The eyes of the nobles turned to the Marquis of Sherrington in an instant.
“What, what, why are you all looking at me?”
The face of the Marquis of Sherrington, who stuttered in the end, turned red.
“Obviously, didn’t the Marquis of Sherrington say that the Duke had been poisoned by wine before today’s meeting?”
When the nobleman standing next to the marquis spoke, other noblemen began to sympathize.
“Yeah, I remember it clearly because it wasn’t in the official letter. The Duke of Baloa, who drinks alcohol like water, was poisoned with wine.”
“I thought the Marquis had another source………”
The face of the Marquis of Sherrington was furiously wrinkled as the uproar mounted.
“Are you doubting me? Can’t a man guess?!”
As the voice of the marquis grew louder, the nobles began to avoid their eyes one by one.
Some glanced at the throne and looked at Cardan, but Cardan only watched with his head leaning against the throne.
“The Duke loves to drink, so I made a conclusion that a person like this with a guess! What kind of evidence is that?”
I nodded my head.
“Of course, the marquis is right.”
The Marquis smiled at my words.
“As expected, you know how I feel. How special of a relationship we have, you can’t believe this bizarre claim!”
It’s been a while since our deal was over and it was ridiculous to see the marquis still pretending to be close.
“The statement about wine is not proof, but………… This pigeon will be the proof.”
I pointed to a pigeon flapping in the cage.
Every time a white pigeon fluttered, a pure white belly was revealed.
“I’m the one who wrote a note saying that the Duke had been poisoned by drinking wine instead of the butler of the frontier, and I’m the one who blew off the Jeonseo-gu. Before you fly it, the note and the pigeon have white paint on it that doesn’t wash off easily.”
I strode up to the marquis.
“Can I see your hand?”
In an instant the face of the marquis turned pale.
He tried to hide his hand in his sleeve, but I quickly snatched his wrist.
“Let go of this hand right now!”
The bewildered marquis swung his arm wide and tried to avoid it. She stumbled and missed his hand.
Just as she was about to fall head over heels and break her nose on the marble floor.
Someone gently snatched me by the waist.
“I don’t want the Duke’s head to crack now, it will be troublesome.”
As soon as I regained my balance, Cardan, who let me go, whispered.
As if it’s another time he wouldn’t mind if my head breaks.
At the same time a terrible scream erupted from the marquis.
It was because Cardan held the marquis’ wrist firmly.
As the marquis sobbed in pain, Cardan’s mouth drew an attractive line.
“The culprit was the Marquis of Sherrington.”
The marquis’ palms, raised by Cardan for everyone to see, were covered with white paint.
The Marquis of Sherrington was executed.
And eventually the case ended there.
While imprisoned, the marquis insisted that it was an impulsive act out of personal resentment until the end.
I’m not a royal, so I can’t exterminate a family just because a nobleman tried to kill her.
Only the Marquis of Sherrington bore all the blame.
The position of Marquis of Sherrington was filled by his son, and the most important real mastermind was never revealed.
Officially, that is.
I foolishly put my nose back on the note and smelled it.
“Sniffing like a dog again.”
Cardan stretched out on my office couch and clicked his tongue.
I put down the paper package I found in the butler’s room.
“I’m sorry if you’re offended. I made a big mistake in front of Your Majesty, who is supposed to see and hear nothing but noble things.”
I hurried to my feet and bent down, and Cardan waved his hand.
“It’s alright. It’s quite a sight to behold.”
While she was wondering if she should sniff hard again for his pleasure, Cardan softly asked.
“Are you that sad that you lost to the Empress Dowager?”
The Empress Dowager.
The Marquis of Sherrington was only the middle bridge, and it was certainly the Empress Dowager who had instigated my death.
The evidence was the note still infused with the scent of the Empress Dowager’s perfume.
But the smell alone cannot make the Empress Dowager the culprit.
Besides, in addition to the scent of perfume on the note, there was no clue to identify the queen as the criminal.
The name of the queen was not written anywhere on the note, and the handwriting was also cut and pasted from the newspaper, so the handwriting could not be recognized.
I tried to track down Sir Ethan, but I only found circumstantial evidence that he had suddenly disappeared leaving a huge debt, but I could not find any connection between him and the Empress Dowager.
“If the Empress Dowager had been caught so easily, you would have caught her long ago.”
The languid red eyes cast over me.
“What are you going to do now, Duke?”
There was a faint contempt in his eyes, looking at my haggard face as if he were looking at it.
I didn’t know what he was hoping for from a person who barely came back from the brink of death, but I didn’t feel unfair and hung my head in a hurry.
