The knights talked over one another, scrambling to get her answer first.
“…well,” Emma let a dry reply slip with a vague look on her face. In the meantime, she tried hard to analyze the ingredients mixed in the wine. Then at last she remembered something.
‘…Tasugari.’ It was easy to figure out because the concentration was not regulated. After experiencing the unique taste, aroma, and even her own body’s reaction, she was able to identify exactly what kind of herb had caused the problem. Tasugari, which was present in the food and alcohol at Irvan’s cabin, had also been present in the wine this time.
‘I’ll gradually start to lose my sense of control.’
If so, she will be caught in Karina’s preemptive web, unable to move. Tasugari was nothing but a potent aphrodisiac ingredient. At the same time, one’s judgment becomes impaired, it makes you s*xu*lly excited, and you lose all control of your body.
‘I didn’t think she would straight up use an aphrodisiac in the castle… and in front of so many people as well.’
Emma was perfectly caught. She had been careless in assuming Karina wouldn’t use such low, dirty tricks in public because she was a person with position. If so, the reason for her evil doing was too cliche. Revenge. Collin must have also conspired with Karin as well.
Emma frowned. ‘I have to get out of here first.’
The dinner hall was no different from the Devil’s nest. If she sat still like this until the end of the function, no doubt she would be caught in another rough situation.
“…please excuse me for a moment.”
When Emma carefully stood up from her chair, the nearby knights all scrambled at the same time, wanting to escort her out.
“Going so soon, madam? There is still plenty of time left until dinner.”
“Where are you going, Miss Herman?”
“I cannot sit back and watch such a beautiful woman walk the halls alone.”
The three knights didn’t argue with one another but started to have a friendly fight over Emma as if Karina had ordered one of them to monitor her. Emma disliked every single one of them. However, she couldn’t come up with an appropriate excuse to shake off the three men who persistently followed her around. Even if she chooses one of the three to avoid the worst, she couldn’t avoid their big mouths. It was a seesaw situation.
‘Did she plan all of this, too?’
She looked dubiously at the knights, her pale face frowning. From the tainted alcohol… to the persistent knights. It was a clear trap to bind Emma so she couldn’t move a muscle.
“Please give me the honor to escort you, Miss Herman.”
“Oh, gosh. I’m also flushed. It’s extremely hot here. I know a place where you can get some fresh air and relax.”
“The wine cellar is fine, too, since it’s chilly there.”
“It will be better to get out of here and rest somewhere.”
Emma bit her bottom lip. She was surrounded, caught in a vengeful trap with nowhere to go. The knights insidiously talked suggestively to distract her. It was as if they knew the exact details of her current condition.
“Shouldn’t we go out to the terrace?”
“The moon tonight looks magnificent.”
“If it’s alcohol, the cool wind will help while we view the moon.”
“When my body heats, I, too, go out to find somewhere to sit still.”
The excitement and disturbing words from the knights was highly unusual. Emma’s suspicion hardened with conviction. The knights knew beforehand from Karina. Emma wrinkled her brows at the dizziness and clenched her molars to snap out of it. How could the countess think of such a nefarious plot? Just the thought of it was disgusting.
“Excuse me,” she said, pausing at the end of the hallway and looking towards the lounge. The knights mechanically tilted their heads.
“Where is she trying to go?”
“…she needs to fix her makeup.”
“Oh, oh. To the lounge.”
“If so, we shall wait here. Please take your time.”
Even though Emma turned away, the knights flirted regardless, keeping their eyes on the hallway. It was as if they would maintain their positions until she returned. When she was finally inside, she leaned against a large pillar and let out a breath of air. Her body was so unbearably hot and bothered. Her fingers were tingling.
‘Wake up!’ she chastised herself. After calming the heat with a few deep breaths, Emma glanced at the entrance, looking for a chance. A group of chatting women suddenly filled the hallway, their abundant dresses hung down like folding screens. Emma looked carefully in between them, towards the knights who were busy talking amongst themselves.
She left the pillar in the lounge, and proceeded to hide secretly between the hems of the women’s dresses. She swam through the crowd of silk dresses that swelled up and spread like cotton candy and lowered herself as much as possible. Then, she escaped the hallway by crawling down on the floor so the knights wouldn’t see her. She rushed out to the backyard. Emma tried to suppress the tremors and heat running down her spine, but her vision started to become hazy with each step.