3.1 Until the Day I Lose Her—bottom part of memoirs~
“Gilbert, I hereby declare that you’ll be put under house arrest for a month!”
“…Is this in regards to the current condition of Anne Marie?”
—After the recent incident,
Precisely just after Anne Marie fell, the Knight Order arrived. They sprung into action and put an end to the uprising.
The one who had directly led the hired bandits was none other than Viscount Groc. He had been captured on spot, and as of now, was imprisoned for questioning.
“—I was there last night solely for the purpose of rescuing Maria! Why won’t you guys understand!?”
He kept spouting nonsense; it seemed like he did not have any intention to talk about the real purpose behind the attack or the true mastermind behind it.
“No, to be more precise, this is a matter concerning Malone Grass.”
I was told that the said grass had been used to treat injuries sustained during a recent incident. That grass, I wonder what’s wrong about it?
“Those guards whom were behaving strangely and went berserk earlier have regained their sanity.”
“Just now, the side effects of Malone Grass have been clarified.”
“What…? ‘Side effects’…? That grass…?”
“That’s right. If a large amount of that grass is concentrated and ingested, it will cause intense hallucinations and debilitation. The consumer will be put to sleep.”
A strong hallucinogenic effect plus debilitation.
The bandits first broke through the Guards who were stationed outside—“No wonder those guard behaved ‘strangely’,” my brother nodded gravely. “The guard’s suffered injuries prior to the ball’s assault. They were minor ones, but very painful. As such, the guards were told by Bellman that the grass is an effective pain killer.”
The guards made taking the liquid concocted from that grass’ extract a habit from that day onward.
Since Marquis Bellman is reputated for his medicinal expertise, the guards must have swallowed up his words without ever doubting him.
At any rate, the one who delivered that medicine was the originator, aka the developer.
“The testimony from the guards and those highly concentrated vials found in the residence of Marquis Bellman are decisive evidences. Needless to say, he was also caught.”
It seemed that Marquis Bellman become aware of the grass’ side effect after trying it on himself during his research on how to use Malone Grass for medicinal purposes.
“‘I think the symptoms of those suffering from the side effects have their memories flying back and forth. I am worried they will stay disabled like that forever… It’s best to not use that grass anymore…’, was what some of the testimonies said.”
My brother told me so, but I knew he hadn’t told me everything.
Perhaps, the correct phrase would be; It’s best not to use that grass anymore—
—otherwise we would turn the same way as the Second Prince.
“I thought that the most suitable role for my current self is to manipulate events behind the scenes.”
Research-maniac; a prince who wasn’t even remotely interested in governing.
All that ever mattered were the results of my research. Without those results, I would’ve only become another one of the palace’s many decorations.
I kept wondering, ‘Why is Anne Marie alright being with such a person?’
“It might be because Anne Marie is the prime minister’s daughter. She probably thought I won’t hold any actual power if she’s there by your side.”
Oh, so you too are wary of her, Brother?
What a revelation. Never had I even considered it before.
Truly, I was a clueless person.
Malone Grass had a potent healing effect. It’s a very effective medicine, if used in an appropriate dosage.
Therefore, it would continue to be used in the future—with the dose now strictly controlled.
Regarding my fate as one of the grass’ developers, there seemed to have been some kind of weighty discussion that took place at first.
Left at the crowd’s disposal, there were voices declaring that I made a valuable discovery—that is, I discovered a miracle herb for treating injuries. Thus, the developer should be innocent.
Clashing with those voices, were those demanding for I to take responsibility for the harm caused by the grass’ side effects.
The arguments from both sides weighed evenly, but the incident that happened was just too severe. It was impossible to ignore.
Finally, it was settled with me having to suffer punishment.
Once again, the compassion of my older brother was proven;
Under the notion of house arrest, I was made to stay by the side of Anne Marie, who hadn’t awaken.
Three days had passed and she still hadn’t stirred once, much less woken up.
The maids would take care of her daily needs such as wiping her body, helping her sip water little by little, and spoon feed her a liquid meal to prevent choking.
And yet she still got thinner and thinner.
The stab wound on her flank was deep, however, it hadn’t bled much.
Not to mention I gave her first-aid immediately after the injury was inflicted.
I saved a life.
Yet, she still hadn’t opened her eyes…
On the contrary was I, someone who couldn’t even get a wink of sleep.
Alone, in the middle of the night, Anne Marie’s crying face haunted me.
I couldn’t remember any other of her facial expressions except for that one.
Please… anything is fine… even her looking expressionless is much better… just, not THAT one, I want to see a different expression…
I spent the entire night beside the sleeping figure of Anne Marie.
Nearing the end of my wits, Anne Marie’s sister, Liliana, seemed to finally have taken a hint about my sin.
Her suspicions rosed up bit by bit, seeing the roses inside Anne’s room being renewed by the maids everyday.
‘—Why are there such strong smelling flowers by the bedside of a sick person?’
‘—…Oh, I see now.’
“—So it was like that, huh?”
As one of the prime minister’s daughter, I’m sure Liliana had been well educated on not displaying what she truly felt. However, the woman in front of me, who didn’t even bother to conceal her displeasure, did not seem like so.
“Countess Heiden, what do you mean by—”
“I thought things were strange lately. I’ve heard of your certain interest in our kingdom’s Queen, and how your intention to marry her came… unrequited. So, were you planning on making my little sister compensate for it, or, —turning her into a substitute?”
“All of the things you have accused me of, I’m not, I would never—“
“Do you think I do not know!? During the engagement period! All of the present you gave her! They all match the Queen’s preferences!”
I did gave her those kind of presents.
Not even bothering to hear her actual feedback, I was certain those gifts were ones that she would cherish with all her being.
What she had just said rang a bell in my mind—they indeed matched the preferences of Maria. The similiarity was too obvious.
“I.. did all of that… devoid of any ill intentions.”
If anything, it was just me being the ignorant fool that I am.
That was why I depended on the wisdom of our predecessors.
***T/N: Uwaaah! Due to unforeseeable circumstance, the release got really really delayed! Sorry all! Since next week is midterm exam session for me, it might get a bit hard to stick with my usual schedule, but I shall do my best!