2323-chapter-7

With that amount, even if he’s a Sword Master, wouldn’t he fall down? Then what about her? Is she going to be taken away immediately for murdering the royal family?

But no matter how long she waited, Cardan did not fall. He wasn’t breathing hard, and he wasn’t even sweating.

She almost stuck her tongue out.

The Cardan in front of her may be a poor monarch, but his physical ability alone seemed to be incredibly superior.

A clear bell-like sound rang as Cardan threw the fork on the plate.

“Bitter. It’s not tasty.”

His brow wrinkled slightly, as if something was bothering him.

And then he raised his eyebrows at her.

“Could you stop doing useless things?”

It was as if he knew everything about the salad and the fact that the Duke of Baloa was practicing the detoxification method.

While her mouth clenched, not knowing what to say, Cardan left the office as if nothing had happened.

She stared blankly at the door where he disappeared, then wiped her face.

A lot of cold sweat came out.

“I don’t know anymore.”

Is he threatening her not to overwork her body or to accept death without trying to avoid poisoning with an unnecessary method of detoxification?

For now, she decided not to remove Cardan from the list of suspects.

 

。+.。☆゚:;。+゚ ☆*゚¨゚゚・*:..゙

 

When Cardan returned to his place, a crow flew in through the crack in the open window.

“Kah!”

The crow that flew towards Cardan sat on his shoulder.

“Kahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

“Okay, stop pushing me.”

Cardan pulled a small tin can from his arms, and he tossed a snack at the crow.

The crow immediately took it and ran to the table.

A map of the Imperial Palace was spread out on the table, and the map was full of various models.

“Kah!”

The crow moved several models to different positions with one foot.

Cardan, silently watching, narrowed his brow as the raven moved a miniature letter model from the Empress Dowager’s palace to the Duke’s office.

And soon he threw another snack to the crow.

“Watch carefully. Whether the Duke accepts the invitation or not.”

Cardan sat down on his chair, ruffling his head, then tilting the chair back precariously.

She is a poisonous woman who will do anything for her own purposes, enough to eat poison on her own.

She now was bound by her contract with him, but he didn’t know when she would hold hands with the Empress Dowager and stab him in the back.

Cardan fiddled with the dagger around his waist.

Whatever Erina she was in the past, she was now an opponent he has to deal with someday.

 

。+.。☆゚:;。+゚ ☆*゚¨゚゚・*:..゙

 

After she sighed and fell asleep, an invitation came from the Empress Dowager’s palace.

“Oho, afternoon tea time.”

I tapped the corner of the sky-blue invitation card that smelled of perfume on the desk.

“That’s great.”

The Empress Dowager was also one of the suspects in trying to poison the duke.

The Duke of Baloa kept the Empress Dowager in check. She was accused of leaking information to the Empress Dowager, so that she tried to kill Sir Ethan.

If the Empress Dowager was likewise keeping the Duke of Baloa in check, poisoning of food would be like saying hello.

But she wasn’t sure.

Looking at the records of the duke, the Empress Dowager sent various gifts as well as invitations of this kind every week.

Even though the Duke had never responded.

“It seems like he wanted to get to know the duke, but she has no idea what kind of person she is.”

She swiped the name scribbled in colorful cursive at the end of the invitation.

Amelia Eslin.

She repeated the docile name a few times and put together the information she already knew.

The original Empress Dowager was a character with no presence until the end of the novel, when the secret was handed over to Esland.

At the very least, how many times has she appeared as a person who sympathizes with the rolling heroine?

She was a feeble woman who does not have the courage to go against the emperor and comforted the heroine only with her words.

According to the original story, the Empress Dowager was never the kind of person who would poison anyone.

“Still, I can’t blindly trust the original.”

Seuk. She folded the invitation in half.

“I’ll have to make a plan first.”

 

。+.。☆゚:;。+゚ ☆*゚¨゚゚・*:..゙

 

“Thank you for inviting me.”

Instead of bending her knees slightly, she bowed hard.

“Oh, oh, oh my, welcome.”

The Empress Dowager grabbed and shook her hand.

She faltered inwardly at the unusual way of shaking hands.

Instead of holding the hand with all four fingers excluding the thumb facing down, she held it upwards.

She was expecting the same handshake that she was familiar with, but she suddenly remembered that the Empress Dowager was from Esland.

She also appeared several times in the novel.

The figure of a woman holding the emperor’s hand in Esland’s custom, and then being dragged away helplessly.

When she saw this in reality, she realized that she really transmigrated.

“It’s really, really nice to meet you, Duke.”

The Empress Dowager greeted her with a youthful, feminine energy, which is not like a middle-aged woman’s.

