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The deep silence ensued inside the dome hall as Jasmine guided Tang Shaoyang to the throne. The new ruler occupied the throne that was supposed for the Queen. The silence did not last long after Tang Shaoyang sat on the throne.
"Do you see this? The Queen, who is supposed to preserve the Kingdom's dignity, guides someone else to the throne. She is no longer the Queen of the Malecia Kingdom but a traitor!" A man that looked in his forties with a thin mustache stood up from his seat and voiced his claim while pointing his index finger toward Jasmine.
"I apologize for showing you the ugly side of the Malecia Kingdom, Your Majesty." Jasmine bowed her head toward Tang Shaoyang. "Can you give me a little more time to solve our issue, Your Majesty?"
Tang Shaoyang glanced at Ava as he wanted to know the situation, but the latter nodded her head instead. The former Elven Queen signaled Tang Shaoyang to let Jasmine Lorene Duncan take care of the issue. "Trust her." Her lips moved without voice.
"Alright, go ahead." Tang Shaoyang nodded his head. "If you can't solve it, then I will solve it by myself."
"Thank you for your trust, Your Majesty." Jasmine bowed her head once more before walking down from the throne platform, standing in the middle of the nobles. "He is Your Majesty Tang Shaoyang, the Emperor of the Tang Empire. He comes here to claim what is supposed to be his, so we don't have time to continue our discussion. You only have two choices, going to war against the Tang Empire or surrendering to the Tang Empire. Let's decide with votes. Please raise your hands if you agree to war against the Tang Empire."
The nobles looked at each other when the Queen started the votes. Earlier, the Queen tried to convince them to follow her to surrender to the Tang Empire. She had told them all the reasons why they had to surrender, including the three different dragons. Of course, the nobles had confirmed the fall of the Lionax Kingdom, but the opposition nobles would not fall without fighting. Especially after hearing the terms of surrendering where they had to lose all their nobilities except for the Duncan Family, who would manage the territory for the Empire. They thought they could get a leeway by forming an opposition such as maintaining their territory; hence the opposition nobles formed.
The opposition nobles took advantage of their Queen's character, thinking they could get more than their current wealth under the Empire's ruler. However, they did not expect the Queen to give up just like this the moment the Emperor arrived in their territory. The Queen only gave them two choices, surrender by following the Empire's terms or war. Of course, everyone was aware of the consequence of choosing the latter. There was no war, and it was more like they would be labeled as traitors instead.
A man in his mid-forties raised his hand, Everett Duncan, who was chosen to lead the opposition nobles. This man held a special identity in the high court of the Malecia Kingdom, the Queen Uncle. The nobles used this man for their interest and managed to have a discussion with the Queen.
"The Malecia Kingdom will not fall without fighting back! We will fight for our people and our land!" Everett Duncan shouted in the dome hall. He was not aware that he was being used by the nobles, still thinking he could seize the throne from his niece. His voice filled the dome hall, but no one followed his steps. Yes, Everett Duncan was the only one who raised his hand in the air.
The man soon realized the predicament and looked around in panic. He looked at the Duke, who supported his move earlier. The old man with white hair had his eyes closed and his hands crossed on his chess. The other nobles looked away from Everett's gaze, and the man soon realized that he had lost his support from the nobles.
'WHY?' That was the only thing that crossed his mind as he could not understand the situation. He thought the nobles supported him for the throne, but there was something wrong with the current situation. The enthusiastic nobles before the meeting were now looking away from him.
Everett Duncan suddenly felt a mountain-like pressure on his shoulders as he met his niece's gaze. The latter shook her head in regret before looking away from him. All of sudden, he lost all his energy and fell back on his seat. He realized what happened as his gaze landed on the figure that was being dragged from outside by the beastmen.
The nobles who supported him were now pulling their support and abandoning him. He was just a tool for the negotiation with the Queen. They never supported him to take the throne as the rebellion was just an empty threat. Now, he became the sacrifice for the noble upon realizing the Guardian was easily defeated.
What about him? He was doomed the moment he said what he declared just now. He basically opposed the surrender, meaning he opposed the Empire, he, alone. Everett Duncan let out a chuckle from his seat and covered his eyes with his palm.
"Please raise your hands if you agree to surrender!" Queen Jasmine continued with the vote as she looked away from her uncle. The moment she said it, all the nobles in the dome hall raised their hand with no exception.
"Good, from today onwards, you are no longer the nobles of the Malecia Kingdom, but the people of the Tang Empire." Queen Jasmine made a declaration with a firm voice. "Of course, you can still be a noble again. You guys can start it over by contributing to the Empire."
After saying that, Queen Jasmine turned around and knelt toward the throne. The nobles followed her movement and knelt toward the throne. "We greet Your Majesty Emperor!"
Tang Shaoyang watched everything from the sidelines from start to finish. Even though he was unclear about what happened within the Malecia Kingdom's court, he had the gist of what happened after witnessing the votes and their result. The nobles never planned to fight against the Tang Empire as they just wanted more from the Empire.
After knowing they could get nothing from their action, all the opposition nobles stepped back and sacrificed one person. He saw that one person fell weakly on the chair as gloom invaded his face. The vigorous face and spirit he just showed could no longer be seen on his face as if he had been aged for ten years. He, who just came, could understand the situation easily. The man must realize the position he was in as well.
"So, who's that man?" Tang Shaoyang asked Ava. The former Elven Queen was standing right behind the throne dutifully. She came closer after hearing the question. "That man is Jasmine's uncle, Everett Duncan."
"I see." Tang Shaoyang then looked at the Queen. The woman knelt toward him, but he could feel the negative emotion dwelling inside her. Concern and anxiety despite showing a strong stance with the matter. If not for his special ability, he could not detect the negative emotions.
Tang Shaoyang then stood up, voicing his vision for the future Empire and so on. The formality speech for the new ruler before he dispersed all the nobles, leaving only Queen Jasmine and Everett Duncan. The former nobles left the dome hall as soon as possible, afraid of being associated with Everett Duncan.
Meanwhile, the lifeless Everett Duncan did not leave the dome hall. The man just sat on his seat, looking down. Without a doubt, his action was an act of treason, and the only thing that awaited the traitor was the death penalty. The main issue was he brought his family with him as well. The Emperor would not let the seed of the traitor alive. His family would be executed along with him because of his foolish ambition. That foolish ambition killed his seven-year-old daughter and his three sons.
Everett Duncan was at his wit's end until a shadow stopped in front of him. He raised his head and saw his niece's smiling face. "I will discuss this with the Emperor. I will do my best to reduce your punishment, but for now, please go back, Uncle Everett."
Everet opened his mouth open and closed it again. He never thought that his niece was still willing to help him despite what he had done to her. Without realizing it, tears dropped from the corner of his eyes. "I am sorry… Sob… Sob… I am sorry……" That was the only thing he could say to his niece.
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