Mafia 11

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*****

 

Having received everyone’s gazes at the same time, Mariette, who was paler than ever, shook her head vigorously.

 

“It wasn’t me. I really didn’t!”

 

Mariette cried out desperately, but no one believed in her innocence.

 

[System/ Mariette’s stress increases.]

 

Even the butler, who loved Mariette like a granddaughter, criticized her harshly.

 

“But, Lady Mariette. The [White Sand Bracelet] was found in Lady’s dressing table.”

 

Mariette, who was rolling her eyes in contemplation,  turned the arrow of reproach.

 

“Blanche! It’s you, right? You ordered someone to hide the [White Sand Bracelet] in my room!”

 

But Mariette’s behavior was not because she realized that Blanche was the culprit. Like the Marquis, Mariette had a habit of blaming Blanche unconditionally when something bad happened.

 

At Mariette’s cries, the Marquis glanced at the butler. Although unlikely, it was to confirm if Mariette’s claim was true. The butler shook his head.

 

The Marquis scrambled and scolded Mariette.

 

“Mariette! What kind of accusation is this to a child who can’t walk?! Apologize to Blanche right now. Right now!”

 

Mariette’s eyes quickly reddened at the unfamiliar feeling of being scolded by her father. She refuted the injustice.

 

“It’s not me, Dad! I didn’t do it!”

 

But no one in the parlor took Mariette’s side. They didn’t believe her. They just looked at Mariette pitifully.

 

As Mariette’s shoulders shrank helplessly, Blanche rubbed her temples and muttered in a tired voice.

 

“Dad. I’ll just go back to my room. I’m tired of staying awake, perhaps because my body hasn’t fully recovered yet.”

 

The Marquis ordered the butler.

 

“Butler. Please take Blanche to her room.”

 

Pierre stood up.

 

“No, Father. I’ll take Blanche. Father still needs to talk to Mariette alone. Alphonse. You come too, you’ll need to study soon.”

 

“I was just about to go.”

 

The ten year old boy took a deep breath and couldn’t shake off his resentment as his gaze fell on the crying Mariette.

 

Blanche intentionally left a sad greeting.

 

“I’m leaving, Dad.”

 

“Rest comfortably, Blanche.”

 

The Marquis, who responded to his exhausted daughter, was as kind as how he had treated Mariette in the past. It was to the point where Mariette looked stunned.

 

Mariette was so upset that she felt like she was about to go crazy.

 

* * *

 

Neither quickly nor slowly, Pierre took Blanche to the bedroom. While he knew well that her legs were fine, Pierre still carried his sister directly to the bed, not showing any signs of being disconcerted.

 

They were the only ones in Blanche’s bedroom. He added more firewood in the fireplace in consideration of Blanche who was sick.

 

It could have been a sincere act. But, instead of thanking her brother, Blanche  narrowed her eyes, trying to guess his intention.

 

It was because a while ago, in the family drawing room on the 3rd floor, the system window revealed Pierre’s thoughts.

 

It was still the same now.

 

[System/ Pierre suspects you]

 

Maybe this was an expression of his guilt? He didn’t seem to have any intention of bringing up his concerns until the end.

 

Pierre asked kindly, wiping his hand that had touched the poker while controlling the fire in the fireplace. He was still smiling.

 

“Blanche. Do you need anything else?”

 

“I’m all good. Thanks for asking, Brother Pierre.”

 

“Then I’ll go back to my room.”

 

“Yes. See you at lunch later, older brother.”

 

As Pierre was about to leave the room, he hesitated for a moment.

 

“Yes, but… Blanche…”

 

“Yes?”

 

After hesitating for a while, he finally blurted out his words.

 

“Nothing. Don’t worry about it. I was mistaken.”

 

Pierre smiled bitterly and turned his shoulder. But then, his broad and firm back flinched at Blanche’s sudden confession.

 

She admitted it to Pierre, who was just about to leave the room, as if it was nothing.

 

“Yes. I brought the [White Sand Bracelet] to sister’s room.”

 

Pierre’s footsteps stopped as he was about to leave the bedroom. Pierre turned around, hesitating, like a watch in need of repair.

 

He looked very confused.

 

“Why did you…?”

 

Blanche, staring straight into the quivering green eyes, confessed the truth.

 

“Because I want to run away from this house. So before that, I wanted to splash a cold drink on sister’s face. You know it well, brother. How sister Mariette treated me in the past.”

 

If I accidentally hit the back of the head with a hammer, would it look like that?

 

Pierre ran his hand over her astonished face.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, Blanche fired one last confession to confirm her kill. 

 

“Brother. I’m not going to get married for my sister.”

 

At the unexpected words, Pierre stuttered, his jaw trembling.

 

“But Blanche. If you don’t accept this marriage we will…”

 

Blanche snorted as if she heard a joke. A cold expression could be seen on her face.

 

“You know it too, brother. Even if we have the same face, the Count doesn’t want me.”

 

Blanche’s cold voice continued.

 

“Does brother also think that I should make sacrifices for the older sister who crippled me?”

