How to Survive as the Wife of the Monster Duke - Chapter 112
The basement jail in Biflten Mansion was Delrose territory. The statement of that – who punished the criminals – showed who the master of the mansion was.
Standing as the Duke of Winter, Aden wore an ornate, hooded robe to hide his face. He hated having to wear it, but it was a necessary practice to safeguard his identity, and he’d come to the jail with no intention of revealing himself.
“The Grandmaster wore a fancy robe to meet us, eh?” called one of the assassins.
So much for that. With no more need for the ruse, Aden pulled back his hood.
“Really is the same man,” said another
“We’ve been fooled!” cried a third, dripping with sarcasm.
The jail was well-kept – Aden didn’t care for the idea of inspiring fear with a dank, filthy jail. Nor did it host any implements of torture. Was that what made the assassins so bold? That they mistook him for a merciful man?
He shed the robe and handed it off to Idith, who bowed and stood to the side.
The other families’ territories had jails of their own, and all had torture tools in their interrogation rooms except for Blue Nos, who kept torture and interrogation separate. Only Delrose eschewed the tools of torture altogether.
“Fearful Master, did you get married in that robe?”
But Aden didn’t need torture to teach respect. He opened his hand with a simple motion, the blue light of divine power already growing. Idith, who knew that light, blinked uncomfortably. The assassins, however, babbled on.
“The bride at your wedding….”
The words were cut off suddenly when the man uttering them froze.
“You forgot how you were caught,” Aden said slowly. He pointed at the frozen man.
‘With your hands tied, you’ve no more chances to kill yourselves. And you will freeze before you can bite your tongue. So, I hope for your cooperation.”
Silence fell in the room. Not recognizing the light of the divine power meant they were certainly not Delrose. But they knew the Grandmaster and Aden were one and the same. That meant they had at least some connection to the three elders. No one else outside Delrose knew.
Aden smiled. Had they really thought it would succeed? And had they not appreciated the gamble they were taking? The mere act of sending the assassins, of directing them to the proper target, showed one of them was behind it.
It seemed too obvious a suspicion. But who else would even think of touching Biflten’s master?
“I only want to know one thing,” he said.
Away from Ilyin, he was always the Duke of Winter. This was the face Idith knew, so different from the soft face he wore around Ilyin.
“What family are you part of?”
He scratched his chin thoughtfully.
“Our schedule in the warm region changed unexpectedly, yet you found us.”
Viscountess Arlen’s funeral in the warm region had been a surprise. Had they not known about that change, there was no way the assassins could have found their way to him. Which meant someone had told them.
If not for Rippo de Mille, he’d have had many more possibilities to consider. This would have all taken longer. But now, with what she’d revealed, it would be easier . . . and faster.
“How did you know our schedule for your attack?”
Who could have told them about the Viscountess’s funeral in time for them to change their plan? Was there truly an oracle among the Yesters?
“Will one of you answer?”
All three did, but the crude jeers they gave as replies were not the answer the Master of Winter was looking for. The blue light flashed again.
“There are two mouths left to answer,” he said coldly.
When his bride first came from the warm region a few months ago, rumor said the Duke of Winter had melted. The assassins were learning swiftly that rumor had been false.
It didn’t take long at all for Aden to get his answer.
Hailing from the warm region, Ilyin hadn’t considered how hard sand was to get in Biflten. There might well be some waiting in the ground, but it would mean digging through a mass of snow to find it. The snow around the mansion itself was cleared, of course, to make for easy travel within the wall, but there was no sand to be found there.
The Delrose maids debated whether they should seek it in the mansion’s flower garden, or whether the training ground for the Delrose knights might offer any. But as they debated, Ilyin realized her error.
“Ah,” she said, “oh no.”
She stood up from her chair by the window. Etra, surprised, rushed to her.
“Is there something else you need, ma’am?” she asked.
“No, I… I made a mistake,” Ilyin said.
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