Author: alyalia

Cersinia and Ben left the Imperial Palace and returned home, sitting in the parlor with Limapheus, who was waiting.

 

“Is that true?”

 

Having told Ben all the stories about the fire, Ben hardened his expression at the seriousness.

 

“Yes. I think it was planned from the moment Roena came into the mansion.”

 

From the carriage accident to Roena’s attempt to frame Cersinia after wearing a wig to put her on arson. Roena must have been ordered by someone to enter the Grand Duchy and spy on Cersinia from the beginning.

 

“I…”

 

Ben frowned at the confusion. He thought that he needed more people to watch Cersinia on her side, but it was none other than himself who brought Roena to her.

 

“Ben, I know what you’re thinking, but don’t blame yourself. It’s Roena’s fault, not yours,” said by Cersinia, who read all his expressions.

 

She was reluctant to say this, but she had to tell the truth because it was something she could never be silent about.

 

“If you had brought someone other than Roena, they surely would have been bribed by the person who was behind this.”

 

Cersinia was right, but Ben somehow couldn’t get rid of his guilt. He was the one who created the cause of her suffering. His eyes were distorting painfully.

 

“What’s important to us now is to catch the person who made this happen. You’re going to help me, right?”

 

“Of course.”

 

He answered vigorously, grappling with the remorse piercing his chest. As Cersinia said, it was urgent to catch the person behind this first. He could never forgive those who put Cersinia in danger.

 

“Is there anyone who has a clue?” Limapheus, who listened silently and understood the situation, opened his mouth.

 

“It seems like someone knows that I have the power to handle fire.”

 

Cersinia remembered exactly how Roena looked at her and muttered that she was a real witch.

 

“She’s a real witch…”

 

It meant that she had heard something from someone. And they were trying to blame her for the arson. Of the countless crimes, why did they have to blame her for arson?

 

The reason was simple. Because Cersinia has the power to handle fire. It would have been better to frame her as a witch.

 

“Your Highness, as you can see, I can handle fire.”

 

Seeing her confessing her own power, Limapheus nodded his head slightly. It was an incredible power as he saw it with his own eyes at the scene. Even after being engulfed by a huge fire, she was fine, even though she absorbed and exhaled all the flames. It was truly amazing power. A double-edged sword-like power that can cause great harm when wrongly used or can be beneficial when used properly.

 

“I have always been mistaken because of this power, so I tried not to use it as much as possible.”

 

Only then did Limapheus understand why in the Rafleche village, Cersinia had been accused of being a witch and nearly burned at stake. Of course, it was the chief’s son who set fire to the village warehouse, and Cersinia was falsely accused. Still, it was a false accusation from knowing her power.

 

“So you thought the culprit was someone who knew you had that power.”

 

Limapheus thought her conjecture made sense.

 

“That’s right. Especially, there are only a few people who know my power…”

 

Cersinia suddenly blurted out the end of her words.

 

The man she was in the crowd after suppressing the flames earlier. The face of a man he had thought was familiar suddenly appeared in her mind. Then she noticed that it matched the face she had seen three years ago.

 

“Is something wrong?”

 

Ben asked, looking at Cersinia, who was suddenly in agony with a serious face. Cersinia looked at Ben, giving strength to her hand as she was holding his hand.

 

“The staff of the currency exchange in the gambling house.”

 

His expression hardened as the familiar person his memory flowed out of her mouth.

 

“I saw him at the scene earlier.”

 

The man Cersinia thought was familiar was the staff in the gambling house three years ago. The man who gave him a bag of money and Ben’s slave documents the day the cabin burned.

 

Lewis.

 

“Are you referring to the Viscount Montene’s worker?”

 

“Yes, the guy named Lewis.”

 

Cersinia nodded at his words.

 

Viscount Montene, who was severely injured due to the ‘she.’

 

‘Why was Lewis, the worker of Viscount Montene, at the scene?’

 

‘Was it just a mere coincidence that he was standing there with a somewhat anxious expression on his face?’

 

“Are you talking about Viscount Montene?”

