Although she said that to Jade, in fact, she had an indelible bond with the Duke of Elad. To put it bluntly, it’s close to evil. Duke Elad, who was called the sword of the Lakshten Empire, was a person with such notoriety that he made even a crying child stop crying. But she knew it was not just a rumor, he’s a really scary guy. Even after 10 years, she couldn’t forget those knife-like eyes and the decision without even the slightest mercy. Though thinking about that time didn’t change what she had to do today.
“Do you want to find out who the guests are at the Duke of Elad tonight and what they are talking about with the Duke?”
Looking at the huge main building with a blue roof and white exterior, the annexes next to it, and the high, sturdy wall surrounding it, she reflected on today’s mission. She felt like her hands were sweating for no reason, so she squeezed and opened it repeatedly, then let out a short breath. She was nervous, but thinking that she had finally been recognized by her colleagues who undermined her skills and the master who excluded her from difficult missions every time made her feel better. She wanted to somehow prove her worth by completing this mission perfectly.
‘Because if I don’t get recognition here, my heart will be completely broken…’
She didn’t want to experience being kicked out because they didn’t need her again. She forcibly turned away from the desire deep in her heart that quickly emerged and turned her head to look at the guards.
‘The real Lexion Knights are all there, right? What kind of guest are you…’
Even though it was information she knew in advance through Jade, her head tilted. The number of escort knights and guards guarding every corner of the mansion was smaller than usual, but they were not ordinary knights, but all were silver wolves, the Lexion Knights, the pride of the Duke.
‘I’m still confident.’
Without much hesitation, she pulled the mask up and covered her face. Then, moving the mana in the body, as if melting into the air, she left her body in the dark, hiding her presence. As if teleporting, she passed through the walls of the Duke’s residence in an instant, passed through the vast labyrinth garden, passed the silver wolf statue and a large fountain, the symbol of the Duke’s family, and hid herself in the main building of the mansion. Looking through the large arched windows, the mansion was dark as if it had been consumed by darkness.
‘Why is it so quiet?’
Compared to the time a few months ago, when she went undercover as a maid at the birthday party of Diana, the treasure of the Elad family, it was quiet, unthinkable that there would be any guests coming. If the escorts weren’t all Lexion Knights, they would have thought they were in vain. Then she saw a black carriage with no markings coming in from the direction of the back door. After a while, two people got off the carriage, both covered in black robes. He seemed to be a man, judging from his tall stature, but his face was obscured by the robe’s hat. She took a deep breath after looking for a while to figure out the identity of the guest.
‘Of course I thought it would be a butler or an attendant to greet guests!’
The one who opened the mansion door and came out was Duke Elad. But it didn’t take long to contempl. This was because the mysterious guest, Duke Elad, and the butler and aide who followed quickly disappeared into the mansion. She immediately tracked their movements outside the mansion. They were very stealthy and moved quickly. To the third floor of the main building, where the Duke’s office is located.
‘Am I even plotting treason?’
That was her immediate thought. She also had a feeling that a huge number of cases were caught. Arriving at the Duke’s office as expected, they immediately closed the curtains and checked security, but without anyone noticing, she slightly opened the window and peeked through the cracks in the curtains. Soon, one of the robed men was about to take off the hood from his head.
“Who are you?”
She felt the force of a sharp sword behind her back. As much as she had a natural talent for hiding her presence, she was also very sensitive to the presence of others. But it came so close without her noticing.
“If you don’t reveal your identity, I will kill you.”
Her heart beat faster at the sound of a low voice. She went up to the roof without even turning her head, with the thought, ‘I can’t believe it.’ Soon, a flute was heard from behind, and tremendous energy began to move at the same time.
‘Damn it, they called the wolves.’
It seemed that the Lexion Knights, which were lined with some of the best knights in the empire, had started pursuing them. And before the knights could even get close, she was caught by the man who had found her before. She slowly knelt down at the cool sensation that touched her neck. Drawing a semicircle from behind, he aimed his sword and stood in front of her. At that moment, like a trick of fate, the moonlight moved slowly.
Brilliant silver hair and blue eyes poking through it. Standing in front of my eyes was a person I would never want to meet in the current situation. A man with an unrealistically beautiful appearance, Lucio Elad, the eldest son of the Duke of Elad.
‘Why is this person here!’
Apparently, Jade said that Lucio had left for the dukedom today, and that the duke’s residence was empty. If she had known he was there, she would have been much more prepared and infiltrated.
