It had been three days since Brielle’s aunt came to County Charant. She had just woken up in the morning. Taking the energy-boosting medicine the doctor gave her, she thanked Derek for getting her here before she and her husband, Gideon, were left alone.
When she called, her husband quickly approached.
“Have you met Kentrail?”
“Yes. But, we couldn’t talk.”
Looking at her, Gideon hesitated as if to say something.
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“Do you have anything to say?”
“That’s… I heard something strange from Den.”
“Something strange… What?”
“The ivory we have…”
When the ivory was mentioned, Brielle’s aunt quickly turned her head to look for her jewelry box.
“I put it over there.”
Seeing her searching for it, Gideon pointed far away from his wife.
“Why over there…”
“He said the ivory makes you sick.”
“Just by having it. So…”
After hesitating for a while, he continued, “They said everyone who had ivory died early. The hunters have heard of it.”
“What do you mean? I had never heard of it before. It’s different from what we’ve heard.”
“Yes… Still, there’s no reason for Den to lie.”
“…It’s Derek, not Den. He used an alias. It could mean that there are many other things that he deceived us with, so it could be a lie.”
“He has no way of knowing what that ivory means to us, so he wouldn’t have lied about it. And, you used an alias too.”
With his words, Brielle’s aunt gazed at her husband with unfamiliar eyes.
“Are you taking his side now?”
“It’s not like that. You know what he did for us.”
It was something she couldn’t deny.
“We’ve decided to be honest now, so let’s tell them everything. We don’t have many days left to live anyway. To be honest, I don’t want to die in vain. I’ll tell them everything.”
At her husband’s candid remarks, Brielle’s aunt eventually nodded her head.
* * *
“The Young Master’s aunt has woken up.”
Kentrail, who was in the office, received the report while he was signing the trial that took place on the estate.
After a moment’s sigh, he got up from his seat. It was finally time for him to come to the truth. As he walked down the hallway, he thought about how much truth they would telland how far he would believe it.
Finally entered the annex where Brielle’s aunt was staying, the knights who saw Kentrail greeted him.
Derek was also guarding the door where they were staying.
“I heard she’s awake. Let’s go in together.”
Nodding his head, Derek knocked twice and opened the door.
Gideon’s and Brielle’s Aunt’s eyes widened when they saw someone coming in with Derek.
The time seemed to have come, so they closed their eyes tightly once before opening them again. Ignoring their reaction, Kentrail went to the other side of the bed where Gideon was standing and glanced at Brielle’s aunt, Finngrella.
‘Seeing her awake, she looks more like sister-in-law.’
Finngrella’s body felt cold all over, as if she was in the cold snow. She wished he could say something, but Kentrail didn’t open his mouth.
In the end, Gideon, who couldn’t stand the sight of them, spoke up first.
“I couldn’t even say my greetings. My name is Gideon.”
At those words, his gaze turned to Gideon this time.
‘His eyes seem to see through everything.’
It was a moment of resentment from his past when he had a grudge against such a person.
“I don’t think we had greeted each other.”
Finally, Kentrail spoke his first words.
Finngrella, who watched her husband’s silence, this time replied to Kentrail.
“You must have a lot of questions for me.”
“Since you had seen me in person, you have to spit out the truth.”
“…Of course. Let me drink some water.”
Finngrella, who had been swallowing dryness in her throat, asked her husband for some water. Her lips were trembling as she barely drank water with Gideon’s support.
Kentrail, who was looking at her, asked.
“Is it because of your husband now that you switched with sister-in-law?”
As Gideon was handing Finngrella water, she spilled it at Kentrail’s remarks. She answered, watching her husband wipe the water that had been spilled on her in a hurry.
Facing him, Gideon bowed his head as he remembered the past when he had asked Finngrella to leave with him.
“Haven’t you done too many irreversible things to apologize for? If you feel even the slightest remorse, tell me now. What you’ve done to my family.”
Hearing his words, Finngrella truly began to feel and realize what she had done, and complex emotions burst out of her chest. With a contorted face, she began to talk about the incident, holding her breath.
“…I contributed to the death of the former Head, Veilo Charant.”
Finngrella, who had uttered her words, bit her own lips once.
“And, I pretended not to know about the death of my twin.”
The more she spoke, the more Kentrail grabbed his hands, and blood oozed from his digging fingernails.
Derek also looked at Finngrella with murderous eyes.
“Who is it? The one who took part in my parents’ deaths.”
“As you might expect, it is Caveran.”
When he heard firsthand that his own uncle had killed his father and mother, Kentrail’s breath was choked for a moment.