 

As if Limapheus knew about him, the two eyes turned to Limapheus at once.

 

“One day, he suddenly became crippled and couldn’t get out of bed.”

 

It was Cersinia herself who crippled the Viscount.

 

‘Then he’s not the one who is behind this.’

 

If his condition is so serious that he cannot get out of bed, can he plan and proceed with this? The chances were slim. As Cersinia was about to dispel her doubts, Limapheus added,

 

“So I heard that his daughter, Lady Fleur Delmond, was in charge of the gambling house, but they went bankrupt shortly after that.”

 

“Daughter?”

 

“That’s right.”

 

Cersinia and Ben exchanged glances as they heard it for the first time. It was unlikely that the person who planned all these crimes was the crippled Viscount, but the story changed if he had a daughter.

 

It could have been a mistake, but Cersinia couldn’t forget the face of the staff she saw at the scene. She couldn’t just let this pass. Considering that she almost got falsely accused again made her upset. That’s why she had to catch the culprit.

 

Knock, knock.

 

Then they heard knocks.

 

“Your Excellency, I think you should see it with Lady Cersinia.”

 

“What’s the matter?”

 

“I caught a suspicious man hanging around the door of the mansion. He has something to tell Lady Cersinia in person.”

 

At Archen’s words, the three faces were filled with wonder.

 

A little later.

 

Cersinia asked Limapheus for his understanding and dragged the man who had come to see her into the mansion.

 

“So, what do you have to say?”

 

Cersinia said it low to the man sitting on his knees in front of her. A strange tension lingered between the five people gathered in the parlor. It’s probably because of the man who can’t hide his fear and is trembling.

 

The man wasn’t afraid of the sword that Archen pointed at him. From the moment he entered the mansion, the man kept looking around him. He was anxious as he walked with his body crouched as if he had hidden any jewels in his arms. As if someone were chasing him.

 

“If you lie, I will cut your head off on the spot.”

 

Ben’s warning reached the man. The man gulped down enough to move his throat and opened his trembling lips.

 

“C-Can you promise me just one thing…?”

 

“What?”

 

Cersinia’s eyebrows narrowed at the request to make a promise at first, not tell the main point.

 

“Please ensure my safety! I-I don’t want to die. I really don’t want to face that horrible death!”

 

“Who do you dare raise your voice in front of?”

 

When Archen gave strength to the sword he was holding, the man was surprised and fell flat on his face.

 

“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. But Lady Cersinia was the only one I’m looking for right now. He said it was the only way so I could live…”

 

“He said? Who said that?”

 

The man panicked at the sharp question and stuttered.”

 

“The man who helped me yesterday… Lewis! That’s right! Someone called him Lewis!”

 

“Lewis?”

 

He came to her after listening to Lewis, who worked for Viscount Montene. Cersinia glared at the man with high alertness.

 

“What’s your name?”

 

“It’s Akat.”

 

“The promise you want will be decided after listening to your business.”

 

The man closed his shaky eyes tightly. Even if he was lucky enough to get out of here alive, he would have been killed by Duke Kailos as he went out. Then it would be no different to die here or outside. The man decided to choose this way even though his death rate only differed by one percent from the other.

 

“I used to work for Duke Kailos.”

 

“…”

 

For a moment, Ben’s lips closed. At the name of Kailos, which came out of Akat’s mouth, he seemed to have been hit on the head with a hammer.

 

Kailos.

 

He can’t believe that name came out.

 

‘Is he involved with this case?’

 

Ben remembered what Limapheus had said to him the other day.

 

“Why don’t you know that she will become your weakness later? Anyone who is jealous of you will try to target her even more.”

 

The removal of Count Dexter for Cersinia’s sake, and the quarrel with Duke Kailos at the banquet, returned as a boomerang. Not to himself, but to Cersinia.

 

Ben closed his eyes tightly. From Roena to the Duke Kailos. He was choking with a sense of guilt as if he had created all the causes that torment Cersinia.

 

“Duke Kailos?”

