The Hill castle.
“Father, tomorrow is the trial. Is there really no other way? Katherine must have been controlled. Must be!” Leger yelled at Duke Gordon in the study, worried and upset.
“Of course I know.” Duke Gordon humphed coldly, “How many times have I told you, when can you change your rash attitude?”
“I can’t calm down. If Katherine is convicted, her life will be in danger! How can you tell me to calm down?!” Leger was desperate.
“You think I’m not worried?! If Katherine is convicted, not only is her life in danger, the second prince will also fall, and our Hill clan will get into trouble too!” Duke Gordon tried to suppress his anger as he shouted at Leger. He was also very frustrated. He had planned to watch the happenings quietly, allowing Eric to help the first prince and Jean to help the second prince in secret. No matter which one of them ascends the throne, he will be the winner. But the second prince sunk the ship and did such a thing. And he never expected for Eric to betray the Hill clan!
Leger bit his lips, anxious and worried. In his father’s eyes, the interest of the clan always came first. If not for this affecting the future of the Hill clan and the future emperor, Gordon would not try so hard to save Katherine. No! He couldn’t let any harm come to Katherine!
“Leave. I will settle the matter. On the trial, I will have my plan.” Duke Gordon waved his hand impatiently.
Leger was about to say something else when Duke Gordon yelled in a low voice, “I told you to leave, do you not understand?” The authority and impatience in his voice made Leger shut up. Leger gave one last look at Gordon, then left in frustration.
A short while after Leger left, knocking sounded at the door.
“Come in.” Duke Gordon replied quietly, a bit exhausted.
The door was pushed open. It was Emery.
“Your grace.” Coming into the room and seeing Duke Gordon’s tired expression, Emery called out cautiously.
“Emery, how are things?” Duke Gordon rubbed his forehead.
“We did find the person, but whether we can or can’t break the mind-control on madame, is an unknown.” Emery said, frowning. After all, if the Temple of Light dared to do this, meant they were sure of it.
“Try your best. If it fails, go to the second plan.” Duke Gordon sighed, “This child Leger, when can he become more mature, already an adult.”
“Yes, your grace.” Emery nodded, but seemed to want to say something else.
“What?” Duke Gordon naturally saw that Emery wanted to say something, so he asked.
“Even though miss Claire told me not to tell you, I still think I should tell your grace, that Miss has already returned to the capital in secret, and her strength improved again.” Emery still didn’t know Claire’s true strength.
“What? Claire’s back?” Duke Gordon was both surprised and happy, then started worrying. Claire loved Katherine deeply, and he knew that. If Claire appeared at such a time, her stance will be delicate and awkward.
“Miss was originally living in my house, but disappeared a few days ago. But I’m sure that Miss is still in the capital. The Temple of Light doesn’t know she’s back.” Emery said surely.
“Good. It’s best if she doesn’t appear.” Duke Gordon let out a tiny breath.
“But, your grace, have you thought about it, that at tomorrow’s trial, will Miss not come? She loves Madame more than anyone.” Emery frowned and said seriously.
“Send people to watch the surroundings of the trial area closely. Once you see her, immediately block her and take her away,” Duke Gordon said very solemnly, “She is the backbone of the Hill clan’s future. And we definitely can’t let her see the second plan.” Even if the first prince loses favor this time, the position and strength of the Temple of Light still won’t budge. After this conflict, everything will return to normal.
“Yes, your grace.” Emery nodded solemnly. But he felt a bit melancholy. The person in front of him was the reason the Hill clan is at today’s position. To make the Hill clan stand forever, the sacrifices and prices paid were huge. But, was doing this, the right choice? If Claire and Leger knew this plan, what would be the consequences? Emery didn’t dare think about it. His only hope now was to find Claire before the trial tomorrow and stop her from going in. He didn’t want that child to be harmed in any way.
The next day, the public trial for Katherine formally started. Of course, the trial was at the royal trial court.
This day, all the nobility of the capital flocked to the trial court. They all knew that today’s trial will determine who will become the crown prince. Those who had always been jealous of the Hill clan waited gleefully for the good show. Those who supported the Hill clan were worried. There has never been once when someone benefited going against the Temple of Light.
The trial court was split into two sides. One side sat the Temple of Light and people of the first prince, and the other side sat the Hill clan and the people of the second prince.
Emery was a bit worried. Till now, Claire still hasn’t appeared. This was so unusual. Based on his understanding of Claire, Claire will definitely appear here.
