Regarding the existence of the historical archive, it appeared to be an open secret within the royal palace.
It was said to be reached by climbing the stairs in the deepest corner of the royal palace library; and that it had special documents relating to the history and politics of this country. In particular, there seemed to be very sensitive documents that would never be made public. On one hand, it was an extremely precious mountain of treasure on the knowledge of this country, but if used poorly by the current ruler, it could be a terrible poison that would drive the country into a predicament. That was why the people at the top of the country hid its actual existence, or at least those were the rumors.
If she went there, she would be able to know the truth about the past of the previous saints.
Rono’s words were brought back over and over again in Yuna’s mind.
If his words were true, then to Yuna that place would be just what she wanted. It would have been suspicious if she borrowed Celiastina’s appearance and went around asking this and that from everyone, but there was no need to be concerned if she was consulting books and she would be able to acquire as much knowledge as she wished.
Linus knew Yuna’s circumstances and he would be well-informed about the past saints and about Celiastina. However, she couldn’t help but feel nervous at going to visit him. Although he helped during the signature matter, they still had not talked enough about her relation to Celiastina. If that subject was brought up and a distance was placed between them again then–. The blade of words that had struck her once, couldn’t be immediately forgotten even after leaving.
If that was the case, then she should head to the historical archive without hesitation. Her own voice sounded awfully distant when she declared that. That Yuna wasn’t able to move immediately and follow her own words was because there was still hesitation inside her.
Yuna, who was sprawled over her room’s sofa, pulled a cushion towards herself and trapped it against her chest.
–She was afraid to learn about Celiastina.
Her conversation with Rono had made her notice it clearly. Inside Yuna, there was an indistinct and faint uneasiness. It was just like he said. She was afraid to feel the truth of how Celiastina was not an existence in a painting or in a dream.
(Why do I feel that way?)
It wasn’t like that at the beginning. She had simply wanted to know the reason as to why Celiastina ended her own life. What happened to her? What had she been thinking? Even now, it wasn’t like those feelings of wanting to know had disappeared completely. But a vague terror bound Yuna’s feet to the ground.
(Am I feeling scared, at this point in time, of feeling that this body isn’t mine?)
–That might be it.
(I like the daily life I’m living in this body. I want to stay here more, be with everyone, and experience more things.)
Before she knew it, that desire had been nurtured greatly within her. If it became even larger then sooner or later– would she think about wanting to take over this body… Celiastina’s life?
(If that happens, then it’d be exactly like what Linus said.)
That he could only think that she was taking over Celiastina’s life.
Before, the moment he said those words clearly from his mouth, she was able to strongly oppose it. But now…
Yuna sat up with a lot of force and shook her head to change her thoughts somehow.
At any rate, she should try going to the historical archive once.
Everything else would be after that. She didn’t want to stay cooped up in her room doing nothing but worrying. Keep moving, that thought was something Yuna never wanted to change.
Now then, how was she to enter the historical archive? Because it was a place the royal palace tried to hide, she was sure that she couldn’t just enter it normally.
As for a person she could depend on at a time like this… there was only one person who came to Yuna’s mind. No one other than him. –Alright. Standing up from the sofa, Yuna clenched her fist.
Tap-tap, the dry sound of her knock was sucked into the thick door. The solid double door had an appearance which stated that a person of status was in this place. The door to Celiastina’s room was also very fine and elegant but, maybe because it was for a lady, it was somewhat softer compared to this door. Standing in front of this tall door, her nervousness increased whether she wanted it to or not.
“Please wait a moment.”
She heard Asyut’s reply from inside. Guessing from his voice, Yuna wondered if he knew that she had turned up here. While wondering this, the door opened and Asyut appeared.
“Please, come in.”
“Ah, mm. Thank you.”
When she saw how he didn’t look surprised at all, she decided that he probably knew. She had confirmed with Nasha that Asyut was free at this time, so a message might have went to him after that.
In any case, because of the incident about Neisan the other day, Yuna had withdrawn with uncomfortable feelings but there was no hint of that in Asyut’s appearance.
