Translator: Latte Proofreader: Adulldoll
The man hastily picked up the scattered papers.
He was in such a hurry that he unconsciously let go of his noble bearing and kneeled on the ground.
“Sheesh! Look where you’re going… Huh? Y-young miss!”
The man hurriedly bowed his head.
It seemed as if he knew who Aria was, but unfortunately, the little girl was unfamiliar with his identity.
“Is young miss, alright? You’re not hurt anywhere, are you…?”
Aria interrupted the man and presented him a card.
[Who are you?]
He was slightly offended by her words, but he still answered her question.
“My name is Rosen Stewart.”
One of the scribes of the Valentine Family.
Aria had heard of his name once.
She observed him for a moment before writing on another card.
[Why is the scribe of the family here?]
“Well, I am here to organize the documents recorded by the other scribes.”
Aria remembered that besides the Valentines, the scribes could also freely access the library.
‘Well, he doesn’t look suspicious.’
Aria secretly approved of him and decided that he could pass.
However, the scribe felt uncomfortable with her attitude.
‘Why is she looking at me like that?’
She was eyeing him weirdly and even asked why he came to the library.
Was she doubting him?
‘No way… Did she see the contents of the paper?’
But that would be impossible.
How could she read the text in less than 30 seconds?
There was quite a distance between her and the papers as well. She would not be able to read them as she was so far away.
The scribe decided that Aria was just being rude because she hadn’t learned proper manners yet.
‘She may be able to walk freely around the house now, but she’ll be kicked out soon anyway.’
There are rumors that the Grand Duke of Valentine was protecting her, but who knows how long it would last.
The scribe knew that no matter how cute Aria was, she would soon be expelled.
‘The Grand Duke is a fickle person. His love for her is useless and the servants’ kindness will all be for naught.’
Even if the Prince miraculously showed interest in the child, it wouldn’t make even the slightest difference.
For it was too late.
‘Because the day the Grand Duchess dies will be the day she gets kicked out of here.’
The scribe pitied the ignorant child who went around thinking that the world revolved around her, when in fact, she knew nothing at all.
‘That time will soon come.’
But the scribe wasn’t stupid enough to say those words out loud.
He was informed that the second son of the Beauport family had received punishment for carelessly making fun of the young miss. So he ought to be careful of his words as well.
‘Didn’t he ended up working at the stables?’
Every time the scribe encountered Count Beauport, he would look dead inside as if he was a living corpse.
Even though he was lacking in many ways, Count Beauport loved his son. He was barely able to make his son a knight. But to think that his son would be deprived of his title like this, he must have been heartbroken.
And most of all, he must have been embarrassed as well.
‘It’s better to become a child who didn’t have anything in the first place than to become someone like him. I mean, he lost everything in one day!’
Rosen didn’t want to end up the same way as Count Beauport’s son did.
“Young miss. If there’s nothing else. I have some urgent matters to attend to. So please excuse me.”
Regardless of what he was thinking, the scribe bowed to Aria very politely.
Still, she had a bad feeling about him.
Aria recalled the papers she had read and the law books Vincent had been reading since he returned from the academy.
She wondered why he was studying law.
‘It couldn’t be! Are they aiming for…?’
After pondering for a moment, Aria looked out of the corridor window.
The scribe was holding the papers tightly as if his life depended on it.
Aria pressed the tips of her thumb and forefinger together and brought it to her mouth. Then, she let out a whistle.
From a distance, she saw several birds flying through the sky at high speed.
Aria pointed her fingers to the scribe without hesitation.
At the same time, they rushed themselves to Rosen in an instant, as if they were trained soldiers.
“Wh-what the?! Arghhh!”
The scribe got bird poop all over his head as he tried to run away to collect the scattered documents that got ripped.
‘With this, I’ve earned myself some time!’
Aria glanced at him one last time before closing the window quietly.
* * *
As expected, she had to meet him as soon as possible.
She didn’t even have time to ask.
Aria went straight to the wolves’ cage.
As soon as she opened the door, a wolf rushed towards her.
“Hi, Silver. It’s been a while.”
Silver’s fur was lighter when compared to the other wolves. That’s why she named him Silver.
Though, even with such a simple name, Silver would still wag his tail in excitement whenever she called him that. He was really happy to have been given a name because the Grand Duke had never given him one.
After stroking Silver’s head a few times, Aria quickly spoke, “Who is the strongest person that comes next after your master?”
“No, not Lloyd. The strongest person after him.”
The wolf tilted his head and pointed at Aria with the tip of his nose.
“Uh… Then, after me?”
‘I knew it.’
As Aria climbed on Silver’s back, the wolf quickly ran as if he had been waiting for this exact moment all his life.
There were two towers in the Grand Duke’s Palace.
The west tower and the east tower.
Among them, Silver ran up to the spiral staircase of the east tower.
And moments later, they finally reached the top of the tower.
