Chapter 16

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Sponsored by Jill 💖 (4/8)

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“….”

 

Jonathan looked around with an anxious expression on his face.

 

In the dimly lit room, there was only one square table, the chair he was sitting on, and the chair across from him. Fortunately, thanks to the magic lamp placed on the table, it was possible to secure the view.

 

Investigators dragged him out of custody and placed him in the chair he was currently sitting in.

 

As he had seen before he was brought in, this room was clearly an interrogation room.

 

Thinking that the interrogation would begin soon, Jonathan raised his tied hands with anxious eyes and held them tightly.

 

After all, he only distributed the contraband that was handed to him, and he did not know the route of smuggling. Therefore, the interrogation would not take long if he only told them the facts he knew.

 

“It’s just the distribution of contraband. If I get a sentence, it’s three or four years. It’s better to go to jail than to die at the hands of Marquess Camellia.”

 

As he muttered to himself as if brainwashing himself, he heard the door open and a bright light leaked in with a tall silhouette.

 

Jonathan’s eyes, wet with tension, rolled to and fro to examine the situation.

 

The light in the hallway that had leaked in for a moment soon disappeared. Instead, the sound of footsteps slowly approached him. It was a sound that was slow and relaxed, and that made it even more frightening.

 

Jonathan couldn’t raise his head until the person who came in took the chair opposite him and sat down.

 

Dry saliva from tension gulped and passed.

 

“Baron Jonathan Triel?”

 

When the heavy voice sounded intimidatingly and landed in his ears, his body trembled on its own.

 

But it was strange. The voice of the man pronouncing his name had been heard somewhere.

 

‘I don’t know anyone in the Investigation Bureau.’

 

Feeling an unknown ominous feeling, Jonathan slowly raised his head.

 

Seeing the face of the man sitting opposite him, he unwittingly raised his bound hands and rubbed his eyes.

 

There must have been something wrong with his eyesight. Otherwise, Duke Deimos, the head of the imperial faction and head of the Bureau of Investigation, would not sit in front of him.

 

However, no matter how many times he rubbed his eyes, the opponent’s appearance did not change.

 

The moment he confirmed that he was indeed Duke Deimos, his body tightened and cold sweat ran down his spine.

 

He heard that the only cases in which Duke Deimos was directly interrogated were serious crimes related to the security of the Empire.

 

‘But why is he in front of me?’

 

‘Was the distribution of smuggled goods such a big crime? Or was there something about the smuggled goods that could be a problem?’

 

Jonathan’s pupils, greatly enlarged, lost consciousness and shook frantically.

 

He hurriedly recalled the items he had smuggled in his head. But no matter how much he thought about it, there was absolutely nothing that could be a major problem.

 

‘This must be wrong. There must have been a misunderstanding.’

 

Most of the things he smuggled were luxuries for the nobility. It made no sense to say that such things threatened the security of the empire.

 

He should have said that there must have been a misunderstanding right away, but Jonathan couldn’t open his mouth. Just by making eye contact, he was overwhelmed by the other person’s atmosphere.

 

There was neither the threatening expression nor the overbearing attitude that investigators usually show. It didn’t feel arrogant either.

 

Duke Deimos was just sitting in a chair at an angle and looking at him with crossed legs and relaxed eyes, but Jonathan’s body shuddered.

 

He had seen Duke Deimos at banquets several times, but he had never even seen him this close.

 

As a low ranking aristocrat, he couldn’t make a conversation with Duke Deimos, the head of the imperial faction, and he was too far above him to talk to him.

 

That didn’t mean Jonathan didn’t know the atmosphere the Duke had.

 

Duke Deimos was a natural ruler. Even when standing without talking, the nobility and dignity naturally flowed and overwhelmed the viewers.

 

It was only natural for Jonathan to feel daunted by such a man sitting right in front of him.

 

Frozen, Jonathan was startled by the voice of Duke Deimos.

 

“I heard the Baron did something interesting.”

 

It was a relaxed and calm voice, without any threats. But why did he feel a chill down his spine?

 

Jonathan hurriedly opened his mouth, thinking that he had to make an excuse.

 

“Oh no, sir. I just smuggle…… !”

 

“Did you bring in unauthorized drinks to the imperial banquet?”

 

“……What?”

 

Jonathan was bewildered.

 

He thought he would be interrogated for distributing contraband, but when the Duke suddenly brought up the matter at the banquet, he had no choice but to panic.

 

But that wasn’t the only thing that surprised him. He froze at the sound of the duke’s continued voice.

 

“Who ordered you to assassinate His Majesty the Emperor?”

 

‘What? I tried to assassinate His Majesty the Emperor?’

 

Jonathan, whose face turned white at Duke Deimos’s terrifying words, was so startled that he cried out in a hurry.

 

“Oh, no! How dare I have such a terrifying thought…!”

 

“Then why did you sneak in the drink?”

 

“That’s….”

 

Jonathan was speechless for a moment. When he tried to tell the truth, he realized that it was also a crime. After hesitating for a while, he finally cried, closing his eyes tightly. In any case, he had to avoid the crime of assassination of the emperor.

 

“It was for Marquess Camellia!”