Asyut’s office, which she entered for the first time, was a moderately large and functional space where he could do work facing a desk. The desk and shelves, which were based around the color brown, were packed with documents that Yuna could not possibly understand. When she thought about how he glanced through these documents every day and gave instructions, she felt overwhelmed despite it being someone else’s affairs.
“I apologize for the mess.”
“No, I’m the one who’s sorry for intruding on you when you’re busy.”
She sat down on the offered sofa. While thinking it would be rude, Yuna unintentionally observed the room. Asyut always did his work in this room. Feeling like she was able to faintly touch a side of Asyut, who she knew nothing about, Yuna was happy.
But, at any rate, this room reflected its owner’s personality exactly how it was. Apart from a large decorative plant, there was no other thing in this room that made it look lived in. There may be some, but they weren’t put in a place where she could immediately see them. The documents stacked on the desk were arranged beautifully in the corner and she was not given a cluttered impression.
“Now then, is something the matter? Did something occur with Neisan…”
Upon hearing Asyut’s voice from the other side where he was sitting, Yuna hurriedly returned her wandering gaze to him.
“Oh no, that’s not it. There aren’t any problems with that.”
As of yet, was what she added in her mind.
“Um, you see, I heard that there is a “historical archive”.”
“… The historical archive?”
Yuna felt flustered and wondered if its existence really was just rumors when she saw Asyut murmur in puzzlement.
“Once again, those are some unexpected words.”
“There isn’t one? Is there no room like that?”
“No, the historical archive exists. Only…”
Her sigh of relief lasted only a moment, because Asyut’s expression was still not clear.
“That place is a location within the royal palace where the most important classified information is kept, and those without permission are completely forbidden to enter. It is that kind of place… Do you happen to have business there?”
As expected of Asyut, he went straight to the point. Yuna nodded.
“A bit. It’s a part of my studies.”
“If you are studying, then I can prepare documents here that would better suit you, Lady Celiastina.”
“Hmm, but… how should I say this… I want to learn a bit more about all the details in history, something like that.”
“All the details in history? For what reason?”
If he asked like that, she was at a loss for an answer. But she couldn’t withdraw at this point because she was the one who brought this up.
“I don’t know anything about the history of the saints. I heard that the historical archive has documents that are quite detailed and so my interest was piqued.”
Asyut’s silence was still terrifying.
“Incidentally, where did you learn about the historical archive?”
“Um, someone told me.”
Asyut’s gaze demanded her to continue. She wondered if she should give a concrete name.
“… Are you going to punish the person who told me?”
“I will not do such a thing. Simply, it is not a place that would come up ordinarily, and so I am curious as to what kind of person gave you that advice.”
She thought to dodge the question but under Asyut’s intent stare she didn’t feel like she could get away with it.
“Umm, just someone I met by chance. I don’t know many details about him, but he told me his name was Rono.”
Asyut’s eyes widened, as if he had just heard the most unbelievable thing ever. Even Yuna was taken aback by his surprise.
“Do you know him?”
“… How did he introduce himself to you?”
“Uh, he said he was an old man who strolls a lot in the royal palace. That’s all.”
“… Is that so.”
Good grief, Asyut sighed.
“Then, the next time you meet him, please allow me to ask you in detail. I will overlook your movements.”
Hearing him say that made her curious and she wanted to inquire more about it, but Asyut looked like he had already turned his focus back to the historical archive and so Yuna could only keep her mouth closed.
“Although it is called the historical archive the documents are not organized or stored neatly like ordinary libraries. Assuming there are documents you wish to search for, I do not believe you will be able to do it alone.”
“I don’t have a particular document I’m looking for. I was just thinking that it’d be nice to look at different things.”
“Is that so.”
For an instant, Asyut had a hesitant expression. But he immediately collected himself and gave a nod.
“Understood. Since you have an interest, it might be good to visit that place at least once. If you do not mind, I shall accompany you. Would you have the time if I were to guide you there after this?”
Yuna leaned back and shook her head at Asyut’s unexpected proposal.
