AIWTRO Chapter Forty-Five

AIWTRO Chapter 45

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“What’s the matter? Where’s the lady?”

Joseph: “She’s gone.”

“Pardon?”

Joseph: “She went to see someone else.”

“Who?”

Joseph: “If I knew that, I wouldn’t be standing here like this.”

“My god.”

Joy, a female member of Group B, grabbed her head in frustration.

“I’ll look outside then. Vice-Captain, look around the banquet hall. I’ll go tell Chris to look around the hall, too.”

Joseph: “Got it.”

Where the hell did she go?

Joseph’s eyebrows were crumpled with anxiety.


Without knowing that there were people looking anxiously for her, Keira entered the terrace.

A person was already waiting for her.

“Long time no see, Keira.”

Keira: “Grandfather.”

It was her maternal grandfather, Marquis of Edinburgh.

He was an old man who looked very young for his age, with his gray hair slicked back and gray beard neatly trimmed.

Keira sat across from him.

Keira: “I’m glad to see you in good health.”

Grandfather: “The feeling is mutual.”

“There won’t be anyone else listening in, right?”

Grandfather: “Of course. We’re a family that shares the same blood, don’t we?”

It’s something she’s heard since she was young. It was a line that clearly showed ulterior motives.

It made sense that the Grand Duke was wary of him.

Grandfather: “So, why did you ask to see me?”

Keira: “I have something to ask you. It’s something I don’t want the Grand Duke to know.”

When she said that, her grandfather frowned.

Grandfather: “Let’s listen to it first.”

Keira: “I’d like to ask you one question before then.”

Grandfather: “What could I not say to my granddaughter?”

Keira: “Other than my mother, His Excellency had another wife.”

Grandfather: “You mean the woman who was thrown out because of a defect. Why are you asking about her?”

Keira: “Rowena Weinberg, was she really barren and couldn’t have children?”

“…”

Was Cosette really the baby she gave birth to?

Why was she able to handle spirits, and why did she resemble the Grand Duke if she’s a fake?

Grandfather: “…I don’t know why you’d ask that sort of question. Did you only ask to meet me to ask that?”

Keira: “Before that, please answer me honestly. Was Rowena Weinberg sterile?”

Grandfather: “Yes, that’s right. She couldn’t and didn’t give birth to a baby.”

Keira: “…Good.”

He even said so in the past.

Until he was taken to jail, he cried out, saying that Keira was the real daughter of the Grand Duke and that his daughter would never betray her husband.

She knew he was hiding something, but she didn’t think a few more words would make him tell the truth.

Keira had to take a different approach.

Keira: “I’ll trust you, grandfather.”

Grandfather: “Yes, yes. Why don’t you get to the point then?”

He shook his hand in the air as if trying to hurriedly change the topic.

Human psychology was bound to manifest itself in gestures.

Keira instinctively realized that he did not want to tell the story of the Grand Duchess who had been kicked out.

Keira: “I need a hideout where I can stay without worrying about food, clothing, and everything else.”

The best option was to reveal Cosette’s identity and have her executed, but she had to be prepared if things didn’t go as she intended.

She couldn’t be dragged to the guillotine as helplessly as before.

Grandfather: “A hideout? Why in the world would you need such a thing?”

Keira: “When you tell me the truth, I’ll tell you the reason.”

‘You’re hiding something, aren’t you?’

Keira looked straight at her maternal grandfather with an expression that seemed to say so.

She wouldn’t be able to relax if she didn’t prepare before Cosette arrived.

Her grandfather might assume that she already knew his secret and would ask her to tell him everything. Then she’d be able to hear the secret her grandfather was hiding.

Soon, a strange sound came out of the Marquis of Edinburgh’s mouth. She couldn’t tell if he was sighing or laughing.

Keira: “The reason I’m asking my grandfather to do this is is because I don’t want His Grace to know about it.”

Grandfather: “Yes, I guessed as much.”

Keira: “A place far from the capital, and a place where only you and I know the exact location. Could you please do it in less than a year? As grandfather once said…”

“…”

Keira: “…We’re on the same boat, right?”

Grandfather: “How cunning.”

Keira: “Thank you.”

Grandfather: “Did you commit a crime that needs to be concealed? As long as you’re the next spiritualist[1], you’ll be able to cover up most sins.”

‘The problem is, I may not be the next spiritualist.’

It would be nice if she could be assured that the spirit she saw just before she died was not merely an illusion.

Unfortunately, the investigation left to the servants had not made any progress.

Keira: “The hideout is just in case of an emergency, so there’s no need to worry.”

Grandfather: “At my age, I can’t help but feel anxious. Your words don’t sound comforting at all.

Instead of answering, she stood up with a slight smile.

Keira: “Then, I’ll leave it to you, grandfather. And don’t forget, we share the same blood.”

Grandfather: “I haven’t seen you in a long time, but was that all you wanted to discuss with me?”

Keira: “It wouldn’t be good to prolong our conversation. His Grace wouldn’t like it.”

Most of all, Sir Joseph was waiting for her.

She didn’t even tell him that she was meeting someone, so he must be worriedly looking for her by now.

Keira: “We’ll see each other on Zeke’s birthday banquet, grandfather.”

Grandfather: “Ah yes, his birthday is right around the corner.”

She looked down and whispered.

‘We’ve prepared for the worst.’

If things turn out the same as before, she’ll need a safe place to run away to.

She remembered the date when Cosette would manifest her abilities.

She’d be the target of some whispering and finger-pointing, but it was better than decapitation.

‘I’m relieved to have some minimal insurance…’

With that thought, she was about to leave the terrace when…

“Baby, are you sure you want to do it here? It’s too bright.”

“What about you? Isn’t it more thrilling? When did you become so shy?”

In the garden beyond the railing, she heard a couple of voices speaking. And the male voice sounded very familiar.


Reina: “Why aren’t they coming?”

Reina, who was watching the target, asked in frustration. Their ladyship that Joseph was tasked to bring was still nowhere to be seen.

Reina: “What’s wrong with you? You should go there.”

As Reina poked his back, Arthur sighed and stood up.

Arthur: “Ah, I made a mistake by asking Her Ladyship to go to the casino, and now this?”

Reina: “Just shut up and go.”

Arthur turned around to leave but stopped in his tracks when he saw one of their colleagues walking towards them.

‘Why…?’

According to the original plan, Group B should not appear here.

If Group B appeared instead of Her Ladyship, then something was wrong.

Hiding behind a tree, Christian, a Group B member, whispered.

Christian: “Her Ladyship is gone.”

Arthur: “What?”

Christian: “Lower your voice. They might hear you. While the Vice Captain was away for a while, she disappeared. Apparently, she’s off to meet someone.”

Arthur: “So, you haven’t found her yet?”

Christian: “That’s right.”

Arthur: “Ah, damn it. The plan looks completely ruined…”

The life of this operation was the timing.

They had to ‘accidentally’ bring her to right place at the right time.

But the Vice Captain whom they trusted made a crucial mistake!

As Arthur shook his head and sighed, he heard something rustling.

“…?”

The three looked back reflexively and froze.

Keira, with an expression that could only be compared to a blizzard, was standing there.


[1] From now on, I will be using ‘spiritualist’ instead of ‘Saintess’ since it’s more accurate.