Chapter Thirty-Six: Rosa Wants to Protect the Love From the Shadows (I)
In an instant, the room’s dimness was brightened.
“Being unhappy while sitting next to her bed is not nursing. Why not at least turn on the light?”
Chris, a girl with gorgeous blonde hair that was precisely trimmed like a boy’s, entered the room.
When he heard her voice, Bernardo, the boy who had been staring at the person on the bed, slowly looked up. He saw Chris holding a water pitcher in her hand.
“Don’t look at me with that face. Ladu said that she ended up passing out due to overworking herself. Right now, all we can do is wait.”
As she walked toward the bed with an angry expression, Chris replied in a boyish tone. She seems to have decided to maintain it in that style a bit longer to go with her new hairstyle.
She placed the pitched on a table close at hand and pulled a chair, sitting next to Bernando.
“You look terrible.”
“Right back at you.” Bernando gave a short response.
Their tones were both tinged with a sense of exhaustion.
Two days had already gone since the incident rocked the Apt Village and, for that matter, the entire kingdom.
Everyone, including Leon and Leon, was straining to keep the situation under control after experiencing the rebellion brought on by the prince’s close aid.
The first thing they’d done was to capture the culprit, Kamil, and interrogate him.
The Knights Order couldn’t carry out the interrogation since Kamil was a knight and the descendant of a duke of noble birth. Thus a third party was needed, and the prince took on the role.
While this was happening, Christ was given complete control over a group of Healers who had been sent to examine the Apt Village.
The group’s task had been to ascertain whether the spell Kamil had cast using his healing abilities was still inflicting harm to the Apts.
At the same time, Ladu had once again notified Christ and the Healers of the queen’s diagnosis, which had been put on hold.
Additionally, with Bernando’s assistance, everyone realized that Ladu had been the victim of false allegations and misunderstandings this whole time.
That allowed them to begin working on repairing the spell’s damages in earnest.
At that point, Kami’s interrogation was well over, and he was stripped of his noble status and committed to a monastery.
Rosa’s intervention had ultimately stopped him from harming anyone, which is why he had received such a light punishment despite endangering the queen’s life and one of the kingdom’s provinces.
Another unexpected finding was that even the queen, who had been the target of the entire situation, had approved of this.
“In other words, he’s simply a fool that misused his healing powers. There’s no need to waste our time with executing him.”
After rising from her bed for the first time in a while, the queen told the king with a smile.
“I don’t want to deal with this fool any longer. Sending him away will be enough.”
Kamil, who had been so preoccupied with his own sense of electability that he had wished to be mocked and shunned by others around him, was ultimately called a fool and exiled.
He appeared to have accepted the queen’s harsh comments in silence.
On the other hand, the king had considered the feelings of the Apt and had given the village full autonomy in return for a low punishment for the offender.
This was done on Prince Leon’s recommendation and was warmly appreciated by the Apts.
Ultimately, the Apts had been cured of the spell and had regained their autonomy, so there was nothing they could complain about.
Leon had also formally apologized as a prince for his prior unjust judgment of Ladu and his role in the current scandal. At the same time, Ladu acknowledged the apology and expressed his regret for ignoring the potential of a rebellion against authority.
Most of the current unrest was handled in just two days once the truth was exposed, the offender and the victim were addressed, and disputes brought on by differences were settled.
The only thing that remained was for Rosa to wake up.
“Ladu predicts that she should wake up tonight.”
“I know.” Chris and Bernando muttered while looking at the bed.
Within the walls of the detached palace, in one of the rooms, on top of a fine bed, Rosa was sound asleep, her honey-colored hair spread out.
Two days ago, when she collapsed from weariness, there had been a major panic.
In particular, Chris became pale and clutched Rosa, fearing whether Rosa had fainted due to the magic she had given. At the same time, the troubled Ladu started to over-prepare by taking out his respiratory apparatus, preparing for drawing blood and executing surgical procedures.
However, the healer who arrived later believed it was simply a case of deep fatigue brought on by excessive use of Rosa’s healing ability.
Believing his words, everyone hurriedly rushed Rosa to the detached palace.
Ladu then examined Rosa again once he had calmed down and concluded that she was merely sleeping with no irregularities.
Since then, everyone took turns visiting Rosa, with Bernando always by her side.
“Has there been any change this past few hours?”
“None. Everything is as usual. She’s still sleep talking, expressing her desire to go to a monastery and that she won’t forgive.”
Chris said with a pained look.
Rosa’s actions these past days had cast a dark shadow over the hearts of Chris and the others.
“When I gave Rosa my magic, I never imagined she would say, ‘kill me’ I never imagined that she was hiding such a dark past behind that kind smile.”
They had understood Rosa’s refusal to accept salvation as being related to her tragic history that, in fact, never occurred.
“What? Rosa was abused?” Ladu exclaimed. In the end, he was also affected by the huge misunderstanding over Rosa’s past.
Before collapsing, Ladu had noticed Rosa in an uneasy state, so when Bernardo and the other four went to see her last night, he inquired as to what was wrong.
