HCM – 22

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Jeremy was greatly shocked by his words that came out like a bolt from the blue. He looked at her teacher, not understanding what he had heard.

“What do you mean… … . Are you saying you will abandon me?”

“Jeremy, the won’t kill you if I tell him.”

“It’s like killing me! If this is known… … .”

Jeremy’s face turned pale as he screamed in a torn voice. It meant that other people—especially Marianne— would find out what he had done.

Marianne might eventually try to understand him, but she would never see him as she did before.

Besides, he was a commoner. If this became known, the elders of the tower would not leave Jeremy alone. They were the ones who didn’t like him in the first place.

He rapidly concluded that even if the Archmage of the Tower protected him, he would only be able to save his life.

‘My magic would be sealed and I’ll be kicked out of the tower.’

There was no way a commoner who couldn’t even use magic would be able to stand by Marianne’s side. She may sympathize with him, but she would eventually distance herself.

The thought of her moving away from him and losing her made her go crazy. Jeremy looked at the Master of the Tower in desperation.

“Master! You can’t do this to me!”

“It’s what you did. Considering how the innocent suffered by your hand, you should be punished.”

Jeremy still couldn’t use his mana. His return to his human form was only a temporary change.

It would have been better to use magic when he was in the form of a crow.

Jeremy realized that he was cornered and had no way out and knelt down on his knees. Then he bowed his head and began to plead in front of his Master.

“I was wrong! Forgive your disciple’s folly!”

“I know what you are saying, you think this is unfair.”

“No! No—please do not forsake me!”

At his distraught shouting, the Archmage looked down at Jeremy, unable to answer. He realized that even if he now explained to Jeremy that accusing him was not abandoning him, he wouldn’t understand.

“… … It was late at night. You better rest now.”

The magician changed Jeremy’s appearance into a crow. As the Archmage extended the cage out, Jeremy cried in mourning and flew up from his seat.

Caw! Caw! Caw!

As if he was approaching the cage, Jeremy instead rushed at his Master’s face. Cut by his sharp beak, the Master of the Tower screamed and waved his arms. The cell fell, and blood splattered on the floor.

He couldn’t afford to use magic. His desperate attack aiming for his eyes made the Archmage shield his eyes and back away.

“Argh! What is this!”

Blood ran into his eyes, and he couldn’t see anything. Jeremy took advantage of his distraction, flapping his wings and escaping through the lab’s ceiling.

“Jeremy!”

The Archmage furiously screamed his name, but he didn’t look back. Only the beating of his wings echoed through the dark night sky.

❁ ❁ ❁

When her body—more precisely her waist—reached it’s limit, Frisia came down from Aslei’s body. And she tried to go retreat to the room next door. The Duchess’s room.

It was Aslei who caught her before she slipped away.

“Can’t you stay by my side just for tonight?”

She was embarrassed by the aggressive Aslei, but she struggled to refuse.

Her heart was already shaken. She couldn’t sleep beside him. As Frisia shook her head in refusal, Aslei said without showing his disappointment.

“I will carry you home.”

The words that she could walk on her own did not come out of her mouth because her back hurt, and her ankle hadn’t healed yet.

Aslei took her in his arms and headed to the room next door. In contrast to Frisia, who wore a negligee, he was naked.

It was quiet as he crossed the massive room with her in his arms. He glanced at Frisia’s face, but she quickly turned her gaze away to avoid meeting his eyes. The door connecting their rooms was, of course, open.

Aslei went into the Duchess’s room and gently lowered her down on the bed. Frisia’s sigh of relief was cut short when soft lips touched her forehead.

“May you have sweet dreams.”

Whispering, Aslei took her palm and kissed the back of her hand before he left the bedroom.

Click. At the sound of the door closing between them, Frisia released the breath she held back. Her heart was beating like crazy.

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