Her gaze wandered aimlessly as she spouted off incoherent babble. It was as if she was looking for someone.
She looked around with her vacant eyes and shouted in a stifled voice.
Well, she probably shouldn’t have looked around in the first place.
The gazes around her weren’t only cold, but also full of disdain—and that was putting it mildly.
In truth, they were looking at Baroness Schmia like she was the origin of all evil. It went past aversion; it was as if they were looking at the mother of malady.
Under such gazes, Baroness Schmia turned even more breathless.
If it was me, I would’ve fainted already.
Such a sight would truly be unbefitting of the Future King’s fiancée—
—no, in the first place, I wouldn’t even consider doing things that would earn me that much contempt.
It was that moment I realized the might of a person’s stare in its finest—so it turned out that a gaze could also be an invisible weapon.
“…Take her away. She has a lot to answer to.”
When His Highness raised his voice a little, the knights moved to restrain her. It seemed that said action knocked some sense into Baroness Schmia, as she started to cry almost instantly. Her eyes were wandering off. She cried in confusion.
“Nooo, noooo—!! You’re mistaken—!! This entire situation is a mistake—!! The one who should be experiencing this shouldn’t have been me—!! Why—!! Why—!? What went wrong—!? I did as I was told—!! Tell me, what went wrong—!? I’m not guilty—!! I’m innocent—!! The one who should be detained and executed is Tiarize—!! Hey, isn’t this strange—!? This is weird, isn’t it—!?”
My body reacted involuntarily when my name was called. I couldn’t comprehend anything that she said, but there was one thing that clearly resounded in my mind…
…I’m supposed to be executed…?
I was baffled by her outrageous claim.
Baroness Schmia was still screaming as if she had gone mad.
“Hel, help me—!! Please help me—!! Will—!! Kevin—!! Vi—!! Al—!!”
‘Will’ was His Highness, Kevin was His Highness’ attendant, Al… was probably the nickname for Prince Almys… Hoping for help to come at this point… right after she exclaimed she wanted me to be executed… I didn’t know why, but it felt creepy to me… I was swallowed inside out by fear…
By any chance, if anything had gone the slightest bit awry, would I have been executed?
I wondered if I would have suffer an excruciatingly brutal death just like those victims mentioned in the previous cases…
It was pitch black in front of me. My feet grew unsteady at the prospect of an early death. Air was choked out of me. No good, I was hyperventilating… There was a fear beyond comprehension inside of me, one which my entire being refused to understand…
“Tia, be at ease. …Baroness Schmia, I already mentioned it before—that there would be no third time.”
His Highness gently patted my waist. The darkness vanished and light returned to my eyes.
As if I had been released from something, I started regaining my breath.
“I had an inkling that someday you would harm Tia. After all, that would have been the quickest way for you to achieve your true aim. That’s why I have to do things this way to judge you. However, there are limits to what people can judge. I wonder what your biggest fear is. I’ll have to find out first. Let’s not forget to mention that there’s this torturing method aged from three hundred years ago, it’s so cruel, it was abolished—the so-called ‘Hundred Tortures’. If we start from the first method, would that mouth of yours finally become honest? I can’t forgive this kind of thing easily.”
“Baroness Schmia—no, I’ll call you Schmia from now on, since your title has been stripped. So, Schmia, what’s your next action going to be?”
Towards that, Baroness Schmia widened her eyes. Then, she burst into tears and began to cry. It was a genuine cry from the heart this time, no trickery. There was also no charm in it either, like the feminine cry she used to show me.
She howled and howled, her voice rose per second. Her crying face was so distorted I found it difficult to recognize her.
“Ah, aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!! Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! I, I just wanted, I just wanted to change!!!!! I, I longed for happiness, that’s why—!!!!”
I had no idea what she was trying to say.
Baroness Schmia covered her face as she began to cry out loud.
His Highness raised one hand with a light sigh. He had decided the girl before him couldn’t hold a decent conversation.
After seeing the signal, the knights forcibly took Baroness Schmia away. The face of Baroness Schmia was terrible. Her tears were everywhere. Her nose was runny, not to mention, she was bawling her eyes out. She no longer looked like that delicate, lovely, girl.
Baroness Schmia was still saying something as she was being dragged.
“I was deceived! It’s all that woman’s plan!! I was deceived by that woman!!”
She kept screaming until she could no longer be seen from the venue. What remained was a quiet space and an uncomfortable atmosphere.
His Highness stepped forward and quietly spoke, gathering the attention from all in his surroundings.
“…Today’s ball is over. I’m sorry to have involved everyone in this matter when everyone should have been instead enjoying a festive mood. As an apology, all the guests shall receive a jewelry from the Royal Family’s mine. It’s as a consolation for everyone who failed to enjoy this evening ball. As the closing, I’ll play one song, ‘Waltz of the White Roze’. Please enjoy yourself before returning.”
The voices of excited women could be heard here and there after that announcement. Speaking of which, the Royal Family-owned mine was filled with rare gems that could only be obtained in the Haulfa Kingdom.
Beautiful viridian, transparent, gems—even in Haulfa Kingdom, such stones were considered a rarity because of their small numbers.
In fact, even though I was the Duchess, I only owned a few of them. If someone was able to get their hands on such a rare jewelry, women would surely be impressed.
The song that would come next was the music that was used in an opera called, ‘To the White Rose’ which was currently popular in the kingdom.
The expression of the women turned brilliant at the thought of such a phenomenal piece being performed.
Happy laughter could be heard in a flash—the entire venue had indeed revived in an instant.
Everyone, except for me.
I side glanced at His Highness while listening to the tune.
…what the hell happened?
Aside from me, who had no idea what the situation was, he gave Kevin some instructions before coming back to me again.
“Tia, let’s go get some air.”
—there was something he wanted to talk about.
His Highness told me so while taking my hand.
It was a simple gesture, he was fulfilling his obligation to escort me. However, due to our lack of contact recently, the impact was amplified. I nodded a little and strengthening my heart, which was uncertain over what to feel.
…anyway, it was better to talk and listen.
It was faster to listen to his explanation rather than being bothered by His Highness’ incomprehensible attitude…
***T/N: The fuck with this Prince’s method of problem solving??? Forged evidence, straight-up forbidden torture method, then freely handing EVERYONE precious, RARE, gems that could only be mined in ONE mine in ONE kingdom… man, this is one prosperous kingdom, can’t wait for him to rule. The last one also raise more question. If he has to hand all those guests gifts, this mean the condemnation event is unplanned… and… who does that… when the one they condemned is the enemy of an entire state and has that gazillion record of murders? Is everyone else as ignorant as Tia here? No, no way… but if he did plan to reveal this… then it also meant that he planned to show off his WEALTH as well. “Free gems, ppl! SUPPORT BREXIT!”