As his name was called, Alei looked back at Ophelia, waiting for what she had to say.
Towards his unyielding expression, Ophelia spoke.
“I’ll tell you in advance—you’re the more important person to me. Even if you find your memory, or even if you don’t.”
“…All of a sudden?”
His expression turned into something else. Rather than simple embarrassment, it looked like he was trying to hide it.
It was only after seeing this that Ophelia felt better.
As long as he reacted that way, then he’d continue being kind to her.
She decided to bury the fact that she still didn’t trust him completely.
* * *
The way out was a struggle for her, but the way back in was simple.
Ophelia could now return through teleportation.
In a blink of an eye, their surroundings turned into the guest room she was staying at.
She couldn’t believe they could move that fast.
“That’s just how magic works.”
Despite Ophelia’s open praise, Alei received it calmly.
As if it were something obvious.
Perhaps he was right. Each and every thing was amazing to her, but to Alei, it was as natural as the way the wind blew and water flowed.
“I thought I was going to hear an earful from Lilith. Now I don’t have to worry.”
“Now that you mention it, why is it like that? Does that woman Lilith act impudently towards you all the time?”
“Does it seem that way?”
While wondering if she could open up a little about it, she answered with a question instead.
After observing Alei’s sour expression, Ophelia averted her gaze.
“Just seeing you both together points to that conclusion. Even if I’m someone who doesn’t remember anything, I at least know that she’s being rude. Isn’t she a noble? Doesn’t she have any propriety? It’s amazing that she thinks she could disrespect a member of the Imperial family.”
“You must have noticed she was being rude.”
“If I didn’t realize it, what excuse could I give when it’s happened in front of me?”
“Well, think about it. Rather than making a fool out of the Imperial family, Lilith just disrespects me because she doesn’t acknowledge me as part of that family.”
And if that type of person was told off from the start, she would just make a bigger fuss later on.
“It’s better to just leave her alone while she’s harmless, unless she goes above that.”
“Then I understand. She seems to be blind. Rather than an eagle that she thinks herself as, she’s just a sparrow.”
At Alei’s words, Ophelia went towards her desk.
“Alei, there’s something I’m curious about.”
“What is it?”
“How far could you teleport in one go? It’ll be too much if you move all the way across the country, right?”
“It’s possible if there’s a magic circle. However, depending on the distance, the circle would become more complex and enormous.”
“If drawn, it’ll be about the area of a building.”
“That’s bigger than I expected.”
And he understood his magic more than she thought.
Ophelia mulled over it for a moment, then asked again.
“Is it possible for you to draw that kind of circle?”
“If there’s space for it.”
And with the positive answer, Ophelia was satisfied.
“Alright. That’s all I’m curious about.”
She had been wondering whether he didn’t know much about how to wield his magic, considering that he had forgotten about the sirens and the magic tower.
It was an unfounded worry.
As Ophelia looked at her desk, she picked up something and twirled it around her hand.
What she picked up was a quill that was given to her after that siren’s change of heart.
Looking like he was in a better mood than he was earlier, Alei took the quill from Ophelia.
“…Did you just test me?”
“That’s right. I needed to check how much you remembered.”
“If it’s something a lot of people know, it’s not much of a test.”
“What I know about you is fragmented. The way you are is something foreign to me.”
Ophelia admitted this casually.
But why was it that this sent a stab through Alei? He furrowed his brows unknowingly.
“I… don’t know if I should be relieved or not.”
“The latter, probably. You didn’t feel so good knowing I tested you either.”
They thought differently. Alei felt relief instead.
However, Ophelia wasn’t aware of this, and so she quickly changed the topic to the quill.
“Anyway, do you know why I gave you that quill?”
“Isn’t it because you made it from a siren’s feather?”
Mana could be felt from the feather. Alei replied reflexively, but was a beat late in answering.
“…It’s Sante’s feather.”
“You recognize it.”
“Because it’s the first time I’m seeing it.”
If it’s not one of the young sirens’ feathers, the answer was simple.
Trying to suppress the foul mood that was rising once more, Alei asked Ophelia.
“I already have a few of the siren’s feathers. Is there a reason for me to have this?”
Even if the misunderstanding had been resolved, the displeasure he felt throughout the day had yet to be completely erased.
‘Seems like you don’t like him.’
Even so, Alei’s efforts to keep this to himself were for naught. Ophelia caught on right away.
Or rather than her being able to read people easily, it’s because Alei’s voice was full of thorns.
‘Come to think of it, Alei didn’t seem to be in favor of him even in my previous life.’
Despite not being an overly polite person, Alei was still someone who showed courtesy to people, but he treated Sante differently.
Whether he did or did not, or if it was the other way around or not.
‘You seem to be annoyed.’
Ophelia understood why he didn’t like the siren.
Brushing aside Alei’s displeasure as simple annoyance, she replied.
“Of course you need it. From now on, you have to act like you’ve regained your memories.”
“You seem to have a talent for saying nonsense.”
Alei’s forehead was wrinkled deeply.
What did she mean by acting like he’d regained his memories after receiving Sante’s feather?
However, Ophelia expected Alei’s reaction, so she explained calmly.
“I told you earlier. I don’t have much time, and the possibility of you finding your memories within that time frame isn’t very probable.”
“Is that so.”
“If you can’t regain your memories, there’s no way to go to the magic tower now.”
“Don’t you have Sante? You can ask him a favor.”
“Did you think I didn’t try?”
Ophelia recalled the memory.
Before removing the ring on Sante, Ophelia asked him whether he could bring her to the magic tower or at least tell her the location.
But the answer that came back was in the negative.
—I know what you want, Ophelia, but I can’t help you. The tower has an unwritten law that cannot be violated unless it’s the lord of the tower.
—Is there really no way?
—It’s enforced by magic. If I try to reveal information, I won’t be able to speak.
Sante also said that it wasn’t allowed to bring outsiders to the tower, nor was it possible to disclose the location to them.
—Are you saying that it’s impossible to enter the tower without going through Alei?
—No, not exactly impossible. There are two types of people residing at the tower.
First, people born and raised there. Most people staying at the tower belonged to this category.
And the second type is…
—In the case that a person figures out the location of the tower, the unwritten rules won’t be applied to them.
—In short, the location of the tower is the most important information that’s being kept hidden.
At Ophelia’s answer, Sante laughed. She couldn’t tell if he agreed with her or not.
“Sante said that he wasn’t allowed to say the location because of the prohibition magically enforced by the tower. It’s also forbidden to let in outsiders who don’t know the location of the tower.”
“Then wouldn’t it be hard to use me to get there?”
“If you’re the lord of the tower, then aren’t you allowed to disregard the unwritten rules?”
Ophelia asked back with the same unique, indifferent tone as she swept back her hair.
At her fingertips, her hair became like waves as it cascaded and fell.
Where her hand had passed, only the wall Alei had named remained in place.
“Anyway, this is what the situation is like, but there shouldn’t be any problems. If I can’t go to the tower, then I’ll call the tower here.”
Alei faced her blue eyes.
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