He was then told how after her mother passed away, Rosa used to live her life alone in a dark room because her sexually crazy father hated having her around.
And how she had been starved while being objected to her father’s drunken verbal abuses.
And how, despite everything, Rosa was still considerate of the weak, always lending a helping hand to them when they were in need, and did it despite her well-being.
Bernando had grandiosely detailed Rosa’s tragic past, which had not a shred of reality, right next to Rosa as she slept.
“Perhaps dear sister is so charitable because she’s been deprived of compassion. That must be it. I was convinced the moment she wished for her death. She, my dear sister, does not merely wish to enter a monastery. Her goal is to end her own life.”
Ladu, Leon, and Chris all nodded with pained faces as they heard Bernando’s explanation.
Rosa’s will was as strong as steel, yet her heart was as fragile as glasswork. Everyone in the room knew that.
When Bernardo glanced at Rosa as she slept, he tightened his fists, cursing his inadequacy for failing to defend her.
“When I look back on it, dear sister would often describe herself as filthy. I’ve overheard our father call her rotten numerous times as well. Perhaps since it has been told to dear sister repeatedly since she was a little child, she has been compelled to believe that. She may also believe she would be seen as worthless if she didn’t continuously prove herself useful!”
“A trauma… Not an uncommon sight among abuse victims.” Ladu, who was somewhat familiar with such cases, muttered.
After pausing briefly to collect himself after all the excitement, Bernando spoke again in a shaky voice, “The moment I ran up to her back, then I felt like I heard her say, ‘father, please acknowledge me!’ She probably believed that giving her life in sacrifice would be sufficient to reach her parents’ favor. The favor of that bastard of a father…!”
Bernando said with anger in his eyes, “Damn it! If I’d known earlier, I would have buried him with Earth Magic!”
“I cannot believe Count Langheim would do that to his own daughter.” Both Chris and Leon exclaimed, unable to stay quiet.
At that time…
Ladu looked up as if he’d thought of something.
He then muttered something to Leon’s ear before swiftly leaving the room after examining Rosa.
Leon quickly followed behind with a startled expression.
After that, nobody saw Leon or Ladu because everyone had their own responsibilities to attend to.
As Chris and Bernando’s conversation came to a halt, Chris decided to try to lighten the mood in the room by saying something.
“I wonder what happened yesterday. Both brother and Ladu acted quite strangely. After the issues were resolved, they began to behave like old friends. Don’t you find it strange, Bernando?”
“No, not really.” Bernando said coldly, staring at Rosa as if trying to devour her.
“The relationship between those two has nothing to do with dear sister’s condition.”
Chris pursed her lips in annoyance at Bernando’s obstinacy.
She gave him a half-closed stare and said, “It’s a shame your personality doesn’t match your pretty face.”
“Indeed. I was raised in the slumps, after all.” Bernando said in a cold tone.
“That’s not what I mean.”
Chris replied, staring at Bernando with her jade-like eyes, “The affection you feel for Rosa is not the same as that of a sibling.”
Bernando’s face shifted as soon as he heard Chris say that.
While Chris, on the other hand, snorted and continued to speak.
“Rosa, too, probably saved your heart. I understand where your feelings are coming from, but you need to face reality. Berg forbids the marriage of brothers and sisters, even if they are only partially related.”
“Daydream as much as you want, but don’t burden Rosa with your one-sided feelings. By doing this, you’re only narrowing your horizons…”
“Shut up!” Bernando exclaimed, his face flushed with rage.
“I know that already!”
In all the excitement, Bernando’s white cheeks turned red.
“So that really was your goal…”
Chris smiled slightly but didn’t pursue the matter further.
Most likely because she glimpsed a piece of Bernando’s broken heart in his gaze.
The space between them grew silent and tense, so much so that even the sound of a needle falling could be heard.
It was at that moment that a knock was heard at the door.
“I’m coming in.”
“How is Rosa doing?”
Grandly entering the room were Leon and Ladu.
Leon, who at first found it difficult to conceal his sorrow over his best friend Kamil’s betrayal, was once again his usual self, full of confidence, and Ladu, was behaving calmly as he stood next to the prince as an equal friend and a physician, despite his reputation for being cranky.
When Bernardo noticed them, he straightened his back, regained his composure, and answered, “As you can see, nothing has changed. She’s been sleeping this whole time. Although, she occasionally has delusions and talks in her sleep…”
“Talks in her sleep? What does she say?”
“Things like, ‘I won’t forgive,’ ‘I want to go to a monastery,’ and so on.”
Chris also scowled and spoke, joining Bernando. “After the incident with Arina, Rosa has frequently expressed her desire to join a monastery. What possibly could the count have done to her for a kind girl as Rosa to say such things…”
Chris sighed. At the same time, Ladu and Leon both exchanged glances.
“About that…” Ladu said after first finishing examining Rosa. He then placed his hand on the bed and ensured that Rosa was asleep before dropping the bombshell.
“Rosa is not the count’s biological child.”
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