Chapter 58 - A Detective Work
I pulled my lips upwards at the sight of him bluntly lying and replied, “I noticed from the second floor that a tree branch was bent on the tree. From that angle, there is no way to come up from below without touching a branch. Seeing that the small branches by the second floor were untouched, it is certain that a jump was made from the third floor. I heard that your private office is near that same tree. The only people at this party, who can freely access the third floor used by the family of the Chancellor, are the family members themselves and their workers. Everyone has access to the second floor since there is a lobby and a drawing room there, but the third floor is off-limits to guests as it has bedrooms and offices.”
“Then I suppose the attacker can disguise as a worker to infiltrate the third floor.”
“Bedrooms and offices are private places. There is no way unfamiliar servants could be allowed into such spaces. New workers are usually given work with general duties, as it is a basic rule of Human Resources. It should be your family who knows their routines. The Chancellor and the Duchess were at the party hall during the attack, so they couldn’t be suspects. Then only you remain. You, a member of the Central Knights, are the same as Sir Hillain.”
Even with my accusation, he was calm. He looked at me in a relaxed state with his fingers crossed. It was quite amazing to see him so composed.
“But I’m sure you don’t have any physical evidence to prove that. You never know. Maybe the criminal is one of the workers.”
Evidence… I smiled at him. He beamed at me as he threw that word at me.
I smiled and held his hand. His cold blue eyes became filled with interest. I picked up his left hand, then touched the ring on his index finger, which bears his family seal.
“I see blood still on the inside of this ring. You should’ve cleaned the blood after you took off the ring.”
I was actually relieved. If he had cleaned the inside, then it could have been difficult to find proof. Adrian’s eyes sunk and coldly smiled.
“I know, right? I never thought a careless mistake like this would get me. But you sure are very brave. Aren’t you afraid of me? You never know what I might do to you while we are alone,” commented Adrian, who was now holding my hand.
I smiled back at him, “You can’t do anything to me. I told my people that I was going to see you. If I disappear, you will be the first to be questioned. Maybe it’ll lead the attack on Sir Hillain to you too.”
“Perhaps so. So, what will you do now? Marina.”
He didn’t seem bothered by my threat and just smiled at me with his cold eyes. My grin deepened. I opened my mouth to tell him my intentions.
“I’m not going to tell anyone about this. I also got rid of the evidence you left behind, so you don’t need to worry about it. I broke the small branches off the tree on the second floor, so it’ll divert the attention to other people, or it might end up unsolvable.”
“Why are you doing this?” asked Adrian with a suspicious look. I smiled brightly at that.
“The reason why I did this is that I hate Sir Hillain. Actually, it wasn’t bad when I heard that that man was attacked. So now, if you can, can you tell me the reason why you attacked your subordinate?”
With that, Adrian’s eyes softened as he looked at me. His icy-looking eyes now seemed like a lake that had reflected off warm sunlight. Adrian then kissed my hand, which he held, and smiled. His sudden change was surprising.
“I don’t know. Would it be sufficient if I told you that he made me angry?” said Adrian.
“Yeah, but how?”
His eyes then turned chilly again as he replied, “It’s because he tried to break my most precious flower from the flowerbed.”
What? Just for that reason? I mean, I can relate to him as a fellow gardener, but wasn’t that a bit too dramatic? Maybe he’s crazier than the Crown Prince.
…No, I take that back. If the Crown Prince’s doll was damaged, then he probably would slice him down the same way his doll was damaged.
“Honestly, I never considered you to be so emotional, Prince Siccain.”
“I asked you to call me Rian,” said Adrian as he smiled sweetly at me.
My face hardened and got back to the point with a harsh tone, “Don’t try to change the subject. So, was that the only reason?”
“Marina, don’t you understand how furious you can be when someone damages what is precious to you?”
Actually, I did understand him. I started growing crops to help with the estate’s financial situation but later gave my heart to them. I thought that “their lives depend on me” as I watched them grow. When Harry accidentally damaged a part of my garden, I was so furious because it felt like my small but peaceful kingdom had been destroyed.
No, actually, I was sad. I was so upset and cried that I couldn’t even understand myself. Everything else was fine, but it was even more so when it came to the frail flowers that depended on others.
His eyes became passionate as I answered him. I found myself a bit overwhelmed by them, so I turned away and changed the subject.
“But still, it’s hard to be forgiven for attacking the second son of Duke Harsen, even for the only son and successor of the Chancellor. It would have been less reckless if you just showed him your anger and got his apology…”
“You know, I won’t forgive anyone who put his hands on what’s mine,” said Adrian in response.
I almost flinched as his blue eyes looked directly at me. I heard that quiet people explode when they’re furious, but it was true. Now, I should be careful not to touch his things from now on. I never thought I would step back at the pressure when I didn’t even do that in front of the Crown Prince.
“Alright. I heard your reasons, and I understand. If you will now excuse me, I will-”
“Why are you in such a hurry? We didn’t even have tea yet,” said Adrian.
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