Home Post 869-chapter-13


Cast beneath the Auction House, there was a powerful barrier of dark magic, so robust that one might overlook it even after passing by multiple times.

Ashid found himself compelled to reassess his earlier arrogance.

‘If it weren’t for this necklace…’

Fueled by potent dark magic, the barrier exacted a toll.

Depending on the spellcaster’s choice, the cost could vary, but in this instance, it demanded his arm.

So, without the necklace, his arm would have been severed.

For a magician, losing an arm meant a significant setback since mana, concentrated in the heart, was channeled through the arms and hands for spellcasting.

Losing a proficient arm meant starting over with the other, relearning and training in magic from scratch.

Such occurrences were rare, though not unheard of.

Though not unheard of, they seldom happened.

Attaining the same level of proficiency anew was exceedingly challenging.

‘In that state, I’d be vulnerable, restricted to weak magic.’

Especially for someone like him, facing numerous adversaries, it would be fatal.

While he possessed a summon known as the ‘Firebird,’ reserved for royalty, he could still be at risk.

Inexpert use of magic would disrupt the flow of his vast magical power, potentially leading to mental collapse.

Unmanageable, he’d go berserk, forgetting his original intentions, and face the risk of perishing.

In that regard, the girl he had encountered earlier was a welcome presence.

Ashid clenched the necklace tightly while simultaneously dispatching a message to his subordinate outside, managing the situation.

He included a description of the girl he had just encountered in the message.

A few moments later, as though anticipating it, his subordinate’s voice returned through the message.

―Your Highness! I’ve been awaiting your contact. But why did you suddenly send an image of a child…?

“Find her.”

―Should I eliminate her upon discovery?

“No. Just detain her until I arrive.”

―Detain her? Forgive my impertinence, but may I inquire as to who this child is…?

In response to his subordinate’s perplexed query, Ashid offered a faint smile.

“My benefactor.”

* * *

I hastily emerged through the demolished wall of the Auction House.

There was no fear of further collapse; the wall lay in ruins, with no roof left.

‘Now, I just need to find an exit.’

In a short time, I had undergone so much that I was already fatigued.

‘But it’s fortunate no one is around.’

I couldn’t determine whether the Grand Duke had taken care of it or if he was occupied capturing the children who had fled ahead of me.

‘Perhaps it’s due to the Kishian roots I provided them.’

Regardless, it was advantageous for me. Thanks to that, I could escape smoothly.

‘I’d better hurry, just in case.’

I quickened my pace.

―Annie, why were you acting like that earlier?

―Yeah! You were so brave! That male human, he didn’t seem trustworthy, did he?

Lux and the Siberian flying squirrel, concealed in my pocket all this time, spoke in turn.

Uh, I have no excuse for that.

“Sorry. Did I startle you?”

―That’s your response!

―I thought I’d die of fright, click!

I chuckled awkwardly. Come to think of it, if the Grand Duke had killed me, these little ones would have witnessed it.

They might have even perished because of me.

The more I pondered, the less I understood why I acted that way. Lacking an alternative explanation, I had to accept it.

―So why did you stop that man?

Right. Why did I stop him…?

“Are you curious to know? Or is it because he’s my benefactor?”

Lux seemed more concerned about my address to Duke Belloc than answering my question.

“He saved me. Thanks to him, Eugene didn’t get what he wanted.”

Yes, that’s it.

Ironically, the answer I had been seeking became clear only after I replied to Lux and the Siberian flying squirrel.

Recalling the day of the Crown Prince’s coming-of-age ceremony at the Imperial Palace, I remembered the discomfort and fear.

When I witnessed Count Sorgen and Eugene’s demise, I was shocked.

Considering what they had done to me, it felt like karma catching up with them.

―But it seemed like he didn’t care much about you, click.

―Right. He seemed more concerned about you surviving!

Certainly, I agree with that.

I also thought the Grand Duke might kill me.

“Thanks for worrying about me. But anyway, he didn’t kill me. So, all that remains is that he saved me.”

―That’s true, click…

―You’re quite optimistic.

