Cassion laughed and said that it was just like me to answer that way.
In his calm gaze, a delighted glimmer faintly flickered. Much more relaxed now, he murmured.
“Right, but still, there’s something else that’s a shame.”
The relaxed expression crumpled slightly. As always, his emotions could be seen just as they were.
He glanced at me again and let out a short sigh, his brows furrowed together as he opened his eyes.
“I wanted to deal with that scoundrel myself, but in the end, he was done in by the drug that he took.”
For a moment, I recalled what Cassion said the other day.
‘I want to gouge out that man’s eyes—I had a thought like this today, for the first time in my life.’
With the palpable killing intent barely suppressed from the look of his black eyes, he spat out these words.
“As I thought, you meant it, huh…”
“Nothing, just talking to myself. Besides that, it’s not too much of a shame that this happened.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Besides the agreed upon medicinal effects, there’s one extra that Zobel added there, and it went over smoothly. I guess he noticed that my own requests weren’t that big of a deal.”
Zobel’s prescription, with these medicinal effects, were as follows:
The drug would take effect within the span of at least half an hour.
But apart from that, the moment that the person’s body, which had been very active thus far, would suddenly stop—that’s when the drug’s effects would come out.
This was something Zobel made possible with his own hands, and it’s clear to see that he was an amazing rising star in the medical world.
After explaining this to Cassion, I briefly added.
“That’s why while you were fighting, his condition wouldn’t have been altered.”
As he gazed into the air, he murmured to himself. Smiling at his bewildered reaction, I nodded.
“Yes, you won all by yourself. You did great out there. From now on, you won’t need to roll on the ground and hide again.”
I hummed playfully and gave the man a pat on the shoulder.
The light tap made him fall and lie back.
What a shocking reaction.
I only tapped him very lightly.
Cassion, as he threw me into confusion, lay back on the green grass and stared blankly up at the sky.
Moonlight streamed down upon his face.
He looked really pale.
The black eyes of the man looked deeper than the evening sky. Before long, a single tear trickled down from one eye.
And that was it.
The time in which he shed tears was very short.
Like a shooting star, flickering across the night sky.
Wordlessly, I reached into a pocket and took out a handkerchief. But my hand soon stopped.
Because there wasn’t even a trace of that tear left.
Still, I reached out. After pressing the handkerchief over his dry eyes, I spoke.
“It’s barely one hurdle crossed. Only Maxwell’s abilities have been recognized for now, so it’s still too early to cry.”
Cassion nodded in silence. His eyes were covered but my handkerchief, but his lips were enough to express his determination.
His lips were closed like that for a long time, but soon, their corners tugged up into a smile.
Slowly lifting his head from the ground, the handkerchief slid down to his chin.
Catching the handkerchief before it could fall, he spoke.
“Honestly, even just crying is funny.”
“What’s so funny about it?”
When I asked, Cassion sat up straight.
He looked into my eyes as he smiled with a hint of shame. Then, he leaned in closer to my ear.
There was no one but the two of us in this spacious open clearing, but it’s as if the secret could still be overheard.
I turned my head according to his movements.
So that the man’s red lips could get closer to my ear.
He whispered carefully.
“Truthfully, the wind—I’m the culprit.”
As I heard a more shocking confession than what I was expecting, I looked up at him, baffled.
For a moment, our cheeks brushed past each other.
Whether cold or warm, they were so close that I couldn’t even tell whose temperature this was.
Perhaps the corners of our lips touched. Perhaps not.
As I blinked, Cassion turned his head.
All I could see were his bright red nape and earlobes.
He’s the one who whispered into my ear quite shamelessly, but he’s blushing so much with his head turned back like this. I should have teased him.
But strangely enough, instead of doing that, I had to fan myself secretly because my face had gone hot.
As if we had gotten ourselves into an accidental car crash, we both shut up and didn’t say anything.
The first to return to their senses was me.
I shrugged my tense shoulders for a moment, then asked a question with the most casual tone I could muster.
“So the wind that blew past during the match—you’re the one who did it?”
Cassion’s nape was still flushed. It looked as if he either rubbed it too much or someone hit him there.
Perhaps aware of this, he only nodded while still looking away.
“You said if I’m in a pinch, I should use it without being discovered.”
In contrast, however, his voice was quite calm.
It’s just that his bright red cheeks couldn’t lose the color.
Really, the more I get to know him, he’s such a pure man.
