“I couldn’t hear the details, but they said he blacked out after being attacked,” said Orpé, hurriedly following closely behind Erna.
“Attacked?” How in the world did that happen?
No one would attack the marquis though there were plenty of people who did not like him. How many times a day did he show off his arrogance? From the first time Erna ever met him, he had emerged from the carriage as if he were the higher person. On top of that, after hearing what Kalion said, he had even raised a hand to the servants this morning. But that wasn’t enough of a reason to attack anyone. If a servant had attacked a delegate, he wouldn’t have had his life spared.
No matter how developed the parliament was and no matter how the boundaries of status were blurred compared to other countries, there was still a clear difference in status here. It may be saddening if someone were to be slapped by a foreign marquis, but there was no servant crazy enough to retaliate against him for that.
If so, then who?
Only two people here had the right to be angry at the marquis’s behavior: Erna and Kalion. Erna tightened her clenched fist. At some point, the two would have raised suspicions.
The delegates from Haband standing in front of the room’s door nodded when Erna appeared. Their lack of etiquette explained how they felt toward her, but she was not willing to point it out now.
When she entered, the doctor, who had just finished treatment, bowed politely to her.
“How is the marquis’s condition?”
Erna closed her eyes tightly at his words. Was he really dead? She’d thought of him as a guy she wanted to kill, but now that it was true it made her feel awkward. The moment she started to feel dizzy, wondering what she’d do from here, the doctor said, “He regained consciousness, but it’s going to be difficult for him to move comfortably. I think he should rest for at least a month.”
At the doctor’s words, Erna placed a hand over her chest. Thank God he issn’t dead. Soon, however, she became enraged.
“Who in the world hit him? Where is the culprit!”
This place was the Grand Castle. As a princess, she had to take responsibility for whatever happened within these walls. She had to know who in the hell had acted so randomly here.
At that time, a servant, who was standing next to the doctor, came forward one step and politely reached out his hand in front of Erna.
“What is this?”
Erna had asked where the culprit was, and this guy just decided to extend his hand out to her? When that happened, the doctor, not the servant, replied,
“It is the one who did it.”
“This is the one you’re looking for.”
He pointed to the servant’s hand. It was at this moment when Erna took a closer look at what he was holding. There was a black insect about the length of a little finger. It certainly seemed to be a kind of bee that had been crushed to death by something, flattening its lower body.
“This is the culprit?” Erna’s voice absently came out of her mouth.
“Correct. It is a kind of poisonous bee, and it builds a house in this season. Strangely, it moves alone without a queen bee, and only during the breeding season it…”
“Now isn’t the time for a bee explanation. Is this thing really the cause of the marquis blacking out? Did anyone see it?”
At those words, the doctor figured out what Erna was thinking and said, “Of course. Not I but the delegates from Haband witnessed the attack.”
As he spoke, he turned his body around and stared at the delegates standing next to the bed. Erna’s gaze was also fixated in that direction. Perhaps the doctor was telling the truth, they bowed to Erna with unshielded embarrassment on their faces.
“Did you guys see all of it?”
“Then explain to us what happened.”
“After lunch, he told us to get ready because he had a letter to send to Haband, and then he sat at his desk and started writing. Then, after a while, after his refreshment arrived, a bee came in through the window. It wandered around the marquis exceptionally, so he swung his hand to drive it away, but suddenly it clung to his neck and stung him. He screamed, and when we rushed in, shocked, that area on his neck had already started to swell. So when we rushed outside and found a doctor here, there was someone who helped us.”
When Erna asked with her eyes who that person was, the doctor replied, “Chairman Vanessa. She came here just in time, to discuss the contents of the Haband letter. Fortunately, she was able to deal with the dangerous crisis thanks to her good first aid skills.”
Erna, upon hearing their explanation, approached the side of the bed to look at the marquis’s condition. Perhaps because of the danger of lying down with a swollen face, he was sitting up and leaning on a large cushion. And perhaps he was conscious because when she got closer to him he moved his eyes, which were so swollen she could barely see them. But she was close. The marquis not only couldn’t greet her, but he also couldn’t even say anything.
Erna asked, who now saw the marquis’s condition, “Is he really going to be alright? The swelling is really serious.”
“It isn’t life-threatening. But it will be difficult for him to move until the swelling goes down.”
At those words, Erna held back saying “That’s a good thing.” Nevertheless, she was going to send a secret letter to Haband to try to change the envoy. But that gave her a reason to leave on her own.
Of course, since it had happened in the Grand Castle, Haband would send a letter stating how sorry they were for not managing their delegates enough, but even Haband couldn’t argue that they couldn’t manage the bee. This was all a random occurrence.