“Sorry but, I find what you’re saying hard to believe right now.
It’s such an absurd story…”
Rosetta nodded after hearing his honest thoughts.
In fact, she also knew that people wouldn’t easily believe this.
It was better that he honestly said that he couldn’t wrap his head around it.
‘It’s much better than going with the flow now and hitting me on the back of my head later.’
While Rosetta positively assessed Cassion’s distrust, the man exhaled with a shaky breath.
He covered his lips, but he felt his own scorching breath.
He looked down at his bloody side, then looked up once more to match his gaze with Rosetta.
This wasn’t the time to smile, but he did.
And as he smiled silently, his red eyes suddenly felt heavy.
A hot sensation pressed over his eyes.
The heat weighed down his eyes, and eventually became tears that trickled down.
Yet the tears themselves were as cold as ice.
Rosetta stared blankly at Cassion.
One second he said that he couldn’t believe her words, then the next he was suddenly crying.
And he cried coldly, as though he was the winter night himself.
What seeped out of his lips were sounds that couldn’t be identified, whether they were sobs or laughter.
Despite that, his lips that were curved up looked sorrowful.
“Why are you crying.”
At Rosetta’s not-so-delicate question, Cassion opened his eyes.
More tears streamed down his cheeks as he slowly opened his eyelids.
“Because I’m sad.”
“Because it’s an absurd story, because eventually, it’s making me want to just die.”
An unbelievable explanation.
An explanation without any evidence presented.
Nevertheless, the connotation of a dog’s death, a meaningless death, hung in the air.
Was it because this pitiful, miserable description suited him so well
Was it because he had always thought that when he was going to die someday, it would be a meaningless death
“You knew in advance that I would be in an accident, right”
I saw it in advance, that’s why I was there to save you while you were on the verge of dying.
I planned to save you and ask you to join hands with me so that we could escape that fate together.”
But what she didn’t plan was that he would forget about her rescuing him.
Listening to Rosetta’s added explanation, Cassion nodded.
If all those absurd words were true, then the absurd probability could be understood.
He knew now how Rosetta knew about the carriage ‘accident’.
So when she saved him…
And when she suddenly told him to become the next duke instead of Leo…
“What do you plan to do now”
Rosetta asked Cassion with a hushed voice.
He was lost in thought.
“I said everything I could say.
But if you’re still thinking about it…”
She stopped talking for a while, then she raised her hand and uncurled her fingers one by one.
Index finger, middle finger, and ring finger.
As she held up three fingers, a solemn voice came out from Rosetta’s lips.
“One, I will do my best to help you, Cassion Carter, while you’re on my side, and I will never abandon you.
Two, I will make sure that you can survive and become happy at the end of it all.
And three, if I ever break this oath, I vow that I shall die the cruelest, most miserable death in the world, and that I will remove myself from everyone’s memories.”
This vicious oath resounded throughout the dark alley.
And as she stopped speaking, she slowly turned her eyes towards the man.
“What a brutal vow.”
“It’s supposed to be like that if you want it to be upheld.
Even if it’s uncomfortable to hear.”
At the man’s words which were tinted with amusement, Rosetta also replied with a similar tone of voice.
The fingers she had folded as she counted were held up again.
“Now, it’s your turn to choose.”
She had already laid everything she could in front of him.
All that was left was Cassion’s choice.
“Will you die as fate decrees, or…”
Rosetta reached out to the man.
It was the same hand that had been wounded by glass shards, still bandaged now—the same hand that held up three fingers to signify her vow.
The white bandage was stained with both blood and rubble.
The blood of the man she saved, the rubble that she grazed to save him.
Cassion stared at Rosetta’s hand.
Then, his gasping voice rang clearly.
“I trust you…”
Soon after, he stopped leaning back on the wall.
But his head, as it lost the place where it leaned on, faltered dangerously forward.
Like a flower swaying in the wind.
“Since I said I’ll trust you… Even if it’s unbelievable, I’ll trust you.
So after all this, if what you say is true…”
Rosetta stared wordlessly as his black hair fluttered in the air.
With a groan, his shoulders shook and sank down.
But even before he crouched down, a series of biting coughs came out of his mouth.
And red blood flowed down the corner of his lips and wet his chin.
He steeled his gaze.
He was already losing consciousness.
Now, he couldn’t even feel the pain anymore.
Cassion squeezed out his last remaining strength and lifted his head slightly.
But his gaze lost its grip as his staggering body barely reached Roseta.
“I accept your proposition.”
His quivering red eyes flashed with madness.
I don’t know how you’re going to make me the next Duke, but… Alright… Save me.
Make me the next Duke.”
The face that was wet with both blood and tears smiled broadly.
And he leaned down towards the hand that reached out towards him, his cheek on her palm.
