“I’ll bury you in a sunny place.”
That was the only one thing she was able to say, as her throat tightens.
Unable to look at the handkerchief slowly stained with blood, she carefully set the pigeon down on the desk.
It was only then that her eye caught a bundle of papers scattered on the floor of the office.
They were spilled from the herbology book that she dropped.
From the yellow discoloration of the tip, it can be guessed that the duke had opened it several times.
Maybe it’s a record of an antidote?
It’s too late to bring the dead pigeon back to life, but she didn’t know if it would help if she’s faced with the same situation in the future.
She hurriedly began to read the full text.
“Mereiza. Eat about four salad leaves or until you start to sweat. Be careful not to eat in a row.”
There were five columns next to the text, and four of them had the date written on them.
She read it over and over again to see if there was anything she missed, but that was all.
“Be careful not to eat in a row….”
Anyway, it’s telling her to eat it, right?
A poisoned salad, too.
But no matter how much she thought about it, the duke did not appear to be a person who would commit suicide.
Then there was only one possibility.
Taking poison little by little to create resistance against it.
Until now, it was clear that the Duke of Baloa was using pigeons to identify the poison sent by her enemies, and then consuming it while controlling the amount little by little to improve immunity against poison.
A laugh came out of nowhere.
“Duke of Baloa, she was stronger than I thought.”
And now she was the Duke of Baloa.
She wiped her face with a sigh.
There was no proper antidote, and she’s not confident of being able to identify the poison by leaving pigeons to die in the future.
She stared at the salad, which was still occupying a place on the table.
“This is probably the only way.”
The only option is to use the Duke of Baloa’s detoxification method.
She sat down again at the table and raised her fork in awe.
When she took one bite, she swallowed it without realizing it due to the surprisingly refreshing taste.
Even two bites were fine.
But after taking three bites, she felt a twisting sensation in her stomach.
The more she ate the salad, the more she felt the taste of poison. It was slightly sweet, but the taste was sour as if it had gone bad.
“Is it the Emperor?”
She muttered anxiously, taking another bite of the salad.
He seemed to hate her to the point of disgust, so that was a possibility.
“Or Empress Dowager?”
Since the Duke of Baloa kept the empress in check, the two could have been in a static relationship.
If he knew she was trying to kill him, it could have been Sir Ethan.
She looked down at her salad then took a glass of water.
“First of all, I have to attack the easier opponent.”
As she entered the break room used by the low-ranking guards, she immediately saw Sir Ethan sitting alone on the bench.
Making sure no one else was around, she strode towards him.
It was going to be over soon anyway.
The emotion in Sir Ethan’s eyes as he looked up at her was only a slight surprise.
Rather than being astonished that the person he was about to poison came back alive.
Still, she couldn’t be reassured. Because his acting skills may be so great that he’s comparable to an academy actor.
“Are you adjusting well to your new position?”
Sir Ethan silently nodded his head at the talk of the new position.
“I’m adjusting just fine.”
“Isn’t it better than a guillotine though?”
She looked at Sir Ethan again. But he nodded his head, surprisingly.
“Thank you so much for saving me.”
He really didn’t know anything. The fact that she instigated his death, and that she saved him unintentionally.
‘The dog that went to the Empress Dowager should be removed.’
However, Sir Ethan betrayed the Duke of Baloa and went to the Empress Dowager’s side. He should not be underestimated.
“The past few days must have been hard, so I’ve prepared something.”
She put down the picnic basket she was carrying and started taking out the food from inside.
“You haven’t recovered from your wounds yet.”
The wound pierced by Cardan was deeper than expected.
“At times like this, you need to take better care of your health.”
She took the plate out of the basket, whispering in a tone that she uses when talking to VIPs.
“It’s a salad that tastes good and is good for health.”
She looked intently into Sir Ethan’s face. Even the minute movements of his facial muscles, even the slightest breath sounds.
“Duke. I really…”
After looking at the salad for a while, Sir Ethan slowly raised his head.
“I am touched.”
Tears welled up in the corners of his eyes as he looked up at her. As his eyebrows drooped and as he sniffles, he seemed to be really touched.
