“No, it’s not what you think it is!”
The voice that came out of her mouth sounded like her feet had been put into a fire. At her urgent plea, Roger wrinkled his eyebrows as if his doubts had grown even greater.
“Do you know what I am thinking?”
He asked in a stern tone. He said, that morning, that he would be a friendly man who matched Vivian’s ideal type. Vivian was taken aback by his sudden change in attitude, but she couldn’t say anything, knowing that it was caused by jealousy.
“It’s not…… ”
While his eyes were burning with jealousy, Vivian relayed the conversation she had with Daniel. Roger, who was told the vague story, hardened his expression as the story about scrolls, cracks, and black magic became more detailed.
“To sum up, the scroll that the Lady found in her bedroom had black magic, and the same pattern appeared when she removed the crack today……. Is this what you mean?”
“Correct. And your treatment is done, Captain.”
Daniel, who was concentrating on healing magic while Vivian was relaying their conversation, gently lowered his hand. Without thanking him, Roger rolled down his sleeves and turned towards Vivian.
“Then the western phenomenon may have something to do with black magic.”
Vivian replied with a nod of her head.
“Ah, and after the servants searched the mansion, no other scrolls were found. It seems that the only scroll was in your room, Vivian.”
Roger changed the topic, bringing up something she had forgotten. Thankfully, no other scrolls were found. That meant no one else in the mansion would have to worry about being imbued with black magic. Vivian looked down at her hands, which had received purification magic from Daniel the other day. She suddenly remembered that Roger had come here for treatment, and she lifted her head.
“Sir Knight, is your arm okay now?”
Vivian grabbed his wrist. It was a boldness she didn’t normally have. Roger seemed a little surprised by Vivian’s audacious behavior.
“Yes, it is fine. Healing magic is what Daniel specializes in.”
“That’s why he always comes to me for help. You haven’t changed.”
Daniel shook his head in disbelief. Vivian examined Roger’s forearm with a worried look.
“I heard someone calling for you earlier. I thought it was an emergency, and I wanted to help…… but I remembered the conversation we had and I focused on removing the cracks. I believe in the Knights.”
Now that she thought about it, it was very strange to hear* Tainy’s voice telling her to trust the Knights. Vivian talked about the situation with new emotion.
[*E/N: she means she actually heard Tainy’s voice, she didn’t just remember his words.]
A soft smile formed on Roger’s lips as he quietly listened to her story.
His voice was as soft as a smile. His rude attitude had long since disappeared. With his gentle voice and a soft smile, Vivian suddenly felt a tickle in the corner of her chest. It was a feeling she had often felt since meeting him. She thought she would get used to it by now, but she hadn’t. It felt new every time.
Daniel’s expression became strange as he watched the two, who were focused only on each other. He had no idea what was going on in front of his eyes.
Daniel looked at Vivian and Roger alternately, and asked with a sullen voice.
“…… What is this atmosphere? Can I leave?”
“W-why are you leaving?”
Vivian stuttered, deeply embarrassed. Before Daniel could say another word, she hurriedly changed the subject.
“Daniel. I heard that magic can find the caster through the magical power it contains….. Is it possible this time?”
“To put it bluntly, no. First of all, the magic circle we have now is not the real one, just a drawing. It’s just a piece of paper with no magic in it. And even if it was a magic circle that actually contained magical power, it wouldn’t be easy to find the caster.”
Vivian let out a deep sigh in response to his cold and decisive answer. If the chaos that swept the western land was caused by black magic, she had no idea where to start or how to solve it.
Roger, with a look as complex as hers, opened his mouth at once.
“It was possible when warlocks appeared in the world.”
The eyes of Daniel and Vivian both focused on Roger at the same time. However, Roger’s gaze did not meet theirs. He was looking downwards, immersed in thought.
“Do you know what the plan of the warlocks was?”
After the existence of the daenerys* were revealed to the world, their plans were also leaked. However, the matter was so serious that only the highest leaders of each country had heard it. One such individual was the emperor.
