17 years later.
“Have they been like that since morning?”
It was 3pm when the sun was shining brightly.
A tea table was set in the western garden with white spring flowers in full bloom. The Countess, in her wide-brimmed raffia hat, smiled as she looked at her daughter gracefully holding her teacup.
“Soon, it’s the Sentinel promotion test, isn’t it? If Gerald succeeds in awakening this time, he will become a Royal Sentinel just like his father. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Freesia, the maid serving Dahlia, put sweet cookies on her plate. Dahlia shifted her gaze to the place where swordsmanship training was in full swing, biting a cookie studded with vanilla beans.
Two men training captured her blue eyes in sunlight. What was invisible to the ordinary human like Yvon she could see clearly.
Even though the sentinel’s power wasn’t brought up, the sword masters’ wooden swords fluttered with the shimmering power of the sword.
Dahlia was fiddling with her strangely tickling fingers, and then she looked away. Then Yvon, who had been silently watching, changed the topic.
“By the way, hasn’t it been 7 years since we last went to the capital?”
Dahlia quietly nodded her head.
“When I became a sentinel at 10.”
“Right. A 10-year-old little lady got an advanced sentinel rank in one fell swoop, and the capital was taken aback. Remember?”
“And what am I doing now? Father said it was too dangerous. He won’t even let me join the subjugations.”
Dahlia’s voice was swollen with complaints.
It was the first time in the history of the Empire that a woman, nevermind a ten-year-old kid, had awakened as a higher sentinel.
Of course, her exam was only a temporary expedient to distract the temple’s attention. No one would have imagined that she, a senior sentinel, would also harbor the power of a guide.
Howell had wanted her to receive the rank of a lower sentinel, but Dahlia, who failed to control her power, obtained the seal of a higher sentinel.
But since then, Dahlia has remained in the estate as quiet as a dead mouse. In the meantime, many became senior sentinels, and Dalia Von Klose’s name gradually faded from people’s memories.
“If we go to the capital this time, we’ll have to stay for about six months. In the meantime, you need to make your debut.”
At the words of debutant, Dahlia’s forehead wrinkled.
“Keep your dignity, Dahlia.”
“Men are boring.”
“It’s because you only see boring men. The men in the capital will be a little different.”
“But it’s too early for me to get married.”
“I’m not asking you to get married right away, Dahlia. When you grow up, there are times when you have to do things you don’t like.”
“Still, it’s uncomfortable going there, Mom.”
“Indeed, the capital seems to make your brother uncomfortable too.”
Yvon took a deep breath as she noticed her son running from afar.
Gerald’s face suddenly appeared, with his wooden sword down and appeared on his sister’s shoulder. Drenched in sweat, he bit the cookie in her hand.
She smiled and looked at Gerald, who had his chin on her shoulder.
“It was mine. That was the last vanilla cookie.”
“Because your taste is my taste. By the way… . Why did the talk of marriage suddenly come up?”
No matter how hard she tried to deflect the question, Gerald insisted on an answer. Rather, he hugged her tightly with his wet body, and the back of her new dress was wet.
“Gerald, keep your manners. Your sister is troubled.”
Yvon looked at Howell approaching and asked for help with her eyes.
But he couldn’t stop Gerald’s obsession with his sister.
“It’s better than being on bad terms.”
“Nevertheless. Now that they’re both adults, shouldn’t there be an appropriate time and place?”
“Gerald. Listen to your mother.”
Reluctantly, Howell spoke to him.
From an early age, Gerald was particularly fond of and followed Dahlia. He held her hand everywhere he went, and even when he slept, he held onto her.
His approximate fixation was instinctive. Born with the power of a sentinel, he instinctively felt her stability, who had the power of a guide.
However, in the eyes of others who did not know the circumstances, it was inevitable that he was seen as an unusual figure, who was bizarrely beset with his twin sister.
Yvon was worried about Gerald’s growing obsession.
At first, she thought when she adopted Dahlia she wished that the strength of the child would benefit the family, but not now.
Dahlia was the lovely daughter of herself and Howell. So she prayed with her whole heart that she would not awaken any powers.
She just wanted her to live without worries like now, led a normal life, meet someone she loved like her did, and to live a life full of affection. She wanted her daughter to be happy.
“Ah, the time… .”
Dahlia noticed Rodrigo’s assistant appearing in the distance and got up.
“I have to go to class, so I’ll leave first, Mom. And father.”
Dahlia’s lemon-colored hair, as her knees slightly bent in a curtsy, fluttered and swayed. Gerald, with a displeased expression, grabbed her wrist, but Howell stopped him.
“Gerald. Don’t we still have a lot of work to do? Now, let Dahlia go.”
“I’ve never forced her, Father. I just want to see her off.”
“Your sister is not a child.”
Then Gerald released her hand. Smiling Dahlia stroked his head as if she were treating her child. At the promise that she would see him in the evening, the tips of his ears turned red.
“Then, I’ll be back before dinner time.”