༺ Sunset ༻
“Now then, I will rest for a moment. You two help me keep an eye on Lulu.”
“It’s already morning, are you going to sleep again?”
Irina, who arrived on the second floor after speaking to Kania for a long period of time, tilted her head as she questioned Frey’s words.
“Sorry, I have been waking up exhausted lately. I will only rest for an hour.”
The dark circles under Frey’s eyes were a testament to his exhaustion.
For someone who had slept for a week he looked far too weary.
“All right then… rest well.”
“Thanks. Inform Kania once she arrives.”
After uttering those words, Frey plopped down on his bed and quickly fell asleep.
“Frey… are you asleep?”
Staring at the sleeping Frey, Irina approached him.
“…So you did fall asleep.”
Frey was in such deep slumber he wouldn’t even know if someone were to carry him on their backs. The sight of the sleeping Frey evoked Irina’s memories of the past week she had spent nursing Frey.
“How difficult was the Ordeal for you to be this tired even after sleeping for a week?”
Due to the ordeal, Frey fell into a deep slumber. As the one who carried him to the secret hideout in the woods near the mansion and nursed him all day, Irina had a rough understanding of the severity of the ordeal Frey experienced.
“Leave, I want to leave.”
“Frey! Are you awake?”
“Here… It’s the worst here.”
That was because Frey muttered those words several times in his slumber while lying on the bed at the secret hideout.
Irina thought Frey had finally overcome the ordeal and would wake up from his slumber when he called her name.
“Why… Why did you end up in this state…”
But that wasn’t the case.
Rather, it was a cry of despair for Irina that he saw within the ordeal.
Nursing Frey during that period was unbearable for Irina, simply maintaining her sanity while staying by his side took all of her willpower.
Frey was being tortured at every moment as a result of the ordeal that began as a result of her actions.
One day, Irina’s guilt reached a breaking-point when she witnessed Frey spasming with his face becoming pale.
“Wh-What should I do? What would be the right thing to do!”
“Irina. Calm yourself fi…”
“Kania. Please, send me inside Frey’s dream!”
Frey was clearly experiencing something unbearable. In one way or another, Irina wanted to assist him, so she pleaded with Kania who had been struggling to infiltrate Frey’s ordeal.
“An unknown force is blocking me. I apologize.”
Kania could only shake her head as she articulated those words.
“Frey, you can sleep comfortably now, right?”
As she stopped reminiscing, Irina stroked Frey’s hair. The expression on his face was indicative of his comfort. She carefully questioned him. .
Of course, with how deep Frey was in slumber, she wouldn’t get a response. Yet, only by enquiring did she come to feel at ease.
At the very least, Frey didn’t speak with a pained expression as he slept.
“…Irina? What are you doing?”
Irina, who had been carefully stroking Frey’s hair, flinched and turned her head when she heard Kania’s voice from behind her.
“That… ah, please take care of Lulu over there.”
“You mean you want me to take care of her?”
Kania frowned as Irina slurred her words while pointing at the limp Lulu who rested beside Frey.
“Yes, Frey requested for you to take care of her.”
“What about you?”
“I… will clean the room.”
Irina responded while avoiding Kania’s gaze. She picked up the broom in the corner of the room and began to sweep.
Witnessing the scene unfold with great displeasure, Kania sighed and approached the limp Lulu who tossed and turned on the floor..
“Please clean the room spotlessly.”
Kania left the room while carrying Lulu on her back. Irina, who was calmly sweeping the floor, ceased her cleaning and began to stare at Frey again.
Irina carefully approached Frey. She then quietly lowered her head as she noticed a wound on Frey’s shoulder.
‘That… isn’t that the wound he got when he tried to protect me from Fenrir’s bite in the Ashen Forest?’
Irina recalled how Frey desperately tried to protect her while she was unable to cast any magic. Her hands trembled as she lifted Frey’s clothes. She recalled the time when she violently fired fireballs at him during performance evaluation.
There is a vivid burnt mark engraved on his body by Irina.
‘Weird… all the wounds formed a scar.’
Not only that, but the wounds Frey has received thus far have all remained as scars. Irina stroked the scars with a stunned expression on her face.
“…Indeed. I should find that person.”
