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The Duchess’ maid eventually arrived, accompanied by a Cardian Family knight. With a pale complexion, she testified that the dress piece was the one the Duchess wore that day.
As soon as she had finished speaking, she passed out, and the knight of the duchy had to carry her back to the inn.
The knight in charge of escorting the ducal family greeted the commander of the imperial knights with a sharp look. The knight commander looked at them with a solemn face.
The Duke of Cardian’s family had rented the village’s largest inn and was staying there. The town was small, but there were a few decent inns because travelers came to use the teleportation magic circle on occasion.
“……I think this is the end of the search. Would you mind if tell him directly?”
“The Duke is still asleep. I’ll tell you as soon as he wake up. To His Majesty the Emperor…….”
“I’ll deliver the message for you. I hope you will make every effort to recover the Duke of Cardian.”
The knight commander bowed his head with a solemn face and left the inn. Given the situation, no one could follow and see him off.
Through the window, they could see them leave.
The knights exchanged glances with one another. Except for the two who were supposed to wait on the duchess, the duke’s servants had already been dispatched.
They couldn’t use the teleportation magic circle, so they had to continue by carriage, which meant they’d be there for several days.
Miline grimaced as she climbed the stairs to the third floor of the inn.
Despite renting the entire building, all the employees at the inn were sent out. He said he didn’t need anything other than food. All of the maids who stayed at the inn were trustable.
Miline arrived at the third-floor room where the Duke of Cardian was said to be sleeping. She raised her voice as she knocked on the door.
“Duke, I brought you some medicine. I will go inside.”
Miline opened the door and went inside, and then closed it. She then walked over to the side of Will, the fake Duke of Cardian, who was pretending to be sleeping.
Miline placed a tray of medicine, a water bottle, and glasses on the table and then sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Everyone has left.”
Will, still in the guise of Duke Cardian, opened his eyes.
“Do you think they believe it?”
“Perfectly. Nancy’s fainting acting was quite good! When Nancy saw the pieces of the Duchess’ body, she nearly passed out……”
The knights found a piece of Celia’s clothes, but the body part that fell nearby was stolen from a random corpse.
Within the guard station with the teleportation magic circle, there were bodies that seemed to belong to officials.
Will sat up and pondered.
“I’m doing it because I was instructed to, but that’s fine. The Duchess will come back alive anyway… … Is it really needed to act as if she’s no longer alive?”
“Then how long are we going to search? Given the Duke’s personality and the Duchess’ body hasn’t been found, does it make sense for him to return to the Duchy?
Miline replied in a hushed voice, wondering whether anyone was eavesdropping in. Will nodded as if he understood what she meant.
“Did the Duke make it out alive? What about the madam?”
“I hope they are both safe. I’ve become attached to the duchy where the mistress now resides, and I can’t go back without her.”
Will smiled at Miline’s words as she shook her head.
“If the duke fails to save the madam, the duke’s family will be ruined anyway. The duke will most likely go insane and try to kill every member of the imperial family, and then dying…… The Duke of Cardian then eventually dies.”
“What a terrible story! Don’t say that, even if it’s a joke.”
It was a careless thing to say because he had no idea what would happen in the end: Leonis’ suicide, the ruin of the imperial family, and the destruction of the continent.
Miline slapped Will’s flippant mouth as he shrugged his shoulders at his unpleasant thought.
✦ ✦ ✦
She thought it was bearable.
Celia clutched Leonis’s back in a cold sweat.
He found moving difficult in this dangerous situation, so she switched positions by carrying her on his back. Celia was worried about the strapped panties but ignored them for now.
She said getting away from the capital was the most important thing.
Leonis said going to Cardian Duchy through his usual route would be perilous. Therefore, they would take a detour by crossing the mountain.
“Celia, are you sure you are okay?”
“Don’t worry, it’s just I’m cold. Until now… … It feels like it’s tickling there a little, but…… That’s all.”
It was all a lie. She had a tickly sensation all over her chest and vaginal area. At the same time, she was concerned because the portions appeared to be cold rather than hot.
“……I think your body temperature is still normal.”
Leonis wrapped his cloak around her shoulders before carrying Celia on her back. Before leaving the secret passage, he had removed his hood wig and left it behind.
Celia buried her face in Leonis’ nape, and she could feel his warmth. Even his breathing becomes rough little by little.
“The ‘dew on the rose’ is…… What exactly is the effect?”
