Flowers of Worship - Chapter 29
I didn’t say anything, so Sophie looked me in the eye and asked.
“Your highness? Is there something wrong?”
“I’m a little bit under the weather; I don’t feel well. Not yet.”
“Oh, that’s right. I made a very rude visit.”
Seeing Sophie at a loss for what to do, I was perplexed. All I could do was hide my embarrassment. Sophie spoke politely and untypically about my health here and there, and then I left to wash my face. No matter how dry I washed it, I couldn’t understand it.
The person I just saw wasn’t like Sophie.
I started to hate Sophie’s son Paul or Del that I had never seen before.
Sixth page. Poison of Malice
A beautiful face with blonde hair and blue eyes was smiling in front of me. I blinked quietly, frowned, and gently pushed the person away. As if the person had no intention of holding on, she was pushed aside.
“Ingrid, what have you been up to since morning?”
It was an early winter morning, so the condition of my throat was not very good. As I spoke while pressing my neck, Ingrid, who wore the splendid attire of wizards, smiled broadly.
“Are you going to wake up early in the morning, have dinner with your little fiancé, and then go back to sleep?”
“I came in early in the morning.”
Ingrid has been the type to enter her best friend’s room since her days at the Royal School. As I frowned at her and vomited complaints, she laughed loudly.
“Still, it’s heartfelt to get up and have a meal together, my lord. You will become a supreme wife.”
“Inga, don’t say that. He’s just a little… .”
“Pitiful? Sorry? A lonely child without me? What are you going to say?”
Ingrid asked sarcastically, sitting cross-legged in my chair while resting her chin. How could you say such a demeaning thing to the Grand Duke? I looked at the mean Ingrid with my arms crossed and asked, “Aren’t you going out?” I’m in my pajamas, so I need to change clothes, but Ingrid didn’t seem to want to go out.
“Can you just change clothes? I saw it a lot at school.”
Oh, do whatever you want.
Ingrid was a good person, but it was always tiring to quarrel with words. I realized that it was most convenient just to do what I wanted, so I took off my clothes in front of Ingrid. As I made the gesture of taking off my clothes, the maids, who were standing afar and watching what we were doing, quickly approached and started serving my clothes. Ingrid burst out laughing.
“You are a real duke! Can’t you even wear clothes by yourself?”
The maids glared at Ingrid as if they were a little offended because of her harassment. Although she was a respected wizard, Ingrid was a commoner. My maids were good people in their way. Even though they could not receive the title, they were born through a branch of a nobleman, so it was natural to feel sorry for Ingrid, a complete commoner.
Although they didn’t show it openly, the atmosphere became chaotic. She was the best herbalist among the Archmage, and even though she was my friend, there was no way I can help but feel hurt. A sharp edge appeared in Ingrid’s eyes.
“Why? Are you annoyed with your maids?” Ingrid held out her hand. A bright red flame was burning in that white palm.
Gasp. The maids swallowed their screams, sat down in front of me, covered their heads, and trembled. They seemed to think that lightning would fall on them at any moment. Gosh. I sighed and looked at Ingrid. It was unavoidable to remember my school days.
Because of her inevitable personality, Ingrid was suspended several times during our school days. It was a miracle that she graduated. Although the miracle didn’t happen naturally but instead, it was my effort and my classmates’ hard work for Ingrid’s graduation. Since she was a person who kept loyalties, we were taken care of by her as friends to an extent.
“Inga, if you burn my house, we will charge you for everything.”
“… … .”
“I’ll just say that a money-wise wizard like you won’t be able to afford it.”
Ingrid was a wizard and a herbalist, so it cost a lot of money. Since magic research costs money, most wizards recruit sponsors for magic research, but Ingrid had no sponsors because of her personality. She was earning her money from her abilities, and that money was used to pay for her magical research. In contrary to her glamorous appearance, she was always squeamish about money.
She extinguished the flames above her palms, and Ingrid rubbed her mouth as if she had been stabbed. I patted the maids who were trembling and burying their face in their legs and said,
“It’s okay; it’s okay. My friend is a little… .”
