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    Translated by Tam
    Edited by Tam


     

    What is it? 

     

    It was an endless suspicious request, but there was no reason to refuse. Cesare helped her if he really helped, he’s not a man to push her to a cliff. At least so far in Catherine’s eyes, he was such a person. 

     

    She quietly closed her eyes. No sound was heard, and no sign of any presence was felt. How long has she been standing like that? Catherine opened her eyes, which had been closed in her frustration.

     

    “—Cesare?”

     

    There was no Cesare. The surroundings are so quiet that it is unnatural. It wasn’t even autumn yet, but the chill that penetrated to the bone was spreading in the air. Catherine instinctively sensed that the atmosphere in the mansion was different from before. 

     

    First, she ran to the kitchen. She can’t hear the sound of the flowing water. Rose, who was supposed to be trimming ingredients, lying on the floor. 

     

    “Rose? Are you okay?”

     

    Thankfully, her body was warm as she hurriedly approached and hugged her. For whatever reason, Rose was still asleep, holding the knife that was cutting the potatoes. 

     

    ‘Is it magic?’

     

    Just in case, she covered her with a blanket and headed to the garden. A white cloud flowing like a river against the backdrop of sky blue is embedded like a picture. It didn’t move anymore as if time had stopped.

     

    “Damian!”

     

    A man in a straw hat was leaning against a stump. Catherine took off the man’s hat and checked his complexion. As expected, he was also asleep. However, he did not fall asleep suddenly, but seemed to have been asleep from the beginning.

     

    “You’re fooling around for half a day. That’s why gardening is so slow.” 

     

    Damian never woke up from sleep. Even though she tickled his side, kicked his thigh with all her might, and threatened to pull out all his heads and turn them into baldness, he closed his eyes as if he were dead. 

     

    “It’s really magic—”

     

    The only suspect that comes to mind right now is Cesare. If it was Cesare’s work to put everyone, including Catherine, to sleep, what would be the reason? 

     

    Meow.

     

    Just then, a familiar cat cry was heard outside the door. A small size with raw yellow hair like a forsythia in early spring. It was Meow. 

     

    「Catherine, what’s going on inside? I can’t go in because there’s magic in the mansion.」 

     

    As he get closer, he put a small cotton bat on the iron door. Crunching. But as soon as it touched the door, it bounced off with an uncomfortable noise. 

     

    「Kyaang!」

     

    Catherine opened the door just in case. Unlike cats, the iron door was pushed out naturally. Her body completely escaped from the mansion.

     

    Whoosh! 

     

    “Ah.”

     

    Only then did the heavy silence surrounding her disappear. The frozen clouds began to move again, and there was peace in the air, and the sound of the wind was heard from all over the place. 

     

    While licking his feet, the cat murmured.

     

    「It’s that man’s power.」

     

    She sat with her knees bent and waited quietly for Meow to tell her who the man he was referring to was. The cat spoke in a grim voice as if it were revealing a huge conspiracy, shining small and sparkling eyes.

     

    「A scary and powerful being who comes to Catherine. The silver hair evil that is more shameless because he is handsome—」 

     

    “Ssh.”

     

    As expected, it was Cesare. 

     

    The cat eagerly brushed the closed snout from Catherine’s hand from side to side. And she quietly warned him. 

     

    “You can’t say who he is.” 

     

    「Huh? Why? Catherine is so weird. You treats the scary and terrible being nonchalantly, and rather receives his protection」 

     

    A scary and terrible being. 

     

    Meow’s expression was flawless. Catherine wiped Meow’s chin without answering. 

     

    「By any chance, are you JjangChin?」

     

    “JjangChin?”

     

    「I mean best friend!」(So the cat say it 짱친, and explain it later 짱 좋은 친구. But I will just put it like this xD)

     

    Friends.

     

    She felt the ringing of her fingertips and recalled her relationship with Cesare. 

     

    “Not at all. He’s protecting me because—”

     

    Why?

     

    ‘Is he interested in me?’

     

    If she didn’t know Cesare’s identity, she might have thought so.

     

    However, as time passed, the positive assumption gradually faded. The reason he favored Catherine was, in fact, somewhat obvious. 

     

    “Because it’s good to use?”

     

    Cesare had been hiding the magic circle in the basement long before Catherine owned the mansion. In the midst of that, the intruder steadily came, and the curtains to shield them from their view would have been Catherine’s work. 

     

    Yes, after all, this assumption must be the most rational.

     

    It felt strangely empty. Even if she knew it already, the feeling of taking it out of her mouth could be so different.

     

    「But Catherine left the house casually.」 

     

    “It’s not that he cared about me, it’s just that his magic doesn’t work on me.”

     

    「Huh? Why isn’t magic working on Catherine?」

     

    “I’ve been like that since birth. That doesn’t mean I’m immune to all magic, but—.”

     

    That’s why she as able to know the identity of Cesare in the first place. Because she is an unusual constitution that magic doesn’t work to. 

     

    「Hmm.」 

     

    Meow, who had been grinning with his eyes closed, got up.  

     

    “Anyway, the relationship between a man and a woman is complicated and unproductive. Ugh— I was going to take a nap while being stroked by Catherine, but it all went over. I’ll be back when the magic is unravel.” 

