Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Sylvia looked at the empty greenhouse and tilted her head.
“Where is the madame? Did she go back to the mansion?”
She carefully scanned the room, but both the greenhouse and laboratory were empty.
‘I thought I heard something…’
She wanted to get closer to the madame by talking with her alone…
Sylvia became grim and headed back to the mansion with the snacks she had brought.
Elody was holding onto a large tree and vomiting like crazy.
She bled more than usual. It was impossible to cover the blood with a single handkerchief.
After a while, she stopped vomiting, and Elody looked to see if there were any blood splashes on her clothes.
Fortunately, there was none.
Though, only on Elody’s clothes…
Someone else was sitting at the back of the tree, and his outfit was splattered with Elody’s blood.
Once their gazes met, Elody bounced back out of shock and dropped her bloody handkerchief to the ground.
The man’s eyes were also filled with confusion.
She couldn’t remember his name, but his face was very familiar.
He was one of the knights that came with Caville. He was a man with short gray hair and tanned skin.
“Ah… um, I deeply apologize. May I know your name, Sir…?”
To Elody’s question, the knight slowly responded, “…Heinz.”
* * *
A few days ago, after fighting with Therion, both knights were on probation.
However, the two did not reflect. Whenever they met, they intensely glared at each other as if they had a centuries-long blood feud between them.
Thanks to that, the mood among the knights was quite chaotic.
And because of Heinz’s audacious remarks, all of Solar’s knights sided with Therion.
Thanks to this, Heinz’s knights, who were former mercenaries, had become completely isolated.
Heinz was constantly complaining.
He thought he could finally settle down and live with the proper treatment he deserved after his contributions to the war if he followed the leader to the manor…
The facilities and environment were comfortable, but his heart was empty.
His subordinates felt the same.
That being said, he couldn’t complain.
After all, they were enjoying the most relaxing time of their lives.
Of course, he felt grateful.
But… Still. Didn’t he deserve to be treated more respectfully than those like Therion who stayed in the estate?
Solar and her knights also agreed with his opinion.
However, the vice-commander dismissed it as utter nonsense.
And it was impossible for him to complain to the leader.
He was indebted to him.
The leader was the man who gave honor to Heinz and his men. There had also been many times when the leader saved his life.
He couldn’t confide with such childish matters to the leader.
Furthermore, he probably wouldn’t even listen to it in the first place…
‘Even so, the leader does cherish us more, right?’ Heinz tried to comfort himself.
Still, it was a little sad that the vice-commander slapped him on the cheek.
Scratch that, he was very sad.
Even if he did start the fight first, to slap him in front of that douchebag Therion…
He hated the vice-commander after that, and he hated the duchess even more.
He thought that she was actually the source of all this.
His men were worried about him, but Heinz wanted to be alone.
So, that day, he was taking a stroll alone.
Then, he lost energy and sat behind a large tree next to the greenhouse where no one was there.
‘Madame this, madame that… Just wait until the princess comes!’
He was complaining and watching the squirrels passed by when…
He heard someone coughing and spilling blood all over his shoulder.
Heinz’s irritated look was now struck with shock.
The duchess was vomiting blood right behind him.
“Sir Heinz. It’s a pleasure to meet you…. I apologize, I couldn’t greet you properly at the banquet because of the vassals,” Elody said after wiping the blood off her mouth,
Then she took out a new handkerchief from inside her pockets and reached out to Heinz’s shoulder.
At that moment, Heinz fell back in surprise.
He seemed really surprised.
Heinz jumped up, biting his lips, ashamed of losing his composure.
“I’m sorry, Sir Heinz… Your clothes got dirty because of me…”
“It’s all right…”
Heinz accepted Elody’s handkerchief with trembling hands. Then he stared at his right shoulder and arm that was stained with blood.
‘I have a lot of questions… ‘
Elody was confused and worried.
She didn’t even think that someone would catch her!
And it wasn’t even someone she knew well… It was the first time she had ever conversed with the knight.
“…Is it ‘Siren’s Tears’?” Heinz asked as he wiped the blood with her handkerchief, raising one eyebrow.
Elody was confused and only blinked.
‘Siren’s Tears’ was an incurable disease that many people living on the beach usually get.
Indeed, the symptoms were similar to the side effects of the Salvation Herb.
Elody knew this because she had read a lot of books while studying for her incurable disease.
The ‘Siren’s Tears’ could be healed if treated early with divine power, but if not, then it could cause death.
