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Anticipation hung heavy in the air, but the actual manifestation of the curse proved to be much worse than anyone could have imagined. It was strange to think that such a bizarre thing could have resided in Leonis’s body.
He could only raise his head after vomiting an oily black liquid for a long time. It was even bigger than Leonis, and it looked like a demon made of tar. A monstrously distorted visage glared at Leonis while emitting a foul smell that was both dark and repulsive.
Everyone in the room put their hands over their ears in response to the tearing sound. Celia, who was standing next to Leonis, was the only one who turned her icy gaze toward it.
The substance of the curse moved as if it were going back to Leonis.
Leonis tried to push Celia aside because he thought it was dangerous, but it was Celia who held his arm and the other of her hands. She put herself in the way of Leonis and stared at the substance of the curse.
The sacred magical circle on the floor emitted light, and the rising curtain of light encircled the body of the curse. With a shrill screech, it made a desperate attempt to escape the magic circle, but the drapery of light rose up as well and encircled the ceiling in a half-moon shape.
As the holy man intoned a sacred incantation, the luminous veil constricted within and started to bear down upon the substance of the curse. It stood 3 meters tall but was pushed back by the curtain.
A golden jewelry box stood in the center of the holy magical circle. Only the priest’s heart, which had been sacrificed hundreds of years before, remained, and t was believed to be a jewel box chest that brought good fortune.
The crimson splotches of blood from the heart that had been nestled within the ornate jewelry box remained.
He wondered if something like this could become a holy relic, but the priest was certain it would suffice.
The substance of the curse, which kept stepping back, diminished in size until it was compact enough to be contained within the holy relic. As the priest uttered the sacred incantation, the curse’s essence was drawn into the ancient relic with a series of agonizing wails.
The jewelry box’s lid moved and closed on its own. With a solemn expression, the priest fulfilled the sacred decree by uttering an incantation to reseal the ornate jewelry box.
Celia secured her jewelry box with a string soaked in its own blood that she had spun beforehand. And put it in the magic pouch of her ring.
“……Is this enough?”
Zeppel inquired, his face tense. Leonis had already been approached and examined by the priest. Leonis stood still, his face betraying a complex array of emotions that was difficult to put into words.
He knew he was no longer cursed. The remnants of the darkness weighing him down all along had vanished.
“Never mind! The Duke is now free from the curse!”
The aides of Leonis and the wizard, who had been bracing themselves for the worst, were filled with elation upon hearing the priest’s statement. Celia, however, observed that the sacred artifact was squirming and assumed that it was not yet over.
This curse had to be transferred to someone else but would not return to Leonis’ body.
It was originally a curse passed down from their grandfather, so it was able to understand things. Celia’s mind was filled with vivid memories of their arrogance and the destruction they had wrought.
Leonis moved in closer. He knows it’s not over yet. He knew… … A surge of elation coursed through his veins as he realized he was finally liberated from the curse that had tormented him for decades.
“It’s all thanks to you.”
Celia was genuinely happy in her arms, tightly hugging him. Gone are the days of worrying about Leonis succumbing to the depths of his madness, teetering on the brink of insanity, or even contemplating taking his own life.
“How are you going to deal with that curse now?”
Zeppel exclaimed, his eyes sparkling with a fervent eagerness. By glancing at Zeppel, Celia could understand what was going through his mind.
He had to be thinking what Celia was thinking.
“I have something to do before that.”
The topic at hand was best left to be discussed amongst Leonis’ other aides. Zeppel nodded and smiled brightly at the words.
They had only retaliated to Prince Michael’s attacks up until now, but they wanted to start their own attack this time.
✦ ✦ ✦
Edna was getting frustrated because her plan to seduce Nile wasn’t working out the way she had hoped.
Duke Cardian’s vassals seemed to have outstanding skills and noble families, but they were also not easily swayed by the allure of temptation.
Even Nicole, who hadn’t spoken to Edna in a while, discerned Edna’s motives and started to steer clear of her.
‘What’s so difficult? Even so, he doesn’t even have a title!’
There were aristocrats with titles, but the vast majority of them were engaged to be married or already married, so they stayed away from Edna. Some others looked at her with disdain whenever she tried to flirt.
Edna was angry because no one had ever treated her this way before.
