Home Post 1202-chapter-176


“Mmm, this is delicious.”

I hummed appreciatively as I ate the spicy seafood pasta. It was a dish I often made when staying at the southern villa. As expected, the seafood in Leon’s estate indeed tasted sweeter and fresher than from the Capital.

“Miss, would you like some more plum ade?”

“Yes, Amber.”

“Is it good?”

Lucian, who was sitting across from me, had apparently finished his meal, his lips slightly reddened as he wiped them with a napkin.

“Is it too spicy?”

He looked cute, so it made me giggle as I asked. His eyes narrowed.

“It’s a dish you used to love as a child, right?”

“Exactly. The first time I brought home seafood I caught, Amber nearly fainted in shock.”

“Don’t even mention it. You brought home a live octopus…”

Amber’s lips quivered as she recalled the time. When I first showed her the octopus I caught at the beach, she was foaming at the mouthing, looking like she was about to pass out. Oscar and Damian seemed to have forgotten about it, but fishing wasn’t typically a noble hobby.

I smirked at Amber, continuing my words.

“Now, that’s all just memories, isn’t it?”

“Ah, Miss, if you say so. Still, please, no more of that. Soon to be a duchess shouldn’t be…”

With our wedding now a foregone conclusion, Amber had become noticeably stricter. It seemed she had been getting more directives from the Madam, given her frequent visits to the Duchess’ room.

Narrowing my eyes at her, Amber boldly added more.

“This is Leon Estate, Miss. It may be smaller than the Capital, but remember, all the nobles here are vassals to the Leon family. They will take a keen interest in you, more than anyone else.”

While I took her words seriously, did she really have to lecture me during a meal?

“It’s fine. If there are those who speak ill of Ray behind her back, it’s their fault.”

The soft muttering was ominous. I looked up at him.

I noticed Lucian’s brow furrow slightly as he drank the same ade as me. He then discreetly pushed the plum ade to the side. Clearly, he wasn’t a fan of overly sweet drinks. Yet he had insisted on having the same as mine, and I found it cute that I laughed.

Just then, there was a commotion outside the mansion.

Curious about what was going on, I glanced through the window and saw the previous Duke and the Duchy knights just passing the gates.

“Oh, looks like the Previous Duke has arrived, Luci.”


He didn’t seem surprised, perhaps having been informed beforehand. I quickly scooped up the last spoonful of my meal and cleaned up around my mouth.

The two of us left the dining room and headed out to greet the Previous Duke at the mansion’s entrance. It had been about a week since we returned from the Capital, and I had been somewhat anxious due to the Previous Duke not returning.

As we stepped out of the mansion, we saw the Previous Duke dismounting his horse. His face was etched with fatigue, making me concerned.

“Previous Duke.”

I called out to him, and he turned to us with a smile reminiscent of the ones from my childhood, stirring a complex mix of feelings within me.

“Ray, you look well.”

The Previous Duke, with his constant attention on me, shifted slightly towards Lucian. The same attitude was there, though the subtle change was noticeable.

“It’s good to see you in good health, too.”

He did not directly mention Lucian by name, but it was clear who he was referring to. That slight yet significant change felt both gratifying and ticklish.

I couldn’t help but let out a small laugh.

“How are things in the Capital?”

Lucian asked, his voice still stiff yet unmistakably different. Just his act of asking the question marked a change from his past self. The Previous Duke seemed to notice this change as well.

After a moment of studying his son, he responded.

“Well, I caused a bit of a stir… It seems my son will have to clean up after me.”

“…A stir?

I asked. The Previous Duke admitted with a sheepish smile, uncharacteristic for a man of his age.

“Yes, I’ve brought quite a number of people with me… It seems we’ll need to make arrangements for their new homes.”

“…Did you bring the common folk from the Capital?”

Lucian’s question prompted the Previous Duke to silently turn away. Still, not answering was answer enough.

The Commander of the Duchy knights stepped forward to explain,

“The imperial family has been dysfunctional. Since the discovery of what appeared to be the bodies of the Emperor, the Empress, and the Crown Princess, the Crown Prince has not left the palace.”


