As soon as the spiteful voice was heard, Elena’s head turned.
The source of the sound was from the rear.
Two boys were found grinning, seemingly looking around the garden.
They seemed to be the same age as Lexion.
‘Half-blood of the Halos family?’
Being in front, Elena wondered if she had heard it wrong.
And for children to say those words.
‘Aren’t they an aristocrat?’
Elena clicked her tongue.
The children scoffed as they looked at Lexion.
But Lexion ignored the two boys as if he was used to it.
Jane’s face turned red when she understood what they meant.
Elena thought for a moment.
‘It’s the day of the banquet, I don’t want to cause any unwarranted commotion.’
Moreover, Lexion wanted their party also to ignore them, urging Elena to continue forward to the annex.
Elena was about to comply with the child’s urging.
If it weren’t for the following words that were uttered.
“Half-blood is dressed in a flashy outfit, thinks he’s going to be the successor.”
Elena raised one of her eyebrows.
At the same time, she recalled the original story.
‘I see, aren’t those two the little squirrels who used to hang out next to Killian in the original story?’
Both were shit like Killian.
The female lead was strong, while these extras were as weak as Killian.
‘He cheated on Jane and when she left Killian and went with the male lead, they showed up at the party.’
Just like now.
Elena bit her lip.
She passed by Jane and Lexion, approaching the two snobbish children who still stared at Lexion with contempt.
“Greetings, young masters.”
When Elena greeted them politely, the cheeks of the two boys flushed.
Then they started coughing loudly in vain.
“Nice to meet you. They said that you were sponsored by the Duke of Halos…”
“I am Elena Lespel.”
“Oh yeah. I am Sabel Kelton.”
The red-haired boy greeted her politely.
Then the brown-haired boy who was standing next to him spoke too.
“I am Jason Hoarn.”
Sabel Kelton was the first son of Count Kelton, and Jason Hoarn was the second son of Viscount Hoarn.
‘They both know me.’
Duke Halos’ influence must have been great.
Elena smiled and opened her mouth.
“Nice to meet you. However, I overheard a conversation between you two a while ago. But the content was strange.”
Elena tilted her head.
“Surely, the two sons of high-ranking families did not just openly gossip about the person concerned. I must have heard it wrong, right?”
At her question, the two boys’ faces hardened.
Then, soon after, Sabel showed a stern look and said:
“Hey, hey. So what do you want to say? Did you come here to argue just because that half-blood got insulted?”
“As someone valued and sponsored by Duke Halos, even he showed me some courtesy.”
“Do you think you can act as you please as if you’re a noble? Remember your place, commoner.”
Sabel laughed softly.
Next to him, Jason glared at Elena.
Even in such a situation, Elena’s expression didn’t change.
“You are a very narrow-minded person, young master.”
Rather, she smiled.
“As the young master said, I am a commoner. But among the nobles, Sir Lexion is the son of the Duke, while Sir Sabel is the son of the count, and he is a vassal of the Duke of Halos… Is it alright to insult Sir Lexion out in the open?”
Sabel’s face turned red. But Elena didn’t stop.
“You two are still young, so it won’t turn into a big problem. If both of you were adults, this would be… I think it might be a rebellion against the Duke family.”
“Hey, this! You dare! Are you trying to teach me?!”
Sabel shouted as he drew closer to Elena.
“Rebel?! Can you take responsibility for the words you uttered now?! No matter how much support you get from the Duke, do you think you will be safe if you turn the Kelton family into your enemy?!”
It was also a childish way of thinking.
‘You are not even thinking about what you’ve done.’
The members of the vassal families of the Duke were so ignorant.
Elena let out a sigh-like laugh.
And she smiled brightly, meeting Sabel’s gaze.
“It seems that the young master has not heard the rumors about me yet. You only know me as a commoner supported by the Duke.”
“Of course, as the young master said, I am being supported by Duke Halos. But at the same time, I-”
Elena’s palm reached out in front of Sabel.
At the same time, hot flames rose from her palms.
“I am a wizard.”
Before she could finish her words, Sabel was startled by the flames, gasping in shock.
Elena looked at him and took a step closer to him, who couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
Sabel kept moving away from her.
“For reference, I am an official magician belonging to the Magic Tower. Did you know that the bond between the towers is strong?”
The sound of Sabel swallowing was distinct.
Elena’s smile widened.
“A little while ago, young master said… After all, you want to have me as your enemy.”
The boy’s pupils dilated significantly.
She could clearly see the sweat dripping down his forehead.
