The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 64
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When Herietta opened her eyes again, she was lying on a bed.
Soft pillow. Cozy blanket. The faint scent of cotton tickled the tip of her nose.
Herietta, who was still in a dreamy state, blinked her eyes several times. Then, her blurry vision became clearer and clearer. As she turned her head and looked around, she saw the white wall surrounding the room and the high ceiling hanging over it.
‘Where am I?’
It was an unfamiliar place in Herietta’s memory. Is it because there were only a few pieces of furniture to fill the space? The size of the room seemed so large that it could not even be compared to hers. White sunlight shone through the half-rolled curtains.
Herietta tried to get up. But the pain soon came to her, and she cried out in pain and had to lie down again. It hurt as if her back had been torn. Moreover, it felt as if the tendons in her limbs had been cut off and her limbs trembled from the loss of strength.
What happened to me? Herietta thought. And then, with a click, the door opened and a woman stepped in.
“Oh. You’re finally awake.”
She found Herietta with her eyes wide open and walked over to her. Herietta, startled by the stranger’s appearance, tried to get up again, but the woman rushed and stopped her.
“Don’t get up. The wound hasn’t healed yet. If you move too quickly, the wounds that I painstakingly sutured might burst again.”
“Where… is here?”
Herietta confusedly asked. Maybe it’s because she hasn’t talked for a long time, but the voice that came out of her sounded hoarse.
“Who… are you?”
“I’ll give you something to drink first. You probably haven’t had a proper sip of water in days.”
Instead of answering Herietta’s questions, the woman supported her carefully and put three or four pillows behind her back. It was to help Herietta sit up to some extent without forcibly getting her body up.
“Here, keep drinking. It will help you feel refreshed.”
Noticing that Herietta didn’t even have the strength to hold the glass, she brought the glass closer to her lips. As she tilted the glass a little, the tepid liquid it contained spilled out and wet her dry lips and flowed into her mouth.
Herietta was weak in both mind and body. She wondered for a moment if what the woman had given her was poison, but she didn’t have the strength to think further.
Without any resistance, she gulped and drank what the woman gave.
When Herietta emptied the glass, the woman smiled. She spoke as if she were praising an immature little child.
The woman stood up to clean the empty glass. Herietta looked at her back.
In her simple blue dress, white apron, and even a thin bonnet, her attire seemed to belong to an impeccable maid. Nevertheless, her tone and actions looked elegant and classy, unlike ordinary maids.
Herietta was even more curious. Who owns this place? And who did she get help from?
Despite all that, she was certain of one thing. If someone owned a mansion with such a large room and would hire a maid of that level, they would certainly not be a typical person.
“Where… is here?”
Herietta asked again. Perhaps it was because her throat was quenched a little, a softer voice came out than before. Then the maid glanced back at her. It was only for a moment, but various emotions flashed across her face.
“Valputis. It is the capital of Velicia.”
Herietta’s eyes widened at the maid’s answer.
‘Valputis? The capital of Velicia?’
She had apparently lost consciousness near the border far from the capital, so Herietta thought at best she was in the area around it, so it was quite a surprise that she had ended up in the capital city. But if that were the case, how much time has passed since then?
“Then this is… ?”
The maid nodded while watching the very confused Herietta.
“This is the royal castle of Velicia.”
* * *
In the library, a man was sitting in front of a desk. Although he was very young, he had an unusual atmosphere.
The room was absolutely silent. Tick tock. The only regular sound was the ticking of the clock on the wall. The man who was looking forward with his elbows crossed on the desk opened his mouth and asked,
“She woke up?”
“Yes. She woke up around eleven today.”
Another man standing in front of him responded politely. Silver armor and a red cloak. The long sword fastened to his waist indicated that he was a knight.
“She didn’t die.”
The man grinned and muttered.
He remembered a woman who showed a strong desire for something even though she was standing at the crossroads of life and death. Even when she was precariously close to dying, she had a strong will to not lose to anyone.
‘Did she say Philioche?’
Looking back, it was a very unfamiliar name. He thought he had memorized all the names of Velicia and most of the places in Brimdel. But now that he sees it, it seems that he was wrong.
“So, what’s her name?”
He asked the knight standing in front of him. The knight slightly bowed and answered,
“Her name is Herietta.”
Hearing the knight’s answer, the man frowned.
Just as he thought over the word Phlioche, he thought over the name Herietta once again. An unfamiliar, unknown name to him.
“It’s different from the Princess of Brimdel’s name.”
“Unfortunately… I don’t think it’s the same person.”
The knight nodded and answered. The knight’s face was quite complicated. However, the man who should have been affected more than that just made an indifferent expression.
The man who had been contemplating something suddenly got up from his seat.
“Where are you going?”
As the man strode towards the door without saying a word, the knight asked. As far as he knew, his master had nothing else planned for today.
The attendant, who was standing by the door, pulled out the man’s robe that was hung on the hanger and approached him. However, the man waved his hand to signify that it was not needed. His mother made it for him as a robe so he had to wear it, but he didn’t like the clothes with jewel buttons.
“The princess of Brimdel was a woman who almost would have become my wife, even if it ended without us seeing each other. And the only one who knows what her end was like is that woman lying on the bed now.”
“… Are you sure you’re going to question her?”
She’s still not in good shape, you know? He didn’t dare spit it out, but the knight’s eyes were saying so.
The man was mostly laid back, but sometimes, he was as impatient as he was today. Thanks to that, the knight was often confused about him even though he had been by the man’s side for a long time.
The man picked up a gray cloak with a simple design over the flashy outerwear. Then he draped it roughly over his shoulder.
“Rather than that, let’s call it a visit.”
Bernard, the second son of King Velicia and the only prince of the royal family, replied with a strange smile.
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