SV – 51

My eyes hurt. My head hurts too, and… What’s this?

Dahlia woke up earlier than usual to find a small bird perched on top of her head, tidying up its feathers.

Its body was round and plump, and the beak was tiny. The bird, with yellow fluff on its chin and forehead, looked like the bunting, a wild bird that was common around Blenheim House.

Waking up with a disheveled face, she stretched her hand towards the fearless bunting. Then the little bird arranging itself flew up and lightly landed on her finger.

Dahlia’s jaw dropped, her widening eyes twinkling. It was the first time that such a thing had happened to her. Birds have always been wary of humans. The same was true of even the most tamed ornamental birds.

But this cute fellow wasn’t afraid of her, nor did he seem to have mistaken her for a tree branch.

With her pounding heart, she inspected its red eyes as the bird tugged her finger on which it was perched.

It was so lovely and cute.

“You… . do you want to stay with me?”

As expected, the bird couldn’t understand what she was saying. The bird tilted its head, closed its eyes, and began to doze off.

Dahlia chuckled at its erratic behavior, and fearing the bird would fly away, she got up and walked up to her wide-open window.

Intending to close it, her heart and steps were hurried, and her cheeks flushed red, for she was unusually excited.

However, the entrance to the mansion, which was quiet just a moment ago, started to stir and bustle with a commotion.

‘Who is it?’

Dahlia discreetly closed the window, hid, and peeked out.

Four people disembarked from a carriage parked in front of the townhouse’s main gate. Their appearance in blue-tinged cloaks and uniforms was somehow familiar.

As Dahlia watched them waiting for the footman, she searched her memories.

‘Princess Julia.’

Yes, those clothes were definitely the ones worn by the guides who accompanied Princess Julia at the test site.

That means… .

Dahlia examined them with puzzled eyes and found a red cross engraved on the silver buttons and closed her eyes tightly.

It was the temple.

They were priests and guides from the temple.

Dahlia hurriedly took off her nightgown. The bird flew around and landed on the bed rod. She put on the ring Jurgen had given her and changed into a simple dress.

It was one of the few dresses she had that didn’t require a corset. Pulling on the thin string below her breasts, she looked out the window again.

Hansen went out and greeted the priests himself. They politely handed him a letter with the high priest’s seal.

A troubled Hansen reluctantly led them into the house. They moved across the garden and looked around slowly.

Dahlia, startled, sat down on the floor and covered her mouth.

“You said you’d would protect me… !”

Dahlia bit her lip and quickly shook her head, recalling Jurgen’s promise. But she didn’t know how to wrap. Unlike guides, Sentinels’ abilities could be improved through meticulous training.

Although she possessed powers comparable to those of Luster Sentinel, she had never been trained to handle them. In a word, her strength was like an unprocessed gemstone and virtually useless in an emergency.

Although Hansen, the Countess, and Gerald would try to drag it out…. but as long as they came, she couldn’t leave.

However, the question of the matter now was how to deceive them.

Fingernail marks were deeply engraved on the palms of her tightly clenched hands. Dahlia tried to suppress the guide’s power, only bringing forth as much of her Sentinel’s energy as possible.

In her misfortune, it was fortunate that her guide energy was now insignificant because she had poured her power into Jamie. But they would find a way to draw out the power inside of her.

Rumors of the oppressive, coercive, and terrifying temple floated around her head.

Then, the bird flew off the bed rod and began to circle over the colorful carpet.

With a small body, a faint light shimmered beneath the wings, chirping softly in a repeating, distinct trajectory.

Dahlia doubted her eyes.

A faint but unmistakable magic circle was being drawn. Then, a small knock was heard beyond her door; she covered her mouth in surprise.

“Miss? It looks like she is still sleeping. Lady? Seeing that there’s no answer, she must have been very tired. How about making an appointment next time?”

As expected, it was Freesia.

Shamelessly, Freesia kept talking, not even giving the priests enough time to breathe—never mind respond.

She also woefully pleaded that her head might be blown off if she deliberately woke up her weak mistress from her sound sleep.

Dahlia approached the circling bird. Then the bunting stopped flapping its wings, stared at her, and began to chirp-chirp.

A fellow with red eyes, different from Tezeba’s buntings, slowly flapped its wings in front of her face.

Amid the flutter of its wings, Dahlia felt a familiar power. To her surprise, her attention went down when Jurgen’s ring started shining like the bird’s eye.

“Ha, you… .”

Staring at the door blocked by Freesia, she stepped into the magic circle.

She’d be lying if she said she didn’t hesitate, but she decided to trust her intuition and give it a try. A warm aura wrapped around her  when she stepped into the circle.

Dahlia stretched out her hand to the bunting. The bird landed on her finger, looking unconcerned,

As soon as a shattered light filled her room like glass fragments, no one was left in her bedroom.


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