Author: Tam

“So, the main event of that ‘Rodante’ festival is to take a quiz, Mom?” 


Luce, who was looking at the crumpled flyer, muttered quite seriously. 


Chelsea, who was cutting up the potatoes, responded indifferently.


“Yeah, only 13 years old and older can participate, so you waited for this year to come, didn’t you?” 


“Me? Uhm—” 


Luce glanced at her room and thought. 


‘There weren’t many books in my room, so I’m sure Luche wasn’t very enthusiastic about studying. But nevertheless, she wanted to compete in the quiz competition, perhaps?’ 


“What was the prize, Mom? I think it was incredible.” 


Chelsea thought as she looked at her daughter, who was asking questions. 


Rev or something, he seemed kind of smart, but the prize will be gone because of Luce.


How can a kid who has been waiting for the festival forget the prize? 


‘Yeah, it’s okay to be a little stupid. I hope you just grow up healthy.’


Chelsea, who decided to put importance on gaining experience, answered by throwing potatoes into the stew pot.


“It’s about a tourist spot ticket in the capital. The cost is paid by the lord.”


“—Tourist spots ticket in the capital?”


“Yeah, how many times do the people of this estate go to the capital in their lives? It’s a new way to expand and encourage the children who won the quiz.”


She thought Luce would always cheer and run around, but the child was surprisingly quiet.


Looking at the flyer, Luce was deep in thought. 


‘I think it’s a concept to send language training to excellent children—that sounds pretty good, but the problem is, I don’t really want to see the capital.’


People who were used to living in a small Xenon village wondered if there was anything special about being the empire’s capital. 


However, what struck her the most was that the contents of Volume 2 of <The Cruelty of the Vladin Empire>, which she had seen roughly, were all unfolding in the capital. 


What if, by chance, at least one of them goes to the capital to play and gets caught up in an accident with the royal palace for nothing? 


She will have trouble if she does something most people don’t do. 


In a ghost story or horror movie, the first person to die is the first to set foot in a mysterious place. 


I don’t know where this part of the original story fits in terms of time, but I don’t think it’s necessary to scrape and crumble. 


‘Wow, I think I’m a little smart.’


Luce used to do the flower pose and look at Chelsea because she was proud of how wise she was. 


“Then what’s the second prize, Mom?” 


“You usually think of the 1st place, so why do you ask for 2nd place? Is it because you don’t think you’ll get 1st place?” 


“No, I have to go to the capital when I receive the first prize, but I don’t want to be away from my mom even for a day.” 


“…Tsh. Where did you learn such cheesy words? Are you taking after your dad?”




Chelsea took a spoonful of potato stew and smiled inside. 


“I think the second prize was the prize money.” 


“Prize money? Wow, that’s much better!”


“What will you do if you win the prize?”


“I need to buy my mom some pretty clothes and pretty shoes that go well with her!” 


“Oh my.” 


Chelsea looked away as she gave a sneakier answer on purpose.


Still, the smiling mother didn’t seem to hate her daughter’s answer. 


‘I think my late father left some legacy, but the more money, the better. Prize money, prize money! If I go with Rev, we’ll be in second place. It’ll be a piece of cake.’


Luce smiled softly and glanced at the clock. It was ten o’clock in the morning. 


Time to run errands from Chelsea to Rev’s house to get herbs and tomatoes. 


Chelsea chuckled as if she had noticed Luce’s gaze. 


“Bring me a basket of berries and bring this stew to your friend. Before it gets cold.”


“Then I’ll give him the stew first, and then pick berries, right?” 


“Come before two o’clock.”


‘As expected, my mother is kind.”


After hugging Chelsea tightly, Luce waved empty hands with a shiny stew bowl. 


“That stew, call it a bribe. If he turned down the quiz partner application, told him your mother wouldn’t let him go.” 




The back of Luce disappeared into the bright light of the sun.


It seems like only yesterday that her daughter, whom she thought was immature and cried, stating that first place was great, now knows how to look after her friends, and it feels unusual to show a positive side in her calculations.


Maybe if her husband had seen it, he would have loved it. 


Chelsea closed her eyes for a moment while thinking about her husband Lawrence, who had to leave early because he was sick. Then, when she opened them again, she saw that someone was there. 




It was Dominic.


Dominic was sneaking around with a flyer in his hand as if he was looking for someone. 


“Is there Luce?”




“Rodante’s festival is just around the corner… so I was going to ask Luce.” 


Chelsea, who managed to hold back a laugh, answered seriously.


“You’re late.” 




“Originally, asking for a date is about timing, Dominic.”




What does it mean to ask for a date, nonsense! 


Chelsea smiled at Dominic as he ran by, wiping away the already faded photo of her husband. 




“Rev? Rev?” 


She thought she knocked six or seven times on the door, but she didn’t hear Rev’s voice. 


Is it because he’s reading that he can’t hear her knocking? Or did he go out to buy something? 


‘No, he knows I’ll be here by this time—he can’t be away.’


Well, he might have been away even though he didn’t make an appointment.


She knew that in her head, yet it made her sad.


‘Really, how often have we played?’