“Eh, no, it’s fine! You’re the one who’s busy, right, Asyut? Um, of course, I’m happy you’re giving me permission but I can find another person to come with me, like Aeneas or Neisan or someone.”
When she gave those names that came to her mind as examples, Asyut sent her a sharp look.
Yuna immediately felt regret upon giving out that bad name.
“Please do not take Neisan with you to a place where you two will be alone together. A place like the historical archive is unreasonable. Do you understand?”
At her ambiguous answer, the look in Asyut’s eyes became even sterner. Yuna inadvertently moved her eyes away out of fear and discomfort. A faint sigh reached her ears at that moment.
“In any case, those people cannot enter the historical archive. There isn’t a problem with your status, Lady Celiastina, but I am concerned with you entering by yourself and having to make speculations. It is best that I guide you still.”
“Is it that complicated of a place?”
“I have also just reached a point where I can pause in my work. Now then, shall we depart?”
The historical archive was on the second floor of the royal palace’s library. The royal palace library was situated on massive grounds in the north side and it was a place that Yuna had never visited.
The royal palace library, which she was visiting for the first time, had a serious atmosphere that made her unable to enter easily. The large building was supported by thick pillars that were mixed with two colors, white and jade. It had a beautiful appearance. If these pillars had been made out of wood then the wood would have surely been hundreds of years old and carrying a solemn air. There were two muscular-looking guards standing at the entrance to the building who didn’t move, as if they were imitating sculptures of ancient soldiers.
Inside the building, it was pleasantly cool and dim. Tall bookshelves were lined up in a row, as if hanging over them and rejecting those who came to visit who weren’t qualified. There were no others and, as the two of them walked, the inorganic sound of their shoes was the only sound that echoed. That sound reached the ceiling before seeming to be sucked away, which made Yuna unconsciously look up. Even the atrium of the second floor was overflowing with lined up books and it was as if the building took a breath to observe these sudden visitors.
“Do people not come here?”
Yuna asked in a voice that had gone quiet.
“Yes. There are those who just pick up books, but since this is a library with only specialized books, those who come are mainly scholars doing research. There is another smaller-sized library in the west side of the royal palace and most people seem to go there. The west side library allows not just those in the royal palace but also ordinary citizens and so it is somewhat lively.”
On that subject, Yuna knew of one more other library. Actually, Yuna had even visited that place many times before. Various books were supplied, ranging from things children could enjoy to slightly difficult ones for those who were intellectually inclined. Being the only building within the royal palace that ordinary citizens were able to enter, it was very popular among the people. When Yuna had also been a commoner, just being in that place made her feel as if she was a bit of a noble. And now that she was able to quietly enter a library which wasn’t open to anyone who wasn’t a real noble she felt that fate was such a strange thing.
“We will be ascending the stairs.”
She thought they were about to climb the noticeably large staircase but, contrary to expectations, Asyut moved deeper into the side where there were small stairs. It was a small and lonely staircase, as if used for those who managed this place. The width was only enough for one person to pass and, as Yuna looked up at Asyut who continued up the stairs without hesitation, she followed quietly.
What appeared at the top of the staircase was a simple and small door. However, Yuna was surprised to see a disproportionately large and sturdy lock on it. Asyut took out a key from his breast pocket and nimbly put it to the lock. Before long, and with a grave sound, the lock opened. When the door opened there was another door behind it. However, this time, rather than a door it would be more correct to describe it as bars. They were also similarly locked.
As Asyut opened the second lock, Yuna observed the interior of the room past the bars. Exactly as Asyut said a while ago, it seemed like there were many documents casually put away on the shelves. It was a much smaller room than she expected and there were only three windows opposite to the entrance that were small enough for only an arm or book to pass through. Each one also had bars fitted on them and it made Yuna think of a prison.
“Thank you for waiting. Please, enter.”
At Asyut’s invitation, she entered the room. Because the windows were so small, the sunlight wasn’t enough and the entire room was quite dim. However, there wasn’t anything to act as a light that she could see and so Yuna turned her eyes to Asyut. Asyut, who immediately understood Yuna’s question, shook his head.