“I thought you would forsake me after I made a big mistake, but you even saved me from His Majesty the Emperor and took care of my health like this.”
While she was contemplating on how to ask about this, Sir Ethan stepped forward and started talking.
“I accidentally told the Empress Dowager’s maid that I work for the Duke. I will never do it again! I will never make that mistake again!”
She can see why the Duke of Baloa used Sir Ethan.
He must have been stupid enough not to question what he was asked to do, had excellent physical abilities that is enough to do a good job, and was in urgent need of money.
But the original Duke Baloa tried to kill the person who worked for her right away for making one small mistake.
The more she knew about the Duke of Baloa, the more her identity seemed to be falling into the labyrinth.
“Then I will eat this salad prepared by the Duke, thank you!”
“Oh? Yeah, yeah.”
When she opened her mouth, Sir Ethan had already dipped a fork full of salad and stuffed it into his mouth.
She left the break room, swallowing a small curse.
She had no intention of giving Sir Ethan a poisoned salad in the first place.
To see his reaction, she made a salad by taking vegetables directly from the gardens that the servants take care of.
She was just pretending to give it to Sir Ethan and she was going to eat it later.
Sir Ethan ate so much that there was nothing left
But this made it something clear.
“The culprit is not Sir Ethan.”
If someone poisoned her food, that person wouldn’t be able to eat the salad she brought with her so unhesitatingly.
‘Then who is it? Is it the emperor?”
Only the crow perched on the tree in the garden answered with a strange cry to the question she had asked.
In an instant, her head was spinning dizzyingly.
When her anxiety about finding the culprit subsided, the side effects of the poison came all at once.
She didn’t broke into cold sweat after eating a few bites of the salad, so she took a few more.
“I’ll do it in moderation.”
At her murmuring, the crow smirked and squealed and flew away.
She hastily hurried her steps, but the main palace was too far away, and her legs continued to wobble.
Still, she couldn’t fall here.
Someone in the Imperial Palace is trying to kill her. If she falls defenseless in a place like this, surely…
That’s when the black dots began to corrode her vision.
Someone clicked their tongue and hugged her.
“There is no other way.”
It was a voice she had never heard before, but strangely, she immediately recognized it.
In an instant, her body began to harden with tension.
If Cardan really wanted to kill her, there was no better time than now.
There is no one around, and the condition of the person to be killed is not good.
She tried to force herself to get up, but to no avail. Her body just drooped down endlessly like a wet cotton blanket.
“Can’t you just stay still?”
Cardan growled low.
“It’s hard enough even if you don’t wriggle like that.”
The voice falling over my closed eyelids was more annoyed than ferocious, so she stopped moving immediately.
She doesn’t know why Cardan is helping her, but she’d better do what he tells her to do.
She wanted to say, ‘I’m in awe,’ or ‘I’m sorry’, or ‘I was so moved that I couldn’t help myself that the Emperor was showing such mercy to a mere lowly subject’.
But as soon as she opened her mouth, her eyes closed and she fell into a deep sleep helplessly.
She woke up to the sensation of falling.
When she opened her eyes, what she saw was the ceiling of a familiar office.
“You woke up pretty quickly.”
Cardan’s callous voice fell over her head.
It was a sweet word that she couldn’t tell if it was a pity that she woke up, or if he was just talking without any hidden meaning.
She was in a hurry to get up, but she almost fell off the sofa from a headache.
“I didn’t have to take you here?”
Cardan cut off her words and sneered at her.
She was going to say thank you for taking her this far, but as she’s sure her brain couldn’t make an excuse in front of Cardan, so she had no choice but to keep her mouth shut.
“You can’t even control your body yet. Your pride is useless.”
Cardan’s indifferent gaze went straight to the salad that had not yet been eaten on the table.
A fork on the salad, and scattered bits of it was all over the table.
Cardan grinned and picked up the fork. The fork swung once in his hand and flashed like a dagger in an instant.
Without realizing it, she swallowed.
But luckily, instead of sticking the fork to her neck, he dipped it in the salad.
And it disappeared into Cardan’s mouth without even drying it.
It was a lot more than she ate. She couldn’t help but stare at Cardan with a frozen, bewildered face.