✍️✍️✍️✍️ Garden Of Poison Chapter 82 Complete Chapters ✍️✍️✍️✍️


Dragged to the scaffold (Chapter 82)

Music Recommendation: The inexorable advance - Max Ritcher    

When Dante and Aiden arrived at the port where the ships were docked, the first prince ordered the guards who had accompanied them,      

"Check the village. Search every house, inn, and shop. Leave no stone unturned."      

"Yes, Prince Dante!" The guards received the orders before promptly departing, while Dante and Aiden dismounted from their horses.      

"I thought Anna was the only one who wanted to run. Who knew she would find an accomplice? Who could the male servant be?" Prince Aiden pondered out loud, while Dante already knew who it was.      

Was that why the atmosphere around her and the gardener seemed to have changed? Dante questioned himself as he walked towards the wooden plank that led to the opening port of the ship.      

With a bandana tied around his head, the ship's captain leaned forward and greeted them, "Good afternoon, Prince Dante. Prince Aiden. Is there anything I can help you with?"      

Dante questioned the man. "Did a woman and a male servant board your ship or any other ship that might have sailed a few minutes ago?"      

The man gave a thoughtful look before he shook his head, saying, "I doubt it. There's no servant from the royal palace here. And no ship has left the dock. The one next to mine won't set sail for a few hours at least, and this ship only returned three days ago and won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe my men can be of use to you and help search for them?" He offered.      

"I would appreciate the help," Dante responded.      

Prince Aiden began to describe Anastasia, "She's of this height and has her hair tied—"    

"Brown hair and big brown eyes. Warm skin tone and delicate build." Dante provided the man with precise details, determined to get Anastasia back. His anger and irritation only multiplied at every turn, as they failed to locate her and the other servant.      

Dante pulled out three gold coins from his trousers pocket and tossed them at the man, who deftly caught each one. He said, "Don't damage the property of the royal palace, as they will be dealt with by my hands."      

"I will have my men on high alert and capture the two escapees if I find them hiding here or anywhere else around the port," the man promised.      

Aiden turned slightly worried, and as they headed towards the next ship, he asked,      

"Brother Dante, Anna won't be harmed, will she?" Aiden's concern arose because it was Dante who often dealt with the servants who broke the rules of the palace. He knew his eldest brother had a strong sense of duty, which was why there was a high probability that he would adhere to the palace rules. "It's because I understand how Anna feels about freedom and—"      

"We will see about it," Dante's words were short, and it left Aiden tense.    

"Prince Dante!" one of the guards called out, alerting them as he dragged the male servant from the village before forcibly bringing him before the two princes.      

While Aiden quietly observed the man, whom he had previously never taken notice of, Dante did the same. The servant looked utterly scared, trembling uncontrollably,      

"Please don't punish me, Prince! Spare me!" The servant fell to his knees and pressed his head against the wooden plank.      

"I didn't know what came over me when I agreed to flee from the palace with her! I didn't mean to cause any trouble!"      

Dante's eyes narrowed, silence falling around them. He demanded, "Where is she?"      

"S—she told me that we should split up until the time came for the ship to depart, so that we wouldn't get caught," confessing, the male servant's body shook, with his head near the ground.      

"Tie him up and search for the woman. She shouldn't be far from here," Dante ordered the guards. Though something didn't feel right here, his determination to capture her occupied his mind.      

As Dante and Aiden continued their search, a woman with her face covered made a swift attempt to flee from one end of the village. Dante felt his heart shudder at the thought that he had finally caught sight of her. In no time, they mounted their horses and caught up with her before she could get far.      


When the woman let out a cry, the shawl covering her head slipped to reveal her face. Aiden's eyebrows shot up, and he exclaimed,      


The guards twisted her arms behind her back and bound her hands together with a rope.      

