A gypsum statue that seemed to have been carved in the shape of a human was placed in a corner.
As she approached, although the dust had been cleared, a few lingering fragments were still scattered on the floor.
As Cordelia gently ran her fingers over it, she made up her mind.
“I should stop looking and leave.”
No matter how unavoidable the situation, it felt impolite.
Just imagining herself, or anyone, looking around a room filled with randomly written pieces of paper for stories or material made her feel embarrassed.
Although the fields were different, this person might not be so different either.
Cordelia cautiously closed the door and quickly came out.
Passing through the oddly quiet corridor, she exited the mansion, a place strangely quiet for someone to live.
The mansion was much smaller compared to the Duke’s residence where she stayed, but it was neat.
Unlike the sparsely populated interior, quite a few soldiers were guarding the exterior.
The heads of those who briefly glanced at Cordelia turned back to the front.
Their attitude was so indifferent that it could be considered impolite, but Cordelia was not in a position to point that out at the moment.
Perhaps it was because of autumn.
Despite having an elegant exterior, the mansion looked desolate, maybe because it lacked a sense of popularity.
A gust of wind brushed past Cordelia’s ear.
The image of a man with short hair and a woman with golden hair down to her waist fluttering in the wind vaguely intertwined.
As Cordelia looked up at the mansion from outside the closed main gate, she realized that she didn’t even know this person’s name yet.
She turned her head and stepped onto the rain-soaked ground.
For now, her priority was to head to the Duke’s residence.
* * *
“You cannot enter.”
Worried about the distance, Cordelia was relieved to find that the mansion where she had awoken was fortunately situated on the outskirts of the capital.
As soon as she reached the city, Cordelia hailed a carriage and headed towards the Duke’s residence.
The problem arose after that.
The moment Cordelia saw the knight who had previously smiled warmly at her, now coldly replying with an expressionless face, she remembered the fact she had forgotten.
‘I told them to send away any men who come looking for me!’
There had been some clean breakups, but the individuals who had come to the mansion and acted suspiciously made an impact, prompting her to issue the directive to prevent such encounters.
Cordelia subtly questioned the knight standing before her once again.
“By any chance, has the Lady of the Manor gone out?”
She struggled to maintain a composed expression, but he responded firmly,
“I cannot disclose that information.”
This is maddening!
She tried to extract more information from him, but he was now completely tight-lipped.
The eyes of the knight on the other side, Kyle, narrowed.
Worried she might end up getting kicked out unceremoniously, she turned around nervously.
After moving to the corner of the wall, Cordelia peeked inside the courtyard and caught a glimpse of the mansion.
“And here I thought our Duke’s people were so good at their jobs…….”
Now that’s coming back to bite her.
Cordelia touched her chin in thought.
In reality, she could probably climb over the wall to get in, but if she were caught, resolving the situation would become even more difficult.
Even with this handsome face, it might not help her out.
Anyway, her family was one of the highest authorities in the country.
No matter what, she couldn’t impose on the promising future of a young man’s life.
Moving a bit further away from the mansion, Cordelia spun around on the spot with her arms crossed.
People around her glanced at her with curiosity, but she ignored them as always.
“Where should I go?”
Should she continue searching or ask someone for help? But finding someone who would believe in this bizarre situation without prejudice…
Cordelia thought of people who might help her.
Her sisters were the most prominent options.
Calia was in her territory right now, so that was out of the question.
Jerania might be in the royal palace, but there was no guarantee she could meet her, given the uncertainty of her identity.
That left one option.
“Unless I want to die or give up.”
Still, muttering that she didn’t want to die, Cordelia set off with determined steps.
In the distance, outside the window of a carriage, Cordelia spotted the Grand Temple of Sandria.
The massive white building symbolized the capital city, Kaam, and was also the heart of magic in the country.
Though the privileges of the temple often led to tensions with the royal palace, it undoubtedly held a significant place in the minds of the citizens as the spiritual authority.
A man with a tightly pressed hat stepped out of the carriage that had come to a stop in front of the grand and splendid temple.
The youth, slightly awkward yet confident in his stride, placed his hand on his forehead and looked up at the temple.
As they entered the walled grounds of the Grand Temple, Cordelia could see several large and small buildings along with the central temple.
The sheer size of the grounds in the heart of the capital hinted at the temple’s prominence, but it also meant quite a walk.
The unauthorized carriage couldn’t enter the inner area.
“This person seems to have quite the stamina.”
Under normal circumstances, she might have complained about having to walk to the end, but while walking to the building used as the reception near the Grand Temple, she didn’t feel the exhaustion.
As Cordelia stretched and yawned, she cast a weary gaze at the line of people stretching out like ants outside the building.
Normally, she would have just confidently dropped her sister, the queen’s, name, but she couldn’t do that now.
After waiting in line for quite a while and finally making it to the front, a priest with a gentle smile was sitting behind the prepared table.
“I’d like to meet Priestess Linus Sandria.”
“What is your relationship with her?”
If you mention Cordy, she’ll know who it is.”
“Yes, I’ll let her know.
Please wait in that room for now.”
Cordelia, waiting for quite a while in the narrow waiting room, lifted her head at the sound of the door opening.
As soon as she saw the woman with white priestly robes embroidered with yellow lines reminiscent of gold and red hair, she cheerfully called out her name.
“… Who are you?”
Cordelia quickly shouted at the woman who held the doorknob and was looking at her with wary eyes.
“It’s your nineteenth birthday! You were so excited to finally become an official priest.
But then, because you drank too much, you stumbled and knocked over some pottery nearby…”
And it happened to be the pottery that she cherished.
