The deceased turned out to be Lady Irvin. Her husband, James Irvin was a very rich commoner, who ran a royal supply firm called Keswick Chamber of Commerce. That’s why he was able to make the Royal Knights take action.
Of course the clamour of other nobles would have had a role in that too. They said the royal palace had turned into a mess because of this incident. I had eavesdropped on my parents and Alex and heard that the King was being pressured with all kinds of negative talk such as: ‘how come they couldn’t find such a terrible man?’, ‘how could this happen in the capital where the royal palace is located’?, or ‘the royal family must come forward! ‘
“How about you don’t receive the visitors at all if possible? Alice doesn’t enjoy those visits that much anyway. She could choose only those she really wants to meet.”
Mother said in a peaceful tone. Although her tone was calm, mother still looked slightly anxious. But maybe she was also tired worrying about my helpless little brother, Aaron, who actually broke his leg.
“That would be better. And at this point no one would say anything if we don’t take in visitors. Alice, what do you think?” Father turned to me with an apologetic look.
“I agree,” I replied.
Father didn’t know how much this pleased me. Finally, I will be able to experiment on plants on my own. I had been buying experimental tools little by little while going out. Now, without interruption, I can spread them out in my sunroom and use them for extracting medicinal ingredients from plants. I might make something useful.
Even if it was just poison, it was still useful. Even if it wasn’t potent, it could be used in other situations like smearing it on a knife.
“Are there any news from the Royal Knights?” Alex asked.
Father shook his head slowly. “They’ve investigated the last people who saw Lady Irvin. It seems they’re interrogating the servants, but I don’t think they have any important clues. If they had noticed someone entering the house at night, they wouldn’t have found the body in the morning,” he said.
“That’s a pity. Lady Irvin was so nice…”
I had also met Lady Irvin when I went to Madam Circa’s to see her newer works. I hadn’t greeted her, but I remembered her face. It’s not easy to recall the original face when you look at a distorted corpse. But if you already have experience with death, then you can mildly guess how the face looked before.
“So she was very different from Lady Ward, right?” Alex asked.
“Originally, Lady Irvin used to be just a commoner working at the Keswick Chamber of Commerce. She suddenly became rich after marrying. The people she met changed too, but, nevertheless, she was still kind to those working at the Chamber. The nobles liked her since she was a polite person.”
“Did she have children?” I asked this time. Mother shook her head.
“I heard they had been trying, but I guess without success. It had been quite long since she married too. She would have been a very good mother if she had a child,” she replied.
Just like Lady Ward, this person didn’t have any children either. More so that none of them were very young. However, I wasn’t so sure with the murdered prostitues. But I think this is worth mentioning to Leon later. Perhaps we can find out something about the way the culprit chooses his victims. They could be childless women who are at the age of having kids.
There weren’t many people like that in Teresa District. For nobles, or rich people, having heirs was very important. Some people who don’t have successors, but have good relationships with their wives might even pretend to have gone out of the estate, or travelled somewhere far, only for the reason to adopt a child and introduce them as their own. Else, they would bring concubines with them.
The fastest way to find out would be to ask Mother. But I couldn’t ask her in front of them, rather, I’ll ask her later, when there’s only the two of us. Then we could talk about the similarities between the two women and make a list of names together. Unlike Father, Mother wouldn’t think that making that list was dangerous.
“They need to catch that killer soon,” Mother said, sighing. Father shook his head.
“The Noble Council is pressuring the Royal Family to address this issue as a priority, but this is not a problem that can be solved so easily. I don’t know if the Royal Knights even have the ability to solve this case.”
“The only things the Royal Knights are better at than the Schway Guards is their weapons and armoury,” Mother added nonchalantly. I almost laughed, but held it in. When I looked at Alex he also had a bitter smile on his face.
Mother was right. I saw the Royal Knights taking charge of the murder scene, but since they’re nobles to the core, they didn’t do the dirty work themselves. They had the servants at Irvin House do it for them. Worse, they didn’t even observe the body properly. One can only hope they listened to the servants’ stories.
The fact that the Royal Knights stepped in only shows the severity of the problem, but it’s still questionable how helpful they will be at solving the problem itself.
There should be an investigation team within the guard to respond to violent cases in cities. However, having a team of investigators is a luxury in a world where scientific investigations can hardly exist. Even in bigger cities of our land, there are only a couple where you can find investigative teams who can solve crimes. And the way they solved those crimes were… questionable.
“With these incidents happening, you can truly see how there are no proper city administration departments in this country. Every city administration should have a crime department,” Alex murmured. I glanced at him suspiciously.
“Do they have those in other countries?”
“There are departments in Tinoque that only investigate crimes,” Father answered instead.
Tinoque is an island country bordering our seas. It was known as a closed country with not much exchange with the outside world. But Father has told us about his visit to Tinoque when he was younger. I vaguely remembered that he followed grandpa who had gone as an ambassador for the Late King.
“If those departments exist in Tinoque, why aren’t we creating them here? If not now, then why didn’t the Late King make them?” I asked. Father smiled bitterly.
“We can’t imitate Tinoque’s system. No, no other country could. Since Tinoque is a country with some magic still left in it,” he said, much to my surprise.
“Other than medical magic?”
I’ve never heard of this before. Alex looked just as confused. Father nodded.