Under The Devil’s Breath - Chapter 4
Hyyan was taken to the execution room as she had been captured. She had only spent one day in prison, and her face was badly damaged. Feeling a little sorry for her appearance like that, Lenald did her a favor for the last time.
“If you have something to say, say it now. I will listen.”
Hyyan lifted her head helplessly and stared at him. She bit her lower lip with a complex face and opened her mouth carefully.
“It’s not me. I’ve never had contact with the devil…”
“Stop! I don’t want to hear it! I don’t need to hear anymore when you lied all the way to the end of what the Imperial wizard confirmed.”
With a tired face, Lenald motioned for her immediate execution.
Soon, a cloth was placed over her head. When her vision was blocked, fear came.
At that moment, someone grabbed her arm violently. At that moment, her breath was choked. She struggled, but the hand holding her was tough.
Her body was forcibly crushed to the ground. Hyyan thought that she wouldn’t be surprised if she suffocated right away. She felt the peculiar coolness of metal on the back of her neck, and at the same time, she lost consciousness.
Immediately, she took in a breath and opened her eyes. As soon as she opened her eyes, Hyyan instinctively groped around her neck. She wanted to make sure her neck was stuck in place.
Her neck, which was touched under the palm of her hand, was fortunately attached.
‘It was a dream.’
She could feel her heartbeatthump- thump, under her finger as she touched her neck. It was proof that she was alive. Hyyan was greatly relieved.
It wasn’t enough to be Lenald’s concubine, the craftsman who stole her relic was actually the maid of the marquis Lady, and she dreamed of being framed and died. It was indeed a terrible and terrifying dream.
“Did I have a nightmare because I lost the relic…”
As she sighed, she brushed away her flowing blonde hair.
Hyyan, who was running her hair behind her shoulder, stopped her hand at her sudden feeling of drowsiness.
Come to think of it, didn’t she have a nightmare in her dream earlier…?
In an instant, her heart pounded—thump-thump.. No, she was just being sensitive to herself. As she struggled to control her breathing, she heard Gina’s voice.
“Your Highness, it’s Gina. I will go in.”
She opened the door before Hyyan could even allow it.
Gina, who entered, opened her eyes wide as if surprised to see the awake Hyyan, and then lowered her head.
“I came in without knowing that you were awake. Forgive me.”
The anxiety that had barely subsided arose again. Suddenly, her body trembled, and as she tried her best, she responded as if nothing had happened.
“Yes. I woke up a little while ago.”
“I see. I have prepared breakfast for you. After you wash your face, have breakfast.”
‘The answer is… different?’
In her dream, Gina had told her that she would help her dress up. She didn’t say she brought breakfast…?
While Hyyan looked blankly at her, Gina brought water to wash her face.
“Your Highness, please wash your face.”
Only then did Hyyan regain her consciousness.
After washing her face, she put her hands on the food and Gina combed Hyyan’s tousled hair.
As she was brushed by Gina, she gradually regained her composure.
‘Yes, it must have been a nightmare. This is reality.’
With that thought, Hyyan teased her hand even with a relaxed face. After the meal, Gina and the other maids brought dresses to help her dress up.
“Your Highness, what kind of clothes would you like to wear today?”
“I want to wear something comfortable, so the light blue dress on the left would be good.”
“Then, we will go in the direction of making accessories glamorous.”
“Is there any reason to be flashy? I know we don’t have a specific schedule…”
“Yes…? You were supposed to attend the tea party hosted by Lady Cordelia Vi Lyat, in the morning.”
Hyyan’s face hardened at the familiar name.
Was this also a dream?
Gina added cautiously when her expression had not improved significantly.
“Two weeks ago, the Lady sent you an invitation, and at that time, you replied that you would attend. Don’t you remember?”
It was something she’d never done before, so there’s no way she can’t remember. Nevertheless, Hyyan forced a smile. It was a dream anyway, and she didn’t have to reveal it.
“I remember after listening to it. Thanks for reminding me, Gina.”
Hearing her answer, Gina smiled slightly.
Dressed up by the maids, Hyyan was immersed in her thoughts. In her previous dreams, Lady Cordelia, was about to marry Lenald, who was cursed and fell.
‘What should I do if Lady Cordelia collapses and I am framed again…?’
Even though she kept thinking about it, she couldn’t come up with a clear solution.
Hyyan had no means at all to defend herself. She had no choice but to spare herself.
If there was a curse on the holy relic or if a wizard of the Imperial Castle appeared, the same situation as in the last dream will be repeated, though this time, there will be no wizard as it is a tea party. So, at least the probability of being judged as black magic was small.
Consequently, she will suffer in a different way.
For the first time in her life, Hyyan was saddened by the fact that she was powerless at the thought that she had to be beaten up.
She wished she could use magic or at least, had a scroll, as that would be nice…
Gina’s voice was heard in her ears as Hyyan swallowed her regret.
“Your Highness, the dressing is finished.”
“Thank you, Gina.”
After examining her appearance, she headed to the palace, where Cordelia was staying. Hyyan had, of course, found out where Cordelia was staying by asking Gina.
She was staying at the Palace because she was going to marry Lenald, like in the dream.
When she reached the entrance to the palace, as if it had been waiting in advance, the maid led Hyyan into the garden.