Even the judges were like never before. The emperor as the judge, the prime minister as a juror.
When Katherine was brought out, Leger watched her anxiously, wanting to stand up, but was stopped by Duke Gordon’s cold humph.
Katherine was peaceful, healthy-looking, and walked up steadily. Her gaze was clear and expression natural. Didn’t look like someone mind-controlled at all.
After the emperor was seated, the whole hall quieted down. Leger watched Katherine nervously, his hands balled into fists.
“How is it?” Duke Gordon turned and murmured to a person besides him, whose head was lowered.
That person shook his head, silent.
Duke Gordon’s gaze turned cold. Actually unable to break the mind-control on Katherine. Then they could only use that plan. Only by doing so can they become the winner! Katherine…… Duke Gordon sighed in his heart, a faint regret in his heart. But it immediately vanished. To be able to do great things, one cannot be burdened down by these useless emotions! Only when Leger understands this one day, can Gordon give the Hill clan over to him without worry.
Katherine lifted her head to look at the emperor, who was sitting in the highest seat. Not waiting for the emperor to ask any questions, she opened her mouth and said clearly, “Your majesty, the second prince ordered me to poison the first prince, it’s true. That day, all food was under my control. Both food and wine were examined before being sent into the palace. I was forced. It was all the second prince’s idea. I was only following orders.” Her meaning was very clear: before being sent into the palace, the wine wasn’t poisoned, but the wine the first prince drank was poisoned. This testimony pushed the second prince out into the open.
When Katherine finished, the whole hall boiled. The emperor’s expression didn’t change, only looking at the pope and Duke Gordon calmly, watching their responses in secret. The pope’s expression also didn’t change, just sitting there quietly. The act of the pope attending the trial today already proved his stance, giving the people supporting the first prince an even bigger assurance. But some people were also hesitating and unwilling. Lowering their heads to the Temple; such a thing has never happened before. From now on, the crown will be subject to the Temple. A lot of people still couldn’t accept this.
Duke Gordon kept his cool, but Leger almost lost it in rage.
“Katherine! How could you say this! Your majesty, Katherine is being mind-controlled! That’s why she said that! Katherine, wake up!” Leger stood up excitedly, roaring.
“Marquess Leger, please mind your actions and language. You must follow the etiquette of a proper noble. It is not yet time for you to make a rebuttal.” The emperor said indifferently, his expression dignified and serious, his tone seemingly just. But in truth, he felt a tinge of satisfaction. The Hill clan had always been powerful and strong; even he had to be polite towards them. But after this, everything will change.
The emperor looked towards the prime minister, and the prime minister stood up and announced, “Now, the highest level palace magician will examine if Katherine really is mind-controlled. Of course, the Hill clan and the Temple of Light both have the right to send someone to examine her.”
“Sit down!” Duke Gordon commanded Leger, who was still standing.
Leger stared intently at Katherine, but Katherine never looked over. Lashia was like sitting on pins, her gaze on Katherine full of anxiety and worry. And Eric, who was sitting besides the first prince, didn’t dare lift his head. Afraid to look at Katherine, under trial, and even more afraid to look at Leger. Leng Lingyun was quiet, his face dark. Liu Xueqing had no expression on her face, but was secretly disappointed. Claire actually wasn’t here. If she was, there would definitely be a great show.
“Go.” Duke Gordon said to the person sitting behind him meaningfully.
The highest palace magician examined Katherine and reported, “Report to your majesty, everything is normal.”
After he said this, the hall burst into noise again.
Leger’s expression changed greatly. He stood up, about to say something, but Duke Gordon slapped him gently on the shoulder. But this gentle slap made Leger dizzy and took all the strength out of his body, making him fall back into his seat.
The Temple sent a cardinal over. After examinations, he said there was nothing wrong with her mind. No one was surprised. If the Temple said her mind was abnormal, that would be strange.
Duke Gordon’s expression was calm. He expected this result; now was the time to implement the second plan. He couldn’t let Leger know of this plan. Unable to break the control, they must destroy Katherine’s mind, so the control would backfire on the controller and he would exhibit abnormal signs. Just a tiny jerk and it would be enough.
The person beside Duke Gordon slowly stood up and walked towards Katherine.
Suddenly, a cold voice sounded. It wasn’t loud, but rang in everyone’s ears clearly.