“Me being stupid? No luck?” Ingrid followed me. She must have been distraught, and her small facial features were distorted to the fullest. I listened to Ingrid.
“She’s naughty. You must have been surprised, but I’ll take care of my clothes, so go and get some rest, both of you.” At my words, the maids hesitated and left my room. There were signs of wanting to get out quickly while putting the clothes neatly that I was supposed to wear on the bench next to me. She looked pretty scary.
As my door slammed shut, Ingrid shook her head.
“Cili, I always think that you would have been better off not being a noble. It really doesn’t suit you.”
“Are you saying that again?”
“Why didn’t your parents give birth to me? If it were me, I would use this enormous fortune, even a penny, for good things… .”
A good place, she says, literally means a good place when she thinks it is.
“Those naughty maids would have been beaten right away!” Ingrid was angry. She glanced at me as I put on my clothes and listened to her. She had a habit that a beating would fix something right away. She was holding a comb when I was just getting dressed.
Maybe she was sorry, so she’s going to comb my hair. I didn’t refuse because I’m not good at grooming my hair. In fact, like some of the ladies here, I want to cut my hair short, but I couldn’t because of the strong opposition of the maids. It was because the dress didn’t look elegant.
Ingrid combed my hair well and braided it beautifully. It was the so-called female elf hunter’s hairstyle, in which the hair was plaited from the root of the hair, and then all the hair was braided back into one complicated braid at the end.
“I thought this hair would suit me.” Ingrid laughed proudly, so I just laughed. Looking in the mirror, I was the normal me that I usually see, but it looked different to Ingrid’s eyes. I think it’s just me with my hair braided. Ingrid spoke softly as I looked at myself in the mirror and tried to figure out what was different.
“I confirmed it. Someone gave the rostello to the Grand Duke. He’s been eating small amounts for a long time, and toxins have accumulated in his body.”
Ingrid in the mirror was looking at me. As we looked at each other through the mirror, both of us had faces without a single smile, unlike before—the two people with expressionless faces. I saw two men, one a sorcerer and the other a knight, carrying their share of burdens on their shoulders as adults.
“What kind of drug is it?”
“It’s a medicinal herb. If used well, it becomes a medicinal herb. But rostello is very tricky to handle because it’s a powerful poison. Besides, if it is used alone, it can only be used as a poisonous herb. Since it’s a special herb used to neutralize powerful herbs, it is something that only those who have dealt with medicinal herbs know well.”
“Does the doctor know?”
“… A very competent doctor, maybe.”
The word catches my ears because Orssen was one of the most famous doctors. Although he was short-lived, his reputation was high.
“How long has he been taking it?”
“Estimated around four months.”
However, the strange thing was that Thane and Rosemary were very dissatisfied with Orssen’s use of no herbs and blood transfusion. Orssen said he never used any drugs, and they were very wary of Orssen in that respect. Both of them were sharp enough to store the items Orssen gave them without opening the package, but Orssen actually gave his highness medicine? How, and in what way? He was in a position where he could provide his highness any amount of treatment, but I felt a little uncomfortable that he had to come up with a different method to feed him what he should just eat.
“I need to see a doctor.” I stood up and muttered, and Ingrid glanced at me and said:
“Oh, one more. The doctor who transfused is probably not the doctor who gave him rostello.”
Of course, I thought it was Orssen, but what is she talking about again? She shrugged her shoulders as I gave Ingrid her glance for further explanation.
“Rostello remains in the blood. So, if you want to kill a person with it, you can’t use blood transfusion. The doctor was right to bleed. If it weren’t for me, he would have been the same as rostello or a sapling that eventually killed a person; but in this case, he lost blood and lost the toxicity of rostello; after the first aid, I was able to put, and his highness is indeed a lucky case.”
It wouldn’t be more surprising if a cow could catch an ant with its hind paws.
I looked out the window where the bright sunlight was shining. It was a dazzlingly beautiful morning, but it must be because of my mood that I felt something eerie.