Even Dante was taken aback by seeing Niyasa's maid here when he was expecting to catch Anastasia. He stared at the woman as if she was a ghost. Dully, he realised he had failed to pay attention earlier when the Vizier had informed him about the maid's escape, as he was in haste to catch the doe-eyed woman. He said,      

"He didn't mention which princess' maid. It was Niyasa's." That meant Anastasia was in the palace.      

At the royal palace, Anastasia felt her heart squeeze at the sight of Marianne's ashes scattered on the ground. A tear slipped from her eyes, struck by the cruelness of this palace. All she had done was preserve the last remaining fragment of her sister, and even that was denied to her, as if she had no right.      

"What the hell is going on?! Did she just speak?" Princess Niyasa demanded, her eyes still wide as she stared at the lowly maid, who could suddenly talk. "Who knew that one slap was what she needed for her to start speaking again?" She let out a dark chuckle, trying to wrap her head around this development.      

It took a moment for Anastasia to realise what she had done… and her hands started to grow cold in fear as the people stared at her.      

"Norrix. Emily," Queen Maya called them to attention, before questioning, "Did you know that this thief could speak?"      

Mr. Gilbert wore a gobsmacked expression. His lips moved, but he could barely make a sound as he stared at the mute maid, who could speak now. On the other hand, Princess Emily was troubled, her face etched with worry. This was not good, she said to herself.      

"I—I, this is the first time I am hearing her speak, My Queen," Mr. Gilbert replied truthfully after coming out of shock.      

Princess Emily, wanting to save her maid, answered, "I knew she could speak. I have always known it."      

"So you have been ridiculing us all, watching us being mocked by this maid when questions were asked of her?" Queen Maya's words were curt, with her eyes narrowed at Princess Emily. "But there's no way you knew about it from the beginning. If I am not wrong, she was appointed to be your maid just a month or two ago? Which only means she has been lying all this time."      

Princess Niyasa wore a look of surprise as she sarcastically smiled. She commented, "I knew she was hiding something. Like a rat that moves in the shadows."      

Anastasia didn't dare to look up at them, knowing their eyes were fixed on her while murmurs had begun to fill the air in the servants' quarters about her being able to talk. The servants had already begun to frown and question her integrity, as they also had been lied to.      

"A thief and a liar," Princess Niyasa labelled Anastasia, and more murmurs went around.      

With one of her secrets out in the open, Anastasia didn't see why she had to hold back her words, and she explained, "I am not a thief! The coin was given to Charlotte, who was the former maid of Princess Niyasa because of the dr—!"      

Queen Maya gripped Anastasia's jaw tightly, glaring at her in frustration, as the servants here couldn't follow an order, leaving open the possibility of such a situation being repeated in the future. The woman's blue eyes flared while the maid tried to stay still, feeling her face being squeezed firmly. She heard Queen Maya order the guards,      

"Take her and the others to the scaffold. It is where they will be punished."      

"Queen Maya, the coin came from Niyasa because of Anna's drawings! It was given by my mother," Princess Emily explained in haste. "Anna didn't steal the coin, and she didn't bring any harm by not talking to anyone. Maybe she went into shock after being brought to the palace, and stopped talking then. It was only after she became my maid that she began opening up and regained her voice."      

"Sweet Emily, how can you believe that? Your mother isn't here to vouch for it and the maid is clearly lying. Do we have proof of this, or are you being fooled by this lowly woman's lies?" Queen Maya questioned as if waiting for evidence, letting go of the maid's face.      

Princess Niyasa shrugged and said, "I don't remember the gold coin being given to that worthless maid by Lady Sophia. She must have stolen it from the deceased maid, and the wise thing to do would have been to return the gold coin to me. Not keep it for personal use."      

Anastasia felt trapped and knew the mother-daughter duo wouldn't let her off the hook. Princess Niyasa was angry at her maid, and was now taking it out on her.      

"Anna is innocent, please don't punish her…" Princess Emily pleaded for them to be merciful, but everyone was still reeling from the revelation that Anastasia could speak.      