Irina stroked Frey’s scars for some time before making a firm decision.
Even though she believes she’ll never find that woman. For Frey, who received countless permanent scars and almost died while facing the ordeal. He did all this on her behalf, and still forgave her for all the troubles she’s caused him. She had to find her.
And if she found that woman, she would do whatever it took to prolong Frey’s lifespan, even if it cost her own lifespan.
“That is the only atonement I can provide you.”
Irina muttered those words, hesitated for a moment, then carefully planted a kiss on Frey’s cheek.
“I… I have to clean the room.”
Irina uttered those words out loud without anyone in her vicinity to hear. Shortly thereafter, she began to sweep the room again while blushing. .
If her past self, the prideful Archmage, were to see this, she would probably lose all the strength in her body and pass out.
“So, you said you have been taking care of Lulu until now?”
“Yes, that’s right. It was the Young Master’s order…”
Frey summoned Kania once he woke up from his one hour long slumber. . She immediately ran from the room next door where she was taking care of Lulu to meet him.
“What about Irina?”
“I heard that the Young Master ordered her to clean.”
“…Is that so?”
Because he said it while he was half asleep, Frey couldn’t quite recall what he had requested. Unbothered by whether Lulu was safe or if the room was clean, he stood up.
“Young Master? Where are you going?”
As Frey stood up and prepared to head outside, Kania curiously questioned him.
“Ah, you see, I have to stealthily prepare for the ‘slave market attack’. I’m heading to the intelligence guild to gather some information.”
“To gather information? If it is as simple as that, I can handle it for you.”
Facing her, Frey responded kindly, receiving a puzzled look from Kania as a response.
It was not out of the ordinary for Kania, who was the head butler of Starlight Ducal family and an expert in gathering information, to display such a response.
“Actually, I have another purpose for visiting the guild aside from gathering information.”
“Yes, the sub-heroine I mentioned last time. She is the daughter of the guild’s head. It’s about time I meet her.”
Upon hearing Frey’s words, Kania’s expression turned cold.
“Is that so? Then I will go with you.”
“Yes, take care of the hou- what?”
Frey questioned Kania with a flustered expression as he was about to bid goodbye to her.
“You want to come with me?”
“Yes, it’s as you heard.”
“What about Lulu?”
“Leave her to Irina of course.”
As Kania spoke without any hesitation while wearing a cold expression, Frey sighed quietly and spoke.
“Thanks for worrying about me but… the person I’m planning to meet this time isn’t someone ordinary. I want to hide my relationship with you as much as possible.”
“But isn’t the person you are going to meet the guild head’s daughter?”
When Kania, who took pride in her position as the head butler of Starlight Ducal family, inquired with a frown on her face, Frey replied with a smirk.
“Right. She is the guild’s head daughter.”
“If so then why…”
“…and also the Duke’s esteemed daughter.”
Hearing that, Kania’s expression turned blank.
“Along with the Starlight and the Moonlight family, it is one of the three Ducal Families of the Empire. It is none other than the daughter of the Sunset Ducal family.”
“If it is the Sunset family then… it’s the branch family of the Sunrise’s Imperial royals?”
“Right, you know that much.”
Kania spoke with a confused look, while Frey maintained his smirk as he replied.
“They are the branch family that has been suppressed, resulting in poor treatment and the inability to gain achievements … but it’s still a Ducal family.”
“But then, why and how did the esteemed daughter of such a Ducal family become the heiress of the underworld intelligence guild’s head? Even with all my memories from the previous round, it was still something I never discovered. It seems they hid it especially securely…”
“There must be a reason for it. She is supposed to only appear in the second round as a new student. Well, I will explain the situation in detail at a later time. I must head there in secrecy now.”
Frey headed towards the front door after uttering those words. Kania spoke urgently as she watched Frey enroute to the door. .
“Young Master, let’s head there together…”
“Kania, I have a great idea…”
Kania’s words came to a halt when the door next to her opened and Irina peeked her head out from behind the door. Noticing that, Kania frowned deeply and spoke.
“What is it?”
“Huh, isn’t Lulu sleeping quite deeply now? So why not use your magic to invade her consciousness?”
“Let’s do it later.”
