༺ Ars Magna Town (4) ༻
A lobby so opulent that it could easily compete with the magnificent reception room of a royal palace.
Sitting upright on the comfortable couch of such a lobby of Flora’s shop, Amelia was lost in her own thoughts.
Never forget your duty.
You will proudly carry the great name of Marigold as my successor.
Maintain your posture even if you’re in a place where people can’t see you.
Never slack off when walking the path of magic; always give it your all.
Live your life like a noble and a proud witch.
Amelia remembered the first time her teacher spoke to her in a stern tone as she was hiding inside the warehouse because she didn’t want to study magic.
But if she were to have an apprentice witch right now, and if said witch was someone who enjoyed playing and being lazy, then Amelia would probably reprimand her as severely as her master had done to her.
In any case, Amelia’s heart had been deeply impacted by the lessons she had learned from her predecessor.
In her alone time, Amelia constantly found herself thinking up about her teacher and the teachings she imparted to her, constantly cherishing and reminiscing their interactions and the memories they built together.
“That’s not right.”
She whispered as she touched the rim of the cup of black tea she hadn’t even taken a sip from.
Amelia replayed the scene she had witnessed earlier in her mind.
Jake and Flora.
They both introduced themselves as lovers…
It was a peculiar relationship that was different from your typical relations that constituted
Simply put, Flora treated Jake equally as her lover and a fellow human being.
She didn’t reprimand Jake for walking around the store with his jacket off and didn’t mind kissing him in front of her customers.
But, how could witches and slaves ever be even thought of as being equal?
In contrast to what Amelia had learned about how to treat a slave, what she had witnessed earlier could be considered to be blasphemous. Her mind was complicated as she was not able to understand the divergence between what she had learned and what she had witnessed just earlier
She felt as if she were in a theater where she ought to stand up in awe and applaud for witnessing such a brilliant performance.
What if Siwoo were to treat Amelia like that? Just like Jake as she treated Flora who he seemed to be madly in love with.
Amelia shuddered with an inexplicable sense of discomfort at the thought.
She felt goosebumps trail all over her body.
She would not tolerate such an occurrence under any circumstances.
But for a brief moment, she couldn’t help but picture herself kissing Siwoo as Jake did to Flora.
In Amelia’s imagination, she and Siwoo were engaged in a passionate display of affection, their tongues entwined and exchanging saliva as if they were two slugs mating with reckless abandon. Their tongues caressed each other’s tongue in a passionate kiss full of the longing and affection they felt for each other.
This time, a deeper sense of discomfort swept through Amelia’s body.
She found such an act to be utterly strange.
She couldn’t understand why anyone would use such an indecent act as a token of love and affection.
In an effort to clear her mind, Amelia sighed out loud and took a sip of the black tea that she had not touched all the while.
The black tea had already cooled down.
“Ms. Associate Professor, I’ve changed my clothes.”
The person Amelia had been waiting for had finally walked into the lobby.
The work had finished faster than Amelia had presumed. She was already getting quite bored sitting in the lobby like that all alone.
“Since I paid for it in advance….”
Amelia eventually fixed her gaze on the person who was standing in front of her and tilted her head in confusion.
‘Just who is this person?’
‘He looks both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.’
A well-combed hairstyle; a formal suit that fit him perfectly; and completing the slick look was a polished pair of black leather shoes
A man walked out, seeming awkward as he adjusted his sleeves.
Amelia, who was about to get up from the sofa, was so startled that she had to sit back down.
So much was her shock that… it didn’t even occur to her that she had acted in a disgraceful manner.
She was having a hard time believing that the neat gentleman in front of her was none other than her newly recruited assistant, Shin Siwoo.
“I sincerely offer my gratitude. I really liked this suit.”
She was really finding it hard to admit, but she knew deep down that the suit was the perfect fit for Siwoo.
Amelia suddenly noticed that her heart was racing and her breathing was becoming hurried.
She was having difficulty breathing in and out.
She had the feeling that her body wasn’t really her own at this moment.
She had a difficult time understanding the ambiguous emotions she was experiencing at the time.
She pondered what changes in human emotions were required for the body to react in this way.
Unfortunately, there were no words in her dictionary that could define such a feeling.
She sprang to her feet in the next moment.
“Sigh… It’s much better now.”
“I suppose so. It fits so well that it’s very easy to move around.”
Waving his arms, Siwoo was showing off his clothes to Amelia.
Flora may have lacked manners and had an illicit relationship with her slave, but she was a skilled tailor, nonetheless.
