20. The True Instigator
A few days later, the mansion was in an uproar.
That was because I told my parents that my brother was at the party.
At the same time, what I did to His Highness’ faction was also being distorted. As such, rumors painting me in a bad light were spreading.
“Violet, which is the truth!?”
“Regardless of which, this is the worst! The Duke of Samaria is over! Violet, please say that both are lies!”
My parents asked in agitation. In astonishment, I sighed.
“…It’s the truth. Every day, I see my brother going out late at night. I mean, do you even need to ask? It should be obvious, already.”
When I answered that, my parents were shocked and immediately became silent.
I was really disappointed with my parents.
Despite my brother’s utter foolishness, they still had high hope for him.
…Then, the both of you can also sink along with him.
With that in mind, as soon as I entered my room, I picked up one of the letters on my desk.
It was a letter from the royal family about a new fiancée candidate.
However, another letter had also arrived from the queen stating that there was no fiancée candidate other than me. The previous letter was intended to confuse His Highness’ faction.
I read the queen’s letter and sighed.
I decided that it was better to act rather than to make a fuss over such silliness…
…I opened a nearby newspaper while thinking that.
There was a report of a famous aristocrat dying from an illness.
By the way, that aristocrat belonged to the second prince’s faction.
Recently, the aristocrats on the side of the second prince had been dying of injuries and illness in quick succession.
…I see, rather than looking for more supporters, they decided it’d be easier to eliminate the rival’s base…
…Even though I was convinced of that, I still shuddered at the thought that a person who could end another’s life without hesitation existed. However, when I recalled the existence called Minerva, I soon understood everything.
It seemed that Minerva’s friends were showing disturbing movements lately—such as meeting bad guys and contacting a rumored merchant who handled smuggled goods.
…It seems that they will start moving, soon.
But I wonder if it’ll be alright.
I sighed, recalling the conversation I had in the office of the deputy leader.
Count Rustal and I had informed Countess Rustal of Minerva. I persuaded her to break off her engagement with Count Kayes and to hide for a while.
However, she said that she’d act as a decoy.
Moreover, she stubbornly didn’t give up.
“I’ll acknowledge her courage, but…”
After I muttered that, an unpleasant thought passed through my head.
Perhaps, the murder of Count Rustal happened not because Minerva wanted to obtain the position of the deputy leader and Count Kayes, but because it was instigated by Count Kayes himself.
Now that I considered it carefully, Count Kayes indeed had been acting strange.
After all, last time, after learning that Countess Rustal had been killed, Count Kayes didn’t show any signs of grief.
Ever since he fell for Baroness Abazn, it was obvious that he no longer had any interest in Countess Rustal.
Nevertheless… to be utterly devoid of grief….
Last time, some aristocrats suspected Count Kayes.
However, Baroness Abazn, who hid behind him, was smiling happily…
…After that incident, Count Kayes and Baroness Abazn often spent time together.
I was surprised by that.
By the time Count Rustal was killed, His Highness and Baroness Abazn should’ve made their vow.
…Perhaps, knowing that, Count Kayes took advantage of Minerva’ love and used it to perform one last, dirty, deed.
After thinking that, I shook my head and drove away my thoughts.
…It was too much to process.
…But, if I was right…
…Then the target would be Countess Rustal instead of the deputy leader.
…As such, if she became a decoy, she’d be getting herself in more danger…
…Just in case, I should write a letter to warn her.
I went to my desk thinking so, but the next day, I found out that my letter was for naught—
—because the royal family informed me that Countess Rustal had died after being attacked by bandits on her way home from the academy.
After the attack, the academy was closed for several days. The bandits who had attacked Countess Rustal were still on the loose.
However, due to the intensive search by the knights, the culprit was immediately found.
His corpse, to be precise.
The knight captain concluded that it was because an argument had broken out between the bandits.
Therefore, it was decided that no more attacks would occur, and the academy was opened once again. Thus, Countess Rustal became the main topic.
“It seems that Count Rustal, who was in the carriage with her, was injured in the attack.”
“So I’ve heard. It seems that we can’t visit him because of the serious injury…”
“Hence, Minerva will be acting as the deputy leader from now on.”
…Everyone sure has a lot of free time.
I wondered if they had nothing else to do.
I was staring at the students while thinking that when I spotted Count Kayes and Baroness Abazn sitting on a bench together. They were so close with each other, they could snuggle up.
Looking at the two, I furrowed my eyebrows.
…Your fiancée died a few days ago. What is going on inside your mind?
Maybe, His Highness and my brother had his back.
…While thinking so, I saw Count Kayes make a wide smile as he stared at Baroness Abazn.
At that moment, I had an idea. I told Luria, who was behind me.
“Luria, pay attention to the movements of Count Kayes and my brother.”
“Okay, but why them of all people?”
“Although I’m still unsure, we’ll find out soon—that, I’m certain.”
After all, in two weeks, the crown prince of the neighboring kingdom would be poisoned.
I was sure they’d move at that time.
While thinking that, I glared at Count Kayes who was happily speaking to Baroness Abazn.
***T/N: …W, where’s Violet usual smirk!? Is shit going down!?
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