Ian frowned as he grew wary of Seta.

He had to put up with it for Laritte.
However, he was finding it difficult to keep his cool.

But Seta was fine.

That was even weirder.

Ian spoke patiently, “….I heard you’re an exceptional fortune-teller.”

“Ahem, ahem! That’s basic.”

Mana made it easy for him to know about a person’s past.

“Human, I know you went to catch a dragon but failed to find it!”

That much information was already spread among the nobles.

Seta added at Ian’s suspicious look.

“The third trace of the dragon was a claw mark on the base of a 200-year-old tree.
Right?!”

Seta proudly shook his head.
If his hair was long, it would have been sloshing around.

He was no different from a simple man after all.
He was showing off his skills in front of Laritte.

“Then could you take a look at my wife for a moment? Lately, she’s been getting injured for no reason.”

Seta was immersed in his own excellence before he finally decided to examine Laritte in detail.

…….Huh?

Hold on?

His expression was getting more and more shocking.

Earlier, he was staring at Laritte’s face, so he hadn’t had the time to pay attention to anything else.

“…..Humans, why did you two meet? I don’t think I can find a convergence?”

He spoke stupidly.

At that time, a voice rang out in Seta’s head.

《 You rascal! Answer me if you’re listening! 》

It was the chief of the Red Dragons.

Seta tried to say something more, but the chief was persistent.

《 Nooow! 》

“Oh! You damn old coot!”

Ian and Laritte were startled by Seta’s sudden cry.

“When you’re together, bad things happen like the girl who came earlier! Anyway, there’s something urgent, so let’s talk later, humans.”

Seta said cheerfully and disappeared out of the hall.

Ian and Laritte blankly exchanged glances.

It felt like a storm just passed by.

He whispered to Laritte as he stared at the spot where Seta disappeared.

“I don’t like him for some reason.”

Then he turned to gaze at her.

Even foreigners find her beautiful!

‘Her face works wonders all over the world.’

He was sincere.

It was true to some extent since the dragon liked her face.
As if he was appreciating jewelry rather than a feeling of rational connection.

Possessiveness circulated all over his body.

“And it looks like a joke.
Something bad happens when we’re together? It’s already been half a year since we met.
What was he talking about?”

“It’s a shame if he’s not a proper fortune-teller.”

Laritte looked back at Ian like she used to.

But he also caught the slight disappointment in her eyes.
Even that was a very rare thing.

‘I have a long way to go.’

Ian sighed as he stared at her.

One-sided love was so frustrating and painful to bear.

Meanwhile, he suddenly remembered the words Seta said.

“When you’re together, bad things happen like the girl who came earlier!”

“I wonder what he meant by the ‘girl’ here.”

“Oh? I don’t know.”

“Did something bad happen while I was away?”

Laritte resurfaced through her memories.

As expected, there was no such thing.
The Empress was kind as well.

“Nothing really happened.”

If the Empress heard it, it would have seemed unjust and made her faint.

 

***

 

Seta was telepathically summoned by the head of his race.

He was sitting at the top of the castle.
He was so high in the sky that he could see the end of the capital.
The only lights he saw were the oil lamps blinking in each mansion below.
Under the dark night sky, his head was filled with nagging.

《 Do you know how much you have changed the future of humans so far by pretending to be a fortune-teller?! 》

The chief scolded in his gruff voice.

Seta’s face was bloody red.

“I don’t know!”

《 Argh! 》

The chief was frustrated.

《 Don’t you know that us dragons shouldn’t intervene in the human world! 》

That was the unwritten law.

The mana that built up the world determined the cause and effect of the world.

In other words, altering the set future would destabilize the flow of mana.
It was fatal to dragons born from mana.

Because dragons should not interfere with the human world.
If they do, they affect the flow of mana.
And if the mana of a civilization gets unstable, a rogue dragon arrives and starts rioting over the place to remove it.

“I’m controlling it to the point where there’s no harm to me, Chief.”

Seta picked his ear.

Thanks to his advice, some humans could make better choices for a temporary period of time.

However, since mana acted as a restoration in the world, it eventually returned to the originally set future.

The chief’s voice ringing in his head became more serious.

《 ‘It’ is approaching your location.
You know that, right? 》

“How much of a moron do you think I am!”

《 Quit your persistence and return as early as possible.

Finally, his nagging was over.

Seta grumbled as he crawled down the outer wall of the castle.

Humans from earlier came to his mind.

Ian’s face had already faded from his memory.
All he remembered was Laritte’s eyes, nose, and mouth.

“How did the two of them meet?”

Some humans were not destined to meet each other.

Like an emperor of a country and an ant across the sea, there was no premise for them to ‘meet’.

That’s why the Swordmasters were a problem.

Once they start sensing mana, they reject the flow of mana and pioneer a future without it.

Since the man and the woman met even though they were never supposed to, the magic in the air was restoring itself.

It was part of the constant indirect attacks until either died.

“That male is a Swordmaster who can detect and eliminate mana, so the restoration action does not affect him.
Which is why it causes the woman to get injured twice.”

This was why human history was filled with comedy and tragedy.

 

***

 

It was still dawn when the sun had not risen.

The imperial palace was busy.
Even at this time, several employees and officials were working.
Oscar was no exception.

After waking up early, he was dressed as the Crown Prince.

He was on his way to see the Emperor.

The Emperor—his father—had been bedridden for two years.

During that time, the Empress had all the power seized in her grip.

‘Now I’m the only one who visits the Emperor every day.’

Oscar entered the room where the Emperor rested.
He didn’t know if herbs were being used, but a bitter scent still lingered in the air.
As the Emperor of an Empire, his father seemed no longer commanding.
There was only a shabby old man with gray hair lying on the bed.
It had been a long time since he lost consciousness.

Oscar smiled helplessly as he sat in a chair next to the bed.

“How were you last night, Father?”

If he had to be honest, the Emperor had never been a very good father.

However, Oscar was better than the Empress who would shed a single tear even if he died.

For the Empress, Oscar was one of the promises to maintain her power.

She could even slay him off her board like a pawn if he turned against her in private.

“I heard you didn’t come to your senses again today.
I don’t know when it will be the last time to see you like this.”

Although it was awkward, Oscar mumbled under his breath.

It was easy to say because the Empress did not visit this place anymore.

He thought there was no one listening, so he was able to speak comfortably.

But now, the Empress was approaching the room.

Unaware of that, Oscar continued to talk to his unconscious father.

After a while, the closed door opened.

The Empress had entered.

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