The children who have been running around in the back alleys are waving at each other and going back to their houses.
At dusk, shadows stretch long along the cobblestone alley.
The owners of the stalls are hurriedly closing their stores.
"Hmmm, no harvest today either..."
A face with no makeup and plain clothes.
Emilienne, dressed as a town girl, sits down on the steps in front of the church in the square in front of the south gate of the capital, and stretches out.
There are no movements of the 'Headhunt' today.
Until just a few days ago, at least one person was killed every day, but that has stopped since then.
The identity of the 'Headhunt' is still unknown.
Not a single clue can be found.
For a while, it was suspected that the 'Headhunt' was prostitute, but no such persons were caught in the net, and it was concluded that the way to find the 'Headhunt' was wrong.
Not only did the maids and servants have to be on the lookout in the town, but even Emilienne had to be on the lookout, but if the 'Headhunt' stops killing, there's no way to find this person.
"I wonder if this guy know we're after him/her..."
She rests her elbows on her knees and gazes vaguely at the crowd of people passing through the south gate of the capital.
Most of them seem to be peddlers, coming into the city from outside.
Only one horse carrying an elderly man who seems to be a steward of some kind is going out at this time of the day.
"Maybe this guy is not in the capital anymore."
If 'Headhunt' really realized that he/she was being chased by an assassin nobleman, there is a strong possibility that this is true.
Emilienne does not want this to be the case, since she was eager to take this opportunity to help her beloved brother, the Crown Prince Bastien.
* * *
Hard armored footsteps come down the stairs.
It was long after dusk when Olga came to visit Lucas in his cell.
At that time, he felt a dull pain in his temple, probably because he had unusually overworked his mind.
As usual, he had no clue as to what was going on, and the more he thought about it, the more all the phenomena converged to the conclusion that Valerie was a 'Human-eating Demon'.
No matter how much he thought about it, he couldn't find any evidence to deny it.
Although he did not want to admit it, Lucas was certainly in a hurry.
And now, two footsteps stopped in front of the cell.
When Lucas looked up, he saw Valerie in the dim light of the cantera, shackled in shackles and dressed in a crude linen robe. It is the clothing of a sinner.
Olga appeared pulling a rope tied to her waist as if she were walking a dog, and looked down at Lucas who was leaning against the stone wall from behind the bars as if he were an insect.
Lucas's cheeks are twisted in disapproval.
Valerie keeps her eyes closed.
Olga looked around at the two of them triumphantly, and then opened her mouth.
"How is the cell?"
"Not as bad as I thought. I love the fact that I can lie in bed all day long without a single complaint."
Olga must have thought that Lucas was being pushy, because he put a mocking smile on his face.
"I'm glad you like it. You'll be staying there for a while longer."
"Oh? What's the matter?"
"We're leaving here tonight to take her back to the capital."
"...Are you done with the interrogation?"
"Yeah, we don't need to do anything else. She's admitted everything. That she murdered Her Highness."
Lucas's eyes widened.
"That's absurd! It can't be true!"
Valerie killed the princess. There's no way at all. That's the only thing that's impossible.
That's why Lucas is so puzzled.
"Commander! Please say something!"
Lucas shouted at the top of his voice, but Valerie kept her head down with her eyes closed.
Valerie's fingertips were still holding the hem of her robe tightly, and she was trembling slightly.
(What happened? She is not the kind of person who would give in to threats and torture!)
"Huff, I guess you couldn't bear the scruples of your conscience..."
"I wasn't talking to you!"
Lucas interrupted Olga lightly, and he stared at her with his eyes fixed on her.
She did not look frightened or angry, but simply shrugged her shoulders.
"Watch your mouth, you son of a bitch. But I'm in a very good mood. I forgive you. And don't worry. I'll make sure you're safe."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean exactly what I said. You're so concerned about this woman's innocence because you want to save your own skin, aren't you? So, I'm trying to make sure you won't be implicated in her crimes. I will contact His Majesty the King in secret and ask him to annul the marriage as Her Highness's last will and testament. It's a bit unreasonable, but His Majesty loved Her Highness very much. His Majesty's will will not be ignored."
At that moment, Lucas's eyes lit up with anger.
"You bastard! You took me hostage!"
"Don't talk nonsense. This is what she wants. I'm responding in good faith. However many sins she may have committed, she's the woman I once called my friend. Oh right... Tell him so that this poor man can understand, Valerie."
Olga pulls the rope around Valerie's waist, smiles a faint smile, and puts her lips to her ear in a show of affection.
Valerie shows no sign of resistance.
She opens her eyelids silently and looks at Lucas.
Her eyes are resigned, and she is looking at Lucas with a look of weakness and powerlessness that cannot be imagined in her usual way.
"...I'm sorry. I killed Her Highness. I killed her."
"Listen to me! I didn't do it for you and to be scorned for having been the wife of a fool like me is unbearable. You can despise me. I am that kind of woman. You can laugh about it later, that you were followed by a terrible woman. That's all I want."
"I don't believe you! I don't..."
"Please! Listen to me!"
"You fucking idiot! Who told you...?!"
Lucas shouts out.
But Valerie interrupts him and shouts.
"I hate persistent men! I want to leave you! I don't like you at all! Not even your face! I don't want to see your face!"
The blood-curdling screams reverberate off the walls of the dungeon, melting into a painful silence.
Valerie breathes heavily, her shoulders rising and falling silently.
Olga puts her hand on her shoulder and turns a triumphant look to Lucas.
"Ha! You're a persistent man, you son of a bitch. Anyway, you're going to stay there until all this is over. I can't have you following me out of here now. Don't worry. It won't take long. We don't even need to question her anymore. Once we reach the capital, the execution will be carried out within the day."
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