Hierian looked at the woman intently, placing both hands on the ground.
However, no trace of magic could be sensed from her, no matter how carefully he observed.
“This is unbelievable.”
How can someone without any magic enter a restricted area, accessible only to administrators? Even for Hierian, who had absorbed all the knowledge of the Magical Pillar since childhood, this was a puzzle.
She was an experimental subject worth diving into immediately.
Hierian unconsciously grabbed her by the throat as he stared at her.
Thump-thump, his heartbeat, carrying blood throughout his body.
He could feel the pulse in his fingertips.
The sound of her steady breathing was the same.
Every indication proved that this woman was alive.
Everything seemed ordinary, yet she defied the laws.
He wondered how far she could deviate from the rules.
“Would she still be alive even if I cut her throat?”
If she could enter forbidden areas without any constraints, she might even survive losing a limb.
His curiosity sparked.
“I’ll find out once I confirm it.”
Magical runes of a water spirit appeared in his fern-like hand.
As the runes vibrated, the air around them seemed to tremble.
Leaves that touched the vibration were shredded into pieces and scattered into the air.
Hierian directed the wind toward the woman.
The whirlwind wrapped around her, cutting off a few strands of her golden hair and the hem of her dress.
Then, as if sensing the threat, the woman moved her body.
Just as the wind brushed against her neck,
Hierian gasped, quickly inhaling and canceling the spell.
It was because he belatedly realized that he had cast magic.
He couldn’t believe what he had done.
He had killed and dissected countless people.
It was fortunate that they died instantly when their throats were cut.
Some of his experimental subjects even begged to be killed.
Yet, he felt no remorse.
To achieve maximum efficiency with minimal sacrifices, it was best to extract the utmost results from the experimental subjects.
‘…But why only her?’
His hazy gray eyes wandered through the air.
Until her pale green hair fluttered and settled in the wind, he remained motionless.
During that time, the woman unknowingly fell into a peaceful sleep.
‘What should I do?’
However, no matter how much he pondered, he couldn’t find an answer.
In the end, Hierian averted his gaze from the woman.
He had plenty of immediate tasks.
He needed to find out how much time had passed and confirm if he could manipulate the pillar of magic.
If the administration had already been passed on to the woman, the pillar might no longer allow Hierian’s access.
His stubby legs hurriedly moved, but his undersized body didn’t cooperate as he wished.
Hierian plopped down on the ground and glared at his plump, short fingers.
He pouted his lips and muttered sharply,
“Don’t you find it fascinating?”
However, there was no time for sulking or complaining.
Hierian raised his head and looked at the magic pillar on the hill.
The magic within the pillar scattered in various directions.
The situation was grim.
Not only could Hyregia collapse, but the seal of the Demon King might also be broken.
“What have the mages been doing all this time?”
Hierian clenched his lips in frustration.
However, despite his urgency, he couldn’t stop himself from yawning repeatedly.
In the end, he blinked, startled, as he jolted his body awake.
“Ah, no! I have to repair… it.”
It was futile.
His young body couldn’t withstand the drowsiness.
He tried to wake up but failed.
Hierian succumbed to sleep, unable to overcome the weight of his heavy eyelids.
* * *
As the restricted door closed, a sense of emptiness filled Adandito’s eyes.
He hurriedly ran to open the door, but it didn’t budge.
In contrast, the magicians rejoiced, claiming that Hierian had returned.
Amidst the cheering crowd, Adandito stood before Izaya, who seemed distant.
“I want Siara out immediately.”
However, Izaya responded with confidence.
“Didn’t you just witness it? Siara has entered the restricted area for administrators.
And only Hierian can open that door.”
Izaya smirked subtly at Adandito, who had a grim expression.
“In other words, Siara is Hierian.”
“Can you take responsibility for those words?”
Izaya and the other magicians acted with great self-assurance.
According to their logic, Adandito had no counterargument.
However, he clearly remembered the words he heard from the deity.
Recalling the divine trust, he unintentionally clenched his lips.
That can’t be true…”
“You’re being deceived.
Hierian’s transformation magic is so convincing that even fellow magicians like us can be fooled.”
“…Transformation magic, you say.”
Adandito let out a bitter laugh.
Siara was undoubtedly named as his fiancee in the divine trust.
The fact that Hierian might be the one they referred to made Adandito’s headache, and he furrowed his brow.
While Adandito was in confusion, Izaya pointed somewhere with a refreshed expression.
