Jade studied the girl from a distance.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew above her hood.
The moment she saw the girl’s silver hair peeking out through the hood, Lobelia shook her head.

“That’s really nothing,” she tugged harder at his hand, “It’s not important, so forget it.”

“But…” Jade hesitated.

“If you make the wrong move here, you might undo what I did, so focus on awakening your consciousness,” Lobelia said in a firm tone.
Jade obediently turned around and followed Lobelia, fearing that the treatment might be foiled.

The scenery of the woodland soon disappeared, and a faint mist enveloped the surroundings once more.
Lobelia breathed a sigh of relief and reached out to the door beyond the fog.

The two awoke to a gloomy dawn.
Jade was still lying on the bed, and Lobelia leaned against the back of her chair, holding his hand.
It was Jade who came to his senses first.
He stared at Lobelia, who had just woken up and clutched her head, feeling a headache from the aftermath of the magic.

“Are you okay?” he asked Lobelia.

“It’s no big deal.
Just…” she trailed off.
It was her first time actually using magic, so she hadn’t gotten used to it yet.
She was not a pure-blooded gypsy, which made it difficult to perform spells.
“I’m fine,” she muttered.
She removed her hands from her head and attempted to appear casual.
“How’s the Duke’s condition?” she asked.

At Lobelia’s question, Jade looked down at his hand in disbelief, then slowly clasped them together.
“I feel relieved,” he said, “as if the curse has been truly lifted.
It’s easier to control the demon’s urge, too.”

Jade, for once, could not contain his excitement.
Over and over again, he folded his hands to feel the sensation in his body and asked, “Can you do it again tomorrow?”

“The Duke’s unconscious has to close the void where the curse has been on its own, so we have to wait for the right time,” Lobelia replied.

“I see,” muttered Jade, unable to hide his disappointment.
It was only natural that he would want to shake off this damn shadow of death as soon as possible.

“Then I’ll take my leave,” announced Lobelia.
She stood up and was about to leave his bedroom when Jade called her.

“Wait, Miss Lobelia.”

He had gotten out of the bed and was standing behind her as she turned around.

“You don’t look too good,” he said, “Is this too much for you?”

“No,” Lobelia lied, “My headache is gone now.” Though her head still throbbed, she didn’t want to appear weak to Jade for nothing.
The pain would eventually disappear over time.
“I just have something to think about,” she said.
The image of the ragged girl they had seen earlier had never left her mind.

* * *

That same day, Jade invited Lobelia to the dining hall to join him for lunch.
Upon hearing the news, Hilda and the other handmaidens rushed to her room to make preparations for Lobelia.
Lobelia woke up at the sound of the door and cocked her head as she observed the expressions of shock on the maids’ faces as they stared at her.

“Miss Lobelia, your complexion is….”

Hilda’s lips pursed.
Adele and Mary also blinked blankly.

“What’s wrong? Does my face look strange to you?”

Lobelia awkwardly touched her face and stood up.
As she saw her reflection in the mirror, she could understand the worry of the three handmaidens.
Her skin had become paler than a sheet.

Oh. Using magic to infiltrate the dreams of other people is incredibly tiring.
In addition, she has to maintain full awareness and alertness throughout the experience. I guess I could say I toiled all night long. Lobelia walked away from the mirror without much thought.
“I’ll cover it up with makeup,” she said to the maids.

“Yes, yes, you’ll be fine with makeup!” agreed Hilda.
They thought differently, however.
Since they believed Lobelia to be Jade’s beloved lover, they’ve been restless since Lobelia lashed out at them the day before.

Eventually, Lobelia was held captive by the three handmaidens as they applied make-up on her.
But no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t brighten Lobelia’s dull complexion.

I look like a sick man, Lobelia thought as she looked at the reflection of a woman who had silver hair and a ghostly complexion.

“We’ll do it again!” exclaimed Hilda.
“Just one more time!”

The maids begged, thinking Lobelia was dissatisfied with their work.
Lobelia, however, slipped out of the room with the excuse that she couldn’t keep Jade waiting any longer.
Truthfully, she  couldn’t be bothered to wear make-up.

She made her way across the corridor and headed to the dining ball without anyone’s assistance when someone called her name.

“Miss Lobelia?”

She turned her head and found Joheim standing in the Knights Templar.

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