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The Truth That was Drawn Out
With an arrow in her mouth that caused the corner of her mouth to be stained red from the prince’s blood, Kiara went to approach Reggie without caring about the spark around him.
Even when Cain tried to chase after her, he ended up hesitating whether his decision was correct or not.
After all, the only one here who understood the matter related to magicians was her. Hence, he couldn’t decide whether her action was based on success rate or if it was a reckless action.
However, Prince Reginald must be saved at all cost. He is the army’s insignia. Therefore, he prayed that Kiara’s action would succeed.
Cain grasped his hand tightly.
He couldn’t be any of help. Even if he wanted to protect her from the spark, he thought that there would be a chance his action would hinder her.
However, he could only do what he could at this time.
“Search for the archer! They are at the west side of the castle walls!”
At Cain’s words, the soldiers and the knights who hadn’t moved at all due to the situation, finally started to run.
“Close the gate!”
“Send the signal to be on look out!”
Amidst the uproar, Cain didn’t move an inch from his spot. If that certain party’s attack were not to end with just this, there was a chance for Kiara to be targeted. Since he had the duty of becoming her guarding knight, Cain couldn’t go to find the perpetrator.
Cain and other four soldiers were standing on guard around Kiara and Reggie, guarding in all four cardinal directions.
From the earlier arrow’s track, they knew that the attacker fired the arrow from the castle walls. There were no merchants allowed to wander around that area. There were only the soldiers who served inside the castle and the feudal lord’s relatives, also the people close to them.
Aside from those people, there were only people who stayed as guests inside the castle.
They were on alert.
Even so, just how in the world did they manage to slip through the monitoring? Or was the perpetrator Cecilia’s knight?
While he was thinking, the situation Kiara was in altered.
It seemed that the situation was quite severe as Kiara was conversing with the doll who was her master that she could look up to. He could tell that Prince Reginald received the curse of fallen magician.
However, Cain and the others couldn’t lend a hand. They could only leave everything to her.
Each time the sparkle fell, her clothes were scorched, and she even grimaced in pain. She was desperately repeating these words: “Don’t die.”
Cain had never thought, even in his dreams, that there would come an occasion where he couldn’t do anything.
Even if her master—the one in the form of a talking doll who couldn’t even use magic—told her to resign everything to fate, Kiara shook her head, and in the end, she even had to offer the blood dripping from her hand that she cut.
Then, before long, the sparkles falling around Prince Reginald were lessened.
In the end, Kiara collapsed as she had used up all of her strength.
Horace shouted to Cain and the other soldiers who were gasping.
“Hurry and move the two of them to a safer place!”
The soldiers carried Prince Reginald on the stretcher in a fluster. Since his strange condition was now over, the soldiers ran towards the residence in relief.
Cain held Kiara in his arms.
With her eyes still closed, the way she breathed was similar to the way a human breathed after they just sprinted with their whole energy. Her condition couldn’t be said as good.
“Horace-san, Kiara-san is…”
“My disciple overdid herself.”
If his expression could change, based on his voice, Horace would perhaps be making a sour face.
“It’s fortunate that it was only a small dose, but to take the same amount of that dose and to hold down the power of the contract stone that didn’t have anything to do with her… It was an overkill. When normally you could just see them off as they turn into sand, she forcibly twisted the process… I couldn’t even imagine how much power she used for that.”
“Is she in a dangerous condition?”
Horace raised his earthen body’s arm as he responded Cain’s question with, “Who knows?”
“She managed to endure it well, so she shouldn’t die. But with how she used her power, it wouldn’t be weird for her finger to turn into sand and crumble.”
Even knowing that, she still did it.
Horace said as he looked up at Kiara. Cain felt a sympathy in some respects when he looked at them.
“You are my disciple’s guard, right? This disciple of mine would definitely try to help those close to her just like this next time. Take that to mind. Even if it’s not that easy to obtain the contract stone, as long as we’re facing the same enemy, there’s a possibility that the same method would happen again in the future.”
Cain nodded at Horace’s warning.
He didn’t want to face the same danger. That was how he felt.
However… What is the best way he could protect? If he couldn’t save even just her, there’s a possibility that Prince Reginald, Alan, and even he himself would be in danger due to the nature of their enemy.
Still, it wasn’t like one single person could protect everyone.
There is nothing perfect in this world. Thus, the best way should something happen might be to give up the life and death of someone else other than her.
But if he were to do that, Kiara would definitely revolt.
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The search for the perpetrator after that ended with a tricky result.
The person who shot the arrow was planning to disappear into the crowd, but Alan who joined the search party was too suspicious of him, so he detained that person.
The perpetrator turned out to be one of the four knights of Tolisfid.
