‘Anywhere is better than here.’
The green eyes of the Grand Wizard looking down at Ariadne were like glass beads.
She didn’t know what he’s thinking but she prayed fervently.
‘Please let him know that I am desperate and that it is difficult to tell the truth in front of my father.’
She wouldn’t expect to be taken right away, so even if she was suspicious…
“Ariadne! Dad told you not to play pranks like that to the guests!”
The Duke stretched out his hand, speaking in a tone that urged the prankster.
Was it a failure? Ariadne closed her eyes tightly.
“Wait a minute.”
The Archmage stopped the Duke, and he asked her.
“Do you want to meet your mother’s family?”
“…? Ah yes!”
Ariadne nodded her head quickly.
Even that was not enough, she begged desperately.
“I really, really want to go! By all means!”
“Yeah, if you want to go like that, you should go.”
The old man held her hand tightly.
It was a big, warm hand.
The Archmage smiled and said to the Duke.
“Is that okay, Lord Eldeer?”
“What? I’m going with her.
Have you forgotten who I am?”
“Aria resembles Gloria because her body is weak…”
“Who raised Gloria? You’re worrying unnecessarily.”
“… She is the only heir to the Ducal family.
She has a lot to study.”
“A seven-year-old has so much to study.
For a child, jumping and playing is also a study.
Traveling is also a great study.”
“It can’t be…”
“Since my granddaughter is curious about her mother’s family, shouldn’t I listen to her as a maternal grandfather?”
“You’ve never visited before, so are you suddenly trying to act like her grandfather?”
The Duke gnashed his teeth and opened his eyes.
The Archmage noticed that the young princess was trembling as she tightened her gripped hands.
He responded deftly.
“I haven’t done it before, so I have to do it now.
You can come pick her up later.”
“I can’t allow it.
Is this kidnapping…”
“My granddaughter said she was going to visit her mother’s house for a while with her maternal grandfather.
Is that kidnapping?”
“If you keep doing this, I will have no choice but to use force.
Ariadne, come right here!”
Ariadne flinched at the sharp call.
She was involuntarily terrified
She looked up at the Archmage with her face.
The Archmage glanced down at her and smiled at the Duke.
“Force? Did you just call me powerless?”
Solan Garcia was the ‘grand wizard’.
During this era, he was the only one on the entire continent to receive the title of Archmage.
A person who was called by the title of Archmage more than his name, and the title itself was no different from his name.
Even if he was the best Duke in the kingdom, he was an existence that cannot be recklessly detained.
The Duke of Eldeer couldn’t take his mouth off any more with his reddish-blue face.
The Archmage added with a mocking tone.
“Lord Eldeer, if you think this is a real kidnapping, go to the palace and whine.
I wonder what the king will say.”
“… Everyone will criticize the Archmage for suddenly taking a child away.”
“Who said that the child was taken away? Aren’t you coming to pick her up later?”
The Archmage smiled and pulled Ariadne by the hand.
“Baby, let’s go.”
Even by the time she got out of her gigantic craft and got into the carriage with him, Ariadne didn’t feel real.
Soon, the door of the wagon they were riding in closed, and the pure white castle of Eldeer was no longer visible.
‘Am I really getting out of that hell?’
So easily, all at once?
‘Today is… I thought it was a success just by attracting attention.’
As the wagon departed, a slight vibration was transmitted to the interior.
Only then did the Archmage let go of her hand and stared at her.
Even with his glasses on, the old man’s eyes were piercingly sharp.
But those eyes softened.
“Now, tell me why.”
The Archmage never gave the impression of a kind and warm grandfather.
He was rather demanding, nervous and eccentric.
His personality would have been close to what it seemed.
Besides, he was openly displeased with her the first time he saw her.
As if he didn’t like her at first sight.
‘Even in the original story, it was clearly written that he didn’t want to look at me.’
Even so, the wizard’s voice was unexpectedly soft when he asked why.
The old man froze at her with a smile that seemed to be trying to make him look nice.
