With those languid words, Venia felt a surge of power engulfing her. She grew restless.
“Y-you’re not really going to kill me, right? Who would be the next Ferro? Do you really believe that you can guess who the next Ferro will be based on a single document like that?”
No matter how hard he tried to decipher the laws, if he got it wrong, it was over.
How could he know where the next Ferro might appear? If she appeared in Cartiel, would the current head, Siette Cartiel, just sit idly by? They might lock that Ferro away where no one could ever see her again. If they imprisoned her while she was alive, Diello would never awaken.
“Of course, I’m not certain.”
Diello calmly replied. The tip of his sword remained steady, pointed towards Venia.
“But regardless of who becomes the next Ferro, it seems like it would be less nauseating than marrying you.”
He spoke in a low voice, raising the corner of his mouth in a sardonic smile.
“And me, I must have what I desire.”
“I must obtain the one Ferro I long for.”
Venia, bombarded with countless questions in this place, gradually began to form incomprehensible doubts.
“No way… Do you really, truly love Krua Alors?”
In a surprising turn of events, Diello’s sword trembled at her words.
When Venia’s eyes widened, a radiant smile blossomed on his face. It was a change as swift as a frozen winter river flowing into spring, an unimaginably rapid transformation. His eyes, filled with a gentle smile, gazed past Venia.
More precisely, it seemed like he was thinking of someone.
“How could I not be drawn to such a lovely person?”
“You must be insane…”
Venia couldn’t believe it. Was he really going to abandon the Ferro, forsake awakening, and even abandon Argenta just because he was infatuated with a woman?
As she let out a sigh, Diello’s gaze fixed directly on her.
His eyes, which had melted so gently, now turned cold and freezing, directed at her.
“If marrying you is the only thing that will keep me sane, then I might as well go mad.”
He regretted not being able to say these words in front of the person he wanted them to accept and understand.
It was still too sudden, that was why.
Always kissing her, delving into her, and using countless excuses to her, all using the sole word of practicing.
Yes, it was just practice.
While thinking of Krua, he finished his words.
“I love her.”
It was because she didn’t acknowledge him, didn’t even spare a glance for him… He was going crazy.
* * *
“This is a poison that causes stomachaches and headaches. It won’t be life-threatening, but you’ll have difficulties in your daily life for about a week.”
It was Nias who analyzed the poison. I had always thought that he seemed more like a poison expert than a doctor.
“Is there a possibility that it was accidentally mixed?”
“No. This combination can only be created artificially.”
Nias uttered firmly.
Upon hearing his words, I asked the people around me.
“What about the supply wagons?”
“We’ve called almost all of them. However…”
A knight with a troubled face continued.
“Some houses have already received the supplies.”
I paused at those words.
“Could it be possible that someone has consumed them?”
“We’re still confirming, but there is a child in that house who particularly likes the supplies, so it seems likely that they ate them.”
I bit my lip at those words.
“What about the antidote?”
Nias looked at me with a troubled expression.
“We have it, but the herbs used for the antidote have a stronger toxic effect. So, usually, it’s better to stabilize the patient in bed and wait for recovery.”
“If a patient comes out of the house that received the Shadow supplies…”
It would be a problem for the morale of the entire Argenta as it was a poison without an antidote.
I raised my head.
The sensation of moving water lingered in my hands from earlier. Could it be that I could expel that poison myself? Yes, it should be possible. I had driven the poison out of my body unconsciously, and now that I was awake, I could do it even better.
“Can we go to that house now?”
Even the knights were surprised by my words.
“Explain the situation to Diello. Quickly.”
I expected Redias to stop me, so I was coming up with plenty of reasons to follow up. However…
“I will personally escort you.”
Redias unexpectedly made a suggestion.
“I also have the authority to deploy emergency escort forces so we can reduce the cumbersome procedures.”
My expression relaxed at his words.
“Thank you. Let’s move quickly.”
* * *
A village was situated northwest of the Argenta mansion.
It was a quiet village where there was no noise unless a monster appeared. Nevertheless, the exchange between the neighbors continued. They all had a special bond due to having worked at the Argenta mansion at some point.
However, a sudden incident occurred in such a village.
“There are troops coming from the mansion.”
“What did you say?”
…Did a monster invade?
With an urgent heart, the villagers picked up their weapons, and the next news reached them.
“The Madam herself has come!”
It must be something serious! The villagers started rushing out. When they reached the entrance of the village, they saw a crowd of people. By the appearance, it looked like an army when they lined up.
“…It seems sudden, and I think they need some explanation first.”
I looked at Redias and turned my head.
“It seems like a fatal situation. It is necessary to explain it first.”
I looked back at Redias, and Nias’ words came to mind.
“It could be fatal for a child. Especially for a child who frequently experiences swelling in the throat, exposure to the toxin could make it difficult for them to breathe.”
And I remembered that one of the children in the village suffered from asthma. As I thought about it, Redias lowered his head briefly and stepped forward.
“Is everyone doing well?”
As he greeted with a cheerful face, the villagers fell silent at his words.
“We don’t have any intention to fight, so put away your weapons. Oh, you too. Do you really intend to stand before the Madam with a weapon?”
Redias’ gentle words caused the people to lower their weapons and hide them slowly.
Then, he looked at me.
A sense of curiosity spread among the people as they hurriedly exchanged greetings.
“Why would someone as important as the Madam come all the way here? Is there a traitor in our village?”
Apparently, they heard that many traitors had been removed from the mansion this time. Before they could become more anxious, I raised my hand to calm them down.
“It’s not that. There was a problem with the supplies, so I came.”
As I spoke, the villagers widened their eyes.
“Are you talking about the supplies that arrived this morning?”
“Yes, the ones that arrived today. Did anyone eat them?”
The villagers looked at each other.
“We’ve only just sorted them out…”
“Oh, Rielle must have eaten them!”
At that moment, a voice came from inside.
“Guide us to the child quickly. And knights, please explain the situation about the supplies to the villagers.”
I gestured to the knights and quickly entered the village with Redias.
* * *
The house of a child named Rielle was located in a corner of the village.
“Rielle? Rielle, are you there?”
I knocked on the door, and from inside, I heard a faint groan mixed with coughing.
“Cough… Who… Who is it?”
The voice lacked strength.
I glanced at Redias.
‘If I say it’s me, he’ll be surprised.’
There was no need to startle the already weary child. I removed my flashy headpiece and borrowed a black robe from the knights, putting it on.
“I’m Sir Redias. I came because of the relief supplies. Can I come in?”
Were they acquainted?
My eyes widened.
That was when it happened.
The door opened on its own.
‘…So, there are automatic doors in this world, too?’
My surprise was fleeting as I noticed a finely connected wire on the door. It seemed to be a device that allowed it to be opened from the inside as well. A sophisticated mechanism fit for assassins or similar people.
“Please come this way.”
Redias led me inside. As I followed him, I caught sight of the child.
The child was lying on the floor.