When she noticed Frey was looking at his reflection in the mirror and tidying himself up, Kania who was listening to Irina’s explanation, tightly grasped Irina’s hand and stopped her from continuing to speak.
“…I have something I need to verify.”
As Kania uttered those words, her eyes fixed on Frey who had begun brushing his hair while humming away.
“You, stop right over there.”
“Yes, yes! Young Master!”
Kania was eventually permitted to accompany Frey under the condition that she would wait by the guild entrance. She became puzzled when Frey abruptly asked for the carriage to stop after having rode to an unknown destination for quite some time.
“Young Master? Why did you suddenly stop the carriage?”
“Wait. I need to purchase something.”
Saying so, Frey emerged from the carriage and strolled towards an unknown destination. Inside the carriage, Kania scanned the outside vicinity and what she witnessed resulted in her eyes widening.
“…A flower shop?”
She watched as Frey’s figure entered the shop.
The calm expression Kania tried to maintain while staring at the flower shop deteriorated, rapidly darkening when she saw Frey coming out of the flower shop after some time, carrying a rose bouquet in one hand.
“Let’s move again.”
Frey remained oblivious to Kania’s state of mind and silently examined the bouquet.
“…Young Master? Who is that bouquet for?
Kania could no longer suppress her urge to ask Frey a question. Frey replied with a sigh.
“A gift for Rosewyn.”
“A gift for the Duke’s daughter that I mentioned earlier.”
After uttering those words, Frey leaned back on the carriage seat. Kania, who had been uneasy, cautiously asked the real question she wanted to ask.
“Young Master… Do you perhaps, like her?”
Frey tilted his head upon hearing that, and Kania aggrievedly continued to speak.
“That… usually you do not make an effort on putting on makeup, or perfume… or purchasing a rose bouquet…”
“So? What if I do like her?”
“That… If that’s the case…”
With a mischievous look on his face, Frey questioned her back. Kania painfully averted her gaze and spoke.
“Uh… I’m not sure.”
Kania timidly answered as her body soon began to emit a dark aura.
“It’s a joke, I’m kidding. I deliberately purchased this to make her unhappy.”
Witnessing Kania’s reaction, Frey became fearful and stopped joking around. He then seriously said those words to Kania who looked confused.
“Young Master, you groomed yourself and even purchased flowers. How would that make her displeased?”
“It is the best way to make her hate me.”
“…I don’t quite understand your intentions.”
Kania confusedly uttered those words before gazing out the window of the carriage with a slightly relieved expression.
“So, what exactly is your relationship with her?”
After she had been silent for quite some time, Kania indifferently questioned Frey, who was absent-mindedly examining the flowers. Frey responded to Kania’s inquiry with a faint voice.
“You will see for yourself soon.”
Frey shut his mouth after uttering those words. Kania continued to gaze out the window indifferently as she had been doing before, carefully protruding her hand from the carriage window. .
In her hand, dark mana was swirling.
“Kania, you wait here.”
Once the carriage stopped at a secluded alley, Frey stepped outside with a sigh. He stopped Kania who tried to follow him from behind and spoke.
“It won’t be long. You don’t have to worry.”
“Ah, Young Master. Your collar got disheveled.”
Holding onto Frey, Kania, with her eyes wide open, then began to straighten his collar.
“Huh? I clearly straightened it well previously…”
“Leave it. It is perfect now.”
When Frey tilted his head at her actions, Kania smiled and pulled away from him.
“Then, stay safe Young Master.”
Frey looked suspiciously at Kania. Soon after, he scratched his head and entered the intelligence guild.
“Welcome, gues- ugh.”
The woman at the counter, who was uttering her greeting with a smile on her face, froze as she saw Frey.
“You know me right? Take me to the VIP room. Tell Rosewyn to come meet me.”
Asserting those words to the nervous clerk, Frey then followed the clerk into the cellar.
“How has Rosewyn been doing lately?”
“Ah… I’m no more than a clerk, I don’t really know…”
“Don’t you still roughly know something?”
“I’m sorry. I really don’t know.”
Frey gave the clerk a pretentious look. He sighed and imposingly stopped walking upon arriving at the room’s entrance.