Elena nailed it.
“Can you handle it?”
In the end, Sabel slumped to the floor.
Jason, who was beside the boy and was terrified, hurriedly supported Sabel.
“You! Just you two wait!”
Sabel exclaimed exasperatedly while his face still looked terrified. He fled the place with Jason.
Watching the two boys disappear, Elena’s expression hardened.
‘Nobles are the same, whether they’re children or adults.’
Of course, there were exceptions.
Elena looked at the two people who approached her.
Jane and Lexion.
The two looked up at Elena with contrasting expressions.
“That was great, Elena!”
Jane exclaimed with a reminiscing look on her face.
While Lexion couldn’t properly make eye contact with Elena.
“Thank you, sister…”
The child gently grabbed the hem of Elena’s dress and whispered.
“… You could just ignore it. Because of me… What if you get in trouble later on?”
Elena could see the corners of Lexion’s eyes getting moist.
She quickly patted Lexion on the shoulder.
“It’s okay. Because I didn’t do anything I couldn’t take responsibility for, besides, they won’t be able to do anything like this.”
How could a nobleman dare to harm someone from the Magic Tower that even the Imperial family feared?
Despite Elena’s laughter, Lexion’s expression did not improve.
‘Again. Because of me, sister…’
He was very grateful for what Elena did for him.
‘Thank you.’ From a certain moment, it became a heavy burden on Lexion’s heart.
‘I didn’t do anything… In the future, I just have to give back to my sister.’
Just as Elena would willingly give him anything, Lexion also wanted to give something back to her.
But unlike Elena, who could do anything with ease, he hasn’t done anything yet.
“Hurry up, I want to go to sleep.”
All the boy could do was hope that time would pass quickly.
* * *
Elena dragged her weary body to her bed.
“Ah… It was horrible.”
Duke Halos’ victory banquet was larger than expected.
It was supposed to be a small event, but in Elena’s eyes, it wasn’t small at all.
‘Is that what a social gathering for aristocrats looked like?’
It was a banquet with only relatives and vassals of the Duke family included, but the annex was crowded.
The performances continued for hours, and people danced and drank all the time.
Elena’s original plan was to stay quiet and then sneaked out of the banquet hall.
She thought, ‘Once Duke Halos introduces me, I will step out at once and try to return to my room.’
However, the plan was a complete failure.
It was bound to fail from the start.
‘It was clear the Duke won’t let me go….’
Shortly after the banquet began, Duke Halos gave his speech.
She was barely listening through one ear when the Duke called Elena.
He was somewhat predictable, calling her as soon as the party started.
Elena had to say hello in front of numerous gazes.
She was very uncomfortable, but she did an impressive job.
She didn’t forget to smile once at Sabel and Jason, who stared at her from afar.
After that, she thought she would be free.
But contrary to expectations.
The Duke of Halos brought Elena by his side as if she was his own child.
‘Thanks to the Duke and all of his vassals.’
He would tell to anyone that Elena was his sorceress and that she was just like his own daughter.
‘It’s great if the Duke cares for me.’
Elena was worried that she was just provoking Killian for nothing.
‘Killian’s quite jealous; he’s close to setting me on fire.’
As she thought of that, Elena’s eyebrows narrowed.
But then her eyes slowly closed.
As soon as the banquet was over, she was served by her maids. She had her clothes changed and then took a bath, so she could quickly fall asleep.
‘Tomorrow. Starting tomorrow, let’s study creating magic tools…’
Elena quickly fell asleep.
* * *
Time quickly passed.
There was the chilly wind of late autumn and the plants that could not withstand the cold withered.
‘It’s already winter.’
As she came out of the library with a book on magic tools in her arms, she could feel the freezing air in the hallway.
Come to think of it, the sky she had seen before she came to the library was full of clouds.
‘Maybe it will snow soon.’
Elena chuckled and headed to her room.
When she put the book down on her desk and was about to study.
A knock was heard.
The door opened and it was Lexion who came in.
Lexion smiled brightly and ran forward.
Since Killian started to get busy, Lexion got to spend more time with Elena.
In her spare time, she would drink tea. And with Jane, the three of them would draw pictures, etc.
‘It makes me feel like I’m his real sister.’
Lexion, who was too close to her face, grabbed Elena’s hand and led her away.
“Sister, hurry up!”
“What’s going on?”
The place where the child led Elena was by the window. Lexion immediately parted the hanging curtains.
Outside the window, fluffy white snow was pouring down.