༺༺ Amelia Merigold (1) ༻
The situation ended when Siwoo rushed out of the bathroom with his head bowed, afraid to annoy her any more than he had already done, after receiving a stern warning from Amelia.
Amelia sighed softly as she watched his silhouette fading through the transparent glass wall.
She was relieved to see that the excuses she had roughly put together ended up working.
She had felt a pang of shame pierce her heart earlier when she realized that she had lied to protect her ego.
Looking back 5 years ago, on that boring and uneventful winter day.
Amelia submerged herself under the sea of bubbles.
“Aren’t you bored, Amelia?”
“What are you doing here at this time, Avenega?”
“Oh… I’m just here to kill time.”
“You’re really annoying, you know that?”
Sophia’s crow that Amelia was responding to, had been visiting the research building non-stop lately.
Its wingspan was so large that it could cover the length of an entire monitor screen.
The crow, after being swatted away like a fly, flapped its wings and perched itself atop a stand.
Sophia had been sending her crow to the research building recently and it was beginning to disrupt Amelia’s research.
“What’s the point in studying for 20 hours every single day when you’re already two paths ahead of your predecessors.”
“The reason she died was due to my accomplishments, I can’t let her death be in vain.”
“Kyaa- so evil”.
Upon hearing the remarks, the crow’s eye blinked as it shook its head from side to side.
Amelia’s thoughts did not accurately reflect the thoughts of the general witch populace.
In fact, most of them believed the complete opposite. They believed that the act of inheriting a brand from another witch took priority over the life of a single witch.
Yes, Amelia’s predecessor may have died after passing off the brand to her. But that didn’t necessarily mean that Amelia was responsible for her death.
Obviously, it was a topic that Sophia avoided talking to Amelia about.
She knew how much Amelia’s predecessor meant to Amelia.
There have already been many cases where the bond between teacher and student slowly matures into a bond between parent and child.
“If you continue to overwork yourself like this, won’t you need to impart your brand to someone else sooner than you think?”
“The only way you can go when you reach rock bottom is up.”
“What’s more, you haven’t even taken in an apprentice yet.”
“I’m way too busy working to get one.”
“Do you have to put in some much effort? Whenever I see you, all I see is an old, retired witch, long past her prime, on her way to impart a brand onto her apprentice.”
Sighing, Amelia put her pen down. She observed as the crow, perched on its stand, cawed.
It seemed like Sophia had no plans to leave quietly today.
“What are you going to bother me with today, Sophia?”
“Did you know? New slaves have arrived at the Academy.”
“There’s only two of them and they just so happen to be male~”
Amelia couldn’t care less about the slaves and the expression on her face communicated that perfectly.
The crow understood what the expression meant and seemed to speak with much more care.
The panicked look on the crow’s face was amusing to say the least.
“I have some advice that has been passed down from my predecessor, Avenegena. Wanna hear it?”
“You’re still going to do it even if I don’t consent, aren’t you? Go ahead.”
To say that the relationship between Sophia and Amelia was tense was an understatement.
Talking to Sophia was like talking to a brick wall. She was resistant to Amelia’s sharp tongue, which usually helped Amelia get away from annoying situations.
Therefore, Amelia was left with no other choice than to listen to whatever Sophia had in store for her.
“She said that creativity is intrinsically linked to the environment you put yourself into. Be it if you cage yourself in a narrow mindset or a cramped environment, you will never be able to generate creative solutions to your problems. How long have you been trying to solve this part?”
After numerous visits, Sophia noticed that there was something wrong with Amelia’s research.
She had been trying to create a magical circle for months now, and yet no progress had been made.
She had been missing an essential factor in the building process.
It was clear to see that Amelia spent all her time focusing on creating the magic circle and forgot to alter a single variable, leading to her suffering.
“See? It’s because you’ve been stuck in your room for so long, working on the same problem over and over again. You have to realize that the connection between the ‘input’ and ‘output’ will always be equal. Just like in the case of your research. So wouldn’t it be okay to occasionally adjust your mood?”
”So, the reason you’re here every day is to change my mood?”
Sophia ignored Amelia’s remarks and continued.
