Home Post 1020-chapter-86


Herma’s face, which had been bright all along, stiffened.

“I know it’s a sensitive topic. But I need to know. Even just a little is fine.”

Adeline was sincere in every word she said. She hoped that her eager heart would reach Herma.
If she could know well about the curse of darkness, if she could know how to get rid of it. She would be able to save Kael from the agony, and she would also be able to change Kael’s mind as he tried to push her away.
So, she had to know. Even if it was a very small clue, she wanted to know.

“… The curse of darkness is also diverse. So there are different ways of breaking it.”

Embarrassed, Herma paused for a moment and slowly began to talk.

“I don’t think this is the answer you want, Your Grace. But the truth is, once you are under the curse of darkness, it is difficult to break free from it.”

In fact, Adeline knew this as well. When Simeon was studying magic and warning her about black magic and curses whenever he had a chance, he mentioned it as a reason to be careful.

“I know it’s difficult. The conditions are complicated. But I still don’t know.”
“I was wondering if there was a way. Herma is an excellent wizard, so you know more about magic and curses than I do. Even the tiniest thing, you know more than I do. I need that.”

Herma looked at Adeline, unable to speak easily.
The beautiful grand duchess was desperate. The eagerness she felt in her clear, light-green eyes was evidence of this.

‘… Is it because of His Grace?’

Herma lived like a vagabond, wandering around the empire for various reasons, so she was a wizard who was far superior to what was known.
The day Kael, who had left the academy saying that he wanted to focus more on the family’s knights, inherited the grand duke’s title, Herma read the dark energy emanating from him.
Kael had never spoken of the curse to Herma, and Herma, who was aware of this, had never shown any knowledge of it, but she had long since vaguely assumed it.
Just as Simeon recognized Kael’s curse with his strong divine power, Herma also read the darkness with her great magical power.

“Can someone else be used to break the curse? I mean… like using someone’s energy or something.”

Adeline asked cautiously while Herma was lost in thought.
She could not forget the feeling as if her whole body was being sucked into Kael the moment she kissed him while he was struggling with the pain.
Kael calmed his pain with Adeline’s kiss, and Vero said that it had never happened before.
Adeline wanted to know. Was it possible that Adeline could neutralize the curse in the slightest? Was this assumption she was thinking about theoretically possible?

“It’s actually the only way.”

Adeline’s eyes widened at Herma’s reply.

“As I said earlier, it’s difficult to break the curse. But it is possible sometimes.”
“It’s when there is a medium that can purify the darkness. As Your Grace said, a person becomes a medium, or a sacred object or place becomes a medium.”

Adeline’s heart jumped at the thought that it was not a coincidence, but a situation that could happen enough. There seemed to be hope.

“You can say that the darkness of the cursed person is transferred to the medium. It takes the energy out of their body.”
“Then will the curse be lifted the moment all that energy disappears?”
“Yes. That’s right.”

It meant that Adeline could be Kael’s salvation. If Adeline took away Kael’s darkness, everything would be perfect.

“But when that happens, something will unconditionally happen to the medium.”

At Herma’s words, Adeline’s heart, which had risen above the clouds, slightly sank.

“Like what?”
“If it’s a sacred object, it will lose its divine power and break, if it’s a place, it will crumble down, and if it’s a person, they will get a disease or die.”
“… What about a case where that condition is flawed? Is there any case where the medium remains intact?”
“None. There are no exceptions to this, Your Grace.”

Herma’s words were resolute. Like telling a truth that never changes, she was firm.

“If you think you’re being cursed yourself, it’ll be easy for you to understand. You can think of it as suffering instead.”
“And a curse that is too powerful may not even work like this.”

The embers of hope that had flared up slowly died out.
To move Kael’s pain, to lift his curse; she could endure as much as she had to.
But if Adeline died, if they could never see each other again…

Adeline unconsciously clutched the skirt of her dress at the assumption she didn’t even want to imagine.
According to Herma, there was no way for Kael and Adeline to be perfectly happy.


“You’re back from meeting with the Grand Duchess?”
“Yes, Your Grace.”

After speaking with Adeline, Herma headed to Kael’s office.
Adeline thought that Herma was already on her way out after meeting Kael, but it was actually the opposite. She had encountered Adeline on the way to meet him.

