A Trap (6)
T/N: A few mistakes were made last chapter. I confused gung-in(court lady) and gung-ui(royal doctor) and used them interchangeably. That mistake is now fixed! Please re-read now if last chapter was confusing in any way. Sorry!
“What did you say?”
The queen’s eyes flashed with shock. And the next moment, suspicion filled her eyes.
Dionna fully expected that reaction, so she wasn’t surprised and continued, “Although I wasn’t aware that the Silvanus maids were slandering Princess Consort Aristine, I once had a fairly close relationship with them.”
Even the Queen knew that Dionna had testified about the handmaids.
“There is something I heard from them back then. There is poison among the princess’s belongings.”
The moment Dionna finished speaking, shock flitted across the Queen and Hamill’s face.
“What you’re saying is…”
The Queen began, but shut her mouth, not saying anything else. She leveled an even calmer gaze at Dionna.
“I heard the poison was brought from Silvanus. Moreover, this poison is the type that can claim a life in one swoop.”
When the Queen remained silent, Dionna continued talking. Then she distressfully lowered her head.
“I am afraid to even speculate what designs she might have had to bring that poison to Irugo.”
The Queen opened her mouth, her voice sounding rather calm, “Is this true? If it is not, you will be sentenced to death for daring to deceive this Queen.”
“I am only telling you what I heard.”
“I am asking if you can take responsibility for those words.”
“I understand why Your Majesty doubts me.”
Dionna looked up at the Queen pleadingly.
“I have dedicated myself and my loyalty to His Highness Tarkan. I contemplated if it was even right to inform you about the Princess Consort.”
Dionna squeezed her eyes shut, like she was in pain.
“But when this happened, I couldn’t just remain silent without informing someone…my brother gave his life for Irugo.”
Dionna looked up at the Queen with her hand on her chest, appearing righteous and sincere. Although she felt tormented and fearful, her face showed the noble calling she felt towards suppressing her superior for the greater good.
“I want to be of help to this country too. The fundamental reason why I follow His Highness Tarkan is Irugo.”
The Queen stared at Dionna without saying a word. Soon, a smile appeared on her face.
“Your loyalty is admirable.”
“I’m ashamed by your consideration despite my shortcomings.”
The Queen’s lips twitched as she looked at Dionna, who was bowing her head pitifully.
It was ridiculous to see Dionna think she was clever even though the queen could clearly see through her.
From the moment that Dionna accused Aristine of being the culprit, it was clear that she was not acting out of pure loyalty.
Even the Queen knew that Dionna coveted the position of Princess Consort.
On the surface, she followed Tarkan with devotion and commitment but internally, she was swelling with greed.
‘I guess she’s under the illusion that the Princess Consort position will be hers when the princess is out of the picture.’
It was ridiculous.
Imagine how stupid you must be to delude yourself so greatly.
Then again, that same stupidity was why she was here, acting as an informant.
If Aristine was declared the culprit, Tarkan would not be safe either. Even if he had no connection, the queen would draw a connection, one way or the other, and make Tarkan an accomplice.
If it was difficult to make him an accomplice, she intended to completely bury him politically while his position was weakened.
Dionna didn’t seem stupid enough to not even anticipate that.
‘Or is it that she doesn’t care if it’s destroyed as long as it’s in her hands?’
The Queen gazed at Dionna, who was acting like the most righteous person in the world.
She wanted to burst into laughter.
She carefreely sympathized with Tarkan.
‘Well, it might be revenge too.’
Either way, it had nothing to do with the Queen. It didn’t matter whether Dionna was telling the truth or not.
If no poison was found after searing Aristine’s room, the fault would lie on Dionna’s head.
“This is so shocking to hear. I never thought the Princess Consort would…”
The Queen covered her mouth and exhaled heavily.
However, her lips, which were covered by her palm, curved in a dark arc.
‘There has never been a better opportunity.’
Honestly, the queen didn’t think that either Tarkan or Aristine were the culprit. Because there was no reason for them to do such a thing.
Nephther already favored Tarkan, but after Aristine’s arrival, that favor deepened.
Although she ordered them to return to their palace and self-isolate, she only did that with the intention of consolidating her political superiority.
However, Dionna’s interference made things interesting.
Even if the story about Aristine’s poison was made up, and Dionna takes advantage of the confusion to implement one, she was going to feign ignorance.
As long as there was poison, she planned to immediately accuse Aristine as the culprit.
Just as her queen intuition was telling her, Dionna really gave her a present.
‘As for the real culprit, we can always find them later.’
Right now was the time to capture a political opponent, rather than a culprit.
“I will order a search of the Princess Consort’s residence right away. I will not forget your loyalty, Lady Dionna.”
“I only wish to find the person who poisoned His Majesty.”
Dionna bowed deeply to the Queen as the Queen began to move.
It was only after the Queen walked past her that she slowly raised her head.
Her sea-blue eyes flashed like thunderclouds in a storm.
A smile blossomed from deep within her chest.
How could she not laugh when the Queen fell for her deception and moved as she wished?
However, the chuckle on Dionna’s face instantly hardened.
Hamill was looking at her.
“Your, Your Highness Hamill.”
Dionna hurriedly lowered her head. She thought he left with the Queen but apparently, he didn’t?
“So the Princess Consort has poison.”
Hamill’s voice was soft and gentle, like a spring breeze.
But a chill ran down Dionna’s spine, like a cold snake was tightening around her neck.
She thought Hamill would be pleased with the knowledge that could eradicate his political enemy, Aristine but why…
“I have only said what I heard.”
Hamill’s smile deepened at those words. His eyes moved to the Queen who was further away.
The Queen was giving the investigator an order. It was certainly a command to ransack Aristine’s residence.
It must be called to break away from Aristine’s place.
“This is really interesting.”
Dionna looked up at him.
She didn’t understand what he was talking about in this situation. Hamill smiled, not saying anything else and walked away.
Dionna stared blankly at his back and trembled.