Chapter 1. An Accidental Encounter
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From his voice, Zenuit sounded flustered.
[If you invoke me, I’m rightfully sure you are the chosen one……. But you don’t know how to get me out?]
Rather than not knowing how to get him out, she was bothered by what he said.
[Yes, only the chosen one can invoke me. I would have gotten out of this stuffy place sooner if anyone could wake me up by just touching Elena’s Tears.]
She suddenly remembered what Leighton said the other day.
‘It was said that only the chosen one can trigger Elena’s Tears.’
So it was true……..
[Anyway, it appears to be fate. Even so, it doesn’t matter, because being able to invoke me means you deserve it.]
Zenuit was saying something she couldn’t comprehend at all.
[You don’t seem to know about this, so I will tell you how to get me out of here.]
At that moment, she heard footsteps in the hallway. The maid must be heading here.
Nelia hurriedly put Elena’s Tears in its original place.
[Take the holy tears which is needed to unlock the seal……]
Nelia missed out Zenuit’s words as she quickly closed the drawer. The servant appeared soon after the sound of knocking was heard.
There was a yellow dress similar to the one she originally wore in her hand.
Nelia quickly controlled her expression as if nothing had happened.
“You must have waited for a while.”
Nelia shook her head as the response to the servant’s words.
Rather, you return too early……..
Zenuit seemed to be trying to say something important, but she had to cut him off in such a nice timing.
Nelia tried to recall for a moment.
‘Zenuit said something about holy tears.’
“It’s hard to wear it alone because there is string in the back. I’m going to stay beside you to help you change.”
She wanted to change by herself and talk to Zenuit more, but just as the maid said, the dress looked quite intricate to wear.
When the maid handed over the dress, Nelia gave up on her thoughts.
It can’t be helped, but there would be another chance to get close to Elena’s Tears.
No, there has to be.
Only Zenuit knew the way to find Sigrid’s heart.
It was a very unexpected catch.
She couldn’t believe she happened to see Elena’s Tears in that kind of place, and even met Zenuiet, Sigrid’s follower.
However, she was bothered by the fact that she didn’t hear what he was saying properly.
Nelia changed her dress and headed back to the dining room, she was raking her brains for ideas on how to come back and meet Zenuit again.
And when she opened the door, she was taken aback by the view before her eyes along with the smell of something burning.
“What…… what happened here.”
The dining room was chaotic when Nelia arrived. The table was overturned and rolled on the floor, the walls were damaged, and the huge chandelier hanging on the ceiling had smashed and fell on the floor.
As if an intense battle just took place here.
Nelia’s eyes flicked to Carlos and Duke Hart.
The duke appeared unbothered as if nothing had happened, but Carlos was sitting on the floor while panting heavily. There were scratches all over his face.
Nelia figured out what happened when she saw the sword in Carlos’ hand.
But strangely, the duke didn’t hold anything in his hand.
Looks like there was a fight here…….
‘What did these guys fight about?’
She wondered, but that wasn’t the important point now.
Nelia came to her senses and rushed to them urgently.
“What on earth is going on here…….!”
The two slowly averted their eyes at her as if they had finally noticed Nelia’s appearance.
The duke grinned upon spotting Nelia, which didn’t match the situation he was in.
“I was bored, so I decided to exercise briefly.”
Nelia wiped the concerned expression off her face.
“Do you think I’m stupid?”
Who would suddenly have a sparring exercise at the formal dinner? But Duke Hart replied calmly.
Carlos put down the sword he was holding back to the sheath quietly. The duke wrapped his arms around Nelia’s shoulder as if telling her not to be concerned about anything.
“Now that we finished eating, shall we head back?”
“We can’t eat more here anyway, can we?”
It was true. It seemed impossible to continue the dinner in this room, which had become a mess.
She had no idea what happened, but she didn’t think Duke Hart and Carlos were in a good state to face each other and enjoy tea in a friendly manner.
However, it seems that Duke Hart also took part in turning this place into a mess, so she wondered if it was fine for them to just leave.
Duke Hart coaxed her in a friendly tone, perhaps noticing Nelia’s awkwardness.
“The owner of this place will take care of it.”
The duke took Nelia out while speaking indiscreetly to Carlos.
“Your Highness, it was a pleasure to meet you. Don’t forget about the promise we agreed on earlier.”
Carlos remained silent the whole time.
It came as a relief seeing Duke Hart was safe despite going against the swordmaster earlier, but she was worried at the possibility that the duke might be taken for the offense against the Crown Prince separately. Regardless of the fact the duke has a position. Still, if he harmed the Crown Prince, he wouldn’t get away with it.
Nelia’s concerned gaze turned to Duke Hart.
What on earth just happened…….
“Oh my, what happened……..”
The servant said in surprise, she came in to clean up the Imperial Sala after the guests left.
She couldn’t contain the shock at the sight of messy Sala with Carlos, who was standing idly.
She didn’t know the whole story, but considering the clean appearance of the guests when they left, it was unlikely that they fought………
The servant approached Carlos and asked him cautiously.
“Your Highness, are you all right?”
Haah. Carlos exhaled a heavy sigh. And he clutched his right arm.
The eyes seen through the low-opened eyes were ferocious.