 

“Not to His Majesty, but to Marquess Camellia?”

 

“That’s right! It really is!”

 

Jonathan nodded impatiently. However, the duke’s subsequent question was enough to make him panic again.

 

“Then why were you trying to assassinate Marquess Camellia?”

 

‘No, why do you keep saying horrifying words like assassination?’

 

Jonathan, who was crying, began to confess. His completely messed up head didn’t even have time to think about the question.

 

“I did not! I just wanted to spend the night with the Marquess. So I secretly brought a cocktail with Heris in it. Later, someone said that the Marquess had side effects, so….”

 

 

“Who said that?”

 

“I don’t know. It was the first time I saw him. We were having a drink at a bar and we got along, and then the story about the Marquess came up naturally and that’s what he said.”

 

“Do you remember his appearance?”

 

“He was wearing a robe, but I remember roughly. He was a man in his mid-20s with brown hair and gray eyes. He was good-looking when he smiled.”

 

Jonathan responded swiftly to the question, completely frozen, like a soldier in a disciplined manner. A sense of crisis that he could be accused of assassination of the emperor if he did it wrong made him that way.

 

“So, did Marquess Camellia drink the cocktail?”

 

“Yes. But she disappeared… ”

 

“Have you not seen each other since then?”

 

“… Oh no!”

 

Jonathan, whose eyes widened, answered hastily. Then Duke’s cold voice immediately returned.

 

“You better tell the truth, Baron.”

 

Instantly, he felt as if the temperature inside the interrogation room had dropped. Jonathan, frightened, exclaimed urgently. 

 

“We haven’t really met since. I swear!”

 

While in the inn, he was taken away and threatened to be buried and killed, but he did not speak of it.

 

Duke Deimos’s overbearing energy was scary enough to make his hair stand upright, but the feeling of the cold blade was terrifying.

 

Sir Hal’s eyes, which were even scarier because they were emotionless.

 

[From today on, if you talk about her or me, your head will be separated from your neck. Don’t forget that I can find you wherever you are.]

 

He lied because he thought he might be decapitated, but how could he not be afraid? Jonathan’s legs were shaking under the table.

 

The Duke looked down and said nothing for a moment.

 

Each time his fingers tapped the table slowly, Jonathan’s heart, who had not told the truth, was pounding.

 

At one point, Duke Deimos’s fingers stopped moving, and a calm voice was heard again.

 

 “Let’s skip the imperial banquet.”

 

Jonathan’s face, who was only looking at the Duke’s fingerS without breathing properly, brightened. It was because he thought he lived. He quickly bowed his head toward the Duke.

 

“Ha, thank you… !”

 

“Instead.”

 

The blood quickly disappeared from Jonathan’s face as he looked at the Duke’s face.

 

Duke Deimos was staring at him with his golden eyes gleaming terribly. The tremors that started in his legs soon spread throughout Jonathan’s body.

 

It felt as if he had become a pitiful prey, being watched by a fierce beast in the dark.

 

The Duke’s heavy voice fell over his ear, who was unable to breathe properly.

 

“After this time, if any story about Marquess Camellia comes out of the Baron’s mouth, the Baron will face me again on the charge of assassination of a nobleman. Do you understand?”

 

As if his lips got stuck together, Jonathan nodded violently and firmly swore inside.

 

From now on, he won’t even go near Marquess Camellia. No, he will run away even if only ‘Ca’ came out.

 

***

 

As soon as Iker left the interrogation room, Michael followed.

 

“Is the interrogation over? So what will happen to the Baron?”

 

“Let Sir Freddy come in.”

 

“Sir Freddy? Isn’t he in charge of contraband? Then again, your interest in Baron Jonathan Triel was for another reason…… ”

 

“Michael.”

 

At the boss’s blunt call, Michael immediately shut his mouth. In his experience as an assistant for a long time, that voice meant ’shut up’.

 

“Tell Sir Freddy to check the smuggling route. And find someone secretly.”

 

“Finding people is also my specialty. Who is it?”

 

“He is a man in his mid-20s with brown hair and gray eyes. He’s handsome when he smiles. He met Baron Triel at a bar. Let’s see who’s that person.”

 

“All right. I will check it right away.”

 

When Michael left, Iker walked slowly to the office.

 

He looked blunt as usual, but the corners of his mouth were raised slightly. If you don’t look closely, you won’t see it.

 

‘You don’t have to worry about Jonathan Triel anymore.’

 

To scare Jonathan, Iker deliberately accused him of assassination of the emperor rather than distributing contraband. Nevertheless, seeing that Jonathan did not speak of Elysia’s retaliation, it seemed that she did a good job of making him shut his mouth.

 

Iker also put pressure on Jonathan, so it could be said that there was no chance that the story of Elysia would come out of Jonathan Triel’s mouth in the future.

 

And… 

 

Recalling the contents of the letter on the desk in the office, Iker smiled loosely.

 

As soon as he saw the letter, he could see why it came to him. He knew the intention of the sender immediately. He was determined to put the information he had received to good use. To confirm what he had been wanting to check since before.

 

Therefore, he was really looking forward to the regular council meeting that Elysia would attend the day after tomorrow.