YCKTML Chapter 61
After speaking more with Eliana, I headed back to the Duke’s room.
The smell in the room was less pungent than before.
I stood by the bed where the Duke was lying and focused on the dark, dried-up skin that reminded me of a wilted tree for a moment.
If this was like the bird, the closer I got to the Duke, the closer he was to his death.
As I thought about it, the Duke opened his eyes. His dry lips opened, and a hoarse voice said, “…E…rin.”
It was the voice of the dead.
“Yes, Your Grace.”
On the day I met the Duke, was our first conversation the last I had with the living Duke?
Thinking like that made me feel weird.
“Rupert, that… poor guy…”
But was the father still the father? He was showing compassion for his son.
I looked down at the Duke calmly, then wondered about what he wanted.
I bent down and whispered, “Duke, the medicine you are taking is a medicine that prolongs your life. Do you want to keep taking it?”
I struggled to ask him directly if he wanted to live longer. And since it’s the drug he’s taking, I thought he should know that too.
The Duke didn’t answer and only blinked slowly. Then he immediately closed his eyes. There were deep wrinkles on his forehead.
“… I’m sleepy. I want to rest now.”
He looked exhausted.
That was the answer.
My hand moved on its own, gently stroking the back of his hand, dry and rough to the touch. I wondered if this was possible or if it was really my ability.
As I stroked the back of his hand once more, his expression relaxed. Of course, he wasn’t dead yet. He closed his eyes and licked his lips as if he was about to say something.
I moved my ear closer to him to hear him speak, “…I understand.”
I took a step back, picked up my skirt, and curtsied. “Then sleep well.”
And without hesitation, I turned around. Tomorrow I will leave this place.
As soon as I went down, I instructed Jenny to prepare to leave.
As soon as the day dawned, we hurriedly prepared the carriage.
“Are you ready?”
When I heard Jenny speak, I looked out the window. The Imperial carriage, which His Highness often rode, was in front of the castle. I felt like I knew the reason, so something tickled me.
I smiled as much as I could and turned around, then walked out the door. My pace gradually quickened.
When I reached the carriage, the door opened from the inside, and a handsome man appeared.
“You came early.”
“…I couldn’t sleep. And again maybe…”
A little nervous, I looked around. A few servants came to say goodbye, but Rupert and Chloe were nowhere to be found.
Enoch reached out his hand, and I turned to look at it.
“Shall we?” Enoch asked.
I knew I had to answer him, but I was at a loss for words for some reason.
“Your Highness, I think…”
He nodded his head lightly as if telling me to continue.
“I think I have to go and tell him.”
I didn’t want to meet Rupert, and I thought the event was inevitable anyway, so I figured I would just leave. However, the Duke’s will changed my mind.
I got off the carriage again and headed back to the castle.
Eliana carried the tray, looking blankly ahead as if deep in thought.
“Well, there’s a lot on your tray today, so be careful carrying it.”
As usual, Melaton placed a bowl of medicine on the tray. Eliana stood there, staring for a moment at the liquid swirling slightly on the bowl.
“Why aren’t you going yet?”
At Melaton’s urging, Eliana moved slowly. Melaton looked at her distastefully and followed her.
“Don’t be foolish, otherwise this medicine won’t work. Then my brother will die soon.”
Eliana, who would normally apologize, silently climbed the stares without answering.
But Melaton didn’t care. He didn’t have time to consider the feelings of a mistress, especially one that’s merely a maid.
As he made his way upstairs, Melaton looked around. Fortunately, the Duke’s son, Rupert, had little interest in the Duke and rarely came to the third floor.
When they entered the Duke’s room, Melaton stared at Eliana and the Duke from behind.
Eliana stared at the Duke as she held the medicine bowl and spoon. The Duke’s complexion was brighter than yesterday. He seemed to be sleeping comfortably as if he had a good dream.
“What are you doing? Come on, give Brother the medicine,” Melaton grumbled, but Eliana didn’t move. “Hey, Eliana!”
Melaton approached and patted her, and Eliana trembled and stepped back.
Melaton grabbed the bowl from Eliana’s hand, opened the Duke’s mouth with one hand, and tried to pour the medicine into his mouth.
However, the Duke didn’t swallow the medicine, and the liquid flowed out.
“What, why? Brother, brother?”
Melaton shook Duke Clifford to wake him up, thinking he had fallen asleep too deeply. That’s when he realized something was wrong.
Upon closer inspection, the Duke’s complexion looked pale. Melaton’s shaking body stiffened.
Melaton placed the medicine bowl on the floor and put her hand on the Duke’s neck under the ear.
“No, it couldn’t be…”
Eliana’s eyes widened, and she covered her mouth in disbelief.
“Brother, brother! No, you can’t die like this!” Melaton shook the Duke even harder and took the medicine bowl from the floor.
The Duke had already died once and was brought to life with this drug. He could survive again this time.
With trembling hands, Melaton placed the vial in the Duke’s mouth and poured the drug.
Then the door suddenly opened.
Melaton and Eliana turned to the door.
Rupert entered the room with a terrifying expression on his face. He looked at Melaton coldly and said, “Get your hands off him. What are you doing?”
“Y-you. What are you doing to your uncle?!”
“Uncle? Don’t be ridiculous.” Rupert stepped closer to him, took the medicine bowl in his hand and pushed him to one side.
Rupert checked the Duke’s condition then turned to Melaton. “From this moment, you’re the murderer who poisoned Duke Clifford.”
“What…! This is not that kind of drug!”
“I’ve just seen you feed him, but you’re still pretending to be innocent..”
Rupert placed the medicine bowl on the bedside table, glanced back and said, “Arrest this man and put him in the dungeon.”
The knights who followed Rupert pulled Melaton. The preparations were thorough as if he had known that this would happen.
“No, I didn’t kill him! He was already dead when we arrived!”
Eliana stood in her corner, trembling. Rupert turned to her with his terrifying glare and said, “Tell me right now. You were right next to him.”
Melaton definitely drugged the Duke, but he didn’t poison him. She confirmed it herself.
But strangely, now she couldn’t speak. So while she stuttered, discomposed, Chloe quietly entered the room.
“Chloe, don’t come in. It’s not going to look good.”
Then Richard ran in and looked into the room in disbelief. “No, His Grace…”
“Hey, Richard! Listen to me! I didn’t kill him!”
Richard, still in shock, asked Rupert, “Young Master, how did this happen?”
“…That man was giving my father that drug, And this is where it is now.”
“Count Melaton! Is it true?”
“No, no, it isn’t!”
After hearing the news, the servants also ran in.
“Your Grace, this can’t be!”
After seeing with their own eyes that the peacock was dead, they sat down and wept bitterly.
“I’m telling you, it’s not poison!”
“Then what kind of drug is it?”
“That… I mean…”
Melaton glanced at Chloe. But as their eyes met, he started stuttering, feeling as if something had blocked his mouth, and then suddenly uttered something completely different.
“Hey, Rupert! Let’s talk about being a b*stard!”
When the word ‘b*stard’ came out of Melaton’s lips, Richard and the other servants looked at Rupert in disbelief.
Although they had worked for a long time, they were completely unaware of this fact.
Despite Rupert’s harsh warning, Melaton exclaimed with more excitement. His words were an outrage to Rupert.
“How can we be sure this person born from the womb of a lowly woman is my brother’s son! You did this to attack me!”
As soon as Melaton finished speaking, all reason left Rupert, and his blue eyes flashed. He finally drew his sword.
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