63. Reunion (3)
“What… a woman…”
The man must had understood my intentions. The face of the man looking down at me, with both hands still at my neck, was distorted in self-mockery. It seemed that he regretted choosing the wrong target.
The man muttered while turning towards Nick, whom had already fainted beside me. Either from pain, or poison—maybe both. This poison wasn’t strong, but quick acting. The amount of poison I had applied to the tip of her hair ornament was for adults. As such, the dosage was a bit too much for the young Nick. It wouldn’t cause death, though—not that the man in front of me was aware of such, though.
“…how dare you.”
The man stared at the unconscious Nick. The words he spat out were dyed in despair. He probably thought I killed Nick, which he considered unforgiveable. In an instant, his eyes were filled with murderous desire.
However, the strength of the man’s arms steadily diminished, contrary to his killing intent. The poison was working.
It was about time for his body to go numb. I looked up at the man and laughed.
I was declaring my victory, to shake his murderous intent, even if a little.
The man’s face was distorted. Nevertheless, the man never released me. He stared at me coldly with his sharp eyes—refusing to let go, even if he died.
—something is wrong.
That was the vibe I got from this guy—no matter how much I thought about it. Because it was strange. The poison should have circulated all throughout his body, so why hadn’t he let go?
Remove your hands and leave me alone!
Run to the doctor, that’s what you should be doing!
Why do you insist on staying here! Do you want to die—!?
Or—are you trying to piss me off?
When I thought about it—it occurred to me. Why didn’t I realize it sooner? …My breath was reaching its limit.
As I thought so, the man’s expression underwent a transformation, as if he had read my mind.
“That’s a nice expression you have, there. You should be reaching your limit soon.”
The man laughed—he had found out.
Impossible, this is unthinkable!
I had never made such a mistake before. In this situation involving life and death, I had carelessly leaked my inner thoughts to my opponent.
“Your face is saying that you don’t believe it. Let me tell you then, Miss. People like us are used to poison. With this kind of poison, I can still move my hand. Not a bad move, considering you are a noble. I have to praise you. But—“
…no, no way. There’s no way that’s happening here!
Oh, but, I’ve certainly recovered my old heart, yes, after I made that pact with Lewis… have I turned into a fool—?
“It’s my win.”
I reached my limit. The man’s grip, it was no longer weakened. He wouldn’t release my neck, no matter what.
No, my vision was darkening… my own consciousness was slipping… this was—a very nostalgic feeling… My head wavered, my body felt light, as if I would fly away at any moment —it was that kind of sensation.
Aah, I’m going to die… then, I’m going to be resurrected again, I’ll have to redo everything again… to chase Elliot’s shadow… all over again.
“Ha, you finally cried. Are you afraid of dying? Don’t worry, they say you won’t feel a thing once you’re dead.”
Foolish man… I’m used to dying… ahh, right when I could be together with that person too, how foolish, of me…
Everything became dark.
Aah, William—I, I love you…
Then, my consciousness ceased.
About half an hour ago, William had found a man who had seen the pickpocketing incident around the place where he had lost Amelia. Soon after, Hannah also appeared. William discovered from her and the man that Amelia was likely following the pickpocket boy.
When he heard Lewis was chasing Amelia, he and Hannah attempted to follow. However, they soon were surrounded by five or six knights who appeared out of nowhere.
The streets grew noisy. Everyone kept their distance—which was better. In the center of the group that surrounded William was Conrad Olsen, the former commander of the Royal Knights.
Hannah, whom was a half a step behind William, turned blue—just like everyone else. In contrast, William gazed straight at Conrad, without any fear.
“What could this be? At first glance, you all look very familiar to people I know.”
William locked his gaze with the stunned Conrad. Even though he had resigned from being a leader, his dignity never waned.
It was exactly as William said—he was familiar with all the faces surrounding them. They were Arthur’s Guard Knights. In other words, Conrad was moving under Arthur’s direction, for whatever reason that could be.
William’s glare at Conrad was full of hostility. On the contrary, Conrad only gazed at him gently, as if he didn’t mind William’s gaze.
“I’m sorry, Count Falmouth. Under instruction of the Crown Prince, I won’t let you go any further.”
William frowned at those the words—won’t let him go any further?
“—what kind of instruction is that?”
William lowered his voice. Conrad smiled at such him.
“It’s to protect you, other than that—“
“—what, did you say?”
Protect, me…? What the heck—no way!
William could only reach one conclusion—his face warped.
“You noticed that Amelia was chasing after that pickpocket boy.”
Conrad nodded in satisfaction to William’s words.
“Indeed. That’s why, we must keep you safe here. I’ve already dispatched a few people to go after her. Lady Amelia will be found safely and be brought here.”
Judging from his eyes, Conrad certainly meant his every word. William accepted them for a moment and glanced down, but—
“—no, that’s unacceptable. She’s my fiancée. I’ll look for her.”
William again met Conrad’s gaze. Conrad probably expected this out of William, too.
“You should hear yourself speak. I’ve never known you as one to lose your calm and spout reckless words like that. I see that even you can be reduced to a mere fool when it involves romance.”
“…so what? What if anything befalls her? How would you take responsibility for that? Your reassurance alone isn’t enough.”
“Well, well, aren’t you being childish? Lady Amelia chose the path of danger herself, and you’re the one who didn’t grasp her hand firmly. I’m sorry, but none of this is my responsibility.”
Towards Conrad’s reasonable argument, William became speechless.
Even if he forced his way through, it was unlikely for him to win against Conrad. Did he really have to leave it to the knights and Lewis?
William clenched his fist—then…
From the other side of the road, a young man—probably one of his soldier—ran up to Conrad’s side. He was breathless; his shoulders moved up and down.
“Don’t forget, I’m a captain no longer.”
“Ah, right, Former Captain, I, I’ve lost sight of our target!”
“Haaa?! Lost sight, you say—!? It’s just a woman and a child, are you an idiot—!?”
“S, sorry, they ran faster than I thought, besides…”
“…what, you have more excuses to say?”
Conrad severely stared down at the young member. The member tried to squeeze words out underneath that frightful gaze.
“Other than that, McLean went off…”
Conrad furrowed his eyebrows. William narrowed his eyes—it was a familiar name.
McLean, Lionel McLean—? He also said he had a brother, but…
William glanced at Conrad. He seemed to be pondering something due to his soldier’s words. The surrounding knights weren’t paying attention to William right now.
Now is the chance—
—William rushed out of the scene.
***T/N: I… sheer idiocy didn’t even begin to describe Amelia’s lack of foresight in this chapter…