The Rieda mansion was a south-facing building that received an ample amount of sunlight. The scenic view from the main large glass window was praised as being the most exceptional among all the local mansions.
Of course, enjoying it was an opportunity that Ronée was given very briefly or rarely. However, on the day of the Countess’ birthday banquet, she was given a chance.
“Don’t you dare come downstairs!” Count Rieda said to her while holding her stepmother’s hand.
The Countess was worried that Ronée would be seen by the precious guests coming to visit her. Before Ronée could even respond, the Countess turned her back and left quickly. As if she couldn’t stand to share the same space as her for even a second.
The fourth floor of the Rieda mansion was completely vacant and clean. Only the stairs leading down to the lower floors were packed with knights stationed there to prevent her exit. Except for the occasional servant passing through, it was nothing short of freedom for Ronée.
That day, she fully admired the scenic view from the wide window.
“I heard that other households also admire the view from here,” said Ryne.
Ryne knew how to match her young mistress’ mood. Ronée smiled brightly, her face in full bloom as she fully enjoy the sunlight without restraint.
Of course, if she were to show her face at the east hall located in the opposite direction from where she was, where the guests were, she knew the count couple would be enraged.
“They say that there are enormous forests in the western continent. Where the leaves spread out and cover the area like the sea. When you view it from a high tower, they say the beauty of it all really tugs at your heart strings.”
Ryne occasionally told stories of the West Continent, a place she had never been to herself. At her words, Nabel glanced up at her.
Ronne rolled her eyes.
“The leaves that spread out like the sea…”
She resided far inland, she had never seen the sea, but she knew that the sea was so vast with no end in sight.
In her head, she tried to imagine a massive forest filled with endless connecting trees, but she struggled to visualize it.
Suddenly a maid appeared with a bucket in hand.
“The master must have ordered you to not come out,” she said with an openly displeased expression.
The maid, who showed up with her bucket, didn’t want to be near the one abandoned by the gods. But cleaning was her duty, so she had no choice. She loudly set the bucket down in front of Ronée.
Ronne, who inadvertently tried to avoid the bucket, stepped backwards, It was then that she realized that the height of the railing was too low.
In an instant, her body fell backwards over the railing. At that dizzying moment when her steps traversed the air and she felt her body descend, Ronée couldn’t make a sound.
Then an intense bright light glowed within her shadow.
A pair of ears and a bushy tail moved from the edge of her dark shadow.
Nabel’s reaction was faster than Ryne’s. He quickly reached out and grabbed Ronée’s arm. Then, Ronne saw something pop out of her shadow behind him.
She couldn’t recognize the animal that came out from behind Nabel. It was a small animal, small enough to be held in Ronée’s arms, but its movements were not small.
Ronée, who was barely hanging on to the railing, was the first to notice the black, pointy ears, and the shaking white fluffy-looking tail. The animal was facing away from them with a protective stance, as if it was trying to protect them from the others.
“Sister, grab my hand.”
It was the sound of her shoes hitting the ground below. The sound echoed through the empty hall due to the high ceilings.
Nabel paid no mind to her new shoeless appearance, but the surprised maid screamed as she dropped the mop and bucket.
“Oh my god!”
“What’s going on?!”
The reaction to the scream was immediate. The knights who were there to prevent Ronée from leaving the hallway on the 4th floor rushed towards her. The maid pointed towards Ronee and Nabel with an astonished expression. Rather than seeing to Ronée, who was on the verge of falling, their gazes focused elsewhere.
“Why is it in the mansion?”
The black, pointy ears that stood up in high alert. Its black front feet positioned as if he was ready to leap forward. It’s soft orange hair bristled in response to the circumstances of its surroundings.
The same was true with the white, fluffy tail that flicked back and forth in agitation. The fox was clearly wary of the knights.
For a moment, the fox’s figure blurred and became translucent. Afterwards Ronee felt her body begin to float.
With great force, Nabel pulled her up with strength that she didn’t know he had in his child-like arms.
Only when her feet touched the floor did Nabel release the breath he had been holding. Ronée came to her senses when she felt the coldness of the hallway floor beneath her feet.
While living in the mansion, she had experienced many magical attacks from the courtesy of the Countess. But fortunately, during those times, there was never a fear of death because divine magic did not work on Ronée.
This was the first time she had ever came close to dying. Ronée released a shallow breath and directed her gaze to the newly emerged fox.
“Is that a fox…?”
“It appeared from the shadows.” Ronée’s eyes widen when Nabel pointed towards her shadow.
“That demon has brought an evil animal into the mansion!” Cried out one of the servants who was looking at the fox.
The knights’ expressions became harsh.
“Stop it before it attacks the master!”
The knights, who were worshippers of the gods, could also use divine magic. They each held a sword in one hand and created a fireball in another.
There was no hesitation in firing the attack magic at all. Ronée hugged Nabel to shield him without realizing it.
And for the first time ever, Ronée did feel the heat from the magical flames aimed at her. It was thanks to the fox that stood in front of her blocking the fireball.
“I, I, I…!”
The knights were speechless.
“She’s definitely controlling the fox!” Servants and knights exclaimed in unison.
At that moment, the fox’s figure became blurred again.
The fox stumbled and nearly fell over.
Alarmed, Ronee instinctively reached out to the fox, and at that moment, the fox hid within her shadow.
