‘It looks like nothing happened.’
She got out of bed and went to the window.
She couldn’t see anything because the snowstorm was still there, but she could tell that it was getting dark.
‘Is it night already? No, wait.’
Night? It couldn’t be.
Because she didn’t have dinner yet.
No matter how deeply she slept, Lucy would have woken her up to eat.
The people of Blizzard Castle acted as if the sky would collapse if she skipped even one meal.
She clung to the window and took a closer look.
‘It’s not that it’s getting dark… it’s a shadow.’
The moment she realized that the darkness was not the night, but a shadow cast by something large.
Thump, the castle shook.
Ariadne stumbled and fell.
Fortunately, the carpet was soft, so she was not hurt.
‘What, what is this…’
As she raised her head, the window in front of her shattered with the sound of her booming voice.
And through the shattered window, a huge bird made of ice thrust her head.
“You are here, princess.”
The man perched on top of the bird’s head laughed.
He was wearing armor emblazoned with the head of a deer with long antlers.
Ariadne immediately recognized the armor.
‘Golden Horn! ’
How was Eldeer’s knight there? Besides, it’s an ice bird.
She had heard the Knight Commander of the Golden Horn Knights ride on a spirit beast in the form of an ice bird.
‘The knight who came earlier could not be…’
The man stretched out his hand towards her…
“I will save you right away.
You should go home.”
Ariadne hesitated and withdrew as she sat down.
The man, frowning at her, jumped from his elemental spirit and came directly to her.
“Princess, please come here.”
“Sir, I hate it.
I’m not going.”
“I wanted to take you well.”
The man frowned at her and reached out his hand to her.
Right before his hand touched her, blue lightning flashed between them.
The man flinched and withdrew his hand.
“Where did the spoiled rat crawl in?”
A ghastly voice was heard.
The Archmage appeared before she knew it and pulled Ariadne toward him.
“It’s a magic without a spear, you’re a hemp master.”
The man sighed and took out a small bottle from his bosom.
“I don’t want to fight the Archmage, but can you return the princess?”
“Young people these days don’t seem to understand why I’m called the Archmage.
Don’t say shit, but when it goes out, I’ll put my life on hold.”
Even though there was no wind, the Archmage’s robe fluttered.
It was proof that powerful magic was being cast.
“I’m not going to underestimate the Archmage.”
The man threw the bottle he was holding at them.
Then, a sharp piece of ice the man created flew towards the floating bottle.
The bottle broke, and the dark red liquid it contained poured out like rain.
It was polluted water.
As soon as Ariadne saw it, he jumped forward.
Contaminated water could contaminate even magical power, so ordinary magic couldn’t stop it.
To stop the polluted water, a magic circle made of grinding spirit stones was needed.
It meant that the wizard has no way to stop the contaminated water in a situation where it was not prepared in advance.
‘The Archmage will die if it gets contaminated, but I won’t die!’
That man must be doing such crazy things because he knew that Ariadne wouldn’t die instantly from contaminated water.
He probably brought an unfinished elixir as well.
She stood in front of the Archmage and closed her eyes tightly.
But the pain she had been waiting for did not come.
“You’re underestimating me, but what?”
A ferocious murmur was heard.
Ariadne opened her eyes.
The hem of his dark blue robe obscured her vision.
The Archmage lifted the hem of his robe and embraced Ariadne.
The dark red liquid roared and burned the robe, but it couldn’t get through it.
The man panicked and took a step back.
“How or what, go and study history again.”
After removing the robe, the Archmage gestured lightly.
“How I fought pollution is in the history books.”
A bolt of lightning came out of the Archmage’s fingertips.
The man narrowly escaped it.
Jumping back, he clung to the ice bird’s neck.
Then the number of spirits who cried high flew up.
A strong wind blew up.
He just ran away.
Instead of chasing after the man, the Archmage caught Ariadne in his arms.
“Not to be afraid!”
Green eyes frantically scanned her body.
After making sure that she was not hurt, the Archmage looked at her with a terrifying look on his face.
“Are you crazy? What do you say? Were you going to jump and get hurt…! What if something big happened, huh?”
The red-hot old man grabbed her by the shoulder and yelled.
Ariadne stuttered in protest.
