Author: rolypoly

He looked back and said.

 

「You asked me to save you too.」

 

The child nodded slowly, and he lifted his chin, pointing across the forest to the opposite side.

 

「Run over there.」

 

「….」

 

In the nearby bushes, there was a vague sight of something pitch-black and enormous moving.

 

Her instincts warned her that it was a very ferocious beast.

 

It was a moment before Cici looked up with concern. 

 

「Go!」

 

The man pushed the child’s delicate shoulder.

 

Sissy stumbled as if she would fall, but soon regained her balance and started running frantically in the direction he told her. 

 

Whoosh!

 

A moment later, Cici turned around when she heard a terrible sound coming from behind her.

 

The man, who had taken down the huge beast at once, was breathing heavily while standing facing the girl.

 

Did their gazes meet? She couldn’t figure that out.

 

Before she knew it, Cici was running again, without the warm blanket that had once wrapped around her.

 

And he spoke to a woman she met at the end of the road.

 

「Please help me!」

 

The startled woman quickly unwrapped her shawl and wrapped it around the child’s body. 

 

「Oh my, baby. Where are your parents?」

 

The child swallowed her saliva.

 

And she answered.

 

「I… don’t know anything.」

 

In responding like that, the child felt a profound sense of relief.

 

She fulfilled the promise with the person who had saved her from the fearsome beast, and pure joy filled her. 

 

* * *

 

“Die!”

Devina’s voice, which was almost like a scream, woke Brielle out of her long thoughts. 

 

“….!” 

 

However, the sword that came so fiercely only grazed the nape of Brielle’s neck.

 

Though the wounds might be light, there must have been some pain, but Brielle opened her mouth cautiously without a flinch.

 

“…Your Highness knew about it, I see.”

 

A memory that Brielle had sealed away for a long time.

 

Name and parents.

 

It had been sealed for so long that not all memories returned clearly. However, Brielle seemed to know she was the daughter of a highly prestigious noble family.

 

Referring to an adult man as ‘Sir’ was likely a sign that there were knights or guards around the child, as it is a term often used for protectors or knights. 

 

“Who… are my parents?” 

 

“Noisy!”

 

She raised the sword again. 

 

However, that was all. Her arms didn’t move anymore.

 

She must not have hesitated.

 

She looked around in confusion, almost as if she was about to ask why her arms weren’t moving.

 

“Move! I said move!”

 

Sensing that something was going awry, Devina’s ‘messengers,’ who were surveying the situation, quietly stepped back and fled.

 

Brielle just looked at this strange sight, and now she realized that someone is running towards her from behind Devina. 

 

It was Clarisse.

 

Because the wizard Sinnet was behind her, Brielle understood the whole situation.

 

“Madam!” 

 

“Clarisse…” 

 

Clarisse pushed Davina away and hugged her tightly. 

 

“Madam… I really…I thought I was losing Madam…so…Ah, thank goodness…”

 

Overwhelmed with emotions, Clarisse couldn’t continue her words properly. Brielle gently brushed the back of the girl, who was constantly sobbing.

 

Holding her like this, it felt like nine-year-old Clarisse was in her arms. 

 

‘I thought… you were all grown up now.’

 

Only after feeling that warmth did Brielle realize how bitterly cold her body had become.

 

“W, wizard…!” 

 

Devina, who had brutally hit her head against the floor behind them, groaned and spat out blood. It seemed she had just noticed Noah and grasped the situation. 

 

“How dare you use magic on me, the queen? Do you think His Majesty will leave the wizards alone even after knowing this?” 

 

Instead of answering, Noah, who arrived in front of her, just looked down at her with his cold gaze.

 

“….” 

 

“I will definitely make an issue of this. The Duchess colludes with the wizard’s castle and commits treason…!” 

 

“That word.”

Before she could finish speaking, a cold voice came from right behind her.

 

It was Maximilian.

 

Devina hesitated when she saw her opponent, and men tied from the waist down were thrown next to her.

 

They were the ones who kidnapped Brielle after receiving Devena’s order. It seemed that they were all caught and couldn’t escape far. 

 

“I will personally refute this.”

 

The men, with terrified eyes and mouths bitten by bits, were continuously apologizing.

 

It seems like they were pleading for mercy from the Duke, even though it was incomprehensible. 

 

“M, Max!” 

 

She regained the ability to move her body, and Devina staggered to her feet. 

 

“This is a conspiracy. They, they kidnapped me…”

 

“Is that so.”

 

Maximilian’s eyes turned to her hands as he answered indifferently.

 

Devina now realized that she was still holding the sword.

 

It also had Brielle’s blood on it.

 

“….!” 

 

She quickly dropped it to the floor.

 

“I, it’s not mine! Ah… The Duchess stabbed me…”

 

“I will investigate whose blood on the sword belongs to.”

