There was no reply.
Because Count Cortez had his eyes half-opened, staring into the air. The stench of alcohol wafted up to the place where Lloyd was sitting. It was as if the Count had fallen into a barrel and had come out.
"What should I do?"
"Well.", Lloyd rather asked back.
"Wake him up in moderation. If I do it on my own, I’m afraid the person to question will disappear."
Lloyd would like to break his neck right now, but he shouldn’t let him die so easily.
The Black Falcons also agreed with it. They exchanged glances, then moved in unison, and brought the buckets.
And poured it on the Count’s head.
The Count staggered, unable to even focus, and finally looked up at Lloyd.
"Siren, bring the Siren… Come on and let me hear the fantastic song…"
Lloyd’s eyes changed when he heard that.
On his face, which was filled with only boredom, a murderous intent that seemed to paralyze the whole body was cast.
Lloyd threw the vial at the Knight Commander, Dustin.
It was a drug that temporarily awakens the mind of those who have lost their minds due to external factors such as drugs, alcoholism, and torture. It was like the medicine bottle he handed to Aria before leaving.
Dustin took the vial and poured it into Count Cortez’s mouth.
The Count, who had been coughing violently, slowly raised his head. In an instant, the light returned to the eyes that had been completely hazy.
"What, what the hell is this… what are you doing! Who is it! Gu, guards! Is there no one there!"
No one was there.
Count Cortez looked around with a pale, weary expression, as if out of breath.
And he found out later. The fact that the knights who captured him were wearing black uniforms engraved with a Black Falcon pattern.
‘The Black Falcon Knights…… Valentine!’
That was the moment. The memories that had been erased by the effects of the drug were forcibly brought to the surface.
Count Cortez groaned unknowingly and lowered his head. As his drunkenness faded, his forgotten memories came back to life, and the pain that felt like he was going to break his head continued.
‘Why was I drinking?’
Because the only Siren died.
‘The only? No, no. Come to think of it, there was the Siren’s daughter. Of course, it was a halfwit who couldn’t speak, but the Siren’s bloodline doesn’t go anywhere. I could have used her in some way.’
Why did he forget all this time?
‘As if someone erased my memory…….’
That was the moment.
"How about forgetting that the Count had a daughter?"
Count Cortez trembled at the sound of an unfamiliar voice passing through his head for a moment.
Yes it was. He was taken to the dungeon by Valentine’s butler and…….
‘I think I met the Inquisitor. It seems that something like pure white smoke has risen…… I can’t remember exactly what happened.’
Ariadne. After the Siren’s death, he sold his daughter, who was useless, to the Valentine’s family who paid him money.
‘I said that? Why?’
She was the only child of the Siren that was barely found.
If it was to Valentine, she could be sold at a high price, but it was still a loss-making business. In the next generation, a child who inherited the Siren’s abilities could be born. Because Siren had such a rarity that it couldn’t be priced with money.
‘It was never my will. Did I go crazy with drunkenness? No, no matter how drunk I was, I couldn’t have…….’
If so, no way…….
The Count recalled a time when he used Sophia to brainwash the nobility and then erased their memory.
‘…… Could it be that my halfwit daughter sang a Siren’s song to me?’
But it couldn’t be. No matter how the Siren’s bloodline is, if she can’t speak, she’s useless.
Then there was only one conclusion. From the beginning, Valentine’s efforts were made in order to obtain Siren’s daughter.
Count Cortez came to that conclusion.
‘No way, brainwashing!’
To erase the memory of having a daughter by brainwashing!
How dare they take the Siren away from him! The Siren was the only power the Count could wield and shake. It was a valuable possession.
He felt as if he had lost everything.
"You seem to be getting yourself together."
Lloyd, who read the Count’s eyes, asked with a twisted smile.
"This is our first meeting, right?"
"Grand Prince Valentine…"
"By the way, there’s no need to be so polite. You gave up Ariadne’s parental authority long ago."
Lloyd, who had no intention of stepping down from that very high chair in the first place, raised his head and said brazenly.
Count Cortez grinded his teeth. As he looked up at the Grand Prince while being captured like this, he felt as if he was a sinner bowing his head to the Emperor seated on the throne.
Anger filled his heart, but it was more urgent to escape the situation immediately.
"Yes, it is. By giving up parental rights, our contract has already ended! Even if it’s Valentine, you don’t have the right to do this!"
