HCM – 58

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The upheaval in the Duke’s residence also spread to the dungeon. The space where they were confined was too neat and comfortable a room to say that it was a dungeon, but since they were detained, they felt it was no different from a prison.

“What happened?”

Even the soldier standing guard in the hallway in front of the door was excited and brimming with joy. When Ian asked this, the soldier responded with a cheerful disposition:

“There is news that the madam has returned with the Duke! She even lifted the Duke’s curse—I’m so happy!”

The soldier bursted into a friendly laugh, remarking that–Judging from the kind temperament of the madam and the Duke, you guys would be released soon.

Upon overhearing the conversation between the two, Rudd brightened the most at the soldier’s words. He had been reticent when he heard his colleagues plotting a prison break.

“The Duchess is truly amazing! How could you have lifted the Duke’s curse in such a short amount of time!”

“Then are we going to be released too?”

Jen perked up ans asked Rudd. Rudd looked optimistic about the situation.

“Of course! We have no deep relationship with Jeremy! Didn’t she say she was imprisoning us until the curse was broken after all!”

“… … You’re too optimistic. Don’t you think we’ll be punished because there’s no use for us?”

Trevor’s words made Jen feel uneasy. He regretted not resisting his restraints.

“Then are we going to die?”

When he raised a question with a forlorn face, Ian interjected.

“Of course not. The Duke and Duchess of Tintalion are reputed to be righteous and just people… … .”

Of that, he was sure of, although he prepared himself for interrogation, a fine, or a prison term. At least for someone like the Marquis.

Regardless, Ian knew that even if he were penalized, he would be punished with a lot of generosity.

Since Duke Tintalion was a member of the royal family, being even a temporary colleague of Jeremy’s, who injured a royal, could be a significant weakness.

Concealing that fact while barging in and professing to aid the Duke’s mansion was enough deception to indict them.

‘That’s why I tried to stop her.’

Ian glanced at a disquieted Marianne. She had been silent since before, with a shocked look on her face.

“Marianne, what’s wrong?”

When the paladin, Kion, raised a question, Marianne looked back at him, then her other companions, suddenly cognizant. Finally, she stood up from her seat, looking befuddled and dismayed.

The place where the Duchess imprisoned them had not only private sleeping quarters, but also a connecting living room where they could gather in the center. Marianne spoke haltingly as she got up and stepped back from the sofa in the common room.

“Uh, just… … I have something to think about. I’ll go to bed first.”

All of her men flinched at the sight of Marianne’s face contorting and becoming pale while turning around and retreating, but none of them caught her. Marianne hurriedly entered her room and shut the door behind her.


Jen pouted at the sharp slam of the door.


“… … .”

Marianne’s colleagues could not have been unaware of her strange attitude in all matters involving the Duke of Tintalion.

At first, it was something that they had not taken much notice of but only detected later when they arrived here and witnessed a strange heat about her. Marianne was too interested in the Duke of Tintalion.

Not sure if there was an actual association between them, but it was quite disappointing.

“During the day, a person close to the Duchess said something strange.”

Trevor slowly opened his mouth, taking his eyes off Marianne’s door.

“Jeremy cursed the Duke because he had a crush on Marianne.”

When he heard that, he thought it was ridiculous. He wondered if the person who interrogated them had also erroneously accused Jeremy of possessing a bizarre nature.

The Duke of Tintalion and Viscount Marianne Rowain were completely unrelated.

The interrogator must have regarded Jeremy as a psychopathic son of a cockroach. As if it would be natural for such a lunatic to be jealous of the two of them who had no relationship. So he had casted a terrible curse. 

But they knew what Jeremy really was like.

“Nonsense! She doesn’t even like the Duke!”

Jen spat out, looking sulky and sullen. He was the only one among them who had not been subject to such accusations and questioning because he looked like a young boy.

At Jen’s objection, the other four men shut up. They were unconfident that Marianne was uninterested in the Duke.

“Anyway, if the Duke is back, today or tomorrow, he’ll decide what to do with us. Even if it is decided, the punishment will not fall immediately, so there will be plenty of time to escape.”

They were already preparing to run away.

It was clear the Duke’s mansion had not considered them serious enemies, so they weren’t strictly guarded. The commoners, Trevor, Jen, and Rudd, even admitted that they felt like they were in a luxurious inn.


In reply, they looked at Marianne’s room. The light leaking through the crack in the door had disappeared as if she had already gone to bed.

Suddenly, some of them wondered if they had been with her for too long.

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