Queen Maya stated, "It is because of the earlier lenience that has led to a maid escaping with Niyasa's necklace. Collecting coins so they can use them as a fare to run away. She has spoken without permission, and like the rest who own anything other than copper coins, she will be punished. If you say another word, I will have no choice but to punish you too, Emily, and I truly don't want to do that." She then ordered the guards, "Take her and the others out of here!"    

Anastasia was harshly made to stand up by one of the guards before she was pulled out of her room. When she looked at the servants outside, they looked at her with suspicion. Her eyes met Theresa's eyes, which looked worried and scared.    

Princess Niyasa remarked to her older sister, "Lily, I will bring your maid back as a devoted maid, worthy of serving you," she smiled. She then informed her mother, "Mother, I will be going ahead with them."      

Princess Emily clenched her hands as she watched the guards drag Anastasia and two other servants away. Knowing of only one person who could help in this situation, the princess left the servants' quarters, while Queen Maya continued to interrogate and search the remaining servants.      

After several minutes, Anastasia found herself standing on a scaffold with the other two servants and the guards behind them. Princess Niyasa stood to the side, and she ordered the guards,      

"Tie their hands!"      

Anastasia noticed how a crowd began to form around the scaffold as chatter filled the surroundings, questioning what the three servants had done to be brought here. One of the guards advanced towards her and roughly seized her hands, binding one end of the rope around each of her wrists before hanging it such that her hands were raised towards the sky.    

The guards raised her hands even higher, causing her to balance on her toes and feel the strain building up in her shoulders.      

"Lovely people of Versailles," Princess Niyasa addressed the ever-growing crowd that had gathered to watch the unfolding event. "These are the thieves and liars of the palace. They have stolen from the Blackthorn family, despite my family having been most gracious. We should not encourage such behaviour, and I thought I should let you, the people, be the judges of their fate."      

"Hang them! Hang them!"      

"Sever the hands that stole and cut out the tongues that lied!"      

"Stone them!" Instead of questioning if the accusations were true, the crowd blindly followed the princess's words, happy to help the princess in deciding the appropriate punishment for the alleged thieves.      

Anastasia found herself in unfamiliar territory, never having set foot here before. Neither had she intended to ever find herself on the scaffold. She hadn't done anything except for planning to flee from here. Her mind was a jumble of emotions, grappling with the reality of being here and losing her sister forever.      

When Anastasia's eyes fell on the mob, they continued to shout angrily until Princess Niyasa raised her hands to silence them. The princess said,      

"I am grateful for your suggestions, but I have decided to keep them alive," she paused momentarily, and then said, "They will be whipped until they realise the weight of what they have done."      

When Anastasia moved her hands, she felt the ropes bite into her skin. At the sight of the guards brandishing whips, she felt her stomach sink.    

"Now you can let everyone know that you can speak, by screaming," Princess Niyasa remarked, crossing her arms over her chest. "You must have enjoyed lying until now, but it ends here."      

"I didn't lie about anything, Princess," Anastasia replied, and she noticed how the young lady was having difficulty accepting that she wasn't a disabled person. "You were always out to get me, and what you are doing now is framing me for something I didn't do."    

Princess Niyasa's face was quick to warp in anger for being spoken back at by a lowly maid, and a maid she didn't particularly like, at that. She turned to the guards who stood behind the three servants and questioned, "What are you waiting for? Start punishing them!"      

Anastasia took a deep breath, bracing herself for the impact of the whip, but no matter how much she prepared herself for it, it wasn't enough. When the guard raised his whip and lashed her back with it, a painful cry erupted from her lips.    

As the second lash forcefully struck her back, she bit into her lip to stop herself from crying, but the leather stung her skin even through her clothing. But the onslaught continued as the guards relentlessly whipped them, and the desperate pleas and cries of the other two servants echoed around the scaffold.      

