Chapter 13: Mysterious feelings
“Where did he hide it?! The former head of the family is too cautious!”
A month had passed, and Finne still couldn’t find the 《Mirror of Cucumericulus》.
Relying on faint information, she sneaked into the mansion where the successive heads of the family lived at night and searched for suspicious places, but only irrelevant things came out.
The former head of the family, who was called an evil aristocrat, had hidden the 《mirror》 very carefully.
[Probably, he anticipated that someone might come after him. He had a side that couldn’t trust humans because he was aware that he had earned the resentment of many people through his own actions.]
“It’s a good nuisance from my point of view. I want to end this life as soon as possible.”
[Huh? But you seem pretty happy with your current life.]
“…Yes. I won’t deny that point.”
“Is there any other problem?”
“It’s too comfortable.”
Finne shook her fist.
“I get three meals a day, and every night there’s a full course on the table. The bed is soft, and it feels so good to rub my cheeks against it. The magic shower has warm water, and the bath is big enough to stretch my legs. The chef always has baked goods and cakes ready, so if I eat them every day, I’ll gain eight kilos.”
[You were so thin that your original self would be surprised, so I think it’s actually healthy.]
“It’s just too comfortable here! Why can I eat until I’m full?! I don’t understand why the walls don’t creak in the wind or why the shower is warm. If I get used to this life, I won’t be able to live a normal life! It’s normal to have one meal a day and sleep wrapped in straw while shivering in winter!”
[That’s not normal.]
Finne was deeply confused by the comfort of her new life.
It was a comfortable life that was completely different from her days in the ghost mansion where she was imprisoned.
The resulting familiarity with the rise in living standards frightened Finne.
“If I live like this, I won’t be able to go back to a normal life… I can’t live a normal life if I can’t enjoy the taste of grass around here.”
[Normal people don’t eat grass around here.]
“Still, this is a corrupt noble family with many bad rumors. My marriage partner is the ruthless and merciless 《Ice Magician》. I was supposed to regain peace of mind from the stress caused by being oppressed. Life is about living positively even in difficult situations and cherishing small happiness.”
[What was the result?]
“Recently, we’ve become friends in a normal way…”
Finne held her head.
“After talking twice a day for breakfast and dinner for a month, we somehow started to feel close to each other. The 《Ice Magician》 listens to my stories with interest, and I enjoy talking to him.”
[You guys feel like normal good friends lately.]
Terrifyingly, Finne and Zion had good chemistry.
Perhaps it was because they were both strongly attracted to magic from a young age and had devoted most of their lives to it.
Surprisingly, they got along well, and they had many common values.
Above all, Finne had been alone all her life.
There was Mr. Ghost and Mia, but this was the first time she had made friends with someone outside the ghost mansion.
A friend from the outside world that she had made for the first time in her life.
It seemed like her existence was just enough to quench Finne’s loneliness and thirst.
(Is this what having a friend feels like…)
Mr. Ghost smiled as he saw Finne’s eyes tremble.
[I’m glad you’re happy.]
She punched him to hide her embarrassment.
But something warm remained in her heart.
The Grand Palace, located in the center of the capital of the Roston Kingdom.
Zion Creutzfeldt was known as the most outstanding young magician in this place, which is the political center of the kingdom.
“You’ve been looking good lately.”
The one who called out to him was Cornelius, who served as the prime minister.
He had known Zion since childhood and served as the highest-ranking official in charge of practical affairs in the country. Zion’s rapid promotion to become one of the Five Sages at a young age was largely due to Cornelius’ favor and support.
In that sense, it was known that there was a deep connection between the two beyond the usual boss-subordinate relationship.
“. . .is that so?”
“The guys who came back from the expedition were surprised. They said, ‘Zion’s eyes aren’t dead! His mouth is up by two millimeters!'”
“Is it just your imagination?”
“No, it’s true. Leos, who is your secret fan and has made observing your every move his life’s work, said so.”
“What a creepy existence.”
“Your expression has definitely become more human than before. It’s a big difference compared to when you only volunteered for dangerous front-line missions and came back with a depressed face.”
“I don’t think there’s that big of a difference.”
“A small difference can contain something big. Don’t be fooled by appearances. What’s important is what lies beneath.”
Cornelius stared at Zion before narrowing his eyes.
“It seems like your newlywed life is going well.”
“Please don’t pry into my private life.”
Zion said in a cold tone, and Cornelius waved his hand, saying, “Sorry, sorry.”
“As someone who has known you for a long time, I’m happy to see your changes. After all, it’s you, Zion. You were feared as the 《Absolute Zero of Cold Blood》 who cut off all human relationships as useless and spoke without any filter. And now you want to go home early because you want to talk to your wife.”
Cornelius said in a bright voice.
“She must be a wonderful person.”
“I’ll decline this job and pass it on to someone else.”
“Wait. I need you for that case.”
“Then please do your job without wasting time on small talk.”
Zion said with a cold look and turned his back.
“Just one more thing before I go.”
The voice from behind was heard when he put his hand on the door.
“Do you no longer want to die?”
Those words sounded different from the usual banter.
Perhaps that was what he wanted to hear the most.
“I don’t know.”
He went out of the room and closed the door.
That was his honest feeling, the complex emotions he had carried since childhood.
A family without love.
A cruel and heartless grandfather and the cold gaze of society.
He had been alone in a crazy house since his parents left.
His grandfather found pleasure in hurting those around him.
The screams continued to echo.
He felt dirty just by breathing.
Even when he reported being touched by the bishop, his grandfather found it amusing.
He felt like he was getting dirtier just by existing.
All that surrounded him were relationships tainted with greed and desire.
He had never seen or known of any healthy and warm love or connection, nor did he know how to create one.
He thought he would continue to live alone like this forever.
But now, he finds a little joy in living.
That day, the 《Witch of Dawn》 saved him.
Because he found a clue that he had been pursuing for four years.
And Zion enjoys spending time talking to the mysterious woman who resembles her.
(Why do her words slip so easily into my heart?)
The more he thinks about it, the more mysterious it seems.
He, who became distrustful of humans due to his childhood experiences, can talk to her naturally for some reason.
Recently, he has even found himself enjoying listening to her stories unrelated to the 《Witch of Dawn》.
He was supposed to choose someone he could avoid getting involved with to avoid the pressure from those around him who wanted him to get married because he was not good with women.
(I want to talk to her.)
For him, who had been living alone all this time, it was the first time he had ever felt that way in his life.
It might be different from a normal husband and wife relationship.
But that time was very comfortable for him.
(What is this feeling?)
A strange feeling faintly lit up in his heart.
He was so happy that time was passing by.
(If I finish my work, I can talk to her.)
Zion faintly smiled and started writing on the documents in front of him.