Claire's aura disappeared!
It disappeared instantly, which meant Claire had used a valuable teleportation scroll. But where did she go to in such a hurry? Carter frowned, but could not think of anything. But no matter what, he had to find her and have a duel.
The moment Claire appeared in a secret chamber, Emery, who had been lying in bed, opened his eyes abruptly. Someone was in the secret chamber! He had left a mark so he could immediately know if someone were there. And only one person had appeared suddenly. It was his beloved disciple, Claire.
Emery hurriedly climbed out of bed, grabbed a robe randomly, and rushed towards his house. Emery had his own house in the capital that was not far from Hill manor. Normally, Emery lived in Hill manor and his house was empty.
Halfway there, Emery ran into Claire.
"Claire!" Emery was overjoyed. He immediately worriedly inspected Claire to see if she was injured. Claire had actually used the teleportation scroll to return, so she must have been in great danger.
"Master, I am fine. Where is Mother?" Claire asked hastily.
Emery froze. He instantly realized the true reason why Claire had teleported home.
Seeing Emery quiet, Claire grew even more worried. She couldn't help but raise her voice. "Master, I said, where is mother!"
"Claire, first let's return to Hill manor. It is not suitable to talk here." Emery looked around. They were on a common road. Even though it was night and currently no one around, it was possible someone might pass by.
"No, Master, first let's go to your house. I don't want anyone to know I've returned." Even though Claire was worried, she did not lose her reason. Her mother being framed was part of a scheme, so the Temple of Light and the Hill clan would both start to make their moves. It still wasn't clear if they were supporting the same prince yet, so she could not make any rash moves.
"Alright. Let's go." Emery led the way. The two slowly disappeared into the night.
After they arrived at Emery's house and Claire finished listening to Emery's explanation, her expression was dark, her eyes ice cold.
"So right now the situation is very delicate. The emperor also has no intention of doing anything."
"Doesn't the emperor know the condition the crown prince has agreed to?" Claire frowned. If such a condition was agreed to, in the near future, divine right would usurp royal authority. The crown prince actually agreed to acknowledge the pope as the godfather of the future crown prince! The implications of the future emperor calling the pope his godfather was clear.
"Of course his highness knows," Emery sighed. "If even we know, how could his highness not?"
Claire frowned. If such were the case, the she really could not tell what that person was thinking.
"What exactly happened to Mother?" Claire asked darkly, her eyes ice cold with a murderous glimmer.
"Princess Maurice and the second prince invited many young nobles along with the crown prince to a tea party. Your mother was in charge of everything, including the wine. The crown prince's wine was poisoned." Emery sighed. The scheme could not be any more blatant.
"Why didn't the second prince just directly poison the crown prince to death?" Claire sneered, already knowing the answer in her heart.
"If so, your mother would have been hanged already." Emery frowned. "And the second prince still requires the Hill clan's support, whether before or after he ascends the throne. If he killed the crown prince, his blood brother, he would also lose the faith of the people. This move by the second prince is forcing the Hill clan to take a stand to support him, not to lose the Hill clan's support."
What a botched ploy! Anyone could tell this was a conspiracy, a scheme the emperor had silently permitted. However, it was highly effective! At the very minimum, the Hill clan had been pushed to the limelight and was now forced to face the Temple of Light!
"Although your mother was imprisoned in Calou, she was not harmed at all. She has high quality food and very good living conditions, not just because of the Hill clan's authority, but also because of the second prince and princess Maurice's orders," Emery added, noticing Claire's gaze becoming more and more icy. He felt an ominous premonition. Claire, please don't do anything brash!
"Claire, the current situation is very delicate. You must be calm. The second prince is forcing his Grace's hand, but..." Emery explained nervously. The second prince and princess Maurice had been such close friends with Claire in the past. It would be unwise for Claire and the future emperor to become enemies now.
"I know," Claire interrupted, motioning for Emery to stop. Suddenly, she stood up.
Emery also nervously stood up.
Claire turned to Emery, a cold smile surfacing on her lips. "Emery, do you think I am still the same as before?"
Emery paused. Seeing Claire's confident expression, he suddenly felt his disciple was a stranger to him. Claire's strength seemed to have increased again, but not to the point where he would be shocked. If he knew Claire had just been through a fierce battle and still hadn't recovered yet, who knew how he would react.
"Don't worry, I won't cause trouble for the Hill clan," Claire said indifferently. "Master, return back to Hill manor. I know my limits. Don't tell anyone I've returned, not even Grandfather."
"Not even his Grace?" Emery was shocked.
"Master, I know how loyal you are to Grandfather, but it's best if you don't tell Grandfather. You know I am the Niya city lord, a baron, and a priest of the Temple of Light. When the time comes, I will tell Grandfather."
"Alright," Emery agreed reluctantly.
After some thought, Claire decided it was best if Emery didn't know what she was going to do. "I will live in your house in the meantime, Master."
Emery left after a word of caution. Claire changed into tight fitting black clothes, masked her face, and then slipped into the night.
She was going to the Calou gardens!
The Calou gardens were under heavy guard. No one imprisoned there was ordinary, all previously illustrious and powerful nobles.
Claire lept over the high walls silently, landing on a tree. Huge guard dogs raised their heads, looking around, their animal instincts telling them something was off, but it was quiet and there no foreign scents, so after some sniffing, they laid down again.
Claire nimbly leapt onto another tree, arriving at the wall of a building. She made her way past patrols one by one easily. After looking through a few rooms, she found the person she was worrying about.
Katherine looked in good spirits. She sat, reading a book. The room was as lavish as Hill manor's, luxurious and cozy. There were bookshelves filled with books. A bright candle lit the entire room. The furniture was also of the highest quality.
Claire entered the room silently. She leaned on the wall quietly, watching the person before her. Katherine had a peaceful expression, entirely absorbed in the book.
Claire took off her mask. "Mother," she quietly called. Katherine froze.
Incredulously, she looked back at the source of the voice. Her hand trembled. Was this an illusion? It must have been because she missed Claire so much that this illusion appeared.
"Mother, it's me." Claire smiled bittersweetly. Because she had been training, it had so long since she had last seen Mother.
"Cl..." Something glistened in the corner of Katherine's eye. She snapped her book shut, and then quickly closed the curtains. Only then did she turn around and hug Claire.
"Claire, my darling, you've finally returned." Katherine's voice shook with emotion.
"I am sorry, mother. In order to train, I didn't return home to see you until now." Claire hugged her in turn.
"It's good that you're back." Katherine's tears were flowing, but she was smiling, smiling and crying as her daughter was in her embrace.
"Mother, as long as you say the word, I'll whisk you away right now." Claire said coldly.
"Claire, you can't." Katherine shook her head. "No only are the Calou gardens heavily guarded, my name hasn't been cleared yet. What will happen to the Hill clan?"
"It's just a second rate scheme." Claire suppressed her rising anger.
But Katherine smiled warmly. "I know." She reached out and brushed away Claire's bangs gently. "This scheme is very mediocre. The crown prince knew the wine was poisoned, but still drank it. He is starting the battle for the throne. And the Hill clan cannot allow divine right to usurp royal authority."
"The emperor will allow it?" Claire's gaze became icy.
"Of course he won't. The only one to blame is the Hill clan. The Hill clan is becoming too strong, so strong he does not feel secure." Katherine smiled.