5 Advanced Chapters
His fingers rested on her cheeks, wiping away her tears, gently brushing her skin. If she didn’t like it, she could just tell him to move, but Vivian’s mouth was stuck together like glue.
“Are you guys not coming? What are you doing?”
Daniel called out.
Only after hearing him did Vivian wake up from her daze. She looked over her shoulder with a wavering gaze and then back to Roger. Despite Daniel’s call and the crowds around them, Roger’s eyes were focused only on her. They held not even the slightest vibration.
Suddenly, a finger that had climbed up her cheek caressed the corner of Vivian’s eyes. Vivian didn’t know for sure, but the corners of her eyes must have turned red from crying.
Daniel cried out again, more urgently. Roger couldn’t ignore his calls this time. His face wrinkled. Roger removed his hand from her face and clenched it tightly, as if holding something back. He turned around.
“I’m coming, so shut up!”
His sharp cry echoed heavily in the alleyway. Vivian watched his broad back as he turned away and walked towards Daniel. The corners of her eyes that he had touched were burning in heat. One beat later she realized what he had done. All the heat from the corners of her eyes rushed to her face.
Pulling the hood over her head tighter, Vivian followed Roger.
By the time they got back to the mansion, it was time for dinner.
Roger was receiving reports from his knights, and Daniel went back to his room saying that he had already eaten, so Vivian headed to the dining room alone.
While she was having a pleasant conversation with the knights, food was served. At the end of the not-so-bad meal, Vivian suddenly remembered the words of the old woman she met in the village. The ominous message that black magic was accumulating in her body came to mind, and had no intention of leaving.
“Can you prepare a meal for one?”
Vivian asked a passing maid to prepare a meal. With tray in hand, Vivian quietly walked out of the dining room.
Roger, who was heading to the dining room after finishing his reports, stopped when he saw her. His gaze turned to the tray in Vivian’s hand.
“Why are you leaving with a meal?”
Roger tilted his head, thinking that the portion in her hand was hers.
“Who made the Lady uncomfortable?”
His expression became grim. If Vivian had left without eating, he would storm into the dining room, stop all the knights, and reprimand them. To prevent that from happening, Vivian hurriedly shook her head.
“I’m done eating. I asked the maid to prepare this for Daniel.”
“Why is the Lady delivering Daniel’s meal herself?”
Contrary to Vivian’s expectation that his expression would ease up if she divulged the circumstances, Roger frowned even more. He reached for the tray in her hand as if to snatch it away.
Vivian rolled her eyes and moved the tray out of his grasp.
“I have a question for Daniel, so I’m going to take it with me. He went up to his room without having dinner earlier.”
Roger had a grim expression on his face, but fortunately he didn’t say more. Vivian told him to enjoy his meal and then hurried up the stairs. She pondered how to tell Daniel what had happened in town today, not realizing that Roger’s gaze followed her until she disappeared into the hallway on the second floor.
[TN/N: Someone is jealous ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)]
Vivian carefully knocked on Daniel’s door. After a while, she heard dull footsteps getting closer to the door, and then the door opened.
“What’s going on?”
Daniel’s eyes widened at her sudden visit. Vivian held out the tray in her hand and glanced over his shoulder at his room. As a maid had testified, his small room was quite a mess.
“I brought you some food.”
Daniel accepted the tray with a confused expression. He was very surprised that she brought the meal herself. He thanked her and quickly managed his expression.
“Daniel, I have a question for you.”
Vivian hurriedly grabbed the hem of his sleeve as he was about to re-enter his room. Daniel looked back with a puzzled expression. Vivian glanced at his room.
“Can I come in and talk?”
Vivian thought that he would decline. However, Daniel answered that that was fine with him, which was unexpected.
He gladly brought her into his room, but when he saw there was no room for her to sit, Daniel placed his tray on a wooden side table and began to gather papers scattered all over the floor. After a while, there was enough free space for Vivian to sit comfortably.
“What did you want to ask me?”