From the dark shadows, pointed ears and a fluffy tail appeared for a brief moment, then disappeared.
“That girl was abandoned by the gods!”
“You don’t know what kind of demon that fox is!”
“Obviously, it came out of that girl’s shadow!”
The hallway was noisy.
Ronée was locked in her room. Even Ryne, her maid, was prevented from entering the room. Instead, Ryne was reprimanded for allowing Ronée to bring a demon into the house. There was even gossip about her being an accomplice.
“Ryne, please be safe.”
Ronée had her head bowed as she listened to the conversation going on out in the hallway. The room was cloaked in darkness. There was no Ryne to light the lamp.
Nabel tried to fill in the void left by the absence of Ryne. It took some time for his hands to get accustomed to the tasks, but it was things he had seen done before, so it wasn’t impossible. Nabel, after managing to light the oil lamp, handed Ronée a cup of warm tea, and sat down next to her.
“What was that fox?”
The quietness of the room was interrupted by Ronée’s abrupt question.
“It’s not a demon.” Nabel quickly answered with certainty.
Ronée’s gaze turned to Nabel.
“Do you know what it is?”
Nabel reached out and grasped her hand without hesitation. Originally, he was a person who was extremely reluctant to reveal himself. But during these past few months, at least in front of Ronée, he was different.
‘Ronée doesn’t hesitate to touch me, even though she knows her thoughts can be read when I touch her.’
To Nabel, she was a strange and mysterious person. Someone he wanted to touch over and over again. The person he wants to reach and touch more intensely.
Such a person was the first in Nabel’s short life. That’s why he was able to reveal everything.
His hand touched Ronée’s shadow.
A knocking sound echoed through the room. Ronée’s eyes widen as she watched her shadow.
It was a cry she had heard before, but she thought it sounded a little injured. At that moment, her shadow gently moved, and revealed the fox she saw earlier.
She hugged it.
The fox that was held in Ronée’s arms was friendly, as if it had known her for a very long time. It rubbed its cheek against her shoulder. When she met Nabel’s eyes, the fox who cried out again, curled up in Ronée’s arms.
She stiffened, unable to lift or move her arms in fear of disturbing the resting fox. The fox felt familiar, like a pet she had raised.
“This fox is….”
Ronée eyed Nabel. He looked like he knew something.
“It’s something that can be seen in the Western Continent.”
When did he, a slave who had previously been trapped in a wagon, have the opportunity to go to the Western Continent?
It was the first time she had a surge of curiosity concerning Nabel, rather than the thought of not asking about the painful past.
“An animal that protects people… In the Western Continent, it is called a Shinsu.”
Nabel had doubts several times while looking at her shadow. He thought no one in the East had a divine beast.
However, the shadow moved whenever Ronée was in danger. The fox in the shadow, that was tense whenever she was threatened, behaved like a divine beast.
“You have an animal of the gods.”
They said that the gods had forsaken her because she wasn’t affected by divine magic. Ronée was speechless as she gazed upon the fox.
“Yes, It’s a divine beast.” Nabel nodded his head slightly. “And maybe it’s because of this fox that magic doesn’t work on sister.”
Nabel squeezed her hand tightly.
Shinsu, the animals of the gods, were the most sacred beings in the Western Continent. Although it was not common, Nabel knew only one other person with a divine beast.
He was also highly respected.
In this place, Shinsu were not recognized, and the master of the divine beast was treated as a person who had been abandoned by the gods.
“The gods did not forsake you.”
You are loved too much. They say that when the gods walked among humans, they took the forms of animals.
He shook with anger. This time he didn’t keep his thoughts to himself and voiced them out loud instead. Ronée watched him in silence.
“We must send her to the temple right now!”
“We must purify it at the altar of the temple!”
Outside the window, at the training grounds, the voices of the knights speaking in unison could be heard. Nabel scoffed and clenched her fists.
“Don’t you want to leave this place?” The low voice sounded sweet.
But Nabel’s dark expression, backlit by the moonlight, was hidden from Ronée.
“…I want to go out.”
‘But I can’t go out.’
Ronée closed her eyes to prevent the tears threatening to escape. Nabel put his hand on hers without saying a word. Ronée’s thoughts flowed in.
He didn’t dare force her to say something that was difficult to say. Instead, he sought a deeper sincerity that could only be heard through their touch.
‘I want to go out if I can.’
‘But neither you nor I can go out without getting hurt.’
So Nabel made up his mind completely.
“I promised to repay your kindness.”
It was the story he told her the day we first met. Ronée opened her eyes. Her vision was slightly blurry.
“I like you, sister,” he whispered. Although he was still young, he spoke with sincerity.
“I only want to live with you, be it a year or ten years.”
In his short life, the time with Ronée was the most meaningful to him. He wasn’t happy being there before, but now it was different. Anywhere by her side was fine. Even if it’s a mansion full of stupid things like this.
‘I only have one sister.’
It was Ronée who first to saved him. It was a small favor. Now it was Nabel’s turn to save her. He made up his mind completely.
“I want to be with you forever.”
To accomplish that, for a very short time, he had to leave Ronée ‘s side.
❤️ FYI❤️: If you have read the previous 23 translated chapters before, I believe the translator broke up each official chapter into 2-3 parts for their releases. Since I do not break up chapters, I wanted to let ya’ll know that this chapter is chapters 9-10 of the previous translated release.
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*Please do not repost my translations anywhere!*