The sound of weapons clashing resounded loudly in the spacious training hall of the Emerald Castle.


Kirsty, who managed to fend off the heavy attack, was startled to see the tip of the sword that followed afterward.
The attack was impossible to block, so he rolled on the floor in a momentary decision.
Other knights were watching, but Kirsty didn’t have enough time to think about that right now.

Kirsty rolled on the floor with his sword in his hand and rolled to the side one more time when he saw his opponent’s sword falling to his chest.
The sword followed him as he rolled over the ground.
It looked as if a bear was performing a rolling stunt.

“Ple-please wait, Your Highness! Uaagh!”

Sethian still relentlessly slashed his sword at Kirsty, and attacked again and again, as if he hadn’t heard him call.

“If you don’t roll properly, you’ll really get stabbed.”

At the cold, merciless voice, Kirsty thought he was about to die.
He tried to get up, rolling hard to get away somehow, but Sethian’s quick attack did not allow it.

These days, Sethian has been particularly edgy.
His expression was not different from usual, so most people would not have known it, but Kirsty and Lenox, who had been assisting Sethian for a long time, quickly noticed just by looking at his eyes.

And right now, Sethian’s eyes were so deadly that even Kirsty, a war veteran, was terrified.

‘So-Someone save me!’

It was rare for Sethian to be so sensitive like this.
It was definitely the first time in a long time since Zair crushed to death his beloved servant when he was young.

‘What is it this time? Who touched the prince’s nerves!’

He doesn’t know who it is, but once he finds out, he thought that he won’t let that person go while grinding his teeth.
Seeing that his Lord, who does not bat an eye for most things, is this edgy, the opponent must have caused him a great deal of irritation.

“Your Highness!”

As Kirsty felt the limit in rolling, Lenox approached and called for Sethian.
Thanks to this, the sword that was being fired at Kirsty stopped.

“You have to prepare for your departure now.”

Even Lenox, who spoke to him, was somewhat cautious.

Compared to Kirsty, who was drenched in sweat, Sethian was in a calm state with his breathing not even disturbed, like someone out for a morning walk.
He threw the sparring weapon he was holding at Kirsty, who was just getting up, and headed for the castle without a word.
The eyes of the knights who saw him off were all filled with awe.

Lenox, who followed behind Sethian, looked at his broad back.
Even though they were not facing each other, the feeling of pressure emanating from his back made Lenox nervous.

“Your Highness, is there perhaps something….”

“It’s nothing for you to be concerned about.”

He cut off without hearing everything.
Having said that, Lenox couldn’t ask him any more questions.

‘It would be much better if you could just tell me comfortably.’

He knows that Sethian is hiding something from either himself or Kirsty.
He doesn’t know exactly what it is, but there has been a strange feeling since about a month ago.

He was alone in the room but they would hear voices speaking, it’s like he’s calmly talking with himself on his own or he’s talking with someone you can’t see.
Not only that, but he also suddenly gathered and started reading magic books, which he had been interested in for a while in the past and then quickly lost interest.

Thinking about it that way, he wasn’t usually weird.

‘I don’t know about anything else, but the conversation….
Are you really seeing ghosts?’

He couldn’t ask, but he thought it might be something like that.
Even though he had never actually seen a ghost, the thought of something invisible talking to him made the hair all over his body stand up.

Sethian, who entered the bath intending to wash off the dust, took off his coat and passed it to the waiting attendants.

“Make sure to catch one or two when they come this time if possible.”

Lenox, who understood what Sethian meant, asked insinuatingly.

“They could commit suicide like last time.”

“Then find a guy who won’t kill himself and put him in there.”

“…Yes, I understand.”

Lenox, who felt Sethian’s sharpened tone for a moment, bowed his head and responded.
He doesn’t know who it would be, but he knew that the person who’ll be captured in this situation wouldn’t have a normal corpse afterward.
Even the servants who couldn’t understand their conversation were tensed by the heavy pressure that was emanating from Sethian.

