Calian, who saw the terrible expression on Hale’s face, furrowed his brows.
“The Count doesn’t seem to be feeling well?”
Hale, who had been concerned about whether he had been caught selling information to Blue Warbler, quickly cleared his expression and started to think as fast as he could.
‘No. Aren’t Secretians the ones who are known for being tough even if they got caught? They would probably take their life the moment they got caught,’
Hale, who had found a ledge he could hold on to, began to speak his honey-laced words once more,
“No, it’s because of my anger against the person who attacked your highness is so deep. So starting today, this Hale will also take the lead in capturing these criminals – after all, isn’t this something that has happened in my territory?”
For a moment, an expression of dislike flashed across Calian’s face and Hale was convinced that Calian was trying to hide something from him, otherwise he wouldn’t pull such an expression and then immediately try to hide it.
‘So you were trying to probe me for answers – well, arrogance is arrogance after al…’ Hale sneered inwardly.
Whether Calian knew Hale’s thoughts or not, he nodded slowly,
After responding briefly, Calian continued his meal without saying anything else.
It was then that Yuran, who quietly came into the dining room, whispered something to Yan before going back. Yan then approached Calian, and bowed his waist to quietly whisper the words Yuran had said to him into his ear.
Soon Calian’s eyes turned to Hale. Hale had already been focused on Calian from the moment Yuran stepped into the room, so Calian was able to speak without having to call for his attention.
“It seems that the man named Norton has something to tell me in person,” Upon relaying the message to Hale, Calian immediately removed the napkin from his person and stood up from his seat so Hale too, who had yet to eat anything properly, had to stand up.
As soon as Hale was on his feet, Calian asked,
“I’m going to to have a look, are you thinking of going with me?”
“Are you saying you’ll be heading the prison yourself, your highness?”
Calian looked at Hale for a moment, and then answered in a quiet voice,
“But isn’t that were the prisoners are?”
“Why do you ask such obvious things? Since its a prison, there must be prisoners there,”
“No that’s not what I’m saying, what I was trying to say-”
‘Are you telling me you’re going down to the diary place filled with prisoners yourself? If you want to go, then go alone!’
“Why don’t you have the man named Norton brought out you and meet him that way?”
“I can bring him out to meet him, or I can down and meet him – is there anything here that I can’t do as I please?”
“….No, your highness,”
Eventually, he followed Calian down to the prison with a similar expression to those prisoners who were dragged their to be locked up.
When he had been a young child, while curiously exploring the castle, he had visited the dungeon prisons once. Back then, after seeing the swarm of centipedes crawling through the dense straw piles on the floor and the grim expressions of the prisoners, he never ventured down there again.
Hale, who was visiting such a place after a long time, wrapped his nose in a silk handkerchief. The normally unpleasant emall had become thick and the air was heavy due to the usually heavy rain.
Thinking he was now glad he hadn’t had much to eat for breakfast, Hale paused in front of Norton’s cell.
Norton as siting on a pile of straw with the exact same expression he had showed Calian the previous day. Malcolm, the butler, stepped forwards when Norton didn’t react even though he saw Hale and Calian coming in.
“What are you doing, not getting up and showing courtesy?”
At that, Norton stared at Malcolm and said,
“I’m counting down the days to my death because of their damn social status – Do I still have to be polite too?”
If it were not the prince whom he had faced but a commoner of a similar status than this would not have happened to him.
Hale wanted to throw the rude punk to the executioner’s block straight away, however he was being kept alive to catch an even bigger criminal. Norton must have been aware of that which was way he could be so gutsy in front of them right now.
Hale, who was full anger, glanced at Calian for a moment and realised that he didn’t look patrictuarly displeased.
So how could be more angry than him? He just consoled himself with the thought that once everything was sorted, he wouldn’t allow this man to die an easy death and held back his rage.
After a while, Norton turned to Calian and said,
“I asked you to come because I thought of something,”
Calian replied with a light nod,
Norton briefly glanced at Hale, and then at Malcolm. After that, he glanced to the knights for a moment – then the prison walls and the fist-sized windows on them. Having looked around like that, he slowly opened his mouth,
“The one named Blue Warbler – they’re a spy of Secretia,”
Thunder rolled outside.
Lightning struck Hale’s head.
Of all the birds in the world, why was it that one that came out of Norton’s mouth.
Norton took turns, staring at Calian then Hale. The he lowered his voice as if he were telling a very big secret and opened his mouth again.
“They said they were going to sell something to someone here – someone they’ve had a relationship with for a long time,”
Norton laughed brightly.
The expression on Hale’s face was spectacular. Norton continued to laugh without stopping, wondering if there would ever be another opportunity in his life to drive a Count into a corner again.
“Isn’t it a bit weird? I can’t believe someone here would have a long relationship with a spy, what could there be to connect someone to a spy?”
Up to here.
Norton skillfully performed as Calian had ordered him to the night before.
“Confess a few more things as I say,”
“You want me to lie?”
“It’s not lying – I’m just borrowing your mouth is all,”
“Well, for someone who has already taken an arm, what’s borrowing a mouth going to do? Aright,”
Calian, who recalled his conversation with Norton from the night before, replied to Norton’s question while looking at Hale,
“Another spy, do you think?”
He asked with a face that seemed genuinely curious about Hale’s thoughts,
“Don’t you think so, Count Latran?”
Hale nodded, wondering if the sound of his creaking neck was just his imagination.
Calian asked Norton,
“Have you ever heard the name of the person who is connected to the spy?”
“I might have heard it, I don’t remember,”
“You’ll be escorted to Kyrisis soon, make sure you think of the name before you arrive. If the information you give is of help, it won’t be disadvantageous to you either,”
Realising that Calian hadn’t simply been probing his reaction at breakfast, Hale looked around the prison blankly.
That smell, that terribly unpleasant smell turned stirred in his brain. It felt like the heard of centipedes that had been crawling on the straw were now crawling all over his body.
No matter how lowly a commoner testified, he felt anxious when considering Rumein – if he believed the commoner’s testimony then he might chop off Hale’s neck straight away.
Hale, using the excuse of a sudden headache, hurried back to his room. He had to ask Marquis Brissen for help! Right now!
Calian, who watched Hale’s hurrying back, muttered quietly,
“Hurry up and start getting busy,”
So that you can make some proper evidence.
Let me know what you think!