Author: lipzoldyck

 

“Wow, there are a lot of really strange items.”

 

Ella must have felt it too, but unlike before, her steps were cautious.

 

The store was unique.

 

Even the bulbs seemed to be old, giving a gloomy atmosphere with the lights blinking every few seconds.

 

“What is this? It’s so squishy it’s just like jelly.”

 

Ella said, poking the thick, pink oval jelly on the shelf with her finger.

 

“Well. It’s my first time seeing this.”

 

Sellonia also looked closely at the object Ella was touching.

 

This place had a lot of items that they couldn’t find in stores they’ve passed by before.

 

“It’s an ornament made from a goblin’s tongue.”

 

At that time, a low, hoarse voice was heard from behind, and Ella and Sellonia were startled at the same time.

 

“G-Goblin…? Miss, I just touched the goblin’s tongue…”

 

Ella cried, hastily removing her hand from the goblin’s tongue.

 

Sellonia felt sick to her stomach.

 

It was a goblin, which had been cut down countless times when passing through the monster forest.

 

She knew what it looked like and how bad it smelled.

 

But why use that thing’s tongue as an ornament…? …Are you crazy?

 

“HAHAHA. There are quite a few people who collect very rare collectibles. Sometimes, there are people who capture monsters and keep them on display.”

 

The owner seemed to have read her thoughts just by looking at Sellonia’s trembling shoulders and explained with a smile.

 

“Capturing monsters and putting them on display, you say?”

 

What kind of bad taste do they have?

 

It was a hobby that she couldn’t understand as someone who had experienced monsters.

 

“It’s about showing off one’s power and wealth. Welcome, Princess Basin.”

 

“…”

 

Sellonia glanced at the owner who was greeting her.

 

His graying hair told her how much time he had endured.

 

In the corner of the owner’s eyes that curved, blue eyes like hers were shining.

 

Is it the power of the past years?

 

Like a wise man, his eyes were as deep and brilliant as the sea, and had an intelligent light.

 

Dark smile lines appeared next to his thick nose, and a long white beard grew on his chin, just like his hair.

 

His bent back, even the old cane he was holding.

 

He didn’t have the usual energy.

 

“There is no one in the Empire who doesn’t know the four saviors. I’m a Wicklander.”

 

“Hello, Wicklander. I was wondering if there was something I was looking for here.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“It’s a piece of parchment the size of your palm with a magic circle drawn on it.”

 

She had said the same thing over 15 times like a parrot, yet this time it felt different.

 

It seemed like there might be something she was looking for here.

 

“Hmm… It’s difficult to find a magic circle with just its description. There are so many magic items with magic circles on them.”

 

“Those drawn on paper like parchment too?”

 

“That’s right. This is because its purpose varies depending on what kind of magic circle is drawn.”

 

That was the truth she just knew for the first time. The purpose is different depending on the magic circle.

 

Sellonia didn’t know much about magic. Because she has no memories of the original Sellonia.

 

Moreover, since she only saw it at a glance, she couldn’t remember exactly what the magic circle looked like, so she couldn’t recognize the object even if it was there.

 

Still, it was better to have it than not have it. That way she can somehow investigate.

 

“Besides, it’s not used much these days. Drawing a magic circle on parchment is a classic form of magic used a long time ago.”

 

Since she had heard that story before, Sellonia nodded her head and got to the point.

 

“Is there anything I mentioned here by any chance?”

 

“Probably not. Princess. Perhaps, have you seen anyone use it?”

 

“Yes. I saw someone having it.”

 

Sellonia easily agreed to Wicklander’s sharp question.

 

Because it was a question she could easily infer just by looking at the items she was looking for, even though she didn’t know much about them.

 

“Hmm. Then they might have been trying to hide something.”

 

“Hide something? What does that mean?”

 

“What do you think is the reason for using a classic method that is no longer used?”

 

“I’m not sure. I don’t know much about magic.”

 

“Nowadays, we draw magic circles in advance on portable artifacts and take them out and use them whenever we need them. Once you draw it the first time, it will be saved and you can continue to use it without having to draw the complex magic circle again. The world has become so convenient.”

 

At Wicklander’s words, Sellonia remembered the items she had seen in the magic stores she had passed by so far.

 

She heard an explanation that a magic circle could be stored and used in an object that looked like a pocket watch that was slightly smaller than a fist, and she thought that was the artifact he was talking about.

