“Yes, yes!”

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Celine replied in a hurry, as though she was drowning and had found a lifeboat.
A look of relief appeared on Karl’s face.

“Then, I will have to tell the Grand Duke.
If I adjust the task, I will have time to teach you.”

She didn’t know what he had been reporting to the Grand Duke on the way, although within a day anger resonated with the talk about her.

“Celine! I heard the old man say he couldn’t handle it…!”

Saying so, Natasha grabbed her hands and turned around.

“I wondered why you kept appearing in Leonhard’s dreams, but there must have been a connection between great people.
isn’t it?”

At that, Celine laughed at her daydreaming.

“Is it possible? There’s no way I’m the only one with great magical powers.”

“That’s right.
Anyway, congratulations!”

As Natasha hugged her tightly, the red hair tickled Celine’s whole body and she added her words.

“Once you get used to it, you have to show me your magic too, okay? Lute Karl never showed that magic is enough for a mission.”

“Sure.”

Natasha’s eyes twinkled with envy and curiosity.

“Lady, Lute Karl is calling.”

“Can I take a look?”

Celine shook her head.
She was afraid that the same thing as last time would happen.

“It’s my first class today, so I think it’s going to be a bit risky.
When things settle down, I will invite you, so please come.”

“Okay.
Have a safe trip!”

She then followed El’s lead with an anxious feeling.
Contrary to the idea that she would go to the top of the tower again, El led her into the basement.
There, Karl with a lamp was waiting for her in the empty basement without a single chair.

“Are you feeling well?”

“Yes.”

“Tell me if you feel any worse.”

“Yes.”

At those words, Celine felt her chest pounding again.
The first time she touched the magic stone, the magic was enchanting… However, the second time she felt her magic, it drove her to her death.

“You are scared.”

“…Sorry.”

“You don’t have to be sorry, but fear causes the magic to get out of our control.
You know the dangers of unbridled magic.”

Celine caught her breath.

“It is the power of Lute Celine herself anyway.
Is there anyone who’s afraid of their own arms or legs? Think the same.”

“…I think I’m fine now.”

She decided to think that she had suddenly sprouted one more hand to herself.
Her hand strangles her own neck if she releases her mind for a bit.

“All right.
Let’s get started.”

Finishing his words, Karl immediately turned off the lamp.
Darkness swept them down.

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“Observe your surroundings.”

“Karl Lute, do I have to close my eyes?”

Celine asked cautiously.

“Forget the human instructions.”

She followed Karl’s advice.
Celine observed the darkness itself, and realized that no matter how her eyes became accustomed to the darkness, she saw nothing but darkness here without fire.

No sound was heard…

Only darkness.

“What did you observe?”

“It’s really… There’s nothing.
I don’t feel anything.
Only darkness.”

The sound of laughter was heard with satisfaction.

“Now, try making something in the dark.”

“What…?”

“Anything is good.
But, the most appropriate thing in this situation would be fire.”

…Fire.

Celine’s whole body froze for an instant.

Karl spoke in a calm voice, as if he had seen her reaction, “It’s okay.
I am here.
If something goes wrong, I will fix it right away.”

Hearing that, her heart began to beat again.

“Come on!”

He urged.

And so, Celine slowly tried to feel her magic.

She had already been swept by it twice, so it was not difficult to feel the magical energy filling her body.
The only thing that came back to Celine’s mind was the fire burning from the blade of Rashir’s sword.

In an instant, the entire basement was filled with blue light.

Celine glanced around the basement as if possessed.
It was lit everywhere, and she couldn’t even tell where the light source was.

“Aha…”

There was an exclamation from Karl’s surprise.

“Oh, this is what it’s like.
I can see why that person pulled out.”

Meanwhile, Celine asked, grimacing her face in the heat.

“Is it okay now? It’s, hot…”

“Lute Celine, as long as you hold on to the reins of this heat, no harm will be done.”

Then, she nodded her head.

“Now, take this away.”

“Uh, how?”

“It’s easy.
Think of the darkness again.
It will be done soon.”

Karl was right.
As soon as she recalled the basement, which had been dark a while ago, the blue light went, and darkness engulfed them.

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“Now, you just have to repeat this.
Until you feel like you can’t do it.”

A smile appeared on Celine’s face.

“It’s simpler than I think.”

“It will not be easy.”

Most of his teachings were right, but many of them were wrong.

It was easy!

 

***

 

By the time Celine collapsed on the floor, exhausted, it was already after her 214th rep.

“Oh, my gosh…”

Karl, who had been counting until now, seemed exhausted as he uttered, “The amount of magic power you have is much more among the wizards I’ve ever seen.”

“Really?”

“It’s hard for me to get over 150, too.”

“….”

Hearing that, she blinked her eyes in surprise and realized the root cause of her being here.

“Now, what should I do?”

