Thanks for the ko-fi, Kiki ༼ つ ◕‿◕ ༽つ
Most of all, the word that caught Vivian’s attention was that. She could easily recall the magic scroll she had found in this wardrobe earlier.
‘So the source of that scroll was the previous Lord Ozent?’
Now the threads began to unravel a little. Why was the dark magic scroll only in Vivian’s bedroom wardrobe?
While she was lost in thought, the knights stopped their search and left the bedroom. The noise outside the door was still loud. Vivian didn’t make a sound until they disappeared.
Finally, the door closed, and she let out the breath she had been holding. Afterward, just in case, Vivian stayed hidden in the wardrobe for a while, listening for any signs from outside. Occasionally, she heard footsteps, but the bedroom door remained closed. The tension had soaked her forehead with cold sweat.
The sound of the wardrobe door opening echoed in the quiet bedroom. Vivian finally wiped away the sweat on her forehead with her sleeve and stepped out of the wardrobe.
‘Why did Husson Audney come here? Who are the knights accompanying him?’
Questions still swirled in her mind like waves.
It was a frustrating situation with no clear answers.
Putting aside her deepening thoughts, she raised her head. According to Hamel, they were capturing everyone in the mansion right now. If Vivian were to be discovered, she would be caught immediately. Without elemental magic, Vivian had no power to oppose them.
‘I have to get out of the mansion.’
So there was only one solution: to leave this place.
She quickly moved without bothering to straighten her disheveled robe. Silently, she headed toward the window, muffling her footsteps.
The bedroom window was located in a position where she couldn’t see the mansion’s entrance, which was now surrounded by unknown individuals. Of course, it still wasn’t visible.
Unable to determine if enemies were stationed at the mansion’s entrance or not, Vivian clenched her jaw with a determined expression.
In this situation, the best course of action was to leave the bedroom and personally observe the enemy’s movements. Vivian tightened her fist and took a deep breath.
After mentally preparing herself and heading toward the door, she stopped in her tracks when she saw something inside the open wardrobe.
‘What is that…?’
She approached the wardrobe quietly. Inside, Roger’s gift, the sword he had given her long ago, was neatly placed. Since receiving the gift, she had never used it even once.
Enka had said it was now safe for her to wield a real sword, but Vivian had always clung to her practice sword with a sense of complacency. If she had known that such a dire situation would arise, she might have grabbed that sword and swung it around sooner.
Vivian, who had been standing still for a moment, reached out and grabbed the sword. It was a longsword that seemed to consider her skill level, as the weight felt just right in her hand. What had been extremely awkward the last time now seemed to fit snugly in her hand as if it sensed her determination.
Vivian slipped the sword into the scabbard between the cinched belt of her dress. She covered it with her robe and stealthily made her way towards the door. The noise that had been intermittent just moments ago had now quieted down outside the door. It seemed like everyone had descended to the first floor.
Exercising patience, Vivian waited a bit longer before finally opening the door. She cautiously cracked it open, fearing that it might make a sound.
As she had anticipated, there were no people in the corridor. Occasionally, she sensed movement, but it seemed to be coming from the stairs leading down to the first floor or below.
After securing the sword properly in her belt, Vivian carefully exited the bedroom. She walked along the corridor, hugging the wall. Thanks to columns that jutted out between rooms, she could somewhat conceal her body. Tension coursed through her entire being as she moved forward cautiously.
Suddenly, Vivian turned her head and, through the corridor window, finally saw the entrance to the mansion that had not been visible from the bedroom. Three unfamiliar carriages were parked side by side.
Did they come in those carriages? If only three carriages came, it didn’t seem like a large number of people had arrived.
Vivian realized that now wasn’t the time to pay attention to that and immediately straightened her head.
She needed to find a way to escape the mansion while avoiding the gaze of the unknown knights. She couldn’t just jump out of the second-floor window, so she had to find a way to reach the first floor no matter what. She thought hard about an alternative escape route, other than the staircase leading to the hall.
Suddenly, she remembered a separate staircase that led to the servants’ quarters. She had learned about it while overhearing a conversation Hamel had earlier.
Vivian turned the corner and headed in the opposite direction. As she continued quietly, trying to estimate where the staircase would be, she suddenly stopped in her tracks when she heard footsteps coming from the opposite direction. At the same time, she pressed her body against the wall as if it had become one with it.
Her heart seemed to shrink to the size of a bean.
Unfortunately, the footsteps only grew louder as time passed. It seemed that someone was approaching Vivian’s hiding spot in the corridor.
With no other choice, she quickly opened a nearby door and slipped inside.
As she closed the door as quietly as possible and turned her head, the study that she had grown tired of looking at for the past few days spread out before her.
Standing by the door, Vivian, who was waiting for the right moment to leave, hesitated and moved further into the study as the footsteps outside grew louder. Even as she retreated, her gaze remained fixed on the door.
‘Please, let those outside pass by the study.’
Unfortunately, it seemed that their destination was indeed the study as the doorknob turned.
Without hesitation, Vivian turned her body and hid behind the bookshelves. At the same time, the door to the study opened.
“They really broke the enchantment on the study.”