“I-I won’t die from contaminated water.
But the Archmage…”
“Is that why you jump out like that? What did you see me as? Who will protect who! Being young, really being young… really…”
The Archmage’s head lowered gradually.
The old man hugged her and made her cry.
“You have no fear.
What am I saying… I know I will get scolded very loudly.
It’s going to make a fuss.
What am I, don’t you hate me, huh? What am I…?”
Hot tears dripped down the back of her neck. The heat warmed her whole body.
Something warm flowed and pooled inside her chest.
Ariadne unknowingly buried her head in the arms of the great magician.
On the old man’s chest that touched her forehead, her heart was beating terrified.
His hand, which endlessly stroked the back of her hair, also trembled and continued.
The bosom was very warm.
* ♦ ♦ ♦ *
The Duke of Eldeer read the message sent by the messenger.
-Operation diversion was a success.
Most of the knights were lured in, and Mohan Byun was tied up for a while.
However, the power of the Snow Leopard Knights and the Marquis was stronger than expected.
Since they couldn’t send support, the knight commander had to go to the princess alone.
Unluckily, the archmage arrived unexpectedly quickly, and the defense against the contaminated water was…
It was written word for word, but the conclusion meant that it was a failure.
The Duke gritted his teeth and crumpled the paper.
It was a strategy that was pushed ahead with the thought that most of the Snow Leopard Knights were out of subjugation as an opportunity, but it was a failure.
‘The completion of the Elixir is just around the corner, you foolish girl.’
He never thought that his little daughter would trouble him like this.
How precious she was raised, how she could run away in an instant.
‘In the end, everything will benefit you!’
With a little patience, the elixir would be complete.
The family that became rich with the elixir would later be inherited by her.
How nice it was that she could become resistant to contamination by training from a young age.
‘Because I couldn’t stand the slightest bit of that pain!’
The Duke slammed the desk nervously.
He couldn’t stand the pain, so he was trying to ruin everything before him like this.
His daughter’s shallow patience was disappointing.
The child escaped anyway, and the operation to bring her back failed.
Now he had to try another method.
‘Still, it’s clear that the child was kidnapped, so the cause is mine.’
Rejecting the escort knight sent by her father to her daughter, she drove away by force.
She couldn’t even see the child.
Whoever could see it, Weaver’s side was acting compulsively.
‘I’ll have to meet and see His Highness the King.’
* ♦ ♦ ♦ *
Weaver-style courtesy was a method of leaving only one of the opponents intact and stepping on the rest until they were about to die.
One person was left to take care of the rest because he couldn’t walk on his own.
It was polite enough to provide a means to return without sacrificing the guesthouse.
Ariadne was taken aback after hearing what purpose they came for and how they were dealt with.
“The Duke will protest.”
“It doesn’t matter whether you do it or not.”
Marquis Baek replied sullenly.
Ariadne was far away and blinked her eyes.
‘Is Eldeer’s prestige weaker than I expected? Or is the power of the Weaver family stronger than expected?’
She was not sure which one was true.
As she hesitated, the Archmage, who held her in his arms, opened his mouth.
“Eldeer is bigger and richer than us, but he is just that.”
When asked in surprise, the old man only smiled.
There was one point Ariadne was mistaken about.
She was estimating the power and scale of ‘Eldeer’ based on the original novel.
However, the Eldeer that appeared in the novel was a family that had grown rapidly by monopolizing the Elixir.
But that had not happened yet.
She exaggerated even the scale of Eldeer before Elixir was developed.
Also, she didn’t know how much prestige the Weaver family and the Archmage were wielding at the present time.
In the original work, the Weaver family was an unimportant family that did not even appear except in Erich Weaver’s flashback scenes.
Ariadne dimly realized that in the attitude of the Archmage.
‘It was both.
Eldeer is weaker than expected, and Weaver is also stronger than expected.’
The old man gave the Marquis a chin.
“Baby, your uncle is not trustworthy, but even that guy does the job of four or five spirit knights.”
“Father, are you saying your son is not trustworthy?”
The one who didn’t even know the rat crawled into the kid’s room.”
The Margrave shut his mouth and shrank.
The Archmage clicked his tongue as if to listen.
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