Chapter 8: Report

The culprit, we were told, was the the kitchen soup cook.

I’m not sure if that’s really true.

In the style of a criminal drama, it is ‘no prosecution due to the death of the suspect’.

So yeah. He was dead.

They said he was in the right place when all the hullabaloo over Ellucia’s fall, but then he disappeared, and when they found him, he wasn’t breathing anymore.

They said it was the same poison as Ellucia.

Dead men have no tales…

There was no hard evidence that he was the murderer, but according to this report, which is in my possession, the Elzevert judicial officer had ruled it as a suicide. It also states that although the investigation will continue, there is a strong suspicion that he was the murderer.

His innocence cannot be proven, and it is easy to conclude that he is guilty.Even if there is no solid evidence, circumstantial evidence is sufficient.

One word from the judicial officer and he’s already been framed as the culprit.

As if he were a sacrificial lamb.

The dead cannot justify themselves.

The rest of the people around him have taken the liberty of piling up the facts that make him suspicious.

He is accompanied by the testimonies of the people around him.

He was poor.

He liked to gamble.

He was in debt and needed money.

He said he was always in need of money.

He said he had a lucrative story to tell….Every single one of these stories is trivial.

They’re ubiquitous and not particularly suspicious.

But when those trivial stories pile up, it seems that he could have been the culprit.

And even more so since I hear that the judicial officers have publicly stated that.

Assumptions are powerful.

Even if it isn’t the truth, it is the real truth to the person who is assuming it.

The weight of the real truth is added to it on its own.

Whether the judicial officer really believes he is the culprit, or whether he is trying to convince us that he is, he is a poor judge.

The other report was submitted by my guards.

This report is not an official document, as this is within Elzevert territory, so this report is not an official document, but only an informal one.

The name of the reporter is Count Najek Rajé Vera Stassen.

He is the captain of my guard and a qualified judicial officer.

A judicial officer is a professionally qualified person who is also granted the powers of a judge and a police officer, and is called by the title ‘Vera’, but strictly speaking ‘Vera’ does not equal ‘Judicial Officer’.

The word “Vera” means “scholar” and refers to a person who has graduated from a university.

All university graduates can become judicial officers, so before you know it, judicial officers were also called “Vera”.

No matter where you go on this continent, if you have a ‘Vera’, you will be able to hold a high ranking public office. Even if you are a former slave.

I’ve heard that the prime minister of the Northern Great Roland Empire is an ex-slave “Vera.”

I was wondering how one can become a legal expert just by graduating from university, but when I learned about the university system here, it made sense to me. Universities in this world are extremely advanced and specialized academic institutions that are difficult to get into and even harder to graduate from.

The only qualification for admission is that you must be under 30 years of age and have passed the entrance exam, but the scope of the exam is very diverse. There are three required subjects, law, history and language, but since the history exam asks about the zinc refining process of the unified empire and the language exam asks about the economy of the two empires, you must have a good command of all fields.

In some years, the number of students who pass the exam may be in the single digits.

Laws, of course, vary from country to country. The basic one is the former unified imperial law, called ‘Continental Law’. University students study all of the laws of the five major countries, including Dardinia. Without passing the three required subjects of law, history and language, students cannot advance to a specialized course and graduation is merely a dream.

There is the Royal Academy as an advanced educational institution, but in every country, the Royal Academy is half occupied by the aristocracy. There are also prestigious private schools, but they are only useful in their own country.

An ivory tower with absolute authority that will not waver in position, status or power. That’s what this university is.

It is a meritocracy, and no matter how high your status is, no matter how much money you have, if you don’t pass the entrance exam on your own, you won’t be allowed to step foot inside.

Incidentally, His Royal Highness Prince Nigel has this “Vera” title.

Currently, there is no other prince in the entire continent who has the Vera. When he ascends to the throne, he will be the first king in history to have the Vera.

Let’s return to the report.

Naturally, Count Stassen’s report, of course, has a different perspective than the Elzevert judicial officer.

So, even though he writes the same facts, the impression is completely different.

It’s the same for all the rural peasant class, and playing darts for pennies in the village bar, dice gambling and poker is a common hobby of the men in the village, so that even if you’ve lost a lot of money in poker, you can pay it back in the next month’s salary after losing three straight games.

It is not unusual for people to talk about wanting money, and the word “profitable” is a bit disturbing, but for example, if you sell your new potatoes directly to the town instead of the village market, you can sell them for twice as much…It’s a great deal of money for the peasant class.

There are two sides to things…

Even if it’s not so much the opposite as the flip side of the coin, the facts that emerge are different if you have a different perspective, just as the way the light shines on the landscape changes the way you see it.

The truth is one thing, but what you see is different depending on the person.

There is no more of him to make excuses for.

There is no one to argue for him either.

There is no evidence for now, only circumstantial suspicion, but in time they may find a disproportionately large sum of money in his luggage, or a poisonous drug that he is alleged to have used.

You wouldn’t know that if you threw that stuff in after the fact.

…Or maybe he really was involved.

Maybe I’m being too suspicious. Maybe I should just honestly believe the circumstantial evidence.

There’s something unexplainable about being confronted with a lot of questionable evidence because he’s a soup chef.

