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Chapter 49: Evil Plan Success

The room fell into a heavy silence as the weight of the decision settled upon Duke Korvax and Alexa. Their gazes met, a mix of desperation and anguish etched on their faces. Duke Korvax finally spoke, his voice heavy with emotion.

"I cannot bear to lose my daughter," he said, his voice trembling. "We must give her the antidote."

General Langley, ever the loyal and cautious warrior, spoke up with a hint of skepticism. "How can we be sure that this antidote is authentic? We cannot risk giving Marina something that may harm her further."

Hunter, maintaining his composure, met the general's doubt with a calm determination. "General Langley, I understand your concerns. Time is of the essence, and I assure you, this antidote has been tested and proven effective. However, I acknowledge your hesitation."

Hunter looked directly into the general's eyes, a glint of sincerity in his own. "If you wish, you are welcome to conduct tests on the antidote. But please understand, this is the only chance we have to save Lady Marina. If the tests were to damage or ruin the antidote, we would be left with no hope of saving her."

General Langley, his brows furrowed, turned to the old man by his side and issued a command. "Fetch the duke's personal healer immediately. We need her expertise to ensure the safety of Lady Marina."

Hunter, though inwardly annoyed at the general's skepticism, admired his loyalty and cautious nature. He knew that the general's actions were driven by a deep desire to protect the duke and his family. As they waited, a few minutes later, an elderly woman with a hunched back entered the room, her eyes widening as she heard the discussion about the antidote.

The duke approached the old woman, his voice filled with urgency and hope. "Please, examine this antidote and determine if it contains any poison. We must ensure Marina's safety, but we cannot risk damaging the antidote in the process."

With a nod, the old woman carefully took out a small golden plate, intricately engraved with ancient symbols. Placing the vial containing the antidote upon it, she closed her eyes and began to chant softly. A hushed anticipation filled the room as the air seemed to thicken with anticipation.

Suddenly, a faint, pulsating glow emanated from the golden plate, casting a mesmerizing green light that danced upon the walls. Hunter, the duke, and everyone present held their breath, their eyes fixed on the enchanting sight before them.

After a moment that felt like an eternity, the old woman opened her eyes, a sense of relief and astonishment etched upon her face. "There is no poison in this antidote," she declared, her voice carrying the weight of her expertise. "It is safe for Lady Marina."

A collective sigh of relief swept through the room, a glimmer of hope rekindled in their hearts. The validation from the healer instilled a newfound confidence in their decision. Hunter, too, felt a surge of relief, knowing that his plan had not been compromised.

With the assurance that the antidote was indeed genuine, the atmosphere in the room shifted, filling with a mix of gratitude and determination. They were one step closer to saving Marina, and the path ahead seemed less treacherous.

Now, as the anticipation built, Hunter prepared to administer the antidote, his focus unwavering. The fate of Lady Marina hung in the balance, and every second counted.

Hunter approached Duke Korvax, his eyes filled with empathy and reassurance. "Your grace, have faith. Lady Marina will wake up soon, stronger than ever. Prepare a feast in celebration of her recovery. We will rejoice together."

As Hunter spoke these words, a flicker of satisfaction crossed his mind, knowing that his carefully crafted plan was proceeding flawlessly. Just as he was about to administer the antidote, he heard a familiar voice echo in his head—the voice of the system that had granted him these extraordinary powers.

[You are a better actor than I anticipated] the system's voice whispered, tinged with a mix of surprise and admiration.

Ignoring the system's remark, Hunter shifted his attention back to Marina. With a gentle touch, he slowly opened her lips, cradling her head with utmost care. The vial containing the antidote was tilted ever so slightly, and a small stream of the life-saving liquid flowed into Marina's mouth.

The room was filled with a palpable sense of anticipation as all eyes remained fixed on Marina's unconscious form. The air seemed to hum with tension, and hearts beat anxiously as they waited for any sign of her awakening.

Then, a miraculous moment occurred. Marina's closed eyelids trembled, and a faint murmur escaped her lips, barely audible yet filled with profound meaning. "Father," she whispered, as if calling out to Duke Korvax from the depths of her slumber.

Tears welled up in the duke's eyes, his heart pounding with a mixture of overwhelming joy and relief. Beside him, Alexa, Marina's mother, clutched her husband's hand tightly, unable to contain her emotions any longer. Tears cascaded down their cheeks, as if releasing the immense weight of worry that had burdened their hearts.

In that very instant, the room burst into a symphony of emotions—a chorus of gratitude, hope, and sheer happiness. The collective sighs and relieved whispers filled the air, mingling with the silent tears of joy. Marina's awakening signified a newfound lease on life, a second chance granted by the hands of destiny.

Hunter, too, couldn't help but feel a twinge of satisfaction. His grand scheme had unraveled flawlessly, and the flicker of his criminal empire's rise danced in the back of his mind.

As the room swirled with emotions, Hunter maintained a composed exterior, his eyes betraying nothing of his true intentions. He had become an actor, a puppet master of his fate, and he would continue to navigate the treacherous path that lay ahead, for better or worse.

