“I was out of my mind then.”
It was a moment when she desperately needed the man’s help. At the most, she couldn’t throw away the opportunity that was given to her. Without further ado, Herietta lowered herself in front of him.
“Knight. I have a message that I must convey to Brimdel right now.”
“Wait a minute. You are going too far.”
The man slightly raised his hand and cut off Herietta’s words.
“Isn’t it a bit too much to start talking about what you want as soon as we meet?”
“…… I told you. It’s really urgent.”
“Even so. There will be time to explain.”
Even with Herietta’s excuses, the man did not fall for it. Herietta had a stern face. She could not have looked at the situation with such ease. It was a feeling that every second was a waste.
But still she kept her silence. No matter how she felt, in the end she had no choice but to obey the man. In the current situation, she’s the one who will regret it. And because it was the man who took the initiative in things.
A satisfied smile spread across the man’s face, confirming that Herietta had implicitly agreed with him. He opened his mouth
“So what is your name?”
“What are you so vigilant about? Just because I know your name doesn’t mean I’m going to eat you.”
Herietta kept her mouth shut like a clam, the man urged.
“Is there any reason why you shouldn’t give me your name?”
The man’s eyes narrowed in the silence that continued. Suspicion began to form in his eyes.
At that moment, Herietta was experiencing a serious internal conflict. She hoped her choice would be right. Hundreds of thoughts rushed in all at once and confused her. It was as if her future was decided by the words she said next.
After hesitating, she parted her lips. Thump thump. Her heart was beating so hard that only she, she herself could know.
A second felt like a year.
A familiar yet unfamiliar name came out. The conscience she had buried deep in her chest stinged. At the same time, the face of the woman who was bleeding and dying in front of her flashed before her eyes.
“Who is Janice Dolmoran?”
The man narrowed his brow.
“Others say that you introduced yourself as Herietta?”
At the man’s words, Herietta took a short breath. She remembered telling her real name to the maid who asked her what her name was.
‘As expected, rumors spread quickly.’
“Herietta is my middle name.”
It was something she was prepared for anyway. Herietta tried not to show surprise as much as possible, and she answered calmly.
“My full name is Janice, but since I was little, I was called more by my middle name, Herietta. That’s why I’m more familiar with the name Herietta than Janice.”
The man’s eyes looked at Herietta. With an expression like that, she can’t tell what’s inside him.
‘Did you notice?’
She was afraid that her lie might have been exposed. But, like the water that had already flowed between her fingers, she couldn’t pick up the words that came out of her mouth and put them back.
It was already too late to turn around. So, she had to keep going to the end. Herietta hid her anxiety and waited for his next words. Her mouth was dry from the tension.
“I know a few of them too. Those who prefer to be called by their middle name rather than the real name.”
After a time that felt like eternity passed, the man opened his mouth.
“Then let me call you Herietta instead of Janice from now on.”
Maybe it was because of the casual acting? Fortunately, he no longer questioned her. Herietta secretly breathed a sigh of relief into her.
“Then I will ask. Herietta, whose name is Janice.”
In an instant, the mood changed.
“What happened to you the day the Brimdel delegation was attacked in the forest?”
Leaving the capital of Brimdel to reach the border crossing between the two countries. Due to the unexpected absence of the Velicia delegation, they decided to head to a nearby village. And encountering bandits who appeared in an unknown forest as if waiting for them.
Herietta told the man about the things she remembered. Of course, she didn’t forget to adapt the story as seen from the point of view of the maid, not Brimdel’s princess. As she spoke, the man did not say a word and listened quietly. Occasionally, as if there was something he didn’t like, and he frowned.
But nevertheless, he never interrupted until the end of her story.
“Something…… It seems that there are a lot of things that are not clear.”
Only after Herietta had completely finished her story did the man mutter slowly.
“To be clear, it was Brimdel’s side, not Velicia, who didn’t show up at the promised place. I followed the trail later and it looked like they had passed quite a distance from the meeting point.”
“Unless the person in charge of the delegation’s guide is a novice, there is no way they could have found the wrong place. Besides, a knight with a certain amount of experience would have been able to find that level of terrain with a rough guess.”
Herietta shut her mouth at the man’s words.
She knew he wasn’t wrong. The guide who was in charge of guiding their way was by no means a novice, and the knight who commanded the escort was also a person of some skill.
However, the position given to the guide was wrong from the beginning, and the knight knew that fact, but silently led them into the depths of the trap.
Knowing all that, Herietta kept her silence.
“If you were the maid who followed the princess.”
He turned her attention back to Herietta.
“In other words, the princess…….”
Herietta took a break, swallowing a gulp. Then she looked straight into the man’s eyes.
“She lost her life at the hands of bandits that day.”
Her words, which felt heavier than iron balls, left her. With this she crossed the river of no return. The princess, who did not even exist in Brimdel from the beginning, met her death at this moment.
She was afraid. But at the same time, she felt a sense of relief.
Herietta felt the shackles that bound her shatter to pieces. The ties between the past and the present were broken, forcing her to become the person she never wanted to be.
So she threw off the bridle that had been forcibly placed on her. Then she proclaimed the freedom that only she alone could know and enjoy.
“She lost her life.”
The man muttered as if talking to himself.
“On that day, only two women were found at the scene. You and a corpse. Two, You were in a state of unconsciousness, and it was difficult to recognize the impression of the body as the face was damaged a lot. I tried to check the belongings of you and her, but there was nothing that could clearly prove their identity.”
“I wasn’t sure. Which one is the princess, and which one is the maid who followed her to take care of her?”
“I was the only maid who followed the princess. I have witnessed her slaughter with my own eyes.”
Herietta spoke quietly, but firmly.
“I’m sorry, but the body that you found that day must be the princess.”
Then she took a break, and added.
As if she didn’t want to leave any more room for controversy. The fact that the princess apparently had crossed the river of death, she wanted to nail it that way.
The man looked at Herietta.
“It’s unfortunate. Also for Brimdel. Also to Velicia.”
It sounded like a sigh, but his expression wasn’t very emotional. Indifferent eyes and tone of voice. Besides, he seemed a bit sloppy. When she heard the news that her neighbor’s dog had died, perhaps she would be more emotional than he was now.
“We will surely find the group that attacked the delegation that day. If they dare put royal blood on their hands, I will tell them clearly what words await them.”
For a brief moment, a spark of anger flashed over his indifferent face. It wasn’t for his fiancee, who had died without ever meeting. It was directed towards a terrifying crowd who did not know their place and rebelled against the noble lineage.
Soon, the man got up from the seat.
“You must be very tired, so let’s stop here for today. Instead, tomorrow, I’ll send someone. All you have to do is report back to him the same things you told me today. Do you understand?”
“Then the message to send to Brimdel is…… ?”
Herietta asked, hesitating. The man replied as if it didn’t matter.
“You don’t have to worry about that. We have already delivered the news of the raid to the Brimdel family, and I will send a letter to inform them that you have survived the attack.”
“Oh, you can’t do that!”
Herietta, startled by the man’s words, shouted urgently. The man frowned.
Herietta did not readily answer, and her words stuttered.
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Comments for chapter "Chapter 68"
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