‘I should have run away and not looked at you!’
After discovering her true identity in the capital city, Edna planned to resign and escape to Asylus, the Duchy of Cardian.
A spy for the second prince approached Edna.
He warned her that he would report her to the Duke as soon as she entertained the idea of running away, claiming that she had orders from higher up. Knowing how the duke dealt with spies, Edna felt obligated to do as he was told.
‘Where have I gone wrong in my life…’
Edna had no choice but to turn around and focus her attention on the servants and aides that were part of Leonis’ entourage. They were more susceptible to Edna’s allure than the nobles were, making them Edna’s potential prey.
When Billy first started following Nicole around and asked Edna to bring him information, Billy was suspicious of her actions, but Edna saw the situation as an opportunity for fun and revealed her true identity.
After that, she successfully convinced him that Billy had to make a contribution for the two of them to be together. In other words, if he provides information that will assist the second prince, he will be able to receive the title of baron that they have bestowed upon him.
This solicitation story appeared to attract Billy, and he promised to share what he had learned from Nicole’s surroundings with her.
“Don’t make that face. I heard a plausible story today!”
Edna was surprised when she almost got annoyed by the rambling words with an excited face. It was because it wasn’t normal.
“That’s real? You’re lying!”
“It’s true! I heard it even when Nicole sneaked into the next room to meet him while avoiding his seat!”
What Billy had confided was that feeding Emperor Penina powder that could take away his powers. To be precise, it was said that if the emperor who ate the powder spewed out the divine power, the Duke of Cardian would take it and use it to allay the curse.
She had heard that the Emperor’s ability, ‘Purification’ had the power to calm the curse of Duke Cardian, so it couldn’t be said to be impossible.
‘Anyway, that’s how it is…… The opponent is the emperor, isn’t it?’
Edna thought Duke Cardian was finally crazy, but he didn’t know it. The errand boy Joseph sent had been very demanding lately, so he had no choice but to divulge any information.
“Is this enough? Can we go out together in this duchy?”
“There’s no way this is just one piece of information!”
Billy looked blatantly disappointed when she fired at him, but after Edna comforted him, he seemed to feel relieved.
‘I don’t know if you’ll believe this information.’
Edna shook her head, recalling Joel’s errand boy, who was snarky about intimidation. She had no plans to give it away. Even at first glance, it was not ordinary information.
‘I can’t live in an empire anyway.’
It was unlikely that her father would accept her again. If this occurs, she will be forced to live in exile in a country outside the empire.
Edna smiles as she considers extorting large sums of money from Joel’s errand boy.
✦ ✦ ✦
The egg of the divine beast, which was sitting on her lap, was very heavy. Celia put it on the duvet and held it close to her arms. There was a small clatter and a warm warmth that was transmitted.
‘Didn’t he say it’ll hatch if it’s near strong energy?’
She thought it would be a good idea to put it with Leonis, the main character of the original novel, and herself, who possesses divine power. She also wanted to put it next to Leonis’ desk, where he works, but she can’t because there are too many eyes on him.
“Celia, I’m coming in.”
Celia, hugging the divine beast’s egg and drawing the curtains on the bed, raised her head. Leonis strode into the room and pulled back the curtains.
He frowned at the divine beast egg resting on Celia’s thigh.
“Why are you doing that? Isn’t it heavy?”
Leonis, who had once heard the egg of the divine beast, knew how heavy it was. Even if it wasn’t like that, it was annoying that it was on Celia’s lap.
“This is fine. I’m not putting it up all the time…… I put it down and put it back up again.”
“That doesn’t mean it will hatch right away. Just leaving it in the bedroom is enough. Or put it back in the ring and carry it with you.”
“There’s a holy relics in it, so it’s a little…….”
Even now, Celia’s ring still held a holy relic with a sealed curse. The priest said that keeping them together wouldn’t be a problem, but she didn’t want to keep the cursed object and the divine egg together.
Celia took a moment to think before turning around to face Leonis.
“Why don’t you put it in Leon’s magical pocket and keep it with you? Leon’s aura is also strong, so I think it will help with hatching……”
Rattling, rattling, rattling!
The egg of the divine beast seemed to surprise Celia, and it reacted very strongly. Leonis’ eyes narrowed, and he locked his gaze on the divine beast’s egg.