Episode 29: Poisoned Rat(6)
* * *
That was where the Monarch Sight ended.
The water surface flickered again by itself, and after it calmed down, the only reflection on the water was Aristine’s bewildered face.
‘What was that?!’
The unexpected revelation threw Aristine into confusion.
‘What in the world happened? How? At least show me the scene where he got poisoned too!’
Aristine scattered the water in the basin with frustration, but the water only rippled back and forth without doing anything.
She had never been more frustrated by the fact that she couldn’t control the Monarch’s Sight.
She couldn’t help but heave a deep sigh.
The sudden development made Aristine’s heart sink.
‘I need to calm down.’
Aristine took a deep breath and exhaled.
She squeezed her trembling fingertips, closed her eyes, and made a pledge to herself, almost prayerfully.
‘It hasn’t happened yet. I can stop it.’
Her stomach clenched and her eyes flew open.
It would have been better if she had a clearer idea of how it happened, but it was already too late. You can’t move forward if you keep clinging to something you couldn’t see.
‘This is better than not knowing at all.’
Aristine got up from her seat and walked to her dresser.
She opened the locked drawer with a key she had hidden away and took out a sparklingly clear glass bottle.
It was the poison that the Emperor had given her when she left Silvanus.
《Either stick a poisoned knife in that irritating bastard’s chest or put poison in his wine.》
As the memory resurfaced, Aristine squeezed the glass bottle tight. The cold sensation was very vivid.
She wanted to sneer and say, ‘do you think I’ll obey to you?’ but after seeing the future, she couldn’t do that anymore.
The Emperor longed for a rift within the royal family of Irugo, a rift that centered around Aristine, and it looked like that was actually going to happen.
‘If I am accused of assassinating the king, the Emperor will declare it unreasonable and gain justification to start a war.’
She didn’t know how far Silvanus’s war preparations had progressed.
But regardless, that justification could be used at any time.
‘If I get executed, it will be the perfect justification.’
The Emperor would be more than pleased.
‘I better get rid of this first.’
They mentioned poison in her belongings so they must be referring to this.
Aristine was pondering how to dispose of the poison, then she paused.
‘Wait, who knows that I have this poison?’
The Emperor had personally handed this to her, so even her handmaids didn’t know of its existence.
No, even if they knew, they were no longer in Irugo.
‘What I know for certain, is that they framed me as the king’s assassin with some kind of evidence.’
The people who plotted this might have even secretly brought their own poison into her room.
But if the ‘solid evidence’ they were talking about was this glass vial, then…
‘I can figure out who set me up.’
And not just that.
‘With enough planning, I can even counterattack.’
Aristine’s eyes glinted sharply.
* * *
Tarkan called out in puzzlement when he saw Aristine looking unusually withdrawn.
He couldn’t fathom what she was thinking about so deeply but she wasn’t responding at all, no matter how many times he called her.
‘Don’t tell me it’s because our lips touched earlier?’
Other than that, nothing in particular happened.
They both washed up separately after dinner and came to the bedroom.
Tarkan began to wonder if she hated it that much and the inside of his mouth felt bitter.
‘No, if you think about it, she’s the one who did it.’
Aristine was the perpetrator and Tarkan was the victim.
Of course, in Tarkan’s mind, he would happily suffer such damage over and over again.
He felt saddened and upset that Aristine obviously hated it after doing it to herself but on the other hand, he wanted to be able to notice.
Tarkan hovered around Aristine like a whining cub.
Right then, Aristine lifted her head and looked at Tarkan.
Hearing her call his name felt good.
The heart that he tried to harden was immediately melted with that alone, so Tarkan purposefully tried to sound grumpy.
“If. And this is really just if. If His Majesty is assassinated, who do you think is the culprit?”
At that unexpected question, Tarkan frowned and looked at Aristine.
Aristine did not shy away from his gaze.
She knew that after asking such a question, she might be suspected when Nephther was poisoned.
No, it wasn’t just a possibility. In reality, it was normal to grow suspicious.
‘With Tarkan, it’s fine.’
She believed in him that much.
Honestly, she was a little surprised to see Tarkan siding with her in the future. He trusted her even though he didn’t know the exact circumstances.
Even worse, he was Nephther’s son.
If Aristine was shocked when she heard that Nephther was dead, imagine Tarkan’s reaction. He couldn’t have been okay.
Despite that, he was more focused on protecting her.
“Why are you suddenly asking that?”
“Just cause. Since my business is back on track, I thought I should start turning my attention to politics?”
“Don’t worry about such nonsense.”
Tarkan pressed Aristine’s head with one hand.
He didn’t want her having such dark thoughts. He wanted her to only think of happy and bright things.
And he were to speak a little greedily…
‘Think about me too.’
Even though that thought was only in his mind, Tarkan felt embarrassed, and his ears turned red.
At the same time, he felt a little relieved.
He realized that it wasn’t the kiss that was making Aristine lost in thought.
He unconsciously touched the part where Aristine’s lips had touched.
As he was doing that, Aristine spoke and Tarkan immediately lowered his hand, feeling pricked for some reason.
(Aristine)“If someone says that I assassinated Royal Father, His Majesty, would you believe that?”
Tarkan looked into the purple eyes that were staring at him.
Her question was strange.
Her gaze on him was also strange.
Her purple eyes seemed to reflect nothing but at the same time, it was like it could see everything.
Tarkan didn’t know why she was asking such a question, but the answer was easy.
“Even if there’s solid evidence?”
Aristine momentarily fell silent.
A beat later, she asked in a slightly hoarse voice, “Why?”
“Because you wouldn’t do that.”
It was a very simple reason.
At the same time, it was a very complicated and difficult reason.
Aristine sucked in a breath.
Tarkan’s eyes, akin to the golden rays of the sun, were looking straight at her.
In the dim bedroom, it felt blinding to Aristine.
In that vast imperial palace where she was raised, no one had ever trusted her like this.
No one came forward for her even though she was persecuted by the Emperor and imprisoned.
No one ever asked to be arrested with her.
She thought that was how it was supposed to be.
Because everyone was living their own life.
Aristine lowered her head.
Haha, a dry laugh trickled from her lips.
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