That clam soup was a bit short of rave reviews. But I think it was technically solid.

The clams themselves were handled deliciously. The fleshy, large clams were plump without being overcooked. The texture wasn’t too hard or too raw…The heat was the right amount.

There is no gas. It doesn’t have a microwave or a timer. I don’t think he could have done anything other than make the soup, which he probably would have done over an open flame.

From the way that soup turned out, he wouldn’t have had time to do anything extra.

The soup is next to the oven, and the stir fry stove is over the bread oven…

The report even shows the location of the shelves of condiments in the kitchen. The one attached to both reports is quite detailed, but the one submitted by Elzevert is very detailed, even describing where everything is on the shelves. It oozes with the personality of the person who wrote it.

You might think that whoever was in the kitchen would have plenty of opportunities to throw in some poison, but the one corner where they were making soup and the one where they were making a stir-fry are too far apart. And there’s a bread oven or something in between, and of course there’s a person in charge there as well.

There is no testimony that he approached the oven where he was making the stir-fry.

It’s almost impossible to put in the food after it’s served. It is stated that he carried the food in as soon as it was ready, and there is no testimony that he approached it.

There were more than ten people in the kitchen at the time. The head chef, who oversaw the entire operation, testified that no one was doing anything wrong.

His skills may not be great, but his reluctance to blame his subordinates in the face of a judicial officer who sees him as the culprit is worthy of recognition.

What a mess…

I’ve had a lot to think about.

I don’t think I’ve lived my life without thinking about it, but I feel like I’ve been using my head a great deal since I came here.

The Duke of Elzevert is not in a good position with the judicial officers half-assuming him to be the culprit…Rather, he is secretly considered the real culprit.

His family is either ancestral peasant farmers of the duke’s family or…

The relationship between a peasant and the lord is similar to that of a slave and master who obeys voluntarily. Although not a slave, a peasant cannot disobey his lord’s orders.

It is quite natural to assume that he did so at the command of the Duke.

I heard that the Duke had tried to come to explain himself many times, but the captain of my guard told me that there was no need for excuses, and Lilia refused to even intercede for him.

Well, usually suspected…in a way, of course.

But on the contrary, I have no doubt about his involvement this time.

I don’t think he would make such an obvious move.

In the castle of Elzevert, the poisoning of the food prepared by Elzevert’s chefs…the criminal derived from it is…too obvious a scheme.

I don’t think that kind of a person would use such an obvious move.

The Duke of Elzevert would come up with a situation where he could absolutely prove that it wasn’t him and a means by which he would never be suspected.

That Duke was nervous and a perfectionist. That type of a person would be extremely detail-oriented.

There would be exceptions, of course, but that Duke was absolutely meticulous. Because the list on the condiment cabinet was in the Duke’s handwriting.

The facts that I found in both reports…As soon as Ellucia fell, the knights in my guard seized the kitchen of this castle and examined all the leftover ingredients that had been served for my breakfast.

The ingredients themselves were apparently not at all abnormal. Nor the seasonings.

The only thing that had been found to be poisonous was the plate of fried greens and shimeji mushrooms that had been brought to my room.

As the frying pan had been washed, it is not known whether the poison got into the pan during cooking, or whether it got into the pan while it was being brought to my room.

It was Ellucia who carried the ‘Fried Greens and Shimeji Mushrooms’ from the kitchen to my room. Apparently, the handmaids are poisoning themselves with what they carried.

What kind of shape was the poisonous stuff?…Powder or…liquid or…

Is it possible to mix them up in the hallway as they pass each other?

I’m still investigating the poison, but it says it’s probably Rigis poison.

Rigis is a medicinal herb whose flowers are analgesic and whose leaves are sedative. It is widely used, and it is so common that every family has Rigis in their garden, and girls bring a potted plant of it as one of their wedding tools.

However, according to a book written by a famous alchemist named Trigias, who lived about two centuries ago, this root can be refined by a special method to produce a terrible poison. A mere drop of liquid, or the tip of a little finger of powder, could kill ten adults in silence.

The terrible thing about this poison is that it is not fast-acting. There is nothing for a while after you take it internally, and by the time you notice it, it’s too late. There’s nothing left to spit out.

It dissolves your internal organs and eventually you die. The skin of the corpse is said to be rough, and over time, purple spots appear.

Well, all the poisons that can’t be identified are called Rigis poisons.

To tell the truth, this Rigis poison is a phantom poison. There is no record of this “special refining method” anywhere, only the effects of the poison and the results of Trigias’ experiments on condemned prisoners.

Rigis root is edible when boiled. Just like lily root, I ate it at a meal a few days ago. By the way, I heard it can be used as a bruise remedy if you grind it up.

How it can be poisonous is a mystery. Well, medicine and poison are two sides of the same coin, so it’s not strange.

…Is it possible that Ellucia was the target?

Was there any reason for Ellucia to be targeted? I think deeply.

She was a bright and pretty girl. She was also quite good with a sword. She had been told to be my shield in a time of need.

But no matter what I thought, it didn’t seem to have anything to do with the fact that Ellucia was my maid.


|♡| Table of Contents |♡| Support me! |♡|


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: