The body fell without resistance, spinning in the air several times before hitting the ground.
Although the body turned into a heap of soil, it wasn’t severely injured.
It only bled a little from being torn by the rocks.


The whole body shuddered.
When in pain, one naturally didn’t want to feel pain.
If this is the principle of nature and instinct, is it only in the absence of such desires that annihilation becomes possible?

Even if it were impossible.

‘I guess it’s better than doing nothing.’

Dianel rose even higher than before.
The demon king fell silent without making any further noise.

On the relentlessly windy night, Dianel continued to repeat the same actions.

* * *

The next day, Hierian went to find Dianel.
Even if he postponed talking to Siara, he felt he should know Dianel’s intentions right away.

Afraid that he might run away if he sensed his presence, Hierian ambushed Dianel’s bedroom before dawn.

Dianel had already awakened and glanced at Hierian with a cold gaze.
Hierian unintentionally raised an eyebrow at him.

“Huh?”

For some reason, there was a healer next to Dianel.
The royal healer had poured all their strength into healing Dianel, and sweat covered their entire body.
Seeing the sincere effort the healer put into treating Dianel, Hierian tilted his head.

“Are you injured?”

“…”

“What happened in the palace that you got hurt?”

“…”

“And what’s with that mediocre healer? If it’s because Siara was asleep…”

“It’s just an injury.
That’s all.”

A chilly gaze turned toward Hierian. 

He involuntarily trembled, and his lips puckered.
Despite his continuous efforts to adapt to Dianel, whenever he showed indifference or a cold expression, his body would shake uncontrollably.


‘Damn young body.’

Hierian bit his lip.
Dianel had seen his pitiful state completely.
He would soon look down on him and mock him. 

What use will he have for such a young body? Unwilling to make a fool of himself, Hierian clenched his fists.
Then he heard Dianel’s voice.

“You’re trembling.”

“…It’s cold.”

“Is it because of me?”

“…No.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I don’t need that kind of apology.”

Hierian responded with a raised voice.
Even though more hurtful words rose to the tip of his tongue, he forced herself to swallow them, his face wrinkled with the effort.

What good is an apology that’s only given as if offering alms, as if reciting insincere words? As Hierian turned to leave, Dianel murmured as if talking to himself.

“I don’t know what to do.”

“…”

“Can you tell me how to handle this?”

Asking the person receiving the apology to teach him how to apologize.

‘What kind of request is that?’

Hierian exhaled in frustration.
The words that the savior from the vanished future had casually said came to his mind.

‘Hierian, I know that Dianel has caused you wounds that can’t be washed away.
But he knows nothing about emotions, not even as much as a newborn.
So, even though it will be difficult, tell him how he can ease his mind.
I will then make an effort with him to relieve your sadness.’

At that time, he wasn’t inclined to do that.
He didn’t want Piasse to care more about Dianel than him once his wounds healed.

Back then, Hierian believed that he would be fine even without Dianel’s apology, and he was glad that Piasse was by his side because of the past wounds.

So that’s why.
Even when he returned a hundred years ago, Dianel repeated the same actions, and in the end, Hierian experienced the same pain again.


Unlike in the vanished future, he was physically and mentally weak now, making the shock even greater.
Just facing Dianel made his body tremble, and sadness welled up within him.

He didn’t want to continue showing such a pathetic appearance.
To achieve that, some change was necessary.

‘Hmph, it’s all for my comfort.’

If Dianel didn’t change even after saying that, it would become an excuse to blame the savior.
He did his best, but it was in vain.
It seemed that Dianel would never change.
Perhaps the savior, who said she would protect Dianel no matter what didn’t expect his determination to waver.

‘Well, all the better.’

Having finished his thoughts, Hierian spoke bluntly.

“When you look at me with those eyes, I tremble.
So, in front of me, smile like a clown.”

“…Like this?”

Hierian glanced at Dianel briefly.
Indeed, his mouth was twisted into an absurd shape.
His grotesque expression didn’t match his eerie gaze, and he burst into laughter.

“Ahaha! Siara should see this!”

Hierian grabbed his belly.
He couldn’t stop laughing to the point where his breath was running out. 

Amidst his laughter, Dianel continued to laugh stubbornly.
But even so, it became embarrassing.
The balance at the corners of his mouth, where a cheerful smile was usually formed, was gradually crumbling.

Finding Dianel’s deteriorating state amusing, Hierian applauded and enjoyed himself.

