Can't Come Back - Chapter 42
They both exhaled heavily.
Their impassioned relationship had come to an end. Cain, upon recovering his sanity, recalled that Berlia was expectant. He opened his mouth quickly to apologize to her.
“I’m sorry, Berlia, I didn’t mean to be so harsh considering you’re pregnant.”
“No, it’s alright. If it had been excessive, I would have spoken up. I also… thoroughly loved it.”
Berlia bowed profoundly with her head. Cain lifted her face gingerly to meet his gaze.
“I do not understand why I lose control when I see you. You are the only person who makes me excited, Berlia.”
“Do not be overly concerned with the marriage proposal. I could never give my heart to another woman.”
He gave Berlia a brief peck on the cheek.
“I trust you, Cain.”
Berlia displayed a cheerful expression. He was always able to calm her heart whenever she felt apprehensive. She desired to be with him forever, regardless of the difficulties they would face.
* * *
Riley departed the mansion in secret during the night when everyone was asleep and the mansion was quiet. She was unable to allow anyone to see her departing the house. Riley proceeded directly to a moist alley on the opposite side of the busy district. She scanned the area nervously while entirely draped in black fabric.
She said that it would be nearby.
According to her source, there was a pharmacy on this corner of the passageway. Riley eventually located the pharmacy after a few failed attempts to locate it. She unlocked the old door and entered.
An elderly woman with forehead creases greeted her as she entered the building. Riley provided the required information.
“I heard poison could be obtained here,”
When the elderly woman heard Riley’s words, she frowned and turned her head to the side.
“I no longer do that. It would be better if you left.”
But Riley, on the verge of leaving, turned back. She looked at the elderly woman with a defiant expression.
“I know you sold it not long ago. You should give it to me. I will inform the officers that you have sold poison. Certainly not if you sell it to me.”
The elderly woman exhaled upon hearing her words. The young woman in front of her did not appear willing to back down.
“I had every intention of operating an honest pharmacy, but things keep getting complicated…”
The elderly woman reluctantly extracted from the corner a small glass bottle containing a clear liquid and delivered it to her.
“The toxicity is derived from the Madiana flower. 1 gold. There’s no next time after this.”
Riley grabbed the bottle of poison, dropped a gold and asked in a sharp tone,
“How much should I use?”
“What are you going to use it for?”
“I have no intention of harming the mother. I only need enough to remove the infant from her womb.”
“Oh my heavens… If half of the contents of that bottle were consumed, it could kill a strong man. If this is the case, you should use less than half of the poison contained in the vial.”
“How much is that?”
“…Ten drops should suffice.”
Upon hearing the remarks of the elderly woman, Riley looked down at the bottle she was holding.
‘Ten droplets… This will allow me to become the duke’s mother.’
“…I promise that I won’t tell the guards.”
After uttering these words, Riley exited the pharmacy immediately. Alone, the elderly lady clicked her tongue and murmured to herself.
“Tsk… I have no idea who she is, but I should pray for her protection… Why are all teenage women today acting this way? They are all pregnant and ask for illegal abortion drugs or attempt to poison someone else’s child… It’s time for me to leave my job.”
The elderly woman closed the pharmacy’s door while striking her bowed back with her fist.
* * *
“Then, have a safe trip, Madame.”
“I will, Betty.”
It had been several days since the 300th anniversary banquet. Today was the date of the tea soiree that Cadelline hosted. Berlia had departed the residence in order to attend the tea party.
Riley observed from a distance as she entered the conveyance.
‘I too could have attended that tea gathering…! ‘
She had envisioned an existence in which she wore elaborate, expensive dresses and drank tea with the nobility. However, Dean’s attitude did not alter even after a few days. He continued to be omnipresent in Berlia. Riley was always his secondary concern. Even though he invited her to meals, that was about it. This did not appease her at all.
‘If only that woman did not exist! ‘
Riley held a grudge against Berlia. She desired the baby in her womb would vanish.
‘Then my child would be the definitive heir. And his interest in that woman would vanish as well.’
There was a great deal of tension surrounding Riley’s gaze.