When the door opened, a deep, resonant sound could be heard. The sound of a tongue clicking followed. Vivian, her body pressed tightly against a concealed corner of the bookshelf that couldn’t be seen from the entrance, covered her mouth with her hand.
The sound of footsteps extending towards the crowded bookshelves in the study could be heard. As the sounds overlapped and reached her, it seemed that more than one person had entered the study.
As the situation took a turn for the worse, Vivian tightened her grip on her hand. If she were to be discovered here…
“How is the village progressing?”
“According to plan.”
“I heard the royal family has hired a personal magician.”
“As if one magician can handle the torrent of magic pouring out.”
Those who thought there was no one in the study engaged in hushed conversation.
Vivian perked her ears at one of the voices, which sounded quite familiar. Though staying quiet was the prudent choice in her concealed position, her curiosity overcame her fear.
She slightly turned her rigid body to the side.
Vivian’s eyes widened without a sound. Following Husseni, a familiar face filled her vision. It was none other than Glen, the head of the Royal Knights.
Somehow, Glen appeared even older than Hussen, resembling him but looking more aged.
“Glen, you must know why I brought you here, right?”
The man asked, tapping Glen’s shoulder. Without hesitation, Glen nodded as if he knew well. The man with faint wrinkles on his face seemed satisfied with Glen’s dignified response.
“No matter how hard the Eckhart Knights try, can they really withstand the relentless increase in magical creatures? Even if they resist now, they’ll eventually fall behind. Someone might even die. The Royal Knights must wait for the right moment, seize the opportunity when the Eckhart Knights weaken, and deal with all of them.”
Vivian’s eyes trembled at the unexpected title.
‘Father? Is that man Viscount Dinus?’
“If only you had remained by His Majesty’s side from the beginning, how much better it would have been. If that had happened, things wouldn’t have become so tangled.”
The man, Viscount Dinus, withdrew his smile and gave his son a critical look from head to toe. Glen seemed subdued, avoiding eye contact. It was a stark contrast to his arrogant attitude in the past when he looked down on the Eckhart Knights.
“Having such a worthless fellow by His Majesty’s side…”
Viscount Dinus sighed deeply, as if the mere thought gave him a headache.
“We cannot leave our plans in disarray because of those lowly knights and their leader.”
“Of course not.”
“Tonight… Daenerys, who has been hiding underground without a glimpse of light for so long, will have the perfect opportunity to reveal herself to the world. We can finally achieve the grand plan thwarted by traitors centuries ago!”
TL’s note: Yes, guys, it’s Daenerys. ;-;.
The eyes of Viscount Dinus flickered strangely. It was greed and madness.
Vivian’s face shattered like broken glass at the words he uttered, ‘Daenerys’ and ‘plan.’ It was the moment when her vague suspicions became clear. The reason the western region had changed was the work of a sorceress, Daenerys.
“Indeed… There are too many trying to interfere with our plans. From the former defectors to their stubborn descendants!”
Viscount Dinus raised his voice with a menacing look in his eyes.
“Is the girl taken care of?”
“Anyway, I thought no one would be a descendant of the defector. I thought they were already dead. Well, it doesn’t matter. This will be another weakness for House Ozent.”
Viscount Dinus, showing a sinister smile, whispered in a low voice that soon faded away.
“Even for the sake of our comrades waiting in the Capital… This plan must succeed.”
Viscount Dinus’s smile vanished in an instant. Then, as if he had glimpsed the failure of their grand plan, he looked at his son with a cold gaze. His eyes were as threatening as a sword. Glen couldn’t help but nod.
Vivian had roughly grasped their hidden conversation.
Viscount Dinus followed a sorceress named Daenerys who practiced dark magic, and there were quite a few of Daenerys’s followers hidden in the Capital, and… the ‘plan’ he kept talking about was the same as the one that had been globally prohibited hundreds of years ago, executed by Daenerys.
As Vivian listed these thoughts in her head, she recalled her conversation with Daniel. To think that they were trying to execute that plan, which could have banned even the accepted magic in this world, was horrifying.
‘Who is this ‘defector’? Is it someone from House Ozent, given that they say he’s a weakness?’
Many questions remained unanswered in their conversation, but there was no clear way to solve them. However, upon hearing the words ‘descendant of the defector’ and ‘girl,’ the old woman they had met in the back alley bookstore came to mind. She had also mentioned that she was a former sorceress.
As she was lost in deep confusion, Viscount Dinus turned. He, followed by Glen, and they headed towards the inner part of the study.
Vivian cautiously moved to the adjacent bookshelf. Even though she was hidden by books, her expression involuntarily creased when she couldn’t see them clearly.
“They’ve undone the magic protecting the study, but it seems they haven’t discovered this place yet.”
Viscount Dinus, who had been smiling gleefully, extended his hand toward the bookshelf against the study wall. His fingertip lightly pressed the third book in the tenth row, the second book in the fourth row, and the first book in the fifth row.
When Viscount Dinus removed his hand and took a step back, the bookshelf he had touched began to shake. The dust accumulated on the top of the bookshelf scattered into the air.
A moment later, with a clunking sound, the bookshelf began to split in half.
TL’s note: Bruh, don’t leave me hanging.
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