Marina's eyes fluttered open, and as the realization dawned upon her, Duke Korvax and Alexa rushed to her side, enveloping her in a tight embrace. Tears of relief streamed down their faces as they held their daughter, grateful beyond words for her return to consciousness.

Hunter, knowing the importance of this heartfelt reunion, gracefully stepped back, giving the family the space they needed. With a respectful bow, he addressed them, "Your grace, Lady Marina, I will leave you to cherish this moment together. May the joy of her recovery fill your hearts."

As Hunter turned to leave the room, General Langley, humbled by the success of Hunter's intervention, approached him. He extended his hand, his face reflecting gratitude and regret. "I apologize for doubting you, young man," the general said, sincerity coloring his voice. "You saved Lady Marina Lady. Thank you."

Hunter accepted the general's hand with a nod, a flicker of appreciation in his eyes. "General Langley, your loyalty and caution were well-founded. I understand the importance of safeguarding the ones we care for. Your gratitude means a great deal to me."

With that, Hunter took his leave of the room, stepping out into the corridor. He closed the door behind him, leaving the family to bask in the warmth of their reunion.

As he walked away, his mind swirled with the events that had unfolded. His plan had succeeded, and Marina's recovery had set the stage for the next chapter of his grand scheme.

He continued down the hallway, contemplating the possibilities that lay ahead. The rise of his criminal empire loomed on the horizon, but the path he had chosen was fraught with uncertainty and peril. With every step, Hunter reminded himself of the need to adapt, to navigate the intricate dance of power and survival.

Once Hunter arrived at the grandeur of the throne hall, basking in the glory of his successful scheme, a familiar notification chimed in his mind. The system, with its cold and calculated voice, congratulated him on the completion of his first evil scheme.

[Congratulations, Host. One evil scheme is completed successfully. Well done. As a reward for your efforts, the system reward you with a healing potion. Cherish it, for you will soon find yourself in need of its healing properties] the system whispered ominously, its words laced with a hint of sinister amusement.

Hunter's lips curled into a wry smile as he pondered the system's veiled warning. He had no doubt that more challenges lay ahead, more schemes to orchestrate, and greater risks to take. But armed with his cunning intellect and the power bestowed upon him by the system, he welcomed the trials that awaited.

In the depths of his mind, he silently vowed to utilize every resource at his disposal, pushing the boundaries of his newfound abilities. The road ahead was treacherous, and Hunter knew he must tread carefully, always staying one step ahead of the game.

With the healing potion nestled safely within his pocket, Hunter steeled himself for the trials that were to come. The echoes of the system's laughter lingered, a constant reminder of the perilous path he had chosen, and the immense power that awaited him on his journey towards dominance.

After an hour of anticipation, the grand doors of the throne hall swung open, and Duke Korvax reentered the room. His eyes glimmered with gratitude as he approached Hunter, addressing him as the young man who had saved his daughter's life.

"Thank you, young man," the duke said, his voice filled with genuine appreciation. "I regret that in the rush of the moment, I never asked for your name. Please, tell me, who is the savior of my daughter?"

Hunter, wearing a facade of lingering sadness, met the duke's gaze and replied, "My name is Hunter."

The duke's gratitude overflowed, and he expressed his willingness to grant any request within his power as a token of his gratitude. Hunter inwardly smirked, knowing that this was the opportune moment to play his next move.

With a touch of melancholy in his voice, Hunter spoke, "Your grace, I must confess that I am deeply saddened by the fate that befell young Nathaniel. I wish I could have saved him as well."

Duke Korvax's expression softened, and he replied, "It was indeed a tragedy, but you did everything you could, young Hunter. You bear no blame for what transpired."

Hunter's heart remained indifferent to Nathaniel's fate, but he maintained the facade of sorrow. His eyes shifted to the duke as he spoke again, subtly steering the conversation toward his own desires.

Duke Korvax, moved by Hunter's modesty and selflessness, stepped closer. "Hunter, I am forever indebted to you. Name your reward, and I shall grant it as long as it lies within my power."

"Your grace, I must admit that I have always harbored a dream of owning my own tavern," Hunter confessed, his tone tinged with longing. "I used all my life savings to acquire one, but I lack the ownership papers necessary to solidify my claim."

The duke's brow furrowed as he listened intently. Hunter had skillfully laid the groundwork for his request. He continued, "All I ask, Your grace, is for the ownership papers to be bestowed upon me and a small loan to aid me in starting my tavern business. I assure you, I will repay the loan in due time."

Anger flickered in the duke's eyes as he vehemently rejected the notion of a loan. "Hunter, you have saved my daughter's life. It is I who is indebted to you. I will not grant you a loan but instead offer you a substantial sum as a gesture of my gratitude."

Hunter's lips curled into a sly smile. His plan had come to fruition. The duke, unknowingly dancing to Hunter's tune, was about to provide him with the means to not only secure ownership of a tavern but also establish himself as a formidable player in the realm.

don_offl don_offl

Greetings, beloved readers,

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