Did you lie to me back then too?! You clearly said your name was Terry!”
After that, the boy and she couldn’t meet again.
She had tried looking for him at one point, but couldn’t even find a trace.
So Cordelia gave up and buried it as a memory in a corner of her mind.
“Well, um, back then, the Queen was already married to my brother….”
With Weichen all but confirmed to be part of the crown prince’s faction, tangling with him would only hurt Cordelia, and even Noah hadn’t realized that the lightning bolt of thought and the stuttering lie would lead to this.
“Then where on earth did the name Terry come from? Is it a puppy?”
“No, you see, because my mother occasionally used to call my uncle that.”
Noah offered an excuse that wasn’t an excuse, saying that there was no other name that came to mind at that moment.
Former Terry, now turned into a dog, stood next to him, grabbing onto his robe and playfully imitating a barking sound.
“I was wrong, uncle.”
Tiren lightly patted his shoulder as he bowed his head in embarrassment.
That could happen.
It’s not like you would ever mention who you were…”
Noah cut Tiren off quickly, shaking his head as if telling him not to say it.
Tiren, who was soft-hearted towards his nephew no matter how much he tried to act stern, indulged in a little whimsy.
“Come to think of it, I went to the guild this time and requested a mission….”
“Right, how did it go?”
Tiren glanced at Linus with just his eyes.
Understanding the meaning in that glance, Linus responded casually.
“They won’t discuss it at the temple.
Just dealing with this matter alone feels like a punishment enough.”
As soon as Tiren finished speaking, he laid out the details of the request as if he had been waiting for this moment.
His eloquence was exceptional, succinctly touching on the key points.
After the story was over, Linus added a brief comment.
“They seem to be a fairly conscientious bunch.”
“At the very least, they didn’t lie.
That’s why I was thinking I should warn you.”
There was no trace of a smile on Linus’s face as she looked at Noah.
“Do you know what the very first concept is that magic users learn when they study magic?”
“What is it?”
“In all magic, there is a price.”
Her voice was solemn as if narrating the principles of the world, enough to overwhelm everyone present.
“You could sense the triggering condition that Cordelia couldn’t even guess, which means that the triggering condition of this magic is no different from you.
Don’t you think so?”
“So, you need to unravel the magic as soon as possible.
If that magic is completed, I can’t guarantee what price you’ll have to bear.
Usually, the price is solely the responsibility of the caster.”
Listening to the story in silence, Noah asked with a contemplative tone.
“Then, Cordelia won’t be harmed by this, right?”
“You mean it’s okay.
“What on earth are you saying!”
“What’s okay anyway!”
Cordelia and Linus simultaneously turned to each other and exchanged glances.
Linus, who took her gaze away from Cordelia as if signaling her to speak first, rubbed her forehead.
“In any case, you and Cordelia are quite alike when it comes to lacking a plan.
Oh well, I’m getting old.”
“Why am I suddenly being brought into this?”
“Are you asking because you don’t know?”
The priestess who had been looking at the two of them alternately, as if they were children, let out a chuckle.
Cordelia wanted to refute something, but she couldn’t think of the right words.
“In any case, now that you know the conditions, you probably have a rough idea of how your body operates.”
“What do you mean?”
“To wish to see someone… What an abstract and ambiguous condition.
Still, it’s fortunate that merely hearing it doesn’t seem to bring about its fulfillment with ordinary desires.
But the problem is…”
“The problem is?”
“To restore your body to its original state, you might have to harbor strong emotions that go against that desire.”
Cordelia’s expression turned notably serious.
“So, emotions that counter ‘I want to see you’ would be… something as hateful as Noah feeling such strong disgust that he’d rather I never existed in his life?”
What is this, why is it so irrational?
“So, in essence, it means I just need to avoid having such thoughts?”
A voice so subdued that it bordered on being gloomy intervened between them.
A contemplative look graced the elegant face.
The slight furrowing of his brow seemed decidedly grave.
Did she even think her face could make that kind of expression?
With the worry about what sudden declaration he might make, Cordelia clapped her hands, injecting her applause with concern.
Clap, the sound of palms meeting created an abrupt change in the atmosphere.
“Well, in that case, wouldn’t it be better to just see our faces often? To the point where we don’t even think about wanting to see it.”
That could become one of the methods.”
“Is that so? Linus, let’s change the body for now.
I’m getting tired of looking at my face all the time.”
Exaggerating her words intentionally, Cordelia stood up and grabbed Noah’s hand.
Playfully, as if she were saying “Let’s go,” she pulled him with her in a lively manner, causing Noah to obediently rise from the couch.
The second process of switching bodies was relatively easier than expected.
The sensation of being turned inside out was always unpleasant, no matter when it happened.
Despite wanting to act nonchalant, her legs wouldn’t cooperate.
Strong hands caught the staggering Cordelia, supporting her.
Cordelia leaned her body against that hand, her gaze fixed on the handsome face that looked at her with concern.
“Cordelia, are you alright?”
Noah’s complexion as he asked that question wasn’t exactly great either.
