7516-chapter-70-1

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‘There are other methods besides that, but regular citizens of the empire can’t do it, so it’s irrelevant.’

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Grace had never encountered any information or premise where the curse’s medium exploded.

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‘So Aria being able to break Sylvester’s curse was a unique case. The direct placement of a curse on a human body was uncommon too.’

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Such a curse was rare; in fact, scouring the entire world, only Sylvester was the one who was affected this way.

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Aria observed Grace, who was lost in thought and spoke up after a while.

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“Also, that day, I saw the mist around you disperse… but when I saw you again here, you were once again enveloped in it.”

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“โ€ฆHuh?”

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She didn’t want to keep responding with “Huh?”, but under these circumstances, Grace couldn’t muster another reaction.

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“…Crown Prince Sylvester’s curse has never worsened.”

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“…”

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“It didn’t lift all at once, but I can visibly see it easing. However, in the case of the Duchess, the curse was completely lifted, but today, she was once again wrapped in the mist.”

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“That’s why you said it seemed similar.”

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“Yes.”

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Grace was perplexed.

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‘So, does this mean I, I mean Grace, have been under this curse all along?’

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Perhaps being cursed was the reason she heard such odd murmurs.

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Thinking this way provided some comfort to her. While she couldnโ€™t solely blame her depression on the curse, some of the severe, inexplicable events might be due to it.

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‘If it turns out later it wasn’t a curse, well, that’ll be just as depressing.’

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Grace pondered another possibility, then her curiosity was piqued about Aria’s intentions.

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“Why are you telling me all this?”

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Is it a proposition of some kind? Whatever it might be, that offer could dictate Grace’s next moves.

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But Ariaโ€™s words werenโ€™t an offer.

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“…I sense an energy similar to mine in you.”

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“…?”

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‘What is she talking about?’

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“I wondered if, perhaps, you possess divine power.”

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Divine power in a character who had never even made an appearance in the original story? Grace was on the verge of dropping her jaw.

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‘A saintess possesses a divine power far greater than priests, so she is sensitive to both contamination and divine energy. That’s why Aria couldn’t be mistaken.’

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Grace didn’t believe Aria was wrong. The only issue was, that divine power wasn’t an energy that manifests later in life, like magic.

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‘Having divine power and being a saintess are two different things. Priests with divine power still can’t measure up to a saintess. Yet she says I’m similar to one?’

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The Linden Viscounty’s temple was so small it was practically ornamental. To formally meet a priest, one would need to travel by carriage to a larger territory.

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However as Grace grew up, she had often visited the temples in neighboring territories, but she had never once heard any word of her having any divine power.

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Furthermore, since a saintess already existed, the likelihood of another emerging was non-existent.

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‘Is it because I’ve possessed this body?’

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It was the only conclusion she could reach. Differences brought about by her possession.

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‘…’

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‘But if that difference has truly granted me divine power, then it seems that the dark pebble was indeed the curse’s medium.’

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She had already removed it and had overhauled all the pebbles in the garden, but a similar situation again meant that the entire annex could be a dangerous place.

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‘If the reason she’s reluctant to be in the annex was because cursed objects are scattered throughout, it would make sense.’

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The problem was, she didnโ€™t know how to figure this out. Grace barely held back a sigh.

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‘It’s said those with divine power instinctively know how to use their power. So, I can’t even ask about it.’

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Grace gave Aria, who was subtly tiptoeing around her, a sidelong glance.

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‘…Just as I thought.’

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Aria was just as she was described in the original story.

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Innocent and kind-hearted.

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Even though Grace could potentially seem suspicious, she subtly asked Aria a question.

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“Saintess, are you close to His Highness the Crown Prince?”

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“Wha-? Oh, yes! He’s helped me a lot. I consider him a good friend.”

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‘Friend, huhโ€ฆ’

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Grace decided to drop a hint to help Aria.

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“I’ve never really met a variety of people before. So, I had a hard time understanding the Duke when I first got to know him.”

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Of course, there was a bit of a white lie in her words, but Aria wouldn’t know, and the implication was what mattered.

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‘I’m not sure if Aria will pick up on it.’

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“I never knew my heart could race so much upon befriending someone so dear.”

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“…”

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“Ah, this is a secret between us. Just a girls’ chat.”

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