Author: rolypoly

“More than anything, the desks and chairs in the ‘study room’ they boast about are not very good products.”

 

“Oh my, Duke! Just because you use an expensive desk doesn’t mean you can study well.”

 

“The beds provided in the dormitory are of a poor standard compared to the Duke mansion’s beds.” 

 

“That’s what you’ll think if you compare any bed to the one I use at Sheridan Manor, right?”

 

“In any case, good furniture is closely related to the health of the back and lower back. This will determine your quality of life for the rest of your life…”

 

Maximilian quickly fell silent after saying the word ‘life’ without realizing it.

 

“The Duke is so kind.”

 

What do you mean kind?

 

Maximilian slowly shook his head because that was not something the man who would kill her years later would hear.

 

“No… I’m.”

 

“You really care about me.”

 

“That.”

 

“I know. Because I need to grow up healthy until I’m eighteen, right?”

 

“…Yeah.”

 

“Don’t worry. I will turn eighteen and be worthy of the Duke’s wishes.”

 

And that white neck will be cut off by his hands.

 

For some reason, Maximilian was in so much pain that he could no longer be with Clarisse by himself.

 

As soon as he rang the bell, Quentin, who had been waiting outside, came in.

 

“Clarisse.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I guess you’ll just have to go. Anyway, you can go to the monastery if you want. It seemed like His Highness wanted that too.” 

 

“His Highness want it?”

 

“Yeah. If you really want to go.”

 

In response, Clarisse stepped in front of Maximilian with her eyes wide open.

 

She had always been a kid who moved around his waist, but now she was reaching the level of his chest.

 

It would be better if she didn’t grow up.

 

Maximilian thought that without realizing it. 

 

“If you allow me, I want to go!”

 

“…Of course I allow it.”

 

“I thought the Duke wouldn’t let me go far away…”

 

“You… It is also my duty to help you do what you want to do.” 

 

“Thank you.”

 

“And from now on, Quentin will help you.”

 

“Huh… do you mean me?” 

 

Although the Duke had called him to come, he was standing quietly in the doorway and looked very upset at having to cover up his work.

 

“Yeah, Clarisse will be entering the monastery. You have studied in a monastery, so you will be more suitable for this job than anyone else.”

 

“Oh my, Duke. That was already several years ago!”

 

Just as Quentin was about to answer, Clarisse walked up to him and greeted him politely.

 

“Thank you very much for helping me, Uncle Quentin.”

 

“Huh? Y, yeah…”

 

“I was a little scared because I was going to an unknown place, but if you help me, I don’t think I have anything to worry about.”

 

Quentin quickly smiled brightly.

 

She was cute when he first saw her as a child, but how many years had he spent with her and grown attached to her, because Quentin treated Clarisse as if she were his niece?

 

He stretched his chest forward and tapped it with his palm.

 

“Yes! There is nothing to worry about. The monastery is like a place in my palm! Leave everything to me. All right?”

 

“Yes, Uncle!” 

 

“Phew, you’re so cute. Maybe it’s good that you’re still this young.” 

 

He patted Clarisse’s hair with a straightforward affection…

 

“…Heuk!”

 

For some reason, he noticed Maximilian glaring at him with blue eyes and quickly put down his hand.

 

* * *

 

Noah continued his research at the site of the ‘Collapsed Golem’ from when Clarisse was 9 years old until she was 12 years old.

 

However, no matter how excellent a wizard he was, he could not achieve great results unless he was a golem master who communicated with stone.

 

The stone, which was imbued with the power of the powerful Golem Master, didn’t budge no matter what other forces acted on it.

 

The only thing that happened was that his magic resonated with the magic remaining in the collapsed golem, confirming that the royal treasure and several corpses were located between the cracks in the stone.

 

Three years ago, Noah withdrew from the northern wall with other wizards, concluding that ‘substantial research cannot proceed further.’

 

No, it seemed like he decided to cover up the research altogether.

 

Clarisse guessed that Noah, who liked research, might have made such a decision because of her.

 

He may have been concerned that if he showed his intention to continue research, the wizards’ will to find the Golem Master might increase.

 

Of course, Noah absolutely denied it.

 

After Noah returned to the wizard’s castle, the two didn’t see each other as often as before.

 

Still, sometimes Noah came to Sheridan to see Clarice.

 

However, after he turned 17 and enjoyed his prime as a wizard, opportunities to meet him in person became very rare.

