The Count’s bedroom had a narrow living room attached to it.
The Count led Hierian and Siara into the living room.


Hierian, slumping on the couch, looked at Therid’s troubled face and raised an eyebrow.

“What’s the matter?”

Unable to suppress his anger, Therid replied.

“You have some reason for living in a childlike form, right? Can you tell me?”

Upon hearing that, Hierian sighed deeply without any intention of hiding it.

“Yeah, there is.
It’s been the same since the magical pillar went out of control.
My body hasn’t recovered from the weakened state.
I can’t even use transformation magic, which is my specialty.
It’s frustrating.”

Then he looked up at Siara as if something had come to his mind and asked.

“Oh, by any chance, do you know, sister?”

“Sis…ter?”

Therid blinked his eyes, alternating his gaze between Hierian and Siara.
It was because Siara didn’t seem older than Hierian, the master of the Mage tower.
However, Siara replied without caring.

“I don’t know either.”

Then she turned to Therid.

“But why did you call?”

In response to Siara’s casual question, the Count, who had remained silent all along, finally spoke.

“Therid doesn’t remember coming to the palace.
So I wanted to ask if the Administrator can have a mental reading from him.”

“Well, that’s my area of expertise.
Leave it to me!”

Hierian stood up excitedly.
Therid’s complexion, which had been worried about the lost memories, seemed to brighten slightly.
Siara grabbed Hierian’s hand and spoke firmly.

“Hierian isn’t feeling well right now.”

“Huh? I’m fine—”


Being quick-witted, Hierian glanced at Siara’s face and nodded fervently.

“Yeah, I’m not feeling well, so it might be a bit difficult to perform mental reading magic.
If I mess up, it could have serious consequences.”

It was a fabricated situation, but there was no way to force Hierian if he refused.
However, to anyone watching, it seemed that Siara was preventing Hierian from doing so.

‘There must be a reason for her to act like this.’

The Count looked at Siara with a penetrating gaze.
Siara’s gaze, which had always seemed as calm as flowing water, was unusually resolute.
Seeing that she wouldn’t give a reason even if asked, the Count refrained from adding anything.
Instead, Therid furrowed his brows and asked Siara.

“You seem to know why my memories disappeared.”

“Yes, I know.
And it’s better if you don’t remember.”

“What if I ask another magician to do it for me?”

Then Siara looked down at Hierian and said.

“You heard that, Hierian?”

“Yeah, until I give my permission, no magician will be able to perform a mental reading on Therid.”

“What? Is there such a thing?”

Therid stood up in anger.
But Siara responded with an audacious tone.

“It’s all for the Count’s sake.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of recovering those head-breaking memories, then please just stay still.”

“…Head-breaking?” 

Therid exclaimed, clearly bewildered.
But Siara didn’t provide any further response.

She simply raised her teacup nonchalantly.

Count Astita broke the uneasy silence.

“It’s better for Therid not to remember, why?”

Siara hesitated this time as if she knew something about Therid’s lost memories.
After rolling her eyes for a while, she finally spoke.


“Because they are not good memories.”

“Siara, you’re talking as if you know the memories that Therid forgot.”

“Yes, I know.
It was an unpleasant event to the point where it’s better to forget.
So it’s best not to know.
After all, everything has been resolved.”

Dumbfounded, yet with a resolute voice, the Count swallowed a sigh.

“Are you okay?”

“…Yes?” 

Siara responded, her eyes widening as if surprised by her own words.
Then she nodded.

“Of course.”

“You seem to be saying that everything is fine.
You look younger than Therid, but still…”

“Well, um…”

“No need for excuses.
I was just concerned, that’s all.”

The Count was surprised by his own words, feeling somewhat awkward.
Siara, too, widened her eyes as if she had heard unexpected words. 

She looked at the Count with a puzzled expression.
Perhaps she had interfered unnecessarily.
The Count regretted it belatedly.
He clenched his fist on his knee, but the strength in his fist quickly dissipated.
It was because of Siara’s words.

“So you were worried.”

“… “

“Thank you, Count! I was truly touched just now.”

With a bright smile, Siara said those words.
Tears seemed to glisten faintly in her emerald green eyes.
At that moment, overwhelmed by surging sadness, the Count was left speechless.