Even when he moved in that manner, Siwoo’s suit didn’t feel unkempt or wrinkled, and he didn’t appear to be troubled by the suit’s tight fit.
He had always worn ragged clothes till now, but after wearing a formal suit and neat shoes, he looked like an entirely different person altogether.
Amelia quickly averted her gaze from Siwoo as she appeared to have been mesmerized by his attractive appearance without even realizing it.
“Ms. Associate Professor.”
Siwoo walked up to Amelia.
Amelia was startled by his sudden approach, and clutched at the hem of her skirt for no apparent reason.
‘There’s something wrong with me…’
“Thank you very much.”
Siwoo expressed his sincere gratitude to Amelia by bowing his head deeply.
Amelia had never received such genuine appreciation from him before.
Even though he had shown his gratitude to her before, it was quite easy to notice that it was nothing more than lip service. However, his current show of gratitude was different, more intense and sincere.
‘Was it okay to receive such gratitude? Do I really deserve it?’
And before long, she came to a conclusion.
Of course, it was.
Why wouldn’t she? She had paid two bottles of “Perfume of Fatigue” for his suit.
However, when she considered the reason for which she had given him these clothes, she felt confused once more. In some ways, this could be seen as nothing more than compensation.
As usual, she kept her cool and gave the best response despite the confusion that was plaguing her mind.
“No need, I just didn’t like it when you walked around in those ugly clothes of yours.”
Amelia’s cool demeanor made it seem as though she was reproaching Siwoo as she spoke to him.
Siwoo’s expression, which had been beaming with happiness, started to fade after hearing her harsh words.
He was still a man who expressed his emotions through his facial expressions, after all.
Amelia immediately regretted what she had said after observing Siwoo’s gradually declining reaction.
In order to make up for it, Amelia added more words to her previous statement.
“Please continue to dress like this. It suits you.”
Siwoo breathed a sigh to control his rising temper.
Amelia also took an inaudible deep breath and ignored the feeling of frustration that she was feeling for her actions.
Siwoo drove back to Trinity Academy by carriage, still wearing the nice suit Amelia had bought for him.
It was not that he didn’t want to look around Ars Magna Town more, but it was crowded with witches, which was a little intimidating to a slave like him.
So, Siwoo felt it would be for the best if he finished his work here and returned as soon as possible.
Amelia didn’t even look at Siwoo the entire way back to the academy, opting to tilt her head and observe the scenery outside the carriage window.
As a result, the conversation between the two was completely cut off.
They returned without exchanging any words with one another.
The carriage drove directly to the barn where Siwoo lived till now and once there… he swiftly packed all his belongings to move to his new residence.
Despite its worn out appearance, the barn gave Siwoo a sense of belonging in the strange city of witches. It wasn’t much, but it was a comforting presence that reminded him of home. He said his farewells to the barn after grabbing his belongings.
It was obvious that he needed to move his luggage tonight because he was about to move to a new lodging.
“Are we heading to my lodging now?”
Wrapping all of his belongings in a sizable towel, Siwoo asked Amelia as he got into the carriage.
And with that out of the way, the wagon began moving once more.
They arrived at an annex which was located near the center of the Academy.
The building was actually a large mansion with a garden and a fountain in front, and it could easily pass for a five-star hotel.
It was an impressive building with a blue roof and pristine white walls.
“Ms. Associate Professor,”
“I think the carriage had brought us to the wrong place. This is Ms. Associate Professor’s lodging.”
Indeed. The place was Amelia’s lodging.
The term “lodging” seemed woefully inadequate to describe such a magnificent building and didn’t quite fit the description.
Siwoo was shocked to learn that the carriage had taken them to Amelia’s mansion, most likely at her command.
Without a moment for Siwoo to ask back, Amelia left the carriage and opened the door of the mansion.
Siwoo blinked his eyes and followed Amelia inside.
He closely followed her steps despite the unease he was feeling inside.
Amelia quickly made her way up the grand staircase and flitted through the spacious mansion.
He didn’t see a single person, even in such a large mansion.
Despite the lack of inhabitants, the building managed by magic was impeccably maintained and clean. The chandeliers hanging high above did not have a single particle of dust in them.
As she reached the second floor, Amelia guided Siwoo to the far end of the hallway.
Though he tried to remain stoic, Siwoo couldn’t help but start to take notice of the situation that was taking place right now.
“Well, I’m saying this just in case but… Is this where I’ll be staying from now on?”
“You are my exclusive slave. Isn’t it obvious already?”
‘I was going to stay with Amelia?’
