Episode 30: A Man’s Jealousy(6)
[Your Majesty! Call a royal physician…!]
Everyone was shocked and rushed towards Nephther.
The angle of the Monarch’s Sight changed, showing only the areas around Nephther.
Nephther’s face was pale and cold sweat dripped down his forehead. He groaned silently while clutching his stomach.
Something was definitely off.
Although Nephther said that he had an upset stomach, his condition was not this bad until a second ago.
So how could it get so bad in the blink of an eye?
His face had turned blue and he was so breathing roughly that it looked like he was about to stop breathing at any moment.
[Check everything His Majesty ate!]
The queen coldly ordered with a hardened expression.
Hearing that, Yenikarina sucked in a sharp breath and covered her mouth with her hands.
[Is it poison…?]
At those words, everyone in the dining hall turned pale.
Poisoning of the King was an unprecedented situation.
All the food prepared for this dinner had been tested beforehand. To be able to poison the food afterwards meant that the culprit knew the internal affairs of the palace and was well-trusted.
While the eyes of the royals were riddled with shock, the servants and court ladies had already began to prostrate themselves on the floor.
[Calm down for now. We will know for certain when a royal physician arrives.]
[Princess Paellamien is right. After the royal physician confirms….]
Aristine didn’t continue further.
Nephther’s body, which had been pushing against the floor, fully collapsed. And Nephther’s unconscious face was as pale as a corpse.
* * *
Hearing her name being called, Aristine slowly blinked.
Slowly, she returned back to reality.
Once Nephther lost consciousness, the water surface flickered then it went still.
Nothing was shown anymore.
Tarkan pulled her by the shoulder.
It was strange to see her get up for dinner then suddenly turn to the water basin with a serious look on her face.
Aristine smiled like everything was fine.
“Ah, it’s nothing.”
But Tarkan’s expression only got worse.
“It can’t be nothing.”
At those words, Aristine’s eyes widened, and she smiled softly.
“Mn, it’s not nothing, but it’s fine.”
Aristine placed her forehead on Tarkan’s arm.
Tarkan reflexively stiffened. This was the first time that Aristine had taken the initiative to lean on him like this.
Aristine stayed like that for a while, with her eyes closed.
She liked the feeling of support. The sense that she was not alone.
Tarkan hesitated for a moment then tried to cup her cheek but Aristine abruptly raised her head.
“Alright, let’s go eat!”
Aristine noticed Tarkan’s hand hovering in the air and tilted her head.
“What is it?”
The two headed to the dining room for dinner.
Aristine ate what Tarkan fed her—she was quite used to it at this point—while contemplating on the scenes she saw in the Monarch’s Sight.
Nephther’s death drew closer everyday so it was a blessing to see the future involved.
Aristine reassured herself that she could change the future.
After dinner, Aristine locked herself in the room to organize the sequence of events.
1. Hamill returns to the palace.
2. Luncheon with the immediate royal family (early fall, expect to be within a week or two)
3. At the end of the luncheon, His Majesty collapses.
4. Tarkan and I return to the bedroom and stay together.
5. His Majesty passes away.
6. I am accused as the culprit behind the poisoning.
6-1. Evidence suggests that poison was found in my belongings.
Aristine stared intently at #4.
She was wondering why she was acting that way with Tarkan, but it must have been because Nephther was on his deathbed, and she was agitated.
‘So I wasn’t drunk.’
Thanks to her needlessly good memory, she could vividly recall the scene of herself laying on Tarkan.
Aristine tried to scatter those thoughts and focused on something else.
‘I wonder when this poison is discovered.’
A normal guess would say it was found in the search between #3 and #6.
However, if the poisoning was planned beforehand, it would have already been found before then, pointing to Aristine as the culprit.
Aristine glanced at her locked drawer.
‘No one has touched it yet.’
After seeing that scene in the Monarch’s Sight today, she was now certain of something.
‘They didn’t even use my poison in the first place.’
Nephther showed signs of congestion and collapsed, like his internal organs had been paralyzed. That was very different from the symptoms of the poison that the emperor gave her.
‘He said ingesting it would twist your bowels, make you vomit and die as your skin turns black.’
Even if Aristine was accused of poisoning Nephther, it would have been revealed soon enough that it wasn’t her due to the differences in the poisons.
‘Well, that would be the case if they are truly seeking the truth. If the truth is covered with power, I’d have no option but to be executed.’
Aristine tapped her mouth with the tip of her fountain pen.
‘I’ve made preparations for this. I’ll know once I see who gets caught in the net.’
The question now, was whether Nephther was really poisoned.
‘Tarkan said that there shouldn’t be anyone who would poison the king.’
And when Nephther fell, the reaction of the royals was natural.
If any of them were the culprit, then they were great actors.
‘Acting is a must in politics.’
Aristine divided the possibilities into two and wrote down her predictions and countermeasures.
In case it is poison:
– The culprit uses a poison that’s different from what I have.
– Appears to be a form of paralytic poison. (Acts on internal organs)
– Initial symptoms are abdominal pain due to indigestion. Look into poisons with such symptoms.
– Time that poison was administered seems to be at the very beginning of the luncheon or before.
The Monarch’s Sight began just as the luncheon began.
Nephther’s complexion was already poor by then so he must have already felt symptoms of indigestion. Nephther had a strong tendency to hide his health condition, so he must have tried to pretend that nothing was wrong by proceeding with the luncheon.
‘If I figure out the type of poison, I can estimate when it was administered.’
It might vary depending on the usage and dose, but there were two conditions: it had to be unnoticeable and the target cannot collapse immediately after taking it. This brought limitations.
If she focused on that aspect and got Tarkan to help her, she would be able to prevent the poison itself.
‘Of course, it’s going to be very hard to figure out what poison was used.’
After all, it was indigestion.
That was a very common symptom.
However, there weren’t many poisons that was colorless and odorless, and could cause death in small amounts.
Aristine spun her fountain pen and wrote the remaining possibilities on the paper.
In case it is not poison:
– Check His Majesty’s chronic illness and current health status.
– Some unknown force hid His Majesty’s real cause of death and used the opportunity to frame me as a poisoner.
After writing up to that point, the fountain pen, which had been sliding endlessly on the paper, came to a sudden stop.
The ink smeared, creating a black stain on the paper.
It mirrored her feelings.
‘If his death is from an illness, won’t it be impossible to prevent even if I know?’
Because that thought arose in her mind.
A royal physician took care of Nephther’s health every day.
One would hope it was curable disease, but if it was, this wouldn’t be an issue in the first place.
Aristine put down her fountain pen and burned the paper on the scented candle.
Even so, she couldn’t give up.
The moment she thought that, something flashed through Aristine’s mind.
Aristine sprang to her feet.
With her sudden movement, thousands of burnt paper pieces were scattered.
But she didn’t have time to worry about that.
‘If I remember correctly—.’
There was something from her previous life that just occurred to her. Aristine hurriedly pushed the flowers in the water basin aside and activated the Monarch’s Sight.
The image of her previous life’s self that she wished to see, appeared on the water surface.
‘I knew it!’
After checking the information that she wanted, Aristine sat down.
Her heart was pounding. Contrarily, her head was cooling down.
More than any other time, Aristine vehemently pondered over the incident.
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