“The entire library is like this, but in this room it is especially forbidden to have anything flammable. Primarily, the guards at the entrance to the library would do a physical examination and forbid anyone who is carrying tools to make a fire from entering. The same is true when someone leaves the library and they will arrest anyone who tries to bring out materials without notification. In principle, you are free to come and go to places apart from the document rooms, but this place is one that the country is quite attendant about.”
“Then, we can’t have any light in here?”
“Yes. As there is a certain degree of light coming in from the windows, I am afraid we can only use that light.”
Everything was so thorough that Yuna was shocked. Yuna approached the small windows and opened her eyes wide when she saw the “length” of their depth. However thick the wall was, the depth of the windows were easily the length, or more, of a long sword.
“That is to prevent documents from being taken out through the window.”
There were bars on her side and on the other side.
“Nevertheless, the majority of the documents here are duplications. The originals are kept somewhere else… Now, what do you wish to do? What kind of documents would you like?”
“Umm… where to start…”
Yuna faced the bookshelves while feeling lost. She casually looked at the documents within reach but she was unable to understand what was written on the bundle of papers that was closely packed with fine letters.
“Would this suffice? It is a simple collection of the history of the previous saints.”
Asyut offered help to Yuna, who was staring at the documents in a daze. Yes, that was exactly what she was looking for. Yuna joyfully leapt to the book that Asyut held out, but when she noticed that he had an even sterner expression than usual she reflexively drew her hand back.
“Lady Celiastina, I believe you are already aware, but these materials have not been publicly disclosed. They are lined with truths that you haven’t known up until now. Knowing this… are you certain? I think it is better that you do not know. Or…”
Yuna looked at Asyut firmly and shook her head.
After they stared at each other in silence for a while, Asyut quietly lowered his eyes. He didn’t say anything further and handed over the book.
Receiving it, Yuna flipped through the pages. Indeed, it seemed like the history of the saints up to now were recorded here. Previously, in the record of saints that she looked at in her room, it wrote about the saints from a thousand years ago in a fanatic way, but glancing at the entries in this book she could only see around ten people. Did that mean this book completely excluded the saints that only appeared in legends?
It appeared that her thoughts weren’t wrong. On the oldest saint, the details of her birthplace and age at death were written down. It was close to the present and practical, but it wrote about the history of the saints in detail.
And its contents were shocking.
It contained the personal history of the saints, the date they arrived at the royal palace, and their lives at the royal palace. It also had things like the passage of their illnesses, their reason for death, etc. Amongst those, Yuna became rooted to the spot at their medical history.
Most of them fell emotionally and spiritually ill.
There were five saints who reached the condition of being bedridden. There were three saints who refused food and wasted away. There were those who were struck with anxieties by ceremonial occasions and did not leave their room, and there were those who smiled and acted bright and full of courtesy only in public. There were many saints with multiple conditions and there were few, if any, saints who kept healthy.
The previous saint, Malveneska, was also an example. It looked like she had been depressed for a long time, but when her husband died young due to illness, thereafter she started to frequently self-harm. Furthermore, she did not accept food and, although her body was slender to begin with, before she died she had the same weight as a ten-year-old child. In the end, it appeared like she died from a widespread illness, but there must have been a large relation to how she lost the power to resist through mind and body.
Clenching her hands around the book, Yuna unconsciously murmured this. But she didn’t continue with any other words.
“What is written there is only a part of the truth hidden in the shadows of history. The glamorous-looking life the saints live is actually quite demanding. Surely, you know this as well. Even if one is blessed materially, that alone will not give a peace of mind.”
Asyut stated this quietly with a hint of pain. The meaning of those words was conveyed to Yuna to a painful extent. –That’s right, she also suffered. Hadn’t she become sick of the ceremonies which continued day after day after just a little while? She had thought that if this were to continue every day she’d lose her mind. And that’s exactly what happened. She could understand just from thinking about it. Being separated from their parents at a young age and then brought up and treated as the personification of God. Their schedule for tomorrow and for several years after, even their future marriage partner– yes, until their death, they were forced to live having all their affairs decided for them by other people. Was the fact that one’s life was simply to be a symbol for others that heavy and painful of a thing? It must have been very difficult to find daily happiness and a reason to live in such circumstances.