He couldn’t move his hands because he was using them to prop himself up, holding onto the wall behind him.
This was his best option.
Her palm was wet.
Not knowing whether it was blood or tears, Rosetta continued to stay silent.
Soon, however, she could feel the face in her palm move slowly.
Even this stiff expression trembled.
“Even so, if I still die no matter what… I just want to continue enduring.”
His voice was tinged with several different emotions.
Where desperate words and confessions were laid bare, the air was now filled with silence.
Devoid of either his breath or the beating of his heart.
Rosetta called out to him, a heavy foreboding weighing on her shoulders.
She couldn’t feel any movement on her palm.
She couldn’t feel even his staggered breaths.
As her hand grew cold over his skin, the novel’s contents flashed through mind.
「 He collapsed to the ground underneath the red, burning sunset, but when he hurriedly opened his eyes, the cold evening air hit his body.
He could see the night sky, where clouds peacefully floated by.
The moon, which was covered by the clouds, slowly revealed itself.
His body temperature rapidly dropped as his clothes were soaked with his own blood.
The darkness that quickly followed the dangerous night made his throat clench.
With a pained groan, his bright red eyes finally lost their light.
His breath stopped and no longer passed through his throat.
Like a blank sheet, his cold body lay motionless.
And thus, Cassion’s heart stopped.
As Rosetta recalled the original scene, she urgently collapsed in front of him.
The cold body slid down as she moved.
The man’s eyes wouldn’t open even as she called him desperately.
His face grew paler and paler.
This is fine.’
It turned out great.
His heart simply stopped here.
Although the time and location changed a little, it was still the same day of the accident.
Around this time, the heart of Cassion in the novel had also stopped beating, so in a little while, his heart should also start back up again.
Just like the original.
From the start, a mage’s source of mana was their heart.
They used the mana that flowed through their heart to conjure magic, and a mage’s ability was determined by their mana affinity and prowess with mana application.
Therefore, a mage needed both effort and natural talent.
Since the condition was to have both mana that flowed through one’s body and the ability to control this through mana application, if one or the other couldn’t be achieved, then the result would arrive at zero.
If one wasn’t born with mana affinity, then they wouldn’t be able to become a mage.
But here, Cassion couldn’t comply with the requirement of ‘mana application’.
There was mana in his body, but he couldn’t use it because it didn’t flow well through him.
Because he wasn’t born with the natural talent to control this, he couldn’t become a mage.
But this was half right and half wrong.
It was true that Cassion’s mana was trapped in his heart.
It was also true that his mana couldn’t flow through his bloodstream because there was something blocking the pathways.
However, it wasn’t true that he lacked the ability to control his mana.
‘The fact is that his mana has just been blocked.’
That’s the only thing.
With regard to mana application and mana affinity, he was the purest sense of ‘natural talent’.
He was a genius that was born only once in a thousand years.
With his mana blocked, no one noticed his talents.
No matter how much of a genius he was, if he was never given a chance to explore his talents, then he wouldn’t be able to live up to his potential.
Just as when one wouldn’t know if they could kick well until they actually kicked a ball.
Cassion had never been given a ball, let alone a chance to kick one.
And in the original work, when his heart stopped, this served as a trigger for him to be able to receive that ‘ball’.
What gave him the power to become a villain was this revival.
His heart had now cooled and stopped moving.
Rosetta once again recalled the original text.
「 It hadn’t been long since Cassion’s heart stopped.
Mana began to flow through it instead of blood, trickling in endlessly.
It was something of a ‘defense mechanism’.
In order to save the dying body, the heart began to supply the mana trapped within it instead of blood.
It was a miracle.
A marvelous phenomenon that his mana was flowing.
Truthfully, this alone was not enough to save his dying body.
The amount of mana that began to seep was like only a thin stream of water.
However, as a result, Cassion’s heart began to beat once more.
His ‘mana application’—that he or anyone else never knew about—was on the level of a genius.
As the shallow mana began to trickle, his overwhelming talent began to flood.
His body became warm again.
And he could breathe once more.
His stiffened fingers were spread out, and his leaking blood slowly stopped.
His heart, which had stopped beating, began to pound loudly.
Boom, boom, boom.
The breath he took in was ragged and pained, just like the one he breathed out as he died just moments ago.
Cassion opened his eyes.
The world was still dark, yet the stars blanketing the night sky glimmered fiercely.
He could tell without ascertaining it.
This strange sensation that now flowed through his body.
After being abandoned by everyone—after being abandoned by the world—he finally became a Carter who could wield magic.
According to the novel, he should soon open his eyes and realize his own abilities.
Although the mana flowing through his streams was unstable, he would become a formidable mage because of his remarkable mana application…
She was confident that this would be solved.
So, Cassion just needed to open his eyes…
“You can open your eyes now.”
Rosetta bit her lower lip.