After taking off all his clothes, Sethian gestured for Lenox and all of the servants to go outside.
As a member of the royal family, of course, it is only natural for the attendants to accompany and serve him with their best, but Sethian took it for granted from an early age to stay away from such things for his safety.

The Empress, who was said to be unable to bear children, managed to get pregnant but died as soon as she gave birth to Sethian.
It was a time when there were already three princes, and Sethian, who became the first heir to the throne immediately after birth, has been under constant threat of assassination since she was a baby.
If it hadn’t been for the protection of Antoine, the empress’ younger brother and the authoritative Marquis at the time, he would have died before he was over the age of 10.

Because of the thought that he should protect his body, he has been cultivating it regardless of whether it is martial arts, erudition, caution, or sense.
He had to judge and solve most things on his own, and he couldn’t trust others.
Even if they are intertwined with interests, there is no law that prevents them from creating new connections with others, so even if he somehow did, he couldn’t trust them fully.

‘There’s no human being who can be completely trusted.’

Everyone is driven by interest.
Such false words as trust are never reliable.

As soon as he thought of that, he remembered what Yi-Gyeol had said.

-I never cared about that agreement, I came to see you because I am your friend.

Joo Yi-Gyeol was the only person Sethian had ever met whom he didn’t have a point of interest with.
That’s why, even if he suddenly stopped appearing as he does now, there’s really nothing strange about it.

That should be so, however.

‘Something’s strange.’

Why are his nerves so on edge, and he somehow feels upset.

Does he feel lonely because he doesn’t have a mysterious conversation partner? Or is it because the interest that had just started to heat up suddenly disappeared?

Either way, it is true that he somehow feels unpleasant.
Even the fact that he doesn’t have the upper hand is enough to make him feel this way.

He dipped himself in the bathtub and swept his face with his wet hands.
As the warm hands touched his cool face, he seemed to feel a little better.

‘I don’t think it’s that bastard Zair.’

When Yi-Gyeol didn’t show up at the set time, the first thing he went to was Zair.
He grabbed him by the neck and tried to sense what he was thinking, but he didn’t seem to have met Yi-Gyeol.
In the first place, even though he was the only one who knew the time when Yi-Gyeol appeared, there was no way Yi-Gyeol would have gone directly to Zair’s castle and not to the Emerald Castle.

‘Joo Yi-Gyeol….’

It was only when he thought about what would happen if he didn’t show up like this that he realized he was seriously acting weird.
The golden magic that Roa was talking about even fluttered seductively in his mind.

Then, all of a sudden, the center of the bathroom caught his attention.
All there was was water vapor that filled the air, but strangely, he felt all his nerves heading edgily towards that place.
There was definitely something that wasn’t perceptible to humans there.

Feeling strange, Sethian rose from his seat.
The hot water reaching his pelvis obstructed the way, but Sethian continued walking without hesitation.
The closer he got to that spot, the stronger he felt that something was there.
It was a strange sensation, as if a pleasant coolness was caressing the back of his neck.

The moment he almost reached that place, he promptly felt like that spot was shaking.
Then, suddenly, something seemed to abruptly pass sideways.
Obviously, nothing has changed, but the location of the point that attracted his nerves has changed.
It seemed to stay still, but with each step he took closer, it also backed off little by little.

Something invisible was looking at him.
And it was responding to every move that he made.

Convinced of it, Sethian stopped approaching the spot and stood still.
Then, the wary point that retreated as it trembled also fixed.

Sethian opened his mouth while looking at the place.

“Joo Yi-Gyeol.”

The name that came out clearly echoed through the bathroom.
Then the point that had stopped moved once again.
Therefore, Sethian became sure.

“Answer me, Joo Yi-Gyeol.”

Not a sound was heard.
Nevertheless, Sethian did not step down.

“I’m calling you.”

That point in the air reacted once more.
However this time, it’s not retreating but coming closer.
It slowly, very slowly, came to Sethian.

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