He felt as though his world was being turned upside down as that thought dawned on her,
Siwoo had trouble accepting the reality of the current situation.
“But how dare I, a slave of Ms. Assistant Professor, live in the same building as your esteemed self?”
“There are many rooms in my mansion, and this place is needlessly big anyways. So, I have no problem giving one of the rooms to you.”
Siwoo felt like he would have thought much more highly of Amelia if she had just shown such kindness to him on a more regular basis.
But who was this generosity really meant for? Siwoo pondered if it was because he was now Amelia’s assistant or if she was now pitying him because he was subjected to her daily torment.
“Ms. Associate Professor, it’s because I’m too lowly to live in your place.”
“That’s not true. You are my assistant now, so you should live a life worthy of that position.”
Siwoo concluded that there were two great problems with living in the same mansion as Amelia.
First and foremost, it was painfully obvious why she was keeping Siwoo so close to her.
‘She is going to overwork me to death, isn’t she?’
As they would be under the same roof in that scenario, she didn’t even need to go look for him or even call him whenever she required his presence.
If it were just simply about the labor, it would not be a problem at all for him. But the problem lay in the fact that Siwoo and Amelia would be in the same place 24/7,
Being around her was already awkward and uncomfortable to begin with, and now he would even be forced to see her face wherever he went. Compared to an assistant who only helped to organize documents and assist in their superior’s work, this was a completely different situation altogether.
The second problem was quite troubling for him as it meant that he would be unable to conduct his research.
The barn where Siwoo originally lived was located on top of a secluded hill of the Academy.
The amount of mana Siwoo used for research was so minimal that it was unlikely to be detected.
However, things were different in Amelia’s mansion.
Amelia’s senses would pick it up right away.
Before starting any experiments, he would have to go toward the deserted barn late at night in order to avoid her gaze and senses. Which implied that his research speed would be delayed considerably.
He might have been able to handle other inconveniences, but a delayed escape was not something he could stand.
“Ms. Associate Professor, no matter how I think about it, this place doesn’t suit me. I will return to the place where I used to live.
Meanwhile, Amalia couldn’t understand why Siwoo was trying so hard to escape from her mansion.
Originally, she planned to provide him with a comfortable place to stay near the research building. A place where the facilities were neither too good or bad..
However, seeing how her petty vendettas had accumulated and obstructed Siwoo’s life in such a major way, Amelia felt compelled to make amends for them.
So, on a random whim, Amelia decided to give him the room that was usually used as the guest room. But she had no idea why he was being so stubborn in refusing her consideration for him.
“Leave your things behind.”
And thus, with no way to counter her orders, Siwoo was forced to check out his future home.
Siwoo, as he gazed at the prospect of running away from this mansion, was utterly stunned when he saw the room of his accommodation.
No matter how fancy a mansion was, lodgings for servants were always shabby. However, the room that was assigned to Siwoo looked in no way suitable for a mere servant. In fact, it was obvious even at a glance that this was a room to accommodate honored guests.
Even though it was lower than the barn, the ceiling was so high that even if Michael Jordan were to jump with all his might, he wouldn’t be able to reach it.
The furniture, such as the sofa, cabinet, and wardrobe, were all so expensive that if Siwoo were to leave a single scratch on them, he would have to spend his entire life serving as a slave to pay for the damages.
Moreover, the floor was covered in such expensive carpet that Siwoo unconsciously avoided stepping on it.
“This is the living room and this is the bedroom.”
Not to mention, there were even two rooms that were attached to each other in his accommodation.
As soon as Siwoo entered the room, he was greeted by a spacious living area, and as he ventured further in, he found a bedroom with a bed and a desk already installed.
In contrast to the living room furniture, the bed and the mattress placed on top didn’t seem to be of the same high quality.
“May I look around?””
“Now that it’s the janitor’s room, do as you please.”
As soon as Siwoo was given permission, he checked the last remaining room.
Next to the bedroom was a large bathtub. As he turned on the water in the bathtub, which was almost identical to modern facilities, warm water immediately gushed out.
The days of freezing showers were over, and he could now bid farewell to the soul-chilling sensations of taking a cold shower.
Siwoo couldn’t help but feel a sense of bewilderment wash over him as he stared at the room dazedly.
“Is this really my room?”
“Yes, you have a day off today, so take a good rest and come to the research building from tomorrow morning.”
Amelia uttered those words before shutting the door behind her, leaving the premise.
Siwoo took a brief moment to look around the room and take in his surroundings.
Along with exploring his new room, Siwoo tried to understand the reason for Amelia’s sudden bout of kindness.
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