Chapter Thirty-One: Rosa Wants to Understand (I)
Ladu was the first to wake up after he and Rosa were forced into the Travel Formation.
He looked around idly, subconsciously examining his numb body.
There were houses all around with a distinctive kind of mosaic-like tiles inlaid in a strange pattern into the reddish-brown earth.
Ladu exclaimed as he recognized the smell of medicinal herbs and livestock carried by the dry breeze.
This was his homeland, the Apt village.
Ladu and Rosa had been moved to a small hill overlooking the village.
“This can’t be…”
“Oh, you’re awake!”
A familiar voice speaking in the Berg language drifted in just as Ladu furrowed his brows at the sight.
Ladu quickly stood up and noticed Kamil standing close to him.
As usual, Kamil was smiling.
His hands, raised in front of his chest, were surrounded by dazzling particles of light, suggesting that he had been using their magic just a few moments earlier.
He appeared like an apostle of justice in a Berg religious picture with his white knight’s garb. However, as Ladu examined Kamil’s gracious smile, chills ran down his spine.
That bizarre smile.
Despite his calm tone, Kamil’s muscles were stiff, indicating that he was ready to move at any time.
“Why did you bring us here?”
There was also the case with Ladu and Rosa’s sudden abduction.
Ladu was concerned about Kamil’s statement.
‘I’m getting rid of both of you because you know too much.’
His statement was alarming enough to imply that he was involved in something he didn’t want people to know about.
Kamil did not directly respond to Ladu, instead opted to look down at the village with a mischievous smirk on his face.
Kamil said, unbefitting of his calm demeanor.
“The smell of medicinal herbs and livestock feces. Doesn’t it just make you want to puke? You stated that you have more cattle than people because you are developing infections in the bodies of the animals, correct? You’re killing animals and fostering diseases out of boredom. If this is not heresy, then I don’t know what is.”
“You’re wrong… We’re producing vaccines.”
Ladu cautiously braced himself and responded carefully.
The frail man in front of him was expressing an open loathing for Apts that he no longer intended to hide.
Ladu instinctively tried to save his life after sensing intense animosity.
He snatched a scalpel from his pocket and plunged it towards his adversary’s neck.
However, Kamil, who was supposed to be looking down on the village… Didn’t even turn around as he knocked the scalpel away with his long sword and put the blade’s tip at Ladu’s throat.
The tables were instantly turned.
The scalpel left a thin red line on the back of Kamil’s hand, which had an unexpectedly sharp edge.
When Kamil realized this, he frowned angrily and, without hesitation, kicked Ladu in the stomach.
“How dare you harm the next king!? You’re an insect who worships pagan gods and threatens the healers’ authority! Good grief… If it weren’t for that spoiled prince, I would have burned this abominable pagan village to the ground.”
Ladu rubbed his aching body as his eyes widened at Kamil’s cruel words.
Ladu was convinced that Kamil was one of Leon’s faithful knights.
He had assumed Kamil’s hatred towards the Apts stemmed from his unwavering faith in Berg.
“Did I surprise you?”
Kamil said with a smile, his amber-tinted eyes gleaming brightly as he looked at Ladu’s expression.
“I’m sure the impudent Lady Rosa there has long known about my schemes, but you, the fool, have been blissfully unaware of them.
I was the one who instigated the feud between nobility and Apts, and I was the one who punished the arrogant queen by healing her excessively and rendering her sick.”
“Why would you do something like that?” Ladu asked in a calm voice, to which Kamil exclaimed, “Why? Because it’s what’s right. That’s how it should be. Because it is I, who should become king and lead this kingdom!”
Kamil’s voice steadily became louder, and he appeared to be losing control of his emotions.
His appearance was similar to that of a manic patient. Ladu’s instincts as a physician told him that Kamil was not in a proper state of mind.
“I won’t let this foolish woman that does not know her place or a pagan such as yourself roam free. All must be corrected. And it is none but I who deserves to be king above all others!”
Kamil kept speaking in a euphoric manner, his courteous tone of voice gone.
It was at this point that Rosa finally woke up.
Uhm… What in the world is going on? Did I really wake up to witness Sir Kamil’s confession!?
Rosa, who had gotten caught in the Travel Formation for no apparent reason and had been sleeping soundly until now, was listening and frantically attempting to catch up with the situation, having missed her chance to get up.
Didn’t Sir Kamil just say that he deserves to be above all others? Come to think of it, Sir Kamil started acting strange right after he told me he’d like to be above His Highness… First, he goes on about getting rid of us, and now he’s suddenly confessing that he’s a top… Just what is going on…
Rosa couldn’t entirely grasp the situation because she only woke up halfway through and only took in the parts that interested her.
