✍️✍️✍️✍️ Garden Of Poison Chapter 126 Complete Chapter ✍️✍️✍️✍️



Affects of the approaching moon (Chapter 126)

As the meeting between the king and the ministers proceeded, Anastasia positioned herself at the side of the room, equipped with a stack of parchments and a quill. Utilising the moment, she took the opportunity to understand what went on in this room, observing diverse individuals raising concerns and proposing solutions. The discussions included a handful of disputes between the courtiers, as a few individuals tried to push their viewpoints before the king.      

Simultaneously, Anastasia observed Dante, who had assumed the role of king as if he were born for it. The man didn't stutter or hesitate when it came to making decisions.      

"Your Highness, the Brolik is expected to be ready within a span of three to four days, as it is being procured from the neighbouring kingdoms," one of the ministers conveyed, standing before the throne. "Might this acquisition be intended for the celebration that is scheduled to take place in six days?"     

"The invited guests hold prestigious positions, and the Mother Queen decided it would do us well to treat them to high-quality beverages," Dante responded in a serious tone. "She will be in charge of overseeing the arrangements for the supplies, so you can speak with her regarding this matter."      

"Yes, King Dante," the minister said, offering a deep bow.      

Anastasia wrote down the name, not knowing what Brolik was, as she had never heard of it before during all her years of working in the kitchen.      

When Dante's eyes shifted to look at the next minister, he noticed that the minister and a few others were not focused on the proceedings of the court meeting. Instead, their eyes were directed to the side, where the young woman was seated, diligently writing something on her parchment. Taking her task seriously, Anastasia remained engrossed in her work, not paying attention to others, while strands of her hair hovered over her temples.      

"Stare any longer, and I will rip your eyes out of your face," Dante stated calmly, and the ministers' eyes quickly returned to him.      

Anastasia, who had been busily transcribing Dante's words, lifted her gaze to him, noticing him glance at her fleetingly, which caused her heart to skip a beat. But she failed to catch who Dante's warning was directed at.      

One of the ministers cleared his throat and addressed the king, "Your Highness, word has reached me that the Elders have returned to their designated town and have received the news about your ascension to the throne. They will be paying a visit to Versailles soon, and I suspect it won't be a simple affair. It appears that they are preparing to bring along their specialised men."     

"I look forward to what they have to offer," Dante replied, his red eyes as calm as ever. "Find out how many of them are intending to pay us a visit."      

"I will get to it right away. Please excuse me," the minister bowed before exiting the royal courtroom.      

"Regarding the upcoming celebration, would you like us to make preparations throughout the towns of Versailles?" one of the ministers standing off to the side inquired politely of the king.      

"King Dante," the Mother Queen intervened, offering a slight bow to the minister before redirecting her attention to her grandson. She said, "I would like to propose that we hold the celebration in the later hours of the afternoon. This way, it would underscore the significance behind the event—an official declaration of your ascension to the throne and your continued reign."      

"Afternoon?" The people in the room murmured amongst themselves while Dante fixed his gaze upon his grandmother, knowing the reason why she had proposed to reschedule an event that was initially an evening celebration. "Starting an important celebration such as this at noon would be unconventional, Mother Queen."      

"Traditionally, we have always held celebrations in the evening, but recent events have instilled uncertainties among our attendees. Holding the event during the day will reassure them of their safety, as well as allow us to extend the celebration into the evening, if required," the Mother Queen advised with a smile.      

"I don't see a reason why we can't hold it during the day," Dante responded as he leant back in his chair. "Furthermore, this would also accommodate guests who will need to return home."      

"Your Highness, rumours suggest that the young lady hasn't been formally officialised as your exclusive concubine yet. Is it because we will no longer deal with the Elder ministers?" asked one of the ministers. "Could the royal family be contemplating the option of being allowed to have multiple wives?"      

"Now that you have brought up the matter," Dante's voice drawled, silencing the room. He said, "The longstanding practice of utilising concubines and courtesans will be abolished."     

