The truth was that there was a reason why she opened the jewel box without Warren’s permission.

While waiting for the butler to guide her from the reception room of Duchess Tormaite to the laboratory.



‘How is the progress of Elixir going?’

‘I heard it’s going well.’

Duchess Tormaite smiled proudly.

‘We’ll be able to complete it soon! How pleased will His Majesty be?’

‘He’s very busy these days because of that matter. He’s so concerned that he can’t even have a conversation with anyone.’

‘It’s a matter of building an achievement, so it’s natural. By the way, does it mean that you’ve already obtained all three ingredients soon?’

‘I don’t know either. It’s such a secret matter… ‘

‘Why? His Majesty even sent an official letter publicly and promised a reward to anyone who knows the secret of elixir.’

‘Of course, I know. But there’s no need to share that achievement with others, right? So, it’s better to keep it quiet.’

‘That’s a shame. I thought I could see it if I went to the laboratory.’

Laura let out a small sigh.

Seeing that, Duchess Tormaite smiled and slightly lowered her upper body.

‘It’s something that I only tell to the Archduchess.’

‘What is it?’

Laura blinked her innocent eyes.

‘It’s still far from completion. We’re currently investigating one ingredient at a time.’


‘Even so, we’ll be faster than other families. There are many famous magicians from the Phaede Kingdom here.’

‘I see.’

Laura nodded her head and played along.

‘And actually, we’ve found the second ingredient.’

This time, Laura was genuinely surprised.

The second ingredient was none other than ‘lizard’s eyeball’.

‘How did you find that? It must have been as difficult to obtain as a phoenix feather.’

‘It was quite challenging. But it seemed easier than finding a phoenix feather. After all, unlike a phoenix, gems actually exist.’

‘Gems, you say…’

‘When I offered a reward to find a phoenix feather, I also bought all the gems with a blue hue.’

‘Gems with a blue hue… Could it be lizard’s eyeballs?’

‘That’s right. Surprising, isn’t it?’

‘Hohoho, I see…’

I was so shocked and stunned that I felt like grabbing my throat.

Lizard’s eyeball.

The ingredient was literally not an actual lizard’s eyeball.

It referred to a certain gemstone.

The one who discovered it was naturally Laura.

And on that day, she was so excited that she revealed the identity of the ingredient to Warren.

In other words, the only ones who knew the secret were Laura and Warren.

‘Warren must have confessed that secret to Duchess Tormaite.’

My mouth felt bitter.

To have the hard-earned information taken away so disappointingly.

Thanks to Duchess Tormaite’s hint, Laura discovered that there was a lizard’s eyeball in the laboratory.

And just now, the jewel box was opened.

Inside was a lizard’s eyeball.

A gem with a blue hue placed on a red velvet cloth.

It shimmered with a brilliant light, about the size of three fingers.

“This is…”

Laura murmured with an ecstatic gaze.

Click. The lid closed.

At the same time, the dazzling gem disappeared before her eyes.

“Archduchess, this is something that should not be touched lightly.”

Warren, who closed the lid, said with an embarrassed face.

“Oh my, I’m sorry. The box was so pretty that I touched it without realizing it.”

Laura apologized with a regretful expression.

But inside, she smiled at the thought of the clever ruse.

“Well, that’s understandable.”

The lizard’s eye they just saw was simply an ordinary gemstone.

Of course, it was undoubtedly a top-quality gemstone, whether by size or color.

Perhaps it was a gemstone that was rarely seen in the world.

But it was not an ingredient for the Elixir.

In fact, even before seeing it in person, she knew that the lizard’s eye was just an ordinary gemstone.

Because when she revealed the identity of the ingredient to Warren, she kept one important secret hidden.

In other words, all she told him was that it was a ‘blue gemstone.’

Therefore, Warren would have focused only on the physical gemstone.

“Lord Warren must be busy, so let’s end the laboratory tour here.”

If the lizard’s eye wasn’t real, there was no need to stay here any longer.

Laura turned around with a satisfied feeling.

“Archduchess, may I ask you one question?”

Warren called out to Laura, who was about to leave.

“Of course.”

“You changed the shape of the fireworks into a phoenix at the celebration banquet. How did you do that…?”


As expected, Warren couldn’t just let it go.

After all, even to a magician like him, what she did must have seemed very strange.

He didn’t believe her when she said she was influenced by the phoenix that day.

“Well, I’m curious about that too. Sometimes I wonder what possessed me to do that. It almost feels like I had a dream.”

But she had no choice but to evade his question.

As if expecting that answer, Warren didn’t inquire any further. Instead, he began to ask strange questions.

“Have you been feeling unwell lately?”


I’m always feeling unwell.

Since I’m living as a parasite in someone else’s body, I can only manage to get by.

“My point is, have you ever felt like your body isn’t the same as before or that you couldn’t move well…?”

Laura’s eyes widened.

Because she remembered when she was first possessed.

Did he notice?

That I’m not really the Archduchess….

