The Male Lead Knelt Before Me
Vol. 17: Where You Are
“……I received an order.”
The presiding judge was surprised by Vivian’s response. I, on the other hand, felt relieved.
I was concerned that she would say something unnecessary because the last time we parted was so poor.
The investigator who was questioning her looked at her with interest.
“Could you please elaborate on the details?”
“It’s exactly as I said.”
Vivian continued calmly.
“I was given the order to kill Lady Oreu.”
“Do you mean you have an accomplice?”
“Who gave the order to the Lady?”
Instead of responding, Vivian looked around the room. She came to a halt when she approached at a specific location.
Everyone’s gaze, including mine, was drawn to where Vivian looked.
“Over there, His Highness, Enosh Le Elphida.”
The prince, whom I had not realized when he arrived, was sitting there.
‘That crazy bitchl!’
Enosh walked into the courtroom with a frown on his face.
All he could think about were Vivian’s recent atrocities.
‘I never expected her to kill Elena just because I intimidated her.’
It was a completely unexpected turn of events.
In the first place, he intended to aggravate Caleb and Elena’s relationship, but he never intended to kill Elena.
Furthermore, she was the Archduke’s daughter.
Even as the empire’s crown prince, he could not be safe if he was caught attempting to murder her.
‘The worst-case scenario is that I will be dethroned.’
It was the imperial throne that he had taken for granted since he was young.
He was not the Emperor, nor did he consider himself to be the same.
For him, the only ‘future’ he saw was becoming Emperor and receiving praise for standing on top of everyone.
That’s why, instead of weighing in politically and authoritatively, he’s been asking women to seduce Caleb, who is like an eye-pooper to him.
So his power won’t grow any further, but it won’t hurt him too much if he gets caught.
All of those actions were taken with the goal of becoming Emperor.
However, there is no way to murder Elena, the Archduke’s and his wife’s daughter.
‘It was all due to that insane woman. She did it all by herself.’
That was the truth, without any fakery. Enosh was certain of it, and yet…… He was nervous.
He didn’t feel bad about threatening Vivian at the time.
There was no such thing from the start. And it was still the same.
Nonetheless, Enosh is concerned because he is not involved in the case this time.
‘I should not have listened to her.’
Enosh remembered Vivan coming to him for help a few days after he had intimidated her.
“…… before, you said you’d help me if I needed it.”
Vivian’s appearance was clearly depicted, as she opened her mouth with a nervous expression.
“I want you to ask His Majesty about holding a hunting contest at the Imperial family’s hunting ground.”
“Yes. Why don’t you propose to His Majesty a hunting competition between the Principality and the Empire’s knights? Is it going to be difficult?”
“It’s not difficult, but I’m not sure how this relates to what I asked you to do.”
“During the hunting competition, I’ll use my brother as an excuse to approach the Duke. And, as Your Highness directed, I’m working on something that will cause Lady Oreu to misunderstand the Duke.”
It was a really nice and speculative reason. However, Enosh discovered a flaw in Vivian’s words.
“Isn’t it possible to do that at other times, not at the hunting competition? Why not just you just visit the Royal Knights?”
“That’s… That’s something I can’t do. Because my brother dislikes it when I visit him and the Royal Knights.”
Come to think of it, it was quite publicly known that Edmund, the first son of the Marquis Vessel, was not very kind to his younger sister.
It’s not just because they’re siblings. They’re not at the level of looking at each other like cows and chickens.
(T/N: ‘Looking like a cow and a chicken’ refers to looking at something without any interest.)
Enosh had no idea why Edmund did that, but many people sympathized with Vivian because it was in stark contrast to Vivian, who was trying to get along with his brother in some way.
He’d recently learned that, while Edmund’s demeanor had softened significantly, he was still awkward and unwelcome toward Vivian.
That is why the Marquis and Marchioness are concerned about their relationship.
“I want to approach a special time and create an irresistible situation. Please, Your Majesty.”
As a result, Enosh understood why Vivian was requesting such a favor.
“Fine, I’ll do that.”
In fact, the reason for his acceptance was Vivian’s cautious and polite demeanor.
Enosh was quite generous to those who ‘bowed their head’ to him. Although it remains true to the premise that he only does it when he feels like it.
In any case, as Vivian requested, Enosh made a suggestion to her father, the Emperor.
Because the Archduke and his wife are in the Empire, why not hold a hunting competition between the two countries?