Soon thereafter, Berlia’s conveyance vanished. Riley cautiously surveyed her surroundings.
No one will be on the third floor for some time.
Riley utilized this occasion to ascend to the third floor and visit Berlia’s room. After lunch, the corridor was serene and silent. All the attendants would be performing their duties in their designated locations. Riley pulled a key out of her pocket. She inserted the key silently into the hole. The door opened with a faint groaning noise. Her lips formed a grin.
It was prudent to conceal an additional key in case of emergency.
Riley served as Berlia’s maid for over a year. Her entry into Berlia’s room was effortless.
‘It is nearly identical to before. So, where should I put this?’
Riley cautiously examined Berlia’s chamber. It appeared relatively unchanged from when she was serving her. The woman halted in front of the bed.
This is likely the most secure location.
The object of her attention was the gilded cord at the head of the bed. Berlia used this cord to summon her maid each morning after waking up. A location that she touches daily. Riley could not imagine a greater location.
By tomorrow morning, that woman will be no more.
Riley extracted a container of glass from her pocket. The bottle contained finely powdered poison. With her gloved hand, she spread the poison on the cord.
‘My child will now be the duke’s heir,’
She regarded the cord with a malicious grin. Tomorrow, Berlia was expected to yank this cord, as she does every morning. As she contacts the powder, the poison she had mixed with it will immediately enter her body.
The poison she administered was insufficient to kill a person. But what about the fetus inside her womb?
‘Hehe, the Duke’s interest in that woman will inevitably wane.’
Riley’s smile persisted solely as a result of her imagination. In her mind, she was the Duchess already.
“I should return quickly,”
Riley, having returned the poison powder to her pocket, left the room swiftly.
‘Why would the Duke suddenly be interested in a woman like you?’
It would have been preferable if Dean had neglected Berlia as he had previously. She would not have needed to travel so far.
‘But I no longer wish to live miserably.’
Riley despised her position as a maid. She desired the opulent lifestyle of the aristocratic females. Riley peered at her own stomach. It had a minor protrusion. It was a valuable ace-in-the-hole that could bring about a significant turning point in her existence.
‘With this kid. My destiny can change.’
In reality, Riley could not confirm that the fetus in her womb was Dean’s. She chose to believe it, however. No, she was forced to do it this way.
Riley’s relationship with Dean began prior to her departure for Keindell. However, after six months, there was still no news of a child. Riley observed one day that her inability to become pregnant was odd.
Is it not true that the Duchess had been sterile for three years?
Riley questioned Dean’s virility. She pondered whether Dean might have a problem. Dean frequently informed Riley that Berlia was the cause, but he may have been the issue.
That would be challenging. Riley had to become pregnant with Dean’s child. She could not simply let the reason she approached him vanish. Therefore, Riley had illicit relationships with individuals who resembled Dean. Thus, Riley was able to become impregnated. Dean could be the father of this infant, but the odds were greater that he was not.
Therefore, Riley was even more stunned to learn that Berlia was pregnant.
‘It is possible that the Duchess is not carrying the Duke’s child. Well, it doesn’t really matter since the child will shortly be gone.’
Riley was resolved to make Dean the father of this child no matter what. She was required to become the mother of the future Duke.
‘In any case, that woman’s offspring must leave. Only then can I regain his attention.’
Riley exited the third floor with haste. The third floor, from which she vanished, was as silent as if no one had ever been there.
* * *
At the Cadelline Mansion, a formal tea celebration was held. The aristocratic females were attired and seated at the tea table.
Today was Berlia’s first public appearance after announcing her pregnancy. Obviously, many individuals were focused on her.
“Duchess, I have heard the news.”
“You have successfully conceived? Congratulations.”
“Yes, the Duke’s House will no longer have to worry about a successor…Thank you.”
Berlia was receiving their congratulations with a smile, but she was not at ease. She feared how the congratulatory features of these individuals would transform upon learning the truth about the child. Berlia could not ignore their criticism of the former Count Hanselan’s wife. She had no idea when she would be the subject of such criticisms. She could not afford to relax her vigilance.
‘Who is the true father of this child?’