Carlos left the Imperial Sala without saying anything.
Returning to his room, Carlos clutched his right arm to prevent more blood from flowing. He bit his lips so hard that it bled.
Actually, Carlos had a secret that he couldn’t disclose to anyone. He was perturbed by the pain on his paralyzed right arm that felt as if it was caught in fire. The symptom just appeared recently.
He guessed it was like that for a while before the pain subsided gradually.
After that, Carlos released the strength applied to his left hand that was clutching on his right arm.
The pain intensified progressively from the moment Duke Hart used his strange ability.
‘My curse is alleviated when I’m with your handmaiden.’
Carlos knew that Duke Hart would react expletively when he brought up the handmaiden.
But his response was beyond imagination.
‘If it’s because of that, I shouldn’t let Nelia and Your Highness get more entangled.’
Starting with the burning smell emanating from somewhere, a black aura came out of the duke’s body.
When he saw that, he felt an instinctive sense of panic that he had never experienced even in the fierce war.
The duke rose from his seat, took out the decorative sword hung up on the wall of the Sala, and threw it in front of Carlos.
‘Shall we make a bet?’
Carlos stooped down and picked up the sword.
‘If I win the fight, don’t approach Nelia in any way in the future. On the contrary, if you win, I won’t give a hoot about what you are going to do to Nelia.’
Why is he looking so confident?
He could see the unidentified strong energy flowing out of his body as other abilities, but he was the only swordmaster in the empire.
The duke was someone who could naturally maintain an excessively calm composure, but he seemed to have a hard time acting that way if it’s related to the handmaiden.
‘Deal, I accept it.’
But he couldn’t back off.
He really needed the maid to escape this suffering even just a little.
He thought the monotonous day would be a little different if the handmaiden were to stay by his side.
In order to do so, she needed to pass the obstacle first.
‘What are we going to fight with?’
‘I don’t need anything.’
The duke said with a smile.
On the other hand, Carlos’ expression was stiff. Carlos gripped the sword and approached Duke Hart at a rapid pace.
However, Duke Hart didn’t seem to have any intention of avoiding or taking another action against it.
As soon as the sword headed for Duke Hart, he quietly recited something.
Carlos was hit by something before his sword could reach Duke Hart. His body was bounced away.
Ukh. Carlos fell with a groan and got up again.
‘…… You were a wizard.’
‘Let’s say I’m similar to that.’
He would be a Grand Wizard if he was able to use that much magic without a wand, but he never heard there was a wizard among the bloodlines of the Ducal Family of Hart.
So where does that ability come from?
‘You don’t have time to stay still.’
A powerful force hit Carlos as soon as Duke Hart muttered those words.
Carlos quickly blocked the force with his sword. He might have ended up with a severe wound if he was a second late.
He prevented the attack, but his right arm began to burn for no reason.
Originally, the pain would occur without any signal beforehand, but now the pain was becoming severe. He felt as if his right arm was on fire.
He needed a blow to finish this fight as soon as possible.
Carlos tried to draw the sword while ignoring the burning sensation. The drawn sword were enough to knock down any monster at once.
Once he was ready, Carlos attempted to lunge at the duke.
But it was like earlier, the sword that was heading in the direction of the duke bounced off.
D*mn it. Carlos was quick to block himself from it, but his body bounced away again.
This fight has been going on for a while.
Carlos was getting tired.
Along with the burning smell from somewhere, the pain in his right arm also worsened.
‘Why don’t you give up now? I think Nelia will return soon…….’
On the contrary, the duke didn’t seem struggling, as if nothing ever happened.
‘Don’t pull that joke on me. I’m going to win this anyway.’
Carlos said, brushing off the dust on his clothes after rolling on the floor.
The duke shook his head.
‘Then that won’t do. I have no choice but to end this forcibly.’
The duke’s eyes were glistening.
With an ominous squeaking noise, a huge chandelier on top of Carlos’ head fell down in an instant.
The chandelier that fell in an instant was unavoidable for him. Carlos simply closed his eyes tightly.
However, he didn’t feel any pain as each second passed.
Opening his eyes slowly, Carlos realized the chandelier was hanging just over his head.
As if time had stopped.
‘Now you know you can never beat me.’
He heard the duke’s calm voice shortly after.
The duke intimidated her. Carlos couldn’t help but feel humiliated by the big gap he felt.
He felt like a human who was trying to break apart a huge rock with bare hand. But he couldn’t even inflict a scratch on it.
‘There’s nothing I can do other than this if you keep lunging at me, but I want to stop this here.’
The chandelier was still floating in the air.
‘I promised her I wouldn’t stain my hand with blood.’
Carlos clenched his fist while he was drowned in a sense of bitter helplessness.
‘If you don’t answer, I’ll assume you agree.’
When Duke Hart flicked his hand, the floating chandelier fell to the side.
And the situation was completely over when the handmaiden entered.
All that was left on him was a feeling of helplessness and pain as if he was standing face to face with a solid rock.
One more thing.
That is the fact that he completely has no way to approach the handmaiden.
Carlos bit his injured lip again, and blood immediately flowed down his chin.
He seemed to lose the slightest hope he was holding onto.
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