“What are you so afraid of, huh? Enough to cling to the grandfather you were seeing for the first time.
It’s okay now, so let’s talk, baby.”
She couldn’t believe that he brought her right away, but hearing the unexpectedly friendly question made her felt relieved and relaxed.
She stopped crying and burst out.
‘I shouldn’t cry!’
The Archmage just made a pretty irrational move.
No matter how great a wizard he was, he ignored the Duke of Eldeer head-on.
It was a burdensome thing.
So, she had to start with an explanation.
She was ready to explain, convince, and make a deal.
Maybe it was because her body was a child, but the tears didn’t stop.
‘This is not the time to cry.
Stop, don’t cry!… Why don’t you stop this?’
Ariadne gasped and covered her mouth with her hand.
She struggled to swallow her cries.
“Oh my gosh.”
The Archmage clicked his tongue and removed her hand from her mouth.
“If you want to cry, you have to cry, why is a child trying to endure…”
His big hand, instead of stopping it, patted her back slowly, as if encouraging it.
In the end, Ariadne couldn’t stop her weeping until she drenched the hem of the archmage’s robe.
* ♦ ♦ ♦ *
7 years old
The princess of the Duke of Eldeer.
A minor role in which she dies before the novel begins.
It was when she was seven years old that she realized the destiny she was born with.
Even that evening, Ariadne was eating her meal alone.
The Duke had not originally dined with her daughter, and the Duchess had gone on a trip.
‘I miss my mom.’
The only time Ariadne could comfortably laugh was when her mother was by her side.
When she was younger, she had a nanny and sweet maids, but at some point they all disappeared.
Everyone in her presence was cold towards her.
Ariadne laughed, but no one smiled at her.
None other than her mom.
“You’d better eat it sooner.”
Her maid, who had been watching for the princess to eat, checked her watch and said that.
After eating, Ariadne had to go to her study room.
Her study room was at the top of the northern tower of the castle.
Before it was turned into a study room, it was a prison where prisoners of high status were confined.
‘I don’t want to go.’
She gnawed at dinner and tried to slow down as much as possible, but to no avail.
The time had come for the princess.
“Oh, I haven’t eaten yet…”
Ariadne’s protest was meaningless.
The maids snatched the spoon from her tiny hand and cleared the plate.
She was led to her study room by her maids.
In the study room, she always went alone.
“You must study hard.”
The thick iron door closed with the maid’s stern words.
Ariadne looked around the room gloomily.
A cupboard lined with glass bottles of colored liquids.
A bookshelf full of thick books.
There was a sofa in front of the fireplace, and behind it was a wide desk with papers, books, and various tools.
And in the center of the room was a small chair covered with a white cloth.
The chair was where she studied.
She looked at her chair with her frightened eyes and then went up to her window.
Because the room was at the top of the tower, the windows were far too high.
There was no way to get out of here unless you could fly at least through the sky.
Ariadne looked blankly at the distance below.
Would she not have to study if she jumps out of here?
“…Mom said I didn’t need these classes.”
After the “special class” taught by the Duke himself began, Ariadne was quarantined.
She was not allowed to meet with the Duchess or even see her except with those times appointed by the Duke.
The reason was that the special class was a secret education only for Eldeer’s successor.
The word of the Duke was absolute in the ducal family.
Ariadne hasn’t seen her mother in a while.
Then one day, the Duchess forcibly pushed into the study room.
She then confirmed with her own eyes the special classes her daughter was receiving.
She was dismayed.
She immediately brought her daughter out and she never sent her to the study room again.
＜Me… Can I not study this? My dad said I had to.>
Your mom is sorry….>
Gloria hugged Ariadne that day and cried out loud.
After that day, the Duke and Duchess continued to quarrel over the issue of special classes.
And not long after, the Duchess left Eldeer Castle.
The special class, which had been suspended, resumed the day after the Duchess left.
Her father only told Ariadne that her mother had gone on a rather long trip.
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