The magical power that had surrounded the mausoleum stopped sparking and slowly moved.
“It seems the magical pillar is stabilizing.”
With those words, she returned to her position and sat down.
The other magicians also went back to where they had been.
In the silence that followed, Dianel appeared belatedly, calm and composed despite having heard about the chaotic situation.
* * *
Restricted area, no access for anyone other than administrators.
In a desolate nameless place, two people lay sleeping, keeping their distance.
Along with the gentle sound of their synchronized breathing, the chirping of birds could be heard.
Amid this beautiful scene, Hierian, who had been peacefully closing his eyes, suddenly jolted awake.
“I have work to do!”
Hierian’s tenacious dedication to his duties snapped him out of sleep.
With a habitual stretch, he discovered his short and chubby arms, wrinkling his nose in disapproval.
Even maintaining balance was difficult for his body, and when his arms swung backward, he tumbled over.
He hit the back of his head on the ground, an action he rarely made mistakes with, which frustrated Hierian.
“Not even able to speak properly.”
He was the administrator and the leader of all magicians, the Master of the magic tower.
The tasks he had to complete were piling up like a mountain.
But now he was in the body of a child.
In this incomprehensible situation, he repeatedly tried to recall his last memory to chase away the overwhelming drowsiness.
‘I had just returned after suppressing the rebellion.
I discovered a problem with the pillar and came to the restricted area, trying to prevent a rampage.
My magic power scattered, almost killing me.’
The memories of the rampage were still vivid.
His whole body felt like it was engulfed in flames.
Even after trying recovery magic, it was useless.
It was like hoping a tiny cup of water would extinguish a huge fire; it had no effect whatsoever.
However, with no other options, he chose to stop the rampage even if it meant dying.
At that moment, someone came to mind.
‘…I wanted to make them happy.’
Seeing their forced smile often made him feel the weight of it, so he thought about making them happy once the suppression was over.
He wanted to give them everything they desired, everything they wanted to eat or wear.
And he would help them live far away from this land.
It would be a good thing for him and the other members of the suppression squad to be involved in.
With that thought, Hierian closed his eyes amid the magic power that consumed him.
Due to repeated playback, he had already exhausted all his energy.
He thought he was going to die for sure.
But now, he opened his eyes again and found himself in such a young body.
After finishing his recollection, he murmured.
‘…Who was that person?’
Regrettably, the most important part didn’t come to his memory.
If he regarded it as precious, then that person must have been significant, yet why couldn’t he remember anything about them?
In the meantime, the memories of worrying about “that person” completely disappeared.
Instead, an unstable flow of magic power still flickered before his eyes.
Normally, the presence of an administrator alone would stabilize the magic pillar.
However, this incident seemed serious enough that he felt the need to see it for himself.
“It looks like I’ll have a lot of work for a while.”
As Hierian was trying to solidify his resolve, he heard murmurs coming from nearby.
“…Yeah, I’m hungry.”
“Yeah, that’s right.
That person was there.”
Hierian glanced at the woman with an unsatisfied expression.
She was utterly indistinguishable.
Even before falling asleep, he found her suspicious, but upon awakening, she seemed even more suspicious.
Judging by the lack of magic power, she wasn’t a magician.
And it was even more certain that she wasn’t an administrator.
Then how did she set foot in the area where only administrators can enter?
Hierian levitated the woman into the air with magic.
Since he had momentarily stopped the pillar’s rampage, his initial plan was to go outside and assess the situation.
As he approached the exit, the vanished door reappeared.
Hierian casually opened the door and then closed it again.
Then, he took a step back from the door with a start.
Hierian slumped down in his place, his grey eyes turning pale as if he had witnessed something unimaginable.
There, in front of the door, was Dianel, who had transformed into a small and adorable cat.
“Did I see it wrong?”
Well, it couldn’t be that Dianel had turned into a cat.
There was no way he could change into such a form.
Hierian took a deep breath several times and cautiously reached out his hand to the doorknob.
The hand gripping the doorknob trembled more than when he severed the seal of the Demon King.
Hierian cautiously looked outside.
It was always the same scenery outside—his secretary sitting at the small desk, the large and wide corridor, the magnificent chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
And… a cat.
With an astonished expression, Hierian closed the door again.
Then, leaning against the door, he muttered to himself.
“I… I can’t possibly go out like this.”
Hierian wiped the cold sweat from his forehead with his short arm.
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