“This, how did this happen…?”
Izaya doubted her own eyes.
At first, she thought she had seen it wrong.
Then she wondered if it was an illusion by someone beside him named Siara, and finally, she wondered if Hierian had been attacked and knocked down.
But none of those were true.
Hierian was peacefully asleep with a calm expression, and Siara, someone called Siara, was beside her.
Siara explained the situation with a tired expression.
“He must have been very tired.
He’s been sleeping all day.”
Izaya couldn’t respond.
It was because she was witnessing for the first time since birth Hierian sleeping alongside someone.
‘And, he’s even smiling.’
Hierian pursed his lips as if he was having a pleasant dream and smiled softly.
Unable to believe his appearance, which looked unbelievably good, Siara couldn’t hide her surprise.
A questioning voice approached Izaya as she stood there in a daze.
“Don’t you have anything to say to me?”
“You said you would apologize if I confirmed that I’m not Hierian.
But instead of keeping your promise, why did I end up in a place like this?”
“Oh, I apologize for the misunderstanding.
I’m really sorry, Siara.”
Izaya took a step back and bowed deeply at a right angle to apologize, but Siara didn’t seem pleased at all.
She pursed her lips and crossed her arms.
“When will you let me go? And what about my membership card?”
“Letting you go is up to Hierian, but… I did bring your membership card.”
Izaya took out a glossy black card from her pocket and handed it to Siara.
She immediately took the card and placed it on the nearby table, smirking.
I’ll leave it at that.
Please take care of me from now on, Izaya.”
* * *
Hierian woke up from his sleep after a solid twenty hours.
While she waited for him to wake up, Siara had also fallen asleep next to him, in an uncomfortable position.
The sound of her shallow breath tickled Hierian’s ears.
Unconsciously, Hierian kept staring at her, and after a while, he noticed that Siara was lying uncomfortably.
She lay without a pillow, and there were marks of the blanket on her cheek.
The messy posture, with her hips twisted, was detrimental to her health.
And why wasn’t the blanket covering her?
Hierian clicked his tongue in dissatisfaction.
“Tsk, so careless.”
Hierian murmured as he gently adjusted Siara’s position.
It would have been easier to use magic to make her comfortable, but for some reason, his body responded first.
He laid Siara in a proper position and covered the blanket up to her neck.
Then he slumped onto the bed, exhausted.
“Ah, so tired.”
Sweat trickled down his forehead, and his breath rose to his chin.
After several deep breaths, Hierian finally raised his head.
“But why did I do this?”
He had a convenient tool called magic.
It was nothing to easily make Siara lie comfortably with just a flick of his finger.
So why did he bother using his own body to move her? Looking back, it seemed foolish.
“…No, that’s not the problem.”
The problem was that he personally made Siara comfortable.
Troubled, Hierian furrowed his brow.
‘As my body grows younger, my mind grows weaker.’
This was definitely not a good phenomenon.
He was an administrator, and his authority had a direct impact on all the magicians.
So he shouldn’t easily show a weak side.
But what was this situation? Thinking about it, Hierian suddenly remembered before falling asleep.
The sight of himself holding onto Siara and pestering her.
‘Hmph, hmph, hmph, hmph!’
‘…Don’t go anywhere, okay?’
After reminiscing, Hierian’s face turned bright red.
Unable to overcome his embarrassment, he clenched his fist tightly and banged it on the bed.
As a result, the bed shook, but Siara didn’t wake up.
Instead, she tossed and turned before returning to her uncomfortable position from earlier.
Seeing her sleep like that, which was not good for her body, Hierian frowned with anger
Hierian got up again and made Siara lie properly.
Then he sat on the edge of the bed, panting heavily.
The sweat that had stopped started pouring out again.
His breath became uneven.
As he wiped his forehead roughly, Hierian suddenly felt that something was different from before he went to sleep.
As he glanced around for a moment, he finally noticed something peculiar.
It was the black card placed on the bedside table.
Hierian reached out with his short and plump hand and lifted the card.
On the sleek black card, the words ‘VIP Membership Card’ were clearly engraved.
From the imprinting to the issuance, it was a membership card managed by the Hyregia Mage Tower Headquarters.
Above all, the VIP membership card was not issued to just anyone.
It was given as a token of gratitude to those who had greatly helped Hyregia, and there were not even ten holders in total.
“Why is this here?”
Hierian flipped the card over and quickly scanned the neatly written word.
Siara was an ancient word meaning “fairy of summer.” It was a name that suited well with a sleeping woman.
From her golden hair, which was immersed in intense sunlight like a sunflower, to her emerald green eyes resembling newly bloomed spring leaves.
