“Kiara. Forgive me for bringing you out here.”
Margrave Vain appeared as if he had just returned from somewhere, he wore his cape and was in full armor. His sword was strapped to his side.
“I’m sorry to bother you so late.”
Reggie said. He too was armored and wore a cape.
“Oh, what do you want?”
For the time being, I asked them why I was needed. Margrave Vain answered.
“The man we have in the cell is the same one you saw this afternoon. He started to behave most strangely after he was captured. But he seems to have calmed down now and so we have called you.”
The Margrave pointed towards the cell. I tried to look in but Reggie gave me a warning.
“I’m sure you’ve seen similar sights before, but… It still might be shocking, so prepare yourself, Kiara. I think, he must have failed to become a magician.”
Failed to. An appearance that might shock me. Hearing this, I was able to brace myself for whatever Count Patorishiel’s man would look like in his cell.
The moment I saw him, I felt as if my heart jumped so loudly that my insides shook.
I didn’t know why. After all, while the man’s appearance was shocking, it was not so bad that I couldn’t breathe and had to avert my eyes.
It was slightly more peaceful than that other magician.
His back was protruding, but it was not as if a stone pillar were growing from it either.
The man’s face and body were much more swollen than when I had seen him this afternoon. It was as if he had caught some horrible magical illness.
He was mumbling something to himself.
If only I hadn’t drunk it. I’ve been in unbearable pain ever since.
I thought it was strange. I had never seen a reddish black drink before. It must have been poison. It must have been.
He continued as his eyes looked up into nothingness.
Just from that, it was clear that his mind was already broken.
This was someone who had tried to take her back to a cruel place. She would not feel sorry for him… But, it was still painful to see.
“What he is speaking of, does it mean anything to you?”
“If you have ever heard anything regarding poison from Count Patorishiel, please tell us.”
Margrave Vain and Reggie both asked.
I had tilted my head to the side, but as I listened to the words of the man in the cell, I started to remember something.
…they poured a drink as red as blood down my throat.
The words came back to me.
Could it be?
I recalled the red liquid I had been forced to drink when I was sick. It was a dark red drink. I had thought it was due to being diluted with fruit juice.
When was the first time?
I think that it was the day I was first taken to the Count’s house. They said it was served because it was a special day.
After that, I was bedridden for three days.
However, when I recovered, Count Patorishiel who would usually scold me over small things was for this time alone, oddly civil.
Apparently, this man had drunk something similar and was now in a similar state to the failed magician. In that case, was it a medicine that was administered to create magicians?
If the Count was only happy that I had not turned into sand… Well, it made sense.
But would that mean I was in a similar state to the failed magician as well? But I’ve never even used magic yet?
I had no other ideas. But…
I bit down on my lip.
What should I do? I didn’t want to tell them. If I did, they will know that I’ve drunk the liquid as well. If they ever have reason to think that I am in a similar state as the failed magician, they may chain me down here as well.
They would say that it was to prevent my powers from running wild, so that I wouldn’t hurt anyone. They would tell me to endure it.
As I imagined this, any thoughts of telling them of the red liquid flew from my mind. Instead, I said:
“I…I don’t know. I’ve never seen it before.”