Jonathan, who was watching his master, said quietly.
“Your Majesty. The body we found in the woods that day also had brown hair.”
“Yes. But Princess Sabriel also had brown hair.”
The same goes for Herietta MacKenzie, who was found in that place that day.
Two women left, and two women were found. But one of them was someone that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. That meant that the one that should have been there originally disappeared halfway through.
Perhaps they changed in the middle. Or they didn’t exist at all.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Is it possible that the time when Herietta Mackenzie was known to have gone missing from Philioche coincided with the time when Princess Sabriel appeared and was recognized as the daughter of the king?”
With Bernard’s meaningful question, Jonathan’s expression stiffened. He couldn’t answer right away, and only looked at his master’s face. He didn’t know what Bernard was doubting right now. Because Jonathan was also looking into this, the same question came to his mind.
But that couldn’t be true. It shouldn’t have been true. No matter how stupid the king of Brimdel was, he would not have dared to cheat the Velicia royal family.
“Sir Jonathan. The answer?”
As there was no reply for a long time, Bernard urged. Jonathan licked his dry lips and answered reluctantly.
“…… It coincides.”
Even after hearing Jonathan’s answer, Bernard didn’t show the slightest surprise. Rather, whether he had already expected it, he had a very calm look. He leaned his back to his chair, clasping his hands.
“Things are going to be a lot more interesting than I thought.”
He spoke calmly, but Bernard’s eyes were glaring. Jonathan was unfamiliar with the energy emanating from Bernart. Jonathan bowed his head towards him.
“If Your Highness grants permission, I will investigate this matter in more detail and report back.”
“Yes. In particular, focus on Princess Sabriel’s past.”
“I will do as you have ordered.”
After saluting Bernard, Jonathan left the study.
* * *
Herietta was standing alone on the wide field. It was a sunny day with the sun shining brightly. The wind that touched her skin was cool and soft.
‘Where am I?’
Seeing the unfamiliar scenery, Herietta tilted her head. It was as if she had lost her way, and yet as if she had not too. It was a strange feeling that cannot be easily described in words.
“Herietta. Did you come back after going out again?”
Someone spoke from behind the bewildered Herietta. It was a very familiar voice to her. She looked back. A few steps away from her, her father, Baodor, stood with his hands on his back.
“You’re being unreasonable. If your mother finds out, she’ll scold you, so go to your room quickly. I’ll pretend I didn’t see you.”
Tsk, tsk, he was clicking his tongue at Herietta but his eyes looking at her were soft and sweet. He pretended to scold Herietta in front of his wife when Herietta came back after an accident. Then, behind her mother’s back, he would take care of her and help her secretly.
“Herietta. My dear daughter.”
A voice came from another direction. Turning her head, this time her mother, Rose, was standing there.
“Sometimes when I see you, it feels like I’m looking at my childhood.”
Contrary to her rather strict appearance, Rose’s face as she looked at Herietta had a kind smile. Rose looked at her daughter with eyes full of infinite affection.
When did you get so big? It seems like it was just yesterday that you, who was this short, went about every day and had accidents.
This time, a young voice came from right next to her. Hugo, whose face looked somewhat annoyed, was looking at her with his arms crossed.
“Didn’t you promise to take me with you this time?”
He protested loudly.
“I am no longer a child who knows nothing. I can’t be sure that the hunt will be successful, but I’m confident that it will help Sister.”
As if to support his argument, Hugo stretched his body and tried to force himself to look taller. Contrary to his old-fashioned tone of voice, his actions were still quite young. The warm, cozy feeling that tickles her heart. Herietta looked at him and smiled.
‘Yes. Let’s go together this time.’
Herietta, who had made that promise, was about to reach out her hand to Hugo. A cloud of smoke came from somewhere like a mist. It grew darker and then it completely obscured her vision.
What happened? While Herietta, startled by the sudden change, was bewildered, the mist slowly began to clear. By the time the mist had completely disappeared and her vision was clear again, Herietta realized that the landscape around her had completely changed.
She was no longer standing on the field. She was standing in a room surrounded by walls on all sides. It looked like it was still daytime outside, but it was dark from the window with the curtains drawn.
Herietta rolled her eyes and looked around. A small desk and chair attached to the wall. A bookshelf full of colorful books. A simple bed placed across from it. Even the blue carpet on the floor.
It was a very familiar place to Herietta.
She was puzzled by how she ended up here, but there was a rustling somewhere and a sign of presence. She inadvertently turned to the side of the sound and saw a boy standing there. He was still a young boy, about an inch taller than her. For some reason he was hunched over and he grabbed his stomach with both hands.
The boy, who had been trembling in fear, raised his head and looked at Herietta. The tear-soaked eyes fluttered uncontrollably.
“Sister. I want to live.”
The boy, Hugo, begged.
“I don’t want to die.”
As he spoke his last words, he slowly lowered his hand, which was holding his stomach. A sharp piece of metal was sticking out of the abdomen, which was supposed to be flat. It didn’t take long for her to realize that it was a blade that pierced his body. The white clothes he was wearing started getting redder, and then a thick pool of blood began to form on the floor.
Herrietta screamed as her face turned blue. She hurriedly reached for her hand towards Hugo. But no matter how much she reached out, she couldn’t reach him.
“Hugo! Hugo! NO! HUGO!”
Herietta shouted madly. Hugo looked down at his stomach and raised his head to look at Herietta. His face was contorted into a mess.
His eyes and nose. And red blood gushed out from between his lips. At that terrible sight, Herietta covered her face with her hands and kept screaming.
The blood that Hugo shed rose and turned into a hot flame. Whoosh, whoosh. With the sound of burning, the flames grew out of control. Hugo’s surroundings turned into a sea of fire in an instant. Hugo was nowhere to be seen.
The fire flapped its tongue and swallowed everything around it, and the burning flames began to approach Herietta. Bright flames flashed over her terrified face. Her breathing was suffocating and her skin was burning.
She needs to get out of here quickly, but her body doesn’t move like her will. No. It felt like someone grabbed her leg and wouldn’t let her go.
[Herietta. It’s all your fault.]
In the scorching flames, Baodor and Rose’s bitter voices were heard.
[It is because of you that we all met such tragic deaths.]
As soon as those words fell upon her, the flames blazed up to the ceiling in anger. And hot tears flowed nonstop from Herietta’s eyes as she watched the scene.
Guilt, fear, sadness, sorry, and countless other emotions were entangled in her breathing. She couldn’t move. As they said, it was all her fault. It was not them that had to get burned, but her.
Before long, the raging fire came over her.
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Comments for chapter "Chapter 77"
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