Home Post 797-chapter-58


“The trial is canceled. The Princess is innocent.”

As soon as the King finished speaking, a man who had been standing among the crowd exhaled loudly.

The man, his chest heaving, took a small bottle out of his coat pocket and uncorked it. His hand, which held the bottle, trembled pitifully. There were only four pills left in the bottle, each the size of his index finger.

Without hesitation, the man popped the pills into his mouth.

His body was already ruined anyway, and he didn’t have long to live. More than anything, he needed to relieve the immediate pain rather than think about the future.

However, perhaps because he had already taken the medicine once in the morning, he soon felt dizzy, and his heart started racing. Even though he was relieved that his chest didn’t hurt, that was all. Every organ in his body was screaming for death.

Despite the fact that the man struggled not to collapse, it was difficult to support his body with his wobbly knees.

“Mom, look at that man! His nose is bleeding!”

At that moment, a child pointed at the staggering man and shouted.

…Blood was coming out of his nose? When he touched his face, blood smeared on his glove.

“His face is completely pale!”

“He might be contagious. Don’t go near him.”

The woman, who seemed to be the child’s mother, pulled the child towards her.

“He’s been muttering strange things since earlier.”

At the woman’s words, the people around noticed the suspicious man standing next to them. A large circle formed around the sickly-looking man.

People began to jeer at the man.

“Get out of here!”

“Why did a sick person come to a place like this? Get lost!”

As someone picked up a stone from the street, his head throbbed where the stone had hit him.

The trial wasn’t completely over yet, so it wasn’t good to be noticed. Even if he collapsed, he needed to collapse far away. The man held onto his fading consciousness at the thought and barely managed to move his feet.

As the man walked, people parted like the Red Sea.

He walked slowly, enduring the stones that were thrown at him. His body swayed whenever a stone hit him, but he didn’t have the strength to dodge them. His teeth clenched involuntarily from the sharp pain that felt like someone was stabbing his chest with an awl.

How long had it been since he took the medicine? Was it because he had used too much magic?

The painkillers he had trusted were useless. The pain grew worse, and now it felt like a finely sharpened saw blade was rotating and tearing his chest apart.

‘…Just a little more, just a little more.’

The man held his chest with one hand and took precarious steps. A metallic smell of blood rose from deep within him. He swallowed the blood that filled his mouth and walked and walked, deliberately choosing roads less traveled, until he was out of sight of others.

Around the corner was the carriage he had ridden in. There was medicine in the carriage, so he just had to hold on until he got to the carriage.

If he took the remaining painkillers, he would be fine.

Ah, but as always, fate was not kind to him.

Before he could turn the corner, an excruciating pain washed over him, and he vomited the thick, metallic liquid, unable to swallow the gushing blood any longer. He leaned against the wall and threw up, the blood pouring out like floodwater.

It was much more than the blood he had vomited during the imperial mage exam. His nose was numb from the pungent smell, and he felt dizzy as all the blood drained from his body.

By the time the sun was setting, the bleeding had stopped. The blood that had flowed from the corners of his mouth had soaked his shirt, turning it a deep red. He wiped the blood from the corners of his mouth with his sleeve.

His tongue tasted metallic and slippery.

The man lifted his head, feeling a dull pain in his chest, and tried to move forward again. However, it was a futile hope. Before he could even take a step, a sharp pain shot through him and his whole body stiffened and convulsed.

His face contorted, and his blue eyes opened wide in agony.

The man leaned against the wall as if someone had pushed him hard. His hands, which were reaching for his chest, tore at his clothes and dug into his skin. His eyes fluttered open and closed repeatedly.

A silent scream escaped from his parted lips.

His head was spinning, but the pain in his chest was so severe that he could barely breathe. It hurt so much that he couldn’t even groan.

The man thrashed about desperately, but he couldn’t catch his breath or escape the agony in his chest before he eventually collapsed against the wall and sank to the ground. If he could just turn the corner, there would be a carriage and medicine inside…

Nonetheless, his body wouldn’t listen, as if he had fallen into the ground. His vision turned dark, and as he was losing consciousness, he saw a flash of red hair in front of him, and he reached out.

However, there was nothing to grab.

Was he going to die here?

“You’re a really good person. Don’t forget that.”

Someone whispered in his ear.

The elusive, murmuring voice made the man forget the pain for a moment.

…Yes, he had no regrets, even if he died.

As the hand that had been clutching at his chest lost its strength, the other hand, which had been flailing in the air, dropped limply. His eyelids slowly closed, and his neck lolled to the side. The feeling in his fingertips faded, and everything felt distant.

Soon, his vision went black.

The man lost consciousness completely.


* * *


Carinne tried to calm the crying Iris again and again.

She was finally able to stop Iris’ tears after bringing up how curious she was about what happened after her confession to Archen. Iris seemed to assume that the confession had been a success, even though she hadn’t said anything yet.

Iris exclaimed, “I can’t wait!” in an excited voice, and then went to get a carriage, saying that she would go to her house and let her tell her the details.

Carinne watched Iris’ cheerful retreating figure and smiled bitterly, knowing the ending of the story.

She could already picture Iris’s disappointed, slumped shoulders.