Rosa understood this incident as Kamil, who had been mistaken for a bottom when he was actually a top, being enraged at Rosa and Kamil after learning the truth, and now attempting to dispose of them in a location far away from the royal palace.
Rosa, who had used her keen sense to grasp the scenario thoroughly, struggled to believe it.
No, no, no… There’s no way, right? Why is he trying to get rid of us when he was the one who admitted to being a top!? To begin with, do people really become this enraged simply because someone misidentified them as top or bottom?
Rosa wasn’t sure how big of a shock it would cause the person she was informing about the outcomes of her top or bottom judgments because she had never done it before.
Rosa felt that being misidentified as a top or bottom and getting dragged into someone else’s dirty fantasies was embarrassing to men because her half-brother Bernardo, who was like an angel in everyday life, would turn pale and grow angry when Rosa indulged in fantasies of male couplings.
I must consider every possibility, it seems.
Rosa remained to lie down and continued to eavesdrop, displaying an abnormal discipline that was utterly unnecessary in this scenario.
“And despite this, do you know just how many people see me as a submissive pup!? I frown at the prospect of that foolish woman with no understanding.”
Kamil was referring to Queen Dorethea, who had been tempted to adopt Kamil but had ultimately rejected him.
Rosa felt shivers run down her spine beneath her puzzled expression.
Foolish woman… So he really did go mad because I misjudged him… But that can’t be… No, but still, that’s the only explanation…
Rosa’s mind was filled with a never-ending turmoil.
“So, what are you, oh almighty king, planning to do by bringing us here?”
Ladu inquired softly of Kamil, whose emotions were out of control.
Distress could be felt inside Ladu’s voice.
Rosa was about to open her eyes, puzzled as to what had happened to him while she had been sleeping.
However, it was at that moment that Kamil burst out laughing. “Hahaha!”
His loud laugh filled the area, and Rosa flinched in shock and closed her eyes.
This isn’t good. This is so scary! He’s lost his mind!
“I thought you’d never ask. I’m going to burn you both down alongside this wretched land.”
Rosa was utterly taken aback.
She couldn’t believe that Kamil was so enraged as to burn down the whole village.
This was going way too overboard.
Like her, Ladu was also taken aback.
“No knight is allowed to break the contract and burn the land down. You will not be spared!”
Ladu said threateningly, but Kamil simply laughed it off.
“But I will. You see, I’m simply upholding justice.”
“What did you say?”
“I’m afraid this land has been infected with a horrible infectious disease. And as a knight sworn to protect the kingdom’s inhabitants and who just happens to be here, I’m going to purify this place with deep sadness in my heart.”
Kamil said, shifting his gaze.
Rosa could see Kamil peering down from the hill at the village and pointing to one of its sides with her half-closed eyes.
“The Apts were using animals to experiment with a horrible disease. However, they suffered divine punishment and became infected with the disease. During the time it took a healer to help one person, ten, if not twenty, more people became ill.”
Kamil spoke fluently with a wry smile.
“The people would most likely blame the prince if they discovered that his mercy had resulted in the invasion of a disease that could threaten the entire kingdom. Ah! My heart skips a beat as I imagine his lovely face shivering from humiliation.”
Rosa’s face suddenly sank.
She could tell Kamil’s revenge slash torture plan was nearing completion based on how he spoke about it.
The thought made Rosa uncomfortable.
Her heart ached terribly as she realized that exposing her fetishes could lead to such events.
“I just thought of something great. Let’s say that the disease travels by air. That way, I’ll be able to burn down the forests.”
Ladu couldn’t stay silent when Kamil added casually.
“As if such an absurd disease could ever exist! There is no virus capable of infecting at such a rate. It is impossible…”
“But it didn’t infect. That’s because everyone had been sick from the beginning.”
Kamil interrupted him and spread his hands, an amused smile on his face.
“Healing is the power bestowed to us by the gods. It’s a remarkable ability bestowed on only the selected few—those with considerable strength and ingenuity. Just like the gods, healers can both restore and destroy. To put it another way, all I have to do is snap my fingers, and every single person in this village will die suddenly from disease-like symptoms produced by overhealing.”
In other words, Kamil was hinting that they would contract the Queen’s illness, but in a more extreme form.
“And my plan was already in motion before you ever awoke.”
“No, no, no!”
Rosa suddenly jumped up.
The plan she had initially dismissed as a ruse was, in fact, already in effect.
What a dangerous man!