"Rights? You really like rights."
Lloyd added coldly.
"You had no right to hurt Ariadne either."
Count Cortez puffed a vein on his forehead.
‘Why don’t I have a right! At that time, I had parental authority and ownership of that girl!’
But he didn’t have the courage to say it out loud. He smiled sullenly after trying to calm his anger.
"Haha, are you sure you’re coming to see me for something in the past?"
"Yes, the past. Even if I die and come back to life, it’s a memory I won’t forget."
"I disciplined my naughty daughter a little…"
"Well, you don’t seem to know the dictionary meaning of discipline."
It was a tone of pity, but Lloyd’s expression completely disappeared and his hard face was terrifying.
"Discipline means to educate and nurture character or morals, do you think you are a vessel to teach others?"
Lloyd explained as if teaching the ignorant. Of course, not like a kind teacher, but like an executioner who recites sentences before making judgments.
The Count couldn’t even breathe properly because of the gruesomeness that engulfed his entire body. He asked in a voice that trembled uncontrollably.
"Do you want me to pay for my sins?"
"The price of a sin. I have no intention of judging sins. I have not been able to live with integrity like the wife. Do I deserve that?"
"Just to engrave unforgettable memories for you and even after you die. Isn’t that fair?"
Lloyd, who tapped his temple with his index finger, smiled slowly. And his fingers started at the corners of his eyes and went all the way down along his jawline.
The Black Falcon lifted the iron.
"What, what? I gave her a little touch, but I didn’t do it this far…!"
"If I’m going to make it happen, it’d be better if you remember it. I’ve heard of it."
The Count, whose head was completely bleached in fear, spit out swearing in terror.
Lloyd rubbed his neck as if clasping it. Didn’t she say he had the little girl practice singing until her throat bleed?
"Why don’t you scream until you vomit blood?"
"When you’re done, crush one leg completely and drag him away."
Lloyd watched the scene from beginning to end with an unfeeling gaze and ordered.
He had a lot to ask Count Cortez. Of course, it would be better to make him compliant first.
"Why do I always have to get involved in such a fuss?"
Carlin, who suddenly approached Lloyd’s side, grumbled. He was recently used as a means of transportation with great acclaim because he could avoid people’s gaze and tracking.
It was the same this time.
"Come to think of it, it must have been the Young Madam who started it."
"So, are you dissatisfied with what the wife is doing?"
Lloyd turned to Carlin and smiled. It was a tone that would make the body not even harbor dissatisfaction anymore if he said he was dissatisfied.
Count Cortez, who was being subjected to terrible things over his shoulder, was clearly visible.
"Haha, no way!"
"You, guard the Count here. I’ll look around and come back."
Carlin answered like a knife, as if there were no other choice.
Lloyd looked around the quiet mansion with a leisurely pace.
‘Did she say she stayed in the attic?’
He only heard the words, but he had a rough idea of what kind of environment Aria would have grown up in.
But still, he wanted to see it with his own two eyes. He wanted to see how much she must have suffered alone in order to care for her in person .
By the way,
Even poor commoners would not live like this.
‘When you first came, you vomited up your entire meal.’
What the hell has she been eating? She has been locked up in a place like this, was there any way to bring out a proper meal?
"…shall I just set it on fire."
Lloyd muttered grimly.
He just wanted to throw everyone into the fires of hell and kill them.
‘But the rabbit will know that I’m here.’
No matter how much she tells him to do what he wants, setting the mansion on fire and burning everyone to death would be more than expected.
There was a conflict between his urge and his cool-headed reason.
‘You shouldn’t do anything that stands out.’
Lloyd, who still wants to show off in front of his wife, concluded that way.
It was then. Lloyd stumbled upon a wooden box with protruding corners under her bed.
Lloyd took out the box and opened it.
Inside, each bottle contained herbal powder.
Almost left only to the bottom.
‘There is no way that a neglected child in such a harsh environment would have been provided with medicinal herbs.’
It was strange that there was only powder.
‘It’s like the ingredients before the drug is prepared…….’
Lloyd looked back at the bottle with a puzzled face, and suddenly remembered what Aria had said in the past.
"Since I was born, I’ve been drinking the potion my mother gave me. When I drink it, I can’t make a sound…"
No way, this was it?