‘Terencium is famous for handling only accurate information, so it can’t be wrong information…’
At that moment, the thoughts that ran through her brain went blank.
‘You were telling me false information on purpose.’
She lost all strength in her body from the shock and collapse. She knew Jade hated her, but she didn’t expect him to drive her over the edge like this. Still, it’s been eight years since they’ve been together as colleagues…
‘A bastard without loyalty!’
One after another, the faces of the executives and the master passed through her head. The time when she struggled to be recognized. It was at this time that she felt the thin string of belonging that was barely connected.
Lucio raised his sword and swung it quickly. A light breeze blew, and the mask that was barely hanging over her nose was cut in half, exposing her face.
Then, Lucio’s blue eyes widened and soon began to shake as if they had been hit by the wind. Seeing the intense agitation in his eyes, she was greatly taken aback.
‘Did he recognize me?’
There’s no way he would remember her with common brown hair and common brown eyes. Besides, she had been seeing Lucio from afar, but he hasn’t seen her in close to ten years. She must have been just a beggar who Lucio showed sympathy for a moment. So he couldn’t have recognized her.
“Why are you…”
His voice was trembling.
She couldn’t hide her agitation at Lucio’s embarrassment when she saw him for the first time. She could feel the certainty that he knew her in the eyes looking straight at her. When she realized that, she felt like she was about to burst into tears. Lucio was the only person who taught her what tenderness was when she was at my most humble and insignificant state. And she couldn’t bear to see him like this.
She hurriedly chanted a summoning spell, and soon a handful of powder was held in her hand.
‘If I spray the special powder developed by Terenchium on the opponent, it will temporarily block his sight and all senses, so I should be able to escape from this situation…’
At that moment, her body, which could not even be sprinkled with powder, stiffened as it was. Slowly lowering her head, she saw the sword stabbing her in the back. She was only thinking about the person in front of her, so she didn’t even think of the Lexion Knights coming after her. To those who were accustomed to reading mana and detecting emotions, the sight of me summoning powder might have seemed like she was trying to attack the Duke. Numerous errors in judgment, carelessness, and regrets passed through her head…
She shut her mouth. Blood trickled down between his fingers.
Even at the moment when her eyes became hazy, she felt unfamiliar with Lucio’s voice calling her.
Because she never imagined that her name would be called out of his mouth in her whole life. At that time, along with a faint sound, a powerful wave of mana that she had never felt before shook her whole body.
And after a while, as she closed her eyes watching the entire world flicker black, she remembered one fact. That she never told Lucio her name…
* * *
How much time has passed? She could feel her heart pounding and beating wildly.
‘Fortunately, I guess I didn’t die.’
Even though she might be subjected to severe torture in the future, she was satisfied that she was alive. This was because ‘survival’ was the top priority for her, who had nothing to lose and no family. But apart from that, she still couldn’t believe the betrayal of a colleague whom she considered like family. She would like to think it was Jade’s arbitrary act, but she couldn’t be sure.
<“Do you think other people will acknowledge you for being like this?”
‘I can never be good to you. So don’t be mistaken about what others say.’
“Remember, Leah. Never trust me.”>
Why, at this moment, did she remember what Master used to say? He was the one who saved and anoleged her from being a beggar on the street, from dying in the rain. And he was also the one who pushed her to the limit every time with harsh words and tough training. But she had never taken what the Master said to her straight away. She thought they were all saying things to make her stronger.
‘But now I’m not sure.’
It was the moment when she felt a tear flow from her closed eyes and was at a loss as to what to do next.
‘But how did I survive?’
She saw with her own eyes that her heart had been pierced. It’s not strange to die instantly, but was it possible to survive no matter how lucky you were? Most of all, it was strange that there was no trace of the intense pain he felt when he was stabbed. As she hurriedly got up to grasp the situation, she involuntarily frowned at the creaking sound of metal. Because it was the sound she hated the most in the world. When she was young, she hated the cheap bed she used at the nursery school, so the first thing she bought with her salary was a soft bed…
A musty smell, torn curtains, rolling dust, old walls with many cracks. Silenced at the sight identical to the place she hadn’t forgotten for a moment, she looked at her hand in amazement again.
When she saw the thin, small hands dripping with the soup, she was speechless at the absurdity. After a while, her mouth, which had been frozen in shock for a while, opened.
“I am back…?”
Hello there! This is RJR. Thank you very much for reading.
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