4 Prologue 4

Inside the Supreme Commander's mansion, the mood was gloomy. It had already been almost three weeks since Mago and Enki got back to the Imperia capital, Valopolis. Tomorrow would be the day when Mago would leave on the southern campaign and Enki would move back to the palace.

During their time in the capital had the second prince, Darren visited the mansion over six times. Each time Mago had blocked him from entering and visiting his sister. At first, had Darren been understanding and left without complaints when Mago told him that his sister was sick or grounded because of her bad behavior. But after being prevented from visiting Violettina for the third time, was Darren getting impatient and insisted on visiting Violettina and wishing for her to get better soon. Naturally, he did not succeed, and Mago simply had the guards escort him out after listening to the second prince's nagging for a few minutes.

Darren had been furious but there wasn't really anything he could do because, in the absence of his father, Mago was the master of the mansion and held the full authority of the house Barca. But Darren wasn't willing to give up and figured that once Mago leaves, he can visit Violettina again. Luckily, Mago had talked with Violettina and convinced her to not see Darren anymore, even when Mago was gone. Still, Mago had felt uneasy about it, so he had instructed all the guards to prevent Darren from entering the Supreme Commander's mansion.

"Feeling nervous?", asked Enki from Mago, while the two were hanging out in his room. Enki was packing up his stuff while Mago was twirling a pendant he had gotten from Elise. Inside the pendant was a picture of her. Mago loved it. Now he could see her lovely face whenever he wished.

"A bit. I'm afraid that Bismark and Ragan will cause some trouble in order to get discharged.", replied Mago.

"Probably. But I'm guessing you already have something thought out, right?", asked Enki with a knowing smile.

"Well, since these two friends of mine are planning on handing themselves to me on a silver platter, of course, I will make an example out of them. I will show the other men what happens when they try to disobey my orders or cause trouble.", replied Mago with a wolfish grin, while stuffing the pendant in his pocket and heading towards the door.

"Where are you going?", wondered Enki.

"I need to get a gift for Eli.", replied Mago while wondering what would be a perfect gift for her.

And so the day quickly went by and Enki, Mago, Elise and Violettina spent the whole evening together. After everyone had gone to their respective rooms, Elise snuck out of hers. Around her neck was a matching pendant to the one she had given Mago. Inside it was a picture of Mago, naturally. Mago had thought long and hard about what to get her and wandered around numerous shops, but in the end, he got her a matching pendant. Elise was only wearing a light nightgown that revealed her slender but well-proportioned figure. Her blonde hair was untied and fell over her shoulders, reaching her lower back. Her blue eyes gleamed in the dimly lit hallway.

Elise quickly arrived in front of Mago's room. She softly knocked on the door, hoping that Mago was still awake. Soon enough the door opened and a shirtless Mago was standing before her.

Upon seeing the half-naked man before her, she forgot everything she had come here to say. She couldn't tear her eyes from the 210 centimeters tall, muscular frame before her.

"You know my face is up here.", teased Mago with a smile, while enjoying the wandering gaze of Elise, while taking a peek at the mounds that were slightly visible from her nightgown.

Blushing, Elise looked up into Mago's emerald green eyes. While looking up, Elise noticed that Mago's jet-black hair was wet.

"Did you just get out of the shower?", she asked while picturing something inside her head that made her blush further.

"Yeah, I did. But anyway, what brings you here, Eli? You should be asleep. Enki will move out tomorrow and you should be there in high spirits to support him.", Mago replied.

"I know. I just... I..." Elise stammered, not knowing how the express herself.

"Please come back safely to me.", she finally said with tears in her eyes. She had spent a lot of time with Mago during these few weeks, and her childhood crush on him had once again rekindled and slowly turned into something more.

"Don't worry. I will definitely come back to marry you.", said Mago with a reassuring smile while pulling Elise into his embrace.

"You better or I will kill you myself.", murmured Elise while clinging onto Mago.

The two of them stayed like that for a while until Mago finally pulled out of the hug.

"Get some sleep, Eli.", he said while wiping away the tears that were streaming down her face.

"Let me stay with you. I don't want to be alone tonight.", whispered Elise in a small voice.

"Sure.", said Mago with a slightly flustered face and swooped Elise up in a princess carry and headed inside of his room.

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Divine Empire Sargon, Valopolis, Headquarters of the Holy Church.

Two men were sitting across from each other in a dimly lit underground chamber within the Cathedral of Eternal Light, the headquarters of the Holy Church. Neither of them had said a word in a while, just enjoying the wine that they had been drinking.

"What do you think of the Emperor's decision of making the youngest prince the crown prince?", asked one of the men, finally breaking the silence. He was wearing luxurious gold-trimmed holy garments and his amber eyes were staring intently at the man sitting across from him, not missing a single movement he made.

"It was a good one, I have to admit. This way he created a pawn that all the others will focus their attention on, at least for now, and he himself can have more room to breathe. The pressure from the nobles to name the crown prince had been increasing a lot.", answered the other man. He was wearing an all-black leather gear with a hood that hid his face completely. The only thing visible from beneath the hood were two piercing black eyes that were illuminated by the light coming from the torches in the chamber.

"I feel sorry for the young prince. He just got back home and was instantly dragged into the mess within the palace.", sighed the first man.

"You think he will die?", asked the second man.

"Of course. He is all alone in the palace. He is lucky to even survive a year.", lamented the first man.

"You could offer him some protection then.", scoffed the second man. He knew that the man in front of him couldn't care less about the boy. As long as the boy wouldn't impede his schemes, he couldn't be bothered about him. And sadly for the boy, someone had thrown him straight into the man's path.

"I would if I could. But the Imperial Palace isn't a place where even I can send people on a whim.", said the first man while shaking his head. This earned another scoff from the second man.

"Please, a third of the people within the palace are probably already in your pocket.", replied the second man.

"Only a fourth, actually. Recently the Emperor found and uprooted some people I had planted there.", stated the first man.

"Anyway. Keep yourself in check. If you overstep your bounds, you know what will happen.", smirked the second man while preparing to leave.

"Yes, yes, I know. If I threaten the safety and stability of the Empire, you old monster will come for my head.", frowned the first man, displeased. The monster of the Night was the final line of defense within the Empire. He and the people working under him were part of an organization simply called "The Night".

The Night had taken an oath to always act with the Empire's best interest in mind. At first, they had been in direct service of the Imperial family and acted as their eyes and ears and the sword hiding within the shadows, cutting down any threats to the Empire. But after centuries had passed and the Imperial family had declined and become more corrupt and incompetent in the ruling of the Empire, had the Night distanced themselves from them. In the last three centuries had they only directly served one Emperor, otherwise keeping their existence hidden.

Now, most of the Emperors just thought of the organization as a myth, having found no evidence to support the fact that it existed. The current Emperor was no different. Only the Church knew that the organization definitely existed and was still protecting the Empire from the shadows. The Church had actively kept records of the Night and tried to keep a track of their movements. It was in order to prevent them from interfering with the Church's ambitions, which was to gain the highest authority in the Empire, overthrowing the Imperial family, and making the Divine Empire Sargon a theocracy (country ruled by religion) with the Patriarch of the Holy Church as the leader.

The Night naturally knew of the Church's ambition, but the fact was that the Empire would most likely be better off under the rule of the Church than under the rule of the Imperial family. So they had taken a neutral stance and not interfered in the matter.

"It's good that you still know your place, Your Holiness.", smirked the monster of the Night, the last bit laced with ridicule, while bidding farewell to the Patriarch of the Holy Church.

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