“Ah, close your mouth!”
Before she could continue speaking, Cordelia inwardly chuckled as she felt a hand rush to block her mouth.
Linus looked at Cordelia’s face with an amazed expression.
“Who are you? How do you know that? Did the Lady mention it? She said she hadn’t told anyone…”
With a force that seemed like it could shut her up forever, Cordelia calmly reached out and gently lowered her hand that was blocking her mouth.
“I wasn’t told by her.
Beneath her hat, her clear blue eyes twinkled.
“I am Cordelia.”
“So, how did this happen?”
She had expected to hear something crazy, but Linus quickly grabbed Cordelia’s wrist and led her out of the waiting room and into the open.
Watching Linus move her hands in the air, Cordelia looked at her with interest and asked,
“What are you doing?”
“Nobody should overhear, so I’m casting a barrier.”
Linus was not only one of the most talented mages among her peers but also a priest who had known Cordelia for a long time.
Cordelia chuckled hesitantly and said,
“Wow, you can do that?”
“That way of speaking… It does seem like it might be you, Cordelia.”
Exhaling with a smile on her face, Linus glanced at Cordelia.
Perhaps due to being a mage, she could calmly assess the situation with just a single connection.
Linus, done casting the barrier, hooked her arm and scrutinized Cordelia’s face.
“Did someone use magic to transform you or something?”
Finding the content of the question quite absurd from the beginning, Cordelia widened her eyes.
“Aren’t you assuming illegal things way too easily?”
“Then what is it? Anyone could see that the Lady usually talks about just that kind of stuff, right? Handsome, polite-looking, and in good shape.
I thought you’d finally run out of available men and you decided to become that kind of face yourself.”
Cordelia frowned at Linus’s sarcastic response, but when her deep-set eyes softened, even that felt gentle.
Linus was taken aback by the idea that she could have such thoughts in this situation.
It was clear that this unpredictable Lady had left quite a mark on her.
“Anyway, this isn’t my body! It’s someone else’s.”
“Wow, so such a man exists.”
As if she were commenting on someone else’s business, Cordelia was about to reach for Linus’ collar out of habit, but she quickly withdrew her hand.
Given the difference in their sizes, it would have been quite a sight.
“But I feel like I’ve seen him somewhere before.”
Linus, who had been silently grinning, posed the next question.
“What’s the name?”
“I don’t know.”
Linus’ brown eyes narrowed.
Sensing her gaze that seemed to say “pathetic,” Cordelia quickly added,
“But I do know his profession.
He seemed like a painter.”
“If not a painter, a sculptor.
Or maybe both? Anyway, judging by how young he looks, he might not be that famous…”
“Well, looking closely, he does seem a bit older than twenty.
Oh, wait a second.”
As if she had remembered something while pondering, Linus blinked.
“Lady, could you take off your hat for a moment?”
As Cordelia removed her hat, her previously folded-forward bangs fell, obscuring her sight.
Linus, who had been gazing at her intently, nodded as if she understood.
“It’s just a guess… This person, isn’t he Noah Epherman?”
Right, that’s it.
Cordelia was slightly surprised by Linus’s gaze which seemed to scan her from head to toe.
As someone well-connected in society, Cordelia was well-informed about most of the notable figures in the kingdom.
And the name that had just come out of Linus’s mouth was someone Cordelia had heard of at least once before.
“That’s the genius painter who’s been quite famous in the kingdom lately, right?”
As you know, he recently completed the mural in the annex.
I saw his face briefly while he was working on it.”
He had a modest appearance with his face covered and a hat on, a quiet figure.
The painter, who was usually silent, left a message asking to keep anyone away from the building and was locked up in the annex.
Amidst this, one of the priests who happened to pass by the area near the annex where the mural work was being done cautiously spoke up.
He said he had seen a man who looked like a sculpture near the annex.
Of course, most people didn’t believe it.
The first opinion was why he would walk around covering his face like that, and it was hard to imagine a handsome face like that from a man who seemed so gloomy.
At that time, the mural commissioned by the temple bestowed a reputation of genius upon the painter, whose name had just begun to be known, as it was splendidly completed.
As uninterested as Linus was, she remembered the painter’s name well enough.
After listening to the explanation, Cordelia’s face showed a mixture of understanding and puzzlement.
“But why did I end up in the body of someone like that?”
“Do you know him? By the way, what about your original body, Lady? Is it safe?”
Cordelia shrugged her shoulders quietly.
“I don’t know.
When I got to the duchy’s mansion, it felt like the person had already gone out.
They didn’t answer, but they acted like it was normal.
I wonder where the person could have gone.”
“It’s your own body, yet you’re not taking it seriously!”
Seeing Cordelia’s calm and composed response, Linus barely managed to suppress the anger that flared up within her.
If they had been of the same status, she would have probably grabbed her by the collar and cursed at her.
But reminding herself of the dirty class difference, Linus managed to calm herself, though her hands were still tense.
Always poking at people’s dispositions.
“But even so, he didn’t seem to treat the servants poorly, did he? He’s probably not a bad person.”
Linus let out a cold laugh.
“Here we go again.
Lady Cordelia, the charming only exception.
No wonder romance looks like that.”
“This time it’s real!”
“Yes, alright, think of a plan or something.
I’ve never heard of something like this before… It seems like a type of magic.
First of all, does anyone else know about the body swap?”
“No? Currently, it’s only you.”
“Then let’s keep it a secret for now.”
With a sly smile, Linus whispered in a hushed tone.
“Do you want to be dissected?”
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