Red roses were in full bloom in the garden.
Among the roses in full bloom, there was a table for a tea party, and Cordelia and other young ladies were sitting around it. When Hyyan arrived, the girls who were sitting got up all at once.
“Welcome, Your Highness.”
The ladies welcomed her.
Among the many voices, Hyyan caught one voice. The voice she heard was the same as Cordelia’s voice she heard when she took the oath with Lenald.
She had found the owner of the voice, and she soon found an orange-haired Lady.
“Thank you for inviting me, Lady.”
“I am glad you came.”
As expected, it was Cordelia.
Hyyan smiled warmly. She wasn’t really in the mood to smile, though she didn’t have to scratch a bruise for no reason.
The formal greetings came and went, and Cordelia invited Hyyan to sit in the center of the table. Usually, the host sits in the center, although if there is someone with a higher status than the host, they give up their seat and the host sits next to them.
Because of that, Cordelia sat next to Hyyan instead.
When she sat down, the maids brought out a cup of milk, a cup of tongs and sugar, and a three-tier tray, respectively.
Scones were placed on the bottom plate of the three-tier tray, sandwiches were placed on the second plate, and the cake that looked sweet to the eye was placed on the third plate.
“The dessert looks really good.”
“It is Lady Cordelia. How did you do it so well?”
After the dessert, the maids set down the teacups in front of the ladies while the ladies praised them. A silver rim was wrapped around the cup lips, and at first glance, it was evident that it had been painstakingly crafted by a craftsman.
“How can even a teacup be so pretty?”
“I know. Is the pattern around the cup silver? I didn’t know silver was so pretty.”
Each of the ladies brought out compliments, but Hyyan didn’t say anything.
It wasn’t that she was in a bad mood. All the ladies had given all the compliments so she didn’t know what to say.
As she looked at Cordelia’s hand, contemplating how to open her mouth, a red pattern suddenly appeared on the back of her hand and then disappeared again.
Although it was a brief moment for her, Hyyan did not miss it.
The red pattern that shook as if it was a living creature. It was the same pattern that had been engraved on the holy relic in her previous dreams.
‘My guess is that Her Highness is probably under a curse based on black magic.’
There must have been traces of the curse the Imperial wizard spoke of.
When Hyyan saw the pattern, she was so surprised that she forgot to praise Cordelia.
Her body trembled. As she said, she unknowingly raised her hand and wrapped her arms around herself.
Cordelia saw it and asked with her most concerned face.
“Your Highness, are you cold? I saw that the shadow fell on your side. Shall I have a maid bring you a shawl?”
“No. It’s not that bad, so that’s fine. Thank you for your concern. You are kind.”
“I am overjoyed. Had I known it would be chilly in the shade, I would have rather had a tea party in the parlor. I thought it was all right because the weather was so warm… Or, try some black tea. It’s just brewed, so you’ll feel warm when you drink it.”
Hyyan felt a little reluctant to Cordelia, so she tried to refuse. Nevertheless, she had no choice but to agree to the repeated requests.
The steaming black tea looked quite warm and was actually warm and delicious.
After putting some sugar in, she drank the black tea.
“The tea tastes good.”
“Yes? Sevia brews black tea really well. Even when I was with the Marquisate, I would often drink what she had boiled. Because of that, when I came to the Palace, I brought her along.”
Cordelia smiled softly, pointing to the dark-haired maid standing behind her. She was familiar with the name, ‘Sevia,’ and tilted her head. Hyyan looked at the maid, pointed at by Cordelia, and her eyes widened.
The maid named Sevia was indeed the craftsman, who had taken the relic out of her hand and framed her.
Even in her dream this time, the anxiety of not knowing what was going to happen to her came over her.
With anxious eyes, Hyyan looked at Cordelia’s maid, when a teacup suddenly fell into the sea.
At the sharp sound that resounded out of nowhere, the eyes of the young girls turned to the source of the sound. Cordelia was there. Before everyone in their seat could speak their words, Cordelia grabbed her head.
After one cough, blood leaked from her mouth. Again and again. Blood from Cordelia’s vomit soaked the table, and some splashed on the back of Hyyan’s hands.
Screams erupted around her as Hyyan blinked her eyes to grasp the situation.
“There, there is blood from the Lady’s mouth!”
“Lady! Are you okay?”
As Cordelia’s body leaned to the side, the Lady next to her supported her. Hyyan also stretched out her hand, but Cordelia’s body turned over to the opposite side, causing her hand to hover in the air.
Meanwhile, Sevia, Cordelia’s maid, ran to call the doctor. As she waited for the doctor, everyone was helpless.
A lady pointed to the ground.
“Look at that! The rim of the teacup—”
Everyone’s eyes turned to the voice. The silver rim of the teacup that Cordelia had just dropped had turned black.
Everyone knew why silver turned black.
It was poison.
“Oh, my gosh! It’s poison!”
“Who the hell did this?”
“Did you call the doctor?”
“I saw the maid go calling.”
“The doctor should come soon.”
While only women’s voices continued, suddenly a loud voice intervened.
For a moment, silence passed, and everyone’s eyes turned to the entrance to the garden. There was Lenald, accompanied by a servant and a few knights.