The emperor, who enjoyed hunting, readily accepted the offer.
When a group of ‘Leppards’ showed up at a hunting competition, Enosh realized something was wrong.
Leppards, Enosh’s so-called “disposal squad”, were the creatures he was secretly raising on an imperial hunting ground.
He didn’t do it on purpose. He found a newly grown Leppard Queen while hunting and raised it as a pet.
Despite the fact that it was a dangerous pet, his pet rarely left their territory.
In the hunting grounds, their prey was mostly small animals, and they rarely hunted humans.
They simply became enraged as a group and attacked at random, even humans, if another Leppard queen appeared.
Enosh took full advantage of this.
Even though it was only for a short time, he studied hard about the demonic beast in order to become a knight and defeat Caleb.
And Enosh discovered that combining human blood with certain herbs produces pheromones similar to those produced by the Lepard Queen.
Thanks to the Leppards, Enosh has been able to easily erase the traces of what he did since then.
He’s done it over and over for years and has never been caught. Because there was no reason for someone to intentionally mix human blood with herbs.
However, Leppards appeared unexpectedly on the imperial hunting grounds and attacked at random. There are no words to describe Enosh’s surprise at the time.
Enosh was even more surprised when he learned that the woman was caught at the scene while trying to killing Elena.
He has no idea how Vivian managed to manipulate the Leppard Queen, but he was concerned that he would become involved in this incident.
He was so stressed over the past few days because of that worry that not only did he get body aches, but he couldn’t even sleep unless he took medicine because of the heartburn.
And no one knows how much trouble he has been in since the morning when the trial is held today.
His parents told him it was fine not to come after hearing the news, but he couldn’t.
It would be preferable to go check the results even during the trial rather than wait until the trial is over.
‘I bet she’s not going to drag me in.‘
Otherwise, she’ll have to admit that she tried to kill Elena before.
Enosh was certain that no matter how far she went, Vivian would never say such a thing.
“Over there, His Highness, Enosh Le Elphida.”
Until Vivian looked himself in the eyes and said it.
The presiding judge made a big fuss after a brief silence. Enosh, too, burst out laughing late.
That crazy bitch.
“……Your Highness the Crown Prince, could you please assist me with the interrogation for a while?”
During the trial, the investigator from the Ministry of Justice had complete authority.
As a result, Enosh went to the seat for questioning.
Enosh tried to remain calm and composed.
In situations like this, he needs to appear more comfortable in order to avoid suspicion.
Most importantly, he’d never given Vivian that order. So he was clean.
Therefore, Enosh could manage his expression without much difficulty.
“Did you order Lady Vessel to murder Lady Oreu?”
“No, I’ve never done that.”
Enosh shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.
“I am shocked. Why on earth is she lying about this? Lady Oreu is the daughter of two of my parents’ closest friends. Does it make sense for me to give the lady that kind order?”
“I have no idea why His Highness told me to kill Lady Oreu. Rather, His Highness is the one who knows why I was ordered to do that.”
“All right, fine. Assume that Lady Vessel was ordered by the Crown Prince. What made you accept His Highness’s order?”
Vivian, who had been talking nonstop, flinched and closed her mouth.
And she paused, unable to make eye contact with the investigator.
“Go right ahead and tell me. How did you accept your highness’ order?”
“Why do you feel the need to ask? Isn’t it obvious that she can’t say it properly because everything is a lie?”
Enosh spoke angrily, and some of the judges nodded in agreement.
If His Highness truly did that, wouldn’t she have immediately responded to the reason?
The atmosphere enraged Enosh even more.
And he was certain.
Because she was a coward, that girl would never say it.
“How dare you attempt to frame me!? That lady must be crazy. There’s no point in asking any more questions. I need to return to my seat……”
“……If you succeed in killing Lady Oreu, I will accept you as my empress.”
Enosh couldn’t finish his sentence because Vivian spoke as if she were reciting.
Instead, he looked at Vivian, perplexed.
He was wondering when he said that.
‘No, come to think of it, I definitely said something similar.’
But he said that to keep Elena away from Caleb, not to murder her in this sort of way.
It was, however, absurd to bring up what he said at the time.
Vivian continued while Enosh was unable to respond.
“I used to secretly adore His Majesty…… I couldn’t say no to the proposal. So, so…… I did something I shouldn’t have.”
Vivian broke down in tears and covered her mouth with her hands.
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