Kishiar gave Nathan a light command and strode into the open door of the wagon. Gacaine gulped as he looked at the door big enough for the tall Kishiar to ride without bending a bit.
"Is it true that the court wagons were designed to avoid even a little shaking?"
"We'll find out when we get on."
Yuder quietly swallowed the word "It's true,"
and only replied so.
Kanna looked at the imperial wagon and wasn't as amazed as the others. Rather than being surprised by the unshakable magic even after getting in the carriage, she was nervously up and down like someone with a splinter under their butt all the time.
Unknown thoughts twirled dizzy in the occasional gaze toward the outside of the window.
What made her so anxious as soon as she was told that she was going to the Imperial Palace?
Yuder didn't take his eyes off Kanna's side in question. Nevertheless, Kanna remained distracted as if she hadn't even noticed the glare.'The Red Stone problem is a problem, but something's wrong with Kanna. If that condition continues once we arrive, we'll have to watch her carefully.'
* * *
The Imperial Palace of Orr Empire, La Ruma Palace, was built in the deepest interior of the capital. Built in a time when ancient legacies hadn't yet disappeared, the palace had a special reputation for its unchanging beauty for a thousand years.
Poets praised it as the holiest paradise in the world and wished to see the Sun Palace spire, which was said to contain the hands of the missing species, even from a distance.
"I can't believe we've crossed all Seven Walls of Ruma."
Yuder smiled faintly as he heard Gacaine's trembling voice. In the past, he thought the same thing on his first visit to the palace.
Even the commoners who lived deep in the mountains knew the story of the warriors assisting the first Emperor who founded the Empire, and the legend of the evil Black Mage, Modal.
Among them, there was a story of Ruma, an archmage, that he helped the Emperor build a new palace and built seven walls to protect it.
The mage built seven walls with different powers, adding seven magic to the seven-power materials centered around the palace. To get to the most central Sun Palace, they had to go through all the walls.
Because there was a considerable distance between the walls, those who stayed in the palace stayed in certain wall zones depending on their purpose, status, and occupation.
What people generally thought of as the capital was actually only the outermost part of the Seventh Wall, where the commoners, or the middle class, lived.
It was natural to think that there was where the Imperial Knight's, as well as Cavalry's quarter, existed from a very long time ago. It was the right thing for the Imperial Knights to protect the outside invasion from the outermost part of the palace.
Unlike the seven walls, stacked high like ordinary walls, some unusual walls welcomed visitors from the Sixth Wall. Yuder watched the scenery flowing quickly over the wagon's window.
Regular high-rise white trees, 12 fountains carved with 12 wise men, 7 statues of knights riding horses with huge spears, a fragrant and special flower scent that penetrated everywhere invisible and made you feel good.......
All of that was the walls that divided zones and living legends.
The wagon occasionally stopped in front of soldiers guarding the area and soon ran again.
The wagons with imperial patterns were already an absolute right of passage in themselves.
"We've passed the Third Wall, so we'll be at our destination soon."
Kishiar, sitting still with his arms crossed, murmured as he peeked out of the window.
"I've been here a lot. It makes me feel sorry for the archmage Ruma. What a meaningless effort it is to have seven walls built, but humans are conducting their own inspections in front of them. Don't you think so?"
It seemed to be a joke, but on the other hand, it was a laughable remark. It was also too bold for Kishiar, who was born and raised in the imperial palace.
But Kishiar's eyes were languid as if they had no intention. No one could read the truth out of his smile.
After a while, the wagon stopped gently. A small window connected to the magic stone opened and Nathan's voice was heard briefly.
The Cavalry members watched in unison the slowly opening door with tense faces. Kishiar, holding the box of the Red Stone in one hand, opened his mouth as if not to worry.
"There's nothing to be nervous about. Few people know we're coming today. It's only for a moment to meet His Majesty. After that, I will be the only one left to talk to him alone, so if you wait with my aide, Nathan, everything will be over."
He didn't know when he was in a wagon, but when he got off, Kishiar was usually the last one. The Cavalry members got off the wagon one by one over Kishiar, who was sitting inside. And when it was Yuder's turn, he didn't get off immediately and paused.
He deliberately dragged the other members to get off first, and now there were only two people left in the wagon, Yuder and Kishiar.
The reason was simple. As a result of thinking about it on the way, the only moment he could give his opinion to Kishiar was right now.
"Commander-nim, are you delivering the box to the palace today?"
As Yuder talked very small and fast, Kishiar's eyes narrowed as if he was interested.
"Why do you ask?"
"During the Retrieval Operation, you tried to use Kanna's powers to examine the stone."
"I did, but it wasn't possible."
"It's a waste of time to give up because it was impossible to try it just once. Do you have any intention of giving us a little more time?"
Yuder was cautious but articulate. Kishiar, who was looking at Yuder's face and trying to figure out what he was thinking, tilted his head a little later and lifted the tip of his lips.
"Well...... I can't touch it at all, but do you think it'll be possible if we have more time?"
Kishiar's response was not as bad as he thought. It seemed that the stone wasn't decided to be sent to the Pearl Tower from the beginning. If it did, Kishiar would've reacted more decisively and negatively.
If so, there was only one thing to be shown for negotiations.
"I will make it possible."
"Well, that's a problem. I can't believe you're suggesting that in a situation that I have to show it to His Majesty soon. It's too sudden."
Unlike the words, Kishiar, who rubbed the bottom of his lips and smiled, briefly lost in thought. Yuder was at a crossroads as to whether he should crave the next best option just in case he accepted his opinion.
A few seconds later, a short moment that felt like a thousand years passed and Kishiar looked up again. The eyes of those two met.
"I originally planned to hand over the box today. His Majesty was very curious about it, and I thought I had looked into it."
"But I'll do you good. It was the first request given to me by my assistant that I've coaxed several times already... I have no choice but to follow suit. It won't be long, but it's a one-time remark, so make sure you succeed."
If it didn't work out, Yuder's hideous plan disappeared in his head, in which he even considered wearing a mask and breaking into the Palace and stealing it himself.
He blinked and lowered his head slowly, looking at Kishiar, who had hidden his interest between his adult smile.
"What. Only this much. I'm a man of my word. I think it's a good thing that you've accepted my offer."
Not answering, Yuder quickly stepped out of the wagon feeling relieved. Afterwards, Kishiar also stepped down to the floor with an elegant step.
Where they arrived was in front of a dazzlingly white palace. It merely reflected the sunlight and shone, but without any fancy decorations, it made the person standing in front of it look very small. Even the royal wagon that looked so large and gorgeous lost its light in front of the palace's mysterious majesty.
The palace that had special beauty was painted by the best artist on white paper using only thick lines. It was the Sun Palace where the Emperor stayed.
Yuder looked up at the palace he had visited countless times in his previous life. When the Emperor called, Yuder had to come here no matter where he was or what he was doing.
He knew many of the countless secret passages hidden in this mysterious palace and remembered where and what was.
The moment he was decapitated, he never wanted to come back, but fate took him back here so quickly. It was strange.
"Your Highness, I've been waiting."
The old man walking out from the inside corridor bowed his head deeply and greeted. His hair was as white as snow, but his waist was still straight and his eyes were sharp.'A man of considerable skill, contrary to his appearance.'
Yuder was deeply impressed to see that he didn't look distressed even though he greeted Kishiar with a red stone in a closer position than he thought.
He was hanging a band tied with a special knot around his waist, as were his court attendants.
The color of the belt and the number of knots gave a rough idea of his status, and this old man's band was five knots in deep blue color like the sea. Seeing the golden tassel on the end of it, Yuder's eyes narrowed slightly.