As if devoid of any personal interest, he sincerely expressed his hope to be of help to both of us.


“Yeah, Dianel is coming to this festival.
If he tries to bother you, let’s help each other.”

“Well, if I stick to my concept, it seems like I’ll just provide support.”

I gave him a disapproving look, and he shrugged his shoulders shrugged.

“Well, let’s just say that I’m the one helping you.”

“Really? Is that a promise?”

“Yes, don’t worry.”

Hierian tapped me lightly.
His small gesture seemed quite reliable, making me burst into laughter and reply.

* * *

The grand temple of Eora shimmered in golden light, and Adandito, the representative high priest, came to a halt.
The temple attendants who were following behind him also stopped in their tracks.
As everyone looked down in silence, a high-ranking priest cautiously approached and asked, 

“What’s the matter?”

“…I feel strange.”

Adandito turned around and gazed into the distance.
It was where the golden palace was being constructed.
Even though the fine dust, the gold sparkled and shimmered. 

The construction had been diligently underway since Siara left, even though it would take quite some time to complete.

Adandito, being both an esteemed architect and artist, had gathered craftsmen to build the palace.
Every time he looked at the palace, he was captivated by complex emotions.
Whether the palace would find its master or not.

After pondering for a moment, he asked the high-ranking priest, 

“Has there been any contact from the Mage Tower?”

“No, there has been no contact at all.”

Adandito closed his eyes subtly.
During their time in the subjugation force, he had deep conversations with Hierian and even accompanied each other through life and death.
He believed that their mutual trust had grown.

Therefore, speaking from the bottom of his heart, he thought Hierian would understand his feelings.

However, there had been no contact from Hierian for over a month.
Adandito could no longer wait.

He clenched his fist tightly.

“In the end, I have no choice but to take action.”

The Eora temple was much smaller than half of Hyregia.
The total number of temple attendants did not exceed a few thousand.
Even when combined with those who assisted in the temple’s work, the total personnel did not exceed five thousand.
It was a small piece of land where they lived.
However, the power of the Eora temple was not determined by the size of the land or the population.

Eora was the only deity in this world.

Over 90% of the imperial citizens were followers of Eora, and it was obligatory for all nobles, including the aristocracy, to have their names inscribed in the Eora temple.
Even to become an emperor, one had to receive the endorsement of the high priest.
It was a symbolic procedure, but it held great significance. 


Adandito was the living deity of that unassailable domain.

The eyes of the high priest were the eyes of the deity, and as long as he made up his mind, there was nothing he couldn’t find in the world.

“Hierian, it would have been nice if you had listened when I asked for help.”

A resolute glimmer shone in Adandito’s golden eyes.
From now on, he would dedicate himself to reclaiming Siara with all his heart.

* * *

As the Sunflower Festival approached, the streets buzzed with performing troupes and wandering merchants.
Taking advantage of the vibrant atmosphere, Hierian and I also went out to see the sights.

We quickly arrived at the night market.

The street was filled with the scent of food mixed with the warm summer breeze, magical performances by illusionists, and bustling crowds.
It was easy to lose sight of one another if you blinked for a moment. 

Having already lost sight of Hierian about five times, I tightly held his hand and walked.

While sightseeing, we saw a theater poster on the wall.
I pointed to the poster depicting a sinister clown and said to Hierian, 

“Look at that.
It looks really scary.”

“Yeah, since it’s summer, they have something scary.”

“Should we go see it?”

“Should we?”

I was captivated by the poster at a glance.
Due to my absent-minded walking, I accidentally bumped into a man passing by and hit my head on his chest.

“Oops, I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry.”

Even though I reflexively apologized, the pedestrian didn’t respond and instead stood in front of me, as if blocking my way.
Due to his tall and well-built stature, I couldn’t see his face immediately.
I thought nonchalantly to myself.

‘Wow, he’s huge.
He must be like Adandito.’

He had a similar build to Adandito, who had a robust physique.
Just as I was thinking that he didn’t seem like an ordinary person, a familiar voice came from above my head.

“…Siara, long time no see.”

“?”

As I hastily turned my head, I saw a familiar face.
With a well-defined jawline, smooth tan skin, and even golden hair, it was Adandito.
He gave me a faint smile and asked.

“Have you been well?”

“…Why are you here?”

“I came to see the festival.”


He glanced briefly at Hierian and said.

“And Hierian is here too.”

“…What does that have to do with Hierian being here?” 

I asked in confusion, and Hierian bluntly replied.

“Are you on the same side as me?”

