Chapter 89

Translated by Wealthy Whale

Edited by Iris Sakura

The man had a thick beard, and the dull cloak he was wearing looked very old. A musty smell radiated from him every time he took a breath, and there was a large scar around his eyes. From any point of view, he was not at all suitable as a guest of Yerena’s.

“You have become more beautiful since the last time we saw each other, Lady Yerena.”

Yerena was tired of the man’s praise.

“What about my request?”

“That, of course…”

The man picked up the bag he had left on the floor.

“I’m prepared. As always.”

He pulled out a small glass bottle. The color of the bottle was dark, but it contained a translucent liquid.

“That’s all?”

Yerena furrowed her eyebrows slightly. It didn’t suit her expectations. She couldn’t easily feed a poison to someone, so she had to mix it with something.

“I’m sorry, but you won’t run short,” the man said confidently.

“Do you remember a few years ago when the soldiers of the Rowan Empire died en masse?”

“Yes, I know.”

Yerena couldn’t be clueless about that. It was a big issue at the time.

The hundreds of Rowan’s soldiers at war with the Hestea Empire were all found dead in a single day. The most likely explanation was that someone poisoned the well the soldiers used. However, as there was no evidence discovered, it ended up as a mystery.

“At that time, the general of the Hestea Empire asked me about a problem similar to yours. And I gave him exactly this.…”

The man waved the glass bottle and said, “I only gave him half of this.”

“You poured half of that into a well, and that many people died?”

“Yes. So we can even bet if this is going to be enough or not.”

Yerena swallowed her dry saliva.

If someone else had said the same thing to her, she might not have believed it. However, the man in front of her was an exception. He was an invaluable helper whenever Yerena needed to handle things like this. All the things the man gave her were always sure to work without a single mistake.

“Will the effects emerge instantly?”

“Not immediately. Wouldn’t that lead to unnecessary problems? Slowly but surely. It won’t take an hour at the most. When the heart stops, it vaporizes in the body and leaves no trace. No color or scent is going to be detected.”

“…Great.”

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Yerena handed the bag of money she had prepared beforehand to the man.

“I prepared an amount that won’t make you feel dispirited. You can’t say it’s not enough.”

The man glanced into his pocket and nodded, “It really is enough.”

“And you know if you tell someone else about this…”

“Please don’t worry.”

“…”

“During the past ten years, have I ever let Lady Yerena down?” The man smiled calmly.

“Lady, I brought some tea.”

The two people in the room heard a knocking sound. After that, a maid entered the room, bowed politely, and then set down the tea with refreshments on the table.

“Lady Yerena, if there’s anything else you–”

“No. Leave,” Yerena replied coldly.

“Yes. Please call me if you need anything,” the maid bowed her head.

Yerena started sipping her tea without even paying attention to that maid. Hence, she didn’t notice the maid’s lurking eyes that arrowed toward her guest.

***

The maid, who quietly closed the door, looked around.

“Beina.”

Kaen, who was waiting for Beina in a corner, called her faintly. After double-checking that there were no people around, Beina approached her.

“How did it go? Does the guest who came today look like that?”

“Yes.”

Kaen’s face hardened.

Everything went as Sezh had said. A guest had visited Yerena’s palace.

Sezh already knew about the suspicious man. A few days after his visit, some poor concubines had suddenly died.

‘He had a thick beard and looked about ten years older than Mother. He always wears an old cloak and carries a large load. He also has a big scar around his eyes.’

That’s what Sezh told Kaen about how the man’s appearance. And Kaen, of course, told Beina about it.

She and Beina had known each other for a long time. Beina was assigned to Yerena’s palace a little while ago so she could comply with this request.

“Kaen, I don’t know why you’re asking this, but… If this gets into Lady Yerena’s ears, I…”

“You don’t have to worry about it. That’s never going to happen.”

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“Kaen…”

“Then I’ll see you later. I have urgent business.”

After saying those words, Kaen swiftly ran away. Beina, left alone in the hallway, only nervously clasped her hands together with a pale face.

***

“So he truly matches the description… ” Sezh muttered with a crestfallen face.

“Yes, and she said that he seemed to have brought something. To be precise…”

“No, it’s fine. I already know.”

Before her return, Yerena killed Lize. Her method was simple: poison. It was the most common style she used, and it would be the same this time.

“…Anyway, you worked hard, Kaen.”

“Ah, no, Princess,” Kaen waved her hand.

She made a face like someone who was being chased away and then carefully parted her lips.

“I, Princess… I’m sorry but…”

“Hm?”

“You’re not… planning to do something, are you?”

Just like Luna, who always worried and took care of Sezh, Kaen was also concerned.

Kaen was one of the people who had cared for Sezh since she was a child. Besides, Luna’s last words had become a decree for her.

‘While I’m away, please take care of the princess.’

Kaen’s concern for her was genuine. Sezh understood that.

“I don’t dare to know what the Princess is thinking about, but… if it’s something dangerous…”

“No way, Kaen. Don’t worry. I just, just…”

“…”

“I just hope that no more bad things happen,” Sezh’s voice cracked weakly.

“Kaen. I’m sorry, but can I ask you for one more thing?”

“Of course, if Princess asks me…”

“Would you mind watching over my mother for a while? It’s not difficult. Just check on her activity. For example…”

“…”

“If she goes to Lady Lize’s palace late at night… Well, something like that.”

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“Princess…”

“Please,” Sezh pleaded.

Kaen looked hesitant for a moment but eventually nodded her head.

“Princess, you really are not… going to do anything dangerous?” Kaen asked her again with a low voice.

“I won’t,” Sezh replied while looking at Kaen. “Then would you mind leaving? I have a headache, and I think I need a little rest.”

“Yes. Please let me know if you need anything else. It’ll be time for dinner soon… I will come as soon as your meal is ready.”

“Okay.”

Seeing Kaen leave, Sezh sat down on her bed with a tired expression.

“… Haa,” An avoidably heavy sigh expressed her life that day.

After all, Sezh knew that everything was starting to repeat itself.

‘Close your eyes and cover your ears. Don’t say that you see anything and don’t hear anything.’

With those strange words, Raytan had sent Sezh back to her palace.

“…Perhaps Brother already knew about this.”

Sezh had that thought come to mind without knowing why. Raytan might already know Yerena was trying to kill his mother.

Nevertheless, something was strange. If Sezh’s guess is correct, why doesn’t Raytan do something even though he knew his mother was in danger?

And Lize…

“Why did such a rumor spread in the first place…?”

Even if it was correct that Raytan was the one who killed Johan Franz, the rumor sounded a little too absurd. Lize was always as calm as a pool of water. Of course, Lize didn’t like Yerena either, but it didn’t seem like she would show such a temper to express it. Even more so, the idea of her killing people to prevent Yerena’s power from growing is an even more absurd thought.

Sezh’s face hardened as she thought deeply about something.

“Perhaps… The rumor…”

…Did Lady Lize spread it herself? Was it all calculated? But, when such a rumor spreads, her life is going to fall into jeopardy.

“And if Lady Lize dies like that… Brother will stage a coup…” Sezh stuttered. “It justifies his act…”

“…”

“Nonsense,” Sezh reflexively covered her mouth.

It couldn’t be. Would someone seriously put their own life at such risk to do that?

Sezh closed her eyes tightly and shook her head.

First of all, she had to prevent Lize’s death somehow. That was her priority now. Then, if she’s successful, Raytan’s coup might not happen either. It was her only hope.

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“Luna, please give me strength,” Sezh muttered while looking at Luna’s painting.

… And the very next day, Yerena went to Lize’s palace late at night.

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