Therefore, it was classified as an incurable disease.
Though the name was like that, according to Elody’s research, the disease had nothing to do with the beach.
But that wasn’t the case, and it would take too long for her to explain the facts in great detail.
What was she supposed to say? ‘Actually, I have an incurable disease, but it is not the ‘Siren’s Tears’. I don’t know the name of my illness. But I’ve found the antidote for it, and it was the salvation herb I have discovered. Unfortunately, the side effects of the medicine caused me to vomit blood uncontrollably like this…’
No one would ever believe her…
Plus, she had no time to explain everything to him.
“That’s… please keep it a secret. Sir Heinz.”
Elody stared at him with a desperate look on her face.
Heinz frowned as if he was annoyed.
“Just pretend you didn’t see it. Pretend that nothing has happened today. Please, I beg of you, Sir Heinz.”
Heinz was dumbfounded.
He expected the duchess to be arrogant and cold, but she was actually polite.
“Please, please… No one should ever know.”
Elody was desperate. She had a headache imagining how annoying it would be if people knew.
Once a month, she had to deal with it by herself, just like what she did now.
“Really, really? You shall never say…”
“I always keep my word,” Heinz said, frowning a little.
His words seemed lousy, but he didn’t look like a person who would lie.
Elody sighed in relief. It would be troublesome if someone else came.
“Thank you. Please do me this favor, Sir Heinz.”
After making sure and asking him several more times, Elody opened the door to the greenhouse and went back in.
Then, she walked to the sink in the corner of the greenhouse, wiped the blood on her hands, and washed her blood-stained handkerchief.
‘Ah, my other handkerchief… ‘
It occurred to her that she handed Lord Heinz a new handkerchief and forgot to get it back.
It would be strange if she went back there just to ask for the handkerchief back.
‘I should’ve locked the door… ’
There were locks in the greenhouse and lab.
She had locked Sylvia out of the way, but she didn’t completely lock her out in fear that more servants would come.
She avoided that situation but was caught by an unfamiliar knight.
Elody was confused about whether it would be better to be caught by the knight or if it would have been better for people to flock around the greenhouse and knock on the door.
* * *
“Captain, no, Sir Heinz. Are you injured? That blood….”
“This is… I got caught in a tree and tore my shoulder. It’s just a small wound.”
“That’s a lot of blood for a small wound…”
Then, Heinz headed to his room.
The average knights shared a room with two other people. Each room had its own bathroom; a shower, a sink, and a toilet.
It was an incredibly good facility.
Furthermore, an elite knight room was larger and had better accommodation.
As a mercenary, he spent his whole life wandering for seven years on the battlefield.
He thought he would be happy as long as he had a house with a roof, but such a luxurious place…
When he first saw the lodge, Heinz only thought it was a dream. However, as of today, he had no longer ogled at his lavish room.
Heinz looked down at the white handkerchief he held in his hand.
He was annoyed.
‘I never thought I’d run into the Duchess there… How unfortunate.’
Well, he heard that the greenhouse belonged to the duchess.
Heinz laughed, thinking that even her hobby was very extravagant.
But she was suffering from a deadly disease…?
Though if he thought about it, it was better this way.
The duchess would soon die. Then, the leader and the princess could get married without any obstacles.
As Heinz himself had wished.
‘Why do I feel so uncomfortable?’
His bloody shoulders had been wiped with cold water. But even after wiping it, his skin felt somewhat… hot, like it was burning.
‘It’s not an infectious disease, is it…?’
The duchess’ illness was obviously the ‘Siren’s Tears’. The disease that caused one to vomit blood uncontrollably.
And long ago, Heinz’s sister also died of the disease.
It was when Heinz was very young.
It was a disease that could be cured if found in the early stages, but if one discovered it too late. It was irreversible.
Her sister only knew of the disease when it reached the point where she could no longer be treated with medicine nor divine power.
No, she did know it from the very beginning.
But she hid it because they didn’t have money.
Earning money was more important than drinking expensive medicine.
And in the end, his sister died of blood loss.
After the loss of his only family, Heinz became a wandering mercenary.
Now he had earned enough money to get a cure, but his sister was already dead.
The duchess, on the other hand, had a ton of money.
So why was she…?
‘She couldn’t have known of the disease late, could she?’
Unless she were stupid… she would have started the treatment immediately.
But now, with such a severe injury, she would never be able to cure it with medicine or divine power.
It was clear that she would die soon.