Lux and the Siberian flying squirrel seemed speechless.

But it was only natural to feel grateful after being saved by the Grand Duke twice.

Though the recent events might seem whimsical, and the Grand Duke may be someone others wish ill upon…

“I’m merely repaying a debt. Above all, he’s someone I won’t encounter again.”

I’ve only seen the Grand Duke once, just before my previous demise, before my regression.

So, chances are slim that our paths will cross again.

After organizing my thoughts, I inquired of Lux and the Siberian flying squirrel in my pocket, “How much farther do we have to go from here?”

― Do you see that corner over there? Just turn left and keep going. No, follow me!

The Siberian flying squirrel, nestled in my pocket, darted out unexpectedly.

Despite its smaller size, it dashed so swiftly that I struggled to keep pace, gasping for breath as I trailed behind.

― Here we are!

Fortunately, the Siberian flying squirrel stopped sooner than expected.

“Is this… the exit?”

It didn’t seem right. Was it really here?

― Yes! It’s behind this board!

The Siberian flying squirrel bounced on a wooden board that covered half of the wall.

Ah, it’s behind the board.

But the board wasn’t supposed to be this big…

‘I should be able to move it, right? No, I have to. I need to escape.’

I took a deep breath, eyeing the board that was slightly taller than myself.

With a grunt, I pushed it aside. Fortunately, it moved easily.

‘It’s lighter than I expected.’

As I fully shifted the board, the concealed opening was revealed.

― This is the opening I mentioned! You can get out through here!


While the Siberian flying squirrel happily scampered around the opening, I felt a pang of despair.

Indeed, there was an opening once I moved the board. However…

“I can’t fit through this.”


― What do you mean?

“It seems too narrow for me to pass through.”

It’s smaller than I anticipated.

― I think you can manage, click?

― Yeah. Just try squeezing through.

No, how could I fit through such a tiny space?

Feeling defeated, I reluctantly bent down and tried to fit my leg into the opening.

Surprisingly, it slid in effortlessly?

How could I fit through such a small space? I haven’t shrunk or anything… Well, I suppose it’s just difficult.

Unconsciously recalling my size before my regression, I finally understood.

Even before regressing, I was petite for a woman.

Nevertheless, there was a clear distinction between a child and an adult.

That difference must account for it.

― Let’s dig underground a bit! Then we can widen it somehow!


― If you dig beneath the opening, it’ll expand, click.

Ah, I see.

Understanding, I searched for something to dig with.

‘Is there a shovel around?’

I glanced around, but found none. Not that I expected to.

The only stroke of luck was a sharp-edged rock larger than my fist.

Disappointed, I picked up the rock and positioned myself in front of the opening.

“Can you check if anyone’s approaching?”

― Certainly, click!

― I’ll keep watch from up here, too!

“Thank you.”

Lux ventured beyond the opening, while the Siberian flying squirrel climbed the wall.

Under the vigilant gaze of my guardians, I rolled up my sleeves and began digging earnestly.

Fortunately, the soil was soft and pliable.

‘Alright, this should suffice.’

Taking a deep breath, I pushed my head through the opening.

Then, lying flat on the ground, I commenced crawling out.

‘Ugh, this is tougher than expected.’

As I slowly wriggled out…

― Annie! Someone else is approaching, click!


Feeling apprehensive, I hurried my escape attempts. Or rather, I attempted to.

‘Why won’t you budge!’

― Quick! They’re nearly upon us!

― Hurry out, click-click!

Their urgency spurred me, a sense of imminent danger creeping in.

If I could sense it, they must be very close. So, instinctively, I grew desperate.

‘No! I can’t get caught like this!’

Pushing against the wall frantically, I struggled until my body gradually emerged from the opening.

― Hurry up and get out, click!

― What should we do? People are coming!

“Just a little more, just a bit… Got it!”

With one final push, my body slipped free from the opening.

― Hurry!

As I scrambled to rise to my feet…

Several dark figures loomed over me.

It felt as though someone was scrutinizing me.

‘Could it be…?’

Before I could even lift my head, I froze as a voice announced.

“Finally found you, girl!”