Calin walked out of the dining hall while coughing softly.
At that sound, Yan, who was following him, flinched. Although Yan may not be the brightest person, he knew that those coughs weren’t because of a cold.
“I have waited until today, as I promised. If tomorrow’s tea contains poison, I will not be your servant anymore.”
“Will you resolve this situation yourself?”
“Yes, your highness,”
If Yan tried to resolve the situation, Duke Siegfried would have to put down his violin bow and get an actual bow. But it wasn’t something to worry about, because he knew Slayman was someone who could handle it.
“I’m not joking your highness,”
“I know, and I wasn’t lying either,”
Calian said those words and he meant it. He then stepped into the dining hall.
Randell, who was already in the dining hall and eating, stared at Calian for a long time because Calian was much paler than yesterday. Of course, Calian knew why Randell was staring at him, but he started eating without any word.
Calian got himself some salad and after he was done eating, put down his fork. Randell also got up at the same time. Calian spoke.
“I will see you at dinner.”
These days, Calian seems to talk to Randell, at least once a day.
It started with the talk about roses, the next day about how he couldn’t sleep due to the storm, the day after about how he missed the bird-songs so dearly.
Randell only said ‘I see’ to Calian. Calian thought that Raven, when taught words, could speak more fluently than Randell.
But today was a bit different.
“Take care of health,”
Calian lowered his head and smiled.
All the others in the dining hall doubted their ears. Randell’s servants, Yan, and the maids and servants in the dining hall, too.
“I’m alright,” Calian was the only one who could act casually.
Without speaking more, Randelll went outside, and Calian also exited the dining hall to start his day.
Afternoon came, and Yan, who had a careful eye on Calian’s quickly paling face, asked in a calm voice,
“The meeting with the nobles is now underway, you must go eat dinner in an hour. What shall I do?”
A dinner party was due to happen after the meeting with royals took place. Yan was worried about Calian going to the dinner party, but Yan already knew Calian’s answer.
When Yan was told to wait until Tuesday, he knew that Calian was waiting for this moment.
“Of course, I’m going,” .
“Please rest. I will call the maids,” Yan agreed despite the many complicated thoughts running through his head.
“No. Wait a second.”
Calian held on to Yan and he rolled up his sleeves to reveal a knife. He gave it to Yan and pointed towards the safe.
“I want you to take care of this knife, along with the antidote and the data on Silica – take it all,”
“What do you mean?”
“There might be an inspection of my room taking place so leave it with Teacher first. If it’s found, it won’t turn out pretty.”
Inspect the room? What would make for an inspection?
Yan’s face showed how perplexed he was, and Calian gave Yan two envelopes. When Yan received them, Calian spoke again.
“Give one to the Mage Association and one to the Teacher. Make sure you go to the association first then to Teacher.”
Since Calian gave a sealed envelope to Yan – it was because he wanted to hide the contents from Yan.
Something wasn’t feeling so well.
“You’re not going to tell me what it is. Right?”
Calian smiled casually and nodded.
“Well, you won’t be drinking that tea anymore and you won’t be going to the banquet hall with a knife so for now, I’ll do as you say…”
“Yeah don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything,”
Yan didn’t know if he could believe that smile,
“The last time you smiled like that and said you’d take care of it, Franz stabbed you in the hand with a knife,”
“It won’t be like that,” Calian’s smile was a little darker than it had been at that time.
It wasn’t like the time with Franz at all, it was much more than that. Well, for now, Yan moved as Callian asked him to and started gathering anything that might raise questions if the room were to be investigated.
Finally, as Yan exited the safe and it’s doors closed behind him, he said,
“I can go to the feast alone. Go right after you’re done with preparations for dinner.”
“…Yes, your highness,”
Yan, having responded, took the things Calian told him to. He then looked at Calian for a moment and then went out, calling the maids.
Yan, after helping with preparing for dinner, left the palace to run the errance for him and Calian opened the safe once again. He then retrieved something; something hidden deep inside the safe.
Calian picked up what looked like a sugar cube. He had received this from White Eagle when he had gone to the Secretia spy base. He then stroked his chest to calm himself down. He put it inside his pocket and went out.
It was poison – poison that Calian prepared for Silica.