“I didn’t know Adeline knew you.”
“Ah, she didn’t know who I was. However, seeing this hair and eye color, I think she was checking who came in.”

Herma made something up in a display of her quick wits. Normally, she would have told the truth, starting with the fact that she came to her yesterday, but after talking with Adeline, she didn’t think she should tell Kael that she had found Herma first.

“You didn’t tell her about the gift, did you?”
“Am I an idiot? I didn’t tell her. I told her that you needed magic to repair the castle, so you called me. We need to get our stories right, Your Grace.”

Kael nodded in understanding.
The only reason he even went to see Herma while she was in the middle of traveling was because of Adeline.
The gift Kael wanted to give Adeline required strong mana and a great aesthetic feeling, and Herma was the only person who met those conditions.

‘It’s not just an average love. And Her Grace also seems to have a great feeling for His Grace.’

Herma was lost in thought as she saw a side of Kael that she thought she would never see in her lifetime.

‘The dark energy has weakened a lot.’

It was something she had felt since they reunited at the cabin yesterday. The dark energy that had sometimes been strong enough to make Herma flinch was very weak.

‘… Could it be?’

The only thing that had changed from before was Adeline, who was by his side. Moreover, Adeline asked Herma a little while ago if a person could become a medium for breaking the curse.

‘She didn’t ask by guessing. She went through it herself.’

It felt like several scattered pieces were finding their place and completing the bigger picture.

‘But there was no energy of death in Her Grace even after receiving the curse.’

When a person became a medium for a curse, there would be a trace of death in them. It was the price of neutralizing the curse.
However, she did not feel that energy coming from Adeline at all.

‘Is that why she asked me if the medium can stay intact? Because she didn’t feel anything happening? Usually, as soon as a person receives the curse, their body breaks down and they realize it right away.’

The more she thought about it, the more question marks poured into Herma’s mind.

“What are you thinking about so much?”
“What? Ah, the gift. I have to put a lot of effort into it. I think you will cut my neck if Her Grace doesn’t like it even just a little.”
“If you know, you should put your life on the line to make it well.”

It was no different from a fierce threat in the eyes of others because he didn’t smile at all, but Herma, who had spent a long time with him, knew how Kael made jokes.

“You still don’t make jokes feel like they’re jokes.”

Herma smirked as if she was dumbfounded, shook her head slightly, and recalled the curse.

‘It’s not an ordinary curse, given that it shrunk to this extent. He must be struggling with tremendous pain, so he must have searched for all the ways to lessen it.’

The stronger the curse, the greater the pain. Herma was sure that Kael had already searched for a way to break the curse, regardless of the means.

‘Then there’s no way he wouldn’t know. That a person who gets a curse will be destroyed.’

Even though there was salvation right in front of him, Kael could not accept it at all. It was such a pitiful situation.

[Are you kidding me, Liam? How is this your fault? Isn’t it unfair?]
[It’s my fault. And if I didn’t say it, you’d be the only one in trouble. I hate that.]
[But still!]
[Both of you, stop it. I don’t want to see a quarrel between lovers.]
[What do you mean, a quarrel between lovers!]

A scene from her nostalgic past flashed through Herma’s mind. Starting with Herma, who was livid with Liam for reversing her wrongdoings and being scolded, to Liam, who firmly said it was the right thing to do to protect her, and Kael, who glanced at both of them. It had been a long time ago, but it was still vivid in her memory.
At that time, Kael was very bright and much more free because he was not the son who would inherit the title. The memories of exploring the academy with Kael and Liam were one of Herma’s most treasured memories.

“What do you keep thinking about? It doesn’t seem to be about the gift anymore.”
“I just thought of the past all of a sudden.”

Herma replied as she gave a slightly sad smile.
At that time, neither of the three of them doubted their happiness. They didn’t think they would only be happy, but they believed that only hardships that they could brush off would come.

But the whirlpool of fate was so enormous that it was easily messed up.
Kael had to become the grand duke who embraced a curse, and Herma had to bury her lifelong lover, who had promised her eternity, with her own hands. Liam, who put a ring on her and whispered words of love, could never meet Herma again until she died.

‘May His Highness not suffer this pain.’

Herma closed her eyes for a moment, remembering the person she still missed so much.

At least Kael, may he never lose his beloved. May he grow old with Adeline. Herma prayed and prayed, with all her heart.