The explosion had been loud, but it wasn’t threatening; however, it was enough to startle Lielda. Looking at the burnt ends of hes hair, he remarked,
“Now I understand why the Duke finds you annoying. It’s a talent, indeed.”
“That’s not a compliment!”
If Raygrain had praised her like that, wouldn’t it be a sign that the extermination mission was possible? Scheuer had never received such compliments. She handed a daisy to Lielda.
“Sleep now. Are you giving me a magical stone for this?”
“I don’t want it. It’s not as annoying as having a dagger, though. What are you going to use the thing stuck in the North for?”
“I’m collecting records of what the Duke wears every day.”
“For clothes? Just for clothes?”
“Did you see him wearing a white robe?”
“I haven’t. Does that guy even have a sense of fashion for white?”
“I don’t know. Our Duke looks perfect in any color.”
“So you’re trying to hire someone like me for recording what he wears using these daisies?”
“It’s a suggestion, just a suggestion.”
The weather in the North, slightly warmer than the day before, felt like a hint of spring. It would get cold again soon, though. Lielda scratched his chin, seemingly in thought.
“Scheuer, do you think these daisies would be useful in my work?”
“No, not really. It’s just a suggestion.”
From afar, Celly’s shout reached them,
“Scheuer, I’ve moved all the flowers!”
Before leaving, Scheuer reminded Lielda,
“Think about it carefully. I need the Duke’s white robe for my flowers.”
“Why does it matter?”
“It’s the driving force of my life.”
With that, Scheuer headed back towards the mansion. Lielda looked at the bouquet of daisies in hes hand, feeling like Scheuer might be laughing at her from a distance.
Raygraine continued the demon-slaying operation silently. While the speed of battles increased, and the damages decreased, the efficiency improved. However, this came at the cost of emotions rapidly fading away. In the midst of banishing demons, he felt as if he had returned to a blank slate, an emptiness.
Jess observed Raygraine’s changes with a worried expression. Although Jess suggested that Raygraine take a break, he ordered to confirm the southern point. Raygraine felt comfortable in this cold and emotionless state, appreciating the efficient progress.
Raygraine had been making efforts to break free from the long-lasting lack of emotions. He realized that the irritation he felt towards Scheuer was due to the emotions temporarily restored by her. Raygraine found peace in this emotionless and serene state.
“Emotions are indeed quite troublesome,”
Raygraine murmured as if realizing his state. He was coming to terms with the fact that he could feel calm and at ease even without emotions. The reason behind his ability, passed down through generations, remained unknown.
As time passed, the once desolate garden transformed into a spectrum of vibrant colors. Though only about two weeks had passed, the atmosphere was noticeably different from before.
“Lady Scheuer, where were these flowers heading?”
“Well, those are spring flowers, so they go to Zone 4. Oh, Peyton, Dahlia flowers are for summer, so Zone 3!”
Scheuer divided the garden into four sections, allowing for comfortable exploration even in light clothing thanks to temperature-regulating gems. The significance of these gems in this world became apparent, even though the creator of these gems lay casually on a celestial bed in the sky.
“Hey, there will be a day when I can live in the North without wearing a robe. Soon, butterflies will come and live here.”
Lielda, usually disinterested in the garden, displayed interest only when raising her glass during these moments. Scheuer suppressed her impatience countless times.
‘Perhaps she’ll give me a vision stone. A vision stone… Vision stone for the Duke’s white robe…’
Thinking this way brought sudden joy, making Scheuer feel generous towards everyone. She realized why family photos are often placed on fathers’ office desks, a strength to endure any superior’s scrutiny!
Scheuer couldn’t wait to have a portrait of her and Raygraine side by side after their wedding ceremony.
Then, in the distance, the sound of a horn echoed, as if it had been eagerly awaited. At that powerful sound, everyone in the seasonal zones turned their heads.
“He’s back, right?”
As Scheuer mumbled, people gathered around her. After all, she was Scheuer.
She sprinted to the garden faster than anyone, and soon, leading the expedition, Raygraine appeared.
Upon Scheuer’s loud call, his empty gaze turned towards her.
Expressing fatigue didn’t quite suit Raygraine’s neat face. He shifted his gaze from Scheuer, casually surveying the surroundings, and said,
“The temperature has changed a bit.”
The tone was the same as before leaving, but it felt like he was addressing someone unfamiliar.
In that moment, Scheuer realized something crucial that she had overlooked. The word ‘fatigue’ didn’t fit with Raygraine’s pristine face. However, the important realization was that using the Soul Blade drained all accumulated emotions. Going on a subjugation mission and utilizing the Soul Blade meant that all the emotions built up over the past hours had dissipated. It was only natural that the results were confirmed through her own eyes.
Although momentarily disappointed, Scheuer quickly composed herself.
“Well, I overdid it a bit!” she thought.
Scheuer quickened her pace, smiling more brightly than usual, walking alongside him.
“How did you know the temperature changed? I had something to show you.”
She chuckled as she walked ahead.
“I looked at my schedule, and most of the time, you either spend it on subjugation or in the office. There’s a big window right behind the desk in the office.”
“Smart of you.”
“I saw it from the office, so I could clearly see the garden.”
Thud. Raygraine’s steps, striding across the garden, came to a halt. Was it because she went into the office? An apologetic Scheuer quickly added,
“I only took a few things.”
“Uh, maybe two.”
“Four… I didn’t touch any documents. Just a few of the Duke’s chairs and decorations….”
Raygrain unexpectedly didn’t say much, and Scheuer continued to walk alongside him. She couldn’t discern what he was thinking. To prevent him from seeing the garden, she covered his eyes with her palms.