“I’m sorry to have worried you for nothing.”
“That’s enough. I’m not worried.”
Cardan rose slowly.
Is he finally going to leave? I’m starting to get a little flustered.
But instead of leaving, Cardan came straight to my desk.
“By the way.”
I tried to get up in a hurry, but Cardan grabbed the back of my chair with both arms and I had to sit back down.
When I was trapped between Cardan’s arms, I began to sweat without realizing it.
“When are you going to let me visit Eleanor?”
It is about the contract again.
I kept my voice as calm as I could, and I rolled my head furiously.
I don’t even know who Eleanor is or where she is, but it’s a sudden visit.
“Yeah, once a month, didn’t you promise to allow me to visit her?”
“Well, I did.”
I nodded naturally, pretending to know as much as I could.
But she was panicking inside.
I don’t know where Eleanor is, so I can’t say I’ll let you meet her, but I can’t ignore him as if she doesn’t have a contract with the tyrant.
I’m going crazy.
Once I sat down, I bowed my head as low as I could.
“I am very sorry to say this because I know that it is my duty as a loyal servant to fulfill your request at once, but………….”
And in order not to go against Cardan’s spirit as much as possible, I worked hard to make excuses.
“We’re not ready yet, so we need some time.”
I threw it. Main point.
I listened to Cardan’s breathing, still with my head down.
Was it roughened by anger, or was it by displeasure?
Fortunately, Cardan’s breathing was so soft that she could hardly hear it.
“I’m ashamed of myself, Your Majesty.”
I lowered my head to the point where I hit my forehead on the desk, but Cardan grabbed my chin and pulled it up.
Cardan’s face, which she saw unexpectedly, had a smooth smile on it.
“Then there’s nothing I can do.”
The hand that rode down my jawline touched my neck before I knew it. The thumb rubbed slowly against the back of my neck.
“I have no choice but to wait.”
The hand held by the scruff of my neck slowly tightened.
I resisted the urge to gulp down.
“Thank you for the delay.”
I had to work out the secret of the contract by the end of this month.
Cardan walked out of the office, wiping his hand from Erina’s face with his handkerchief.
It was a lie to say that the Duke of Baloa allowed him to meet Eleanor once a month.
The Duke of Baloa had never once shown him his mother’s face.
It wasn’t the only card he had to manipulate her so easily.
“You must have really lost your memory.”
Cardan burst into a small laugh.
It’s so easy to believe what you say.
It was doubtful whether she’s the Duke of Baloa, because she used to be always very wary.
“If you lose your memory, will your personality also change…?”
There was more than one thing that was not like the duke.
The original duke would have tortured the Marquis of Sherrington painfully until she found out who was behind it.
Executions were also carried out in the most painful and terrible ways.
It wasn’t just the Marquis. Neither the count in charge nor the knights who had to protect her would have been able to survive.
The Duke was always a person who suffered from death threats, and she was a person who would be satisfied only if she got rid of all the things that might cause trouble later.
But what about the Duke now?
Only the marquis and butler who directly participated in the poisoning were hanged neatly.
Cardan gritted his teeth.
Just like when she was young.
So it was even more abominable.
Once you put a knife in my back, you should’ve stayed a bastard.
The wound won’t heal even if you take out the knife now.
Cardan crumpled his face violently.
There is one more reason to hurry up and find Eleanor.
With such a soft disposition, the Duke will never be able to get rid of the Empress Dowager. It’s something she couldn’t do without her memory intact.
That means the Duke will die very soon.
Before she does, he must find Eleanor.
Back in his room, Cardan threw his handkerchief into the fireplace.
Looking at the handkerchief slowly scattering into a handful of ashes, Cardan reflected on the conversation he had with the Duke.
‘We need some time because we’re not ready yet.’
“We’re not prepared enough………….”
Rather than being ill-prepared, she’s lost her memory and doesn’t even know where Eleanor is.
I thought you’d have scoured the records you left before you lost your memory.
Considering that she still has no idea, it seems that no record of the contract was left.
Like the original Duke of Baloa, who was thorough and hard-headed.
“I won’t find anything out from the Duke.”
I’ll have no choice but to search the Duke’s office in person. Even if she doesn’t leave a record, she might have missed a clue.
A crow sitting on a perch in a corner flew up and tapped Duke Baloa’s office on the map of the palace with one foot.
It seemed to point to the bookshelves that filled the office.
It’ll take a long time to go through everything.
Cardan swept up his hair.
“I’ll have to find a way to send the Duke out of the palace for a day.”