21. The Abominable ‘Enemy’ is Right Beside Me
After leaving Charlotte’s room, Oswald sighed while heading down the hallway to his office.
She’s as energetic as always…
As she had returned from Heydemarie’s place, Charlotte must had studied manners.
Usually, Heydemarie wouldn’t just accept anyone as her student, regardless of who that person was.
Oswald knew, but still wished for Charlotte to study under Heydemarie. Due to her status as a ‘saint’, no ordinary noble lady would agree to teach her.
What sort of method did she use to get that person to acknowledge her?
The details weren’t written in the letter. However, just from having seen Charlotte over the past few days, he had a terrible premonition.
I thought that after being sternly admonished, she’d become depressed and return home…
However, as soon as Charlotte saw Oswald’s face, she smiled. Her smile was akin to dozens of flowers from all over the world blooming all at once.
She claimed his return made her happy.
When Oswald inquired about her tastes in clothing, her expression was as if the world had ended. She was worried about whether or not she was unsightly.
At that moment, Charlotte looked about to cry.
When he recalled that, Oswald clutched his forehead.
“…She got so upset by what I said.”
Truthfully, he felt guilty.
He didn’t think that Charlotte would become so upset because of his words.
Afterwards, he offered to go out into the city with her. He thought that the notion would make her happy.
Of course, he’d never admit that he offered to buy her a dress out of guilt.
…That’s right. Guilt only makes up about 10% of it. My true objective is to secure proper attire for the evening ball.
Oswald stared at the door of the office he had reached.
He narrowed his eyes, erased all emotion from his face, and pushed the door open.
“You’re late, Oswald.”
As expected, there were guests in Oswald’s personal office.
The man, one with silver hair and side-swept bang, was sitting at Oswald’s desk. He was sitting with one of his long legs crossed over the other. The woman was looking at him with a bewitching gaze.
Of course, he didn’t remember ever permitting them to enter.
At the same time, Oswald didn’t have the right to refuse entry.
It was decided that if that was what they wanted, then Oswald had to offer it.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, Your Highness, Prince Randolph.”
Randolph, the orthodox heir to the throne of the kingdom, laughed at Oswald.
“You seem unfazed. Did you know that I was here from the beginning?”
Oswald quietly lowered his face and bowed to Randolph.
“It’s because Your Highness’ magical power is unique in nature. If I were to fail to notice its brilliance, I wouldn’t be qualified to call myself Your Highness’ vassal.”
“Your straightforward compliment is excellent. Do you think that there are any other people besides you aware of the invocation for the impeccable teleportation spell created by the royal family?”
Randolph’s good-looking expression shifted into that of contempt.
Oswald had no intention of refuting him. He had been accustomed to those words. However, that day, Randolph seemed even more frustrated than usual.
“That’s right, I want to say hello to your bride.”
“Your Highness Randolph.”
“Is she upstairs? Show me the way. I want to see the saint who wields the divine authority.”
To Randolph who left the office desk, Oswald spoke in a tone as if he were giving a suggestion.
“I’m afraid you can’t. It took a few days for the seal to settle. Therefore, the situation is still unstable. Please refrain from provoking the saint at this stage.”
“‘Provoke’? How rude. I merely wanted to greet the saint.”
“There’s no woman who can stay composed in front of someone as wonderful as His Highness Randolph…”
To Oswald, who was still bowing, Randolph spoke in an emotionless tone.
“So, you intend to hide her. Oswald, even if you have a cool outward appearance, this is to be expected, I see…”
“…I fail to understand the meaning of your words.”
“You’re almost out of magic, right?”
Oswald slowly opened his eyes.
“Your magic is certainly excellent. Moreover, the magic formulas you’ve created aren’t only precise and accurate, they’re also extremely efficient. However, no matter how good your magic is, if you have no magical power to use it… It should be self-explanatory, right?”
“Originally, you had an enormous amount of magical power. Even during the great war, your magical power couldn’t be exhausted!”
Randolph began to laugh to the point his shoulders trembled. As for what was funny, Oswald couldn’t guess.
“How amusing, I’m sure no one else is aware of your predicament.”
“What do you think will happen next, Oswald? Your remaining magical power is scarce. Then, the moment you’re defenseless…”
At that moment, Oswald didn’t fail to perceive the fluctuation of magical power that was born within Randolph’s hand.
“…An attack that normally wouldn’t go through—will hit you as it is!”
A sword of fire was swung towards him.
All of Randolph’s movements were predictable. However, even if he could avoid it, Oswald didn’t move in the slightest.
He simply gazed at Randolph’s sword.
The burning sword stopped in front of Oswald.
Randolph widened his eyes. On the contrary, Oswald was expressionless. A magical circle unfolded instantly, transforming into a strong shield that protected Oswald.
“No way…! You shouldn’t have enough magic to conjure a shield…!”
“I’m sorry for not meeting your expectations, but please spare me from this kind of play.”
Randolph stepped back and extinguished his flaming sword.
“…Truly a horrid monster.”
After that, Randolph glared at him with his red eyes.
“Because something like you exists…!”
Oswald once again bowed to him.
“Enough. My mood has soured.”
Along with the sign that a magic circle was unfolding, the room was flooded with dazzling light. After the light had subsided, Randolph was nowhere to be seen.
Oswald opened his own right hand and looked down.
I have enough spare magic to deceive my enemies.
Still, just now, he had consumed some. He wanted to click his tongue, but suppressed the urge.
It was exactly as Randolph said.
As of the present, Oswald didn’t have much magic left.
He had sealed Charlotte’s divine power using his own. If the state where his magical power was completely full was a thousand, his current remaining amount was actually less than ten.
The speed of her recovery itself is faster than I prepared for. Unless there’s a majestic battle, I’ll be able to continue concealing the truth.
Oswald took off his cloak and threw it over his desk. Then, he sat in his chair and took a deep breath.
“Truly a horrid monster.”
“Because something like you exists…!”
He closed his eyes and pressed the back of his hand against his eyes.
Then, for some reason, he heard a surprisingly energetic voice echoing inside his mind.
“Merely knowing the fact that Oswald is alive, I’m already happy!!”
Charlotte had looked straight up at Oswald and said that.
His head hurt and he instinctively frowned.
Inwardly, Oswald bitterly told Charlotte.
…Those words shouldn’t be directed to someone like me.
***T/N: Angst. I feel Angst coming after our deliriously sweet sugary fluffs!!!
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