 

“But for convenience, the path remains. In other words, a trace remains. You can find out what kind of magic circle that person used if you want to.”

 

“Ah…”

 

Sellonia understood the owner’s words at once.

 

Although using artifacts from the Magic Tower is convenient, it leaves traces.

 

But what if one draws a magic circle directly on parchment?

 

He said that anonymity was guaranteed because the paper could be destroyed by burning.

 

So, the reason Gillian bothered to use parchment was to hide the use of magic.

 

‘Why on earth?’

 

What is the purpose of that magic circle?

 

Sellonia’s mind became complicated, but her single thought became clear and vivid.

 

She can no longer completely trust Gillian. She had to doubt and doubt again until she found out his true intentions.

 

“I guess the reason a person’s name is written under the magic circle is because it has multiple uses, right?”

 

“HAHAHA. You’re right. The store probably doesn’t have what you want, but there are probably some books left.”

 

“Book?”

 

“It’s a manual on how to draw certain magic circles and use them. If you want, I can find it for you. As you can see, it’s been a while since I closed the store, so it’s hard to find right now.”

 

“Yes. Please do me a favor.”

 

Sellonia smiled brightly for the first time since entering the magic district.

 

Even if she doesn’t know for sure, having that book will definitely be helpful.

 

“Then I’ll come back in a few days. Thank you.”

 

“Princess.”

 

Sellonia, who was about to leave the store with Ella with a lighter heart, turned around at Wicklander’s call.

 

“Don’t you body feel sick often?”

 

“My body? No. I’m fine, why is that?”

 

Sellonia’s head tilted to her side at the unexpected question.

 

Wicklander was looking at her with his still smiling face.

 

Is it because his eyes are so clear? Rather than feeling like he was mysterious, Sellonia felt like he was penetrating everything.

 

“Is that so? If so, you’re in luck. Please take care of yourself at all times.”

 

Although she didn’t understand the full meaning of the words, she told him how grateful she was for the greeting that was like sending her off, and left the store.

 

“What is his identity? I don’t think he’s a regular store owner.”

 

Sellonia nodded, agreeing with Ella’s words.

 

Could he be a retired magician?

 

“We’re going to the boutique district now, aren’t we?”

 

“Yes. That’s how it should be.”

 

Sellonia, free from the curiosity, headed south with Ella.

 

***

 

A shanty town with an unpleasant smell.

 

Tents torn everywhere and temporary buildings made of shabby boards that couldn’t even be called houses filled the vacant lot overgrown with weeds.

 

It was a shanty town so remote that no one other than those who lived there would visit, yet Tan entered the place as if he was familiar with it.

 

As always, he carried the bag containing the food he received from the cafe.

 

As soon as he entered, the people who had been sitting around the fire they had gathered and lit in the middle stood up.

 

Among them, two children with dirty looks were pushed on their backs and approached Tan.

 

The adults were still so scared that they just stood there like they were stone statues and just stared.

 

“E-Emily. I will take it.”

 

The girl hesitantly approached Tan, hiding the small girl accompanying her behind her.

 

Tan didn’t pay much attention and obediently handed over the envelope he was holding with indifferent eyes to the girl.

 

“T-Thank yo… hiccup!

 

The girl who handed her the envelope without making eye contact made an ant noise. She couldn’t even say that completely and hiccuped.

 

“Just go.”

 

It wasn’t the first day or two that people had been afraid of him, so Tan waved his hand to tell the children to go.

 

Then, as if the two children had been waiting, they ran away in front of him.

 

For some reason, he felt like the number of people gathering was decreasing day by day, but he didn’t really care.

 

Now that his business was done, he turned around without any hesitation and started walking to leave the shanty town.

 

Is she back at the mansion by now?

 

As he thought about that, he remembered the conversation he had with her this morning.

 

[Hey. It’s not that…]

[Tan.]

[Yes? Ah, right. Yes, Tan. It’s not that I’m trying to break my promise, but I have to go out because I have some business to do.]

 

When she tried to explain why she couldn’t join him for lunch, he corrected her, who was calling him ‘hey’ again.

 

After that, she constantly called him Tan.

 

It was so satisfying that he had to grab the corner of his lips as it tried to climb up.

 

“Tan.”

 

Tan called his name the same way Sellonia had called it.

 

The name was familiar and softly wrapped around his lips, as if it had been his from the beginning.

 

“Brother!”

 

At that time, the corners of his lips, which had been rising arbitrarily, turned downward at the sound of a voice coming from behind.

 

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