The knight guarding the entrance to the banquet hall said,
“Your highness, The meeting has been extended and the dinner has been delayed. As such, His Majesty has not yet arrived,”
It seemed that Rumein had accepted his request to delay the nobles meeting by 10 minutes.
“It’s alright, I’ll just go in and wait,”
“Yes, your highness,” The knight made a formal bow and opened the door to the banquet hall for him.
Calian’s lips rose slightly as the scent of Ranieri flowers that could be smelt even before the sight of the banquet hall could enter his eyes.
Silica was sitting alone in the large banquet hall.
The only people who did not attend the Nobles Meeting and at the same time were invited to the feast were Silica and Calian. Since this was a feast that started right after the Meeting ended, it would start late if the meeting ended late.
That was how Calian got some time to speak with Silica– all by himself.
A servant approached and put down a cup of coffee. Calian said.
“Please give us some space before the others come.”
“Yes your highness,” The servant nodded and everyone else left.
Silica stared at the sight of everyone leaving since she did not know what was happening and, like a habit, picked up her fan.
Calian, seeing that, shook his head.
“Shall we put down our masks?”
At those words, Silica froze for a second. Then, she nodded and put down her fan on the table.
“Let’s do that then,” (Informal)
Both Calian and Silica were staring at each other. Although they both seemed calm, they actually weren’t. An impounding silence blasted throughout the room. The second hand of the clock ticking away inside the ballroom sounded like thunder.
Silica spoke first.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” (Informal)
It was like that last time as well. Calian frowned slightly and held the coffee cup in his hands.
“I said, to put down our masks-”
Calian’s red eyes moved away from Silica and now looked at the coffee in front of her.
“-But it did not mean we should do away with our respect.”
In an instant, Silike’s eyes turned sharp.
Because Calian was of Royal blood,even if Silica was the Queen, she should not have lowered her words and talked to Calian without the appropriate respect. Calian was talking about that.
“You have grown much.” (Informal)
Silica was still not showing respect.
Calian, having drunk his coffee in a leisurely manner, smiled and spoke.
“They weren’t very difficult words to understand, were they?”
Then he added in a deep voice.
Silica’s beautiful face showed anger. It was surprising that behind the face she hid in her fan, she could hide such an expression.
“Rude to say the least, as expected of a lowly bloodline-” (Informal)
“Even though I just told you that you were being impolite?” (Formal)
Calian, after cutting Silica’s words, spoke again.
“If you start talking about bloodlines then what does that make the Marquis of Brissen?” (Formal)
Silica’s eyes turned thin and sharp. She was clenching her jaw, trying to hold back her anger and reminding herself that she could not knock Calian away from his spot right this instant.
“Anyways, there’s something I want to talk about, Silica.” (Formal but he calls her by her name, instead of her title, which is rude)
“Shall we do that next time? I no longer wish to see your face,” Silica said, as she made to get up – well tried to.
Calian put down his coffee cup loudly.
Calian’s eyes darkened. He was looking into Silica’s worst.
“I would like to tell you to stop. The scent of the tea is too strong to drink.”
Just like the scent of Ranieri.
Silica slowly slid back into her seat.
To what she heard, Calian had been drinking the tea up until this morning. That’s why she didn’t think Calian knew about the poison. But it seemed Calian knew that she even made the dosage of poison higher.
`He drank it despite knowing it was poison.’
It would seem clear why Calian had drunk the poison.
If it had been let out that Calian’s tea had contained poison, Silica would have killed Calian’s maids and servants for trying to kill him. That was because just handing him the tea would be considered a crime.
‘So he was worrying about that, despite not knowing he will due,’
Silica smiled and spoke.
“You seem to say the strangest things,”
Calian smiled and spoke.
“So it’s something you’re not aware of?”
“Yes, I don’t know about it.”
Calian tapped his coffee cup. Then he took out what he had come up with. On the table lay some sugar cubes that looked exactly the same as the substance he came with.
Calian spoke slowly.
“I thought about a lot of things. Whether to use the evidence I got out of Lennon. Or to just capture Lennon and torture him. Or to go into the safety of Alan. Or to tell this to the King. Or whether I should just poison my dear brother?”
Silica’s eyebrows twitched. Calian ignored that and spoke again.