Murmurs broke out throughout the courtroom, and Anastasia stared at Dante from the side, momentarily forgetting her task of having to record the rest of the ongoing discussion. The ministers were left stunned by the announcement, given that their enjoyment had largely come from seeking entertainment from the beautiful courtesans.      

"Do you truly intend to proceed with this, My King?" a minister asked with a doubtful expression.      

Dante's eyes narrowed in response to the minister's question. He subtly leant forward and inquired, "Are you questioning me if I have doubts about my decision, Minister?" His slightly arched eyebrows added to the intimidating demeanour he exuded, accentuating the power he wielded.      

"Ah, no, My King. I would never dare," the minister quickly replied. "However, if I may ask… what has led to this decision?"      

"We have the world to conquer, and I am confident that it would greatly benefit all of you to focus on work, rather than be swayed by the allure of women who have the ability to distract you," Dante stated, offering a slight smile to the assembly of ministers. "For those who have been whispering to express their disappointment, consider offering your hand in marriage to them, or those of your sons. The remaining women will be integrated into palace duties. The court is dismissed."      

A smile formed on Anastasia's lips at the announcement, relieved that no other woman or child would be subjected to the practice of being forced to spread their legs to different men. But on the other hand, she couldn't help but wonder how the current concubines and courtesans would feel about being demoted to maids.      

The ministers blinked before exiting the room one by one. Eventually, the courtroom became deserted, leaving only Dante, the Mother Queen, and Anastasia within its confines.      

"Do you have your concoction ready?" Dante asked his grandmother.      

"It should be ready by the time the Brolik arrives at the palace," the Mother Queen replied, before inquiring, "Were you able to find what I requested?"      

Anastasia watched as Dante slipped his hand into his pocket and pulled out a small vial containing a dark red liquid. The Mother Queen questioned, "Is this going to suffice?"      

"Enough for the entire kingdom," Dante replied before placing the vial on his grandmother's palm. His keen ears picked up a faint crackling noise from above, and his eyes shifted in its direction to find no one there.      

"The drink to toast the king's reign," the Mother Queen murmured, her words filled with meaning. She continued, "I will make the arrangements for it. It will be a special juice just from me."      

Anastasia wanted to speak with Dante, as their conversation was interrupted by the imp yesterday. Sensing the need for privacy, the Mother Queen decided to leave the two of them alone and turned, ready to leave, when Dante spoke up,      

"You are leaving your eyes behind."     

The Mother Queen laughed, remarking to Dante, "I think Anastasia has some things to discuss with you that she couldn't write down." She asked the young woman, "Isn't that right, Anna?"      

"If you are referring to the notes," Dante raised his hand to the side, and a scroll appeared in his hand out of thin air. "Everything you need is in here," he said, dropping the scroll for the Mother Queen to catch.      

Anastasia and the Mother Queen were so stunned by the little magic trick that, by the time they gathered their thoughts, Dante had already stepped out of the room.      

Dante strolled along the corridor, about to make a turn at the corner, and remarked, "Old habits die hard, don't they?"     

"I can tell by watching you," the Storm Prince replied with a polite smile. "Are you genuinely intending to send her away because of the urges, that even I am experiencing with the scent of everyone's blood, or are you merely making her think she has an option?"      

"Your attention and interest in her raise questions, Raylen," Dante's red eyes shifted to settle on the Storm Prince, who pushed himself away from the wall he had been resting against.      

Raylen nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders and responded, "She is a beautiful woman. I figured that if you've lost interest in her, I might as well bring her to the Storm Kingdom for some amusement."      

The Storm Prince's words managed to strike a nerve, and Dante's ire didn't go unnoticed by the former. "So it is just an illusion?" he tried to infer.      

Dante didn't respond to Raylen, knowing he was trying to probe for an answer. He stated, "There is a matter I have been speculating about since yesterday, and I wonder if you know anything about it."     

Though the smile on Raylen's lips didn't disappear, the expression in his eyes turned serious as he stared at Dante.     

