Among the Knights of Conler stationed in the forest, a strange rumor began to spread.
One of the search parties picked and consumed a wild mushroom while searching in several groups; the mushroom turned out to be poisonous and could induce hallucinations.
The poisoning left one of the knights guarding Estin’s barracks critically ill. He even asserted that he had observed Estin smiling while reading a letter.
To make sure what he was seeing was real, he rubbed his eyes, but the hallucination persisted.
Two letters were sent by the Grand Duchy. To put it another way, there were two letter writers. Gilbert and Mary, respectively.
It’s a letter from his eldest son and youngest child, Estin apologized to Gilbert and carefully ripped open Mary’s letter with a paper knife first.
The other kids didn’t bother to send letters because Gilbert is in charge of organizing the letters the Grand Duchy sends and receives.
He was particularly interested in what Mary’s letter would say. Estin was surprised to find that the contents were very straightforward.
[Father, the story in Gilbert’s letter is a misunderstanding. I don’t intend to put you in trouble; rather, I have faith in your strength and determination. After all, you are the strongest. Do not misunderstand, please. Return quickly and in good health. I miss you. That’s all.]
The drawing next to the letter was the best.
It appeared to be a drawing of a monster at first, but upon closer examination, it appeared that Mary had drawn herself waving her hand.
Estin couldn’t help but smile at Mary’s cute drawing, but he couldn’t help but feel resentful of how she had gotten engaged so young.
He was upset that he wasn’t able to attend the banquet until the very end. That day, Mary appeared as if she were a fairy, but he was unable to give her the slightest compliment.
He had assumed that her brothers would take care of everything, but he couldn’t help but feel sorry.
With his index finger, Estin rubbed the area where the words “I miss you” were written.
In any case, the sentimental mood was fleeting.
What was stated in Gilbert’s letter for Mary to even draft and send such a letter? He hastily tore the letter from Gilbert.
Estin chuckled while carefully reading the letter’s contents.
The smile was so tender that it might have led one to believe they had unintentionally consumed poisonous mushrooms.
“Go get Lucas and Hestia.”
He commanded the scowling knights to summon Lucas and Hestia from a different barracks.
“So you’ll be dealing with the leader by yourself?”
When Lucas read the letter’s contents, his expression changed to one of seriousness.
In comparison to other monsters, the giant, bear-like creatures that lived in this forest had a relatively low level of intelligence.
About 10 to 15 of them appeared to be swarming around.
When the monsters first encountered the knights, they attacked as if they thought they were attacking merchant wagons.
However, as they were driven back and their numbers decreased, they started to flee, simulating attacks to frighten the knights.
They started to hide in the forest as a result of their growing apprehension about the armed knights.
There must be a leader if there is a group. The leader must be the strongest of the monsters since their strengths vary.
Among them there must be someone who is using their head and is sensing danger. That sense must have developed over time.
Therefore, it is likely that the leader is a little older than the other monsters.
In fact, it might serve as evidence that there was a single individual who was slightly larger than the others.
Maybe it was the leader, but they haven’t seen it since. It might be too old to move around, perhaps.
“How many are left?”
“It’s decreased a lot. It’s estimated to be about five.”
“With that number left, the leader should be showing up soon. We can catch it.”
“Um, Your Excellency. These are all just my assumptions…”
This was merely a head briefing from Lucas. He was unaware that the briefing would be applied in this way.
If it was Estin, then yes, it was possible. But there are always variables.
“What if another group is hiding, or what if the leader is a very powerful individual?”
“Then, Hestia and you will go with me. And bring a few knights that we can use.”
Hestia readily agreed. Lucas wanted to tear his hair out.
How did our Miss Kitty even come up with this idea? Are you really going to force this method?
“I’m willing to give it a shot.”
“Yes, please put your trust in us.”
Estin and Hestia persuaded Lucas with a serious look. If their viewpoints were in agreement, nobody could stop them.
For the sake of his own mental health, Lucas quickly gave up. But he had to say something, even if it was a vain attempt.
“Are there no other options?”
“Then why do you have to…….”
Estin said, putting Mary’s letter in a case.
“My daughter believes in my strength, so I’ll show her.”
Demimore held out ragged parchmentment paper to Lausanne.
When Lausanne accepted the gift Demimore had given her, his expression changed from one of confusion to surprise.
“Did you stick all of this back together?”
Although it was not completely restored, it was still enough to be recognized.
The debris had vanished when she went back to her room after relaxing in the garden; she questioned whether the maids had cleaned it up.
She felt some sense of relief as she gazed at the spotless floor, but her futility came before it.
She reasoned that emptiness and liberation might be closely related feelings.
“Mary stuck it back together.”
Lausanne’s hand, which was turning on the crumpled paper, stopped. Despite the conflicting emotions on Lausanne’s face, she erupted in laughter as if she had lost her breath.
“…Is Mary now playing a joke on me?”
“Sister, you know better than anyone that Mary is not a child like that.”
“Yes, I know.”
“But how can you be sure? I thought his majesty would always be on my side.”
Demimore was taken aback by Lausanne’s unexpected toughness, so he stayed silent. Mary had warned him never to force Lausanne.
Demimore is able to take a position like this because he is familiar with Cameron and Mary’s story, but Lausanne is not.
Because of the previous incident, Demimore sided with Mary without any conditions.
Grand Duke Estin supported Mary during the dagger incident.
Mary’s expression of happiness was so clear that Demimore couldn’t forget it.
Mary looks happy having someone by her side even though she kept saying “Life is about living alone” To the point he wonders if she has some kind of trauma.
Naturally, a portion of it is just that he dislikes Cameron, but…… given how broken Lausanne appears to be, what did it really mean to be “on someone’s side”?
“You have me. I’m always on your sister’s side.”
Lausanne snorted, despite Demimore’s sincere words.
“But you’re siding with Mary, aren’t you?”
That was correct. Demimore scratched his cheek after running out of things to say.
Mary advised Demimore to calm down because it might take some time for Lausanne to change her mind, but Demimore was eager to clear Mary’s name.
Additionally, he needs to act quickly to track down the true culprit who wounded his sister’s feelings.
“It’s not Mary, sister. We have to find the real culprit quickly.”
Lausanne’s expression suggested that she was thoroughly annoyed by Demimore’s persistence. Their voices got louder.
Should I return? He wanted to go back and come back after dinner, but he was unable to do so and instead said something.
“Mary asked me to say this.”
“Even if she is the culprit—but you know that Mary isn’t, right?—don’t give up what makes you happy just because of one person.”
Lausanne unknowingly grabbed his shoulder as he turned around after saying what needed to be said.
“So, you’re saying that there’s a way to catch the culprit, according to Mary?”
Demimore turned around while masking a smile that was beginning to form around his mouth.
“That’s what Mary said.”
“The culprit would return to the scene of the crime.”
Lausanne almost forgot about her predicament because of how similar Demimore’s tone and facial expression were to Mary’s.
“However, if they don’t show up, we’ll have to call them.”
“What do you mean?”
“You have to help us. Please extend an invitation to the young women who visited the salon that day. Every one of them, on different days.”