Yesterday when the young sirens said that the ocean shone with a brilliant light, it was thought that the human woman was a great mage.
“You’re a normal human.”
“Are you disappointed that I’m nothing special?”
“No, it’s amazing. How do you know me?”
Ophelia, who spoke with an aloof tone, threw something on the floor. It was the quill, now broken in half.
After returning from meeting the sirens last night, Ophelia had hidden the feathers along with her normal items.
It was better to keep them on her at all times for emergency use, that’s why she disguised them as daily necessities that she could carry all the time.
And her foresight on this was used in practice quicker than she expected.
Sante’s persistent gaze was still on Ophelia, reaching out one hand to touch her right cheek, checking her physical condition.
It was a habit of Sante’s to inspect or explore the other person before even initiating a conversation.
A siren’s mana detection wasn’t as strong as a mermaid’s senses, but Sante could still detect mana to a certain extent.
It would depend on the surroundings or the person wielding it, but he was able to catch on quickly enough.
And Sante inspected the human—meticulously.
And she’s… normal.
‘She’s not from the tower.’
Even if someone wasn’t a mage, they could still live at the tower, so Sante thought that she was like that at first. But he couldn’t feel the tower’s energy from her at all.
Mana from the tower was much more pure than what could be derived from other human lands, with the exception of lands near the sea. The woman in front of him had the scent of neither the sea nor of mana.
Apart from that, no matter how much he scoured his memories, he couldn’t remember her face, so this might be a human that he had never met before.
Sante narrowed the distance between him and the woman. Every step left a trail of blood.
Of course, it wasn’t Sante’s blood, but the blood of the man who had fainted.
Sante didn’t always enter a building by breaking in through a window, but he was in a hurry this time.
Because that man looked as though he was going to kill the woman right away.
Sante had rushed forward, but one side of the woman’s cheek was already swollen.
His index finger stroked the bruised cheek, and he saw her nose twitch slightly as she frowned, perhaps because it stung.
However, even though she frowned, she didn’t avoid his touch.
Even though she was docile, it had been a long time since he got interested in someone.
A smile formed on Sante’s lips.
A siren’s voice full of manufactured affection flowed out smoothly.
“If you don’t want to reveal how you found out about me, then at least get straight to the point. There must be a reason why you called me here.”
“Of course. It’s not just one matter.”
Her disinterested gaze did not match the intensity of Sante’s eyes on her.
Then, without any warning, a dry voice spat out a name.
And at the same moment, the smile on Sante’s face was wiped off.
“You know him, right? The magic tower’s lord who was exiled three years ago. You also call him Dian.”
“How do you—“
“Ophelia,” she said firmly. “My name is Ophelia. Call me by my name.”
“…Ha. What if I don’t want to?”
“Then I can’t force you.”
At the same time, Sante felt something slip over his finger, and he belatedly realized that the mana that he exuded had disappeared.
As if something was blocking it.
Looking down at his hand, he noticed a peculiar ring.
“Even so, stop trying to seduce me.”
Ophelia was having a hard time breathing, and so she backed away a couple of steps from Sante.
“Shall we start over?”
This mess would have to be dealt with first.
* * *
To fix the mess that Sante had made, Ophelia had to break all the feathers she had.
The young sirens used their mana and returned the windows to their original state, then they took the unconscious Hydar and got him treated.
It was fortunate that Lilith wasn’t here to see this mess because she was out at the road construction site.
Ka-chak. As the door closed behind the young sirens who carried Hydar out, Sante voiced his frustration.
“Why are you sending him to the ward? If you called those guys all the way from the nest, you could have asked them to rip that human apart.”
“It’s not the right time.”
Of course, Ophelia was firm in her decision.
As Sante said, if she just left him alone with the young sirens, Hydar could have been in a much more miserable state.
However, if Ladeen’s fief lord were to die, the subsequent clean-up would be quite troublesome.
‘More than anything, Lilith wouldn’t stay still.’
Just thinking about the fuss that Lilith would kick up if Hydar had died… Ophelia’s head throbbed.
Therefore, Hydar can’t die.
At least, not yet.
Either way, Sante didn’t ask what Ophelia meant by ‘the right time’.
In fact, there was a more important matter that Ophelia and Hydar would have to face other than the violent man who got knocked out just by one hit.
Sitting opposite Ophelia, Sante rested his chin on one hand. He looked quite happy despite his mana being sealed.
Perhaps the current situation was like a small spark lighting up his boring daily life.
“Then let’s cut to the chase. I don’t quite like this ring. You’ll take it off after we talk, right?”
She shifted her gaze towards the hand that Sante used to support his chin, the ring she slipped on him visible to her. She nodded then started speaking.
“Alei… Alejandro lost all his memories and was exiled. You know that this happened. But do you know where he is right now?”
“No. I haven’t seen him ever since he was kicked out of the magic tower. I thought he’d definitely make a name for himself somewhere else because of his abilities, but it’s like he disappeared completely.”
“It’s the opposite. He entered the Imperial Palace but received only the lowest rank because of his memory loss. He didn’t have anyone’s backing.”
“Ah, Dian that bastard.”
Sante smiled widely for some reason, but Ophelia paid it no mind and moved on.
“I need to find a way to unseal his memories as soon as possible. That’s why I sought out someone he knew.”
“But it’s been a while since he was exiled, and it’s unlikely that an outsider like me would be welcomed by the other mages at the tower.”
At Sante’s clear rebuttal, Ophelia nodded anyway.
“Yes, I’m planning to go there together with Alei. That way, it’ll be much easier.”
“I wondered who it was who could make the ocean shine like that besides Dian, but in the end, it really was him. I understand what you want. Then, I have one question.”
“What is it? But I won’t say anything if it’s something I can’t answer.”
Before he could even ask, Ophelia said this in advance.
She wouldn’t answer if he’d ask where she got this information despite being an ordinary human. Even if he urged her to answer, there was nothing she could say.
Sante shrugged and raised his hands.
“If you don’t want to answer, why would I ask again? I won’t do that.”
“Then what’s your question?”
“Why do you want to get Dian’s memories back?”
Sante’s question was definitely something that she could answer.
But at the same time, it’s not something that she had ever said out loud before. For the first time, Ophelia spoke of her wish.
“I’m going to the magic tower.”
She would go to the tower. When she uttered it, this desire became even clearer.
Intangible things, like wishes, would become more solidified the moment they’re pronounced. The sense of hope that had been lingering within Ophelia suddenly felt quite new the moment she spoke about it.
But of course, this was from Ophelia’s point of view.
Sante wasn’t so surprised by this declaration. Looking up to shift his gaze from Ophelia and towards the door, he tapped the desk using the finger that had the ring on.
“So that’s why you’re with the magic tower’s lord? You’ll help him get his memories back and use him as a means to go to the tower?”
“Does Dian know about this?”
“Why haven’t you told him?”
“I can’t trust him yet.”
Sante’s expression changed subtly, as though he was amused by the difficult situation Ophelia was in.
Hmm. As Sante made a low sound, he tilted his head to the side and lifted the corners of his lips.
“If I were Dian, I’d be quite upset to hear that.”
His gaze was steady as he looked towards the direction of the door.