“I know that you’d procured funds for Count Celestial’s rebellion.”
Ferdian furrowed his brow slightly. Mia pinched her nose and made a puzzled face.
“Well, it wasn’t exactly my intention… But doesn’t His Majesty know about it?”
“His Majesty is well aware of everything.”
“Then why did His Majesty spare my life?”
“I dare not speculate on his intentions.”
“Oh, I see… You don’t know…”
Mia murmured, and Ferdian’s eyebrows twitched.
‘Hmm. Did that sound too rude?’
Mia quickly showed both her hands and smiled widely.
“Ah, Lord, I…”
“Nevertheless, I don’t like you.”
In that moment, Ferdian took a step towards Mia. The calloused hand that had been resting on his waist had somehow found its way to the hilt of his sword.
“As the daughter of a traitor, it would be easy to kill you right now…”
His voice dropped to a low whisper, and my breath caught in my throat.
‘Will he kill me?’
However, contrary to Mia’s expectations, Ferdian did not draw his sword. It was not the will of the Emperor, whom he trusted and followed. Instead, he issued a slow, heavy warning in a low voice.
“If you are a threat to His Majesty, you should be on your guard.”
In the eerie silence, Mia swallowed hard. She looked like a frightened rabbit. She wasn’t good at lying, just as Chancellor Joachim had said.
‘But she went to the Leventor Palace. I can’t let my guard down.’
With an icy gaze, Ferdian turned away.
“Behave yourself properly.”
His figure, clad in uniform, receded into the distance.
* * *
Mia was left alone in a corner of Leventor Palace’s garden. Ferdian hadn’t come to retrieve her. As Mia was lost in unexpected thoughts, someone waved their hand at her from a distance.
“There you are! Over here!”
Upon closer inspection, it was the green-haired doctor Mia had seen at the medical center. She rushed towards Mia and flopped down to the floor.
“I have committed a grave sin!”
“I dared not recognize someone so important…!”
Mia calmly looked down at the woman who had suddenly appeared. The hand resting on the floor trembled weakly. She seemed nervous, but Mia didn’t let her guard down.
‘If she’s Krysor’s doctor, chances are she’s on her side. For now, it’s better to observe the situation.’
So, Mia pretended not to know anything and took the woman’s hand, helping her up.
“Oh, no! I’m just a pet!”
“It would be a great honor to be His Majesty’s pet! Besides, His Majesty is not someone who easily opens his heart to others. Yet he keeps you by his side. That’s quite remarkable!”
…Well, it’s not like that. She was being watched.
Mia couldn’t hide her confusion and awkwardly changed the subject.
“Um, by the way, what’s your name?”
“Oh! I forgot to introduce myself!”
The woman with green hair smiled brightly, her hair swaying.
“I’m Embra Tetha, lady! I’m the Chief Physician at the Imperial Medical Center!”
“Wow, Chief Physician!”
Mia, who had been playing along, became slightly suspicious.
‘The Chief Physician in ‘Serenity of the Rose Garden’ was someone else, though?’
Well, she’ll probably resign soon. That was how it usually goes for employees.
Mia brushed off that thought without giving it much importance.
“Nice to meet you, Embra! I’m Mia. I have a surname, but it disappeared due to treason!”
“Oh, that’s fine! Nowadays, it’s not a big deal!”
“But did you come here to apologize for that?”
“Oh, no! It’s not that. I’m so sorry for mistaking you for one of our new recruits earlier…”
“Well, I’m fine!”
“No! I can’t let it go like this! If you have time, would you visit the medical center? I’ll treat you to some delicious tea! We also have Numini’s Sakura Candy! It’s a new product!”
Mia was about to refuse immediately, but she paused as soon as she heard ‘Numini’s product’.
“Yes! I love sweet things! I ordered them a long time ago, but they were Tiberium products, so it took time to import them, and I finally received them!”
Embra replied cheerfully with a smile.
“What do you think? Would you forgive my mistake with a cup of tea and Sakura candy?”
Mia didn’t want to go, but Sakura candy!
In truth, Mia had a sweet tooth. While managing Miromis Trade Association, all the desserts were her guilty pleasure.
In the end, Mia nodded reluctantly.
“…Fine, I’ll go!”
“That’s an excellent choice!”
This was definitely not falling for the bait. She was just conducting a thorough investigation of the Empress Dowager’s territory. Mia followed Embra, rationalizing her actions.
