I wondered what she was doing. Sitting on the bed, I watched her actions.
“It’s not that I didn’t investigate Sister either.”
Tuk, tuk. She threw it away clumsily, but her hands were unstoppable. It was amazing she could take off two away in one breath.
“Why don’t you take a break?”
I could see her chemise. Several white pouches were hanging from it.
Did she wear that all the way here? That could make her run out of breath.
Blake Ariandel, whose face was getting pale little by little, opened her mouth again as she removed the white pouches one by one.
“It hurts. They had been with me for a year and a half. Half of them even come with me when I’m sleeping on the bed. I’ve been living like this since I was a kid. I decided to investigate Sister and find you when I found out that the necklace I ordered was gone.”
“…so what did you find out?”
“That Sister gave my father a lot of money to the point my father’s ships increased.”
“That’s not what I did.”
“I know. He said it was given to him by the long silver-haired man. I looked at him from afar but didn’t see that uncle. After that, I couldn’t go out freely. Even though I spent more time in other empires than in this empire, let alone the capital.”
“… I’m sorry.”
Blake Ariandel spoke eagerly, removing all the pockets and putting them on my nightstand. “Looking up at that point, doesn’t Sister think I’ve lived a life similar to Sister? Is that why you chose me?”
“That, I don’t know.”
I still had no idea what she was doing, so I just stared at her.
“On top of that, it’s so shameless of you to steal the necklace I designed, right?”
“I’m sorry about that too.”
“My father firmly believes he will make me the crown princess.”
“Then you can wait for it.”
“Are you kidding me? How often have they tried to kill those in contact with the imperial family, including the princes?”
I paused for a moment. I didn’t think there was anything like that in the content of the transaction. As she said earlier, Sir Shubart must have only poured out coaxed words to Marquis Ariandel. If they had borrowed her identity for a while, he would have said they would return her place and let her continue her relationship with the prince.
The next thing was something she shouldn’t know. That means there was a real spy inside. From what Blake Ariandel said, her father didn’t seem to know about it either.
Blake seemed to have a lot to say. So I waited, staring at her as if urging her to talk more.
“At first, I thought Sister was on their side. They’re really dangerous trash.”
“…then how long should I listen to you?”
“I know Sister’s real purpose. I know you prevented the prince’s assassination, and you helped people. I know Sister is wearing a mask you don’t even want to wear.”
This had made it more certain. There was someone in here who communicated with her. We’ve already changed the servants once, and everyone, except Nina, came in through Sir Shubart. Also, the number of people who could enter my room was limited. Even when I was away, Nina and Lisa always managed this place so that no one couldn’t go in and out.
From what Blake said, they must have gone back and forth from the room. It didn’t make sense if it was Lisa, and even more ridiculous if it was Nina. Not to mention Ian.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, she came to my room to change the sheets and got caught, so I asked Lisa to educate her properly. As far as I remember, that only happened one time. Since I was in a terrible mood that day, I must have annoyed Lisa, and Lisa must have annoyed her too.
But not long after that day, that maid was replaced. And for the reason…
“…How did you know?”
Blake Ariandel opened her eyes wide at my murmur. When I saw her expression, I felt unpleasant that I had guessed it right. Probably because of the fact that Blake knew the information even after that maid was gone.
“You’ve got something with you.”
I noticed it and said it with my mouth before hearing the answer. If so, there was only one way. Using mana stone.
“I heard she installed it under the bed. Thanks to that, I came this far,” she said gently as if there was no need to hide further.
Lifting the quilt, I quickly got up from the bed and looked under the bed. Where the hell did she hide it that I didn’t know like a fool. The green-haired servant I remembered, was very young. She was a child that was still far away from her coming of age.
I scoured the bed for a long time as I was sweeping the dark room. Just as my neck and back ached, I saw a small glint on the wooden frame near the center. When I reached out my hand and scraped it with my finger, something fell off. I picked it up and got up to check. It was a dark red mana stone the size of a thumbnail.
I couldn’t believe I didn’t know this the whole time. I’ve been so elated that I’ve been playing tricks on Sir Shubart and my mother well, but I didn’t expect anyone would find out about it.
Blake made her move so fast that I didn’t even notice her movement for that long. It means that she has heard everything. I shouldn’t have looked down on her.
Moreover, it was under the bed. Even when the other furniture was changed, I kept insisting on the bed. Sleep was my only way out, so I always used the familiar bed. That was why the bed hadn’t been changed.
I threw it at Blake Ariandel. She then picked it up and said, “Um, anyway, I’m sorry to eavesdrop.”
“Go back if you know.”
I went back to bed and turned around. After taking that thing off, I wanted to get rid of her as soon as possible.
“Looking at today, it seems that Sister also has feelings for the prince. The prince seemed to be in love with you. With things like that, Sister doesn’t want to give away the crown princess’s seat, don’t you? You’re going to prevent me from going to all the banquets.”
“You are wrong.”
“No, I think my eyes are correct.”
There was no end to the conversation. I would have picked someone else if I knew she was this kind of girl. I blamed my eyesight.
“You know you wouldn’t get the seat of the crown princess, but you still say that?”
“Because I know Sister is going to stop me.”
She really scratched my nerves. I truly wanted to get up off my bed and kick her out.
“So what does that have to do with why you came to see me? Are you here to brag about your success in planting your spy? Or you’re going to run to the imperial palace and file a complaint? Do you want me to sink with your father? If not, then go back. I will lend you my carriage.”
Then Blake Ariandel knelt in front of me. She was still only wearing her chemise. I looked at her in surprise.
“No, I want Sister to help me.”
“…are you out of your mind?”
She wanted me to help her even after everything I just said?
I had the illusion that just by her answer that she was crazy.
“No, you must be really crazy. Recall what I’ve said so far.”
“No, I said it right. It was a little uncomfortable, but I came here because I’m this desperate. I’m sick and tired of this life too. Like Sister said, I could run to the imperial palace and file a complaint. My father sinking? If you look at it from afar, it’s what I want. That’s why!”
When I provoked her like that, she grabbed the hem of my dress and didn’t let it go. She was holding it tightly that I would look so cruel if I removed her hand.
So she had something like this too. I felt like I became crazy too.
“I have been collecting information as much as I could. I will show Sister those.”
“Then what are all those things?” I pointed at the pockets that had been hung to her.
“They’re mana stones. I brought them because they’re the highest quality that could be used for trading?”
“And you just put it down there?”
“I’m here to make a deal.”
Her father was a merchant, but how could she be this reckless? My head was throbbing.
“What the hell do you want me to do for you?”
Then Blake Ariandel stood up from her seat. She seemed a little hesitant and then grabbed her chemise with both hands and lifted it.
Blake Ariandel looked down, and I was speechless.
“Is it because you’re sick?”
“Sister is asking because you know it wasn’t because of that, right?”
“…are those hurt?”
There were blue and black bruises with no place that looked untouched. It looked like someone had hit her.
“He even beats the sick. He will look for me again when he needs me.”
I could tell at once who hit her.
What’s wrong with those people? I felt like all my anger that had been boiling up until now subsided for a moment like grains of sand in the sea.