p>Crackle-

Deep-black smoke rose from one of the small pots in between the large pots.
Immediately, a nasty smell filled the entire kitchen.

“Cough, cough!”
“What on earth is this?”

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It was noisy for a moment in the kitchen, but sensing that something was weird, the voices of the people stopped.

It wasn’t the smell of food burning or using the wrong ingredients.
The people were silent as they felt the strange smell that pricked their noses and saw the smoke that felt somewhat dreary.

“… I see.
It was that one.”

Since I was the only one expecting this, only I reacted calmly.


I walked through the smoke and checked the interior of the pot.
Inside the pot where I threw the flowers was such a mess that it seemed that a bomb had exploded.

“… What is this pot used for? Who uses it?”

When I looked at them with a strange eagerness, the servants immediately pointed to one person.
A maid who had stepped forward hesitantly replied.
It was a familiar face.

“I-I’m the one who uses it.
I’m using it to boil syrup for the desserts.”

I was silent for a moment, not answering right away.

“You said you were making syrup.”
“Y-Yes, Young Lady.
Is there something wrong…?”

The innocent look of not knowing anything she had on her face couldn’t be any more ridiculous.
I raised the corners of my mouth coldly, thinking about the kitchen maid who would have heated the pot at a high temperature to make syrup.

“Everyone was watching what I was doing.
You must have seen clearly that I did not bring any pots or take away any tableware.”
“Sorry? Yes… That is correct.
But why is there a problem…”

When the other employees were puzzled because they didn’t know the reason, only the butler who had stepped back came up in front of me and bowed his head.

Yeah, he was a quick-witted man at times like this.
He wasn’t in charge of being the duchy’s butler for decades for nothing.

“Young Lady, what is your command?”
“Butler.
Take that servant.”

He found out exactly why I had brought him here.

“The one who tried to assassinate the Duchess.”

***

I thought I would be furious if this happened.
But was it because it was something I had already guessed to some degree, or was it because my anger had reached its limit? Rather, my head had turned cold.

I spoke coldly to the shivering maid who was kneeling in front of me.

“I asked who made you use a lead pot to make the syrup for my mother’s dessert.”


The butler and kitchen employees, who were overwhelmed by the fact that the Viikos flowers had caused a strange reaction in only one pot, immediately called the knights when I accused the maid.

I had discovered a lead pot, so I inspected all the remaining utensils just in case, but that was the only thing related to lead.
It was obvious that it was only for my mother.
If wine was boiled to make syrup, how much lead would have dissolved at such high temperatures?

My mother didn’t like syrupy desserts so much that she would eat them every day.
But it was the best for killing people.
If you consume it steadily, in a way that isn’t noticeable… it will be enough to die from lead poisoning in a few years.
Lead poisoning, which was not a rare cause of death for noble women who used a lot of makeup.

“Y-Young Lady… I didn’t do that on purpose.”
“The fact that you can’t use cooking utensils made from lead must have been sufficiently taught to you when you entered the duchy.”
“That… I didn’t know this was made of lead.”

The maid trembled but did not immediately admit her guilt.
She also didn’t beg to be spared.
She opened her mouth a few times, but shut it immediately.

The fact that she only said that everything was a misunderstanding was definitely suspicious.
Even though she was trembling, she was overly calm for someone who had done something that almost killed the duchess of a noble family.

‘There’s something.
It’s suspicious.’

Realizing that, I glanced at the butler.
He seemed to be thinking the same as me.
I didn’t know about me, but the butler, who was loyal to my mother, shouted harshly and reprimanded the maid.

“It is deplorable that this person was allowed to work in the kitchen.
You are being brought here on charges of trying to murder the Duchess of Primrose!”
“W-What? I never intended to do that!”
“I can’t believe you’re denying it to the end.
Young Lady, will you allow me to interrogate this person with the knights?”

I nodded.

“Let me hear the truth from this person’s mouth at all costs.
The reason why she made syrup using a lead pot, not any other.
Or if there is someone behind her targeting the duchy!”
“I-I made a mistake.
I’ll tell you the truth!”

 

Only then did the maid quickly speak, as she stuck her head to the floor.
And then, with her final words, she threw a bomb.

“This pot was given to me by Lady Lilika!”

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