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    Translated by Tam


     

    “By the way, do you stay at the hotel? What about the mansion?”

     

    “I sold it. I’m not sure if I will stay one night a year anyway, but it’s useless if I leave it alone.”

     

    She always feels it, but Cesare is such a cool person—. No, he’s a cool devil, can he be that cool because he’s a devil?

     

    To make a living, Lords with tremendous power often sell castles or mansions. However, there will be no other nobles who dispose of the mansion because it is cumbersome to manage.

     

    Even though she looked like a foreigner, people didn’t find Catherine strange. Because Beaton Blue is a famous vacation spot on the continent, everyone seemed familiar with foreigners.

     

    The two took a seat in the innermost part of the cafeteria. It was the consideration of the staff considering Cesare’s status.

     

    As soon as he sat down, he opened his mouth.

     

    “So what do you want to say?”

     

    Bright cobalt blue eyes stared down at Catherine.

     

    He looked like he would never crumple or lose his temper no matter what she said. Catherine knew that he was a person who seemed cold enough to make her fingertips hurt but not the heart. 

     

    ‘Ah.’ 

     

    What a thought. Catherine swallowed her saliva briefly and organized her thoughts.  What did she have to ask him for? Nephilim? No—Was she supposed to say that she also went into the abyss?

     

    Waiting for Catherine’s answer in a light leaning position on a chair, he tapped his leg and slowly opened his mouth.

     

    “Let’s order something first.”

     

    It was a proposal well worth agreeing with. Catherine ordered lukewarm peppermint tea to clear her throat, which was strangely clogged by her chin.

     

    Soon after, the ordered coffee and herbal tea were placed on the table. The price seems to be about eight times the price of a local cafeteria, but the taste was not much different.

     

    Catherine, who had satisfied her thirst with three or four sips, finally asked the question she had been holding back.

     

    “Why?” 

     

    Of course, it wasn’t her question that she was sure she would get an answer to. She was asking about Cesare’s gaze, which had only been on her since before.

     

    “Hmm.”

     

    He didn’t even put his fingertips on the coffee. Did something go wrong? Cesare tucked her glass lightly, scrutinizing his face with careful eyes.

     

    “I don’t think it tastes good. You don’t like it?”

     

    It was a simpler business than she thought, so her slightly tense shoulders were loosened.

     

    “How did you know?”

     

    “Because I can see it on your face.”

     

    The sound she heard as if eating a meal in her life was ‘I don’t know what you’re thinking.’ Cesare was the first in her life to tell Catherine he could see her insides.

     

    ‘Is it not good?’

     

    She tasted the tea again at his words. She was not aware at all, but when she drank while recalling Cesare’s words, she could clearly feel the difference in taste. It means that the taste of tea was not good.

     

    “Well, the tea I drank in Cesare’s mansion is my favorite.”

     

    “Then shall we go for a drink?”

     

    What? 

     

    “Right now?” 

     

    Cesare raised his body and reached out to Catherine.

     

    Catherine had a conflict between the tea which was more than half left and Cesare’s hand, then she held his hand. Unlike the teacup she was holding, the warmth of the palm reaching for it was warm.

     

    Following Cesare, Catherine recalled the cup of coffee that was still in its place, like new. The thing she doesn’t like about him is that he doesn’t even give me a second glance.

     

    “Shall I use my key?”

     

    “No.”

     

    He pushed the cafeteria door without hesitation. The interior of the hotel, which was supposed to be lit with a chandelier, was nowhere to be found, and a soft interior with a low shadow appeared. As Catherine stepped into it, she stopped in her position and looked around her.

     

    A familiar ceiling, a familiar floor, a familiar air. This was none other than her home.

     

    “Can I just check the basement for a moment while we’re here?”

     

    “…Go ahead.”

     

    The door closed, and Cesare’s shadow disappeared down the basement, next to the dim light pouring in from the window.

     

    Tuk, tuk, tuk.

     

    Christopher seemed to be raining. The pouring sound of rain was neither strong nor soft.

     

    She didn’t know how she was going to drink the mansion’s tea here, but Catherine didn’t really care. 

     

    For some reason, she felt like she had returned to her home after a long journey, and her internal fatigue seemed to be pouring out.

     

    She doesn’t know how many minutes have passed since she leaned against the window on the second floor. Catherine, leaning her forehead against her window, belatedly noticed the teacup held out in front of her. 

     

    She turned her head. Unlike before, while loosening the tie comfortably, Cesare was putting coffee in his mouth. Catherine picked up the glass he offered.

     

    “That day.” 

     

    Cesare’s gaze followed Catherine through the window. Catherine looked down at the wet, somewhat unorganized garden and said.

     

    “You were lying down over there.”

     

    It was already a while ago. But Catherine still remembered that day vividly.

     

    “Why were you lying down there?”

     

    A couple of steps away from her, Cesare, who also leaned against the window, looked at her and answered.

     

    “I think I heard a similar question last time.”

     

    “You avoided answering back then.”

     

    If it wasn’t an illusion, Cesare didn’t seem to want to talk much about it as Catherine asked. He seemed to be picking a word to express what he was about to say, rather than being hesitant to speak.