Soon enough, his wide back turned around so he could face me.
A large hand rummaged through his coat pocket, pulled out a small folded note, then pushed this note towards me.
He didn’t explain what the folded piece of paper was, but nevertheless, I could guess what this was just by one look at it.
Because I’m the one who gave this to him in the first place.
〈 Practical Magic Spells to Use During an Actual Fight That No One Would Notice 〉
I opened the folded paper with a smile. Indeed, it was just as Cassion said. There written was a secret method to that heavy breeze.
When he first read these instructions, he must not have been able to make heads or tails of what’s written there. But one small illustration on the piece of paper was now funnily familiar.
It was showing the exact scene of the match.
“You would have still won if you didn’t use this.”
“I guess I’m resembling you more these days.”
“I wanted a clear victory.”
Didn’t you say that there’s no rule against using magic during the match? So technically, I didn’t cheat, right?
The way he uttered each word was satisfactorily brazen.
It was unfathomable how this man with terribly red earlobes could ever say such a thing.
Yes, the more certain the victory was, the better.
Besides, David was the one who went against the rules. There’s no policy saying that magic was prohibited during the match.
Just as he mentioned, this wasn’t considered cheating.
And in the first place, the odds were stacked against Cassion already.
I wonder if they would have noticed the applied spell if it was a lost match.
‘Well, honestly, I would understand if they did.’
In any case, everyone was already expecting Cassion to win at that time.
It’s not as if he stole a victory that wasn’t his. It’s just that the sudden wind shortened the time he needed to win the match.
And made sure that his victory was more obvious.
Of course, with one’s own weapon.
Acting naïvely despite not actually being naïve, he was the kind of man who would be so flustered by a mere brush of our cheeks, but at the same time, he’s also the kind of man who’d use that kind of magic spell during a formal match.
I placed a hand on Cassion’s shoulder.
He turned towards me in surprise.
And his soft cheek was poked squarely by my waiting finger.
He looked at me with a stunned gaze.
“Even if you’re putting off crying for later, it’s still true that you overcame one hurdle. So, I have a congratulatory gift for you.”
Instead of answering his question, I stood up.”
Cassion’s eyes followed my movements, but as I sat behind him, I turned his head straight ahead again.
His hair, which was the color of the night sky, had gotten long again.
More than last time.
“You need a haircut.”
“…Yeah, I guess.”
His answering voice was a bit subdued.
It’s only natural.
For Cassion, his hairstyle was integral to ‘concealing his appearance’.
Since he’s not supposed to be alive, there should be an effort to sever any connection to Cassion’s former appearance.
For the sake of his survival, this act was no different than putting mud on his face and lying flat on the ground, hoping that he wouldn’t get caught.
And the person involved was the only one who knew how miserable and nerve-wracking this was.
“I’ll tell Diana.”
That was the end of their conversation about his hair.
There’s nothing good about prolonging this kind of atmosphere.
I stared at the deep blue hair covering the back of his head, then I looked down.
At his broad back.
Going further down his spine, there lay his hipbone, and then his navel at front.
And from the navel, about the span of one, two, three fingers side by side.
For a warrior trained in the martial arts such as myself, this was the spot where the inner core lay—the place that controls and stores one’s internal strength.
And in Cassion’s case…
There was no need to find a separate location. This was the heart, as everyone knew it, and the constantly beating organ was where his mana was being stored.
“Close your eyes. Take a deep breath.”
I reached forward and held the man’s shoulders.
His upright back balked and flinched lightly.
“Shh, relax now.”
“What are you doing.”
“It’s my gift.”
“But then, what kind of gift.”
“Have I ever asked you to do something that would harm you?”
He didn’t answer.
This was enough.
Consciously, tension left his rigid body.
I stared at Cassion’s back as he breathed in and out deeply, then with one hand, I felt around his sturdy frame.
It was different and unfamiliar to me, but I felt the vivid energies within him.
If I were to give a color to his power, it seemed like it’d be blue.
It was a distinctly different power compared to the qi that was circulating inside my own body.
Starting with the plate that was holding this power, and to the method to use it, everything was, naturally, different.
As I felt it through my fingertips, the flow of his mana was good.
Then, as I encountered a blocked pathway, I used my own internal strength to open it up.
My head started spinning, but I laboriously maintained my composure.
Before long, the owner of this back let out a suppressed groan.
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