Chapter 43: They Were Officially Lovers

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Translated by lacusky.

Nora opened her eyes and realized that she was in bed.
She was instantly fascinated by the paintings of flowers on the ceiling, and when she looked around her, the furnishings were excessively overwhelming.
When she tried to sit up, she noticed a beautiful lady sitting at her side and smiling at her.

“You’re awake.
How do you feel?”

“Where am I?” She was in an unfamiliar room with an even more unfamiliar lady.
Utterly confused, she couldn’t make heads or tails of her situation.

“We’re at the royal castle.
You came here for the ball, don’t you remember?”

“I…do remember.”

She was taken out of the hall and thereafter unprecedentedly forced to vomit by Elias.
But the woman obviously wasn’t Elias, so who was she?

With her tangerine hair and matching chartreuse eyes, she looked like the epitome of beauty and elegance.
She was no doubt an upper-class nobility.

“I’m Andrea Melnes.
One of the queen candidates.” She briefly introduced herself as she gently placed a blanket over Nora’s shoulders.

Nora has heard of the Melnes before.
They were a family as prestigious as that of Marquis Callum’s.

Andrea was wearing an exquisite yellow dress with gorgeous lace sleeves.
Feeling like she had seen it somewhere before, she remembered that those were the exact sleeves of Elias’ secret lover.
And her name, Martina had said, was Andrea.

Did that mean that she was a candidate to be King Thorvard’s bride and that? How terrible, especially since Elias seemed close to King Thorvard.

So was he really using Nora as a cover? Or was he interested in a lower class nobility like Nora because he couldn’t have her?

In fact, putting Nora in the room of his beloved woman was void of tact and prudence.
The whole thing seemed complicated, but the lady was beautiful, well-endowed and the daughter of a marquis.
Frankly, if Nora were a man, she would choose Andrea.
This was a complete and utter defeat on her part.

Andrea smiled as she watched Nora.

“You must be really important to Elias.”

Nora didn’t quite get what she meant so she wrinkled her brows in confusion.

Did she mean I was an important cover?

“You were given a drug.”


“It was mixed with sleeping pills and wine, but it was definitely poison.”

Was that why he made her drink so much water and forced her to vomit?

“Then, is everything fine now?”

“They’re not too dumb as to use a fast-acting poison at His Majesty’s ball.
It was a slow-acting poison, but you’ll be fine because you already took the antidote.
But you might be a little out of sorts as a side effect.
In any case, the poison itself had already been purged from your body.”

“How did you know there was poison in it?”

“Well, Elias’ hobby is to taste-test stuff.”

Her addressing him using his first name was probably because Andrea was in fact his secret lover.
Indeed, she recalled, Elias’ expression had changed after he drank her remaining wine.

Was there poison in that glass?

As she mulled over it, a terrifying possibility suddenly occurred to her.

“This is terrible, Lady Melnes.
If there was poison in that wine, then Lady Lindell is also in danger.”

Nora had watched the waiter open the bottle of wine.
If there was poison in hers, then the lady would also be poisoned as she had also drunk it.

But Andrea’s expression darkened as she offered Nora a glass of water.

“Would you like to drink? Then have this, please.
Martina’s all right because Elias had seen her walking around in good shape.”

“But even if you knew what poison it was, you couldn’t have the antidote right away, could you?”

“Yes, but I brought one just in case.”

“And that’s a cure-all type?”

“Of course not.
There are many types, and the raw materials must be weighed and mixed accordingly.
But that’s what this room is for.”

Andrea’s slim and beautiful fingers pointed to a desk littered with many small bottles on top of it.
Certainly, it wasn’t a normal sight for a lady’s room.

“What’s this room for? And why would you prepare antidotes?”

“This room was prepared by His Majesty for my use.
Elias prepared the antidote here just in case.
Some of them are mine.
When Elias asked for a room for his perusal, His Majesty suggested having this arrangement so as not to arouse too much suspicion from others.”

What’s that about preparing an antidote in a queen candidate’s room? Also, is she insinuating that she’s in an official relationship with Elias? I really don’t get upper class nobilities.
Does that mean the bride and lover are two different people?!

And so, did he use Nora as his cover because he could abandon her any time? He had treated her so well, and even kept saying how much he liked her.

It was all a lie.

King Thorvard had said that Elias was besotted with Nora, but was that a lie after all?

I heard the upper-class nobility are well versed in the art of deception.
I guess I’ll never be able to understand what goes in their head after all.

“Thank you very much for your help.
I shall now take my leave and return to the hall.”

Andrea hurriedly urged her maid to help Nora as she got out of bed.

“Won’t you wait for Elias?” She asked but Nora didn’t reply.
For some reason, she hated hearing his name from Andrea’s lips.
She didn’t speak more with Andrea as she let her maid help her fix her messy hair and straighten her dress.

Nora let out a sigh as she left the room and walked down the hallway.

In the first place, why was she poisoned? Was Martina the target and she just got caught up in it? And why did Elias prepare in anticipation for that? If he knew she would be poisoned, he could have told her.

No, she was told to stay put and avoid talking to anyone.
It was Nora who broke her word.

But going through the trouble of preparing an antidote for a cover, she couldn’t tell if he did it out of diligence or mere leisure.

I don’t know anymore…

She knew that a maid was following her, probably instructed by Andrea, but she didn’t feel like making conversation.

Nora eventually returned to the venue of the ball in silence.

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