     

    “At that time, I was…”

     

    The long eyelashes fall down.

     

    “I was going to die. But, unfortunately, Miss Catherine woke me up.”

     

    It was an unexpected answer.

     

    Death? Catherine’s awaited reply was nothing more than a humorous joke that he was fatally wounded or, at best, fell asleep.

     

    But she can’t believe he was going to die.

     

    For a while, she had to keep her lips shut. She didn’t like how Cesare, who seemed to be indifferent even after saying such a thing.

     

    “Good job. I mean, me.” 

     

    Catherine barely opened her mouth after a short silence.

     

    “If I hadn’t saved the Cesare at the time, I might still be cleaning the mansion.”

     

    “It doesn’t sound like a joke.”

     

    “It’s not a joke.”

     

    It’s not a joke, is it? Even after speaking with her mouth, she doesn’t know.

     

    Cesare glanced at her and laughed as if he had heard something funny. That was a very satisfactory response. She doesn’t know why she cares about his reaction.

     

    “Then, all of a sudden… Is that how you faint again? Because you have to die?”

     

    “No. I don’t think that’s going to happen, at least as long as Miss Catherine’s soul is alive.”

     

    It sounded like it could happen at any time if Catherine’s soul disappeared. She didn’t know if she should be relieved of this or not.

     

    “I still remember clearly. How many devils coveted your body when you fell.”

     

    “…Devil?” 

     

    Cesare made a puzzled face. This silence was long. After thinking about something for a while, he mumbled with his strangely distorted eyes.

     

    “I see, can you see with the invalidation of magic? It’s not the devil. No, it’s the devil, but— it would be more accurate to say that it’s just ashes of desire.”

     

    It was difficult to understand what it meant.

     

    Seeing that he didn’t have anything to add, he didn’t seem to feel the need to explain it to Catherine.

     

    “But did you stop it by yourself?”

     

    “As Cesare said, I can do magic invalidation.”

     

    Cesare didn’t seem to like her answer.

     

    But Catherine was sincerely thinking like that. The reason she was able to be safe from the strange phenomena she had often experienced since childhood was that she had the only ability to invalidate magic no matter how much she thought about it.

     

    “I just scared them a little, so they ran away. It’s something I’ve seen since I was young—”

     

    “I think one day we’ll need to hear the old story of Miss Catherine. Until then, let’s say it’s because of your boldness.”

     

    “What’s wrong with my childhood story?”

     

    She answered with a gaze that asked if Cesare was asking something natural.

     

    “Just because I’m curious?”

     

    Unlike the hotel where he never touched the cup, Cesare is slowly emptying his cup of coffee.

     

    Well, she also wonders what he would have been like in the past. It was even more so when she recalled Cesare, who acted like a different being in the abyss.

     

    “…I wanted to ask you many things, too.”

     

    “Do it.”

     

    Catherine spoke without even realizing it since his voice was so pleasant.

     

    “When can I start learning magic?”

     

    Her mouth didn’t drop for no reason at the hotel, but it wasn’t that difficult when she came home.

     

    Maybe it’s because she can’t see Cesare’s face well. But the thing is, isn’t his presence clearer because his face is blurred?

     

    “By the way, I heard you call Remor yesterday?”

     

    “Oh, that’s right. It was when I was being chased without Meow or Damian—”

     

    “Chased?”

     

    He looked like he heard something wrong. A little doubt, a little absurdity, and a little anger fluttered in the dark blue eyes.

     

    “Yeah. They’re trying to use me as a sacrifice to summon devils.”

     

    “You were in that situation alone, and you didn’t call my name?”

     

    It was in his tone that she didn’t understand at all, so Catherine wondered if she had done something seriously wrong. But she also had her reasons.

     

    “I thought I can’t call you anytime.” 

     

    However, Cesare’s negative reaction was consistent.

     

    “Miss Catherine’s critical moments are not ‘at any time’.”

     

    What is it? In a way, it was natural, but she was flustered for no reason. Catherine sipped the car, rolling her eyes through the window.

     

    “…That’s why I called Remor.”

     

    “If you failed, you wouldn’t be here now.”

     

    “The priest said that all the people who were kidnapped at that time were safe.”

     

    So the woman who lost her child and was crying barely smiled.

     

    Cesare didn’t answer. It means he didn’t confirm or deny anything. In Catherine’s experience, the answer is usually fixed in this case.

     

    “I guess it’s not like that.” 

     

    Cesare raised one eyebrow slightly, but he didn’t reply either.

     

    ‘If I hadn’t left the cabin then—’

     

    Maggie must have become a face she couldn’t see anymore. She will slowly forget without knowing where or what happened.

     

    From the moment she left Orléans, she thought she had already cut her ties with them, but the first time she saw her face, her heart seemed to be shaken. Unlike Anne, Maggie was her sister who followed her closely.

     

    But why did humans who were not used as sacrifices have to lose their lives? She heard that 10,000 sea creatures were sacrificed. But is it only possible for 10,000? Catherine couldn’t believe it. 

     

    “Does it really need 10,000 living beings to be sacrificed in order for the Great Devil to be summoned?”


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    Tam

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