“I’m not sure exactly. They say that if you drink even one drop, you will go insane and want to hug a man. If you’re not willing to put up with that, then…….”
“How about if I don’t?”
“Your hands and feet are getting colder….. I know that later on, your heart will race and you will die because you won’t be able to breathe.”
Leonis looked at Celia’s lips and nails as he spoke. Celia’s face had turned pale after hearing the information. She was told it was poison but didn’t think she needed an antidote. She had no idea that the drug she took would kill her if she didn’t have sex with a man.
“Because they say your nails and lips become purple as the poison spreads……”
Celia examined her hand but couldn’t be sure because it was already dark. Leonis replied that her hand was still pink. He was a sword master, and he still could see her finger and nails clearly.
“But, just in case, if you want to go somewhere safe…..Let’s do it.”
Zeppel knew this, so he sneaked out. Celia nodded her head, her face flushed.
‘By the way, I have to tell you about the divine beast’s egg.’
It was hard to find the right time to tell him.
✦ ✦ ✦
Michael, when he came to his senses, was enraged.
He couldn’t believe he was going through such an ordeal for someone like Giel! Giel was not a chess player on the board he had laid out. Giel is an additional player who must be dealt with off the field.
“How did things turn out?”
Michael said, trying to control his anger. His adjutant could not guess what Michael was asking, but he discussed the matter first. That’s the first thing Michael would have thought of.
“……Duke Cardian seemed to have returned to his duchy. Imperial investigators are searching the area for traces of the monster that attacked the Cardian family.”
Even the traces were planned for today, so investigators could identify the research facility where the monsters were created in a matter of days.
There, it was clear that he would find evidence relating to Phil and accuse him.
To prevent the Emperor from covering it up, Michael persuaded a knight from a family with a grudge against Phil to take over the investigation.
Michael’s man was standing right next to the investigator. He hoped to persuade the investigators to disseminate the evidence to the House of Nobility, which conflicted with the emperor, and to the Tower of Magic.
The Tower of Magic, which regulates research on monsters as illegal, wouldn’t let this go easily.
‘The Tower of Magic…… I’ll have to get them on my hands later. Now is the time to put them to use.’
“And I have something to report. It is about the second prince.”
Michael’s eyes widened as he heard the unexpected remarks of the adjutant. Michael had planned everything up until Phil kidnapped Celia Cardian. Michael thought Celia had a terrible time that night.
“Did you mean she got away? That woman?”
“It is said that there was an intruder in the palace of the second prince. It is presumed that they took the Duchess out.”
“What do you mean? Did you mean they haven’t caught her yet?”
Michael, when he heard that Phil almost lost his right arm due to the intruder, his face contorted.
Yesterday was supposed to be a spectacular night.
However, unexpected events occurred one after the other.
The attack on Giel and the Second Imperial Palace invasion were similar. Everything in the world is said to be unpredictable, but yesterday’s events were too much.
“…… Did you say that intruder found the Duchess of Cardian?”
Michael’s eyes were filled with a cold glare.
“The Duke of Cardian.”
“I heard the Duke of Cardian was trapped in a carriage explosion and had broken his arm. He was also said to have been seriously injured…”
His adjutant objected as if he wasn’t convinced, but Michael seemed convinced.
“If it wasn’t Duke Cardian, he would have sent someone. What he knows…… He couldn’t possibly have noticed my plan. Phil’s underling must have left a trail of destruction by kidnapping… That would have been his tail bound to be stepped on if it is long.” 
Michael came to that conclusion, but he thought it was still uncertain.
If that’s the case, who told Giel about Vivian now? Was that also the Duke of Cardian?
If that’s the case, it means one of his men is a traitor. It’s also possible that someone had been watching him for a long time.
Michael became uneasy and turned to face his adjutant.
“What is the Duke of Carta doing? Doesn’t it seem like he noticed about Giel and me?”
“I understand your Highness has taken precautions to prevent it from leaking…… It is expected to reach the Duke’s ear in a few days.”
Even if the Duke of Carta discovered the truth, he couldn’t do anything about it for a few days. Michael was the prince, and Vivian was his wife; if the Duke of Carta became suspicious of him, he would not take Vivian.
As long as Vivian, the hostage, is in Michael’s hands, the Duke of Carta has no choice but to obey his will.
“And his Highness Prince Giel……He would have received probation.”
 It is a metaphorical word that means that no matter how secretly you do bad things if you do it for a long time and do it many times, you will eventually be caught.