Chapter 9: Unexpected confession
After Finne left, Zion stared at the magical language left on the table.
He pursues the highly abstract theory that it indicates, his lips tightly drawn.
As if he had noticed something, he opens his eyes wide.
“Um, Zion-sama. Sister-in-law seems to be feeling unwell, so if you like, I can——”
However, Olivia’s words, who is Finne’s sister-in-law, did not reach Zion’s ears.
He raised his face as if he had been bounced off and hurried in the direction Finne had left.
The fragments of proof written on the table were shaking his heart violently.
(That is the same ancient magic logical development as the “Consideration of Magic Formula Collapse Constants in Eight and Twenty-Four Dimensions” written by the《Witch of Dawn》——)
He couldn’t control his impulse.
He followed Finne with a blank mind.
Finne, who had left the venue using a fake illness, was sitting on the sofa in her private room and breathing a sigh of relief.
“Are you okay, Finne-sama?”
Mia said with concern.
“I can’t believe Finne-sama who ate rotten food served by the mistress as harassment without noticing it and said it was delicious could get a stomach ache. . .”
“I don’t know anything about that.”
“Finne-sama just narrowed her eyes and said it was delicious.”
(Huh? Maybe I have a really poor palate. . .?)
For a moment, she had such doubts, but it’s good to feel that everything is delicious, so she decided not to think deeply about it.
Finne avoids anything inconvenient and lives happily every day.
“Oh! My stomach is starting to feel better. Looks like I’m okay.”
“Really?! That’s great.”
“Now that my stomach is better, I’m starting to feel hungry. Could you ask the maid in charge of cleaning up to bring me the remaining dishes?”
“Okay! I’ll bring back a full container!”
Mia leaves the room with enthusiasm.
Alone, Finne breathes a sigh of relief and looks around.
Mr. Ghost is nowhere to be found.
He must have found something interesting and wandered off.
(Ah, this is calming. . .! Being alone is the best. . .!)
Leaving the noisy dining hall full of people, she lies down on the sofa and relaxes. Suddenly, she hears a knock at the door.
(Mia! That was fast!)
Humming a tune, Finne opens the door and freezes upon seeing who’s there. It’s the《Ice Magician》Zion Creutzfeldt, her husband-to-be and archenemy of the 《Witch of Dawn》.
“I-I didn’t lie about my stomach ache. I just said I felt better after returning to my room.”
“I knew it was a lie from the beginning.”
“More importantly, it’s about what you proved earlier. Who taught you to use the second auxiliary formula in the sixth line?”
(Oh, this is like a situation I’ve seen in romance novels. )
The classic move of cornering someone against a wall.
(I never thought I’d experience this day as someone who has hardly talked to any real men. )
Thinking it’s someone else’s problem, she considers her response to his question.
(To tell the truth, I learned it from Mr. Ghost, but if I say that, he’ll just treat me like a crazy person. . .What answer could I give to deceive him?)
Zion said to Finne, who was lost in thought.
“You learned it from the 《Witch of Dawn》. Am I right?”
Finne forgot how to breathe.
“Why. . .?”
“The same logical development as in the paper ‘Consideration of Magic Formula Collapse Constants in Eight and Twenty-Four Dimensions’ written by the 《Witch of Dawn》 was used. I don’t think there is another wizard who can master that.”
Finne, the author of the paper, understood better than anyone else that his words were based on objectively valid facts.
(Why did he investigate so thoroughly. . .)
Finne held her head in her mind.
(Does he hold such a strong grudge against me. . .?!)
There is no doubt.
Her life is in danger.
She must avoid being identified at all costs.
However, even Finne, who had little experience with people, could sense that clumsy deception would not work.
(He probably didn’t think I was the 《Witch of Dawn》 myself because I’m too young. )
He probably didn’t think that she wrote the paper ‘Consideration of Magic Formula Collapse Constants in Eight and Twenty-Four Dimensions’ at the age of twelve.
(If that’s the case, I’ll use that mistake to create a believable lie. . .)
“Yes, that’s right. I learned it from the《Witch of Dawn》.”
Zion’s well-shaped eyes widened.
“Where did you meet her?”
“It was on a mountain behind the mansion. I happened to meet her while playing outside the mansion and we became friends.”
“When was this?”
“Eight years ago.”
This was before she started her activities as the《Witch of Dawn》.
This way, even if he investigates, no clues will come out.
“I finally found a clue. . .”
A small murmur slipped out.
It felt like a great feeling of joy was mixed in there.
(Huh? He seems a bit more human-like. )
He was supposed to have a reputation for being ruthless and emotionless.
While admiring his unexpected expression, Finne thinks of a plan to make the most of this situation.
(The《Ice Magician》will probably pursue 《The Witch of Dawn》’s true identity from now on. He might be more aggressive than before. )
A dangerous enemy trying to expose her true identity.
To ensure safety and explore the inside of the Duke’s house, she wants to create a situation where she can obtain information with high certainty about his movements.
“If you don’t mind, I could you.”
Zion frowned at Finne’s proposal.
“. . .Help?”
“I was wondering if I could help you chase after the 《Witch of Dawn》 too.”
“Why are you making such a proposal?”
“Well, we’re technically partners now, so I want to be of help.”
“You don’t have to go that far for me.”
“But I have a reason to do so. Because you’re my husband.”
“I coldly rejected you.”
Ah, so that’s what he was worried about.
“It’s okay. I’m not bothered by it at all.”
“But. . .”
Zion hesitated to speak.
Finne tries to get him to talk, but the strong will wall is hard to break down.
“I can’t do it. I can’t ask you to do that for me. Absolutely not.”
“Formally speaking, it’s because you’re my wife.”
(I see. Asking for help in finding other women may not be the right thing to do for a newlywed wife. )
Even if the reason was to find and beat up the 《Witch of Dawn》, it wouldn’t be a happy thing for a spouse.
(So, if we can dispel that anxiety, the situation can be improved!)
Finding a breakthrough, Finne said.
“It’s okay! I also intend to have a political marriage in name only, just like my husband. I don’t see you as a man at all! I love books and magic more than living people, so I can guarantee that I won’t be hurt no matter what happens! So please rest assured and let me help you.”
Zion hesitated for a while before saying,
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. No problem.”
“Even if I were chasing after her for whatever reason?”
“Yes. I have no interest in my husband at all.”
With a strong assertion, Zion looked at Finne and said,
“Okay. Thank you. I’ll count on you.”
(All right! Cooperation relationship complete! All the information within the enemy’s camp is mine!)
Finne smiled wickedly in her mind, confident of victory.
(Now, let’s gather information. First of all, what kind of revenge does he plan to take?)
If she could grasp the content of the revenge, she might be able to prepare countermeasures in advance.
“But why are you looking for the 《Witch of Dawn》?”
“Well. . .”
“Don’t worry. I won’t be put off by any cruel reasons. Please tell me along with the outrageous revenge methods you have prepared.”
“What do you think of me?”
“A slightly troublesome heir who grew up in a not-so-good family?”
“. . .”
After taking a deep breath, Zion spoke.
“It’s not for the reasons you’re thinking. It’s actually the opposite.”
“I am grateful to her. And maybe. . .”
Finne couldn’t quite catch the words that were spoken in a voice that seemed to be fading away.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t hear that well.”
Scratching his head and turning his face away, he said.
“I’m in love with her. With her.”
“. . .”
Finne looked up at Zion with a blank expression for a while.
Eventually, she said.
“. . .What?”