Daniel pulled up a chair next to her. He brought up the topic straight away, which caused licked her lips in nervousness. She had approached him bravely, but she started to wonder if she could ask him, a wizard, about black magic. However, it could be a bad thing for her to ignore the old woman’s words. Her tenacious gaze, as if gazing into her soul, was still clear in her mind. Every time she remembered those empty eyes, as if stained with dark energy, her spine shivered.
“Are you familiar with black magic?”
Daniel, who was arranging the papers he had gathered from the floor, stopped. Looking up at Vivian slowly, the expression on his face was solemn.
“Why are you asking about taboo magic?”
Since black magic was revealed to the world, it was often referred to as “taboo magic” rather than its original name. This was especially true among sorcerers.
Vivian wrung her hands in her lap, recounting her bizarre experience. Daniel’s expression hardened at the mention of an old woman who was a warlock in the past. However, he did not say anything and listened to all of Vivian’s story. When she finished speaking, Daniel closed his eyes and sighed.
“Let’s see if those old woman’s words were true.”
“How can you check that?”
“Give your hand to me.”
Vivian hesitated and then extended her hand towards him. Daniel’s palm rested on hers.
As soon as he blinked his eyes a couple of times, a circle of magic appeared between their palms. The large magic circle was overflowing with blue energy, a different color from the one he had cast on the door. The magic circle spun, then gradually got smaller until it penetrated Vivian’s palm.
Vivian groaned at the pain spreading through her body and grabbed her chest. Daniel’s face hardened as he watched the scene.
“Why, why does it hurt?”
It was painful for a good while. Suddenly, the pain flashed like a burst of light and disappeared, leaving her bewildered. Daniel stared at her for a moment, then stepped back and crossed his arms.
“What I just injected into the Lady’s body was pure magic. As black magic is an evil energy, it has an adverse reaction to pure magic. If the reaction is enough to feel pain, black magic exists in the Lady’s body.”
Shocked that the old woman’s words were true, Vivian opened her mouth. Daniel tilted his head with a strange expression.
“But it’s strange. As the old woman said, if the energy of black magic accumulates in your body, it is impossible to lead a normal life. If you are an ordinary person who has no mana, it is typical to suffer greatly.”
Daniel muttered something with a serious look on his face, then came to his senses, remembering that Vivian was in the room.
“Have you ever touched anything related to black magic? Unless you are a wizard, the only way black magic can enter yoi is through a medium.”
Vivian narrowed her eyes in thought.
“About a week ago, I found a piece of paper in my room.”
“Yes. A magic circle-like pattern was drawn on it.”
“Is it there now?”
“No. I threw it away.”
Daniel scratched his head, perplexed, and asked.
“Is there anything else other than that?”
Vivian nodded her head, recalling the patterned paper torn in half. At Daniel’s request, Vivian confided in him all the details she could remember. Daniel took a deep breath.
“You know that if you tear a piece of paper with a magic circle in half, itd magic would activate… So why did you touch it?”
“I knew that the magic had been activated already since it was already torn… I thought paper would no longer contain magic.”
“The paper that the Lady found is called a magic scroll. Scrolls usually cast their magic when ripped, after which they turn into plain paper, but occasionally a small amount of magic remains after being torn. So, if you ever find a scroll again, never, never, ever touch it. Otherwise, something like this could happen.”
Daniel stretched out his hand, correcting his posture.
“Let’s do some purification first. Even though Lady is okay, if the energy of black magic builds up in your body, it will become poison.”
Daniel drew another magic circle from white light, and it disappeared as if sucked into Vivian’s body. The magic disappeared in an instant.
Vivian felt like her body was lighter than usual.
“Suddenly, I feel like my body has become lighter…….”
“It must be because of the curse of black magic. I have purified what was consuming your life energy, so that’s a normal reaction. I wonder how the Lady was fine in the first place.”
Come to think of it, Vivian had been so heavy in the mornings that it had been quite difficult to get up. She thought it was just because of her fatigue, but maybe it was because of this.