Well, just because the ending was sad doesn’t mean the story wasn’t interesting. Since the ending is ruined, there is no way to prevent Iris from being disappointed. However, she could at least make Iris happy while she was telling the story.

She was deep in thought, trying to figure out how to tell the story in a way that would be the most dramatically entertaining when Duke Lucas approached her.

He had a satisfied smile on his face.

He must have helped her, too. So, Carinne, feeling cheerful, thanked him.

“I should say thank you to you. You argued well in my defense, Duke Lucas.”

Her playful green eyes winked mischievously. Carinne continued speaking naturally.

“I didn’t know you thought of me that way.”

“So now you know my feelings.”

The Duke replied as if he had been waiting for this.

“How deeply I think of the Princess.”

Seeing his relaxed red eyes burned with intensity, she could read the word desire in the Duke’s eyes. She thought to herself, ‘Did I go too far?’

She had to maintain a proper boundary—a line.

She couldn’t take back what she had already said, so Carinne decided to vehemently deny the Duke’s words from now on.

“I don’t know about that.”

“Don’t you think that the Princess and I would make quite a great couple?”

“I think we wouldn’t suit each other at all.”

She didn’t want to engage in any more pointless banter, and she wanted to calm the duke down, so Carinne changed the subject.

“By the way, where did your aide go?”

Changing the subject and satisfying her curiosity was killing two birds with one stone. Archen’s whereabouts had been nagging at the back of her mind.

The Duke made a confused expression at the sudden change in topic.

“Archenas? Why do you ask?”

“Well, Archen is always by your side.”


“I’m worried because he suddenly disappeared.”

“The Princess worries too much about useless things.”

Useless things…

Carinne puffed out her cheeks as if she were Archen and pretended to be upset. Even though he was a subordinate, he was still his person. How could he not care? He was just like an evil employer.

Now that she thought about it, she had something to say to the Duke.

“Oh, right. How could you do that?”

He looked confused again.

The Duke, who looked as if he didn’t know anything, was simply annoying.

“I’m talking about Archen’s room. You have more than one room in the mansion, so why did you give him such a small room?”

The room Archen had been given when she saw it last time was suffocatingly small. How could he make his aide live in such a place?

“He has a separate office.”

The Duke responded in a tone of disbelief. He seemed to be saying why she was concerned about such things. If there had been a labor department, she would have reported it long ago. Esmeril didn’t even have the concept of employee welfare, let alone a labor department, so it was unfortunate.

“Even so, the sleeping space is very important. Please take care of your own people and live. Don’t say such things.”

Carinne took the opportunity to say everything she wanted to say. She then added sincerely.

“He’s really considering going to the Second Duchy.”

At that, the Duke snorted.

Oh my, it wasn’t a joke but something she meant. Don’t regret it later when he was taken away. Carinne resolved to propose to Archen again to transfer to the Second Duchy.

To do that, she had to find him first.

“I’ll go find Archen for a moment. It won’t take long, so please stay here, Duke.”

She was sure he was somewhere nearby. He must have been delayed because something urgent came up. He must be on his way here by now, having finished his work.

Carinne confidently set out to find Archen.

Although the trial was over, the Saintess’ Memorial Day was still the Saintess’ Memorial Day.

The central square was packed with people praying and offering sacrifices. Carinne, who had been looking around at people’s faces, found golden hair in the distance and approached with a bright smile. It was a smile as bright as the morning sun.


However, the person who turned around had a completely different face.

“Oh, no. I’m sorry. I mistook you for someone I know.”

She bowed her head and disappeared into the crowd. Carinne, who ran with light steps as if she were flying, resembled a cat chasing a butterfly.

Duke Lucas stared at Carinne with a trembling face.

He was deeply troubled. Why didn’t she smile at him like that? Come to think of it, she had never smiled brightly at him even once.

…Maybe it was different with his aide. Carinne was always smiling brightly whenever she was with him. It was the same at the founding ceremony, the trial of Duchess Tricia, his mansion not long ago, and just now. If she met the aide, she would surely smile even more brightly than before.

There was one more strange thing.

Carinne had been taking care of him strangely.

On the day of the downpour, she was the first to tell him to change her clothes. And at the Ashite Flower Festival, she tried to go to the bar with him somehow. At dinner not long ago, she asked why he wasn’t there. And just now, she told him to take care of his man. When did he ever go to his room?

He recalled what Carinne had said not long ago. When he asked why she came to his mansion the day before she rejected his confession, Carinne answered as follows.

“I didn’t come to see you, Duke. That’s… Anyway, I can’t tell you here, but I definitely didn’t come to see you.”

The Duke couldn’t understand it right away. If she didn’t come to see him, why did she come to the mansion where he lived?

Could it be…

Still, that was a ridiculous assumption. He swore to God that it couldn’t be. The Princess must have lied, or she was deliberately playing with him.

Above all, the Duke clearly remembered what the Princess had said a few months ago.

Then, where did this guy go, and why wasn’t he showing up? Did he relay the list of questions to the Princess? They were definitely together until this morning, but after he sent him to the prison to deliver the list of questions to the Princess, he disappeared.

The Duke narrowed his eyes and stared across the square before slowly walking away.