Kristoff’s stiff voice shook the air.


“Out of five senses of a human, smell is the highest fatigue phenomenon.
It means that there will be a time when you get used to it so much, even the worst smell can’t affect you anymore.”


Marianne opened her eyes wide at his remark.
How does he know that? Has he ever seen a dead body before?


Marianne’s eyes moved on him.
Kristoff, who noticed her questioning expression, slowly straightened his knees before giving an answer.


“In case you forgot, I’ve also been in charge of defending criminal cases.”




Marianne thought she knew a lot about him.
At least more than he knew about her.
However, it dawned on her that it might not be true.


“Wait here for a minute.”


At the end of his remark, Kristoff turned around.
Marianne looked from the distance as he entered the house.


Then, she heard a creaking noise of a door.




When she turned her head, she spotted a boy sticking his face out through the slightly opened back door.


He seemed to be about 12 years old.


The boy, who was staring at Marianne, sucked his thumb whilst tilting his head.
He seemed to be clumsy and young for his age.


His shining brown eyes observed her with a glint of curiosity and vigilance.
When he heard the approaching footsteps, he quickly hid himself inside the house again.
The back door that led to the kitchen was slammed shut.


The uniformed officer only stared at Kristoff, who was coming in and out of the house without a hint of hesitation.
He seemed to be overwhelmed by his powerful presence and couldn’t bring himself to ask.


Kristoff didn’t pay any attention to the officer either.


“Drink this.”


He held out a glass of water to Marianne.




She couldn’t readily take it, but simply stared at it.
After swallowing her growing sorrow, she reached out to him for the first time in a while.
Then, she slowly took the glass to her mouth.


She felt pathetic.
Miserable, too.


A voice lined with indifference came from over her head.


“You don’t have to blame yourself, Marianne.
It’s like an initiation ceremony for everyone who sees the dead body for the first time.
Male cops are not much different either.
I also saw a police officer running away while bawling his eyes out earlier.”




Marianne quietly raised her gaze at his remarks.


Was it consolation?


She couldn’t be sure because the person before her was Kristoff Schneider, not just anyone else.
The epitome of cold hard logic and rationality.


Rather than sympathizing with the victim’s pain, he was a lawyer who cut his opponent with ruthless arguments.


Kristoff was looking at her with his usual insensitive expression.
As if telling the truth just as it was.


After that, she felt more comfortable.
Marianne took her mouth off the glass and rose from her bending position.
Marianne was hesitant whilst looking down at her feet, so she whispered quietly.


“……Thank you.”


“No problem.
If you feel like submitting your resignation, I’m always willing to do it for you.”


Marianne smiled and pulled the corners of her mouth.


“It calmed me down a little.
I’m really fine now.”


Seeing her embracing herself, Kristoff moved his eyebrows lightly as if he knew it.




He revealed a mint leaf.
A pungent and cool scent filled the surroundings.


“If you chew mint, you’ll feel a little better.
I use this method sometimes…… Of course, there are scenes where even mint is useless, but wouldn’t it be better than nothing?”


“Thank you.”


Marianne chewed the mint as he suggested.
The cool scent seemed to paralyze her sense of smell.
She calmed down even more after that.


Taking a deep breath and stretching her shoulders, she walked up bravely.
Maxim, who was standing beside the dead body, spat out sarcastically with a grumpy look.


“Are you back already? I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it today, but well, it doesn’t look like you’re crying.
I thought I could see a good view, but it was such a shame.”


His intentions were clear.
So that Marianne curled up her tail and ran away.


She can not do what he wants.


Marianne looked at him and pulled up the corners of her mouth.
An elegant smile that couldn’t be beaten recklessly as if when dealing with the noblewomen.


Maxim frowned with a suspicious look.


“Thank you for your concern.”


“Whose concern?”


Marianne let his words slip into one ear and approached the dead body.
A cold, lifeless body was waiting in front of her.


She closed her eyes tightly and opened them again, looked at the body with eyes she put a lot of effort into keeping them open.
It was a young woman.
A woman who wasn’t even married yet.


Maybe about 15-16 years old.


She laid face down on the carpet and looked at the floor.
The clotted blood in the back of her head had already turned brown.
Contrary to the bloody injury, the carpet was clean.


Marianne watched the body meticulously, while holding herself back from wanting to run out from here.
Maxim spoke smugly.


“There’s no need to look at it so hard.
It’s an accident anyway.
She must have rolled down the narrow, steep staircase.
Well, a rookie doesn’t know how to figure it out.”


Marianne casted a doubtful glance at his remark.
How did he know that by just looking at the body? Maxim pointed to the woman standing beside him with one of his hands.


A middle-aged woman, who seemed to be so pale that it wouldn’t be surprising if she fainted right away, was shaking while leaning her body against the kitchen wall.
She was struggling to contain her emotions and soaring sorrow.


“She’s the victim’s mother.
She said she witnessed it.
The way the victim tumbled down the stairs.”


Marianne’s eyes were directed on the woman.
Unable to look at the dead body, the woman held her hands together.
Marianne’s eyes, which were staring at the woman’s trembling hands, returned to the dead body.


A doubtful voice slipped from her teeth.


“She’s lying face down and dead.
Shouldn’t she be facing the ceiling if she hit her head on the stairs?”


[t/n: I’m probably overreacting but Maxim makes me so mad and start to despise him at this point.
Putting myself in Marianne’s shoes and imagining myself going through this, I would have fainted on the spot.
A good thing about this chapter is that the author writes Marianne to be as realistic as possible.]

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