Embra guided Mia to her personal office inside the infirmary. The office was shockingly messy. The table in the center was particularly cluttered, with papers, trash, a kettle, and herbs scattered about. On the floor… for some reason, there were clothes. It was a highly disorganized room, but Mia simply smiled brightly.
“It feels so cozy!”
“Yes! Since I’m the chief, I have my own space!”
Mia looked around while Embra gestured to a chair for her to sit in.
‘For now… I should think of building a friendly relationship for the future.’
Reminding herself that she wasn’t just enchanted by the prospect of Numini’s Sakura Candy.
“Please wait a moment!”
Embra started bustling around, pulling something diligently from a space filled with kitchen utensils.
Then, with her back turned, she spoke.
“Oh, dear! Could you move the cauldron next to it? We’re running out of space.”
Mia looked around and spotted a round, flat piece of pottery that resembled a kettle.
“Is it this?”
Mia absentmindedly picked up the cauldron.
“Be careful! It’s hot!”
“Oops, it’s hot!”
Mia dropped the cauldron. A searing pain surged through her palm. It was a burn.
“Oh my, lady!”
Embra hurriedly rushed over and attended to Mia. Her right palm was reddening and had a burn. It was painful.
“Come this way! We have to cool it with cold water!”
Mia followed Embra towards the sink, her face contorting in pain. However, in one corner of her heart, she felt suspicious.
‘Just now… It seemed like she deliberately mentioned it too late. I hope it’s not what I think it is.’
While tears welled up, Mia examined Embra’s face. Embra genuinely looked full of concern.
“I’m sorry! Since we have so many medicines in the medical center, we use the table connected to the cauldron for convenience. I’m sorry for not mentioning it earlier…”
It was a perplexing excuse that Mia couldn’t understand, which only added to her confusion.
Soon, the treatment of cooling the burn with running water was complete. Embra sat Mia down and started applying a cooling ointment.
As a gesture of apology, Embra tried to hand over the bag of Sakura Candy, but Mia had lost her appetite.
“How are you these days?” Embra asked while gently spreading the light green ointment.
“I’m fine because Adil treats me well.”
“Oh my! You’re referring to His Majesty by name…”
Blushing, Embra lowered her head, and Mia realized her mistake.
‘I got used to calling him by name since he’s the main character…’
Mia quickly changed the subject.
“By the way, does that mean you took care of His Majesty too?”
“Oh, no! Not really!”
“His Majesty doesn’t receive treatment from the doctors at the Medical Center.”
“Then how does he treat injuries…?”
“We don’t know either! There seems to be a dedicated doctor and a chief, but they haven’t revealed their identities.”
As Mia listened to Embra’s words, she recalled the novel.
‘In the novel, Adil would receive treatment from the doctors when he got injured. So it wasn’t the doctors of the Medical Center.’
It seemed strange to Mia that he could entrust his body to someone who might have ties to the Empress Dowager. She initially thought it was just a plot hole, but perhaps there were many things omitted from the story.
‘Just like how the Empress Dowager was behind Count Celestial’s treason.’
Mia sighed. There were so many things she didn’t know, even though she had read the story.
“What’s wrong?” Embra asked while applying a thin layer of gauze over the ointment.
“It’s not about that! I just thought I was too naive…”
“I wanted to be of help to His Majesty, but things don’t seem to be going well!”
Embra lightly responded and observed Mia’s expression. It seemed like she was deep in thought. After finishing the treatment, Embra closed the medicine box and smiled.
“You see, the world is filled with things you don’t know, Mia. Even doctors make a lot of mistakes at first.”
“Yes! A doctor’s mistakes can be especially fatal. If they mix medicines incorrectly, something that’s supposed to be a remedy can turn into poison.”
“Yes. Medicines and poisons are quite similar.”
“That’s right! Depending on the constitution, it can become poison. But how does one know that from the beginning? It’s through trial and error.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes! For example…”
Embra paused and glanced around. There was no one else in the room.
“When His Majesty was very young, there was a time when he consumed a potion made from Violet Herb Roots and suffered greatly. It would have been better if we had known earlier…”
“Violet Herb Roots?”
Mia felt like she had seen them before.
She furrowed her eyebrows.
“At that time, the doctors almost faced execution. Fortunately, His Majesty woke up and said he was okay, so he barely survived… Anyway, people can’t know everything. You have to experience it to know!”
Mia could no longer hear Embra’s voice.
“Wow, I heard the roots of this herb are violet! Are the roots really violet?”
Suddenly, the image of the suspicious doctor Mia had encountered in the medical center came to mind. Read ahead here.