Edelred, masters of Altera.
Dahlia pondered over the familiar name for a moment, recalling the aristocratic familial titles and lands that she had memorized in class.
“The Ducal Prince of Edelred… .”
“I’m delighted that you know me, miss.”
“… I am Dahlia Von Klose.”
She still was puzzled as to why he was here but since they were formally introduced and she knew his identity, she had no choice but to keep her manners. Nevertheless, it was dangerous to open herself up to recover the sentinel energy she displayed beforehand. Instinct warned that she shouldn’t do it.
Dahlia’s eyes widened in surprise at the friendly tone.
Are you worried about my condition? How… .
Immediately, the pit of Dahlia’s stomach began to burn. Masking her ailment, she invisibly gasped and pretended to fasten her gown against the blowing in the wind as she pressed down on her painful abdomen. Then, his deep gaze, sharpened and narrowed. He slowly approached her and asked again:
“Do you still have a fever?”
Dahlia found the heavy aura engulfing and growing deeper with every step he took towards her. A blood-red energy flared up. It was a kind of stare down contest between sentinels.
The man seemed to have misinterpreted the fact that she did not withdraw her sentinel power from their surroundings.
But if she retrieved the energy while her seal was activated and frail she didn’t know what would happen. Dahlia silently cursed Rodrigo for engraving the new seals today.
… Shall I just kill him?
Dahlia’s blue eyes flashed with life for a second.
If her Luster-graded sentinel’s strength attacked him no matter how manly and great he was, he would not be able to withstand her power. But…Instead, her father would be in trouble. He would be condemned to death for the murder of a nobleman.
The heat that started in the pit of her stomach crawled down towards her navel. It was slithering down like a snake, and then it filled her belly and tried to leak out as a sweet scent.
Swallowing her curses, Dahlia glared at the beautiful villain in front of her, and wiped her locked neck.
For a moment, Jurgen’s faint smile had a fleeting sense of craftiness that wafted.
Just in time, Gerald’s voice broke the thick tension between the two of them, its heaviness evaporating in an instant as if a spell had broke.
Jurgen, now no longer smirking, put his hand in his pocket, as he halted his steps forward.
Indeed, again—as expected, it was Gerald Von Klose who opened the balcony door and barged in. With an alarmed look, he took in the sight of Dahlia in her pajamas, and wrapped her in his arms.
She found stability instantly and was able to reclaim her power. It was thanks to Gerald’s refreshing energy that enveloped her.
“Gerald, you… !”
“You shouldn’t be walking around like this when you still haven’t fully recovered!”
“Gerald, calm down. What are you doing in front of a guest?”
Indeed, she’d rather be locked up in her room.
Embarrassed, Dahlia took off Gerald’s arm and pulled in her robe a little more. She didn’t want to make a commotion, over a situation that almost reached the worst possible outcome.
“Excuse me, Sir Edelred.”
“You seem to still have a high fever.”
“Yes, I’m rather illdisposed. So I’ll have to bid you farewell now and go back to my room. Gerald, you go to your room.”
Dahlia, who parted with the utmost courtesy and formality, impatiently left the balcony.
What the hell was that just now? Did he notice that she bore the power of a guide?
Is that why you tried to forcefully break the seal?
Panicking, thoughts and questions swirled in her head, when belatedly she realized later that she had been standing in front of a strange man in her pajamas. The tips of her ears turned red. She ridiculed herself for her carelessness.
Dahlia ran down the hallway and returned to her room, forgetting her dignity.
Locking her door so no one could enter, she poured the water from her basin over her head.
The lukewarm water poured down from her crown to her toes. But it wasn’t enough to lower her fever.
Exhaling a heated breath, Dahlia took off her gown with a strange foreboding. Looking at the mirror in front of her, her lips trembled.
Transparent wet cloth revealed her insignia blazing with a vivid red.
It was the same for the seal below her belly button, exactly where she felt heat a little while ago.
Jurgen approached the sofa where Dahlia had been lying a moment ago. Then, he brushed his hand across the surface of the cotton fabric, where her body temperature could not be felt.
Her energy, like fine grains of sand, is faintly glimmered on his palm. Jurgen sat down at the table in front of the couch with a laugh and grabbed the material covering the sofa and pulled it.
He buried his face in the tugged cloth and took a deep breath. A scent sweet like an incense and a sharp force that stabbed each and every cell spread deep into his lungs.
A terrifyingly intoxicating ability that made people drowsy and confused.
Jurgen slowly opened his eyes. His brightly shining stare began to find its own vitality, and an unbearable laughter erupted.
“That’s right… . a guide.”
Intriguing and amusing to observe that woman lying on the sofa without even knowing he was there.
The woman muttered to herself, unknowingly exuding the scent of Liberty, [t1v: “Liberty” is the title/noun for the highest/OP-level of guides] which he had only smelled once in his five regressions.
She wasn’t undesirable. Her appearance and her voice. There was something about her demeanour rather than striking looks that made her a curiously eye-catching woman.
Yet, this woman hid her guide’s scent by raising her high-level sentinel abilities. Rather naturally.
“So she has the powers of a sentinel and a guide at the same time… ?”
Jurgen’s heartbeat started to race like a man who had found an unexpected treasure. If Dalia Von Klose was a miracle that saved Count Howell… .
If she was the key to changing the future… .
His captivating lips drew a smirk. But still his heart was beating faster and louder than before.
‘I must have her.’
“Dahlia… Von Klose.”