So that the King could only trust him. And the other…” A creepy smile crept up her face, “The second reason was so that he could gouge the heart of the child born from the King and the Queen and feed it to his child.”
The room turned silent. Not even an inhale or exhale of oxygen could be heard. The group of women did not believe the no-name woman’s words at first but when they saw the odd realization and the shocked expression on the children’s faces, their stomachs began to churn. They couldn’t breathe and felt trapped as if the oxygen in the room had completely drained away. The idea of consuming a newborn’s heart was so terrifying and nauseating that some of the women began to gag reflexively.
The no-name woman chuckled at the women’s reaction, “Even the King doesn’t know about this. He only thought of executing the Queen because she had given birth to a still-born.”
“……” Eugene frowned, ‘This doesn’t make any sens-’. The woman’s words registered in her mind before she could finish her thought.
Eugene… wanted to confirm, “The King of Zene executed the Queen because he thought she gave birth to a still-born?”
The woman nodded with a smile.
Eugene was no longer able to keep her straight expression. The shock was visible on her face as the corner of her eyes caught the Crown Prince’s ghastly expression. The moment she saw the Crown Prince’s expression, her heart began to tremble, and she felt it dropping to the ground.
The woman confirmed, “That’s right.”
She turned to Crown Prince Nexiel and announced, “The child the Queen gave birth to is dead.”
Everyone turned silent and turned to the Crown Prince. If… If what the woman was saying was true, then…
The room was filled with heaviness and unimaginable pressure. Through that pressure, the woman continued,
“The King was so angered that his only child passed and swore to never touch another woman ever again. Kal planned to execute the Queen and live happily with Lea and their child that would no longer be bound to the conditions of this continent, but things didn’t go as planned.
Lady Lea died. The stress during her pregnancy term made her unable to handle the pain and stress of giving birth that she passed away. The woman Kal regarded as his goddess died. His plans to live happily ever after with Lea and raise their child, whom he intended to manipulate the King into making the child the new King, did not come to fruition.
Eventually, the child became a hassle. He blamed the child for Lea’s death and did not want to raise the child so he simply gave the child to the King.
Everyone’s mouths were glued shut. They became increasingly uncomfortable and hurt as they listened. Hal’s whole body shook with rage. He hadn’t expected Kal to simply throw away the child he had with Lea to the King. He couldn’t help but turn to the Crown Prince…the victim of this tragedy.
The woman laughed, “Though I don’t know what flesh tastes like, I can assume that you enjoy it right, Crown Prince?” she teased as she stared down at him.
At this moment, Crown Prince Nexiel wanted nothing more but to vomit. It was as if he was being thrown into an abyss with no end, but worse. He could feel nothing but worthlessness and emptiness. His body felt uncomfortable and disgusting. The acid in his gut threatened to burst out, as though his body was rejecting everything with all its power. However, he held it back by covering his mouth with his hands to keep his gag reflex at bay.
A woman’s laughter could be heard in this soul-crushingly uncomfortable room. The woman was laughing at the Crown Prince’s terrible situation. The entire scenario, as well as everyone’s horrified responses. Everyone was in despair when suddenly a low toned voice belonging to a young child spoke out,
“You’re nauseatingly loud.”
“…..” Crown Prince Nexiel immediately jumped from shock as his eyes turned to the small girl with beautiful grey-silver hair. His nausea improved as a result of the shock. The girl’s expression was one of annoyance and disgust, which stunned him greatly.
Silence. There was only silence as everyone held their breath and they turned to the girl who spoke.
“Wha, what?” the woman stuttered speechlessly as she stared at the small child.
“Laugh at yourself. Do you think we are at a farmhouse?” the young child spoke back. The child’s red pair of eyes were filled with disgust as they glared into the woman’s trembling eyes.
“Y-YOU!” The no-name woman pointed at the child in anger as she stood up abruptly. No one knew this but the eyes staring at her felt so chilling that for the first time in a decade, she felt cold sweat running down her neck.
Eugene’s eyes were widened in shock. Her hands reached out to Euria only to stop mid-way as she muttered her name, “Eu…Euria?”
The woman’s face was red as they stared at Euria with anger, “DO YOU THINK I WON’T KILL YOU!!”
Euria’s eyes bore straight into the woman and she said with the same level of threat, “You’re. Loud.”
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