Chenille, who had been the witness of all, could not dare to say anything.
Within a few days, Haband and Aether’s envoys saw people stumble and fall within the Grand Castle. Not long after, with the news that the epidemic had spread throughout the capital, they saw bodies being burned everywhere.
They couldn’t remember the faces of the servants of the conquered land, so they merely assumed they were the servants of the castle as they saw the clothes of the corpses ablaze in the flames.
That alone, however, could not have completely deceived the representatives of the two kingdoms. Chenille, the black hound, discreetly drugged one of the knights of the Kingdom of Aether.
He was the stoutest man and also the one who did the dirty work on the day he entered the Grand Castle, so Chenille didn’t hesitate a bit.
It was a drug skillfully made by a person she knew. Did he say he used poisonous mushrooms? The knight’s body had a rash similar to the rumored plague, and the next day he lost consciousness, and on the third day he died.
The knight was thrown into the fire along with the other bodies.
The knight’s death prompted the envoys of the two kingdoms to quickly leave Hessenguard, abandoning the filthy royals they brought.
Shortly after the delegations left, Chenille told Vanessa she wanted to leave.
“Why?” asked Vanessa.
“…I can’t afford to look at them casually.”
There was no need of mentioning their names. Chenille could not bear to serve the children of those who had trampled on them.
“Yeah, I won’t stop you.” Vanessa nodded her head as if she knew. “I know what you’ve done for me, and I know your loyalty to Hessenguard, so I won’t kill you. But sometimes there will be people watching you. If I’m bored, I’ll go get some tea with you from time to time.”
She meant she would come after her if Chenille betrays her.
“That’s a great favor.”
Vanessa only smiled at Chenille’s sarcastic remarks.
“What are you going to do now?”
At Chenille’s question, Vanessa rose from her seat.
“I must love them,” she said. “I must love, respect, and heartily serve the new Grand Duke.”
Vanessa then left the room without looking back at Chenille any more.
Chenille knew where she was going: to those who have come to sit on the highest seats in this splendid place. Chenille, on the other hand, was going to go to the kids who have been shivering since yesterday without eating anything.
Chenille thought Vanessa was awful to love and cherish the children of the countries that crumpled Hesseguard.
If Vanessa had made up her mind, the children would grow up to be the perfect Grand Dukes than any other.
Planting hatred and nurturing with love.
“I can’t do it,” Chenille muttered to herself.
So Chenille left the Grand Castle.
She came to a quiet village away from the capital, changed her name, and lived leisurely. The story of the two archdukes was told to a small town without fail. As time went by, the news of the archduke spread more often.
Erna. Kalion. Every time she heard their names, Chenille recalled Vanessa’s face.
As expected, you succeeded.
Then she became curious, too. How on earth were the great dukes brought up?
Though I was curious… I didn’t want to see it like this.
Chenille broke into a cold sweat, feeling the pain in her broken wrist. Although her vision was blurred by pain, she could still clearly see Erna and Kalion.
As she looked at the two children, who seemed so miserable, Chenille wondered if they had, according to the rumors, grown wonderfully into capable grand dukes. But Chenille could see how hard Vanessa worked to preserve her goal.
Vanessa would have had to cover the eyes and ears of the two archdukes as much as she could to create perfect dolls for Hessengaurd. Now, however, the grand dukes had come to this village to interrogate her to unravel the whole truth.
Erna caught her breath. Chenille’s silence acknowledged the truth of their wedding day, but that wasn’t the end. There was still too much left to figure out.
The cold sweat on Chenille’s forehead dropped to the floor. Her eyes were dimming. Erna grabbed Chenille by the hair with her hand.
“Wake up, I’m not over yet.”
Erna looked straight into her eyes. It was fortunate that her pain had clouded her mind. Because of that, she can’t completely fake her expression when she tells a lie.
“What is that pillar?”
At Erna’s question, Chenille smiled weakly.
“Two pillars. It’s magic.”
“The magic that protects the Hessengard.”
In fact, this was no secret. It was a fact that some people knew about it until the previous Grand Duke was still alive. However, no record was left. But there was no need to record anyway.
“Hessenguard is a rich land. There are no major natural disasters, the land is always fertile, and compared to other kingdoms, the appearance of monsters is significantly less. It’s all thanks to the magic of the first grand duke.”
“That can’t be possible. After the caster’s death, how could such a great magic…”
Erna, who was trying to grab Chenille by the collar again, realized one thing. The first grand duke was a wizard. A wizard’s abilities are usually passed on to their children. And the two pillars are called the Grand Duke.
“You continued to use the magic of your descendants.”
“That’s right, and…” Chenille dropped his head. “The former grand duke was born without magical powers.”
As if nothing more could be worth hesitating for, Chenille revealed a secret she had always kept.
“Because he wasn’t the son of the former grand duke.”