Aria descended from Silver’s back and knocked on the firmly closed door.
Unfortunately, there was no answer.
‘Someone’s obviously inside.’
She could feel their presence.
Aria could sense that whoever was inside, had stopped their movements as soon as they heard her knock.
That could only mean…
‘Are they purposely ignoring uninvited guests?’
Aria grabbed and turned the doorknob.
‘…Seems that it’s locked from the inside.’
After shaking the door a few more times, Aria looked back at Silver with a sigh.
The wolf quickly rushed towards her and…
He rammed through the door!
The door was shattered, dust flew everywhere, and a purple-haired man that stood across Aria stared at her in dismay.
Aria felt bad about the mess she made but she was only slightly sorry.
If she were her usual self, she would have waited and come back again next time.
But now, there was no time for that.
Silver stared at Aria as if asking to be praised for what he did, and Aria hugged him in return.
Then, she stood in front of the man.
Did he just swear?
He spouted vulgar words whilst running through his curly hair with his fingers.
“You shouldn’t have broken the door just because I pretended not to be in the lab! I guess it’s true when they say that birds of the same feather flock together.”
The man with purple hair continued to speak, “Welcome to the Grand Duchy of Valentine,” he said while clapping his hands sarcastically.
He seemed to have encountered something like this before.
‘Then, the Grand Duke or the Prince must have already come here.’
Aria thought that it might be both of them.
She then rummaged through her bag and took out a new card.
[Sorry, I really wanted to meet you.]
“Oh, of course you do,” he responded while clicking his tongue.
Afterward, he reluctantly introduced himself.
“My name is Carl, I am the shaman of the palace.”
Aria widened her eyes like a surprised rabbit.
The source of a shaman’s power is their ‘spiritual power.’ They had the ability to perceive, contact, and bargain or control the spiritual world. But it was illegal to use those powers.
She had never felt such unfamiliar magic before, but nonetheless, it was really magical.
‘As expected, the grand duchy enjoyed extraterritoriality and were not governed by the emperor’s jurisdiction. That must be why he’s exempted from the local law and was able to use his powers.’
The shaman was proudly occupying the tower, but he would have violated the law if it weren’t for the extraterritorial rights.
He was perfectly suited to work in the devil’s palace.
Carl began to feel uncomfortable from being stared at by the little girl in front of him.
‘What an annoying little girl,’ he thought.
He would be lying if he didn’t admit that he was looking down on her.
In the first place, he thought that if he locked the door, the girl would just eventually give up and went back on her own.
But things didn’t turn out as he had hoped.
Carl despised kids.
‘Kids are ignorant beings that think all shamans are mages. How uneducated!’
Children loved mages.
To them, mages were idols.
Not only in children’s books but also in history books. The mages had always played the role of the king’s helper.
Carl knew that the little girl in front of him would be no less the same as the other kids.
‘She probably came here to see a mage as well. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, there are no mages here!’ Carl scoffed inwardly.
“This isn’t a playground. I’m not a mage that can meet your expectations. As you can see, I’m busy and I don’t have time to deal with you. So if you will, please leave,” Carl said.
Aria stared at the man.
‘Does he even breathe when he speaks?’
He spoke so fast that it was a bit hard to follow what he was saying.
Then, she took out another card.
[I want to know how to use energy.]
When he saw that, Carl’s eyebrows rose for a moment.
Her words weren’t what he had expected.
Kids at that age were usually like, ‘Wow, that’s superb! Teach me how to use magic too!’
“I see that you know the concept of energy.”
Energy was a generic term for powers such as mana, divine power, charms and enchantments, and spiritual power.
Everyone had different types of energy.
It was up to the individual’s talents to utilize and develop that energy into power.
‘If she knew this, then she must be able to distinguish the difference between a shaman and a mage.’
It also meant that she knew each person had different types of innate energy.
Carl was still a bit skeptical, but he spoke with a softer tone than before.
“Energy is not something anyone can use. If you lack talent and your body cannot handle the immense amount of power, you’ll lose your life the moment it flows out of your core.”
Aria’s eyes sparkled when she heard a new word she hadn’t heard of before.
She was so mystified by the new word that she wasn’t able to listen to Carl’s words that followed after.
“There is nothing to be discouraged. Only one in a million people can operate energy, and there are only one in ten million that can express that energy into a new form. I, on the other hand, am a genius that is born only once in every century… ”
Aria pulled the hem of Carl’s black robe as she listened to him blabbering about himself.
Then, she pulled out another card.
[How long does it usually take to control energy from the core?]
“Well, it usually takes a minimum of 5 or 6 years.”
Turns out, Aria’s growth was already fast, for she was able to use her powers within four years.
But she needed less time.
Aria was disappointed.
If so, then maybe…
[Can you forcibly pierce into my core?]
“What? Are you insane?”
Carl was dumbfounded.