Emma groaned. The unbearable heat from between her thighs was so immense that she couldn’t get a grip of herself. Her head became blank, and her senses were on edge. Her heart thundered harder. She didn’t know what to do about this. She glanced up, fighting against her feverish, blanking brain until her thoughts grabbed ahold of something.
‘Wispen. I have to eat Wispen.’’
It was the only thing that popped up inside her spinning head. Emma resolutely put strength in her legs that had turned into jelly and hurried towards Layna’s garden.
Wispen was Tasugari’s opposite; it had excellent detoxification and sedation qualities. It was a rare herb, but through the grace of God, she found some this afternoon in Layna’s backyard garden. Normally, only the leaves would be used, but in certain situations, if one eats the whole plant including the root together, there would be an immediate effect. Wispen could combat the effects, suppressing the sensitivity and excitement caused by the Tasugari.
Having barely arrived at the garden, Emma dug up the herb with her bare hands and then shoved it into her mouth with shaking hands. Despite the haziness, she kept her mind focused and took extra care so her face and clothing wouldn’t get dirty.
She chewed two Wispen roots desperately then exhaled after ingesting both of them. Under the moonlight, she calmly allowed her body’s excitement to slowly subside, the huffing and puffing soon transitioned back to her normal, calm breathing. The inside of her mouth was filled with the bitter aftertaste of the plant and dirt, but her insides felt more comfortable than ever. Her body temperature followed, she felt cold sweat gather on her spine and dissipating the raging heat from her body.
‘What a relief,’ Emma sighed. She gazed up at the night sky as her body sought reprieve. Before long, her mind had cleared, her rapidly beating heart had calmed.
‘Now it’s done.’
Emma was now able to think clearly. She looked around. She was in the middle of the vegetable garden with herbs spread all over her. Every single one of them was rare.
‘It’s hard to find these kinds of herbs or detoxifiers outside of here…’
Since she was scheduled to stay at Baron Berne’s home from this afternoon, she wouldn’t be able to see anymore of them. Then with a thought, she bent down and picked some herbs she may need in the future. Emma scrutinized the shape of the leaves and stems in her hands under the dim moonlight, and eventually classified the herbs based on her excellent sense of smell.
‘Cutalin is good for neuralgia, so wouldn’t it be used as an ointment? Irvan would like it.’
While she was gripping rare herbs and roots in her hands, there was a strange movement in the corner of her eye. When she looked up, there was a figure from far away, lingering on the entrance to the garden. The person was looking around, perhaps looking for her.
‘It’s dangerous here!’
Her instincts immediately kicked in. Emma hastily left the vegetable garden and hid in an overgrown bush. She curled up inside, trying to disguise her presence. She lowered her body between the tree shadows and hid from the moonlight. She secretly peered from her hiding spot. He was using a torch, lighting up where he went; the fire flickered, outlined his frantic, moving figure.
The face reflected on the edge of the flames was Collin. As expected, he was wandering around and searching for her until he had come upon the vegetable garden. If Emma had been a little more sluggish or delayed in her decision-making, she would have run into him in the garden.
‘…he knows,’ Emma thought suspiciously. Collin seemed to have figured out that she knew about the herbs.
No way would Laute, Irvan’s confidant, would have informed the Muns siblings. He had probably found out through Layna or investigating her whereabouts on his own. In any case, the Muns siblings had set Emma up by lacing the wine with Tasugari, waiting for her to be caught in a trap, and when there was no response, they might have gone to look for her themselves.
“Ahem!” Collin cleared his throat. His face scrunched up distastefully as he searched the garden for a sign of presence.
‘Hmmm. Keep on with the futile attempts…’
Emma poked out from the bush and followed the wall back to the back gate. Then, when she was back to the lounge, she wiped her hands and face, and finally inspected her clothes. The herbs she had brought were carefully wrapped and neatly placed in the inner pocket of the dress.
When she came out of the lounge, the knights were still hanging around at the end of the hallway. They originally stayed at the center of the hallway, but they have seemed to move further back to get a better look at the ladies entering and leaving the lounge. Anyhow, it was good for Emma.
“Why the heck isn’t she coming out?”
“She is in the lounge, right?”
“Wait here. Unless she lives there, she’ll be out soon.”
The three knights grumbled, waiting for Emma’s return.
“Hey,” one of them impatiently said, “You go inside and check.”
“Ahh. I don’t want to.”
They all behaved rashly as their patience had thinned out from the long wait.
Emma couldn’t imagine the sickening things they had planned for her. Of course, whatever events they might have had in their minds tonight, it was never going to unfold.
“Sorry. I was in there for a long time,” Emma said, making her presence known.