 

“I…”

 

“Oh! Did I ask something I shouldn’t have? Yes. Older brother is also an accomplice, so from the very beginning, whatever happens to me wouldn’t matter, right?”

 

Pierre’s lips were glued tight at his sister’s sarcasm.

 

The next moment, Blanche moved her legs and got out of bed.

 

Between conscience and pity, Pierre looked more pathetic than ever.

 

“Blanche. You don’t know. How earnestly I prayed to God. Ever since your accident, there was never a single day that I was at peace!”

 

But she was still silently blaming her brother. Pierre clenched his trembling lips and looked down at her feet.

 

“Look, Blanche. You no longer stutter, you don’t limp. You are finally back to normal! Don’t you see? God has answered my prayers…!”

 

A strong sense of determination could be felt from Pierre.

 

Blanche pointed at Pierre’s heart and stabbed it using her index finger.

 

“Brother. Wake up. God didn’t heal me.”

 

“Blanche…?”

 

Watching his graceful face sweat, she declared the truth.

 

“I healed myself.”

 

“You…”

 

As if facing a large blazing fire, Pierre backed away without realizing it.

 

Blanche held his cheeks with her cold hands.

 

“Pierre. If you want to be freed from the guilt of breaking my leg, ask forgiveness directly from me, not from God.”

 

In an instant, Blanche saw his reason dissipate. That’s why she could spit out her next words with such a strong tone of voice.

 

“If you want me to forgive you, just once, give your all to me, just like you did to God!”

 

* * *

 

When the [White Sand Bracelet] was found in the dressing table drawer, Mariette was forbidden to leave the mansion. She was furious because the Marquis had her banned from going out as a punishment.

 

The Marquis resolutely shook his head despite Mariette’s pleas because she would not be able to meet the Third Prince. In fact, she was secretly looking forward to seeing the Third Prince come see her in this situation. So Mariette wrote a letter to the Third Prince.

 

Well, three days had passed after that. She bit her nails involuntarily in nervousness.

 

‘What? Why is there no reply from the Prince?’

 

In the past, whenever Mariette sent him a letter, the Third Prince would reply within two days.

 

‘But the reply is so late…’

 

In an instant, the quarrel she had with Blanche in the past flashed before her eyes.

 

[“I have a question. If the Third Prince and you really are that close, then why doesn’t the Prince ever come to our house? Even if the relationship between the two of you is a secret, shouldn’t the Prince visit Father and say hello to him at least once after your wedding?”]

 

With an ominous feeling that was creeping up from the tip of her toes, Mariette could not hide her concerns while receiving a foot massage from her maid.

 

Mariette, half lying on her couch, involuntarily clicked her tongue in annoyance. This made the lady-in-waiting in front of her shrink even more due to anxiety.

[T/N: There are two maids, one was massaging her feet and the other is the one being referred to here.]

 

Seeing the maid’s distressed look, Mariette naturally thought of Blanche before the accident. She didn’t feel good.

 

‘All my life, you’ve been begging in front of me.’

 

‘These days, the girl who has been begging me her whole life, seems to no longer know her place.’

 

The brown-haired maid, who was massaging Mariette’s feet, skillfully read the mood of her lady. The maid urged the other lady-in-waiting on behalf of her master.

 

“Can’t you tell us sooner why you came to see her? Does our Lady Mariette look so idle in your eyes?”

 

The lady-in-waiting fell to her knees, contemplating as if she would faint at any moment. Then she divulged an unexpected secret.

 

Surprised by the maid’s words, Mariette asked.

 

“What are you talking about? Blanche can walk?”

 

The maid trembled with her fear, shedding tears.

 

“Literally. My Lady. Lady Blanche can walk. I saw it with my own two eyes!”

 

“You. Can you take responsibility for that?”

 

The maid put her palms together and begged.

 

“Yes. I can take responsibility for it. So Lady, please, get Fleur out of the basement! If we leave her like this, my friend Fleur might die in a few days!”

 

The way she looked was unusual, so the maid pleaded to Mariette again. Unsurprisingly, Mariette ferociously raised her eyes and looked at her.

 

“Very well. If Blanche can walk just like you said, I’ll save your friend and let her out of the basement.”

 

“Thank you, my Lady! Thank you so much!”

 

The maid shook her head with joy, but Mariette was busy grinding her teeth.

 

Right this moment. The deception of her twin sister was confirmed.

 

‘Blanche! Blanche herself hid the [White Sand Bracelet] in my room!’

 

She felt her forehead burn red with anger. Mariette stood up from her seat and ordered.

 

“I’m going to see my dad right now. Dress me up more delicately than usual. And you there, maid.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Find out what Blanche is doing right now. As soon as I’m done dressing up, I’ll go with my dad to confront her!”

 

“Yes, my lady!”

 

While the maid left to scout, Mariette changed into a dress with a calm and elegant atmosphere that the Marquis liked.

 

Her make up was light as if she had none on her face. After all, the Marquis’ little daughter was beautiful enough to show off to others bare-faced.

 

As she was about to finish changing, the maid who returned, hesitated and opened her lips.

 

**********

 

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