An episode of 「 A Blood Stained Portrait.
It was the first episode of the Ahibalt Route, and the part where the situation in Knox began to change.
To summarize the situation briefly—
There are currently three people living in Lichpen.
Of course, all of them are women with a strong desire for power.
The first person was Veronica, who tried to kill Irene a few days ago, and the other was Edith, Rodion’s mother.
And subsequently, Henrie Lavrenti, who was hostess of Lavrenti and mother of Otis.
In the game, they were described as follows:
‘A relationship in which they were forced to form an alliance, though they can strike each other in the back at any time.’
It was only natural that three people with a strong lust for power and similar wants were gathered here.
On the surface, Lichpen was just Veronica, who had the real power in Knox, and the Lavrenti wives who supported her.
If we take a closer look, different desires are hidden.
‘Henrietta does not want to lose her position as the hostess of Lavrenti.’
Even when she was kicked out by her Lichpen, she would never tolerate poverty.
— If you guys want to send me to Lichpen, send Lichpen a million gold living expenses every month.
At that time, the deal was made alone with Ahibalt, and Irene heard this line while she was placing down a teacup for them.
A million gold.
‘How many loaves of bread for that money…’
It was that secret that the hand of Irene, a small servant who was putting down the teacup, trembled involuntarily.
Unfortunately, Irene did not hear anymore after that because she had to leave the room.
But, she knew only that Ahibalt had finally accepted the request.
This was because Otis, who later heard the terms of the deal, jumped.
— Brother, are you out of your mind You set such a price for Lichpen If it were a million dollars, a decent mansion would last for half a year!
— That is true.
Still, isn’t that the amount of money that can be scratched
— It is ridiculous to spend that much money on feeding them.
— Do not say that.
Rather, if we do not give that much money, there will definitely be people who would gossip about the sons who drove their mother out.
It is a matter that has already been decided.
We are still weak, and we need to catch the flow of public opinion to some extent.
Would I have given my aunt a three-year grace because I was a weakling, Otis
Sending Lavrenti’s women to Lichpen should not really seem like they were kicked out.
It should look like it was arranged so that they can spend the rest of their lives there comfortably.
— This place is where conspiracy and betrayal play a game.
The more you do that, the more you need to build a reputation and use a docile voice.
Humans cannot easily approach ferocious beasts, though what about a dog that seemed harmless
When people flock easily, opportunities would naturally follow.
If there is someone who falls for it, you can thin it out and use the opportunity.
And, only then would people notice the sharp teeth of the animal they easily approached.
‘In the end, Ahibalt was right.’
In those three years, Ahibalt, who was significantly pushed by Veronica, had accumulated power far beyond the current Veronica.
At first, Edith and Henrietta were supporters of Veronica, but when the situation turned out like this, they secretly had a different heart.
At this point, Veronica may be a rotten rope.
So, before she becomes a kite that falls off the string, they have to hold on to another string before the kite falls!
With that in mind, this was what Henrietta chose.
‘It was to make a connection with Ahibalt.’
To be precise, she used Veronica to try to kill Ahibalt, and then informed him of the fact and saved him.
Even if the plan went a little wrong and Ahibalt really dies, well.
She had nothing to lose.
But, vice versa…
So, it was necessary to prepare in case Ahibalt had to kill Veronica.
‘That was why she is trying to seize the sovereignty of Lavrenti by marrying Ahibalt with the prepared bride.’
Sending a painter to paint a portrait was the starting point of all the plans.
Of course, if it had gone according to Henrietta’s plan, the name of this episode would not have been as bloody as 「 A Blood Stained Portrait.
Anyway, the important thing was that Irenea would be able to use it.
‘At this point, we do not even know who sent the spy.’
They do not even know who the spy is.
There were too many entangled desires to simply think that Veronica would have sent them.
Nevertheless, it could be someone else from Lichpen, or maybe an unusual outside force has joined hands with Veronica.
So, Irene hid a small device in preparation for this episode.
‘It would be better to remove such a variable as soon as possible.’
Fortunately, only the episodes of Ahibalt have been entered so far, but the next episode of Otis and Rodion awaits.
If the variable also affected Louise, she might go down the ‘Die Route.’
‘Of course, that does not mean I will be in trouble.’
Knowing that Louise was going to die, she was unlikely to be able to leave this place comfortably.
‘That is why I wanted to leave before the game began in earnest.’
With that thought, the last week’s events were drawn over Irene’s gaze, looking down at the art supplies placed side by side on a white gauze towel.
* * *
While Irene was lying in bed for her recovery, it was not just the three male protagonists who visited her bed.
At night, there was one more guest who came to her secretly.
A hand opened the door carefully so as not to make a noise, and black Mary Jane shoes stepping into the room—
A small face was peeking out through the door.
“Miss Irene, are you sleeping”
Even the soft voice that was lowered as much as anyone could hear it.
It was obvious without even looking back who the protagonist of all those things would be.
Because, in the first place, the Lavrenti mansion was not a harmonious place where the servants gathered and chatted with each other.
Just because Irene was lying in her bed, she had no one else to come to ask her regards.
Originally, the death of people here, the head of Knox, was largely due to plentiful reasons rather than the fact that the soup was scorched.
‘It is a little less frequent now.’
The predecessor Lavrenti was a man with no mercy in his hands, and his wives and Veronica were no different.
Just thinking about Veronica, who treated the servants harshly, was enough to picture the lifestyle of that time.
The employees who went through such a bloody period implicitly did not try to care for each other.
‘In the world of weak and strong, the only person who gives up is the person who will be stomped on.’
Even for survival, it was better not to build close friendships.
Especially, with someone who was scheduled to leave, like Irene.
‘I saved him once in the Second Master’s room.’
It was just a human duty.
She had no intention of making friends with her privately.
So, Irene closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep.
Then, as if hesitating a little, Louise stood in front of the room, came inside before quietly placing something in the room, and left.
A basket of simple snacks such as sandwiches and cinnamon rolls, and a small note wishing for a good recovery.
Like herself, Louise, who works as a servant of Lavrenti because of debt, could not have bought food with her money.
Then, the answer was obvious.
She gave Irene the meal that was rationed to herself.
Thinking that Louise would only do it once, but every day after that, she left her meal inside Irene’s room as she was pretending to be asleep.
In the end, Irene, who had received Louise’s meal on the third day, could no longer pretend to be asleep.
“Oh, Miss Irene.
Are you awake today I thought you were sleeping.”
“…That is because I could not steal Miss Louise’s dinner anymore.”
“Oh, did you know Hehe, I am a little embarrassed.
I have nothing to offer, so even that was all I had.”
“Louise, are you not tired”
At Irene’s cold question, Louise’s smile faded a little.
Seeing that, she continued to shoot her words, “Aren’t you tired You must be hungry and tired to do my share as well.”
‘In the meantime, she still visited several times during the night and gave me food…’
“Why are you even doing this”