“Aren’t we different?”

“Of course.
You’re not on our side.”

“…Side?”

Adandito furrowed his eyebrows and looked at me.

“Have you become Hierian’s ally?”

Calling it an alliance or not didn’t make much difference.
It was just an agreement to support each other when Dianel made sudden movements.
But both Hierian and Adandito looked serious.

“Have you become his ally?”

It didn’t matter if I said yes or no.
They both seemed ready to refute my answer.

‘What am I supposed to do?’

As I struggled to find an answer, Hierian choked up.

“Sister, aren’t we on the same side?”

Adandito also asked.

“…Sister? Siara, you’re younger than Hierian.”

“It’s not about appearances! My sister has lived for a long time!”

“What are you talking about?”

If I let it continue like this, even absurd statements like me being a dragon and a polymorph playing games could seep into their conversation.
It was enough for Hierian to believe in such strange settings.
I quickly intervened, waving my hand.

“Enough.
We became allies because of Dianel.
I had a feeling when Dianel said he would come to the festival.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Why would he come to Astita, a place with nothing to see?”

Adandito nodded as if agreeing.

“He doesn’t move without gaining anything.
Is he coming to see you after all?”


“Of course, sister.
You’re popular.”

“I think so too.
I didn’t need to look for anyone else when the radiance extended from you, Siara.”

What’s happening? They used to twitch just by seeing the expedition team, but why are they suddenly acting this way? I couldn’t understand why they would suddenly pay attention to a seemingly insignificant matter.
While pondering over it, I commanded them to be quiet.

“Enough.”

“Yes.”

“Okay.”

This time, they all closed their mouths.
When did these kids start listening to me so well? I couldn’t understand it at all, but in any case, it was a good thing.
I became lost in thought, gathering them together in a huddle.

‘But why did Adandito come to find me?’

Moreover, he was the one who left me behind at the fallen Mage Tower.
I was internally furious at his disappearance when I woke up from being imprisoned in Mage Tower.

‘He even said he would give me the Golden Castle.’

I bit my lip and looked at Adandito.
He met my gaze.

“Why are you doing this?”

“Why did you come here, saying that?”

“Well, to find you, Siara—”

“You talk a good game when you leave me in the Mage tower and go off on your own.
Do you even know what I went through?”

Adandito didn’t have an obligation to take care of me, but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
I even followed him worriedly to the Mage tower, thinking he might be fighting with Dianel.

‘Now you come to find me after leaving me behind?’

I didn’t need to add any more words.
I grabbed Hierian’s hand.

“Hie, let’s go.”

“Huh? Okay.” 

He glanced at Adandito briefly.
Annoyed by the delay, I started walking briskly.
Hierian followed me immediately.

As he walked hurriedly to keep up with my pace, he asked, 

“Are you angry, sister?”

“No.” 

I had no expectations of Adandito.
Therefore, there was no reason to be angry.


‘But why do I feel so irritated?’ 

Ignoring the uneasy feeling, we swiftly returned to the mansion.

* * *

Even after Siara had disappeared, Adandito continued to hold his position.
The once bustling streets were now shrouded in complete silence as the night grew deeper.

The last shop that had been open also closed its doors, and the streets were engulfed in darkness.
Now, there were only a drunk passerby, a few cats scavenging for food on the ground, and Adandito.

Approaching him, the drunk man asked, 

“Hey, buddy! You’re looking good! What have you been eating to grow like this?”

For the first time since Siara had disappeared, Adandito willingly replied to the man’s question. 

“I’ve been having a healthy meal at the designated time.”

“Oh, really? Did you eat meat?”

“I only had vegetables.”

“Lies!”

The drunk man spun his bottle around, taunting Adandito. 

“How can you build a body like that just by eating vegetables?”

Adandito remained silent, but the drunk man persisted. 

“Buddy, I saw it all.
You got rejected by that girl, didn’t you?”

Adandito bit his lip, his face filled with melancholy.
The drunk man patted him on the back. 

“Don’t worry.
Isn’t there more than one woman in the world? A better person will come into your life, brother!”

“I have only one person.”

“Really, you mean that?”

The drunk man began humming a song, seemingly lost in thought. 

“Ah, the days of youth.
I thought my wife was the best.
But now, I don’t want to go home, so I’m here like this, haha!”

“I won’t be like that.”

“Everyone says that.”

“I’m different from you.”

Adandito’s eyes flashed, and the young, lively gaze met the drunk man in the darkness, making him flinch and hold his breath.

 

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