‘…Let’s calm down. I have to calm down.’
Finngrella, who was glancing at him with trembling eyes, spoke of another person.
“And… the previous King knew this.”
The unexpected story shocked Kentrail.
Not only the current King, but also the previous king were entangled with his family through a great affair.
“Why? Why did they attack our family?”
Finngrella and Gideon could the anger emanating from the quiet tone as they felt chills along their spines.
“Do you know about the order of succession to the Kingdom’s throne now?”
Kentrail’s expression hardened.
[ One. In principle, the eldest son has priority. ]
“You’re right. The previous King had two sons. The first prince was appointed crown prince, but he died soon after. There was a lot of talk about the Crown Prince. According to the Kingdom law, the current King’s nephew should ascend to the throne though the current King objected that he should be on the throne.”
Although Kentrail was not in the capital at the time, he knew it well because the kingdom was noisy.
“The family that pushed the King’s nephew was Charant, and the family that pushed the current king was Caveran.”
Listening to the explanation, he put together the story he had just heard in his head.
“However, the previous King wanted his grandson, who is now in exile, to sit on the throne. There’s no reason for him to pretend that he didn’t know about my parents’ death.”
Brielle’s aunt continued her speech with a firm voice.
“Because the misconduct that Caveran and Charant had wrought was actually the work of the previous King. He was afraid that if what he had done was revealed, it would be exposed and that he should be dethroned immediately. As you know, the war continued at that time, so because of this, the royal authority was greatly reduced.”
Kentrail turned to look at Gideon. Then, he nodded his head as if what his wife had said was true.
“Caveran decided to get rid of the Charant family. I was the one who was used to it.”
She spoke in a weeping voice.
“It shouldn’t have happened… Mrs. Charant knew that we had switched at that point. I couldn’t get the family into trouble. And…”
Finngrella was so choked up that she couldn’t say anything. Breaking the silence, Gideon began to speak.
“It’s because of me… It’s me that got my wife involved in doing that.”
He then glanced at his wife with sad eyes.
“From that time on, my body was so bad that even the doctor could not help it. My wife went to many pharmacies and clinics to help me get better.”
But he added, every time, the only thing they got was the opinion that he would not live long.
“At the same time, someone contacted us. They said they knew how to save me.”
His eyes clouded as if he was recalling a reminiscence of the past before Gideon covered his face with both hands.
“That was Caveran… He said he knew how sick people like me could miraculously survive. Thinking about it now, I wonder how I could have believed such a word so easily. Still, because I was very sick, that one word was a miracle and my only hope. Because I didn’t want to leave the world, leaving behind my wife, who had turned her back on her family because of me.”
Gideon turned his head to look at Derek.
“Do you remember the story of the dragon god I told you back then?”
At the answer, he rose and brought the jewel box that Finngrella had cherished, and he opened the jewelry box.
The two eyes of Kentrail contained the brooch and ivory contained therein.
“Do you know this brooch?”
He asked Kentrail, looking at the brooch in the jewelry box.
“Where did you get this brooch?”
“This is Caveran’s.”
Kentrail closed his eyes once and then opened them. His anger against his uncle was burning more and more.
‘…It was all my uncle’s work. I will definitely get him later.’
Gideon paused for a moment before he started talking about the past again.
“He gave us these two things. The brooch he gave, meant the organization he made, and the ivory…”
Kentrail glanced at the ivory in his hand.
“…It’s a dragon’s tooth. It’s what we got in lieu of calling Count and Countess Charant to where we live.”
Kentrail’s heart pounded at his parents’ story.
“It was said that this ivory acts as a cure… They said it would cure my disease. Dragons have been around for a long time in the North. The moment I heard that, I made a decision I should have stopped.”
The story behind it was as Kentrail knew.
Death disguised as a carriage accident… Because of that, his parents had to die unfairly and falsely accused.
* * *
When Kentrail came out, it was raining like it had been when he heard the obituary that his parents had passed away. Reaching out from the entrance of the mansion, he brought his hand to the rain — he broke through this rain and came up to the capital on his own.
As he clenched his fist against the rainwater, the rainwater that had pooled in his hands burst out between his fingers.
Derek followed him and called him.
“From now on, reach out to people who can be on our side. Start with a family that doesn’t have a good relationship with Caveran or who has a lot of opposition to the king now.”
Derek gazed at his master with worried eyes. Even though he heard things that were difficult to bear, the things he was organizing to do in the future seemed dangerous.
“I’m fine. Nothing to worry about.”
Knowing him, Kentrail tapped Derek on the shoulder once as though to reassure him. He then headed for the main building through the rain.