The door to Baron Inferna’s room didn’t open until evening.
“What were you two doing here?”
Baroness Inferna, who found Rufus and Sarubia standing guard at the door, eyed them as if they were absurd.
“I was waiting for my grandmother,” Rufus said gently. His hand, however, never left the hilt of his sword.
“Indeed, good things are waiting outside of this old woman’s room. I should get out and spend more time together with everyone.” Baroness Inferna coughed and moved slowly. Because of her ageing, her energy was not the same as before.
“Will you have dinner?”
“No, I’ve slept so much that I have no appetite. You guys can eat without me. I’ll get ready to go out in the meantime.”
“Where are you going?”
In response to the question, Baroness Inferna looked at Rufus with strange eyes.
“Where else should I go? Tonight is the firework festival.”
Today was the last day of the Victory Festival. To mark the end of this monumental festival, the king promised a splendid fireworks spectacle.
The royal palace, which usually strictly prohibits outsiders from entering the palace, will be opened for a limited time today.
Of course, Rufus’ family’s palace was not open to the outside world. However, the vacant lot that was open to visitors was not far from the separate court.
Thanks to the visitors gushing in like waves, even the separate palace became noisy.
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“Sister Ruby, it’s my first time seeing fireworks today,” Edel said to Sarubia during dinner.
“Really? You can look forward to it. They use fireworks made by the Royal Wizards.” Sarubia explained with a smile.
“Is there a difference from the firecrackers sold in the market?”
“A big difference! The firecrackers made by the wizards move as if the flames are alive!”
“Alive and moving?”
“Yes, it moves like a living snake. It doesn’t just pop once and end, but it makes various shapes by moving slowly in the air.”
“Well, I can’t imagine just by listening.”
Even after listening to Sarubia’s explanation, Edel seemed to have a hard time believing. So did Rufus. He had never seen the fireworks made by wizards. If he were his usual self, he would have watched the fireworks with a little interest.
However, he couldn’t think of anything as he climbed on the roof of the palace and watched the fireworks in progress.
“Grandma, look at that! The fireworks are really moving!”
Edel grabbed his grandmother’s sleeve and shouted like a child.
“Hooh, what a wonder!”
Baroness Inferna, who wore a thick coat, also looked at the brightly lit night sky with her eyes wide open.
The fireworks created by the wizards were irrefutable spectacular. Sparkling like the stars engraved in the Milky Way, the red sparks rose and flew in the air like a hawk.
At the same time, the light poured out like water and burst into the sky. There was no end to the cheering throughout the palace.
“Now the last firework will go off.” Baroness Inferna muttered. She looked a little tired. However, she did not sit down and watched the fireworks as if it was still tolerable.
Then Rufus thought. ‘I wish the fireworks would end like this.’
He wished she would go back to her room and sleep. And the next day, he hoped she would wake up as if nothing was going on and eats breakfast with him again.
Turning his eyes, Sarubia, standing next to Edel, caught his eye.
“…” Sarubia smiled without saying a word.
Rufus hesitated. Why was she smiling?
At the moment, the last flame flew across the black sky. A thick beam of light stretched out with the sound of explosives.
The joys of people gathered in the vacant court burst out, but it didn’t take long for the cheers to turn into screams.
The spark, which had fallen like a comet, soon split into dozens of branches like flower stalks.
“It’s stunning.” Edel, who was still enjoying the fireworks with ecstatic eyes, admired.
The stems moved dynamically, turning their paths in different directions. However, the flames did not rise above the sky as before but strangely started falling toward the ground.
At first, everyone thought it was part of the fireworks display.
However, where the spilt stalks of fire hit the crowd of visitors, people screamed and fell in pain over their burnt flesh.
Rufus realized something went seriously wrong.
“Dangerous!” Rufus hastily stretched out his hand and made a barrier.
It was a mishap!
Subsequently, balls of fire struck the roof of the palace. The walls shattered like cookie crumbs.
The flames that fell were blazing hot and cracked even the floor. If a person was hit directly, there wouldn’t be even bones left to pick.
“What the…” Rufus clenched his teeth and kept up strengthening the protective shield made of mana.
He couldn’t understand what was going on. However, the fact that the flames that had just blown up almost took the lives of his precious people made Rufus mad.
Voices came from behind, searching for him. Rufus looked back hurriedly.
“What about Grandma?”
“I’m okay.” A strained voice came through.
Baroness Inferna, who fell due to the shock over the sudden impact, rose with the aid of Sarubia.
Rufus and his party rushed into the palace, which was in chaos.
Those who were struck by the flame could not even be healed with mana and died on the spot.
There were heaps of hay, whose purpose was unknown, piled up near the place where the visitors gathered. The flames soon consumed the hay and started a big fire.
People struggled desperately to survive in the pillaging inferno. The pillars of fire soaring to the sky lit up the royal palace as bright as daylight.
Boom! An explosion occurred somewhere.
The outer wall of the palace where they lived was struck by the flames and vibrated under the force.
At the same time, the screams of the servants hit his ear.
“A fire broke out!”
“Everyone, run outside!”
The Star Palace, which housed the hero of the nation, was engulfed in flames.
There was a man who looked down at all these scenes from a higher place.
‘It’s as planned.’
It was the king.
His whole body clad in armour, he looked down at the spreading flames with a glum look.
Earlier, the royal wizards were called in and were ordered to drop the last shot of firework towards the Star Palace as if it were a mistake. He also had hay collected throughout so that the palace could burn well.
As a result, the vicinity of the separate palace became a sea of fire. And amidst the chaos, the king planned to kill Rufus himself.
Of course, if he killed Rufus, the nation’s hero, the people would turn their backs even on him, their king. So he had a story plotted beforehand.
The opposition, who had infiltrated the palace, planned to set fire to the Royal Palace during the fireworks show and took advantage of the confusion to kill innocent people and the Hero Rufus.
It was a chance to kill two birds with one stone. First, to clean up the thorn in his eye, Rufus, and second to purge his political opponents.
“Your Majesty, it’s time for you to step out.”
The secretary held out a sword to the king with both hands.
“Please judge over the wolf who sought after your throne.”
The king held his sword tightly.
“Yes, I will surely take his head today.” Recalling Rufus’ face, the king proclaimed: “Come, let’s judge the traitor who agitated the people and insulted the princess!”
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
Knights, disguised as assassins of the opposition, knelt before the king.
Big thanks to Azra for buying me a coffee! (◍＞◡＜◍)♡ I appreciate it very much!
The part where Edel called the fireworks stunning really got me somehow. Sometimes things change so fast. One moment you’re in bliss and the next moment you are in hell. Good things are so fragile and it’s so hard to protect something dear to us while it’s so much easier to break things. If you find something you like, treasure it. If you have a dream, fight for it. If you have a goal, go for it. Life is fleeting as it is. Don’t give a damn about what others say or think about you. What do they know?
I’ve another Webtoon on my watchlist which I really like! Do you know Miss Not-So Sidekick by Ellian Yang and YumYum? It’s a great Webtoon from Korea. The artist YumYum has started a new series with Irim: The Lady’s Law of Survival. There are not many chapters translated yet but I am already in love with the drawings… YumYums new heroine Eve looks almost how I imagined Dahlia to look like (just the colour of the eyes is a bit off).