When Lana saw me, she sobbed as if she finally obtained hope. I first focused on calming her down first.
“An unknown epidemic?” I questioned. The story she told me was astonishing.
“My older cousin was infected first, and then my father suddenly collapsed after visiting my cousin at the hospital. So I had to go down to my hometown.”
When even her mother collapsed, not knowing what to do, Lana immediately ran to me.
“Are you sure it’s not an already existing epidemic?” I asked.
“I called as many doctors as I could. I even consulted several priests! But they all said it was an unknown disease. It could not be purified by divine power either…” Lana burst into tears again. “Please save my parents! You’re the saintess, aren’t you? Won’t you be able to help at all?”
“Calm down for a moment.” I patted Lana to comfort her.
I cocked my head. There was an epidemic that spread all over the continent in the original story… Was this a precursor to that?
“So, are your parents still at home?”
“No, I brought them here, but since it could be contagious to other people, I only took them to a nearby city and entered Helsarose alone.”
I was proud of Lana for thinking of other people amidst her situation.
“Margaret, help Lana bring her parents here.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“Thank you, Your Highness! Thank you. I only have you, after all. Melmen!”
“Don’t… say that…”
But Lana clung to me and cried out, “I only have Your Highness. No one else helped me.”
“No one?” I questioned. “Lana, what about your sister?”
Lana bit her lip, looking conflicted. I cocked my head, not knowing what to say faced with her seemingly hostile gaze.
“My sister…” she began explaining, “Even in this situation, she did not come down to see them. It seems her own family is more important to her than her parents.”
Rather than hastily comfort her upon seeing the sadness in her eyes, I sent her away to rest.
“It’s strange.” I tilted my head after letting Lana go. I did not know much about Lana’s sister, but she was not unscrupulous enough to not even visit her parents.
Lady Bonita had not been to a party in a long time either… Something was bothering me, perhaps due to the text message warning me that it was ‘dangerous’.
“Margaret, investigate what’s going on with Marquis Torrecula.”
It was unclear what was going on. When I looked at the situation, I faintly remembered something, but could not pinpoint anything. As I ruminated over what I had missed, Luciana came to me with the magic orb.
“It’s a call from Prime Minister Achillios.”
“All of a sudden?” Thinking it was urgent, I turned on the shiny magic ball and found Achillios with a grave look on his face. “What happened?”
“Master. Count Gelom and his wife have gone missing.”
* * *
Count Gelom and his wife had disappeared on their way back to their estate. Worried about Catalina, I ordered others not to inform her of this, but there was a possibility she would find out soon enough.
“They disappeared without a trace?”
“Yes. A person was sent to look for them, but the response we got was that they had disappeared without a trace, almost like they evaporated.”
“Is that possible?” I asked, “And how did you even find out about this?”
“Oh, I sabotaged the wagon before they left.” I stared at him in silence as he continued, “I was planning to send a robber for the next step, but then they disappeared all of a sudden.”
Achillios was disappointed that he could not get his revenge. It seemed like he had been doing an excellent job at carrying out my orders to harrass the couple. But just as I was contemplating whether to praise him for listening to me or scold him for his immorality, a familiar face appeared in front of me.
“Oh, your new brown-noser has arrived,” Achillios said teasingly as he looked at Count Pucal.
“The conference will begin in ten minutes,” said the count, “Prime Minister, please be ready to attend the meeting.”
Achillios looked at me and asked, “Are you ready?”