The Promise 1
“I do not know about the poison. They told me that I was to work at the royal palace. And so I was forced to study palace etiquette, since I did not have the opportunity to learn it at home. I did little else…”
Margrave Vain did not doubt by words of denial.
“I see. If you did recognize it, I thought maybe it would mean that it was somehow related to becoming a magician, like a special poison. In fact, we discovered just why this man and the other knights were able to get so close to us without anyone noticing.”
Margrave Vain was lord of a territory that was easily involved in conflicts, which made it necessary for him to use intelligence operatives that were aware of the surrounding lands and kept tabs on any suspicious persons entering or leaving. Because of this, he could quickly detect which countries were scouting his lands and determine by the state of affairs whether they would attempt to invade or wish to negotiate.
“We discovered that a number of my agents had been murdered in a nearby town. I had replacements sent immediately and increased the numbers that were on watch, but it seems that this man and the other knights killed at least two of them. But out of the other remaining men, we found two that had been burned to death. Since nothing else had been burned, it seemed that the victims alone had caught on fire… Under these circumstances, I had considered the possibility that Count Patorishiel had devised some way to create magicians. And it was his people who had become magicians who were entering my territories.”
This was why he was asking me. I had been by Count Patorishiel’s side. He thought that the red drink was perhaps a special poison that created magicians.
As I listened to the reasoning behind his question, I felt like I could feel the powdery drink on my tongue once again. That sweet yet sour taste, there had been a sand-like powder mixed into it. It was probably a mixed powder that had failed to dissolve, but I remember how disturbing it was.
But it was not as if I knew myself, what this drink really was. And so I shook my head once more towards Margrave Vain.
“Still, I am quite certain that Count Patorishiel has devised some way to create magicians, or even just failed magicians. If not, whether it’s this man or the others that killed the agents, the count has much too many magicians under his employment.”
Reggie had been silent up until now, but here he quietly raised the question.
Inside, I was also nodding as he spoke. I supposed that the reason that Kiara Credius from the game was able to become a magician also lay there. Count Patorishiel knew how to turn people into magicians.
And there was one more thing that I had noticed. It was the siege of Everal castle that would occur in two years.
Even though they were on the other side of the border, was it really possible for their army to approach to such a close distance without being noticed? But, it would make sense if Marvgrave Vain’s agents that had infiltrated the other side had been somehow killed.
I was able to infer that the reason for the events two years in the future was also due to the ones who were supposed to be monitoring the enemies movements being killed.
I looked downcast as I thought of such things, until Margrave Vain said, “You can return to the castle now.”
“I’m sorry for calling you in the middle of the night. I’m sure we will have other things to ask you soon, and I’d be happy if you would comply. Prince Reginald, you too should go and rest for the night.”
So prompted, I and Reggie left the dungeons and went outside.
Reggie’s guard, Grol was waiting there. I was relieved to see that he seemed unhurt as he stood upright.
“I am so glad that you are safe.”
I say. Grol looked a little surprised and blinked before nodding slightly and saying, “Thank you, my lady.”
After this exchange, I decided that I would hurry and return to my room.
At first, I had been thinking of telling Reggie of the things he must be careful of in two years time, the things I had not been able to finish saying this afternoon. But then I remembered, it was no use.
After hearing the story of that man in the dungeon… I was scared that I too would be seen as a dangerous person.
I would wait until I had calmed down a little. I needed to determine which information was vital to share and what was not.
“Well, Reggie. I think I shall…”
“Grol. I’m going to escort Kiara to her room before I retire.”
“Understood, your majesty.”
Before I could tell him that I would see him tomorrow, Reggie decided that he’d accompany me.
Ohhh, I felt so small. And for the first time, I felt uncomfortable that Reggie was here with me.
Thinking back, I never did feel like I was uncomfortable when around him before.
I wondered why.
I considered bringing up some ridiculous subject to lighten this uncomfortable mood, but my tongue would feel heavy when I thought of Grol listening to us.
After all, Reggie was a prince.
We have always, well, I would speak to him in a pretty blunt manner when we were together, but going by my knowledge from this life, his offer was something that I should have refused… I think I was starting to realize that there were parts of me that were being eaten away by the old me.
But then again, it would seem unnatural to suddenly stop.
Ultimately, I was not able to say anything clever before we reached my room. I was only relieved that Reggie had not said anything either.
Well now, I thought as I began to speak to him.
“Well, Reggie. Good…”
“I have something I need to say to you. Grol, I’m sorry, but I need you to wait outside.”
Reggie said with a smile and then proceeded to enter through the half-open door and into my room.
Heeey Reggie! You can’t come into my room uninvited! Well, at least Madam Beatrice had ordered that I rest after the attack, and so I had cleaned my room… But was it really proper to casually enter into a ladies room in the middle of the night?
I said as I too entered the room. Reggie had stopped just inside of the doorway and was smiling. I didn’t know what to say.
“Um, it’s quite late and surely you are very tired? Tomorrow. Could we not speak tomorrow?”
I tried a mild objection but Reggie only closed the still open door with his hand as a reply.
Oh, Reggie boy. We may not be full grown adults yet, but we’re not children either. I so wanted to avoid a situation where I was alone with you where your guard could see. What are you trying to do?
Reggie’s actions were incomprehensible to be, and he was looking at me intently.
Before I knew it, I had taken a step back and bumped into the door.
And to this Reggie did something outrageous, he didn’t just slam a hand on the wall, he put both of his hands on my shoulders and held me there.
What was happening! I wanted to ask. But the bizarre situation was keeping my tongue tied.
As for Reggie, I could see that he was smiling happily from the light of the one candle in the room. It was frightening! In more ways than one!
“I think that we should talk. And I think that you are more likely to confess everything when you are still shaken.”