At Erna’s words, Chenille avoided answering again this time. A half-baked lie won’t work anyway. Erna didn’t desire shallow consolation either, but Chenille couldn’t speak because Erna was right. In the end, Chenille’s silence was the answer to Erna’s question.
In between the silence, Erna trampled on Chenille’s hand more violently. Chenille recalled a memory from a long time ago, feeling terrible pain.
“No! I don’t want to! Don’t!”
Beyond the thin walls came a chillingly vivid cry. Even the low laughter of the giggling maidens could be heard.
It was a wall that was purposely made thin to be able to hear the sound of the next room. In fact, it couldn’t even be called a wall. It was just a piece of silk wallpaper separating the rooms.
As she heard the wail of Princess Haband crying for help, Chenille turned her head. Then she saw Vanessa sitting behind her. She had such an expressionless, cold face that it was hard to believe that she was the one who had kept a smile on her face throughout the day of their wedding.
Chenille was not surprised by Vanessa’s appearance. Vanessa was that kind of person. She was the kind of person who calculated everything. Everything must go according to what she wants. And what Vanessa wanted was the survival and stability of Hessegard.
In the meantime, Erna’s screams were heard again. In fact, Chenille was as insensitive to the screams, if not as Vanessa’s.
Erna is a royal daughter of Haband—a child of the royal family who trampled on and violated Hessenguard. There was no reason for Chenille to feel sorry for Erna.
Should I feel sorry for her because she’s screaming for help? Then, who did have pity on the children of Hessengard who eventually died while shouting for help?
The commotion in the other room ended after a while. As the crying princess left the room as if being dragged away, along with everyone in Haband, Chenille made sure that there was no one on the other side and carefully pushed the bookshelf next to her.
With a small noise, the bookshelf completely covered the wall, and Chenille bowed to Vanessa.
“What shall we do now?” she asked.
“Leave it. No matter what we do, they are good at disrespecting their royal family. What else have you done?”
“I’ve gathered them all.”
Chenille frowned slightly at the thought of the pile in the corner of the Grand Castle. What she collected was corpses without families. It wasn’t a difficult task. They were scattered all over the mountains and fields of Hessenguard.
“How about the other side?” Vanessa asked.
Chenille was in-charge for the other side. It was she, who was the head of Congress’ intelligence department in the first place. Chenille’s specialty was collecting and distributing information. In other words, most of the rumors that suddenly spread from the mouth of the people of Hessenguard were mostly owing to her.
“No problem. Rumors are circulating that an epidemic that began in the north is spreading rapidly in the capital.”
Vanessa laughed at Chenille’s nonchalant answer.
“Did you say it started in the north?”
“Yes, there were a lot of great battles in the north, resulting in a huge number of corpses that couldn’t be recovered, so many rivers and streams were polluted.”
It didn’t matter if it was the truth or not—there was a real epidemic. Of course, it was a mild waterborne disease that most healers could treat with medicine. However, rumors of an epidemic would spread not only to the capital but also to all of Hesenguard, Harbard, and Aether under Chenille’s command. And…
Chenille recalled the corpses she had piled up in the warehouse. The pale skin of the lifeless bodies, whose decay she has slowed as much as possible with drugs, would clearly display reddish rashes. And they were all dressed in the robes of the servants of the Grand Castle.
Chenille said to Vanessa, “If you give me instructions, I can burn it right away.”
“Yeah. It won’t take long, so get ready.”
Vanessa got up and approached the window. In the central garden of the Grand Castle, the delegations of Haband and Aether were seen wandering around like their own homes.
Vanessa’s expressionless face was slightly marred. Although it disappeared in a second, Chenille had already clearly seen the change in her superior—a mix of contempt and disgust and anger—who was constantly inscrutable.
It was the same with Chenille.
She was born in Hessengard and grew up in Hessengard. She loved her country, which was much freer and less discriminatory than other kingdoms. But the moment the country lost its owner, it had to be trampled on by the other two kingdoms.
It was thanks to the bloody efforts of the Council, led by Vanessa, that the Grand Duke was able to survive in the hellish war. She was servile. She went to both Haband and Aether to stop the total attack on the capital, saying, “Wouldn’t you like to have this beautiful land in your hands?”
The Grand Castle held countless treasures—many jewels, paintings, statues, and other works of art that have been passed down to the Grand Dukes of Hessengard from generation to generation.
Vanessa was afraid that the soldiers who had entered the capital would be blinded by its splendor and behave as they pleased. Therefore, she deliberately invited both kingdoms to reside in the Grand Castle, and all of Hessenguard will be theirs.
Thanks to this, Haband and Aether cooperated with one another and firmly upheld the discipline of the soldiers so that they would not touch the things of Hessengard. They would have thought that their belongings would be stolen if even one disappeared.
Those ignorant of the situation reviled the Council for welcoming the enemy with open arms without pride. Council President Vanessa Schultz has offered the whole of Hessengard’s pride for the sake of her life and the safety of the members of Council.
She did lose her pride. But it wasn’t the pride of Hessenguard she threw away, it was her own.