‘It’s unlikely. The reason I couldn’t move my body when I possessed it was because I fell down the stairs. What else could have gone wrong with it?’

“Why are you asking me that?”

“I might have mistaken it for something else, but looking at the Archduchess reminds me of someone.”

After saying that, Warren lowered his eyelashes. His handsome face looked shadowy, emitting a wistful atmosphere. Like someone who lost a precious person and felt heartbroken.

It felt like watching him was piercing someone’s heart.

But Laura was just curious.

Who comes to mind when he looks at me with such a sad face?

“Who is that person? …Do you happen to miss your lover who you parted with in the Phaede Kingdom?”


For a moment, Warren made a strange expression.

Laura realized too late that she had said something unnecessary. At the same time, she remembered what happened at the victory celebration party.


“I… loved her.”


That was what he said when he confided his feelings about Laura Tauler at the time.

Of course, later on, he said he loved her as a colleague or friend, but it was still awkward.

‘Surely, it couldn’t be me, right?

When she blamed herself for saying the word ‘lover’ for no reason.

He hesitated with his lips puckering and looked up. Then, with a deep gaze, he looked at Laura.

“To me, a lover is…”

Laura pricked up her ears and focused on what he would say next.


Then, through the tense air, a courteous voice was heard.

Edward was standing where he had turned.

He seemed to have come in a hurry, breathing lightly.

“It’s really the Archduchess.”

“Count Tormaite, have you come running? Oh my, look at you sweating.”

A drop of sweat trickled down her forehead, and she brushed her damp hair with a grimace.

His appearance was as refreshing as a blue tree swaying in the bright sunshine.

“Do you have urgent business?”

Warren asked.

“No, not at all. I just heard that the Archduchess had visited and was worried.”

“You were worried about me?”

Laura blinked because she didn’t understand.

“If my mother said something rude, I’ll apologize instead.”

Edward bowed his head.

He was worried that his mother might have been rude to Laura again, just like at the tea party.

“Not at all. I had a very pleasant time with Duchess Tormaite, didn’t I?”


Edward scrutinized Laura’s face carefully as if he couldn’t believe it.

“That’s right.”

At her words, his stiff lips finally relaxed as if he was relieved.

“Are you here to sightsee?”

“Duchess Tormaite kindly told me to look around as much as I wanted and even assigned a butler to guide me.”

Laura pointed to the butler standing by the entrance. He had been waiting there since he guided her in.

“My mother said so…”

Edward muttered, lost in thought. He had a troubled expression as if something was bothering him.

But soon he smiled and spoke again.

“If my mother allowed it, it should be fine.”

“Did I come here rudely? I was just too curious…”

“No, there’s nothing to hide. Besides, everyone knows that His Majesty is looking for the Elixir.”

“I’m relieved to hear you say that.”

“Is there anything else you’re curious about?”

“No, there isn’t. Oh, what happened to the phoenix feather I gave you?”

“I’m keeping it safe.”

Warren replied.

When she pretended to look around the room, he spoke up.

“The flame feather the Archduchess gave me has turned back into ash. So I put it in a box.”

Laura didn’t make any request to see it.

It had left her hands anyway.

Besides, she had no reason to stay any longer since she had checked everything here.

“Would you like to return to your home?”

“Yes, Count.”

“I’ll escort you to the front of the mansion.”

After saying goodbye to Warren, Laura left the laboratory with Edward.

The butler headed for the mansion first at Edward’s command.

The two walked together along a quiet path that led to the garden.

The summer sun was intense, but it was relatively cool because of the trees lining both sides of the path.

Laura glanced briefly at Edward, who was walking quietly beside her.

He was lost in thought, looking down at the ground.

Laura stopped walking.

Edward, who had taken two or three steps, turned around with a puzzled look on his face.

“Do you have something to ask me, Count?”


“At that time, you rejected my proposal in that letter. But now, why has your mind changed?”

Edward’s eyes widened at the direct question.

In fact, Laura had been struggling with Edward’s letter all this time.

The problem was that ‘Isabella’ had burned the letter, so she didn’t know the contents of it.

She didn’t know why they were exchanging letters, what the contents of the letter were, or why ‘Isabella’ burned it.

Because of this, she didn’t know how to treat Edward.

But she got a hint from her conversation with Duchess Tormaite. ‘Isabella’ had seduced Edward.

And he politely rejected Isabella’s feelings.

The letter probably contained content that rejected her feelings.

If that was the case, there was no need to worry about it.

After all, she had no intention of doing anything with Edward.

The problem was Edward.

“You told me last time. You said the answer was different from what you wrote in the letter.”

When Edward drove Laura back to the archducal house after Duchess Tormaite’s tea party, he made that statement.

“Yes, that’s right.”

Edward nodded, recalling what had happened.

“Can I interpret that as a change of heart towards me?”


Edward looked at Laura with a silent, penetrating gaze.

His brown pupils sparkled in the bright sunlight.

“Please clarify that for me.”



“I like you.”


Laura opened her lips silently.

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