Chapter 372.2

As the priest moved away, Katie released a small sigh. Her entire interaction with him had been built on falsehoods; she had never reached out to the Arse family. However, considering their significant influence, the Arse family would likely encounter challenges due to the city lockdown. The opportunity to glean information from within the palace wouldn’t be lost on them.

Katie was confident that the priest would act as a discreet messenger, safeguarding her secret request. In times of uncertainty, everyone sought emergency routes, and the priest found himself in a powerless position, handling Anika’s tasks. In such circumstances, he would likely leverage his connection with the Arse family as his own emergency route.


Pides adopted the guise of someone confined to the prayer room throughout the day, purposefully avoiding eye contact while clandestinely exploring the various corners of the palace. To his surprise, he stumbled upon numerous vulnerabilities within the supposedly secure confines of the palace.

Within the palace, its inhabitants were neatly divided into knights and priests. Yet, unless Sang-je had specifically tasked them with a mission, the knights enjoyed freedom of movement. Knights like Pides, who embraced a routine lifestyle within the palace, were a rare breed. The majority of their counterparts spent their nights there only when taking turns standing guard.

Sang-je entrusted the knights with nearly all crucial responsibilities, creating an inherent network of surveillance among them. Their ability to sense each other naturally led to a vigilant monitoring of activities within the palace.

In contrast, the priests, residing within the palace throughout the day, were relegated to the roles of errand runners without any discernible hierarchy. Secluded from the outside world, they remained oblivious to worldly news, absorbed in their assigned tasks and unaware of the palace’s internal affairs. Considering guarding the palace as the exclusive responsibility of the knights, the priests paid no heed to Pides’ discreet wanderings.

Pides carefully identified two suspicious locations within the palace. One was the sanctuary, a place of utmost significance to Sang-je and thus meticulously guarded. Security around this area was stringent, with any unauthorized presence promptly reported to Sang-je. Consequently, Pides opted to focus his investigation on the underground prayer room.

Having visited the underground prayer room before, Pides recalled a prior instance when he descended, following a priest’s request, only to discover the blonde-haired Anika priest who had met an untimely demise.

The underground prayer room stood as an enclave beyond the reach of even the priests. Within its confines, Anika is positioned in a wooden trough designed for a single person, maneuvered by the priests operating a pulley system from above. Pides, having anticipated this challenge, had prepared robust ropes and a handful of screws in advance, enabling him to descend unaided. The endurance honed through consistent knightly training proved invaluable in navigating such precarious situations.

Pides methodically combed through the prayer room, yet nothing particularly conspicuous stood out compared to his previous visit. The room’s structure was straightforward, conspicuously austere for a place where Anika resided in solitude. Unpolished walls and floors bore the visible marks of digging, and the distinctive musty aroma of the cave lingered in the damp air. Though thick carpets were arranged for the Anika priest’s prayers, they covered only select portions of the floor.

Illuminating the space with a small lantern, Pides hesitated before approaching the wall. As he brought the lantern closer, a peculiar pattern caught his attention.

What is this?

The pattern seemed familiar, a detail he had noticed during his earlier visit. If it were an intentional carving, he pondered, why had the work ceased? And why was the carpet strategically positioned to face this pattern? It felt more than mere happenstance.

It resembles scales, no matter how I look at it, Pides thought.

Determined to unravel the mystery, Pides resolved to return with tools during his next visit, intending to delve into the wall and unveil the secrets concealed within.

Disheartened by the lack of substantial discoveries, Pides secured himself to the rope, readying to ascend. Just as he neared the exit, a hushed exchange of voices reached his ears. Startled, Pides instinctively halted, pressing his body against the wall to conceal himself.

“Isn’t it time to check the pulley?” one voice queried.

“We haven’t encountered any issues yet, but it’s good to be prepared,” another responded.

“I’ll work on it tomorrow when the weather is clear. We’ll need it in three days.”

Even without catching every word, Pides held his breath for an extended moment.

In three days?

The realization struck him—three days hence, the Anika priest would descend into the prayer room. An opportunity of this caliber to observe the Anika’s activities in the prayer room couldn’t be missed, and Pides resolved to seize this chance.


“I’ve learned a great deal through this child. I wasn’t overly concerned about parting with the capital, as there’s a baroness who takes excellent care of her. Thank you so much,” Dana expressed her gratitude, a sincere smile gracing her features.

As Dana spoke, Marianne gently set down her teacup and applauded, a gesture of humility. “You say too much. Protecting the queen is simply my duty. The queen, with her deep consideration for those around her, naturally commands the loyalty and respect of her subordinates. I cannot adequately convey my gratitude for entrusting your precious daughter to the kingdom.”

Eugene, desiring a formal introduction between her mother and Marianne, had orchestrated a tea-drinking session for the three of them. Despite the warm atmosphere, eavesdropping on their courteous conversation left Eugene feeling uneasy, her ears tingling. This formality between strangers mirrored her perception of such interactions, making her quietly sip her tea.

“It’s truly an honor to meet the lady of the renowned Arse family, whom I’ve only heard about,” Marianne remarked graciously. “Everyone outside the palace is eagerly anticipating where you, the lady, will visit first. I’m sure you’ve received many invitations, and the entire kingdom is keenly interested in which noble house you will grace with your presence.”

News of Dana’s arrival at the royal palace had swiftly circulated throughout the kingdom’s social circles. As the head of the Arse family, Dana was a noble whose presence could only be secured by those with the means to travel extensively. The surge in applications for a royal audience since Eugene’s pregnancy had increased significantly within just a few days. Given the absence of a formal channel to meet Dana officially as a guest of the queen, Eugene seemed keen on exploring her mother’s surroundings informally.



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