“Look, ordinary wizards only think about going back to sleep when they’ve done that.”

“I’ll be fine.
Just tell me how to practice on my own.”

“Repeat.
Practice making only a flame about as bright as one lamp.
No bigger, no smaller.”

Celine nodded her head.
It seemed like she could do enough.

As Karl opened the door to the cellar, El, who was waiting outside the door, grabbed him as he was half-fallen.

Karl left the Bernoulli Castle the very next day.
Celine practiced in the basement all day.

It was not easy for her to make only a spark as bright as a small lantern.
No matter how small she tried to make it, she quickly caught fire everywhere.
Needless to say, she was glad she now knew how to turn them off.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

She was startled by the sound of someone knocking on the door loudly, and she ran to the door.

It was El who looked through the crack in the open door with a troubled expression on her face.

“Sorry to startle you.
I knocked a little, and there was no response…”

“No.
What’s going on?”

“I asked for it.”

Leonhard’s handsome face suddenly appeared.

“Leonhard!”

Celine greeted him warmly.
Come to think of it, for the past few days, she has been so engrossed in the magic that she couldn’t even hear his voice.

“You look tired.”

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“No.”

She laughed softly.

“It’s something I want to do.”

“Am I not disturbing you?”

“I need a break, too.”

Celine immediately turned off the lights in the basement and came out completely.
Leonhard held out a little box to her.
Her eyes lit up.
Inside the box were colored candies that looked too pretty to eat.

“I think you’re going to be drawn to sweets around this time.”

“Thank you very much!”

Leonhard looked at Celine, who smiled broadly at him.

As she savored the ecstatic sweetness of the candy, she sensed that he still had an unknown worry on his face.

“What are you worried about?”

“…Did you become a mind reader instead of a wizard?”

“Well, it’s all written on your face.”

Leonhard let out a long sigh.

“I’m off to deal with the Warlock.
It will take three days.
It could take as long as a week.”

“Ah…”

Hearing that, Celine’s expression instantly darkened.

Leonhard said hastily.
“Your escort maids will arrive soon, and you’re still doing well without me.”

He missed a word, but all three, including El, understood what he meant.

‘She didn’t die.’

Celine nodded her head.

“It is.
I know.
I’ll be careful not to die, so Leonhard should be careful, too.”

At her words, Leonhard smiled forcefully and uttered a few words that only she could hear.

“…I am afraid of the night.”

“Yes…?”

“If I leave, I will not know your well-being.
The night will tell the truth…”

After his words, Leonhard was speechless.

His stiff eyes trembled.

“Then, think about it this way…”

The quiet Celine’s voice echoed through the basement hallway.

“Leonhard will sleep well every night.
So, it’s just a confirmation at night that I’m doing well.”

At that, he flapped his lips to say something, but no sound came out before moving instinctively to lock Celine in front of him in his arms.

“….!”

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Celine seemed a little startled, though she immediately relaxed her tension and she hugged Leonhard.
After a while, he regained his composure and gained the strength to whisper a word in her ear.

“Please, be safe.”

“I promise.”

Celine murmured in Leonhard’s arms.

 

***

 

Leonhard rode his horse at full speed.

His horse, Black, was a little overwhelmed in the beginning because they had walked with Celine for the past week, but he quickly got used to it.

Meanwhile, Leonhard tried to ignore the figure of a slender woman that kept popping up in his mind.

‘Concentrate, Leonhard.’

If he wanted to return to Bernoulli Castle as soon as possible, he needed to kill the Warlock quickly.

After running for a day and a half, Leonhard reached County Orion, which was heavily damaged by the Warlock.

“Leonhard!”

“Uncle.”

Leonhard bowed his head to the Count of Orion, the younger brother of the Grand Duchess.

Count Orion rubbed his hands with an anxious look.

“Thank you for coming.
How are your parents?”

“Yes.”

After a brief greeting, Leonhard went straight to the main topic.

“There is no time.
My horse is weary, so give me one of the fastest and cleverest horses.”

Count Orion did not say a single word of concern and immediately called the servant and ordered him a horse.

Leonhard jumped on his new horse.

“Giddy up!”

There was no need to ask where to go.
The warlock’s unpleasant energy guided him.
The monsters were nothing but beasts whose only slaughter and destruction were imprinted in their minds.

However, the Warlock… It was a star swallowed up in darkness.

That once shone brilliantly.

Leonhard remembered the castle of Renoir a few years ago, when he was too late to kill a warlock in a distant place, and the whole place was eroded by the warlock.

Those who could not evacuate had lost all their energy and struggled weakly on the floor with only consciousness remaining.

Nothing could save them.

‘Here we are.’

Even though it was broad daylight, the sun clearly shone brightly in the sky, and darkness filled the forest like mist.

Leonhard dismounted from his horse, pulled Rashir out and walked into the darkness.

〈 I was waiting, wolf! 〉

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