< — Negotiation — > (2)
The solitary cell of the castle dungeon was designed with a dual structure. When you entered through the stone gates, there was a room made of stone walls and a wall built with bars to confine the prisoner to another room. Even if the prisoner was able to somehow get out from behind the bars, they would have to deal with the knights guarding the stone gates outside. It was a prison made for holding dangerous criminals.
Although Roy was indeed a dangerous character, the reason why Kwiz put him in the solitary cell was to prevent people from having access to him. There was a possibility of Duke Ramis trying to assassinate the prisoner in order to get revenge.
Roy was lying on the stone floor, using his arm as a pillow, and when he saw the man coming through the stone gate, he rose to his feet. The stone gate closed, leaving only the two of them inside.
“Are you hurt anywhere?” (Hugo)
“I am fine.” (Roy)
Roy bashfully scratched his head. He didn’t expect his lord’s first question to be asking about his well-being.
“I heard you told Fabian about the situation at the time. Is there anything you haven’t said?”
“No, there isn’t. You really came fast, my lord. I thought you would take longer.”
Perhaps that Roy thought he might die before his lord came back.
“Will I die?”
Roy calmly asked, as if he wasn’t talking about himself. He knew that killing David would not be an ordinary issue. When he broke the bastard’s neck, he was already prepared to die.
Killing Anita was not his initial intention. But as soon as he saw the handmaid entering the break room, he decided to kill her.
Roy’s decision was the right one. If Anita was left alive and caught, she would have slandered the Duchess with all sorts of lies. Lucia would then be inevitably tied in as one of the parties involved and would have been at the center of all kinds of speculation and rumors.
“You won’t die.”
Hugo thought for a moment before saying.
“If you want to keep your neck, you have to throw away your honor. Is your honor more important than your life?”
“I’ve never had such a thing.”
“Then that’s fine. Hang in there a little longer.”
Hugo looked at Roy for a moment, then he threw out a brief sentence.
“You did well.”
Roy laughed playfully and called out, stopping Hugo who was turning around.
“With this, have I repaid your favor?”
A ray of light flashed through Hugo’s eyes.
Looking at Roy who was grinning widely, Hugo gave a faint smile.
“You’ll be owing me your life again, so it is far from repaid.” (Hugo)
“Wha— Wow, how did I end up like this? I should have run away when I realized you were a swindler.” (Roy)
Hugo left the solitary cell, listening to Roy’s lamentful mutterings behind him. And when he got out of the dungeon, he called Fabian and secretly ordered him.
“Find a prisoner on death row. One with a similar physique and hair color to Roy. The physique has the first priority.”
Fabian’s eyes shone brightly. He bowed his head in reply and moved quickly. Hugo looked at the Fabian’s receding back in the distance, then he turned his gaze to the Inner Palace that was some distance away. Now, it was time to negotiate with the king.
* * *
Katherine dropped by the Queen’s palace.
“How is Her Royal Highness doing?”
“Her Highness is lying in bed. She cannot even eat at all.”
The handmaid replied with a cloudy look on her face. Katherine gave a small sigh before entering the queen’s bedroom.
Beth was greatly shocked by the terrible death of her younger brother and had been bedridden for several days. The palace people were afraid that something might go wrong with the fetus during the mourning period, so they were diligently running up and down.
“You have to recover your strength. You are expecting a child.”
Katherine took Beth’s hand and comforted her. Beth looked spiritless as she gave a weak smile.
“I didn’t do much for my brother. I only said objectionable words every time we met.”
Beth didn’t know that her younger brother would leave so suddenly. He wasn’t a brother that she was entirely satisfied with, but he was still her only blood brother. She nagged at him every time they met because she wanted him to turn out well. After her brother died, she was only filled with regret that she didn’t ever tell him that he did well, at least once.
Her father was someone who held the family as more important than his son, and her husband didn’t seem to care very much about his brother-in-law’s death. There was no one that was sincerely hurt about her brother’s death, so Beth was even more heartbroken.
“Sir. Krotin is someone that I’m also well-acquainted with. I know he has saved His Majesty’s life many times too. But why then, would he do this? Why would he do that to my brother?” (Beth)
“The truth will be revealed. There will be conclusion, some way or another. His Majesty is also very worried because Your Royal Highness has been so down.” (Katherine)
As Katherine comforted Beth, she recalled the night of the incident. When she heard that the King was urgently looking for her, Katherine had hurried to the Inner Palace. On her way to see the king, she happened to meet Kwiz, who was about to go to a meeting, in the hallway.
“The party is still going on, what are you doing here?”
As soon as Katherine heard the king’s words, she thought something was strange.
“You seem to be busy, Your Majesty. It is not an urgent matter, so I will tell you later.”
She angrily promised to track down whoever dared to forge a royal command and make them pay dearly for their sins. And after returning to the party venue, the incident happened right away.
Katherine testified that she came back from the Inner Palace and had been with the Duchess during the time that she was absent from the party. That is to say that the Duchess was never alone by herself during the party.
‘Falcon. I knew that poisonous bitch would do something one day. You dare to turn my break room into such a sight?’
Katherine did not know the real truth of the incident. It was handled with secrecy and her elder brother refused to tell her the specific details. However, there was some parts of it that Katherine could guess.
There was no doubt that Countess of Falcon tried to do something bad to the Duchess and things fell through.
‘That foolish wench must have had lingering feelings for the Duke of Taran. Doesn’t even know her place.’
She could sense the feeling of a woman who had once like the Duke of Taran alone. Although she was dead, Katherine didn’t want Anita’s little schemes to result in anything, so she had actively pulled the Duchess out of the picture. Due to this, it was not known that Anita had impersonated the royal command and sent Katherine to the Inner Palace.
If Kwiz knew this, the investigation of the incident would have proceeded in a slightly different direction. The only people that used the private break room were Princess Katherine and the Duchess of Taran. With this information, they could come to the conclusion that since Katherine was sent away, the person being conspired against was the Duchess of Taran. However, since that possibility was blocked, the case had fallen into a fog.
 He says he has never had such a shell. A shell meaning an outward covering/appearance.
 In Chapter 99.2 backstory, Hugo saved Roy when they were young, and Roy promises to repay the favor. That’s what this is referring to. Hugo thought that Roy didn’t remember what happened when they were young, but this proves otherwise.
 Also refers to 99.2.