Chapter 160 – The Dark Side of Aristocratic Society
Count Wilhem managed orphanages and poor houses in twenty-six locations around the kingdom.
These places served to conceal the movement of money, but there was also another purpose.
It was the exploitation of these poor children who had nowhere else to go.
Within the past 40 years, he had attacked numerous girls and boys. It was said that he was particularly fond of androgynous boys.
This was his true nature, and while there were those who were aware of it, they all kept their mouths closed.
Because they knew that anyone who opposed the Count would meet a mysterious end.
Besides, the Count had co-conspirators around the kingdom, and to expose him would mean creating enemies of them all.
It seemed better to leave things in the dark.
At least, it was not worth risking one’s life over.
It was a peaceful and quiet age. And so as long as you looked away, things would move along smoothly.
That day, a girl was sent to one of the Count’s villa within the capital. She had been brought from one of the orphanages, and had an androgynous face. The director of the orphanage had sent her, knowing the Count would take a liking to her.
She did not know anything.
Only that she had been chosen for something, and that it was supposed to be a special honor.
She even felt happiness and a sense of responsibility. She would have to do her best then.
And like this, she was taken to the Count’s room.
“Splendid. A good one.”
The Count said with a smile.
“You may go now. I wish to talk in private.”
The butler bowed like a cat and closed the door.
The room they were left in was incredibly extravagant.
The Count sat on the side of the bed and called her.
“You must never say anything about what will happen here.”
“Listen. This is quite necessary. There is a dark miasma within you. That is why you were abandoned by your parents. It is not your fault. It is the miasma.”
“But I shall extract it from you.”
He said as he moved closer.
That was when she acted.
With all of her weight, she knocked the Count down over the bed and stuffed the sheets into his mouth.
As his eyes widened, he heard a much lower, mature voice speak.
“I can freeze your eyes so that they will never see again. I can freeze your throat so that you never breathe again.”
She said without emotion.
“For the past nineteen years, I have wanted to kill you. So, remember that when you speak. Do not say anything that is unneeded. Or you might provoke me into finishing you off right now.”
She said as she swiftly bound up the Count.
Then she removed the sheets from his mouth.
“Who are you!”
“The one who is going to judge you for your sins.”
As her hair swayed, it started to turn purple.
The transformation potion with bergamot.
Leticia Risettestone spoke with the expressionless face of the girl.
After binding his hands, Leticia opened the room’s closet.
And with calm movements, she selected some butler clothing and put them on.
While they were too large at first, it was as if she had predicted the timing perfectly, and she immediately changed so that they fit her.
“I know you.”
Said Count Wilhem.
“The Royal Magician who pursued me as if obsessed. I heard that you made an enemy of some noble, and got sent to a different department.”
“No. It was merely the kindness of a superior after I was poisoned.”
“Why do you go to such an extent?”
“That is not what is important.”
“It must be something personal. Yes, there was a man just like you once.”
The Count said as he looked at Leticia.
“A crazy Royal Magician who was obsessed with exposing me. But in the end, he was also a criminal himself.”
“You bribed the judge of the High Court into sentencing an innocent man.”
“He really could not let it go. Even after getting the life sentence, he was said to be a well behaved prisoner. And so one of the wardens who did not know all the details, let him out. Which repeated the tragedy. He continued to commit his crimes and got the brutal death that he deserved.”
“A foolish man, he was. Just hopeless.”
Said the Count.
“By the way, you must have heard about that failed investigation. After all, that is how you were able to slip through.”
“And what of it?”
“They are currently being imprisoned in a certain building within the premises. A building where my company keeps its stock of Bertold gunpowder. Two thousand kilograms of it. The building will be erased without a trace, and the lives of twenty-one brilliant Royal Magicians will vanish. And I carry the device that could set the whole thing off.”
Said the Count as he pulled out the device behind his back.
“Do not move. Or else I shall detonate the gunpowder.”
That was when two of the soldiers came to the room.
“I’m terribly sorry, but we have important news.”
The soldiers saw Leticia, and their eyes widened for a moment, but then they drew their swords.
“Do not resist. Your actions can cause the death of twenty-one lives.”
Leticia ground her teeth.
The magic she was about to activate ended up fading away without having any effect.
“Well, the tables have turned.”
And then Leticia was bound up by the soldiers.
Count Wilhem shook his now freed hands and said,
“You really are just like that man. He was the same. At one point, he gained the advantage so that he could have dealt a fatal blow with just one more push. But he could not. Not after I threatened to kill all of his pupils. He turned rather pale. What a fool.”
Said the Count as he looked down at Leticia.
“Not being able to cut people off is your weakness. With such methods, you cannot beat me.”