     

    The cat wagged its tail and disappeared in full steps. Catherine watched the back for a long time and returned to the mansion. 

     

    Change was like a sword. As soon as she stepped into the door, dark and frosty air wrapped around her again. Maybe it was because she had left the mansion, but she was able to clearly recognize where the source of this chilly energy was and its direction. It was the basement. 

     

    “Uhm.”

     

    The wooden door that had been locked with a padlock was wide open, and somehow it felt as if a terrible scream could be heard from below. 

     

    “It’s suspicious.”

     

    It was certain. If she go down there, she’ll see things that no one else will see. If she’s unlucky, she could close her eyes forever. Then there was only one thing Catherine had to do.

     

    ‘Let’s go up to the bedroom and sleep.’

     

    It had to do with Cesare, so he would take care of it and handle it perfectly. In the meantime, Catherine had to sleep like Rose and Damian did, or read a book when she couldn’t sleep. 

     

    ‘But what if Cesare asks why am I the only one okay?’

     

    Honestly, can she mention the special constitution she had since she was young?

     

    However, it felt a bit uncomfortable to reveal it as it is. And in Catherine’s experience, this feeling has never been wrong. What exactly is this? 

     

    At that time, she heard a sudden appearance.

     

    “Cough—”

     

    It was the sound of someone dying. Catherine shrugged her shoulders and turned her body in the direction the sound had come from. Right next to the door leading to the basement was a man with blood on his face. 

     

    No, it was crawling up. 

     

    Both of her feet were stiff. This is dangerous. Her body did not move with the fear that was approaching. The man stretched out his arms, less trembling as if he was about to fall. 

     

    “S, save me—”

     

    There was no more backstory. The man was dragged back into the dark of the basement at a much faster rate than he had crawled up. 

     

    Crunch, crunch. 

     

    The time until just a few seconds before there was a heavy silence felt like a dream. She stopped breathing and stepped back slowly. 

     

    Just below that darkness was ‘it’. There is no way to know whether it is Cesare or not. The important thing right now was to get out of this space. 

     

    The clear raw sound of chewing and swallowing bones was clear. Let’s not think about it. Don’t imagine what’s going on down there.

     

    “—Ah, that’s what it was.”

     

    Beyond the dark tent, shoes with a clean glow appeared. 

     

    “Now I know.”

     

    When their eyes met, the man who appeared from the shadows, Cesare, showed his polite and gentle smile. 

     

    “What did I think so complicatedly? I wondered why you couldn’t hear anything, feel it, or see it. Even standing here intact after overcoming my magic—. Was the magic invalid? 

     

    Invalidation of magic. Power to neutralize magic. Also, the constitution she had since birth. (Or dispel?)

     

    Catherine took a step back without an answer. She wasn’t in the mood to be cheerful and affirmative.

     

    “In the Iterana Empire, those with the power to nullify magic are talents that are nurtured at the national level. Miss Phanya. If you are a subject of the Empire, you must have completed your magic education according to the Imperial Law.” 

     

    She knew what Cesare was trying to say.

     

    Damn it. Catherine felt her throat burn. The familiarity that had been seen a few minutes ago had evaporated without a trace in her gaze. Just like the day she first met her.

     

    “That education must have included ‘Devilology’ as well. Am I right?” 

     

    “Yeah.”

     

    “Then, Miss Phanya. What color do my eyes look like right now?”

     

    “—It’s pretty purple color.”

     

    Purple is also the color of the devil.

     

    “It’s my first time hearing that it’s pretty.”

     

    Catherine quietly lowered her gaze. 

     

    ‘Devil.’

     

    Surprisingly, the identity of Grand Duke Christopher is the devil. 

     

    If this fact is known, it will cause considerable repercussions not only in the empire but also in the world. Either way, it was not a wave that would be beneficial to Cesare himself. But what if someone who knows his identity appears? 

     

    ‘I will also get rid of it without a sound.’ 

     

    That’s why she tried to stay away from Cesare. Lately, the problem was that they slowly became closer as they got closer. 

     

    Napping? Reading? She couldn’t help but laugh. It’s been a while, but she made such a silly judgment. She was caught acting in vain. 

     

    “It’s been a long time since I’ve been completely fooled by someone like this—. It’s worth a compliment.”

     

    With a calm voice, Cesare clasped his hands.

     

    Tak

     

    It took her breath away like magic. The stiffened air begins to flow again like a river. The time of the mansion, which had stopped, returned to its original state. Cesare said to Catherine with a nonchalant face, as if something had happened. 

     

    “I’m done with my business. This time, it took some time for the well-equipped people to come.” 

     

    She felt more distant. As if he were the perfect stranger. After all, were all the favors he had shown fake?

     

    —What if it’s fake? It’s true that Cesare helped her.

     

    ‘Let’s not be disappointed.’

     

    Hie was well aware that it would be more ridiculous for such a great being to treat her like a friend. It was a bit disappointing to think that she would not be able to receive even that favor anymore. 

     

    “Will you kill me?”

     

    Cesare’s reply was not delayed.

     

    “Probably.”

     

    Cesare, who was about to turn back and go back down to the basement, stopped.

     

    “Oh, you’d better be careful of your sister. She’s the one who brought the trash I cleaned up.” 

     

    Catherine’s head began to get complicated.

     


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