< — Negotiation — > (1)
BOOK 7 BEGINS.
Hearing that Fabian had come to the residence, Lucia hurriedly came out of her bedroom. Her face was filled with worries and had become worn out in the span of a few days. Fabian and Lucia sat opposite to each other in the receiving room and Lucia urgently asked.
“Have you seen Sir. Krotin? Is he safe?”
‘Forget about safe, that guy is having such a blast. The punk has six lives, I’m telling you.’
“Yes. There is nothing wrong with him. The dungeon’s environment isn’t the best, but he is adapting decently.”
Lucia heaved a sigh of relief. When Princess Katherine named Roy as the murderer that day, Lucia was more relieved than surprised. Hearing that he was the assailant and not the victim, meant that Roy was safe, at least.
“What will happen to Sir. Krotin?”
Lucia didn’t know the specific details of the incident apart from the fact that Roy had killed David and the Countess of Falcon.
Later, she heard that the handmaid who had sprayed something strange on her face, was the Countess of Falcon who had changed her appearance with a magical tool. The maid whom she had gone into the break room with, did not come back with her. Lucia could only guess that something bad had happened to her.
There were six people’s death that were connected to Roy, but out of those, the death of the two women in the bathroom and the two knights, were only known to those involved in the investigation.
In particular, the two women were found poisoned, and the poison was discovered on the deceased Countess, so Roy had not yet been directly associated with the death of those two. The rumors spreading throughout the social circle was that Roy had killed both David and Anita.
“It is still being investigated.”
“If they conclude that Sir. Krotin committed murder, he will be sentenced to death. He killed none other than the eldest son of the Duke.”
“…That is correct, but-”
“I will go to the palace and bear witness. If I explain the situation at the time…”
“You cannot do that, Milady.”
Jerome and Fabian said at the same time.
“You have to understand why Sir. Krotin has kept his mouth shut this entire time without even pleading his case. If Milady steps forward, you will become an involved party in this incident.”
The death of the Duchess’ maid was not known publicly. Roy was the Duchess’ escort, but because he had been doing crazy things for a while now, people were surprised but they accepted it as possible.
Nobody linked the Duchess to this incident. In addition, Princess Katherine had testified that the Duchess was with her at the time of the incident. Thanks to that, Lucia was excluded from the case.
The Duchess staying inside the mansion, within the iron-clad security and not coming out at all, was in accordance with her nature as she didn’t like to socialize much, so there wasn’t anyone who thought it was weird.
Many of the noblewomen who had witnessed someone die in front of them that day, had fainted and had to be carried away. People understood that the vicious act of her own guard escort would have given the Duchess a huge shock.
Fabian judged that as long as Roy kept his mouth shut, no matter how thoroughly they investigated, it was impossible for them to implicate the Duchess because Roy had gotten rid of all the people involved.
‘He is a crazy dude, but the guy’s method really took care of everything neatly.’
In Fabian’s mind, Roy had gone to this extent, but if the Duchess had stepped forward and flipped everything over, the day that his lord returned, would be the day of his funeral.
‘I want to live long, Milady. I want to live very long.’
“Milady, I understand you’re frustrated, but please wait until the lord returns. I sent an urgent message and got a reply that he’s already on his way.”
“So I have to stay just like this? What do I do if Sir. Krotin is executed in the meantime? The Duke of Ramis will not stay still.”
“That sort of thing will never happen, so please relax your worries.”
The King held goodwill towards Roy. Roy had saved his life quite a few times when he was the Crown Prince. The King would definitely not start the investigation and would drag things out the time until the Duke of Taran returned.
Even for political benefit, the work planned for the future with the Duke of Taran, who was in the prime of his youth, was much longer than that of the Duke of Ramis, who was in his twilight years.
“To think a good man like Sir. Krotin was caught up in this kind of situation because he was trying to help me. There’s no way Sir. Krotin had planned to kill someone. Sir. Krotin must have judged that the Count of Ramis would hurt me and handled it excessively, causing this incident to happen.”
Lucia’s eyes reddened, and tears welled up in her eyes. She took the handkerchief that Jerome quickly handed to her from the side and dabbed her eyes.
Fabian smacked his lips with a weird expression. He was frustrated because he couldn’t say that that guy was actually nuts.
‘It seems that punk made a fairly good impression on the Madam.’
“The specific details will be released when my lord returns. Although Milady has roughly told me about the circumstances at the time, it is still difficult to judge the exact situation since Sir. Krotin has kept his mouth shut. I ask that you please wait in the meantime, even if it’s frustrating.”
“…Okay. It looks like there is nothing I can do.”
“The most important thing is for Milady to be alright.”
Fabian hurled curses upon curses at Roy, but a part of him thought that Roy did well. Imagining a situation where a group of those talkative noblewomen saw the Count of Ramis and the Duchess, together alone in an enclosed space, Fabian seriously broke out in cold sweat.
A scandal surrounding the Duchess would rock the high society, and it wouldn’t be a matter of merely dying once or twice in his lord’s hands when he returned. Roy had taken six lives and save another life.
* * *
Hugo entrusted Callis with full authority and immediately left for the capital. He changed horses at intervals and dashed at maximum speed without rest. It took him a whole five days to get to the gate because he was at initially the northernmost distant point from the gate.
Upon arriving at the capital’s gate, Hugo urged his horse again and raced to the mansion. Because of a horse galloping on the complex roads, carriages had to stop moving and streets became crowded. The knights following a distance behind the Duke had to sort things out so that it wouldn’t lead to a big accident.
The horse arrived just in front of the mansion and Hugo jumped down from the horse then quickly entered into the mansion. A servant ran to inform the butler that their master was back. By the time Jerome came out of his office in a haste, he was only able to see the back of his master, who was already on the second floor.
T/N: My bad, comments are open now.