The strained relationship between Ellen and Olivia was indeed a problem, but I was preoccupied with more pressing matters and did not have the luxury of fretting over their discord.
My head felt as if it would split open from the sheer number of issues I had stirred up, and though I couldn’t address the subsequent problems, I had to at least be aware of them.
I had asked Sarkegaar to investigate matters concerning the Orvis Class, even though they had no direct connection to me.
The advice from the previous crisis had not been a trap.
Rather, it was a clue.
It informed me that my assassination had not been carried out by the very target of my suspicion, and that other ominous events were transpiring.
Late into the night, I faced Sarkegaar, who had come to visit me in my room.
Ever since the Aaron Mede incident, there had been no signs of Sarkegaar disobeying orders or engaging in any other mischievous activities.
However, there was a deep sadness in the eyes that looked upon me.
It seemed to stem from the fact that there was someone I cared about enough to risk my own life, and that this person was the sibling of the Iron Wall General.
Sarkegaar appeared to be tormented by the inability to do anything, despite the strong desire to help.
Nevertheless, Sarkegaar did not neglect the given tasks, nor did they mention Ellen’s situation, knowing full well that it would only exacerbate my anxiety.
In any case.
Sarkegaar had been investigating the events following the closure of the Orvis Class.
More precisely, those events involving Oscar de Gradias.
“It’s a revolution.”
Upon hearing that simple piece of information, my mind seemed to freeze.
The Orvis Class, where one had to prove their worth based solely on their abilities, regardless of their status.
A place that instilled the belief that one could surpass all obstacles through sheer effort.
It would have been more peculiar if such individuals did not dream of a revolution.
“So, the abrupt actions that led to the closure of the class were a smokescreen, meant to prevent further investigation and the discovery of inconvenient truths.”
“That seems to be the case.”
They hadn’t foolishly provoked the Royal Court but had done so deliberately.
All to conceal a truth that must not be revealed.
[Event Complete – Revolutionary Forces]
[You have acquired 300 Achievement Points.]
And with that, a forgotten event was completed.
Charlotte had deemed it strange that there were no revolutionary forces within the Temple. Although I hadn’t been able to investigate her claim properly, I ended up learning about the true nature of the revolutionary forces in an unexpected place.
The Orvis Class was the revolutionary force, and not just a portion, but most of them.
The reason they did not attempt to assassinate or retaliate against me was that it was a critical time for them to minimize their movements, and taking such actions would be perilous.
“The Orvis Class appears to have been infiltrated by the revolutionary forces for quite some time.”
They were the cradle of the revolution.
They must have been carefully selecting and secretly recruiting those who seemed to share their beliefs.
And when those individuals graduated?
While not on par with the Royal Class, the Orvis Class still produced significant talents.
Whether in the empire, successor states, or autonomous territories, they would hold important positions in organizations and posts that recognized their abilities.
“What is the scale?”
“It’s hard to determine. I have only inferred this information from the conversations of confirmed members, as I haven’t personally witnessed their gatherings.”
The investigation time was short, so it was inevitable that we could not grasp the details.
“However, with the Orvis Class, the core talent cultivation institution of the republicans, now gone, it is clear that their actions will be expedited.”
“Yes, it wasn’t for nothing that Oscar was fond of them…”
Oscar de Gradias was undoubtedly a member of the revolutionary organization. He would be continuously providing the organization with information about the royal family.
He knew what would happen if a full-scale investigation into the Orvis Class were initiated.
In the original story, the revolutionary forces never appeared.
This means that they did exist, but they were all swallowed up in the chaos when the gate crisis erupted.
The revolutionary forces took control of the Orvis Class and nurtured republicans for a very long time.
Many of the individuals who supported the Orvis Class during the sponsorship event were likely republicans.
Where could they have spread to? Sarkegar spoke to me.
“Your Highness, utilize them.”
I knew, of course, that Sarkegar would say this.
“Use them to cause chaos in the empire and then annihilate both the revolutionary forces and the empire.”
There is no better opportunity if I am to become the Demon King.
But I have no interest in that.
Chaos erupts in the empire due to the struggle between the revolutionary forces and the empire.
And then the gates explode.
…The perfect situation for the world to end.
Simply provoking a fight.
It was no different from pressing the button for world destruction.
How on earth did I deduce this?
The butterfly effect.
Now, my teeth chattered at the thought.
There is only one thing I need to do.
I will not think about the pros and cons of the revolution.
