A Trap (9)
Aristine stepped out of Tarkan’s embrace and gave a smile, “You said you found poison among my belongings? That might be enough to ignite suspicion, but it does not mean that I am the culprit.”
Aristine’s tone was neither fast nor slow.
Without a hint of agitation, she calmly pointed out the facts with precise enunciation.
“But since you arrived, you have continuously declared that I am a criminal. Are you trying to make this Princess Consort a criminal regardless of whether or not I have actually committed the crime?”
“T-That is absolutely not true!”
The captain waved his hands with fright.
Aristine’s insinuation was too big for him to handle. He was just acting as the Queen ordered.
The captain licked his dry lips, feeling rattled.
The attitude of the soldiers who were treating Aristine as a criminal instantly changed.
Seeing that his tone had become more polite, Aristine smiled widely.
Sure enough, this kind of incitement was effective. Next, it was time to let them understand their situation.
“Of course, with the severity of this matter, you must be overwhelmed with the desire to catch this poisonous criminal. I will understand this as an act brought about by loyalty towards His Majesty.”
The captain looked at Aristine with disbelief.
He thought she would certainly try to punish them.
Even if she had no real intention to punish them and it was impossible for her to do so, it would be difficult to apprehend her if she went on a rampage.
But her attitude was saying a different thing. He couldn’t tell what it meant.
“As the Princess Consort, I have a clear conscience. But if poison has been found among my belongings, I will accept an investigation.”
She was even agreeing to cooperate with the investigation.
The captain was taken aback, let alone the other soldiers.
They had never experienced this before.
It was common for people to rage at them, asking ‘how dare you?’, or flip everything upside down, screaming about their innocence. If not that, then they would be scared about being arrested.
Until Aristine pointed out earlier that he was concluding she was the criminal, he thought that it wouldn’t be easy to take the Princess Consort away.
“I will proudly participate in this investigation and wash away this disgraceful suspicion with dignity.
As Aristine spoke, she gave off an air of noble majesty.
“Show me the way.”
At her words, the soldiers turned to go to the arrest location.
The soldiers leading the path for Aristine looked no different from escort knights.
Tarkan grabbed Aristine’s arm as she moved to follow them.
He wanted to say, ‘I’ll go with you,’ but he couldn’t bring himself to open his mouth because he was afraid that she would say, ‘Why would you?’.
If she drew another line that said she ought to solve everything alone—.
While he was thinking that, Aristine grinned and placed her other hand on his hand which was holding her arm.
“Aren’t you coming? My accomplice husband.”
At those words, Tarkan’s eyes shook. Soon, he burst into laughter.
He had never been a criminal before and had no intention of becoming one but…
‘This once isn’t bad.’
Like that, the two of them were arrested(?) together by the soldiers.
* * *
The queen frowned when she saw Aristine entering the hall.
She asked them to apprehend her so why was the woman being escorted?
Aristine walked up to the queen confidently with dozens of soldiers trailing behind her.
The queen intended to lower Aristine’s prestige by letting people see Aristine being dragged away so seeing this scene, she was upset.
However, her expression showed no hint of this as she held her head high and called Aristine.
“Your Majesty the Queen.”
Aristine bowed her head in an elegant pose as always. She hardly looked like someone being accused of poisoning.
Aristine lifted her head and smiled softly.
It was obvious why there were so many people in the hall.
The Queen was deliberately staging a scene to publicize the events of her interrogation.
As Aristine scanned the room, she noticed someone who wasn’t supposed to be there.
The realization struck her like lightning.
‘So it’s you.’
The person who accused her of poisoning by claiming that she had poison with her.
Dionna was looking in Aristine’s direction with worry on her face while her hands were tightly clasped together. However, her eyes were filled with the thrill of victory.
Everyone in the room was watching Aristine.
However, Aristine could feel a particularly tenacious gaze among them.
It was Hamill.
Aristine deliberately didn’t even glance in his direction. She didn’t want to see him at all.
Right then, the Queen took a step forward and opened her mouth, “Princess Consort, you know what crime you have committed.”
“How can I possibly know if I am innocent?” Aristine replied calmly.
“Hah,” the Queen scoffed in disbelief, “What? Innocent?”
“Yes, that is correct.”
“You are shameless, as well. How dare you.”
The Queen glared at Aristine with anger on her face. But inside, she was filled with delight.
The more Aristine insisted on her innocence, the better.
If she whined that she was falsely accused and cried till she was shaking, she might end up invoking public sympathy.
The Queen deliberately looked around and snorted loudly. Then she threw a glass vial in front of Aristine.
The magic-enchanted glass vial didn’t even break from the impact but rolled down the marble floor.
“Can you still say that after seeing this?”
Aristine swallowed her words as she gazed at the glass vial that rolled before her.
It was the very same glass vial that she was given by the Emperor and brought from Silvanus.
“Do not even attempt to deny knowledge of this. The investigators found this in your residence.”
The Queen wondered if this poison really belonged to Aristine, or if Dionna had secretly planted it there.
‘Well, either way, she’s going to say she doesn’t know it and that she’s being wronged.’
However, Aristine’s response was different than she expected.
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