[*E/N: this is the name that warlocks go by. If any reader can remember the spelling, please tag Ariana or I on discord :_)]
The common citizen only knew there was a plan, without any details. But it was clear that it was truly terrible, as multiple countries dispatched groups of knights to subdue them at once. After that, nothing more was heard, so Vivian did not know what was going on or what their plans were. As she listened to the conversation, it seemed as though Roger knew nothing.
Daniel, whom she expected to know the most about black magic, had an unsettling expression on his face. He looked like he knew something.
“Daniel… do you know?”
The only thing Vivian knew was that the monitoring of the daenerys was delegated to the Magic Association. Daniel was part of the magical world, so she wondered if he knew about it. At the same time, she thought that she should not have high expectations as he was not a member of the association.
“I don’t know the details.”
After a while, Daniel opened his mouth and shrugged his shoulders. His voice deepened.
“But…… the plan was so terrifying that even the elders of the magic association were trembling. They told me that if Daneris’s plan was revealed to the public, all magic might have been designated as a forbidden technique.”
“Is that so?”
Today, magic was a great force that had contributed immeasurably to the world. But what happened with the daenerys that almost caused all magic to be banned?
“I can’t imagine how dangerous their plan must have been.”
“I don’t know the details, but the foundation of black magic is corrupted, so it must have been something related to that.”
“The theory of magic is solid. We can create something out of nothing. For example, the weather. We can artificially bring in warm air to overcome cold weather, or create artificial clouds to solve a drought. But the theory of black magic is the complete opposite. It turns something into nothing. It is the power of destruction that can destroy almost anything that exists.”
In an instant, the demonic beasts that devastated the western land came to mind. She heard them crashing against the wall with a wailing sound. She saw the way they chased after humans, who were their prey. The more she remembered, the more she understood what ruin meant.
“Anyway, considering that so many demonic beasts appeared at once, there is likely a caster who wishes to destroy this land.”
“A dark magic caster.”
Daniel realized that Vivian didn’t understand the term, so he began to explain.
“Magical beasts are usually created by evil energy. Evil energy refers to the power that comes from human jealousy, selfishness, evil deeds, and sin. However, it is by no means easy for evil energy to naturally cluster into a mass to create a magical beast. It’s only a two or three percent chance.”
“Yes. Judging from the numbers, the phenomenon we’re seeing couldn’t have occurred naturally. So, there is a ‘caster’ who is creating magical beasts and releasing them on this land.”
“Is the caster the Black Magician?”
Roger, who had been silently listening, crossed his arms and interrupted him. Daniel kept his mouth shut. There was no answer, but she knew that his silence was affirmation.
After a brief silence, Roger got up from the bed. Vivian’s gaze naturally clung to him and moved upward. At the same time, Roger glanced down at her.
“I must report this to His Majesty.”
“Do you think it was the work of a warlock?”
“Yes. If it’s true, we’ll have to ask the Magic Society for help.”
Roger didn’t know how strong a warlock was, but he knew well that black magic was a terrible power that could cause a catastrophe. Even though it wasn’t confirmed to be black magic, it was better to report it and have it be nothing, than not report it and cause a disaster.
Agreeing with his opinion, Vivian checked the clock. She knew they had been talking for a while, but more time passed than she thought it had. It would be rude to bother Daniel any more at a late hour, so Vivian also got up.
“It is very late. Sir Knight and I will leave now, Daniel.”
Daniel frowned and nodded his head. Roger left the room first and when Vivian was about to follow him, Daniel, who was still standing in the middle of the room, called out to her.
“I think I will be able to open the closed door soon.”
It was the only good news she had heard all day. Daniel nodded slowly. Contrasting his tired expression, his eyes were sharp.
“Do you remember?”
“You promised that if I open the door, you would help in my research with the utmost sincerity.”
He responded quite harshly to Vivian’s bewildered reply. He seemed to be glaring at Roger over Vivian’s shoulder. After she recalled that Roger had often used Daniel for unpaid work, his attitude made sense.
“Sure. It’ll be nothing compared to what you’ve done so far.”
Vivian clenched her fists and spoke firmly. It was only then that Daniel’s expression softened a little.