“Yes, an oracle that said you were my…… important person.”

“The goddess Eora gave you that oracle?”

“Yes, she assured me with all her heart.”

So, he took care of me even on our first encounter.
But why? As I struggled, AdAdandito spoke softly to me.

“The golden castle you told me about is being built.”


“When it’s finished, I’ll be sure to take you there.”

They were actually building it.
I couldn’t help but open my mouth in disbelief.

Then Adandito burst into laughter.
His lighthearted laughter dispelled the seriousness in the air, and I let out a relieved breath.

Then Adandito asked me carefully.

“Will you come visit when the castle is completed?”

Well, it is my castle, so, of course, I should go and see it.
I nodded nonchalantly.

* * *

Hierian anxiously paced in front of Adandito’s room.

Muffled voices could be heard through the wooden door.
Although he didn’t understand much, the atmosphere seemed pleasant.
Realizing this fact, Hierian felt a pang of disappointment.

‘…I thought she disliked the clergy.’

A god who eliminated dragons, a clergy who serves such a god.
Their relationship couldn’t possibly be good, yet Siara and Adandito seemed friendly.
It was hard to determine what was genuine and what was false.

With a complex and subtle emotion, Hierian pressed his cheeks with both hands.

‘I want to see my sister.’

He also wanted to be in Siara’s presence like Adandito.
He wanted to have conversations and laugh together.
Even though they were together just yesterday and the day before, his deteriorating body had little patience.
He muttered like a whine.

“I want to have fun too, me too.”

Someone heard his words and passed by saying, “How cute!” In response, Hierian’s lips curled up in a small smile.
However, when he heard the continuation of the conversation, he stiffened his face.

“Kids are cute, after all.”

“We’ve all been there, haven’t we?”

Only then did Hierian tense up.
He lowered his gaze and scrutinized his appearance.
His height, hands, feet, everything was small and cute.
It seemed even Siara found him cute.
She would pat his head and always share delicious food with him.
But that was all.

Just a child, neither more nor less.

The moment he realized this fact, Hierian’s shoulders slumped.

He felt disappointed and unfair.
While everyone else was fine, he alone had to suffer like this.

‘I can also look cool.’

Hierian clenched his fist.
Even that action seemed unbearably cute.
His troubled heart couldn’t hide its sorrow and shook back and forth, leaving him feeling disheartened.

* * *

After Siara left Adandito’s room, Hierian, as if waiting, went to find him.
He was looking out the window and shut his mouth when the uninvited guest arrived.

As if sensing the scrutinizing gaze, Hierian unconsciously shrunk back.
But Adandito didn’t pay attention and sternly asked,

“Why have you come?”


“After deceiving me with lies and making me disliked by Lady Siara, do you have anything left to say?”

Feeling guilty, Hierian trembled and stammered as if making an excuse.

“…What about the Mage tower?”

“It doesn’t mean the Mage tower is a bad place.
You, being intelligent, must have understood my intentions.”

Adandito let out a deep sigh and turned away from him.

“You may leave now.”

Finally, Hierian realized that Adandito was very angry with him and asked if he could offer him a drink.



“But what can I do? I’m so jealous.”

Adandito opened his eyes slightly and stared at Hierian.
His eyes were hazy, but his lips were pursed sharply.
Even his clenched fist trembled as if it were about to explode.
It was a sight that Hierian, who was an adult, had never seen before, even if someone put a knife to his throat.

Finally, he realized that Hierian’s mental age did not match his physical appearance.
He had gotten angry with a child who was too young to even enter the academy.
Adandito sighed deeply and narrowed his eyes.

“It seems we have nothing to talk about.”

Moisture gathered in his dim ash-colored eyes.
However, Hierian gritted his teeth and held back his tears.
He tried not to cry, even as his breath became ragged and his body trembled.
Adandito, who had been silently watching him with a brave face, added quietly.

“Hierian, I’m not your parent.
If you want to cry, do it in front of someone else.”

In response to his cold words, Hierian burst out.

“Who needs comfort from the likes of you? I don’t need the words of the priests!”

Adandito heard Hierian’s words with one ear and let them pass through the other.
He poured himself another drink and maintained a calm and relaxed attitude.
Hierian, who was still brave, shouted again.

“I have a closer relationship with Siara than anyone else.
So don’t interfere.
I came here to warn you!”

Hierian left the room with determination.
The door slammed shut with a loud noise.
Adandito looked at the worn-out wooden door as he took a sip of his herbal tea.
The sky in Astita was clear and bright, with white clouds floating leisurely.
However, Adandito’s eyes were clouded with a sense of gloom.

“I envy you, Hierian.”

His gaze shifted from the sky to the ground.
At that moment, Siara spread her parasol in the garden and enjoyed her tea time.
As she hummed a tune and tucked her disheveled hair behind her ear, the gloominess that had hung over Adandito seemed to dissipate as if the sun had risen.

