Home Post 1097-chapter-14


The boy’s eyes widened when he saw Lucius.

Soon, he frowned; tears welling up in his eyes.

When Lucius relaxed his grip on him, the boy fell into Maya’s arms.

“Bill, are you alright?”

Maya asked in concern while stroking the child’s back.


“Yes, this boy is called Bill. Because he was suffering from an infectious skin disease, he was being cared for separately…”

Only then did Lucius catch a sight of Bill’s red wrist peeking out of his sleeve.

Maya seemed confused as to what kind of business Lucius had in that room.

“I’d advise the Grand Duke not to come too close. Better safe than sorry.”

No wonder Maya rushed to stop him earlier.

Lucius left the room, leaving the crying Bill with Maya, who was busy consoling him.

He stood with his back to the door and thought for a moment.

Despite the look of indifference on his face, Lucius’ golden eyes shone discreetly.

After standing there for what felt like an eternity, Lucius finally decided to leave.

“Grand Duke?”

Rayna climbed up the stairwell and found him.

“Are you looking for the children’s quarter?”

Of course, Rayna was fully aware why he was there, because she instigated everything.
She had originally planned for Lucius to suspect Maya and follow her.

—So that he’ll see Bill, whose hair is dyed similarly to Calyx.

She had requested a hair dye from the Master. It was a unique concoction created by the priests of the Great Temple using divine power. It would restore color to graying hair and liveliness to dull eyes, with the purpose of comforting patients who had been hospitalized for a long time.

Rayna obtained black hair and red eye dyes from the Master and used them on Bill.

She also used cosmetics to paint red marks on Bill’s skin.

Now, even if he insists on searching all the other children’s rooms…

…Even if later he heard an eyewitness account of a sickly child with black hair and reddish marks, he’d think it was Bill and not Calyx.

“Would you like me to guide you?”

“No, it’d be pointless to search any further.”

Lucius approached Rayna.

“What is that key for?”

He asked and pointed at her hand with his eyes.

Rayna held up the key.

“I told you earlier that I was looking for something. This is the key to my office locker. I thought it might help the Grand Duke.”

Lucius lifted his chin, urging her to continue.

“I have contacts with orphanages throughout the empire. The contact information is in the archive.”


“The child that the Grand Duke is looking for may actually have gone to one of those orphanages, so I planned to contact them.”

“It’ll take some time to hear back.”

Rayna nodded her head.

In the first place, she only helped him to buy herself time.

“But it’ll save you the trouble of going through those orphanages one by one. Leave it to me. In the meantime, the Grand Duke can look for the child separately.”

Lucius listened expressionlessly then slowly spoke.


When he uttered her name in a low voice, Rayna unconsciously tensed.



“Why are you trying so hard to help me?”

Rayna gulped.

She couldn’t get used to Lucius’ sharp eyes staring straight at her.

“—Like I said, I feel sorry for your loss. If there’s anything I can do to help…”

Rayna trailed off when the corners of Lucius’ mouth rose slightly.

What’s with his reaction?

An alarm blared in the back of her head.

This isn’t the time to push, I should pull back!

“—That was presumptuous of me. My apologies.”

As Rayna lowered her eyes and apologized, Lucius tilted his head.

After silently staring at Rayna for a moment, Lucius spoke once again.

“I’m sorry if I offended you.”

Rayna’s eyes went wide.

Did Lucius apologize to me just now?

Even hearing it with her own ears, Rayna was still in disbelief.

“I just had doubts. It was never my intention to dismiss your kindness.”

Rayna glanced up at his honest apology.

No way, he really apologized to me.

Even though he uttered words of apology, his expression was extremely cold.

“We’ll talk about the details tomorrow. I apologize for the inconvenience today.”

After he finished speaking, Lucius passed by Rayna.

She blankly watched as Lucius left without hesitation. It didn’t even occur to her to see him off.

We’ll talk about the details again tomorrow?

What details?

* * *

Calyx waited for Rayna in the secret place.

