Chapter 35: Expose the sins of the saint (1)

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On the day of the Order of Merit ceremony, it was pouring like an evening downpour in the morning.

The sky was as dark as dusk and the rain was heavy enough to bounce off the ground, soaking the clothes of the participants as they arrived one after another by carriage at the royal palace.

The spacious audience hall was decorated with tapestries and colorful shields, and as the time for the awarding ceremony approached, people arrived one by one.

Many chairs were lined up facing the throne, filled with the nobles and dignitaries who had been invited to the ceremony.
Everyone was dressed in formal attire appropriate for the occasion and the spacious audience hall became even more gorgeous.

Gideon’s father, the Duke of Lancaster, was also there.

The duke looked very thin and pale.
He had been told that his beloved son, the heir apparent, had been killed in battle and he may not have been able to eat.
He went to the front of the throne to receive his medal.

In place of his son, who couldn’t be here.

When the recipients were all present, the military minister’s voice echoed cheerfully in the audience hall as he read out the achievements of the recipients, each followed by thunderous applause.

When all had been read, the king, who had been sitting on his throne, finally made his move.

He rose from his throne and walked on the crimson carpet with smooth movements.
The king, who had his leg healed by the saint, no longer uses a cane.

As the king walked up to the recipients, the soldiers whose names had been called stepped forward, one by one.

Their names are read out and the King, in turn, bestows the medal.
The recipients all flushed with pride as they held their silver medals, which were shaped like snowflakes.

Gideon’s name is called and the Duke of Lancaster stands before the king.
He bowed to receive the medal on behalf of Gideon, the captain of the Magic Soldiers, who had distinguished himself on the battlefield.

The crown prince, standing a short distance from the throne, quietly followed the Duke’s movements with his eyes.

When he noticed my gaze, which was fixed diagonally behind him, he whispered.

“Do you hate me for sending Gideon to Mikunov? Do you not want to protect me?”

“I have no personal feelings.
It’s my job.”

“You’ve got a great attitude.”

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The crown prince gave a small laugh and shrugged his shoulders.

After the duke, it was the saint whose name was called.

All eyes in the hall were on the saint.

She stepped forward to face the king, the hem of her white dress billowing in the air.

The king presented her with a silver medal, the same as the other recipients.

But this time it didn’t end there.

A chamberlain quickly came up next to the king and presented him with a small cloth-covered box.
The king took out what was inside.

As soon as they recognized what it was, the hall was filled with a rustle.

The king held out both hands to the saint and presented her with a shimmering silver tiara.

“Saint Iris.
I hereby declare you to be the betrothed of the crown prince of Leia.”

Everyone gasped.

Then, the saint was so moved that she held her bosom with both hands and her face was flushed.
Then she slowly folded her knees and hung her head.

The king placed the tiara on top of her golden hair.

“The tiara of the crown princess has been given to the saint.”

Just as the king finished his proclamation, a loud voice echoed through the room.

“Wait!”

The audience hall was abuzz.
Everyone’s eyes wandered around, looking for the owner of the voice, wondering who had shouted such a thing.

A middle-aged man stepped forward in front of everyone.

He was a very well-dressed man, wearing a navy blue jacket with numerous medals on it.
The fact that he was in the front row also indicated his high status.

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The king frowned angrily at the unexpected interruption and yelled at him.

“What do you mean wait! Marquis Trevor!” 

It was the Marquis Trevor, one of the four great nobles, who objected to the saint’s becoming the crown prince’s fiancée.

He walked with great strides to the saint’s side and said to the king.

“The saint Iris is not the chaste woman your majesty seems to think she is.
She is a wicked woman.”

“What did you say! Rude!”

Those around him also look at Marquis Trevor in a smoky way.

Is the Marquis in a state of confusion? Voices arose here and there.

But he continued resolutely.