"You have the habit of drawing the air around you into a vacuum when you converse with my grandmother, as if guarding a secret that you don't want anyone to hear. But that's not all." Dante's gaze remained locked with the blue eyes as he continued, "I have been pondering whether you have concealed the last descendant of the one who cast the curse upon us."     

The smile on Raylen's lips widened, "Why would I ever do something like that? And hypothetically speaking, even if I did, I would have surely coerced her into lifting the curse upon me by now."      

"That is true. You want the descendant to awaken with powers intact before I eliminate them," Dante stated. He had ordered Migdre to search throughout the Storm Kingdom before returning to the place where the woman of the forest originated from.     

"Have you decided to allow the earthling to leave with Anastasia? Seeing how you haven't killed him yet, or is it that you are worried that she will despise you if you do?" Raylen questioned. "After all, he did cause the rift between you."     

Dante was quiet for a second as he looked down the corridor they stood in before he said, "Your words aren't far from the truth."      

"Are you implying you are considering sending him with her?" Raylen's eyebrows arched in surprise.      

"The guard never existed, and whoever set them up knew I would react the way I did. They were aware of my past, and how it would affect Anastasia. There's only one individual capable of creating such illusions," Dante stated, his eyes shifting back to look at Raylen.      

"That can't be," Raylen murmured, his blue eyes narrowing. "He was the first one to be sent back."      

Dante remembered that Anastasia said she had seen her sister's ghost more than once. And every time, it had led her to unfavourable circumstances, making him believe that the ghost she had been seeing was never her sister.      

"It is possible that Magnus was never sent back to the underworld."     

Raylen subconsciously ran his tongue over the tip of his canine before responding, "It does sound like something he would do. So, the illusion serves to kill two birds with one stone?" He persisted in seeking answers that he didn't receive. "You know, I am happy to stick my fingers through the gardener's heart to ascertain if it's truly Magnus."     

"That won't be necessary. Once the potion is ready, the answer will come out soon enough," Dante confidently stated.      

"Aren't you worried that he will attempt to sabotage it?" Raylen asked him, remembering the temperamental and unstable nature of the psychotic demon, who was more of a malevolent influence than a regular demon.      

"Can't wait for it," Dante replied, and they caught the sound of footsteps softly echoing from the other end of the corridor. He walked away from the area, and Raylen let out a chuckle, spotting the young woman walking alongside the Mother Queen.      

"Greetings to Queen Ginger and Lady Anastasia," Raylen greeted them with a charming smile.      

"Greetings," the Mother Queen responded dully, while Anastasia offered a curt bow to him, before walking past the Storm Prince without saying a word.      

As dusk descended, news of Anastasia's impending departure from Versailles had reached everyone's ears. She tried to seek out and talk to Dante, but he was either absent from the palace or engrossed in his study. On the occasion where she ventured near, she was stopped by the guards, citing the king being busy talking with the ministers.      

The next night, the maid ensured Anastasia was tucked in bed before blowing out most of the candles, leaving just one flickering. Having slept very little the previous night, she promptly drifted off into slumber.      

She dreamt of a land of verdant greenery and a lush forest. She felt the wet grass beneath her bare feet and the soft echoes of laughter, which soon morphed into screams of agony. The once-thriving forest burned up in flames, and when she looked down, she noticed blood splattered everywhere, staining the ground, and the scene of people in the throes of death.      

Before she could witness more gory scenes, she felt darkness descend upon her vision as someone placed their large hand over her eyes.      

A voice softly whispered next to her ears, 'Don't look at it. Don't corrupt your heart for mine.'     

Anastasia's eyes snapped open, sweat covering her body, and she sat upright on the bed. Her breathing was laboured, and her eyes shifted to the door.      

Placing her feet on the ground, Anastasia walked towards the door and stepped outside her room. She nibbled on her lip, her gaze fixed on one of the doors lining the corridor, before walking towards it. She raised her hand and gently knocked on the door.      

'You have to be assertive,' Anastasia could hear the Mother Queen's words echoing in her mind.      