By the time Alan apprehended that knight, he held the remaining of goods that we thought were used on Prince Reginald, and as he made a part of the wall turn into the sand, he himself also turned into sand and crumbled.
Two of the other knights escaped outside the castle.
If the only people going in and out of the castle on that day were only the soldiers, the search would surely be commenced with more ease. However, there were also merchants who went in and out of the castle at that time, so there were people who stopped in confusion as they saw those who tried to escape promptly, and there were injured people who screamed and caused confusion. It caused the search to be delayed and a hole in the defence.
The last knight attempted to murder Cecilia.
Thanks to Kiara conveying Cecilia’s strange situation to Madam Beatrice, they were able to take precautions.
Madam Beatrice who heard Kiara’s story, immediately sent her own maid, Clara and some knights. Then, the moment a response was delayed from the room, Clara immediately opened the door thinking that it would be fine even if she had to shoulder responsibility for what would unfold.
Seeing Kiara’s fear, Clara thought that the enemy was ingenious at subtle deceit since the monitoring soldier didn’t come to report any abnormality even when the situation was one that they should seek help for.
If that was the case, it was necessary to take them by surprise so they could no longer keep up any appearance. Therefore, she jumped into the room the moment she felt that there was something wrong with the response.
It was precisely the moment that the Tolisfid knight was trying to dispose Cecilia.
However, deciding to let Clara’s visit to go past the place, the knight thought to let Cecilia answer as he instructed for the moment. Thanks to it, Cecilia was rescued from being killed beforehand, but during the moment Clara and the others raided to help before the sword was thrusted at her, she ended up having a thin cut on her neck.
After violently resisting, the Tolisfid knight was killed by Clara and the others.
Despite her being wounded, Cecilia felt that she was finally safe as she seemed to cry herself out while clinging to Clara.
Time passed, and according to the information that they finally acquired, Cecilia was being monitored and threatened by the knights.
Furthermore, the knights weren’t Tolisfid’s people. All of them were Viscount Credius’ subordinates.
From this information, they could tell that the military occupation of the Tolisfid fief had something to do with Viscount Credius.
Moreover, Cecilia said that her mother was poisoned. She was told that if she wanted her mother’s life to be saved, she had to help in snatching away the prince and the magician’s lives. And so, she was brought to Everal.
She was ordered to give the poison to the prince when they were together.
The reason she made mistakes as she seemed like she was about to cry was in order that she didn’t have to touch the tea anymore after her failure, in order to protect the prince.
Again, Cecilia seemed to have confessed when she told Kiara not to get close to the prince. However, it was in order to prevent the unlikely event that they were present together at a tea ceremony and, in the worst-case scenario, to avoid them getting killed at the same time.
If, for example her blunder failed, and the poison was placed, Cecilia was planning to take Reginald’s drink in a suicidal method to save at least the prince.
Since she didn’t want to repeat such a gruesome experience, Cecilia said, “Help,” to Kiara.
As Cecilia’s intended failure continued, the Everal army’s departure day was drawing near. Therefore, Viscount Credius’ subordinates thought that at least they would attack Kiara in attempt to kill her. They seemed to judge that if the magician wasn’t present, the army’s power might be reduced to around half of it.
Moreover, they sealed Cecilia’s mouth and tried to make the identity of the person who ordered the murder attempt remain vague.
The arrow plastered with the contract sand that was shot to Kiara was definitely fired in order to kill her.
There was no magician that could heal wounds. Moreover, it would be difficult for her to negate the effects of the contract stone if she were injured.
However, the arrow pierced Prince Reginald.
Since the addressee wasn’t a magician, the prince would definitely die even if the arrow didn’t cause a fatal wound. Although the arrangement had changed, the enemy thought that it was also good and planned on escaping.
Cecilia, who finished talking while still weeping her eyes out, left the place where there were the margrave, the margravine, and the knights as she was supported by Clara.
Horace saw her out and then reluctantly informed Cain and the others.
“…Viscount Credius is a magician.”
Margrave Vayne, Alan, Madam Beatrice, and everyone who also heard Horace’s words then turned pale.
As Madam Beatrice asked, Horace said uncomfortably as he used his porcelain hand to scratch his waist.
“Why did you think I came to this frontier and worked to scatter the beasts’ bait?”
“Weren’t you hired by them?”
Listening to Alan’s answer, Horace laughed in a self-mockery tone.
“Fuhihihi. How lovely it would be if I was just hired. It was because I was ambushed and tied by a slavery contract. …They fed me the contract stone after all.”
“So, you weren’t just aiming for riches…”
Alan uttered a harsh statement forthrightly.
“I didn’t want to have even the slightest bit of relation to this kind of war because I wanted to live long. And yet, without showing his figure, he managed to catch me off guard and trap me. As such, I wasn’t able to take revenge… That’s how it was. He knows way too much about magicians.”