This led to another unsavory thing.

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The aftermath of those words was catastrophic. 

Once the emperor's announcement was made, gossip immediately sprouted up, and the surroundings quickly became as noisy as a market held in the square. 

Russell didn't bother to stop them.

Shortly after, Elliot appeared by his side with several documents.

Perhaps this is the list of those who participated in today's hunting festival and possessed pheromone drugs to attract games.

After receiving the list from Elliot, the knights began calling out the names one by one.

There were six people called by name, and they stood in front of Elliot, wondering why they had been called upon. 

The nobles who had not yet left were busy watching, their hearts bursting with curiosity.

Picking up the documents from the knight, who called the people by name, Elliot examined their faces one by one.

“The reason you were called is none other than the fact that you attended today's hunting festival with these pheromone pills in your possession.”

Elliot took out a bottle he had found on the mountain.

As the duke held the bottle between his thumb and forefinger, one of the observers let out a small squeak.

Russell and Elliot, as well as those who were called together and those who were watching from behind, all turned their eyes to the person who made the noise.

The person who caught everyone's attention was a girl about Rose's age.

When there was a tea party in the greenhouse, she was one of the young ladies who sat at the same table as Rose.

She covered her mouth with both hands as if she was quite startled by the sudden shower of gazes and was restless.

Elliot stood in front of her, his shadow completely covering the short woman.

“Judging from the reaction just now, this bottle is the young lady's.
You'd better not lie.
If you say no, I will order you to take out the bottle you brought with you right here, right now.”

Elliot's voice was monotonous and cold, and the woman was driven into a state of extreme fear. 

“Yes, it's true that I brought it, but I didn't use it! I was supposed to bring two…
I gave one to my suitor and kept the other.
He didn't use it, and I gave the other one away.
I'm not sure who it was.”

“You mean it's with someone else, but you didn't use it? However, the contents were discovered midway up a mountain where hunting was in full swing.
Do you think this makes sense?”

The woman's shoulders were shaking in fear when suddenly she lifted her head as if she remembered something, and met Elliot's eyes.

“Lady Titonsser!”

“Lady Titonsser?”

“Yes! When I took it out at the tea party and was leading the conversation, Lady Titonsser approached me and asked if I could give it to her.
She—she too…
She said she wanted to help her lover hunt well.
I gave it to her easily because she was in the same situation as me.”

Elliot remembered Titonsser.

If his memory was not wrong, there was only one young lady whose surname was Titonsser, Ilya Titonsser.

Duke Proud raised a hand and rubbed his chin.

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…If Ilya Titonsser really did it, it must have been intentional.
Weren't you two getting along?

Or not…  Was there something that led Ilya Titensor to only harm Rose?

Elliot smiled inwardly and looked around the crowd.
The face in his memory was vague, but he knew he could recognize it when he saw her.

But contrary to his expectations, Ilya Titonsser was nowhere to be seen.
Elliot's eyebrows narrowed.

“Where is Ilya Titonsser?”

It was a nearby knight who answered his question.

“Lady Titonsser followed Rose Honeywell's retreat with Duke Honeywell.”

Elliot turned to Russell, who had been observing the situation from three steps away, and turned around.

I'm going to Honeywell.”

Knights followed Russell as an escort.

As Rose was receiving treatment at the Imperial building, Russell must be heading there as well.

Now that the emperor has left, the hunting festival was no different from a means to an end at this moment.

[TL/N: It was time to leave.
The emperor isn't there anymore, so the nobles think it's now boring as they no longer need to stand out and impress him to gain favor for their families.] 

Elliot looked around at the nobles.

“I will end this year's hunting festival with this.
Everyone dispersed, and those who attended the hunting festival reported the details of the game they caught to the 2nd Knights!”

The nobles disperse one by one.
They talked about the hunting festival, which ended differently than the previous year.

The Duke of Proud watched as each of them prepared to leave for their mansions.

His mind quickly wandered to other thoughts.

Originally, I had intended to find out about the soul hidden by Honeywell through Ilya Titonsser, but it was no longer necessary.

But whatever it is now, it's true that she's the prime suspect for trying to harm Rose.

Elliot also moved on as he murmured softly.

“How can I use it?”

“Considering that she spent a long period in direct rain, she appears fine.”

It was a diagnosis made by a doctor who closely observed Rose's condition.

Wells acknowledged his skill but couldn't understand it.

“You mean Rose is not sick? No body ailments too?”

She seems a little tired, but her body temperature is fine.”

“…No way.
She has a weak body, so even if she is exposed to cold air for a short time, her fever rises quickly.”

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“But, Duke Honeywell, my diagnosis was not wrong.
Isn't it fortunate that Lady Honeywell is not sick?”

“…That's right.”

The doctor comforted Wells. 

He left, saying he would make a medicine to relieve Rose's fatigue.

“Haa, that's good luck anyway.”

Wells wiped his face, tiredly, and sat down helplessly on the chair next to the bed.
It felt like his lifespan, which had been reduced in an instant, was finally returning to its rightful place once more.

He watched Ilya sitting on the bed, meticulously wiping Rose with a wet towel.

“Thank you, Lady Titonsser.
If you hadn't informed me, the search would have been delayed.
In fact, if only His Majesty and Duke Proud were left in the mountain, there would be no need to go looking for them.”