“Using poison wasn’t a very striking option, and as for everything else, you’d probably be able to squirm your way out of it. So I decided that I would just forcefully take the card you played so that you can’t use that hand again. So that you can’t resort to mere poisoning ever again,”
Calin showed Silica the cube he held in his hand.
“Then I would have to use something as a bet, but the only thing I have right now is a strong heart. So I decided to place my bet on that.”
Silica, naturally, looked to see what it was.
“Poison. It doesn’t react to silver, and it’s not one that kills so it won’t be found by magical reagents. Well… maybe I should phrase it as medicine since it can save lives in an interpretation.”
Silica’s hands, which were on her lap, slightly grabbed onto her dress because she couldn’t figure out Calian’s intentions. Calian spoke again.
“After you eat this, your heart will stop. It makes people seem as if they are dead, though they are still alive.”
It was the poison that Secretia’s spies used to save themselves from danger. Of course it was not used only in Secretia, so even if Silica figured out what the poison was, she couldn’t draw links between Calian and Secretia.
Calian, looking at the substance as if he was viewing something with awe, spoke again.
“Of course, it won’t work for me. Even if I eat it, the Power of Blessing will prevent my heart from stopping.”
“Why did you bring a medicine that is useless even if you eat it?” Calian responded to Silica’s curious eyes.
“It will stop the detoxification process.”
Like how a mere cut on his hand wouldn’t heal. The Power of Blessing would ignore a weak poison like this because it was so overstretched just keeping him alive.
Calian couldn’t have been more calm and peaceful as he explained his plan.
“Then in the time the Power of Blessing gets rid of this poison, the weaker poison I drank every day through my morning tea will disperse throughout my body.”
The poison he took in the previous days wouldn’t kill him.
“I won’t die, but I will suffer a bit.”
He would make sure that his heart wouldn’t stop then he would start the detoxification process.
“However, things would get a bit more bothersome for you Silica.”
A plop sound came from inside Calian’s coffee cup.
“So, the thing is, if you agree to not send tea from tomorrow, I won’t drink this. I’m a bit tired of being sick.”
Silica figured out what Calian’s intentions were.
Even if he didn’t die, there would be signs of being poisoned. If he fell down and coughed up blood, then everyone would suspect it to be because of poison.
Also, people wouldn’t be able to figure out how much poison he took in, so they would think it was an amount that couldn’t be cured with the Power of Blessing.
Furthermore, Silica was the only person in the ballroom with Calian.
“You’re trying to put blame on me by saying that I gave you poison.” Silica jeered.
“I wouldn’t say it would be putting blame on you. Also, why are you saying I’m trying to frame you? You’re the one who wants to do away with me the most.”
A relaxed smile fell on Silica’s lips again.
It was like stomping down her foot on a sand castle that a small child had spent the entire day building. Silica, who had removed her mask in that good mood, said in a soft voice,
“Do you have your evidence ready?”
At those words, Calian’s eyes widened like that of a small child, and spoke in an exaggerated voice that seemed to be making fun of her.
Calian stirred the contents of his coffee cup slowly with a spoon. Then he responded to Silica.
“I’m not trying to get rid of you right now. Of course, Alan is here, but what will I do if the full force of Brissen’s army comes?”
“You know well.”
Silica laughed and responded, and Calian laughed too.
“I’m just trying to stop you from playing with poison, so I don’t need any proof. This time, I’m just going to go to the extent where people will always have an eye on you and try to spy on you on my behalf – after all, there are some prisons that are more suffocating because they cannot be seen,”
Assumptions couldn’t bring someone to court. Silica was one of the people who knew that too well.
“You can’t hold me down with a prison like that – an invisible prison? I’ve never been worried about something like that, don’t you know that very well? It’s always been like this.”
Silica had committed countless crimes and was sitting here, drinking her coffee peacefully.
She then smiled brightly like a pure child.
“Who in the world doesn’t know that I was the one who killed your mother?”
Silica whispered like a bird tweeting away in the early morning.
Damn Silica’s rotten to the core – keep in mind Calian like 14 here? She’s talking like that to a baby. No wonder the kid grew up as timid as he has before Bern took over.
Original Translation: Wordexcerpt
Edited By: Tani Andris
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