Her smooth, wrinkle-free skin, gorgeous blonde hair that seemed to be woven with gold thread, and transparent light purple eyes made her forget her real age.

Her drawing room was also light blue and gold, and it looked like a playroom for a young princess, not the room of the dignified Empress Dowager.

“The duke was coming, so I ordered a special sweet tea, what?”

Her maidservant immediately poured her tea as the Empress Dowager clapped her hand with a bright smile. The sweet scent of flowers spread quickly.

“It smells good.”

At one word of courtesy, the Empress Dowager began to shed tears.

“Duke Baloa, you’re serious, right?”

“Yeah, it’s regrettable that I’ve only come here now, because you’ve served me such a good cup of tea.”

After saying yes again, Empress Dowager dabbed her eyes with her lace handkerchief.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m so silly, right?”

It was frustrating, but she’s a pro in facial expression acting.

“What do you mean silly?. It’s not like that at all. I’m just grateful that Empress Dowager welcomes me with such sincerity.”

Then Empress Dowager grabbed her hand.

“I knew how busy the duke was, so I understood every time you turned down my teatime invitation, but I must have been a little upset, like an idiot.”

The Empress Dowager laughed bashfully. She looked so young that there was not incompatibility at all.

“Are you annoyed with the invitations I sent every month?”

After she let go of her hand, the Empress Dowager  covered her cheek with one hand.

“We’re the only two women staying in the palace, but I’m greedy because I want to be a friend who chats with the duke and shares gifts…”

Did this person tried to poison her?

As she brought the teacup to her lips, the Empress Dowager’s gaze followed the trace of her hand.

She took a sip without hesitation.

“Uh-!”

And then she immediately grabbed her neck.

“Kook, kook, kook, cough! Cough!”

She took a deep breath, and blood rushed to her face. Her body slowly leaned to the side.

“Duke! Are you okay?”

The Empress Dowager beckoned to the maids.

“Hurry up! Hurry up, the duke-!”

“Ah.”

As soon as the maids approached her, she sat up straight as if nothing had happened.

“I guess I choked on something.”

Before she even put her lips on the teacup, she was sure the tea was not poisonous.

The duke fed the pigeons only for private meals.

In other words, it means that the duke is defenseless at dinners with foreign guests, banquets of nobles, and small tea parties like this.

However, she has never been poisoned in public. That said, it means that she wants to keep things quiet so that she can come to the duke.

So she did a little bit of acting.

“Oh, Duke-! Are you really okay?”

She wanted to see how the Empress Dowager will react.

However, no matter how much she looked at the empress’s face, she could not read any emotions other than worry.

Is this not enough?

“It’s okay. I’m sorry for worrying you.”

She laughed softly.

“You invited me with so much effort, but I ended up showing my ugliness.”

“What, it’s not like that at all. Are you sure you’re okay?”

The Empress Dowager waved her hand with a clear face.

Anyone who sees it will see that she is genuinely worried about her.

But it would be foolish to be relieved with something like this.

“Yeah. I looked unpleasant like this. Actually, I felt sorry to come empty-handed, so I brought a small gift. I hope you will accept it.”

“Oh my, it’s a present. You didn’t have to.”

Even as she said that, the Empress Dowager’s cheeks turned red.

“It’s a hand-blended tea.”

She smiled brightly as she pulled out the box from under the table.

“With fragrant Mereiza flowers.”

The Empress Dowager’s hand holding the teacup stopped for a moment.

Then she tilted her head and asked.

“Mereiza flowers are unusual. Don’t you usually use flowers with strong scents?”

There was no sign of surprise, no sign of irritation at all. It was pure curiosity.

Is the Empress Dowager really not the culprit?

She decided to try a little more.

“Of course, I like flowers with strong scents, but I really like the subtle scent of Mereiza flowers.”

The Empress Dowager carefully removed the packaging from the box and smelled the tea leaves.

“It smells good.”

It was a simple remark.

“Unlike the roots, the flowers of Mereiza are non-toxic and have an excellent fragrance, making them a perfect to drink as tea.”

Even after continuing the explanation, she still only showed a bright smile, but there was no response from the Empress Dowager.

“Thank you very much, Duke. You also prepared such a meaningful gift for me.”

“Don’t mention it. Well, there is someone I want to introduce to you.”

The maid who brought her meal to the office the other day came in when she snapped her finger.

The most likely culprit would be this maid.

However, interrogating this maid would only reveal that she was looking for the mastermind and that the Duke has prepared countermeasures against the Mereiza poison. Therefore, they might try using a different poison to kill her.

She’s not going to fall for it. Therefore, it was more important to find out who was behind it than to deal with the maid.

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