Anastasia turned her hands into tight fists as the lashes continued, and tears formed in her eyes, with every subsequent strike of the whip tearing the fabric of her dress.      

It took only a few more lashes before the whip cut into her exposed skin, leaving behind fiery red welts. She shut her eyes tightly, painful groans erupting through her gritted teeth. Every time the whip was retracted and brought down again to strike her back, it only amplified the existing pain, as if someone was ruthlessly shredding her skin.      

On seeing Anastasia holding back her cries, Princess Niyasa turned to the guard behind the maid and demanded,      

"Is that all you are able to do? She's barely feeling it!" She scolded the guard before walking around to stand behind Anastasia and demanded, "Hand it to me."      

"Princess?" The guard questioned, taken aback, as this wasn't what a princess was supposed to do. But seeing how the young lady glared at him, he quickly handed the whip to her.      

Even though the whipping had stopped for the briefest of moments, Anastasia could feel her back burning and throbbing with pain. The air brushed against the wounds on her raw, peeling skin, making her cry.      

But soon, the leather whip struck her back once again, this time with even greater force than before. The bottom lip she had bitten down on had started to bleed, along with her back. During the second round of lashes, her teeth released her lip, and she cried out loud enough for the people at the back of the crowd to hear her.      

"How dare you speak back to me?!" Princess Niyasa demanded of Anastasia, as she retracted the whip in her hand before striking the maid's back harshly.      

Anastasia couldn't contain her voice any longer, joining the other two servants in crying out, but didn't ask for forgiveness like the other two. And her refusal to bow only made the princess that much angrier.      

The pain was too much to handle, and with tears that continued to spill out of her eyes, her vision blurred, and so did the torment she was being put through. She wished for it to end, but she knew the lashes would continue even if she begged.      

Amidst the agony, Anastasia wondered if this was how she would die. She could feel wetness on her skin, faintly registering in the back of her mind that it could be her blood. If she had escaped from here… Would she have been successful? Or would she have been caught and put through the same punishment she was undergoing now?    

Numbed by the pain, Anastasia's lips and body ceased trembling. Though she felt immense agony, at the same time, she found herself unable to voice it out anymore, her throat hurting from her earlier cries.      

Princess Niyasa, who stood behind Anastasia with a whip, grew increasingly unhappy with the maid's lacklustre response. She pulled back the whip in her hand and was about to use all her force to strike the maid's bloody back when the whip suddenly refused to move. With a deep frown, she realised that even the surrounding crowd had fallen silent.      

Turning to look over her shoulder, her eyes widened in astonishment.      

[Music Recommendation: Doom- Shin Minyong]    

"That's enough of your guard duty," Dante said, his grip on the other end of the whip tightening, who now stood behind Princess Niyasa with his eyes narrowed. He ordered her, "Drop the whip."    

Princess Niyasa retaliated with, "Mother said they need to be punishi—"    

"By the order of the Mother Queen, these servants are to be released immediately and spared from further punishment for crimes they aren't responsible for," Dante raised his other hand and called, "Emily."      

Princess Emily, who stood on the ground with her brother Aiden, quickly walked up the stairs and presented the scroll containing their grandmother's message and her seal, which called for the release of the servants.      

Princess Niyasa glared at her before dropping the whip from her hand, and Dante let go of the other end. While the younger princess read what was written inside the scroll, she gritted her teeth before walking down the stairs and leaving in her palanquin.      

"Release them," Dante ordered the guards, who quickly began to untie the servants. He turned to the quiet crowd, who continued watching what was happening. He shouted, "There's nothing for you to see here. Get back to your work!" He glared at them.      

Receiving the cursed prince's glare, it took only a few seconds for the crowd to disperse from around the scaffold, leaving the place nearly deserted.      

When the ropes hanging Anastasia by her hands were released, her body swayed to the side. Before she could collapse onto the scaffold's wooden surface, Dante quickly caught her in his arms, noticing that she had lost consciousness.