HCM – 32

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It would not cease with just Jeremy, but many of the Tower’s magicians could get entangled.

The Magic Tower had already lost too many talents because of the war 10 years ago. A single mage should not be harmed again by a conflict.

‘Four years will be enough.’

The Archmage determined that Jeremy would clashed with the Duke of Tintalion and eventually self-destruct.

❁ ❁ ❁

Aslei’s suspicions grew when he was notified that the Magic Tower had shut down.

The Archmage help was willing, but the timing was too exquisite. In addition, the news that Jeremy Wood, whom he was close to, had been excommunicated, was also suspect.

“The Lord of the Tower knew who the culprit was!”

One of the vassals raised his voice with outrage. They didn’t know what the nature of the curse was on Aslei, but they were aware of one fact—

The fact that the Archmage had softened the curse, so there was no damage to his life.

This was not true, but the vassals had to be informed. Since the Duke of Tintalion had no heirs yet, the facts had to be hidden even more.

“But there is no clear proof! They are already starting to burn the evidence… … .”

The Tower’s actions made it clear that the culprit was Jeremy Wood, but how to prove it was a problem. It would be difficult to hold him accountable, as the Magic Tower had already excommunicated him and went into lockdown.

In addition, Aslei had to keep in mind that the content of the curse placed on him was sensitive and was easy to elicit harmful rumors.

Although through his marriage to Frisia, things had calmed down and there was a vast improvement, he was still a man that was surrounded by several ladies aspiring to seduce him. He could foresee scandals and more blatant attacks if his curse was known. It was a situation that Aslei wanted to avoid.

“You forgot the most important thing. The important thing is not to hold the Magic Tower accountable, but to punish the criminal.”

At his words responding to the vassals, everyone was silent. Jeremy himself may have already been punished for being abandoned in the tower, but the position of the Duke was completely different.

He was none other than the Duke of Tintalion. The closest to the imperial family, and the family that would produce an emperor if the two princes of the imperial family were killed or deposed.

If he wanted, Jeremy’s life could be spared after some punishments, but if he condemned him himself, he would not just  end up being imprisoned. He would be most likely executed after the abolition of his magic. Or toil away for the rest of his life.

“Evidence is not unobtainable. The Duke is living proof. If you ask a wizard who knows Jeremy Wood’s magic to examine the Duke’s curse… … .”

Distinguishing the unique footprint of mana used in magic was only possible with very good magicians among advanced sorcerers.

Archmage-class wizards. Even within the vast continent, it would be  only possible with the best mages and a couple of their best disciples—less than ten in total. The question would be whether they were ever even acquainted with Jeremy and could discern his magic.

“Even if they don’t know him they should just capture Jeremy Wood!”

You could tell by comparing Jeremy’s mana with the magic of Aslei’s curse. However, the retainers wondered if Jeremy would approach the duke out of freewill.

If he was guilty, he would not come. Especially since the Archmage and Magic Tower had already forsaken him. At this, Aslei opened his mouth.

“Invite Jeremy Wood to come see me in person.”

The idea was to set up notices all over the Empire and send men to order Jeremy Wood to be brought to the Duchy of Tintalion. If he was innocent, he would come on his own feet to clear his name.

“If he doesn’t come after a set period, we will have no choice but to judge him as a condemned felon.”

Not coming forward was the same as confessing that you were culpable.

Jeremy Wood was a brilliant wizard, but he was not a nobleman. He was a magician who refused to receive a title and enlist amongst the Imperial Wizards so he could stay in the tower.

Since he was deemed as the successor and next Archmage of the Tower it was a natural choice.

But at the same time it meant that the Duke of Tintalion could kill him with impunity even if he was in the imperial court without notice. Because he was a commoner.

The suspicion of a Duke alone was enough to have killed Jeremy.

Aslei was almost certain that he was the culprit. He recalled his face fill of murderous intentions just becuase he had had a talked with Marianne for a moment.

He didn’t know why he had to deal with such a curse because of Marianne, who had nothing to do with him, but he didn’t even want to care.

He didn’t have to ask every criminal why.

Aslei did not want to bother creating any narrative for him as the perpetrator. Even more so, since he had wounded his precious one.

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