HCM – 66

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The only ones the Duke permitted to meet were Kion, the paladin, and Rudd, the priest. However, Marianne tenaciously insisted that she should go with them.

She had never been like this before, so Ian was incredibly embarrassed. He tried to coax Marianne, but she was uncompromising.

Rudd sided with her. He even lied that she was his assistant in order to give her exactly what she wanted. But mixed feelings seeped from his eyes as well.

The feeling was shared amongst Ian, Kion, and Trevor. Even Jen seemed surprised to see Marianne’s foreign appearance.

“This way.”

An attendant guided them to the drawing room of the main building of the Duke’s residence with an expressionless face. It was probably not a place to welcome distinguished guests.

Rudd thought that Duke Tintalion would already have his own high-ranking priest residing in the mansion. It was a certainty since he was under a spell.

‘The reason why the priest hasn’t greeted me must be because I committed a sin.’

Considering the behavior of the imperial family, deceiving the ducal family and being exiled without any punishment was tantamount to showing incredible generosity.

Rudd licked his lips and followed the attendant. He looked out of the corner of his eye at Marianne, who was walking alongside Kion.

Formerly the daughter of Baroness Marianne Nelson, she became a Viscount with the new surname ‘Rowain.’ It was because of her great foresight, but lately, that light had faded.

“My power to see the future is fading, Rudd. You’ll be by my side, won’t you?”

Facing the troubled Marianne, Rudd swore to be her strength. However, in the Duchy of Tintalion, she was a very different person from what he knew.

As if she had been acting up until now.

Rudd did not believe in Marianne’s ‘power to see the future.’ He only trusted her willingness to save people and her brilliant background knowledge of the cases.

She was mostly right when she said something, and she could save the people without much harm.

However, in the Duchy of Tintalion, Marianne could not demonstrate her power at all. He had no intention of relying on her strength alone for everything, but apart from that, she was disappointing him and the rest of them.

‘Maybe she knows we all like her.’

She was a woman he had seen many times taking advantage of the favors from the opposite sex. Rudd didn’t want to blame Marianne for borrowing his power.

However, it became a problem that her nature was different from the ‘Marianne’ he knew.

‘I want to keep my oath, but… … .’

Just as he cared for her, he began to wonder if he was precious to her. It must have been the same for others.

Upon reaching a particular door, the waiting attendant opened the door. Kion and Rudd glanced at the unfamiliar room for a moment, and Marianne gave a delighted glance and then turned her head.

The attendant guided them to their seats and told them to wait.

‘When will Aslei come?’

After returning, she was trembling now more than when she met him before. Especially since she was so confident when she planned to regress and run into him.

‘How long has it been since I’ve seen him!’

It was the first time since Aslei got engaged, so it must have been almost four years. Marianne looked at the door with a pounding heart.

Seeing Marianne like that, Kion had a complicated expression. He admired her confidence and flawlessness and thought he wanted to be her strength. His heart still hasn’t changed but… … .

‘She has changed.’

Change was natural since they had been together over the years. However, Kion felt that this change was too fast.

He thought he would be her sword to protect her, silently following her. But the true love he had for the young lady, that young lady seemed to no longer exist.

The speculation that maybe that young lady he had been idolizing for years was never there to begin with tormented Kion.

“The Duke and Duchess are coming.”

The attendant opened the drawing-room door again and informed them. Kion and Marianne rose from their seats, following Rudd, who stood up while examining his clothes.

The Duke and his wife entered the parlor in hooded cloaks.

Marianne had seen the Duchess’s beautiful features a couple of years before. She had just seen her from a distance, but she didn’t talk to her. What bothered her more was the hood worn by the Duke.


The Duke sat down and instructed the other three to sit down. Rudd and Kion sat down and glanced at Marianne.

Marianne looked pale. They feared she would further disturb the fragile atmosphere by saying something absurd, but fortunately, she showed no sign of it.

Rudd obtained the Duke’s permission to examine his curse. In terms of divine power, the paladin Kion also had some, but Rudd was superior when it came to curses.

Behind the Duke, the Duke’s escort knights glared at them, ready to slash them. Hated for being Jeremy’s colleague.

‘Oh… … .’

Thinking that it was a truly unique curse, Rudd almost exclaimed but held back. Indeed, Jeremy was a talented person worth being considered as the successor to the Magic Tower Master.

“Did you say that the Master of the Tower changed this spell?”

Duke Aslei explained that after that, Jeremy reappeared, played a trick, and modified the spell. He thought Jeremy had cast new magic on him, but according to the Duke’s wizard, he said it was a modified version of the original curse.

“Hmm, the sorcerer is right. Oh my… … .”

It was expected that he would sense an ominous energy if it were a jinx, but this spell was different. He dared to borrow the power of a god to concoct the curse.

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