 

His knight wrapped the dagger in a white cloth and held it with great care.

 

Devina clung to Maximilian’s arm.

 

“Please believe me! Max, I was your fiancée!”

 

Devina knew Maximilian well.

 

He was a true royal who never forgot to be a gentleman at any moment.

 

So when the queen, so fragile and weak, pleads with tears like this…

 

“…!”

 

But looking up at his face, hoping for sympathy…all that could be seen was deep hatred. There seemed to be no intention of hiding it.

 

“Never again.”

 

He pushed Devina away, shaking his arm as if wiping away something dirty, with a deeply furrowed expression on his face.

 

“I hope I don’t hear those unpleasant words.”

 

“….!” 

 

Devina, shocked, couldn’t even move properly.

 

“I will also uncover the reasons for what happened to my wife in detail in the future.”

 

“…That’s.” 

 

Devina couldn’t control her tears as they started to flow, and she screamed at him.

 

“It’s for your sake! I, I… For you… that woman just mixes her body with anyone… Ugh!”

 

At that moment, his hand came violently towards the nape of her neck.

 

He seemed determined to strangle her right away.

 

The knights nearby were surprised and tried to stop him.

 

In any situation, it was not the place for the Duke, a loyal subject, to lay hands on the Queen’s neck.

 

But he stealthily grabbed Devina’s neck. 

 

However, that was all.

 

“Duke, don’t do that!”

 

Brielle’s voice came soon after and made him stop.

 

“….”

When Maximilian turned around, she was looking at him earnestly, covered in a thick robe with the help of the knights. 

 

“…Let’s go back now. Okay?” 

 

“But…” 

 

He still couldn’t completely withdraw his hand. His fingertips were constantly trembling due to anger that he couldn’t completely let out.

 

“Duke.”

 

Clarisse, who was holding Brielle’s hand, also begged him with the same look. 

 

“….”

 

Since it wasn’t his intention to trouble them, Maximilian completely withdrew his hand from trying to oppress her.

 

Whether it was due to the relief of tension or not, Devina fainted and collapsed on the spot.

 

Returning at a slow pace, he stretched out his arms, hugged Brielle and Clarisse at once, and placed them in his arms. 

 

And finally the rain stopped.

 

* * *

 

Brielle and Rosalie were immediately examined by a doctor.

 

Rosalie soon woke up and, fortunately, wasn’t seriously injured. 

 

However, Brielle, who had fallen asleep as if she had fainted, was only able to wake up after one more day.

 

Maximilian worried throughout whether there was any significant issue with her body, but fortunately, both she and the child in her womb were fine.

 

However, since it was still early in the pregnancy, he received advice to take precautions and ensure stability for the future. 

 

“Excuse me…” 

 

Brielle hesitated and asked the doctor a question.

 

“I can go out for a while, right? A very short outing.” 

 

“Of course, if it’s not this week.”

 

“Yes? But…” 

 

“Then I hope you get some rest.”

 

When the doctor left, Brielle looked up at Maximilian standing beside her with a worried expression.

 

“I was supposed to see the Marchioness, what should I do?”

 

“I immediately sent a letter to ask for her understanding regarding yesterday’s incident. Above all, Clarisse and the wizard Sinnet decided to go in person a little while ago and apologize again to the madam.”

 

“Oh, this is really embarrassing.”

 

She was planning to meet the Marchioness to thank her for treating Clarisse well, but instead she ended up sending an apology through the child, breaking the promise.

 

“They are trustworthy children. You don’t have to worry.”

 

“I know that, too.”

 

“They were… the ones who informed me of your situation from the beginning.”

 

How on earth did Clarisse and Maximilian know and come to find her?

 

She was kidnapped so quickly that she didn’t think anyone would notice…

 

“It is said that the wizards Sinnet and Clarisse placed a tracking spell on the brooch while they were playing a game. The one the Marchioness gave her.” 

 

“Ah.”

 

“Realizing something was amiss, they sent a coachman to inform me. They even drove the carriage themselves to chase after you.” 

 

“Then how did the Duke…?”

 

“The wizard Sinet sometimes shot magical light into the sky. Thanks to the continuous rain, it seems that we were not noticed by the assailants.”

 

Having finished his explanation, Maximilian hesitated for a moment before lowering his head.

 

Brielle, feeling sorry for him blaming himself, gently took his hand and placed it on her cheek.

 

Because she had something to say to him.

 

“You know, Duke.”

 

She slowly closed her eyes and carefully brought out fragments of sealed memories from the day of the incident.

 

“Do you…happen to know a young lady named Cici?”

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Comments (2)

    1. Hi, I’m sorry, I think I accidentally cut off the chapter. Thank you for reminding me!