“No, it's a natural reaction.
I should have run away with Rose, but I was too scared and ran away alone…”

“It's not Lady Titonsser's fault.
Don't feel too guilty.”

Ilya urgently ran in front of Wells, who was looking for Russell and Elliot to discuss whether the hunting should be stopped due to heavy rain.

Even if Wells wasn't quick to notice, Ilya's hurried appearance seemed to be a big deal and gathered much attention.

No, something really big happened.

“Rose and I went to see the area where a small game was released, but suddenly a large beast appeared.
We were so frantic that Rose and I scattered in different directions, but Rose went deeper into the mountain unlike myself, who headed for the mountain entrance.”

If it were Russell and Elliot who were left on the mountain, Wells would not have bothered to mobilize his knights to find them.

Although the mountain was wide, it was not enough to get lost, and although they released prey, the two were not easily defeated.

But having his little sister on the mountain was a different story.

Wells was able to quickly mobilize the knights and climb the mountain to quickly search.

“Again, thank you very much.
Rose is my only family, so I want to protect her no matter what.”

“Yes, I understand.”

Ilya wet the towel again and dabbed Rose's face.

The Duke of Honeywell looked at her and thought it had been a good idea to bring her to the capital of Tristan as Rose's friend.

At that time, there was a commotion outside the infirmary where they were.

Wells got up and opened the door.

“What is it?”

He asked the knight guarding the door, but it was someone else who answered.

“Is Lady Honeywell in good condition?”

It was Russell, the emperor. 

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Wells was startled for a moment, but quickly recovered his expression and moved aside to let the emperor in.

“Yes, it rained a lot, but fortunately she has no fever.
The councilor left to make medicine to relieve fatigue.”

“Hmm, alright.
I'm glad she's not sick…”

Russell looked around the infirmary sharply.

The infirmary was wide enough to require turning one's head, but one could easily find one's purpose without having to turn one's head fully.

…Oh, that young lady is Ilya Titonsser? It's the young girl sponsored by Wells.

Russell looked at Wells, who then met his gaze.
Wells tilted his head.

Wells wasn't there, so I don't know what just happened.
But it's only a matter of time before he finds out.

If he found out that the lady he sponsored intentionally or voluntarily put Rose in danger…

It was Russell's immediate reaction that he wanted to pursue Ilya right here and get the truth.

Russell crossed his arms and groaned inwardly.

“Your Majesty? Why are you here?”

Wells questioned Russell, who froze with his arms crossed.

The emperor sighed and shook his head, then walked towards the baron's daughter.

“Titonsser, yes?”

“Yes, Your Majesty, I am Ilya Titonsser.”

“Ah, yes.
Lady Titonsser.”

Russell let Wells stare blankly at him.
It seemed that it was too much to explode and lay his suspicions down like a bomb.

He pointed to the door with his chin.

“Go find Duke Proud right now.
Talk to the driver outside, and he will guide you.”

“…Duke Proud?”

The reason is—just go ask him.”

Russell turned away without saying anything further.

Wells, who was watching him, had accumulated doubts but encouraged Ilya to find Elliot.

The baron's daughter left the infirmary, and Russell sat on Rose's bed.

As if the diagnosis of no fever were true, Rose was sleeping peacefully with soft breaths.

“Your Majesty, is Duke Proud looking for Lady Titonsser? Then I'll order the knights to escort her.
Why did His Majesty—“

“Because I was on my way here anyway.
You're awfully compassionate to her.”

“What's the reason? Do you know what happened to Rose in the mountains?!”

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Wells grew increasingly agitated and eventually raised his voice, to which Russell calmed him down.

“Wells, you'll wake Rose up.”

“Ah, yes, alright.

Wells clears his throat and settles down in a chair.

“But why is Duke Proud looking for Lady Titonsser?”

Russell didn't say that Elliot was looking for Ilya, but Wells understood the meaning behind it immediately.

Russell swallowed it and then gave up hiding it.

“Ahh, he has a question about Rose Honeywell being on the mountain.
I think it has something to do with Baron Titonsser's daughter.”

Russell spoke quickly and examined Wells' reaction.
Wells, whom he expected to question what he was talking about, was silent.

Rather, it was an expression of knowing.

“Did you know?”

“Yes, Lady Titonsser was the first to tell me about Rose going into the mountains.”


“Thanks to her, we were able to immediately organize a search party and climb the mountain.”

“Why did Rose climb the mountain?”

Russell asked, and Wells relayed Ilya's message to Russell.

“She said they were looking around the area where small game was released, and a wild beast suddenly appeared?”

Surprised? She said Rose lost her way and went into the mountains.”

Russell frowned as he listened to Wells and processed the confession.

It's different. 

Elliot's words and Wells' words are different.

Wasn't a beast possessed by pheromone pills trying to attack Rose? A beast suddenly appeared?

One of them was telling a lie.

Russell got up from the bed.

My curiosity is solved.
I'm going back to my abode.
Say hello to Lady Honeywell for me.”

“Farewell, Your Majesty.”

After leaving the infirmary, Russell thought as he walked down the corridor leading to the residence.

It is clear that Rose was hunted by a beast because of someone.

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