“‘I don’t follow trends~ I won’t go to salons unless there are magic items to buy~ I only like to take baths in the large public baths~ I go to work every day at the research building.’ And you actually think you can come up with new ideas like that? What you need is new stimulation and fresh ideas! Not clinging to some old problem, you can’t solve.”
Sophia’s clever little technique succeeded in piquing Amelia’s interest.
If she had instead said, “Why not? It’ll be fun to fool around,” would Amelia, the biggest nerd on Gehenna, someone who spends their time in the corner of their room studying magic, listen to what she has to say?
Amelia’s research habits would have long caused her to pass out from exhaustion had it not been for her spiritual body.
Sophia had intentionally misinterpreted the advice and claimed that it was all for the sake of magic when in reality, she simply wanted Amelia to take some time off studying and relax a little.
Although it seemed like Amelia wasn’t listening, the fact that she hadn’t chased away Sophia’s crow spoke volumes.
“Get to the point.”
“We’ll be embarking on a harrowing journey today, ascending up the stairs of adulthood.”
”Sexual activity is not a key factor in experiencing new things, is it?”
This wouldn’t be the first time Amelia had received such an offer.
Unlike Amelia, who was conservative in nature, Sophia was pretty liberal in her actions.
It was one of the reasons why Amelia was initially irked by her. She had a nasty habit of sleeping with people whom she found sexually attractive regardless of their gender.
From the rumors circulating around her, she didn’t seem to be a bad person. However, her persistent attempts for Amelia to join her in her hobby annoyed Amelia to no end.
”Now, now… You’ve got it all wrong. Wouldn’t it be accurate to say that the act of coitus is an act of ‘creation’? We witches are unable to create any children of our own. But, the act itself has been a noble tradition passed down from generation to generation. It is the foundation of our existence and has created billions of lives ever since time immemorial and will continue doing so long after we are gone.”
Amelia started to get increasingly upset as she was forced to listen to the horse shit that was spewing from the witch’s mouth.
She had looked away from the crow, struggling to suppress the rage that threatened to boil over within her.
”I’ve finished listening to everything you have to say, it’s time for you to leave.”
She took up her pen, ignoring the caws emanating from the bird.
It was obvious that Amelia would start to ignore the ramblings from Sophia and instead, continue to work on the pointless calculations laid out in front of her.
Sophia realized that continuing with her current strategy would prove futile and instead she chose to change gears and attack from a different angle.
The first strategy was to utilize Amelia’s love for magic.
If that failed, the backup plan would be to go for her pride.
”Oh… Come on. I couldn’t help myself. I mean just look at yourself. You could use a little more confidence in yourself.”
”You’re both gorgeous and beautiful. It’s just that, you won’t ever be as feminine as me, but there should still be men out there that don’t care about that right?”
”I know how awkward and scary talking to the other gender can be. You’ve never had any real experience talking to men after all, much less any experience in falling in love before. I understand that learning new things can be challenging in the beginning. So don’t give up just yet.”
Sophia continued talking to no one in particular and began her attacks on Amelia’s ego.
The hidden connotation behind her words meant that the reason Amelia couldn’t meet a man was due to her lack of confidence in her appearance and also because she doesn’t have the guts to approach anyone she found sexually attracted to.
As expected it all worked out in the end.
Amelia’s eyebrows twitched slightly as she struggled to contain her composure under the onslaught of sharp remarks.
Sophia avoided going overboard with her remarks and intentionally made the remarks with Amelia’s bottom line in mind.
In order to avoid bruising her ego, as someone who was as stubborn as the previous marigold, it would be more effective if Sophia slowly stimulated her drive to win.
”Men will still flock to you because of your childlike appearance. And I have to say, you are really cute, even from a woman’s point of view.”
All it took was for Sophia to mention the word ‘childlike’; just like that, Amelia was caught hook, line, and sinker.
It was as easy as stealing candy from a child.
Amelia’s eyes fluttered open as she hurled the pen back onto her desk.
She was trying to seem threatening but all it did was make her look all the more adorable.
”Did you just imply that I’m a child?”
”Ah! I do apologize if I happened to offend you.”
