Chapter 22: The end of the real war

A knocking sound echoed in the bedroom, and Melissa opens the door to reveal Father, Lilia, and His Highness Auglia, who are being led by Millie.
Father and Lilia take seats beside the bed, while His Highness stands beside them and Millie stands off to the side.
Melissa and Gwenna are on the other side of the bed.

“Are you alright… Claire?”

Father’s voice sounds genuinely worried, and I am taken aback by his concern.
Breathing is still difficult, but when I look at him, I see a face full of distress that I have never seen before.

Why? Weren’t you the one who sent me to this country because I was the least important to you? I can’t ask him that.
Maybe my act of pretending to be on the brink of death had an effect.

Lilia sits next to me with a pale face and tightly clenched fists.
I know you tried to have me poisoned through your spies, but it seems your plan wasn’t thorough enough.

“I took the medicine and drank it, so I’ll get better soon,” I say.

“…I see,” Father responds.

Father nods with a sad expression and rises to his feet, followed by Lilia.

“We’ll depart tomorrow morning… Claire, please don’t make this difficult for us.”

Father spoke from a distance.

In a split second, Millie’s concealed weapon flew towards me, but His Highness’s sword deflected it and Melissa and Gwenna took Millie apprehended Millie.”

“I apologize, Father.
We’ve captured all the spies… And everyone close to me has been screened.”

Melissa shared information about herself with Gwenna and Millie.
Gwenna also shared information about herself with Melissa and Millie.
Millie made each of them reveal details about themselves while constantly keeping an eye out for any potential spies.

No matter how much trust the palace had in them, they couldn’t see into people’s hearts.

They had fought in the war.
Only Millie had lost her mother to illness before the war and her father in battle.
It was impossible for her not to harbor resentment towards me.

Even the milk tea with the neutralizing agent had a slightly numbing taste.
Millie must have panicked because I was drinking it calmly.

I began with the soup, not due to Lilia’s mistake, but because the milk tea had already been poisoned.
It was the first dish that was served.
My father and Lilia would not have wanted to consume anything after the poisoned meal.

National peace takes precedence over my life.

“Let go of me! Stop it!” Millie screamed and fought against her captors.

Despite being in a disadvantageous situation, she pointed her weapon at me.

“I’m sorry, Father… You may want to kill me, but I won’t allow it… I refuse to be the cause of further pain for the citizens of this country.”

My father kept a close eye on Millie.
She had pretended to rendezvous with her lover in order to get in touch with the empire  and had planned to assassinate me.

The one who reported to my father about me was her.
With her position as the closest maid, and being the second child of an old noble, she had accumulated training in weapons, making it easy for her to kill me anytime.

But it appears she wanted to eliminate me in front of my father and others.
She probably laced the milk tea with poison in hopes of taking me down ahead of schedule.

However, I didn’t fall.
I caught the look of shock on her face when I didn’t collapse.

Her plan was foiled and Lilia was exposed.
Her upbringing as a lady was supposed to be flawless… or so it was thought.

“Millie… I’m sorry you couldn’t succeed… But I won’t let you take my life, so… watch as this country transforms.”

It has been decided that she and her household will be forcibly relocated to the Faithnum Empire along with the other spies.

Millie was forcibly removed from the room, leaving Father dazed and Lilia crumpled on the floor.
Melissa, Gwenna, and His Highness Auglia positioned themselves to shield me.

“Faithnum Emperor.
I have certainly confirmed the intent to murder my fiancée by your daughter.——Take them away.”

The guards were summoned, and Father and Lilia were escorted out.
I finally drank the antidote and a glass of water, relieved.

Detoxifying wasn’t easy.

I can only hope that things will calm down, regardless of what happens to Father and Lilia next.

There must be many others like Millie across the kingdom.

“…Please make the right choices, Your Highness…,” I whispered before succumbing to the effects of the antidote, falling asleep on the bed with my breathing slowly evening out.





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