Calik looked bewildered, but did not dare to disobey the Grand Lord’s orders and began to read.

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“Ah…”

After a while, a small groan escaped Calik’s lips, and tears welled up in the corners of his eyes.

With Leonhardt’s words that he heard at the banquet hall and this diary, he seemed to have noticed the whole situation.

“I thought it was odd.
Because Grandmother sometimes said that whenever her sanity returned, she said something that an ordinary person would never know…”

Calik’s shoulders shook.

Leonhardt opened his mouth quietly.

“Show it to Count Sharp.
Give the heroes of old times what they deserve.”

They left Calik with his head down and got on the horse.

“Would it be alright?”

“It will be up to that person.”

Leonhardt again spoke with his usual cold, indifferent tone.

“It will be fine.”

Celine’s words were closer to a desperate wish than a guess.

Inwardly, she prayed for both Calik and the forgotten wizard to live in peace for the rest of their lives.

Leonhardt picked up speed right away.
He wanted to return to the north as soon as possible.

 

 

However, they had to stop at the borders of the Sharp territory.

Count Sharp was waiting for them at the border with the remaining knights.

Leonhardt dismounted his horse right away.

“Lord, did I not say that I will be seeing you off?”

Count Sharp’s words expressed his disappointment.

“I didn’t think you would come this far.”

“How can I just send the benefactor away?”

Count Sharp motioned to the handmaid, who was standing somewhat meekly behind him.

The handmaid walked out while carrying her little jewelry box.

“It is not significant, but please accept this.”

Count Sharp opened the jewelry box right there.

Celine’s eyes widened.
The luminous magic stones scattered light and showed off their presence.

“I know that the northern part of the empire is the best place to produce magic stones.
But it is said that a natural magic stone has its own charm…”

Count Sharp looked straight at Celine.

“You used Ringzor.
If a scabbard is made out of these, it will be useful.”

“T-Thank you.”

In her bewilderment, Celine stuttered a little.
These magic stones were obviously a gift for her, not Leonhardt.

After a brief greeting, they went back to their respective places.

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Leonhardt ran straight up the road to the capital, but Celine had no choice but to keep looking back.

Count Sharp and his party were slowly returning to the ruined estate.

Celine sighed and looked in front of her, when she noticed something a little startling.

There were bright yellow flowers blooming on a large tree.

‘Forsythia?’

Celine soon realized that this flowering tree was unlike any other plant she’d seen.

The shape of the stem and branches resembled a cherry tree, the flowers resembled a forsythia, and the scattered leaves resembled a pine tree.

“Is it a flower?”

The horse, which had been running at a constant speed, stopped.

“Yes.
Do you like those flowers?”

“Yes, but… It is winter now.”

It was now the end of December, almost the end of the year.
With the sight of spring right before her, it didn’t seem like it was late winter.
It felt strange.

Throughout her stay at the barony, she saw the attendants adorn Leonhardt’s room with tropical flowers.

But all of them felt like flowers grown in a greenhouse.

“Winters in the south are short.”

“Then it’s already spring…?”

“Yes.
It’ll be good for Sharp.
Repairing the damage would be easier.”

Celine’s face, which had been hardened for a while, loosened up a bit.

“Sharp will be fine.”

It was a conviction, not a question.

Leonhardt nodded.

“The land is fertile, and the Count is a capable man.
Unlike your concerns, it won’t collapse.”

Leonhardt saw some of the estates that were faced with a much more desperate situation than this.

Fortunately, most of the estates recovered and returned to their daily lives.
Sharp’s situation was getting better and they will be able to recover easily.

Celine sighed in relief and leaned her body slightly against Leonhardt.

She wanted to return to the north as soon as possible.

In this game, that was the only place where she felt safe.

 

 

* * *

 

 

“Lute, you’re here.
Wake up!”

Danny woke Celine from her sleep.
Her blonde hair swayed as she was buried deep within the cushions, and she quickly got her body up.

“I’m so sleepy…”

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Danny looked at Celine worriedly.

Celine continued to sleep on her journey from the capital to the North.

Time and time again she told Celine that she should go to Doctor Branche when she arrived in the North, but each time Celine replied that there was nothing to worry about because she was just a little tired.

Celine stretched out and got out of the carriage.
The familiar scenery with snow piling caught her eye.

Even the winter wind that bit her skin was a welcome feeling.

“Isn’t it cold?”

“It’s cold.”

Celine smiled as she looked at Leonhardt with her face flushed.

“But it’s nice.”

Celine realized how precious it was to be in a familiar environment, rather than in the capital city and in the south.

The road she often traveled in Bernoulli Castle, where she had memorized even a single stone, and the unfamiliar and new environment had a difference like heaven and earth.

After she became incapable of using magic, the difference became even more stark.

Of course, she had Ringzor, but she couldn’t live by destroying everything around her with it.

They entered the castle gradually.

“What?”

Leonhardt frowned, puzzled.

Strangely, it felt as if there were no other presences here.
Not even a single servant could be seen passing through the castle.

Celine trembled.

‘No way…’

The blue-gray eyes fluttered anxiously.

The time period of the hidden stage was not mentioned.

