“You are honest, Your Royal Highness Mary.”
The reply was different from what Maria imagined.
Annan heard her words, but there was no look of panic or fear on his face.
He nodded slowly with a thoughtful look on his face.
He murmured in a low voice with a focused expression on his face, “That’s how you think.”
With that, Annan looked up.
He asked Maria seriously, “May I ask, Your Highness… When did you come up with such a thought?”
Maria glanced at Annan suspiciously.
She was silent for a while, thinking about something in her heart.
Annan spoke slowly, gently, and kindly, “You don’t have to be too nervous.
“You know, I have sealed my spellcasting ability. Everyone has witnessed it.”
Annan stood at Maria’s point of view and helped her to think, “Judging from the normal thought process, I will not be suspected at first even if I am the murderer. So, Your Highness— Please think about it carefully. Where does your distrust of me come from?”
Annan’s words carried sincerity to help.
His objective was to help the other party find out the people or things bothering her and help her solve her worries. With the sincerity Annan showed, Maria could hardly refuse Annan’s kindness.
From the very beginning, Annan had already found out.
Perhaps because of the talent “Winter Heart,” Maria’s character flaw was obvious.
She was prone to be guilty, but at the same time, she would tend to be fearful, angry, and nervous. It was like the opposite of Annan. She was like a puppet, easy to manipulate.
Even with Merlin’s protection, she was restless deep down in her heart in the face of the chaotic situation today.
At this moment, Maria was not so much analyzing it as it was losing her temper. She wanted to vent the fear in her heart and turn the invisible hunter into a tangible enemy.
It was normal for her to be wary of Annan. Soul Snatch wizard was effective against Winter Heart. Maybe this was the meaning behind the Winter’s Hand existence – to counter these Soul Snatch wizards.
Annan had already guessed this from the beginning.
The problem was that Annan had given up his spellcasting ability. Even in everyone’s opinion, he gave up his spellcasting ability because of Maria’s words.
Maria Austere-Winter did feel a little guilty towards Annan.
“You mean, my thinking may be affected by others?”
Maria immediately realized Annan’s meaning between his sentences.
She thought for a moment and soon realized the problem, “That’s probable…”
Her tone inexplicably softened as if it was because of the guilt in misunderstanding Annan because she knew that what “Gerald” said was indeed reasonable.
It stood to reason that Gerald had sealed his spellcasting ability. Therefore, no matter who killed Master Michelangelo or who killed Melvin, it was unlikely that it was Gerald.
So Maria paused, still whispering the answer in her heart, “Yes, at the very beginning.”
“Very beginning?” Annan asked with some confusion.
He really didn’t expect this answer.
Although Gerald was not good-looking, he didn’t exude hostility?
“Because of your eyes, Mr. Gerald.”
Maria replied seriously, “I see the purity of a child in your eyes, the indifference of an elder, and the well-hidden – arrogance.”
Annan smashed his lips, feeling wronged.
So, Maria is into this.
Judging someone through the eyes is like metaphysics.
Even in Annan’s shoes, he only judged a person through various aspects such as subtle expressions, words, movements, clothes, and recent actions. What one saw in the eyes was what one perceived they should see.
Surprisingly, Maria seemed to be quite accurate.
She didn’t seem to see Gerald, but Annan, who was temporarily occupying the body.
“I have a proposal.”
Suddenly, Ghirlandaio on the side said, “Why don’t the four of us set up a curse here?”
“What curse?” Maria asked immediately.
“[Before this incident is over, the four people present cannot attack each other.] How about using this curse to form a temporary alliance?” Ghirlandaio asked.
This proposal surprised the other three on the spot.
This meant even if the murderer was among the four of them, none of them could do anything to the person. They could only help the murderer kill others, complete the inheritance ritual, or watch others attack the murderer coldly.
Simply put, Ghirlandaio proposed to bring the situation back to a “one-on-one battle” situation.
After learning that the murderer might not have killed anyone, the situation came into a deadlocked state.
But after Melvin’s death, this balanced situation was broken again.
Annan understood what he meant.
—This is the sure-fire way to win.
Unlike the previous situation, they now had only seven people.
As long as four people teamed up, the result was the same whether the murderer who killed Michelangelo was inside or outside the team. They would win.
Ghirlandaio’s intention in this proposal was…
——If anyone here does not agree to form a team, the person will die.
After all, the group could get others to join hands together.
As long as they had four people, it would be the “majority.” Then, the minority had no power to fight back.
People in the team might not be able to survive.
But the outsiders of the team were bound to die.
“I agree to form a team.”
The other three on the scene reacted quickly. They immediately agreed and drafted the curse immediately,
“We hereby set up curse here—”
Ghirlandaio took the lead in guiding the chanting, “Before this incident is over, the four people present must not attack each other.”
As his voice fell, strange traces flashed in the air.
[Oath]’s power entangled their hearts.
If this curse was violated, the curse would burst in their body.
Seeing everyone establish the curse, the four of them all breathed a sigh of relief.
After a short silence, Maria was the first to speak with a cold and youthful voice, “In fact, I didn’t intend to inherit the position of tower master.
“The tower owner can’t easily leave the wizard tower. This is troublesome for me. My eldest brother cannot inherit the position of Grand Duke. I must protect my younger brother Annan.”
Annan was surprised.
He roughly realized something.
There might be some sort of curse on Maria like “I can only tell the truth” or “I say whatever comes to mind.”
Her chatty mannerism seemed a bit out of place.
Annan was puzzled, pretending to be unaware of this, and asked tentatively, “Speaking of it, what’s the matter with Grand Duke’s eldest son? Um, sorry, if it is inconvenient to talk about it.”
“There’s no problem with telling it out. Almost even civilians in the Dukedom know this.”
Maria gave a self-deprecating smile.
The gloomy cloud on her still lingered.
She said softly, “It started two years ago…
“Our eldest brother became infertile.”
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