 

Although he occasionally sent news by letter…

 

‘I want to meet you soon, Noah.’

 

Clarisse rested her chin and looked out of the window at the carriage, which had already driven more than half a day.

 

The wizard’s castle was still not visible.

 

‘This is my first time going to where Noah lives.’

 

More than anything, she wonders how much Noah, who seems to grow a little more every time they meet, will change.

 

She was looking forward to it a little bit.

 

* * *

 

If she drives west from the royal capital of Heyden for two and a half days by carriage, she will reach the Heliburn Mountains, the highest mountain in the Kingdom of Saphers. 

 

The ‘Wizard’s Castle’, which is called the headquarters of the Wizards, was built on the cliffside of this mountain range, and the entrance could only be reached by climbing a fairly high hill.

 

Clarisse, looking up at the huge building through the carriage window, realized why it was called a ‘castle’ and not a mansion. 

 

Like the ‘castles’ that often appear in storybooks, this may be because several pointed blue roofs rose high enough to reach the edge of a cliff.

 

Clarisse was so impressed that she had something to ask Noah when she met him. 

 

Until now, he has described the wizard’s castle as a den full of monsters, saying, ‘The wizard’s castle is not a place for people to live.’

 

‘It’s such a beautiful place.’

 

The interior where they were guided made Clarisse’s heart flutter even more. 

 

‘It’s full of expensive marble! So pretty…’

 

The interior, made of beautiful stones in artistic shapes, looked like heaven.

 

Moreover, there were stones everywhere that wanted to talk.

 

Clarisse held back the urge to raise her hand and say a little hello.

 

There is no need for her to reveal her identity, which she has kept hidden until now.

 

“Hello, Miss Clarisse.”

 

A man approached Clarice, who was looking around her, from behind Maximilian.

 

He was the wizard who greeted the Duke and Duchess at the entrance, wearing the same white robe as Noah.

 

One thing that was a little unusual was that he had a very dark scar on his cheek.

 

“Hello.”

 

Clarisse greeted him politely, and she tried not to look away from the scar that looked pretty scary.

 

“I’m Alstair Astor. I saw you a long time ago in Sheridan, I don’t know if you remember.”

 

“Yes? I’m sorry. Alstair As…tor?”

 

Clarisse was trying to say she was sorry because she couldn’t remember, but she repeated his name and then hesitated for a moment. 

 

Although she didn’t know the man in front of her, she knew about ‘Wizard Astor’. 

 

He was Noah’s teacher whom he loved dearly. Even though he has passed away now.

 

“I guess Noah told you about my father?” 

 

“Yes, he said he was a very sweet person. His son is also a very great wizard.”

 

“I guess Noah talked about me too. It’s unexpected, isn’t it?”

 

“Yes, it was quite a while ago.”

 

Clarisse, who had completely shaken off her fear, answered while fiddling with the white ribbon hanging over her shoulder.

 

“I heard you were going to be the head wizard in the future. Ah, should I call you the head of the wizard now?”

 

It was already four years ago that Noah said that.

 

Clarisse didn’t know how the head of the wizard was selected, but since a long time had passed, she thought he would naturally become the leader.

 

“Hmm…”

 

Alstair smiled as if he were troubled.

 

“I didn’t know Noah was talking about me like that.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“No. Unfortunately, the position of head of the wizard is still vacant. The wizard’s jewel is still silent.” 

 

“Ah.”

 

Clarisse quickly bowed.

 

“I committed rudeness. I apologize.”

 

“No, I’m secretly happy to be called by an undeserved title.”

 

At that moment, several wizards wearing gray robes approached them and bowed towards Alstair.

 

Their stubbornness to not pay their respects to the Duke was evident.

 

Clarissse was uncomfortable with the wizards’ attitude, but the Duke and Duchess didn’t seem to particularly care.

 

“The blood collection room is ready, Sir Astor.”

 

“Is that so? Thank you.”

 

Alstair looked back at the Duke.

 

Unlike other wizards, he was very polite to the duke, so Clarisse felt a little better about Alstair.

 

“Then the Duke and Duchess will come with me. However… I don’t think having blood drawn would be a good look for a young lady, so what are you going to do?”

 

“Clarisse, would you like to meet the wizard Sinet first?” 

 

The Duke turned his gaze and asked Clarisse’s intentions. 

 

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