Vanessa had always been friendly. Erna had trembled with fear and at the same time felt relieved that she had left Haband when she first came to Hessenguard when the plague had gone around to everyone in Haband.
No matter how much they had mocked and ignored her, she still had been more familiar with the people of Haband.
Erna had shivered in a blanket, fearing that the Hessenguard people might ignore her, the child of the invader, and drive her to her death.
It was all thanks to Vanessa’s dedication that Erna had been able to gradually adapt to Hessenguard. She, the Chairman of the Hessenguard Council, had always treated Erna politely and instructed not only Congress but also all of the Grand Castle to have that attitude.
The first person in Erna’s life to ever respect and care for her. It was because of that that Erna had clung to Vanessa even more. As if she’d become her mother.
On the day Vanessa had gone to Kalion, Erna’s lips had poked out all day long. What if Vanessa liked Kalion more than her? Jealousy had raged despite her being such a young girl. Thanks to this Kalion had been even more despicable. It would have been more like siblings competing for parental affection.
Even now, Erna still liked Vanessa. The parts that she and Kalion didn’t agree on had been managed by the council led by Vanessa. People say Vanessa was raising the council to keep the two in check, but without her, they would not have their current authority.
How could that Vanessa have hidden something from them? Especially when it also pertained to the death of the late grand duke. Even though it was not yet clear, a sense of betrayal and loss quickly came and attacked Erna.
As soon as Erna’s shoulders drooped, Kalion quietly sucked his teeth.
When Kalion gathered his thoughts, he too felt a sense of betrayal. That emotion soon turned into distrust for the entire Hessenguard. And Erna was feeling the emotion that he was feeling.
Kalion, while feeling sorry for the fact, was comforted by the fact that he had at least one person to discuss the situation with.
“It must be because it’s something we shouldn’t know.” Kalion naturally took the plate from her hand and continued. “Rest first. You said that you hurt more because of the things going on lately.”
“You need to get well soon so that you can figure it out quickly. Meanwhile, I will delve deeper into it. And I think I got a clue about the stuff we saw at the ruin. I confirmed that there were missing items in the document drawer marked “annex.” But it didn’t show which annex it was. Since it’s confirmed that the stuff came from here, now I have to find the people who worked there. Though I think I’ve found some of them, too.”
Erna’s eyes widened at Kalion’s words.
“That was quick.”
“There is no room for hesitating when it’s obvious that there are things to look into. However, it is a little annoying that I can’t bring a lot at once because I have to hide documents related to the ancient ruin from the maids.”
At the sight of Kalion answering coolly, the emptiness in Erna’s heart from a while ago disappeared, and she felt reassured.
This was fun.
Erna had expected that the person she trusted the most in Hessenguard and the person she couldn’t trust the most would change like this.
“Then I’ll go. You get some more sleep.”
While Erna took one more sip of water, Kalion was about to get up. At his form, Erna said without realizing it, “Going already?”
At her reaction, Kalion, who was about to turn around, stopped in his tracks. Erna tried to fix what’d come out of her mouth, but she was too late. A smile spread over his surprised face.
“Why? Are you sad I’m going?” Holding the plate that still had a lot of snacks leftover, Kalion smiled shyly. “Should I not go?”
He sat down again next to the bed. Erna turned her head to try to avoid his stare. Thinking about what he would say from now on and how mischievous he’ll be, her face heated up. Then, suddenly she realized that she had to apologize to him.
“Huh?” Kalion, who was trying to reach out and hold Erna’s hand, stopped for a moment at the sudden apology. “About what?”
“I don’t know if the doctor told you, but…” Erna pulled her hair while talking about her physical condition; her irregular cycle; how it was unknown exactly when the childbearing period was. “…the doctor said that I have no problem in bearing children… I didn’t tell you.”
Erna stopped there and closed her eyes tight. She thought he would have at least sighed or something. Or he might be annoyed or say something sarcastic. Whatever his reaction, Erna was not confident in looking straight at him being disappointed in her.
“And she didn’t mention any other problems?”
But unlike what she’d expected, all Kalion did was quietly ask a question.
“I mean your body. Is there anywhere else you’re hurt?”
“I have no other pains! Seriously!”
Erna replied in a hurry, just in case he was suspicious. Then, he grabbed one of her hands. His long fingers with thick joints penetrated between Erna’s fingers and held them firmly.
“Then we’re done.”
Done with what? When Erna stared blankly at him, he lifted her hand and brought it to his face. His slightly rough lips pressed the back of her hand and rubbed it. His face cast by the lamp was shaded, revealing his features deeper than usual.
Erna couldn’t say anything to her husband’s face for a moment. Kalion smiled and said, “If there’s no problem… we can do it until one comes up.”