Ellie said ‘yes’ and pointed her finger to the coffin. The men who were moving the coffin nearby waved their hands at Adele, who was standing in front of them.
“Move! Don’t block the way!”
At his rude remark, Lina stood in front of Adele and shook her head. “You’re being rude! Don’t you know you’re talking to the Duchess of the Maktus family?!”
At Lina’s bellowing, the men immediately became flustered and sweated profusely.
“We’re sorry madame, but we are moving a coffin. So, could you please excuse us?”
Adele felt something ominous as she looked at the black coffin.
It can’t be…
As Adele stared on blankly, Lina carefully grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
It wasn’t too polite to be blocking a deceased person towards their resting place. Adele slowly backed away and the men felt relieved, as if they have been pardoned from a crime.
As they trudged forwards, they started to complain to each other.
“We sure are out of luck today.”
“Ai! Really unfortunate.”
Lina heard the men’s conversation and frowned. She yelled loudly, “Are you saying that about our mistress?”
The men were quick to deny, “No, no! That’s not it!”
Then their eyes flitted left and right, seemingly scared of something. “It’s because we have seen the corpse. Not even a day later and its lips had already turned black!”
“What?!” Adele was extremely shocked by their unexpected words and abruptly walked in front of them. “What do you mean about that?”
The men were taken aback when they were blocked yet again by the same woman. But knowing this was a noble with a high status, they swallowed their discontent.
“People say that you’ll be unlucky for 10 days if you witness a corpse with blackened lips, and the corpse inside this coffin is exactly like—”
“Eh?” the men were flustered at Adele’s command.
At her urging, the men were startled by the authoritative air coming from a lady who was much smaller than them. Afterwards, they quickly lowered the coffin. They glanced at her maids with a questioning gaze, but they too were not sure of what their mistress wanted to do.
They warned the maids that they might get nauseous, and consequently opened the coffin.
Inside was the body of a man with sparse hair and a missing arm, and as they have said, his lips were black. Adele felt that she had this man before somewhere. Yes, he was a handyman who carried cargo to Enon’s ship.
The maids immediately heaved and turned around to vomit and the men hurriedly closed the coffin lid.
It was only for a brief moment, but Adele saw it. Her body trembled all over her body as strength left her body and she fell.
No, it can’t be! I must be mistaken!
Adele’s mind was in disarray, and the image of the missing arm gradually came to her mind. She remembered the conversation she heard from the shipbuilder and his companion while they were in the same alley she was at. The shipbuilder was confused how the bulbous bow was cut when he made sure to attach it before the ship left.
Not only that, but she also remembered perfectly the shipbuilder saying that if one tries to forcibly break the bulbous bow, one’s arm would be cut off. The corpse in front her had a missing arm.
She also remembered Enon’s abnormally black lips, as black as this corpse.
But Enon died from drowning, yet his lips were also the same! This meant one thing, Enon didn’t drown but was poisoned. This man had cut the bulbous bow to make Enon’s death an accident.
Why didn’t Noah asked for compensation from the shipbuilder and punished him? Could it be that…
Things were already going so well between them, but all circumstances indicated that Noah was the one who had killed her former husband.
Adele quickly shook her head in denial.
No, I’ll have to talk to him first.
Adele had turned ghastly pale from her deductions. She had taken a step forward when her tinnitus began to ring, and she stumbled.
“Milady? Milady?! Are you okay?!” The maids clamored in panic. “Quick, get help!”
She heard the urgency in their tones. But the deafening sound of ringing in her ears took precedence that she could hear nothing else but that. A second later, her vision blanked and her eyes finally closed.
Lina noticed that Adele had lost consciousness and was extremely worried.
Her mistress always had a weak stomach, but it shouldn’t have been to this extent. Has she become even weaker than before? Didn’t she come became ill some time ago during the time she was in the mountains? She keeps on fainting so frequently nowadays…
Lina and Ellie glanced at each and nodded in silent understanding.
We have to go back to the castle first!
They asked help from the carriage driver to assist them in carrying Adele but stopped when they saw thousands of knights lined up on the street.
A passerby paused in his footsteps and answered Lina’s query. “They’re going to capture the duke who committed treason!”
“Why would they do such a thing?”
The passerby pointed his finger at the bulletin board on the wall in front of him. It was a space to pin news about important announcements such as decrees and national news.
Lina didn’t know how to read and could only bite her lip. However, Ellie, was a bit more educated than her. She read the decree written on the bulletin board with today’s date.
“As decreed by the emperor in the year 341 of the imperial calendar, refusal of nobility to enlist their private armies of soldiers and knights shall be considered disloyalty to the country, for they have rejected to offer their services for the good of the nation and its constituents. This act of insubordination undermines the sovereignty of the imperial family and are hereby declared as… traitors?!”
When Ellie finished her words, no matter how ignorant Lina was, she knew that the decree was targeting their Duke Maktus who has yet to surrender his army.
Then she realized something.
These knights are going to our castle?!
Lina and Ellie looked at each other with shocked expressions.
Lina turned around and saw the source of the loud noise. The knights in the distance were destroying the carriage they used which was engraved with the duke’s emblem.
Thank goodness they haven’t reached that place yet!
A man wearing splendid armor was giving orders to the knights. “It’s the duke’s carriage! Capture the traitor’s family!”