So, they hadn’t made it back alive.

“The atmosphere in the Capital was dire, so the Previous Duke decided to take action out of concern for the citizens’ safety.”

Listening to the Commander, Lucian seemed lost in thought.

Having grown up here, I had a general understanding of the geography and could guess what he was pondering. Leon Estate, with its mild climate and access to the sea, thrived on trade. However, the presence of the sea meant the habitable land area was smaller compared to other regions.

As far as I knew, only the developed areas were noticeably developed, and the undeveloped areas did not even have proper buildings.

“Hmm, how about this?”

I spoke, recalling a location I used to visit with Oscar and Demian during my childhood.

Despite Lucian’s warnings against using it, the dormant magic of Enzo within me seemed necessary for the task at hand. Unlike Cassandra’s magic, Enzo’s magic had not faded away but remained within me, indicating I had absorbed a significant amount.

To think I still harbored the magic needed to create barriers was astonishing. It was clear. He was indeed a great wizard beyond imagination.

“Do you have a plan?”

Lucian asked, and then I pointed towards a distant island.

“If we could build a bridge to the island, couldn’t it become a livable place? Perhaps it could even be developed into a tourist destination. What do you think?”

My suggestion seemed to surprise both the Previous Duke and the knights’ Commander.

Lucian looked at me skeptically.

“It takes a long time just to build a bridge. From the nuances Ray is talking about, can we make it right away?”

His sinking gaze told me he had immediately grasped what I was going to say. He was always quick-witted.

“I was hoping we could discuss this privately…”

Since he warned me against using magic that day, I had faithfully kept that promise.

Nonetheless, if I didn’t utilize Enzo’s magic, it seemed I would carry it within me indefinitely. The immense power accumulated in me was something I wished to release. It wanted to shake it off. I didn’t want to hold on to the remnants of the past.

“Shouldn’t the Previous Duke and the knights rest first? We could use that time to have a quick discussion.”

Noticing his piercing golden eyes sharpening, I averted my gaze subtly.


The Duchess seems to have belatedly heard the news. Turning around at her voice, I saw her approaching with tears in her eyes.


The Previous Duke hurried towards the Madam in surprise. As the Duchess hugged him, the Previous Duke froze like someone had attacked him.

“Why did you come back so late? You said you would return quickly…”

The Previous Duke, who was frozen in an awkward stature, slowly reached out to hug the Madam tightly.

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t just come back without making sure everything was taken care of.”

“You’re not hurt, are you?”

“What do you take me for? There’s no way I would get hurt.”

“…That’s all I needed to know.”

Though I was somewhat aware they had grown closer, their closeness that was revealed today was a surprise to me.

As I observed the almost sibling-like interaction, I felt a hand quietly wrap around my wrist. Glancing up, I saw Lucian addressing the two.

“Mother, please take care of Father. We will excuse ourselves for a moment.”

“Ah, yes. Understood.”

The Duchess replied before signaling to the butler.

“Prepare some drinks and snacks quickly. Let the knights have a moment to rest.”

“Yes, Madam.”

“And bring some food to the former duke’s room, and also…”

The Duchess efficiently gave out orders, a sight I admired as I watched. Then, Lucian pulled me along.

We exited through the mansion’s back door and followed a small path leading up the hill. The Leon estate mansion was directly connected to the hill behind, giving a lovely route for walks. The path was well-maintained and easy to walk and was adorned with flowers and small trees, adding to its charm.

“How can you use Enzo’s magic?”

He didn’t hesitate to ask, apparently having wanted to ask for some time.

I detailed to him my capabilities.

“…So, I can use it because Enzo was truly a formidable wizard. It seems his magic still lingers substantially within me. Luci, I know I promised you, but wouldn’t it be better to use his magic for good and get rid of it all than to keep it within me?”

I spoke to him before he might have any objections.

At those words, he stopped walking and looked down at me, his deep golden eyes seemingly reflecting his thoughts.