“Oh, Mother! It’s been a long since we sat down and had tea together. Why are you always so busy when I ask for us to dine together?”
I heard Mikhail’s voice again.
My fingertips are shaking, and my whole body is cold.
The voice was getting closer and closer.
For some reason, it seemed that the Duke was walking straight coming this way.
An overwhelming sense of danger shook me. I heard a scream in my head, Stop now! Give up and run away!
“Mikhail, what’s wrong with you today? Why do you suddenly want to drink tea with me?”
“Right….. I want to start being a more filial son.”
“Go. If that’s the case, it’s enough.”
The voice ……… it was right under my nose.
I can’t escape. If the Duke opens the door, she’ll see me right away….
I looked around in panic, searching for a place to hide. But I couldn’t see any place to hide in this wide-open space.
“I especially got my mother’s favorite tea–imported from the Eastern Continent! Please, let’s drink it so I can show you your son’s sincerity. ·······!”
“Yes, then let’s drink it together later.”
Mikhail was spouting gibberish in embarrassment.
His actions weren’t helpful but rather suspicious.
My open mouth, parched, quivered.
I couldn’t make a sound, so he fumbled in the air.
Although I usually sweat less, my body was an artic rainforest, perspiring a lot.
I could feel sweat forming and beading on my forehead.
There was no time to wipe it off.
Mikhail again called Duke Melford outside the door.
He hurriedly grabbed her hand, turning the doorknob.
“In fact, I have something important I need to tell you right now.”
“Yes, you must listen to it urgently.”
“What is it?”
“I need your advice, Mother, about my new business.”
“Can’t we do that later?”
Please. Please. Please.
I prayed so eagerly only a handful of times in this life, so desperate I was at this moment.
“Hah. My son is really bothersome.”
And as if my wish had come true, no sound could be heard outside.
I was frozen, alert, waiting a long time in case she came back…. but it was silent outside.
Now is your chance.
In a moment of relief, my body’s strength suddenly fell.
The moment I tried to take a step, my feet twisted.
The body leaned forward.
I hurried to regain my center and touched the wall to get my balance back.
At that moment-
The bricks were pushed back, and my hand fell through the wall.
‘What is this·······?’
A space was revealed inside the pushed wall.
Purple scented candles lined up in the space.
A tremendous number of incense candles filled my eyes, making my eyes turn into a swirl of dizzying unpleasant purple.
Goosebumps crawled up my arms.
She has so many scented candles.
It will be used somewhere—on someone in the future.
I was reeling from that fact— but pushed it behind me, pretending not to know, and picked up a scented candle.
I made sure the same scented candle the Duke had prepared was in its original place.
Then, as my hand touched that scented candle, several aromatic candles fell to the floor.
I nervously picked up the candles and put them in place one by one.
The door opened with a strange sound.
“What is my daughter doing here?”
It was the Duke of Melford.
I doubted my ears.
But I didn’t have the courage to confirm the suspicion.
All I had to do is turn my head.
But my neck froze and wouldn’t move.
“What’s this thieving cat stealing?”
There was only one thought in my head:
I didn’t think of anything else or what would happen next.
My intuitive danger alert went numb.
The hand holding the scented candle slipped and crashed against the wall and fell.
A couple of scented candles that fell helplessly rolled over the floor and hovered around my feet; one bumped into her shoes.
My head stiffened, and all my thoughts stopped.
“The room is very dark,” she smiled softly and picked up the scented candle from under her feet.
I couldn’t say anything to the Duke and could only numbly look on.
She lit a magical fire on the wick.
The dark room became bright, and a sweet and sick smell wafted from the candle.
“Now it’s a little brighter.”
“So Seri, can you explain what you were doing now?”
I had to make an excuse.
I had to get out of this situation quickly.
But my head doesn’t follow my wants.
My eyes spontaneously turned to the door—I want to run away.
But I knew it was impossible.
Mikhail is lying on the floor.
He seemed unconscious, as if he had passed out.
“He was a little noisy, so I had to put him to sleep.”
It didn’t matter that he was her son. She was cutthroat.
Her reason doesn’t make any sense in the first place.
You knocked him out because he was noisy?
How likely is it then that the Duke would show me mercy?
She was a woman who knocked out her own son for a ridiculous reason.
‘······Did she notice something?’
The Duke, who had gone out, suddenly returned home and headed straight to the Hall of Hallucinations.
Despite Mikhail’s dissuasion.
It was suspicious behavior.
“By mistake of the attendants, letters were mixed up. I accidentally saw the letter you sent to Mikhail.”
The Duke, who noticed my question, said as if it were nothing.
Was it really an ‘accident’?
It’s frightening to think that maybe I’ve been under surveillance all this time.
“You don’t know how surprised I was to see that letter. My lovely daughter’s got some sort of plan that I wasn’t included in. And why is she acting like a thieving cat?”
The Duke’s gaze touched an incense candle that fell under my feet.