First, I must stop the revolution.
Isn’t that what I should have been doing in the first place?
It was absurd.
Sarkegar thought this was a golden opportunity.
“Research more. Find out the exact size, location, and who the leaders are. You may even join their forces if necessary.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
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I must know their exact size in order to take action.
Unfortunately, I cannot follow Sarkegar’s intentions.
Sarkegar, unaware of my thoughts, smiled with happiness.
The revolutionary forces certainly exist, and they are most likely large in scale.
But I couldn’t recklessly touch them. If I started cutting off their branches carelessly, they would start a rebellion when cornered.
Then, the chaos would occur because I rushed in recklessly.
Although I didn’t expect a single fight to bring about such a result, any action I take now would cause tremendous ripple effects.
I must be cautious.
For now, I had no choice but to entrust the gathering of information to Sarkegar.
It felt like I was considering how to handle a nuclear bomb that could explode if touched incorrectly.
Killing them all would be a terrible plan, regardless of whether it was possible or not.
The best course of action would be to postpone their uprising until at least the year after next. By then, the gate crisis would have either happened or not.
So, if the gate crisis is safely averted, do I have to watch the rebellion of the revolutionary forces with my own eyes?
Even if I successfully prevent the gate crisis, is the inevitable second battle of the civil war within the empire waiting for me? Where should I stand in that situation?
I felt like I was going mad.
The world is a minefield, no matter where I go.
Before my eyes, it was clear that Sarkegar was delighted to find a method to unblock his nose without using his hands. I, on the other hand, was lost in thought, struggling with a headache-inducing dilemma.
This was the very epitome of people having different dreams in the same bed.
“Alright, off you go.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Sarkegar prepared to transform back into a sparrow.
As I watched the sparrow about to fly through the open window, a sudden thought crossed my mind.
Sarkegar would only be used by me.
In the end, without the will to rebuild the Demon Realm, I was destined to use him until the very end. While I have made many mistakes, a significant part of it is my exploitation of his blind loyalty.
Sarkegar looked back at me and tilted his head.
“Last time, I’m sorry.”
I couldn’t do anything for him, and in the end, I would become a worse version of Ragan Artorius.
At my selfish apology, Sarkegar gazed at me quietly in his sparrow form.
-The god serves Your Highness, not an Archdemon.
Since there was no alternative to me as an Archdemon, he had no choice but to serve me, and that was the intention behind my words.
You serve me because there is no other Archdemon besides me.
That’s what I ended up saying.
To that, Sarkegar told me that he served me because I was worthy, not because I was an Archdemon.
At that moment, I wished I could bite off the tongue that had spoken those words.
-Please keep that in mind.
It wasn’t about loyalty to an Archdemon.
Did that mean he would serve me even if I weren’t an Archdemon? Why? Did I have such worth?
-Since Your Highness decided to rescue the demon prisoners who were detained by humans, everything from a single strand of god’s hair to the last fragment of the soul belonged to Your Highness.
It wasn’t because I was an Archdemon.
From that moment on, Sarkegar had recognized me as his ruler.
Seeing my guilt-ridden expression, Sarkegar tilted his head a few times as a sparrow.
-Your Highness, there is something else I need to tell you.
As if he had just remembered something he hadn’t said before.
“…What is it?”
-It’s a different matter. Isn’t it strange that the royal family didn’t notice this?
Whether it was Berthus, Charlotte, or the Emperor.
It was indeed strange that the royal family had been unaware of this issue. Sarkegar’s intelligence capabilities were exceptional, but it was still surprising that they hadn’t recognized the problem at all.
I wondered if they knew but chose to ignore it, so I did some investigation on them as well.
“What did you find?”
I couldn’t get specific details, but it seems there is a problem within the royal family.
“What kind of problem?”
-There are rumors that someone has died in the princess’s palace.
There was a problem within the royal family.
It was one thing if it were something else, but this concerned the princess’s palace.
Come to think of it…..
I hadn’t been able to focus on it because of the assassination attempt on me.
Charlotte had been commuting to school from the royal palace for some time now.
I had assumed it was just due to an increase in internal affairs, but Berthus was still staying in the dormitory.
In Charlotte’s palace…
Did that mean the Emperor had failed to control the dispute over the succession of the throne?
What other situation was unfolding, or rather, had been unfolding?
In the midst of a complex situation, another intricate problem had been thrown into the mix.
The sparrow flew away, and I stood by the window, lost in thought about this issue for quite some time.