“This woman played with my son, Benjamin Trevor, right up until the moment she was chosen to become a saint.
She caged him even though he was engaged to her best friend and then suddenly abandoned my son while she had him break off the engagement with her best friend.
It was as if she had had enough of her new toy.”

“Don’t tell lies!”

A middle-aged woman advanced towards the angry king as if rolling in front of him.

Everyone’s eyes were black and white, wondering what was going on this time.

The woman folded her trembling hands in front of her chest, looked up at the King and began to speak in a voice that was husky from nervousness.

“It’s not a lie, Your Majesty.
It was my daughter Mia who had her engagement with Benjamin broken off.
Immediately afterwards, she attempted suicide by poisoning herself and has not awakened from her coma!”

The air in the room had clearly changed.

Everyone looked at Mia’s mother and the Marquis Trevor alternately with a puzzled look on their faces.

The king, however, remained bullish.
He shouted at them.

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“Marquis Trevor, this is a plot against the Marquis of Zephyr, the family of the competing saint’s parents, isn’t it? It’s nothing more than an accusation.”

Following Mia’s mother, Catharine advanced next to her.

She stepped out on shaky legs and kneeled down to face the king.

Painfully aware of all the attention being directed at her at once, Catharine pulls out two pieces of letterhead with her right hand, which is bobbing up and down with nervousness.

“The evidence is here.
I present this to His Majesty.”

A chamberlain comes and takes up the letterhead dedicated by Catherine and hands it to the king.

The King unfolded the letterhead and began to read it, his face clearly changing color.

No wonder.

One of the letters was a letter that Catherine had received from her sister.

Mia had received it from Iris, who had written to comfort her.

The other letter was from Iris to Benjamin and it was a letter of passionate love.
This one was collected by Mac, who had become close to Benjamin.

Both had the same handwriting.

After reading them, the king crumpled the letterhead.

“What’s this? What’s the point of this? Everyone has the blunders of youth.
It’s just a game of love.”

Just as the murmurs were about to be forcibly hushed with a single word.

The door to the audience chamber was slammed open, and two men entered with a thud.

Their black and silver uniforms belonged to the Royal Guard.

The one who appeared was Mac, accompanied by his boss.

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The two men walked with stately steps to the back of the audience chamber and kneeled before the king, ignoring everyone’s consternation.

“The king’s guards captain! What do you want!”

“I have an urgent matter to report.
It was discovered that the fire at the ballroom in the royal capital the other day was caused by arson by a janitor who came in and out of the ballroom.”

The audience room buzzed.

The captain of the guard snapped his hand, and several guards brought in a skinny young woman.

They drag her to the king’s front and made her kneel.

“The cleaner confessed that she had been paid by the saint’s lady-in-waiting to set the place on fire.”

The people present gulped, their eyes widening in astonishment.
The king’s voice was very low.

“Where is this maid-servant of hers?”

“She has been missing since the day after the fire.
A search was conducted and the body of an unidentified woman was found in a well in the royal capital.
Most likely, she was killed to keep her mouth shut because she saw the extent of the damage and made a fuss.
The lady-in-waiting told her family only that ‘the saint asked her to do something that could not be undone.'”

“It’s not true!” The saint cries out.
The crown prince rushes to her and embraces her protectively.

The king turned his steely eyes on the captain of the royal guard.

“What do you want to say? It has long been decided that anyone who harms a saint is guilty of death.
I hope you are ready for such a daring plot?”

The King’s Guard is upset and Mac braces himself.

I couldn’t take it anymore.
This king really believes that the saint is innocent.
That’s why it’s so bad to deal with.

I walked slowly from the corner of the audience hall to get closer to the king.
The king’s eyes turned to me as if to say, “What is it this time?”

“On the night of the fire, the saint had a collision with a wagon.
A man was caught in the body of the wagon, but instead of taking care of him, she overrode my attempts to stop her and headed for the scene of the fire.”

“Your Majesty, that’s nonsense! I would never do such a thing!”

Clinging to the crown prince, the saint shakes her golden head.

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