“That’s right… it hurts, huh. It really hurts.”
“The First Holy Knight, like me, has it better in comparison. Being the saint’s fiancé is decided when you are a child but, having said that, you receive an education that is equal to a common noble and you are able to live a similar life. Once you become an adult, you are given the authority to participate in politics and the meaningful job of guiding this country. Even after marriage, you are able to have as many concubines serve you as you wish. However, the saint cannot be like that. The freedom granted to them is only a mere amount. In that situation, I believe it would be hard to maintain one’s self.”
Yuna looked down at the last entry in the book. Celiastina’s name was not there.
“… I… How was I?”
Looking down, she mumbled that as if speaking to herself. The existence of the unrecorded Celiastina. That is to say, even now at this very moment, her suffering continued. She wasn’t a person in the past.
Asyut pressed his lips together but only for an instant and then, after a slight hesitation, he faced Yuna as if he had made a resolution.
“I still remember very well the moment you came to this royal palace for the first time, Lady Celiastina. When I saw you, I thought that you were beautiful but lacked any amiability.”
It was the first time she was hearing Asyut talk about how he saw the past Celiastina.
“However, I quickly thought that this was unavoidable. This young lady, who lived a life in a town, was suddenly sought after one day as the “saint” and was brought to the royal palace without knowing anything. In such circumstances, it is impossible to ask someone to act friendly to their surroundings. You had a tendency of directing a strong distrust to those around you, but as the days passed you gradually started to open up to the maids who accompanied you and I thought time would open your heart.”
“I got along with other people?”
“As soon as you were brought in, perhaps because you were irritated, you always glared at everyone and didn’t talk to anyone. But as the maids attended to you patiently, Lady Celiastina, you started to exchange idle chatter with them. You also started to accept the saint education that you had refused at the beginning and, little by little, you even attended the ceremonies. But then…”
At that point, Asyut spoke evasively.
“The peaceful-looking life did not last many years. Once again, you gradually started to keep yourself at a distance from others. Perhaps the largest sign was when you suddenly dismissed all the people who attended to you. And then you began to frequently speak and act in such a way as to hurt the servants. That rapidly escalated to where you didn’t even mind ordering their deaths.”
“The Holy Jail was also one such action. There are countless people who lost their lives to your orders, Lady Celiastina. You became a being that was feared by everyone.”
“Why did it become like that?”
“I do not know. Most likely, even now, no one knows. However, there certainly seemed to be a strange point and, pursuing that, I asked you about it, Lady Celiastina. And then…”
Unconsciously, Yuna urged him to continue. At that moment, she noticed that Asyut’s face looked as if the blood had drained from it and Yuna’s breath caught.
Asyut raised his right hand to his head and bent his head down slightly. Even in the dim light she could see that his hand was trembling.
“Asyut, I’m sorry, I made you remember something awful. It’s fine, thank you. All I do is ask people about things and I haven’t tried to find anything out on my own.”
“No, that’s not it. You haven’t done anything wrong. It’s just that I’m still…”
“It’s fine, it’s fine so–“
Yuna instinctively reached out to Asyut. She didn’t think about how that would work out. Instead, thinking on it calmly, she should have known that it would be even more of a burden on him if she approached him when she was the source of his distress. But Yuna was unable to stay calm. When Asyut grabbed both her hands to stand up, that was when she thought about this and hurriedly tried to get away. However, unexpectedly, Asyut didn’t release Yuna’s hands. Gripping both her hands tightly, he repeatedly took in deep breaths.
“Why? Why did you appear here in this form?”
“Huh? I didn’t hear you.”
“Why do you have to be a Lady Celiastina who lost her memories.”
While calling his name, Yuna wanted to cry. Asyut’s words, which she faintly heard when he gasped them out, made her dizzy. No, look at me, I’m a completely different person. I’m not Celiastina.