“You used to smile so brightly, but it seems you can’t force it anymore.”

“…When did I ever smile brightly?”

“Usually right after you transform? You become a completely different person.”

“Well…”

Dianel was about to say something but closed his mouth.
Undeterred, Hierian continued speaking.

“Well, anyway, it’s fine.
It feels like some burden has been lifted.
I don’t know what happened, but I’ll pretend not to know about the injuries you suffered from Siara.
I don’t want to see Siara worrying about you when I know you’re in pain.”

With a huff, Hierian started walking.
It was a lively stride, unlike when he ambushed his bedroom.

Dianel watched him leave and absentmindedly brought his hand up to his lips.
His poorly formed mouth closed naturally as the door shut.


A rigid gaze swept through the space.
His expression had become even colder than before Hierian arrived.

The healer who had been observing the atmosphere all along finally mustered up the courage to ask.

“Your Highness, I’ve finished the treatment…”

“You can go.”

“Yes, yes!”

The healer quickly left the room.
Sunlight seeped through the gap in the curtains into the now-empty bedroom.
Usually, the curtains would be tightly closed to prevent sunlight from entering, but Dianel instead dampened them.

His eyes stung, and his skin felt as if it were on fire.
The demon king inside him raged, asking what he was doing.

“We should get used to pain, shouldn’t we?”

Dianel smirked, ignoring the petty outburst.

* * *

The day was clear, and the sky was high.
It was the morning of Debutante, approaching the chilly winter. 

There was a bustling movement everywhere.
I, too, woke up early like dawn, and began preparing.
I heard that all the family members were preparing diligently as well.

I immersed my body in the bathwater with added oil and put on clothes scented with fragrance.
Since I had already laid out the dress, shoes, and accessories in advance, the preparation went smoothly.

As I finished all the preparations and went downstairs, Dalton was already there.
Although we parted with a sense of awkwardness, we didn’t have enough time to find other partners, so we decided to fulfill our promise.

He was wearing a soft brown suit and matching shoes that suited his appearance well.
It was customary for Debutantes to enter the ballroom with their partners.
Therefore, the partner who finished preparing first would usually come to receive the other partner. 

Dalton seemed to have finished preparing ahead of time and arrived.

I lifted my skirt slightly and greeted him. 

“You came early.”

“If we enter late, we’ll have to wait for a long time.”

“I see.
I didn’t know that.”

“Well, the place where Your Highness is located is in the palace, so there’s no need to worry.”


Dalton reached out his hand to me.
Without hesitation, I held his hand. 

As our hands met, the new white and long satin gloves touched his fine brown gloves.
Along with our joined hands, yellowish energy flowed into Dalton’s body. 

Judging by the considerable amount being consumed, it seemed that he was in pain somewhere.

Seemingly surprised by the power that flowed out of me, Dalton’s face stiffened. 

The graceful smile he had shown a moment ago had disappeared.
I kindly added an explanation to him, who seemed bewildered.

“Don’t be alarmed.
As a healer, my power sometimes manifests on its own.
Dalton, where does it hurt?”

“…I had a slight cold.”

“I see.”

Although the amount of power consumed was considerable for just a cold, he seemed unwilling to talk about it, so I swallowed my words.
Come to think of it, Dalton seemed to be hiding a lot from me.

‘Well, after the debutante, we may or may not see each other again.’

Without further probing, I got into the carriage.
Dalton also sat beside me. 

The ballroom where the debutante was taking place was just ahead, so the carriage moved slowly. 

Through the carriage window, I could catch a glimpse of the narrow garden where it was impractical to walk.

As Dalton had said, there were already numerous carriages arriving in front of the ballroom, even at an early hour.
By the time we arrived, the line behind us had grown long.

Attending a party held at the palace for the first time, and seeing so many people gathered like this, I felt confused and fascinated.
The breathtaking dresses, suits, and jewels caught my attention repeatedly.

Dalton led me through the chaos.
He handed invitations to the attendants and firmly held my hand, giving me a warning.

“The debutante is very crowded with the guests and their families.
It’s easy to get lost or separated from your group, so hold my hand tightly.”

“…I guess you’re familiar with this kind of place.”

“I’ve come to see it a few times with my parents.”

I nodded and entered the ballroom.
As we entered, the herald at the door loudly called out our names.

“Young Gentleman Dalton, the second son of House Escalde, and Young Lady Siara, the youngest of House Astita, are entering!”

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