I'm Stuck on a Remote Island With the Male Leads - Chapter 178
Her hair was pinned up in an ornate headpiece of flowers and feathers, revealing her immaculate white neckline.
The off-the-shoulder neckline was laced with gorgeous lace, the blue chiffon lace falling just past the lace to her figure and matching the color of her eyes. And with white silk gloves that reached up to her forearms, she looked so elegant as she was escorted by the Duke of Floné.
Kayden swallowed dryly for a moment.
[Stop acting like an idiot and get a grip.]
If it weren’t for Jenas’ voice echoing in his head, he would have acted like an idiot.
He almost kissed Margaret, forgetting that Duke Floné and the others were there.
How could Margaret be so beautiful?
Looking at her, fluttering her long lashes and smiling up at him, he could have sworn she was an angel from heaven.
Kayden narrowed his eyes for a moment.
His heart pounds uncontrollably.
It’s a strange sensation. Heat seems to radiate from his face, and he can’t quite put his finger on why.
I mean, not once or twice has Margaret looked beautiful, but today she’s so beautiful that I want to lock her up in a tower and keep her to myself.
Kayden felt a burning thirst, his entire body straining to keep himself still as he stared at her.
“I can’t. I need you to stall for time, Margaret will worry if she sees me in this condition.”
The dizziness was too much for him still.
“Hey old man, you must have forgotten, you’re my slave now.”
[You insolent descendant.]
Jenas snapped back in a voice that held back his anger. But there was no other way.
“It’s an order. It will only take a moment.”
Before Jenas could reply, Kayden had already transferred control of his body to him.
Jenas stood there, somewhat disgruntled, and then did as he was told as Kayden chanted “Balhyeon” and stamped down the seal.
Enoch was in a bad mood the whole time.
It was okay that Margaret had turned him down for a partner, because she’d turned down Kayden’s as well.
Standing at the inner entrance to the ballroom, where only the imperial family was allowed, Enoch watched Margaret and Kayden walk into the ballroom together.
Officially, Margaret’s partner is the Duke of Floné, but Kayden’s presence beside her and his friendly attitude towards her makes it appear at first glance that her partner is Kayden.
Kayden was obviously trying to make that point. He’s clever.
Enoch curled his fists in frustration. As he watched them, he could hear the words of the nobles echoing all the way to Enoch’s ears.
“Are Lady Floné and Lord acquainted?”
“That’s surprising, I thought she only had eyes for the Crown Prince.”
“It’s not surprising for her to set her eyes on another man. She’s in her prime.”
“That’s true. His Highness the Crown Prince doesn’t even like her.”
“With good reason. She’s been following him around like a stalker, bothering him. No wonder His Highness is sick of her and can’t stand it.”
“She seems to lack a lot of charm as a woman, or is there something wrong with her that makes her so obsessed?”
The conversation now turned to gossip about Margaret. Enoch was getting very uncomfortable.
But nothing they said was untrue. In the past, he had truly despised Margaret, and that was undeniable.
How could he change people’s perceptions in a way that would benefit her? Everyone needs to know that he only has Margaret in his eyes now.
Just then, the Emperor and Empress arrived.
Enoch’s crown prince’s uniform was more magnificent than ever; the Emperor himself had ordered it for the sake of the imperial family’s authority, as the crown prince’s disappearance had left them without a face.
The Emperor wanted to reestablish the imperial family’s prestige and send a warning to the countries with whom they were at war and to the forces that had kidnapped the Crown Prince.
His determination left the Empress speechless, and she glanced at Enoch in disbelief. But when her eyes met Enoch’s, she smiled benevolently.
“You look great today. Thanks to you, the imperial authority will live on.”
The Emperor chuckled at the Empress’s words and patted Enoch on the shoulder.
“Enoch, you are my hope now, so don’t disappoint me. Remember how you got here, and don’t be like your brother.”
The Empress, unable to control her expression for a moment at the Emperor’s words, glared at him, then looked away in shame. The Emperor merely smiled as if he hadn’t seen her.
Enoch nodded stiffly. “I will keep that in mind.”
With that, they stood ready to enter the ballroom. A fanfare followed, and Enoch slowly entered the ballroom with the Emperor and Empress.
Inside were all the high-ranking nobles of the Langridge Empire, as well as people from the Holy See. The Marquis Rohade was nowhere to be seen, though there were people from the Wizards’ Association mainly from the Rohade family.
The presence of the alleged Peony Blossom faction and the large number of people at the party made it a good place to gather information about them.
Enoch watched them carefully and wondered why the Marquis of Rohade was nowhere to be seen.
‘Perhaps Lord would know.’
Marquis Rohade, the Empress, and the Pope were the most central figures in the Peony Blossom faction.
The Pope wasn’t expected to attend an imperial party, but the Marquis Rohade, a nobleman of the Langridge Empire, was. But why isn’t he at this party?