 

Cersinia’s calm eyebrows twitched. All whom they suspected related to the arson case were called out by Akat’s mouth.

 

“I was the middleman who connected Duke Kailos and Lady Fleur Delmond.”

 

As soon as the name Fleur Delmond came out of Akat’s mouth, all the scattered pieces of the puzzle were matched.

 

“The two must be involved with the fire incident in the Empire.” Cersinia opened her mouth and looked at the man with keen eyes.

 

“G-Gasp… H-How did you…”

 

“What about the evidence? Do you have proof?”

 

Unlike Akat, who was greatly surprised, Cersinia didn’t even flinch. Akat wiggled his fingertips several times and finally pulled out two letters he had hidden in his arms.

 

“This is the evidence.”

 

Archen snatched the letter from Akat and delivered it to Cersinia. Cersinia read those letters. The two letters were in different handwriting. Unlike the first letter, the second handwriting was neatly angled.

 

“One is the letter from Lady Fleur, the other one from the Duke.”

 

Everything written in the letter was in line with this case. Clear evidence that Duke Kailos and Lady Fleur were the culprits in the arson.

 

“Show me.”

 

At the words of Limapheus, Cersinia handed over the handwritten letters. Limapheus’s face hardened as he read the letters.

 

“Aside from the letters, have you seen or heard anything in person?”

 

Cersinia raised her piercing eyes.

 

“Ah, I’m sorry… I’m just a letter carrier, so I haven’t seen myself.”

 

“What evidence do you have that you were working for Duke Kailos?”

 

“This is it.”

 

The man took something out of his pants pocket without hesitation this time.

 

“What’s this?”

 

Cersinia grabbed the coin from the man’s palm. There seemed nothing special about the silver coin engraved with a pattern that she had never seen before, which is not money.

 

“It’s engraved with the pattern of Duke Kailos,” Limapehus said, who noticed it from looking at the coin in Cersinia’s hand.

 

“Yes, that’s right. Since the servants of the Duke can only use the upper part of the Kailos family, it is like a seal confirming that they are the servants of the Kailos’s family.”

 

“Archen. Lock him underground.”

 

When Cersinia spoke mercilessly after the business had finished, she took the sword that Archen was aiming for and raised the man.

 

“Yes, yes? Please save me! Lady Cersinia! Please save me!”

 

Akat begged Cersinia the entire time he was dragged by Archen. Cersinia said to lock him, not to kill him, but Akat was afraid because the end of that seemed to be a guillotine.

 

The screaming man’s voice had subsided, and only three people had left in the parlor again.

 

“I’m sure.”

 

Limapheus looked closely at the seal the man had given and nodded his head. Cersinia was calmly organizing her head. It was quite uncomfortable that Akat listened to Lewis and came to her with such clear evidence. Therefore, they couldn’t move in haste now. She had to doubt everything once more.

 

‘A way to catch the criminals so they can’t escape.’

 

If the evidence is obvious…

 

At that moment, something flashed through Cersinia’s mind.  Three days later, under the order of the Emperor, all the nobles had to gather at the Imperial Palace. It’s an open place where everyone gathered there can’t escape. A place where they can even set up a way to prove their evidence.

 

“I have to catch them right away.”

 

The evidence has already been revealed. Limapheus stood up to catch the criminals immediately.

 

“Your Highness.”

 

Cersinia captured Limapehus. If Limapheus moved now, they could slip away like the grains of sand. So they had to move secretly.

 

“Say it.”

 

“Do you remember what you said to me the other day? You asked me to ask you a favor for myself.”

 

“I remember.”

 

“I’ll tell you that request now. Please help me. So that we can properly catch the criminals who planned this crime.”

 

“I promise.”

 

“Then you can’t move now. It’s not the right time.”

 

She proudly said that while looking directly into Limapheus’s eyes.

 

“Do you have a plan?”

 

Limapheus showed interest, and Cersinia smiled with satisfaction.

 

“Three days later, all the nobles will gather at the Imperial Palace. I want to use that day.”

 

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