Amid the chrysanthemums with unscattered petals, a moderate amount of oil and honey hovered on the surface of the flower rice cake.
I ate one of those delicious rice cakes and drank the refreshing ginger tea straight away.
When I chewed on the pine nuts and jujube inside, I felt my stress being slightly relieved.


‘Don’t even think about stepping into the hallway for the time being.’

After only one act, that bum Elijah locked his daughter in her room with the coldest look on his face.

Of course, I was the one who set up this kind of relationship between Celina and Elijah! But still! Wasn’t this too much?

The funny thing was that yesterday, Elijah tried to hit me.
Really.
He raised his hand as soon as he saw me, only to lower it after finding Mikael behind me.

That bastard.

Of course, there was a limit to Mikael’s ability to protect me.
Elijah and Mikael were in a master-and-disciple relationship anyway, in which one was clearly superior to the other.

Moreover, Elijah’s words in this castle were absolute, and no one could disobey them.

“Should I get you more tea?”


Ian asked.
I nodded.
I heard that this man was wandering all over the castle yesterday, looking for me.
Why Mikael was the one who found me first, I have no idea.

Celina stopped me from trying to apologize to Ian.
What did she say? She said that I had to be thorough in managing my expression and tone of voice towards anyone except Mikael.

Even a brief noble life was extremely difficult.
I took another sip of the tea and re-read the letter from the high priest that arrived this morning.

Elijah was extremely reluctant to open his castle.
It was only under strict inspection that something like this could come in from the outside.

Although the castle was located in Algor, the worst polar region covered in ice all year round, the sense of seasons was surprisingly rich as far as his magic touched it.

The castle was usually hidden from view, so the residents could only guess that the rumored archmage resided in this area.

However, unlike Elijah, Celina regularly met with the nobles.
And what the high priest, who held the highest position in the religious world, wanted to convey to her was simple.

Aside from the clichéd greetings, it said that Celina had to proceed with the ceremony as a priestess during the princess’ coming-of-age celebration, so he was asking her to begin the preparations.

In other words, he was asking me to come to the temple to practice.
But I had no reason to practice because I was going to get out of here anytime soon.


I was only going to endure it until the day I went to the imperial palace.
If I didn’t wake up until then, of course.

“It seems your appetite has improved a little.”

Ian said, standing next to me.

“Is that so?”

I replied unenthusiastically.

“When you finish your refreshments, you have to choose a dress.”

“Yeah.
I know.”

I looked out the window, continuing to chew the food that was in my mouth.
Outside, a few red leaves were fluttering.
The weather was impossible to understand.
I felt that if I stayed here, the passage of time was bound to get dull.

“Still, Young Lady.
About yesterday.”


He continued to speak as if to make me feel better.
I stared at his dark-blue eyes.

“It was really good of you to go out alone.
I think self-assertion is a good thing.
No matter what happened, you’re moving in the right direction.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Yes.”

Ian answered in a low voice.

“… I see.
I hope that’s really the case.”

The situation was turning a bit strange.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter what happens here.

While staring blankly at the window, I met eyes with a bird that was sitting quietly.
Its black feathers and eyes were shiny.
Then, for some reason, I felt a sense of alienation.


“A raven?”

Ian turned his gaze to me at my words.
The raven, the most intelligent of the common birds, quickly flapped its wings and disappeared into the blue sky as soon as the two of us looked at it.

“It’s been a long time since a bird from the garden came to this high place.”

He muttered.
The nature of this area, the seasons as well as the wind, can all be influenced by Elijah.

This meant that I had no way of knowing if it really came here by chance or if Elijah was controlling it.

“I’m done eating, so take it away.”

“I understand.”

Immediately after I put down the fork, Ian called the maids to clean up the tableware.
Then, he moved back and forth busily by himself, and in an instant, he brought me dozens of dresses of different lengths and fabrics.
There was also sparkling jewelry on one side.

“Miss Elizabeth chose this type of dress.
Of course, you don’t have to be matching just because you are sisters.
In any case, the color that His Majesty designated this time is red.”

He said politely, pointing to one of the dresses that was fluttering with lace.
I couldn’t help but be stunned because I usually wore comfortable clothes.
I hated this kind of annoying and cumbersome thing.

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