Erna let out a soft groan as she slowly opened her eyes, stretching her body out as she let out a long yawn. Her fever had lowered and the pain in her chest had subsided, no doubt thanks to Kalion’s skilled massage. However, she couldn’t ignore the throbbing sensation in a different part of her body.
Kalion, who had been massaging her chest, had eventually made his way to her lower regions, igniting a spark between the two of them that they couldn’t control. Despite being intimately familiar with each other’s bodies, they were both surprised at the intensity of the new sensations that coursed through them. Erna buried her face in her knees, her mind in a haze of pleasure and confusion.
The next morning, Erna found her head clear and her pain lessened. She knew that she needed to return to the Grand Castle’s main palace as soon as possible. If she couldn’t go back to her original time, then she would have to adapt to this place as best she could. She was still the Duchess of Hessenguard, but everything felt strange.
Kalion seemed to be of the same mind, having already left for the Knight’s Order that morning. Erna was accompanied by Orpé, who would assist her in case she made any missteps while exploring this unfamiliar territory.
As they walked, Erna noticed a shining pillar in the distance and asked Orpé about it. “What is that shining pillar?”
Orpé explained that it was a new type of magic formula that the late duke had created and cast, and it had appeared about three years ago. They hadn’t found a way to destroy it, so they left it there. It illuminated the road at night and had proved to be quite useful.
Erna reflected inwardly and entered the building, still grappling with the same unanswered questions about her future. The building had remained largely unchanged, but subtle differences caught her eye: new items placed, old ones gone. She made her way towards her office, scanning for changes as she went.
“So many books have accumulated in eight years,” Erna murmured in amazement as she entered her office. The shelves were crammed with books and documents, so full that they looked ready to collapse.
“There was no other way. There has been a lot of research on ancient ruins during that time,” Orpé explained.
Erna approached the bookshelf and searched for unknown documents, marveling at her own accomplishments as she went. “Oh my goodness. These are deciphered ancient languages from the ruins? Did I successfully decipher all these characters?”
Erna was lost in her thoughts, examining the documents and books with newfound diligence, when Orpé interrupted her. “Then I’ll go prepare some refreshments,” she said.
Erna nodded absentmindedly, engrossed in her work. She continued to scour the shelves, her eyes scanning titles and bindings until she came across a safe tucked behind the bookshelf. “I just thought about making it, but I guess I did it,” she said to herself.
Erna inspected the magic surrounding the safe before putting her hand on the door. As the magic recognized her, the safe opened easily. But Erna realized that dozens of different types of magic recognized her with just a simple movement of her hand. As the bookshelf moved aside, the safe door slowly creaked open, revealing a room-sized space that surprised Erna.
“Why did I make such a big safe for it?” she mused aloud. She stepped inside and the lights flickered on, revealing a heavily guarded space. Dozens of overlapping magic spells protected the safe not just for opening, but for defense.
“Is there even any gold here?” Erna wondered. Perhaps there were Pieces of Sea found in the ancient ruins. She approached the bookshelf inside the safe, expecting to find ancient documents.
“What is this?”
Erna was surprised to find something completely different from what she had expected. The bookshelf was full of colorful drawings on torn papers, and she couldn’t make sense of them. Dozens of sheets piled up with colorful drawings on torn papers, and crooked lines that even worms would crawl more beautifully than.
“Are these children’s drawings? Is this paper for practicing handwriting?” Erna wondered aloud. But her eyes soon fell upon another bookshelf, filled with more readable handwriting in scribbled letters.
“Mille…?” Erna muttered to herself as she recognized the familiar handwriting. The papers were undoubtedly Mille’s handwriting practice papers, but why were they inside the safe? And why were there so many of them?
Determined to uncover the truth, Erna continued to search the shelves until her eyes landed on a notebook with fingerprints on it. As she opened it, she saw that it was filled with writings in her own handwriting.
“What is this? A diary?” Erna murmured, surprised by the discovery. Judging by the dates written on it, it was clearly a diary.
“I don’t use that kind of stuff, do I?” she questioned, perplexed. Other than organizing materials needed for research, Erna hardly ever wrote anything separately. Especially, she had never written a diary in her entire life.
“Why write down what you already know by heart?” she remembered Orpé asking her once, as if sincerely bewildered. But as Erna read through the diary, she began to wonder if there was something wrong with her memory.
[Today, Mille sat next to my desk, holding a pen and practicing writing, while whining about how she wanted to go out and play. She was so cute, holding a pen and paper as if she were going to do the same thing as her mother. During lunch, Kalion came to see Mille, but Mille told him, “Daddy, you can’t disturb me,” and then glanced at me and quietly told Kalion to be quiet. She’s really my daughter…so cute! So pretty! Why is Mille so cute!]