”I learned more than just Magic from my predecessor. She taught me the etiquette and mannerisms befitting a lady and a member of the aristocracy, unlike your predecessor, Avenega. Knowledge that a quasi-noble such as yourself can never hope to comprehend.”
Amelia declared back at her stoically.
Descending from its stand, the crow rubbed its head along the back of Amelia’s hand in apology.
”You know I’m not doing this out of hate, my friend, I want to see you grow, mature, and come of age.”
Amelia sighed and got up from her seat.
Sophia’s crow squealed in delight as it circled around Amelia’s head.
”Don’t trouble me again, I’ll show you just how wrong you were.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
Sophia pretended to have misunderstood Amelia as she listened to her rant.
”I’m not as dense as to fall for the same trick twice. Or rather, in this case, thrice. You’re making it plenty obvious that you’re trying to enrage me.”
It seemed like Amelia had gotten quite upset over Sophia’s actions.
”Your statement about the vulgar act of seeking sexual pleasure as an inspiration for magic is utterly preposterous. It is not something I intend to follow and the only reason I stood up was to prove to you how wrong you are about me.”
“What did I say about you?”
”You claimed that I’m not confident enough to talk to the opposite gender. That’s false. I simply choose not to do it because I feel no need to.”
Men were simply low-level mortals who couldn’t even utilize a drop of mana.
”Show me where the slaves are being kept.”
Untying her hair, Amelia walked out of her room with a confident gait.
”Do we need to even succumb to such cruel methods as seducing slaves? They can’t even refuse a witch’s command so what added benefit would it give us to do so?”
”Oh, it’s simply done to motivate them to do as they’re told.”
Amelia walked along the well-lit corridor with the crow as her guide.
She had been informed of the location of the slaves two days prior.
A slave could be seen bent over cleaning the shelves in the library as Amelia entered the room.
That specific slave would be leased out by the city hall to Trinity Academy for the ensuing six years to work under their supervision.
Amelia had planned to occasionally use him as a teacher’s assistant.
She observed as he clumsily cleaned the shelves, it was clear to see that the long working hours weren’t enough for him to adapt to his situation.
Amelia wondered if it was because he was kind of a nerdy guy who wasn’t used to manual labor.
“Janitor Shin Siwoo.”
“Yes! Lady Witch!”
The abrupt noise, which was Amelia calling out for him, had startled the slave as he fell from the ladder with a loud crash.
He hurriedly dusted himself off, arriving before Amelia with a stiff expression on his face.
Amelia believed that if she showed her capability to seduce a man with naught but a single word, Sophia, who was perched on her shoulder, would admit her defeat and get off her back.
In which case, Amelia would be able to go back to her research and remain undisturbed for a while.
In fact, just from a glimpse of his face. Amelia could tell that he had been smitten by her, and she wondered if further proof of her capabilities were still needed.
“Meet me in my bedroom after work.”
Wasn’t it obvious enough that he had already fallen for her?
Amelia was, after all, fairly confident in her looks.
Her soft blond hair appeared to have been handcrafted by the gods along with her blue eyes that seemed to hold the blue ocean had earned her numerous compliments from her predecessor
And that’s not all, both etiquette and grace had been ingrained into her very being through her long years of formal education. She had even been taught the charm a witch should possess in her arsenal.
She was confident that her charm could beat even the likes of an ignorant witch like Sophia.
“It’s exactly as I predicted.”
The nerdy slave would arrive at her room with all kinds of fantasies in mind, but upon arrival, he would simply have to leave disappointed.
She thought herself smart enough to not associate with a man whom she had never met before. The interaction in itself would be proof enough for Sophia to get off her back.
Which was why the following words that came out of the man’s mouth became all the more surprising to her.
He apologized profusely, his head bent at a right angle.
“Cack cack cack cack!”
The crow that had been quietly perching on Amelia’s shoulder fluttered its wings, unable to contain its laughter at the sudden turn of events.
Amelia could feel a heat rise through her face.
Her mind went blank at the sudden realization that she had just been rejected by a mere slave.
E/N: [Insert Giga Chad]⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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