“You can enter first. I will call Ms. Ros…”
Without paying attention to what that woman was saying, Frey nonchalantly entered the room. He muttered while sighing.
“It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been here…”
The moment Frey uttered those words while examining his vicinity, the door opened and someone slowly entered the room.
At that moment, Frey’s expression transformed, his smile changing into that of an insolent fool. He placed his hand under his chin and began speaking.
“Have you been well? Is there anything bothering you lately?”
“Hoho, it seems like you missed me quite a bit?”
The girl who had been watching Frey with a smile in her eyes plopped down in the seat across from him.
“So… what kind of request do you have this time?”
“Do you know something about the ‘slave market’ case?”
“Oh! That case?”
Frey cautiously enquired and the girl replied with a smile.
“The price is one thousand gold, since you are a regul-“
“Only one thousand? I’ll give you two thousand.”
Upon blurting out these words, Frey extracted a bag of gold coins from his chest pocket. The girl widened and covered her mouth with her hand.
“That’s too much! You don’t need to give me this much..”
“It’s fine, Rosewyn. Don’t you know I have a lot of money?”
Frey shrugged his shoulders while he said that. The girl called Rosewyn wore a worried expression and responded.
“But… recently I’ve heard of a rumor about assailants who broke into the Starlight mansion and stole all the assets.”
“Huh? Where did you hear such bullshit?”
“That’s really not the truth?”
“Yeah. If that were the case, I couldn’t possibly provide you this money. Haha.”
Frey replied with his bright and stupid expression. Rosewyn nodded, her expression turned sharp at that moment.
“Yes… is that so? I understand. Then, I will tell you all the information no..”
“Ah, I will add a thousand gold beside that amount. So tell me about the additional information from your inquiries too.”
As Frey took out another bag of gold coins from his chest pocket, Rosewyn began to part her lips .
“Will this really be okay? You provide me with this much…”
“It’s fine. Everything’s perfectly fine.”
Frey waved his hand at Rosewyn’s continuous concern. Then, he blushed and took something out of his chest pocket.
“Ah right. This is a gift I prepared while thinking about you.”
In Frey’s hand, there was a bouquet of colorful roses in full bloom.
“This is the first time I’ve received such a gift…”
“About that, Rosewyn. Do you have time on the weekend…”
Rosewyn’s gaze transformed from a moved look as she stared at the flower bouquet, to a regrettable one upon hearing the question Frey gently asked her.
“Ah what to do? I already have an appointment this weekend.”
“Then this week…”
“I already have a full schedule this week… I apologize…”
“Then, sometime this month…”
Rosewyn clapped her hands together abruptly and spoke to put an end to Frey’s persistence.
“Ah, come to think of it. I do have new information about the ‘slave market’!”
“Yes! I’ll bring it, so wait a moment!”
As Frey nodded his head in response to Rosewyn’s words after being interrupted, Rosewyn, who had been observing Frey, quickly smiled and spoke.
“Ah right. Thank you so much for this bouquet! I will treasure it well!”
Leaving behind those words, Rosewyn flashed a smile at the bashful Frey before stepping out of the room.
“Ah, I fucking hate it.”
Upon leaving the room, Rosewyn tossed the bouquet to the clerk beside her and coldly spoke.
“Can-can I keep it? It’s an expensive bouquet…”
“Do as you see fit. I hate even looking at it.”
As soon as Rosewyn began walking through the hallway, the clerk next to her quickly asked a question with a confused expression.
“Why do you detest that person so much? He is handsome with a lot of money, and he did everything you asked him to…”
“The Empire’s number one scoundrel who said he can buy people with money, a douchebag bastard who only cares about someone’s face, you think that kind of person likes me?”
Rosewyn sarcastically responded before continuing to speak after a sigh.
“I hate those kinds of bastards the most in the world. If only he wasn’t a VIP guest, I would have driven him away!”
“Then, what is your type Ms. Rosewyn?”
Rosewyn, who had been contemplating over the clerk’s question, soon responded with her cheeks red.
“…a hero who will soon appear in this world.”
The clerk frowned in response to those words and inquired again. Rosewyn replied again as she brimmed with excitement just from her thoughts.
“It is my dream and destiny to assist that person.”
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