He couldn’t tell how much time had passed.

The space he hid in was dark and desolate.

Calyx glanced at the door, hearing only the pounding of his own heart.


When Rayna finally opened the door, Calyx smiled broadly.

Rayna didn’t betray his expectations this time either.

Now that my brother can’t find me, I can stay with Rayna.

Contrary to Calyx’ happiness, Rayna’s expression was gloomy.

Although Rayna always maintained a stony face, she occasionally showed a gentle expression to Calyx.

Calyx reminisced about that expression whenever he had time and could tell that Rayna’s expression was unusually cloudy.

“What is it, Rayna? Is something the matter?”

Calyx asked Rayna as he exited the secret place inside the closet.

Rayna shook her head.

“Is it over now? We don’t have to worry anymore, right?”

Rayna was about to nod, but then she hesitated.

“Not yet.”

Rayna bent her knees, matching their eye level.

Rayna smiled at him as he tried to conceal his disappointment.

“It must’ve been tough for you, being left all alone.”


Calyx wanted to appear dignified and so spoke firmly.

Rayna noticed and changed her question.

“Aren’t you bored?”

Calyx couldn’t answer immediately.


Rayna grabbed Calyx’ hands.

“Do you want to hang out with me today?”

Calyx’ eyes opened wide in surprise.

“Really? Is that alright?”

Rayna was a little taken aback because she didn’t expect him to be so eager.

“Of course, but we can’t go outside. We can only play inside the bedroom.”

“It doesn’t matter. I like that better.”

Calyx responded and clenched both his fists, and Rayna eventually let out a chuckle of her own.

The two ate in Rayna’s bedroom. Together, they assembled the puzzle that Maya had brought for them.

Since Calyx wasn’t a very talkative child, Rayna didn’t force the conversation.

It was entertaining to watch Calyx as he seriously considered the puzzle.

Rayna became curious again.

It was the first time they had such a peaceful time since they met.

I hope everything will stay the way it is now. When will I be able to spend time with Calyx without worry?

Rayna thought for a moment, pointing to where Calyx should place the puzzle piece.

“Calyx, you told me before that your curse can be lifted only by restoring everything to its original state.”

Absorbed in the puzzle, Calyx just nodded.

“Would your brother know the details?”

Calyx’ hand suddenly stopped.

He lifted his head and stared at Rayna.

“Bomar said that whoever becomes the head of the House of Ingerson learns more about the curse.”

Why is the curse given and what is its purpose?

“Then, will he also learn how to break the curse?”

Calyx hesitated to answer.

“I don’t know, but Bomar said that even if he knew, he wouldn’t be able to lift it.”


“He said only special people can do it.”

Calyx asked while staring into her eyes.

“Didn’t Bomar move in front of Rayna?”

“No, never.”

Calyx looked a bit downcast.

“But Bomar did. According to him, when a special person appears, he or she can appear in his/her original form.”

“Original form? What is that supposed to mean?”

Calyx shook his head, saying he didn’t know.

“Right now, Bomar is weak, so he can only appear in the form of a statue.”

Rayna was lost in thought.

As suspected, the statue of Bomar isn’t the main body.

Bomar only used the figurine to appear in front of Calyx and was an entirely separate entity.

What in the world is he?

A being with a mysterious power that could reside within a wooden figurine and make it come to life.

Rayna thought that Bomar was probably related to the curse afflicting the Grand Duke of Ingerson.

While she was at a loss for words, Calyx quickly reaffirmed.

“Rayna is a special person, so I’m sure Bomar will make an appearance sooner or later.”

Calyx believed that Bomar would come back to life.

Rayna smiled and nodded. However, she only did it to reassure Calyx. Deep down, she was impatient.

She couldn’t keep waiting for Bomar, unsure of when he would show up.

The head of the Ingerson family should know the details of the curse.

—If so, it meant that Lucius also knew.

What does he know that I don’t?

Rayna thought as she fiddled with a puzzle piece.

I need to find out.

Only then would she be able to save Calyx.