Luce, who was dumbfounded by herself, looked around the house with a big smile. 


She looked around to see if he was enjoying the sun or picking raspberries, but as expected, Rev was nowhere to be seen.


She wondered if Vincent’s group was bothering him, so she looked at it from a distance, step by step, but Rev wasn’t there.


After waiting for a long time, Luce stood on her tiptoes and looked inside the house through the window.


The candle was lit.


Since it’s dangerous to go outside, he always followed the rules after she kept telling him to put out the candle and get out. 


Since she kept telling him to turn off the candles before they went outside because it was dangerous, Rev was always the one who followed the rules.


‘I think he’s at home.’ 


Is he taking a nap? 


It was when Luce was sad because the potato stew was cold.




The blue light gleamed for a moment in the small window on the second floor.


‘What is that?’


It looked similar to the goblin fire she heard in fairy tales. 


The blue light was clear even in the sun. She knew instinctively. 


It’s not like reflected light, it’s an artificial light source. 


‘What is Rev doing on the second floor—?  Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him go up to the second floor.’


Rev always went to and from the rooms on the first floor to change his clothes or bring toys like chess and cubes. 


She was curious about what the second floor was for but didn’t bother to ask. 


It could be a warehouse, or it could be a space left unattended since the house is too big for a boy alone. 


Luce, who was thinking for a moment, sneaked a look at the door. 


The front door was open. 


Luce, who looked at the cooled potato stew and the quiet house alternately, carefully stepped on.






“I must tell you not to be so nervous, Your Highness.”


Rev stared intently at the person standing in front of the magic circle, and gritted his teeth.


It was a wizard belonging to the imperial family which had a neutral voice, whether it was a man or a woman. 


Radanum, the wizard of the North Tower, who leads a comfortable life in exchange for selling out his colleagues. 


A man who deals with the troublesome affairs of the imperial family and, in return, is guaranteed gold, jewels, and life and lives as the only wizard on the continent.


There’s only one reason he’s here.


“You don’t feel dizzy just because you have drawn this much blood, do you? I’m sure you’re taking your medications well. Because you know better than anyone what will happen if you don’t drink.” 


It was because of ‘the troublesome work of the imperial family’.


They sent him to the Xenon village to keep an eye on the ruined prince. 


Blood beads as thin as branches formed on the wizard’s fingertips. It was blood that was drawn from Rev’s forearm. 


The wizard, who was looking at the marble under the blue light as if to confirm something, nodded his head. 


“If you’re determined, you can see everything in your blood, you know?” 


With one move, he closed the wound on his forearm, which was dripping with blood.


All knowledge is useless in front of his magic powers, which can hurt or heal wounds.


The Prince, who didn’t say anything but groan, was well aware of that. 


The wizard looked at him for a while.


“I believe you are a wise person, and you will know.”




“Do you have any inconvenience in your stay? People who are annoying or else.” 


“Go back, Radanum.” 


The fear or displeasure of a wizard who drew blood. 


Or the anger and revenge about why he is doing this to him, even though he hasn’t done anything wrong. 


The Prince’s answer doesn’t show the feelings that normal people would have.


As always, all he sees is a deep feeling of helplessness and a little bit of emptiness. 


The wizard shrugged his shoulders with an impeccably hard, smooth marble of blood in his pocket. 


“Yeah, well, then.” 


It was right before when the smiling wizard was about to use the magic circle to return. 


A faint voice came from the first floor.


“—Rev? Rev?” 


The wizard’s hand stopped, and Rev’s expression hardened. 


The wizard, who was looking at Rev, asked. 


“It sounds like a little girl’s voice, Your Highness. You made friends faster than I thought. It’s amazing.” 


“I told you to go back.”


“It is Your Highness’ order, so I should respect it, but.” 


The wizard, who took one step from the shining blue magic circle, tilted his head. 


“I’m a little curious about what kind of friend you met for the first time?” 




“You know that every move of Your Highness must be reported.” 


It was the moment when the wizard with the corners of his mouth raised was about to touch the door.


“This is the third order, Radanum.”


Rev, who grabbed the wizard’s wrist, spoke in a low, sharp tone he had never heard before.


He never vomited when his blood was drawn out, or even when he was kicked out of the palace. 


“You disobey my order, which also means for the third time, go back.” 


Rev’s red eyes gleamed. 


‘Is it because the Prince is the Prince?’


It was only for a moment, but there was a sense of intimidation in that cold, unfamiliar way of speaking. 


Radanum, who had been watching it for a while, gave an exaggerated bow as a greeting. 


“Yes, I’ll get out of here.” 




“But you know. Your Highness… that no one should ever know anything about Your Highness.” 


The blue magic circle’s light surrounded him. 


Just before he disappeared, Radanum muttered. 


“Think about why you were sent to this town. Even if some of the residents of this small town disappear, no one knows.” 


Rev saw where Radanum had disappeared and squeezed his trembling hand.


After holding his breath for a while, he opened the door.




He saw Luce with a narrowed brow.


Unable to read emotions, he couldn’t tell what Luce, standing under the stairs, was going to say. 


Author's Thoughts

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