Twisting the doorknob, she stepped inside the room, only to find it empty. She wondered where he was. Maybe she should wait, she thought to herself, and she sat on the edge of the bed. But as minutes turned to hours, Anastasia's eyelids grew heavy, and she didn't realise when sleep overtook her.      

Close to dawn, the door finally swung open, and footsteps moved across the room, halting beside the bed.      

Dante sat on his heels, watching Anastasia sleep on his bed, and he frowned. He saw her softly breathing through her parted lips and her hands balled into loose fists near her chest. He murmured without waking her, "You have a perfectly comfortable bed in your room. So stubborn."      

Denied the chance to return, she tried hard to escape. And now that she could finally reunite with her family, she wanted to stay. He gently brushed her hair with a finger and said,      

"I can't have you share their fate."     

When Anastasia woke up, she found herself lying on the bed with a blanket covering her. She quickly sat up, looking around the room for Dante's presence, but he was nowhere to be found. She hastily pushed the blanket away and exited the room. Trodding along the carpeted floor, she met her newly appointed maid.      

"Where is King Dante?"      

The maid appeared taken aback and replied, "I think he is at the stable, milady. Would you like—"     

"No, I need to see him," Anastasia interjected, and the maid followed behind her with a sceptical expression, as the lady was still in her night dress.      

When Anastasia arrived at the stable, she found Dante feeding Oasis. As if sensing her presence, Dante turned and noticed her looking slightly upset and angry. She said,      

"You have been avoiding me when I need to talk to you. And then you come and put a blanket on me as if it's nothing!"     

When Dante's eyes briefly moved to look at the maid behind her, the maid cleared her throat and said, "It was I, milady."     

Anastasia became slightly embarrassed, but instead of accusing the maid of lying, she said to Dante, "I still have to talk to you. Privately."      

Dante's lips twitched, and he gave a nod to dismiss the maid. Once they were alone, he asked her, "What did you want to talk about, Anastasia?"      

Instead of talking about what she had come here for, Anastasia's first question was, "Why are you avoiding me? I have been trying to talk to you..."     

Dante stared at Anastasia, her hair dishevelled from her sleep. He noticed her raise her eyebrows, realising that she had woken up in quite a mood this morning. He replied,      

"I don't think being around each other is a good idea. I have been dealing with my urges because of the approaching moon. It affects us demons from the underworld differently."     

Affects? Anastasia asked herself.     

"Bloodthirsty, sexual urges, amplified with irritability and a foul mood that I have been trying to control," Dante stated, leaving Anastasia to blink at him.      

That… that sounded somehow familiar, and her lips tightened so that she didn't blurt out something odd when they were finally having a discussion.      

"How are you coping with it?" Anastasia asked him with a small frown.      

"Not that well," Dante returned, and he asked, "Is that all you wanted to speak about?"     

Anastasia shook her head before saying, "I have missed this… talking to you. Spending time and have missed you," her voice trailed off, feeling Dante stare at her. She confessed, "And no one can take your place."     

"I wouldn't have it any other way," Dante replied, and her eyes slightly widened. "The selfish demon in me doesn't want you to forget."     

Anastasia felt her heart skip a beat, and she wondered if something was wrong with her to be able to react to something he openly admitted was selfish. She said,     

"And I want to stay here, where you are. I won't bring you trouble," she added.      

Dante was aware that an earthling's feelings were delicate and easy to blow away, like a dandelion in the wind. He walked towards her, coming to stand in front of her, and he leaned forward, softly pressing his lips on her forehead, and his action squeezed her heart.      

Anastasia felt the tenderness in his touch and heard him say, "How about this, you get on the ship to go home. And if and when you return, we will continue where we left off. No one is telling you that you can't step foot back in here. Consider it like a little vacation."     

The night before the celebratory day, the servants finished the last of their errands, while also preparing everything that was required for the next day. And while the royal family and a few guests were busy ensuring that they had everything they needed, Migdre appeared out of thin air in the front garden of the royal palace.      

The imp shouted in victory, ready to deliver the news to Dante, "Master! I have news! I finally know the identity of the last descendant!!" It was that woman next to its master!