But soon, he had no choice but to narrow his eyes.
It was because Hierian appeared next to her without any consideration.
Tears still glistened in his eyes.

Siara was surprised to see the tearful Hierian and reached out her arms without hesitation.
His small body fit perfectly in Siara’s embrace.

Siara hugged the young Hierian with both arms, patting his back, wiping away his tears, and even feeding him snacks.
Adandito watched the two of them, and as he felt a burning sensation in his palm, he quickly got up from his seat.
The hot sensation of the teacup and his thigh made him flinch, and the cup shattered as it rolled on the floor.

Adandito took out a handkerchief from his pocket and carefully picked up the fragments of the cup.
As he tidied up the debris in no time, he let out a sigh like a breeze and muttered to himself.

“I also want to be embraced by Siara.”

Despite his calm voice, there was a cold light in his eyes.

* * *

The Orthodox Empire used to have a gathering where they would call together the nobles who visited the festival during the pre-festival night. 

Astita also prepared a place to entertain the nobles during the pre-festival night.
They decorated the garden, where the sun had set, with colorful lanterns and placed flower vases in various places to welcome the guests. 

The garden, filled with tea, cocktails, and light finger foods, was crowded with guests who came one after another.
Unlike previous years, there were so many people that there was not enough seating for multiple times the usual number of attendees.

I wasn’t officially part of Astita, so I didn’t plan to participate in the pre-festival night or any other festival in the mansion.
Instead, I sat by the window and enjoyed the bustling garden scene.

The narrow garden was packed with people, leaving no space to move around.
I was amazed that there were so many people participating in the festival.
Then, Hierian, who was also looking outside with me, suddenly asked, 

“Were there usually fewer people?”

“Yeah, Astita is a small domain.”

There weren’t many nobles interested in a small flower festival in the countryside.
Most of the attendees were nobles from nearby domains, gathering to foster friendships.

However, this time, rumors had spread that Prince Dianel and the High Priest had visited, so the garden was crowded with people, unlike in previous years.

While eating the same cocktails and finger foods that were placed in the garden, I looked at the garden with great interest.

Although the prince hadn’t arrived yet, Adandito attended the pre-festival night.
People surrounded him, hoping to receive blessings with a roar of excitement. 

Adandito warmly greeted them with a smile.
Those who received blessings from the High Priest, which was hard to come by even if you waited your whole life, were all delighted.
Thanks to them, the festive atmosphere became even better.

Among them, there were familiar faces.
I unconsciously murmured to myself, 

“Lady Darby, you have become very pretty.
I think Prui is taller too.
Cheiki must have already gotten married.”

During the three years that had passed, those I was close with had become even more beautiful and mature.
Some of them had already started families and even brought their children along.

It was a little disappointing not to be able to join them, but I was the one who decided not to participate in this festival.
I didn’t want to cause an unnecessary commotion by being introduced as Astita’s daughter, as others wouldn’t consider me as such.

Still, I couldn’t help but feel bitter, so I quickly downed my cocktail.
Then, Hierian, who was eating snacks next to me, spoke softly.

“Sis, this is your fifth glass already.”

“It’s fine.
I won’t get drunk.”

“Your cheeks are getting red”

“I ate quickly, that’s why.
I’ll recover soon.”

I bit into a slice of lemon and washed it down with cold water this time.
Then, Hierian asked me.

“Should we go and have fun there too?”

“No, we have guests here right now.”

“We can go later when it gets late.”

He chuckled, swaying back and forth.
His sparkling eyes seemed to be whispering, “It’ll be fun.” Without realizing it, I nodded and replied.

* * *

After the lively pre-festival night, it was late into the night.
Even the lights in the mansion were all turned off, and the knights who stood guard were dozing off.
At such a late hour, Hierian and I went out to the garden.

It was dark, and I couldn’t see anything.
I could only guess that there were flower bundles tied here and there, as the strong fragrance of flowers mixed with the occasional breeze.

“It’s dark.”

“Yeah, sis, sit here.”

Hierian pulled out a chair for me.
As I sat down, Hierian started drawing a magic circle in the air.
Thanks to that, the garden, which was dimly lit, became a little brighter.

“What are you doing?”

“Just wait and see.”

Hierian extended his hand and let the magic flow into the magic circle.
Then, fairies with shimmering wings appeared all around, accompanied by sparkling feathers.

It was a breathtakingly magical sight.
Unconsciously, I reached out my hand, but the fairies dispersed like mist.

“…It’s an illusion.”

“Yeah, it’s beautiful.”

I nodded with a smile.
I had wondered what fun there would be in coming out to the garden after the festival ended, but the fairies flying around the deep night garden were beautiful.
Whenever the fairies flew, their sparkling dust illuminated the surroundings.
Mesmerized by them, Hierian sat on my lap and snuggled against me.

“I made it because I thought you liked fairies, sis.”

Hierian smiled at me as if asking for praise.

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