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Prologue

"Thirty seconds before the target hit the target radius."

When I heard what the team captain said from my in-ear device, I tightened my grip on the sniper I was holding. I looked through the lens and positioned my finger to pull the trigger at any moment.

I re-positioned the lens to look at the surroundings.

I stayed on guard near the window inside a hotel room as planned, on the fifth floor of the building that was directly facing the building of the Bureau of Good Governance where the king will exit from.

I began counting the guards surrounding the bureau.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5—countless guards were everywhere. Just as we expected. Later on, after my bullet pierces through His Majesty's brain, they will realize just how useless their number was.

"Fifteen seconds. Paul, get ready to shoot."

"Copy," I muttered and focused my sight on the lens where the designated target radius was.

"Ten..."

Nine...

Eight...

Seven...

Six...

"Five..."

I positioned the lens at the back of the head of the target. I was so primed to pull the trigger when the target suddenly turned around.

And trust me, I was miles away from where the target was standing, but I could swear, our eyes met through the lens. Which was absurd!

"Paul, shoot! Now!"

My fingers froze. My body froze.

'He's—'

With a shaking voice, I objected, "He's not Mirando Gruna!"

'What is he doing there?! Why is he there instead of the king?!'

"Fuck you, Paul! Shoot! Now! What the fuck are you doing!" The captain's voice pierced my ears.

However, I was fixated on the man who was looking my way. It's like he knew where I was. It's like he knew I was going to kill him!

"Paul, shoot the fucking king!"

My hands were trembling. "We have no time! Shoot now goddamn it! Kill His Majesty!"

'He's not—'

"He is not Mirando!" I yelled back.

The plan gave me a total of five seconds to shoot His Majesty on the head. And that five seconds was already over.

"Captain, His Majesty is out of the target radius. Mission failed," I heard Gan announce from my in-ear.

Like a wake-up call in the morning, the realization cascaded on me like a stream of ice-cold water. I failed!

I caught the loud and breathy curses of our captain from the in-ear.

I still can't digest what just happened.

'What is he doing there? Did he know who I am? My mission? Where I came from? Did he know?'

I was so out of my mind that I did not even notice the captain entering the hotel room, rapidly coming up to me, grabbing me by my collar.

"What the fuck is wrong with you!"

His grip was tight, and it was hurting me.

"He is not Mirando!" I insisted while looking up because he was towering over me.

My face stung, and I lost my sense of hearing for a moment when he slapped me on my face.

"Fool! The mission never said to kill Mirando! The mission said to kill His Majesty."

'What? Does he mean he is–'

"You fool," he snapped, staring down at me, "just lost your only chance to kill His Majesty."

His slap left a burning sensation on my skin. He walked away from me with disappointment.

"Captain," I called.

He halted but did not turn around to face me. "Do you mean..." Dread was so evident in my voice. "Neuron Gruna is the new king?"

"The mission told you to befriend him," the captain scolded. "Not fall in love with him. Now pay the price of your foolishness."

As the captain walked away from me, my knees crumbled, and I dropped to the ground.

'How? How could this be? He can't be His Majesty! He shouldn't be! Because now I have to choose whether to kill him or run away from him to protect him.'


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