HCM – 81

‘You wouldn’t be that stupid.’

… … he thought.

‘Damn it!’

Every time he opened her mouth to speak, clots and lumps of blood poured out. Around Aaron, who had collapsed, his men rushed in and tried to save him.

Aaron rolled his eyes around, looking for Julien.

Julien stood behind Gaines, his attendant, with a frightened face. He always… … he always wondered how he managed to kill his older brother when he saw that idiotic look.

The stupidest and most reckless commit crimes. They commit crimes because they lack foresight and can’t think ahead. He belatedly realized that, but it was too late now.

‘You, too, in the end… … You won’t get what you want.’

Aaron’s eyes turned back as he vomited black blood once more. The doctor’s lips trembled as he looked at his loose face and white eyes.

“Oh, h-he’s dead!”

The shrill echo abruptly silenced all the nobles in the banquet hall.

❁ ❁ ❁

There was something theatrical about Prince Aaron; he thought as the blood started to stain his mouth. Aslei was convinced that the blood spilled at first was fake.

He is a man who has seen a lot of actual blood.

He had been on the battlefield and decapitated people, so he knew how to tell the difference between real and fake blood. First of all, the smell was different.

‘At first it was fake, but later it became real.’

So the poison must have been the work of one of those who supported the prince, he concluded as the prince collapsed and sparked a commotion.

Aslei alerted the nobleman who held the banquet for the princes. Since the lord was a loyal vassal to the Duke of Tintalion, he moved quickly.

He wanted to arrest him directly by sending his own knights, but the second prince’s intentions were suspicious.

When Aaron, the third prince, collapsed, there was an excuse for why the second prince could not approach. If Aaron died, Julien would be the only heir to the throne, so it was proper to keep a distance if he was poisoned.

Even though it seemed cold-hearted among brothers.

‘The person who assassinated the third prince must be the second prince.’

It was straightforward reasoning, easy, like flipping the palm of your hand. Anyone would think so and curse the second prince’s foolishness for doing things here, far from the capital.

‘What are you scheming?’

Aslei suspected that the prince was trying to blame him. He thought that if he were him, he’d handle Prince Aaron like that.

But if he was going to lay the blame on him, he should have pretended that he, too, had been poisoned. It’s obvious that he shouldn’t be fine alone.

“Duke, we will now interrogate the suspect… … .”

When asked by the count if he would like to join, Aslei nodded. Unfortunately, he couldn’t keep his promise to Frisia; he had to attend to matters here.

There was no dungeon in the mansion of the count who held the banquet, so the suspect was taken to a room close to the banquet hall and was being interrogated. When Aslei entered the room with Julien, the second prince, the interrogation had already progressed.

As soon as he entered the room, he smelled blood. Julien frowned and pressed his nose with the handkerchief handed to him by the attendant, but Aslei, who had a lot of experience on the battlefield, was indifferent.

There was not only one person kneeling, bound, and beaten.

It was probably the people caught, according to the executioner’s confession. Some did not work for the count’s family, but those dressed as servants or maids stood out.

“How does the count manage his employees!”

Julien raised his voice and slapped the count. The count’s cheek was ripped open by the ring he wore, and blood gushed out, but the count couldn’t even raise his head.

The prince was dead. He lost his life in his mansion, so it would be difficult to escape responsibility even if Aslei defended him.

Aslei turned his gaze to the person presumed to have received direct instructions from the mastermind. He was more conspicuous because he was under strict surveillance at the forefront. He was as bloodied as the executioner, and so was it.

“Did you find out who was behind it?”

Aslei’s voice resounded heavily, and the count’s servants looked at each other. His eyes narrowed at them.

‘It seems that the second prince is more stupid than I thought.’

From their reaction, it was clear what they were trying to say. Aslei and his entourage had entered the banquet hall unarmed.

There were other knights, but they were waiting for their master at the banquet hall entrance.

“Why can’t you answer me? Hurry up and tell me!”

At Julien’s urging, one of the interrogators broke into a cold sweat and said,

“That is… … Because it’s completely ludicrous… … .”

“Say it.”

Aslei urged in a cold voice. He was already expecting an answer. I was annoyed at Julien, who couldn’t smile openly but instead donned a distorted expression behind him.

“The-the duchess… … .”


Everyone was holding their breath. Everyone in the room stared at Aslei.

“They said they received instructions from the Duchess!”

The servant’s loud voice echoed through the room like thunder.

❁ ❁ ❁

Leave a Reply