After the Emperor’s greeting, Enoch descended the dais to find Margaret. If only the Emperor hadn’t found her first.
“Lord, Lady Flone. Come here. Aren’t you the stars of tonight’s party?”
The Emperor gestured toward Margaret and Kayden, who were chatting in the corner.
As soon as they were called, Margaret and Kayden walked slowly to the center of the party, nervously, as if they were students who didn’t want to give a presentation.
Enoch stopped in his tracks and swallowed hard at the sight of Margaret walking toward him.
Beautiful isn’t a strong enough word to describe her. In a light blue dress with a plunging neckline that accentuates her pale skin, she looks like a water nymph.
“You’ve been through a lot. I’ve heard that you were imprinted with the divine beast while you were kidnapped on the island.”
The Emperor’s next words caused the party to stir.
Enoch stood at the Emperor’s side and stared at Margaret’s tense face. When she seemed to falter for a moment, Kayden, standing beside her, took her arm and supported her weight. Standing together in front of the emperor, they looked like lovers.
Watching them, Enoch clenched his fists again. His body tensed, and he fought the urge to run over and push Kayden out of the way and take his place.
“Can you show me the divine beast in front of everyone, to prove to the world that the Empire of Langridge is a holy nation with a divine beast?”
The Emperor commanded Margaret bluntly. This was why the Emperor had asked her to bring Eunji to the party.
Margaret hesitated, then looked at Enoch. Their gazes locked. Enoch nodded quietly, and Margaret slowly pulled Eunji out of her dress pocket.
“My God, a snake.”
“I can’t believe that’s a divine beast.”
The chatter grew louder and louder at the unexpected appearance of the ‘divine beast’. The slender snake in Margaret’s hands cowered in fear.
The Emperor smiled brightly and swept his gaze around the ballroom. “You say this snake came down by opening the sky? If it is indeed a divine beast, what proof do you have that it is blessed by the gods? I would like you to show me here.”
At the Emperor’s words, the party fell silent, and even the orchestra’s accompaniment could no longer be heard.
As Margaret looked on in bewilderment, one person among the twelve priests, clad in papal robes, came forward and knelt before the Emperor. It looked like he was the Archbishop. The wind blew his hat off his head.
Enoch noticed a peony flower tattooed on the nape of the man’s neck.
Kayden, standing at Margaret’s side, noticed as well and turned to Enoch.
“With all due respect, Your Majesty, may I clarify on behalf of the Holy See the veracity of the divine beast you mentioned? That is not a divine beast, but a monster.”
Confusion flashed across Margaret’s face. Enoch glanced at the kneeling Archbishop, then at the Empress.
For a split second, he could see the Empress and the Archbishop exchanging glances.
Enoch furrowed his brow in annoyance. Apparently, the Emperor had been preparing for this kind of objection from the moment he ordered Margaret to bring the divine beast.
Enoch watched the situation patiently.
It would be better for Margaret, the owner of the divine beast, to come forward herself than for him to help her.
She can say anything. As long as she made the first move, he would support her. Perhaps Kayden, who stood silently, holding his temper in check, felt the same way.
The Archbishop continued, “According to the ancient texts, divine power, not mana, should be sensed in a divine beast. However, I can only sense mana in this snake.”
At the Archbishop’s words, the chairman of the Wizards’ Association, who had been watching Kayden nearby, quickly knelt down and spoke up, “That’s right, I definitely feel mana coming from this snake.”
The murmurs of the gathered people gradually grew louder. Kayden’s murderous gaze landed on the chairman.
Breaking out in a cold sweat, he dutifully reached into his pocket and pulled out something. It was a transparent orb the size of a fist.
“This is a magic ball to prove that it is a monster and not a divine beast. It’s used to determine the amount of mana one possesses, and it’s usually used to test the qualifications of wizards. When a person with mana lays their hand on this ball, it turns purple.”
As soon as Enoch heard that, he saw Margaret place her hand on top of Eunji’s head. It was as if she was giving her mana away.
“Good. Then let’s determine if this snake that Lady Floné brought has divine power or mana.”
The Emperor nodded to the chairman of the Wizards’ Association with an unreadable expression on his face.
Margaret gently lifted Eunji onto the ball. As Eunji coiled around the fist-sized ball, it began to glow a violet color.
Then there were gasps of surprise from all around.
The Archbishop pointed to Eunji and shouted as if he had been waiting. “See, this is indeed an evil monster! Lady Floné should be severely punished for deceiving the Emperor and daring to claim a monster as a divine beast. Since she must be punished in the name of God, please allow me to bring her to the Holy See to be put to death.”
Margaret is one of the survivors of Alea Island, and the Archbishop in front of her is a member of the Peony Blossom faction. His reason for demanding her extradition is all too obvious.
Eunji flinched in surprise and looked at Margaret.
Kayden was about to spit out an expletive when Margaret stepped in front of him.