–No, she couldn’t let herself be taken in by those thoughts. She mustn’t.
Yuna swallowed those words which nearly came out.
“Asyut, I’m sorry I made you talk. Calm down. It’s really okay. You can talk about it when you feel like talking about it, okay?”
It was at the end, when Asyut expelled a heavy breath, that he released Yuna’s hands which he had been holding. He nodded without any strength and then leaned back against the desk right behind him, as if he were sitting down on it.
“… I apologize.”
“Don’t worry. I’m sorry too. I’m really sorry for having you come with me to this place.”
“There are no materials yet about you in this room, Lady Celiastina. Because you are not part of the past.”
“If you think about it that way, you’re right. I’m right here, aren’t I.”
Yuna smiled, but Asyut’s grim look didn’t collapse.
“… In regards to you… there are other documents I would like you to see.”
“Documents you’d like me to see?”
Yes, Asyut nodded.
“However, they are not here and so I shall have them delivered to your room later… I am still unable to tell you everything directly, but if this helps even a little…”
She wondered what documents he wanted her to see. Yuna wanted to ask about it here, but when she looked at how shaken Asyut was just now she put an end to those feelings. To Asyut, the events at that time were a deep wound that had not healed yet. If just remembering it caused him such pain then she didn’t want to force him to talk about it. But what she was clear about now was that “something” happened in the past between Celiastina and Asyut.
(And it’s something that makes Asyut lose his composure.)
In that case.
(It must be considerably painful for him to face me alone like this. There is no way someone can be calm in front of the main cause. And yet, he’s continued to endure it up until now.)
She was a complete outsider. She didn’t know anything about the deepest part of this problem.
(I wondered what happened… between these two.)
Right now, the person who was in the closest and most distant place to Celiastina, was Yuna.
By the time she returned to her room again the sun was already sinking.
It was almost time for her last ceremony today to start. She should have been making preparations to leave her room, but she was idly watching the sunset until she noticed a knock and closed the window.
“Excuse me for interrupting your rest.”
The person who entered was Aeneas with a slightly dark expression.
“Aeneas, is something wrong?”
“Um, please excuse my rudeness this morning. I was being intrusive.”
This morning? Yuna tilted her head. But then she immediately remembered what Aeneas was talking about. He meant the things he said during their walk in the gardens. Today was so hectic that she suddenly couldn’t believe those events just happened this morning.
“Also, here. I was entrusted with this by Lord Asyut.”
Aeneas held out a book in his hand that had a black cover. Looking at it, the title was “The Record of Congratulations and Condolences”. If Asyut sent this over, that meant it was the document that he wanted her to see.
“A ten year list of the celebrations and deaths of those who are connected to the royal palace. All he said was to hand this over to you, Lady Celiastina.”
Yuna thumbed through the book, flipping the pages. There was a catalogue of the date, names, and contents of those who died.
(Why did he give this to me?)
Yuna looked down at the pages while feeling puzzled. At first glance it didn’t seem like the usual record. However, if Asyut went out of his way to prepare this, then there was certainly something hidden somewhere. Yuna lowered herself onto the sofa and once again followed the order of entries. Somehow she managed to overcome her inclination to skip sentences and continued to patiently read the record.
Finally, the onset of discomfort arrived. From several years ago to now, the records of funerals suddenly increased. In other words, in that year, there was a surge of deaths of those connected to the royal palace. That year was–.
(The year that Celiastina arrived at the royal palace.)
Yuna’s brows drew together. There were many entries of “capital punishment” lined up. She didn’t need to think about who passed down those orders.
Why did it become like this? Yuna thought about Celiastina and lowered her eyes. Was she satisfied with being able to easily extinguish a person’s life with just one word? Did she have no regrets? –No, she must have had regrets. And that was why she chose to end her own life at the end. However, why was she unable to choose another path before it became like that? There must have been many possibilities, even if they were neglected and weak lights that had been abandoned. If she had just picked up any one of them, then everything might have been different.
