41. [Day 5 (2)]
Inside a stone prison with no windows, the count, dressed in shabby clothes, hollowly stared at the bars.
After he was seized, he was forced to change his clothes under the suspicion of carrying weapons. Then, as if he were a prisoner of war, he was imprisoned.
The count repeatedly shouted that it was an unjust arrest.
However, the guards paid no heed to him.
On the contrary, he was yelled at for being noisy. As a punishment, he wasn’t given any supper.
He was forced to survive the freezing night with an empty stomach. Once he was finally allowed to have breakfast, a solid, moldy, piece of bread was all that was granted to him.
…I’m the hero… this kingdom owes its peace to me…
The guards coldly looked down at the count who chomped into the bread while crying bitterly.
The count had no choice but to endure his anger while chewing the bread.
After that hellish breakfast without any water, a relentless interrogation by inspector general awaited the count.
When did he start amassing his private? What were his intentions? What was his motive behind purchasing those weapons? How much money did he spend? What was his objective?
Those questions, which were asked in rapid succession, couldn’t be answered by the count.
In the first place, he couldn’t understand why he was being questioned.
—Everything was necessary.
Regardless of the fact that the war was over, it was still necessary for him to protect himself.
After all, he had no place in aristocratic society.
Aren’t they the ones who said that fighting is justice?
He was merely following their opinions.
While the war had ended, he needed it to remain occupied.
The count kept complaining but was dismissed by the inspector general. He treated it as if it wasn’t worth its weight in salt.
“Count, while you may be a hero, the war has ended. You should’ve acted with decency.”
In response, the count wanted to shout—
“—What do you mean, ‘decent’!?”
However, it was as if his throat were stuck, no words would come out.
Why should he suffer such treatment?
“As such, you’ll have to be detained for a while.”
“…How long is ‘a while’?”
“What will happen to the count family!?”
“Surely, the answer is already obvious? What would happen to a house where the master is detained? Not to mention, as of this moment, you have no property left.”
The count tried to grab the inspector general by his collar. However, the inspector general only smirked. Soon, the count was restrained by the soldiers on his left and right.
“Dammit…! Let go…! T, that’s right! I have two daughters! A dead one and an injured one! If I don’t return…!!”
As if he had found a way out, there was a glimmer in the count’s eyes.
They’d surely feel sympathy for his pitiful self. Full of such expectations, he turned to stare at the inspector general.
However, a look full of contempt was the only thing he received.
“I know. Far from the funeral for your deceased daughter, you haven’t spared a single coin for the treatment of your injured daughter. You’re a failure of a father.”
“I’ve heard that Lady Lorona, who has passed away recently, was a very talented person. It’s unfortunate, but in a sense, Lady Lorona is lucky.”
“Lucky?! My daughter is lucky for having died?! You bastard—!!”
“That’s true. This way, she’s being spared from seeing the pathetic sight of her father. If I were your son, the shame would be unbearable.”
The count, who was so angry that he became speechless. As his face turned bright red, he could only open and close his mouth like a fish.
The more he tried to rampage, the stronger his restrain became. Ultimately, he was pushed against the floor.
“By the way, regarding your wife, she was found guilty of purchasing contraband. When we investigated the mansion, we discovered a large amount of ill-gotten jewels. Some of them were stolen. She seems to have been scammed by some vile merchants.”
“What will happen to my wife…!?”
“Normally, she’d have to pay a fine. But the countess is incapable of paying. I have to wonder if even selling all your decorations save for the contraband and stolen goods would be enough to pay the fine.”
“What did you—!?”
“But thankfully, a nobleman stepped forward to aid your wife. Instead of taking over the fine, he said that he’d take care of your wife until you’re released.”
The count’s face was mixed with joy. Apparently, there was still someone by his side. His former compatriot had helped him!
However, the count was plunged into despair once he heard the inspector general’s subsequent words.
“Baron Jill is a generous man. He seems well acquainted with your wife.”
The count, whose complexion had changed, forgot how to scream. He could only stare at the inspector general’s face.
Despite his calm expression, coldness lurked within the inspector general’s eyes.
“Do you realize what you’ve done…!?”
“Who knows? Well, I still have a lot to ask you, especially in regard to purchasing those weapons.”
“I don’t know anything! The merchants sold them to me!”
“Now, now, Count, ignorance doesn’t exempt you from your crime.”
The inspector general’s expression remained as frigid as ice. He spoke in a tone as if he was reprimanding a child.
After being detained for more than half a day and being cross-examined, the count was dragged by the soldiers to his prison once again.
The count no longer shouted or rampaged like the day before. The guards didn’t pay him any mind.
Time flowed as if nothing had happened.
Like a broken doll, the count just kept muttering to thin air.
***T/N: Who’s this sharp-tongued interrogator?!
Can I pay him to berate me next!?
D-did Belverassa cheat? Did she ditch the count to be with Baron Jill in exchange of her freedom?
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