She always thought that Bernoulli Castle would become a ghost castle after Leonhardt went crazy.

But, if an incident happened that turned Bernoulli Castle into a ghost castle…

“Leonhardt, Celine!”

A familiar voice was heard.

Celine looked at Natasha running towards them with a more relieved expression.

It was a very happy and healthy-looking Natasha, whom she knew well.

“I heard everything.
You did a great job, I assume? Because Father’s mouth just didn’t know when to stop.”

“…Why is there no one else around?”

“Are you saying that when people are too busy they forget what day tomorrow is?”

Natasha looked back at Leonhardt in a usual teasing tone.

“…Phew.”

A sigh escaped Leonhardt’s mouth.

“Looks like they’re having a ball.”

It’s been a long time since the Bernoulli family held a large-scale ball other than an ordinary banquet where only family members participated.

Not seeing a single servant was understandable enough.
Everyone was of course busy working.

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“It’s the last day of the year! In the meantime, we’re the only ones who haven’t had a ball.”

“How did you persuade Mother and Father?”

“Father and Mother…”

Natasha’s eyes twinkled.

“They couldn’t celebrate Leonhardt’s achievements, so they were nervous.
Isn’t all this for Brother?”

“It’s not like I came back from a war.”

“You came back after winning a battle more difficult than war.
The whole North only talks about you, Leonhardt.
Agathirsus!”

Natasha looked at Celine with a playful smile.

“Of course we don’t forget to talk about Celine.
This is the legendary Lute who survived beside Leonhardt.”

“Natasha!”

Unlike Leonhardt, who was surprised, Celine accepted it casually.

“It’s an honor.”

“As expected of Celine.
Are you going to the ball? I have all the dresses set up.”

“Ah, that dress…”

“Did you die wearing it? Never mind.
I thought it would, so I made another one with the same design.”

Celine told Natasha, who answered triumphantly, that Celine could hardly tell that she had been making clothes while Celine was in the capital.

Leonhardt interrupted abruptly.

“Where is Lute Karl?”

“He helped decorate the ballroom a while ago.
Maybe now he’s going to his own lab?”

Celine sighed in relief.
She wanted to hear his advice on her problem as soon as possible.

 

 

As she made her way to the western tower, where Lute Karl’s lab was, she didn’t see a single servant.

Everyone seemed to be busy preparing for the ball.

Celine told Leonhardt and Danny that they must be tired so she would go alone, but both of them made a fuss and declined.

Soon they reached the entrance to the west tower.

When she knocked lightly on the door, Lute Karl with surprised eyes jumped out.

“Lord, Lute.
Are you back already?”

“I sent a messenger in advance that it would arrive today.”

For some reason, Leonhardt grunted with an uncomfortable expression.

“I haven’t slept for a long time, so my eyes are starting to droop.”

“Did Natasha bother you a lot?”

“Goodness, why would the Princess be so hard on me? However, there are personal studies that I lost sleep because of it.”

Celine remembered the magic stones that Count Sharp had given her.

‘It would be better to postpone making Ringzor’s scabbard.’

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Lute Karl looked like he would collapse if he had even done magic stone crafting.

“Yes, take care of yourself.”

Lute Karl glanced at Celine, and he immediately hardened his face.

“Lute Celine, what’s wrong?”

“Is it that obvious?”

“Anyone of my level would notice it.”

Celine bit her lip.

As Lute Karl said, most warlocks would recognize her inability as soon as they saw her.

“I can’t use magic.
If I try to use it, I keep getting nauseous and feel like I’m dying… For psychological reasons, I thought other wizards wouldn’t notice.”

“Do you have any reason to think that it is psychological?”

“Leonhardt killed the warlock, I helped a little… I haven’t used anything since then.”

“What?”

It was not known that Agathirsus was actually the base of a warlock that had been around for over a hundred years.

It was obvious.

It would tell the truth to show the imperial family’s incompetence to the world.

Leonhardt sighed.

“I believe that everyone in this room will not spread the word recklessly.
Agathirsus is actually the base of a warlock.”

“…Was it?”

Lute Karl swallowed his groan, and Danny looked at Celine with an expression that seemed to say he wanted to hug Celine at any moment.

“Really, the two of you have heaven’s luck.”

Lute Karl took a closer look at Celine.

“It’s just speculation for now, but it seems that Lute Celine is bound by the rebound.”

“Rebound?”

It was the first time they heard it.
Leonhardt also looked at Lute Karl like he did not understand it.

“What do you mean?”

“Have you never felt anything, Lord? You must have felt the strange magic that comes every time you take a warlock’s life.”

“…Ah.”

Leonhardt nodded his head.

“I have heard of such a thing.
There was no harm to me, so I forgot.”

“Because the Lord is not a wizard.
These are only effective against wizards.”

“And I was the one who killed the warlock.
Celine only helped me.”

“Is it an essential support?”

“…Right.”

Celine closed her eyes tightly and opened them.
Lute Karl’s guess was correct.
She shook the whole cave with her magic to kill the warlock.

Leonhardt’s anxious voice was heard.

“How can I get rid of the rebound?”

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