“Is there something the matter with that record?”
Unable to stand being silent on Yuna’s brooding expression, Aeneas softly called out.
“… Aeneas, you know too, don’t you. That I’ve executed many people.”
She felt like she could hear Aeneas’ breath catch.
“The record of that time is left clearly here… Why did I keep on taking people’s lives over and over again?”
Celiastina, who was brought to the royal palace suddenly at the age of fourteen. Kept away from those she was close to, she was deprived of the future she might have imagined. Every day was a repeating monotony and she found herself rapidly being deified. Did all these things pile up and break her? While other saints confined it within themselves, Celiastina started to attack the outside and could not stop– in the end, turning the blade onto herself?
Yuna dropped her eyes to the record book again. This practical record, which showed no emotion, boldly put up Celiastina’s sins.
There was a sudden surge of deaths of the royal palace staff in the year when Celiastina entered the royal palace.
Yuna felt a strangeness at this fact.
According to Asyut, when Celiastina arrived at the royal palace she passed her time quietly at first, didn’t she? On the contrary, she even began to open up to the maids close to her.
“Aeneas, did I start executing people the moment I came here?”
“Why are you asking about such a thing?… In the first place, why did Lord Asyut prepare such a thing at this point in time?”
Aeneas’ voice became somewhat lower.
“Please, tell me. It’s very important.”
Aeneas’ expression was stiff, as if he were thinking that Asyut was insinuating something by preparing this record book for Yuna. But she didn’t have the leisure to correct that misunderstanding.
“Tell me, Aeneas. I want to know no matter what.”
In the end, Aeneas lost to Yuna’s fierce look and did not pursue that any further. Perhaps because he was dredging up accounts, his gaze wandered.
“… If I am not mistaken, I do not believe you did those things immediately when you arrived at the royal palace. They probably started to happen after two years had passed.”
Two years. Yuna was surprised by how it was a longer time than she thought. Then, what exactly happened to those people who died before that time?
(What does this mean?)
She checked the list again and looked at those who died in the two years that Celiastina arrived at the royal palace. There were no entries of “capital punishment”.
(Celiastina didn’t order them to be executed!)
She was stunned by that truth.
–Irufis Griole, maid, died due to uzirix disease. Age, 20 years old.
–Millias Haileska, maid, died due to falling from the east tower. Age, 17 years old.
–Sonia Ravine, royal palace teacher, died due to poisoning. Age, 48 years old.
–Paul Olga, royal palace cook, died due to falling down stairs. Age, 46 years old.
–Nadio Vidios, nun, died due to a heart attack. Age, 16 years old.
These were all the deaths that one could roughly say were unnatural in the first year. Everyone who died was still young. Moreover, they were people in positions which wouldn’t be strange to have some kind of connection with Celiastina. However, as far as the deaths were concerned, it was hard to think that Celiastina was involved in all these deaths.
(Celiastina didn’t kill them. But could there be some kind of connection somewhere?)
She was certain that Asyut also noticed this strangeness. The question that he asked Celiastina might have been about this matter.
(And then, after that, the event that traumatized Asyut happened.)
Maybe it was dangerous to connect everything together like this? There was nothing to support it. But…
“Aeneas, ever since I came here, people have been dying often, haven’t they? Um, in those two years too.”
Aeneas lowered his eyes, seeming to think a little, but then he shook his head to say that he didn’t know.
“I apologize. At that time, I was ignorant to the conditions at the royal palace,and so I do not know much about such events.”
That made sense. They were talking about things that happened four to five years ago. The people who would know, in detail, the circumstances at the royal palace were probably few in number.
Celiastina arrived at the palace and soon impossible deaths started to increase. And then her merciless orders began. Then the incident that befell Asyut and then Celiastina’s attempted suicide.
(There must have been something that happened to become the cause of everything. Knowing that, I might be able to get closer to Celiastina.)
Who was the person who would know these?
The answer was found immediately. She couldn’t continue to run away due to a personal awkwardness. In the end, it was impossible to avoid.
She would go and see Linus. And then she would talk to him.