VGD – 21

Later after multiple sips, the glass was emptied in no time.

“You seem to have taken good care of it. Excellent work.”

After receiving the generous compliment, Simil’s face brightened and blushed with pleasure.

“Thank you, Your Highness.”

“I want to drink it with his Highness when he returns.”

“I’ll put it aside.”

Kate quickly stepped forward and packed the bottle of wine. Simil pulled out another bottle of the same wine and put it in Kate’s arms.

“His Highness will be reassured to have such a competent warden.”

With a happy smile, Elysee left the wine cellar. Simil gladly saw her off.

Next, Elysee stopped by the food warehouse. She looked around, and as she did before, finishing off with praise.

“All the custodians of the Grand Duke are sincere. Please continue to work hard as you’ve done now. I’m sure the Lord knows how hard you’ve worked.”

“Yes, Your Highness. I will keep that in mind.”

Dawson, who was very nervous, bowed with a relieved expression. Elysee had tasted various types of cheeses, and he had given his recommendation as to which would be the best accompaniment to her wine.

Dawson packed several types of ham and meats that she hadn’t even asked for.

‘How exciting.’

Elysée, who had her snacks, left the pantry with a satisfied face.

As she tried to go back the way she came, she somehow felt that Kate’s movement was strange. She was awkwardly blocking one side of her as if trying to obstruct her view.

Elysee pretended to be climbing her stairs but then quickly pivoted towards a different direction.

“Are you trying to hide something from me?”

Kate’s movements with the large paper bag were sluggish.

“Ah, your Highness.”

As Elysee expected, behind Kate was a staircase leading downstairs.

“What’s down these stairs?”

“It’s a prison where the heinous criminals are kept.”

Perhaps she thought Elysee would be scared of such an explanation.

“Really?”

Elysee started to step towards it without hesitation. Startled, Kate tried to deter her.

“It’s no place for a noble.”

“Well. That’s for me to judge. Get out of my way.”

Elysee’s commanding soft voice forced Kate to step aside.

It was a spiral staircase the width of it so narrow that no more than two adult men could walk side by side.

Elysee went down the stairs, wondering if there was anything wrong.

Two soldiers guarding the wooden door at the end of the stairway looked at her and Kate in bewilderment.

“This is her Highness. Open the door.”

“Ah yes… !”

The soldier with the key hurriedly opened the door.

There were two guards inside, but Elysee passed them without paying them any attention.

Even though she was in the same basement, this was incomparably dismal to the floor above where the pantry and liquor storage were.

A guard held up a lamp and followed Elysee, telling her the charges of the prisoners in their custody.

Pretending to be indifferent, she was actually listening very attentively to what they had to say. However, most were criminals of heinous crimes, such as murder and robbery, offenses that Midland investigators would not do.

‘Well. Even if they had been detained, would they have been in jail?’

She was able to completely expunge the remains of her not-so-high expectations and go back when suddenly there was a whaling plea.

“Help me! Help me! Please save me! I haven’t even committed a crime!”

It was coming from the innermost part of the prison. It was a young woman’s voice. Elysee started to follow the noise. She thought it was dark and empty, but there was someone there.

“It’s a child who turned out to be a spy from another estate and was locked up.”

Her face revealed in the light was young. She looked to be only 16 years old. She was dressed in a dirty maid’s uniform.

“Her name is Mary.”

“Mary?”

“Yes. She was a maid of the castle, but she hid in the Grand Duke’s office and did something suspicious….”

“Something suspicious?”

“It’s not fair! What I wanted to do… !”

Then, suddenly, Mary’s eyes widened.

“Elysee-nim?”

When she caught herself after her exclamation, she quickly said, “I’m sorry,” and shut her mouth.

Elysee’s face hardened. How could a former maid in prison recognize her just by looking at her face?

‘Uh. Surely not… ’

She had an absurd hypothesis that she had already found one Midlands investigator from the Fantasy Control Tower.

***

Mary Brook.

She is the daughter of a fallen nobleman, and it is said that she resided in the Grand Duke’s castle for about a month. And now she was in prison.

“Now tell me what happened.”

They were alone in her room, Elysee pushed her share of refreshments towards her.

Mary wept and shoved bread and cookies into her mouth.

“Ugh, oh uh-my… Wh oha… .”

“Let’s eat first and then talk. Because I can’t understand a word you are saying.”

After chewing and swallowing the food in her mouth, Mary downed the finest black tea, which Elysee had given her like it was barley tea. [t1v: in Korea many Koreans drink barley infused water, it’s as common and often used as a replacement to water]

“Elysee-nim coming, it’s like a dream… !”

“Now isn’t the time to talk about that…… No, but how did you recognize me?”

“I’m a fan, [Unni] sister! I really enjoyed <The Three Musketeers>!”

Elysee massaged her forehead.

[t1v: my guess is that she is now recalling when she was rejected by Heaven and Hell and arrived at the Midlands after her death]

Tens of thousands of monitors floating in the air at the Midland Fantasy Control Tower. Tower staff had come out in doves and warmly waved from all over. It must have been because they had been fans of the movies or dramas she had starred in.


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