Even in his pale and distressed state, the fact that he was worried about her first made Cordelia crack a faint smile.
“It’s tough for you too, isn’t it? We’ll figure out another way somehow…”
I don’t want to be hated by others.
Honestly, Noah, do you have the capacity to hate me?”
Though she was almost devoid of energy, there was enough strength left to narrow her eyes.
He had spoken good-naturedly, and it seemed that the stoniness in his expression had loosened a bit.
“Even if it’s just empty words, I can’t honestly say I’m completely fine, but seeing your face seems to make things a little better.”
“I mean, you’re handsome.”
She slowly raised her hand and gently stroked Noah’s cheek.
Starting from where Cordelia touched, a reddish tint began to spread across his skin.
“…Don’t tease me.
Now, please get up.”
“Ugh, my head.
I’m feeling a bit dizzy right now.”
As she pulled Noah in with a bit of drama, he stiffened awkwardly, as if not quite sure what to do.
Whether he liked it or not, Cordelia seized this opportunity to enjoy the broad embrace to her heart’s content.
“Why don’t you two stop making it your own world, I’m feeling left out.”
If Cordelia had overlooked something, it was the fact that they weren’t the only ones present in this room.
“Stop the commotion!”
There were also disruptors.
With a gesture that lifted her as if she were a sack of potatoes, Cordelia managed to regain her balance and stand up.
When she glanced back with annoyance, as expected, Tiren was struggling to close his agape mouth.
He gripped Cordelia’s shoulders and yelled with effort.
“Young lady, I’ve told you before, but our child can’t be involved in this! No, it can’t happen!”
“What are you talking about?”
“Even if you pretend to be innocent, it’s not going to pass.”
Tiren rolled his eyes as if to say he was done talking.
Well, if he’s going to this extent and still doesn’t know, then it’s questionable whether he’s dense beyond all measure or whether he’s just playing dumb.
Staring at Noah beyond Cordelia, Tiren’s eyebrows twitched as he adopted a frustrated expression.
“Lord Ian, are you in your right mind? Of course, when a beauty throws herself at you, as a man, it’s hard not to give in! But I believed that Lord Ian would never do something like that!”
“It’s a misunderstanding, Uncle.
“Just a moment, why have you been talking as if it’s natural that I’m going to pounce on Noah since earlier?”
“Isn’t that the case?”
As she confidently replied, Tiren gestured as if he was about to throttle her.
The previously always cheerful face was now tinged with anger.
“What are you doing to the child I’ve raised with such care?”
“Give me a break.
He’s twenty-four now, and he’s been an adult for quite a while! Isn’t he at an age to decide for himself whether he wants to date or get married? Can’t a third party intervene?”
As if recalling the words he had spoken himself, Tiren let out a brief sigh, then, with an expression that seemed to say he couldn’t give up, he opened his eyes.
“I can’t help but be worried, he’s still so innocent!”
“What do you have to worry about with that big guy?! He can push me away and run away if he wants to.
You’re so overprotective!”
“Is that what the kingdom’s greatest flirt would say?!”
“Who says I’m a flirt? I’ve never had two legs!”
“None of them lasted more than three months!”
“The last one I dated for half a year, Come on, I’m always serious about love-!”
“Wait, wait, wait!”
A pleading voice interrupted the endless barrage.
When they turned to the side, Noah was looking at them as if he were utterly bewildered.
“What exactly have you been talking about without me?”
At his somewhat suspicious tone, both Cordelia and Tiren momentarily halted.
Is he angry? As they watched, wondering if he was angry, Noah quickly added in a calm voice, not wanting to miss this opportunity.
“What’s the reason Cordelia is lacking that she’s in this, uh, sort of relationship with me?!”
Though he stumbled a little in the middle.
“What are you even saying!”
“What?! What’s wrong with you!”
Tiren and Cordelia simultaneously shouted and exchanged glances.
After a brief ceasefire, an unspoken agreement passed between them as they stared at Noah again.
Despite the blazing intensity in their eyes, Noah steadfastly brought out his words as if daring them to say what they had to.
I have no intention of being in a relationship with anyone.
Cordelia probably feels the same…”
“Who said that? No, listen, listen!”
Thunk! The sound of a lid opening seemed to come from Cordelia’s head.
Advancing resolutely towards the startled Noah, Cordelia lightly grabbed his collar and pulled him towards her.
Facing the bewildered face that had been dragged down, Cordelia flashed a mischievous smile.
I’ve let you pretend not to know because it was cute, but I’m at my limit now.”
She didn’t want him to act clueless, and with those words, Cordelia nailed it blatantly.
“I’m interested in you, and I genuinely want to date you.
You’ve already shown your hand, right? Saying all that even though you know.”
Cordelia’s vibrant blue eyes, unburdened by the loud words, were now full of Noah.
Eyes like gemstones, vibrant with vitality.
At first glance, they might seem light, but upon closer inspection, their depth was immeasurable.
“So answer me seriously.
How do you feel about me?”
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