Before the official could finish, Kariel interrupted with a cold expression, “They are trash who exploit the empire by borrowing the authority of the royalty, as if they were royalty themselves.” Even under Kariel’s cold gaze, the official looked nervous, bowing their head in an attempt to avoid consequences.

Tarion, seeing the official’s reaction, wanted to kill them but restrained himself due to Kariel’s presence.
“Tarion,” Kariel addressed him.
“Submit a request to His Majesty to replace the person in charge here.”

The official raised their head in shock and protested, “Y-Your Highness!”

Tarion’s expression twisted at the official’s outburst.

The official not only dared to look directly at the crown prince’s face but also raised his voice, which would never have been tolerated during the days of strong royal power.

“You’re being too loud,” Kariel gestured, and Tarion promptly made the official kneel down.
The attendants quickly covered the official’s mouth to prevent further outbursts, even blocking his attempts to resist with magic.
This was because all the attendants in the Crown Prince’s palace had special backgrounds and were not ordinary attendants.

“Someone who dares to shout at royalty and behave rudely cannot hold a senior position,” Tarion said as he bowed his head.
“I will submit the request accordingly.”

Kariel then asked the kneeling official, “Do you feel wronged?”

The official flinched at the question, but only embarrassment remained, with no hint of fear or urgency.
He just wanted this awkward moment to pass quickly.

Kariel then asked, “Do you think this will be forgotten once this moment passes?” He looked at the official coldly, causing him to flinch again.
“Perhaps you think that my request will be thwarted by the opposition of the nobles, given that the opinion of a powerless crown prince like me will be ignored.”

As Kariel spoke, the official’s eyes began to tremble, as if realizing his thoughts had been exposed.
“I will take responsibility and have you demoted to the countryside,” Kariel continued.
“I will show you that even a powerless crown prince like me can demote someone like you.”

Kariel grinned, causing the official’s expression to twist in fear.
He finally realized the gravity of the situation.

“You should have known your limits,” Kariel said.
“Did you think I would overlook your tardiness or subtle rudeness?” The official’s eyes trembled again at Kariel’s question.

He must have known that Kariel’s carriage was heading this way, but he pretended to be busy and appeared late.
Moreover, he committed rudeness while greeting Kariel.

All these actions were on the edge of crossing the line, so depending on the situation, he might have only been warned and let go.

Kariel had no intention of letting the matter go.
As he knew that he would soon be dethroned from the crown prince position, he didn’t care about his reputation.

“I’ll show everyone what happens when you dare to test the royal family by relying on the emperor’s faction.
Be proud, for you’ll be the one through whom the sternness of the imperial power is made known,” Kariel declared as he entered the palace treasury report room.
The arrogant official tried to make excuses with muffled cries, but the palace servants would not allow it.

As the official was taken away, nearby servants trembled in fear.
Ignoring them, Kariel proceeded to the palace treasury report room, where another official approached him, trembling.

“Your Highness, without the emperor’s permission, the treasures inside the palace treasury report room…”

Kariel stared at the official in silence.

“Of course, Crown Prince, you can borrow the treasures inside.
Depending on the standard, up to the 4th section… no, part of the 3rd section can be…”

“Tsk! I’ll just look at the report.
That won’t be a problem, will it?” Kariel interrupted.

The official swallowed hard before carefully responding, “Up to the 2nd section is fine, but from the 1st section…”

“I understand.
I won’t enter the emperor’s treasure storage,” Kariel replied.

As a crown prince, Kariel had access to any part of the palace treasury report room, except for the 1st section, which only the emperor could enter and take anything from.

“Wait here,” Kariel instructed the official, who nodded obediently.

After instructing the official to wait outside for Tarion, Kariel entered the massive palace treasury report room.
Despite having walked only a short distance, he was already panting and frowned as he looked around.

The palace treasury report room was enormous, filled with countless treasures.
Kariel sighed as he thought about how much he regretted the place being plundered during his time as emperor.
The palace treasury had seen no good days due to numerous attacks, including rebellions, monster attacks, and demon invasions.
In addition, numerous treasures had to be sold due to a lack of money.

Despite the plummeting imperial power, Kariel briefly admired the sturdy palace treasury before moving on.
He reached the 4th section, accessible to ordinary royals, the 3rd section, visible only to the direct line of royals, and finally the 2nd section, where only the crown prince and emperor could enter freely.

Kariel noticed a man in a black mask blocking his path and bowed his head.
Without answering, Kariel nodded, understanding that the man was a shadow.

“That’s what shadows are for,” Kariel thought to himself.

“I have no intention of entering the 1st section, so relax,” Kariel said to the shadow.

As Kariel wandered around, the shadow reappeared, seemingly genuinely admiring the treasures.
However, the shadow warned Kariel that a particular room was dangerous, as it was filled with cursed weapons.
Kariel acknowledged the warning and told the shadow to focus on its primary duties.

The shadow immediately disappeared, and Kariel entered the cursed room.
At that moment, a voice reached his ears.

“Let’s make a contract!”

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