Even though she was filled with anger, Lamia probably had to restrain herself because the Crown Prince came out humbly.
“That was the last time she was seen,” Barristan said, with a solemn expression.
“You mean she didn’t make it back home after leaving the palace?” I clarified.
“Yes. Lady Sorel’s carriage passed through Heulin Square, but it didn’t return even after it got dark. It was only discovered by Marquis Sorel’s knights when they went out to look for it.”
“…And when they found it, she was dead?”
“Yes. I heard she was poisoned.”
My head throbbed. I couldn’t understand why, but it felt like I had a ringing in my ears. As I staggered for a moment, Barristan quickly supported me with a surprised look on his face, but I gently pushed his hand away.
“So, why are the knights coming here?”
“It seems that there was an unfortunate incident at the party, and you have been identified as a suspect in Lady Sorel’s murder.”
I couldn’t believe it. I was not involved in any unfortunate incident at the party. Still, from the beginning, it seemed that this was orchestrated against me.
She had captured Yanghwa for no apparent reason and had released her just as unexpectedly. I had been cautious and vigilant, suspecting that there might be hidden motives, but Princes Exchetra had been quiet for the past two months. While Momalhaut continued to create unrest throughout the Empire, I thought that we were at the eye of the storm like during the Hoiore incident.
So, I had been on high alert, but I never expected her to go so far as to kill Lamia, just to push me. Lamia was nothing more than a necessary chess piece to her.
My teeth clenched.
“What are you going to do…?”
“Is there a way? If His Highness had been able to stop them, they wouldn’t have been able to enter the mansion. So… there’s no way we can stop them.”
I clenched my fist and walked quickly.
I had slept in Kaichen’s room, but my bedroom was warm. This was partly because the maids working in the mansion constantly went back and forth, managing the fireplace in the living room for me, who was prone to cold, but it was also because Kaichen had installed temperature control runes in my bedroom, ensuring that it never fell below a certain temperature.
I opened the door to the dressing room and aggressively searched for clothes to wear.
It was early morning, and Barristan had followed me, standing outside the partition, and continued to provide information that I had not yet known.
“His Highness is present, so it doesn’t seem like they will detain you, but Marquis Sorel’s anger is reaching the heavens. In light of this tragedy, Her Highness the Princess has expressed regret and ordered a thorough investigation into the incident…”
“Regret? Ha! That woman is truly terrifying.”
“It seems that Her Highness, the Princess of Suran does not even know about this place, so Princess Exchetra seems to have pointed to you as a suspect. It’s not just the incident at the garden party, but there were also minor disputes before… and they think that the past relationship between Lord Sorel’s daughter and the Archmage is the motivation.”
“…Motivation? How could they suggest that I’d go to the extent of kidnapping and poisoning Lamia, all because of my mentor? Motivation? Ahaha!”
While I was changing clothes, I burst into laughter, and Barristan seemed embarrassed. Coughing, he said, “That’s what they’re saying on their side.”
I want to hire a lawyer immediately and exercise my right to remain silent. I couldn’t shake off the feeling of being caught up in such an unbelievable joke. The image of Exchetra, laughing while playing chess, kept coming to mind.
Damn it! Damn it all! Again, again! I fell for it.
“My Master? Where is my master…? He didn’t come back last night.”
Barristan, who knew better than anyone that I sometimes slept in Kaichen’s room, shook his head.
“I haven’t seen him since you both came back together.”
A sigh welled up inside me. The fact that Barristan hadn’t seen him meant that no one among the mansion staff had seen him either. I bit my lower lip, suppressing a sharp ringing in my ears.
‘Ugh… I’m going crazy, really.’
My vision was blurry. I kicked off the clothes I had just put on, sending them flying with frustration, and tightened the laces of the intricate boots that covered my calves.
I hadn’t even resolved the strained relationship with Kaichen yet, and a new incident like this had further delayed the time for reconciliation. From start to finish, it must be Exchetra’s plan.
I couldn’t help but get entangled in her schemes each time. I couldn’t shake off the feeling of struggling in her grip.
Through the Hoiore incident and the events with Yanghwa, I had devoted myself to mastering new magic. I had read books from the Tower’s library and learned new spells from Kaichen.
All to prepare for Exchetra’s unpredictable battles.
But once again, I had been caught off guard by her.
‘Did she get help from another transmigrator? She couldn’t have done all this just to frame me as a suspect in Lamia’s murder. Even if my honor is tarnished, Julius and Kaichen will prove my innocence.’
During this process, I was well aware that things would not go smoothly, but in the end, the truth would be revealed. They had fabricated the reason for accusing me.