Hierian, who was tracing the characters of the name with his fingers, unconsciously bit his lips.
“Set her free.”
The spirit had spoken, and he had to free Siara.
‘I need to think carefully about how.’
Just as he was about to take a step forward, Siara murmured in a heavily suppressed voice.
“You can have your candy…….”
“Are you sure?”
Siara took a bite.
Hierian stared at Siara for a long time, noticing something strange.
“…Why did candy suddenly appear?”
Was it because the candy he had given her before going to sleep tasted good? Lost in doubt, Hierian heard Siara mutter once again.
“You’re becoming like a child by eating candy all the time.”
“All the time?”
Hierian loved candy.
He always had it in her mouth.
It was a well-known fact among those close to him.
But it was natural for Siara not to know that.
‘She doesn’t have any magical powers, yet she enters and exits the restricted area outside the control of the administrator, knows about people mentioned by the oracle, and even knows my habits.’
Something felt off.
And come to think of it, it was also strange that Hierian was paying such close attention to Siara.
It felt like he was missing something important.
But Hierian was a genius, and once he saw someone, he would never forget them.
That was a fact.
‘Could there be memory manipulation?’
It was extremely rare for someone to be able to manipulate his memories.
However, taking advantage of the opportunity when the magic pillar went out of control and caused a malfunction, someone other than Siara might have sneaked into the restricted area outside the control of the administrator and done something wrong.
‘I need to investigate.’
Hierian went straight to Izaya.
Izaya, who was focused on her work, noticed Hierian and bent her knee to meet his gaze.
“Hierian? What’s the matter?”
“Well, it seems like I might have had my memories manipulated.”
“Yeah, someone could have intruded while I was unconscious.
We can’t be sure if there are no other intruders besides Siara who entered the restricted area outside the control of the administrator.”
“…The problem might be more serious than we thought.”
She immediately sounded the alarm throughout the entire Mage Tower.
[Emergency notice: Mental realm mages, please move to the top floor immediately!]
At that moment, the mages rushed to the top of Mage Tower.
While the mages were busy setting up barriers and diagnosing Hierian, who remained silent, Hierian suddenly remembered something and turned to Izaya.
“By the way, Izaya, did you tell Siara that I enjoy eating candy?”
I haven’t said anything like that.”
“Is that so…?”
Hierian sank into deep contemplation.
Then Izaya, who had a belated thought, added.
“By the way, she mentioned that she read your autobiography.”
She said she remembered every page and called herself a fan.”
The corners of Hierian’s mouth twitched before Izaya had finished speaking.
At that moment, a mage spoke up.
“Hierian, your excitement level is rising.”
“…Is that so?”
“Yes, we couldn’t find any traces of manipulation, but it seems you have become more emotional instead.”
Hierian twiddled his fingers.
While Izaya looked at him with a pleased expression, she added an explanation.
“Perhaps it’s not memory manipulation but rather you have feelings for Siara?”
Upon hearing that, Hierian was startled and stepped back.
“Do I like someone?”
It seemed like you used the confession spell skillfully.”
“……because Siara is innocent.”
Startled, the wizards who had been silently listening to their conversation asked in surprise,
“Are you saying there’s a perfectly fine human who fell under Hierian‘s confession spell?”
“She’s a subject of study.
I’ll explain later…”
“Everyone, quiet down. She‘s someone Hierian likes.
As the murmurs grew louder, Hierian’s face turned even redder.
“No! That’s not true!”
In the end, Hierian waved his hands in the air and hastily fled from his spot.
* * *
Afterward, Hierian locked himself in the library.
Among thousands of books, he crouched down in a corner where books on torture magic were shelved and muttered to himself.
“It can’t be true.
There’s no one I could possibly like.”
But he did feel good when Siara touched his head.
In hindsight, it hurt his heart too much because of what she had said.
If it were any other time, he would have shrugged it off, but when she said it, it carried hundreds, thousands of times more weight.
I’m sure I’ve never seen her before.’
Seeing that even numerous exceptional wizards couldn’t figure it out, he wondered if someone who had reached a considerable level had manipulated his memories.
But more than that, Hierian was curious about something else.
What kind of person was Siara to him before his memories were manipulated? Did she remember the old him? If she did, why didn’t she tell him?
Lost in thought, he quickly raised his head at the sudden sensation.
Izaya was standing there, her expression hardened compared to before.
“Hierian, His Highness Dianel will be visiting soon.
He contacted us saying he wishes to see you urgently.”
“Yes, he wants to meet you… Should I show him the way out?”
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