* * *

The conversation between Count Astita, Therid, and Siara deepened further.
Feeling like he had intruded on a private moment, Hierian discreetly left the scene.
Afterward, Hierian wandered around the palace, lost in thought.

‘The atmosphere was peculiar.’


There was an indescribable undercurrent between Count Astita and Siara.
It was a caring and protective atmosphere they shared as if they were worried about each other.

“Are they family?”

Hierian raised his head.

“No, they’re not.
Siara is a dragon.
Then, could they have been family in a previous life during her pastime?”

Dragons, living for many centuries, engage in numerous pastimes.
During these experiences, dragons form connections with many humans.
As time passes, the people they form bonds with start to die one by one, and the pastime comes to an end.
After completing a pastime, the dragon returns to its original place.

Most dragons live their lives forgetting the memories of their pastimes, but there are occasions when they remember significant pastimes.
It is said that in such cases, they seek out the human they formed a bond with within their previous life for the next pastime.

Siara may not have known the reason why she specifically sought out the Astita family.
Perhaps there was a connection between her and the Count in a previous life.

‘Based on the atmosphere, it seems they were not lovers but rather had a parent-child relationship.’

It was a relationship filled with tender affection.
If that was the case, Hierian thought it would be good for him to catch the Count’s attention. 

While organizing his thoughts, Hierian suddenly found himself at the end of the northern palace.
It was an area where the wind was chilling and the magical energy was distorted.
It was also a region where he had requested the dispersal of magical energy as if there were separate spaces.

As an administrator, Hierian could manipulate the flow of magical energy without necessarily being present in that location.
Therefore, it was his first time coming there in person. 

Hierian furrowed his brow as he observed the subtly distorted flow of magical energy.

“How can something like this exist here?”

The twisted space was not something that could be created by imperial sorcerers.
It was powerful to the extent that it seemed to have existed since the beginning. 

If it hadn’t been for his use of his powers as an administrator, it would have appeared impenetrable even to Hierian’s abilities.

Just as Hierian pondered curiously, about to step into the twisted space, he heard voices arguing nearby.
It was Adandito’s voice.

“Dianel, I remember everything.
But are you planning to continue running away?”

“…”

“How can you engage in such absurd behavior and walk around as if nothing happened?”


“…”

“Dianel! Say something!”

Listening to their conversation, Hierian tilted his head.

“What’s going on with those two?”

Alternating his gaze between the two individuals and the twisted space, Hierian took a step forward.
Then, a separate tower, hidden in a hazy mist, came into view.
It was a completely different place from the peaceful palace just moments ago.

Hierian quickly recognized where he was.

“Is this… the Forest of Evil?”

The Forest of Evil, which could only be accessed by crossing the barrier, was connected to the northern palace. 

Hierian narrowed his eyes as he looked around, and he walked toward the tower that stood alone in the mist.
Unlike its rough appearance, the tower was beautifully decorated in various places.
Moreover, the bedroom on the top floor had a sense of recent habitation.

In Hierian’s sight, as he explored the ownerless tower, he noticed a flower vase with a sunflower on the windowsill, a dress that suited a petite figure, and long golden strands of hair that remained in various places. 

Hierian picked up a thin strand of hair.
Gazing quietly, he whispered to himself.

“…Did Siara stay here?”

Hierian quickly looked out the window.
The tower, surrounded by forests from all sides, echoed with the growls of monsters.
Furthermore, the windows were covered with bars.
When he left the bedroom and looked at the door, he saw multiple layers of locks attached to the solid iron door.

It was an inaccessible space.
Could it be that she was truly kidnapped? However, Siara seemed too nonchalant for someone who had been kidnapped.

‘Perhaps she wanted to enjoy being kidnapped during the pastime.’

Even so, it seemed unlikely that a dragon would willingly expose itself to the danger of lingering near the Demon King’s stronghold.
The Demon King was the darkness separated from the gods.
In other words, it meant that the Demon King was part of the Eora deity.

Although the current Demon King had completely become a separate entity from the god, no one knew if there was any connection between them. 

However, a dragon who had been annihilated by the Eora deity wouldn’t have risked lurking near the Demon King’s stronghold, where her true identity could be exposed.

A hypothesis emerged through the foggy thoughts in Hierian’s mind.

Perhaps Siara wasn’t a dragon but a savior.

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