Walter cleared his throat and started preaching. "Think about it, if this person really appears, would the Temple of Light not fear for their position? Would they not fear that this person might threaten their prestige? So they will definitely adopt measures to protect themselves. Based on the style of that bitchy Goddess of Light, she will definitely find the person before anyone else and subdue them to be one of her own. They will be extremely devoted to her and become one of her loyal lackeys in the mortal world."
"And if they couldn't be tamed?" Claire's eyes became slits, a cold ray emitting from her dark green irises.
"Then of course they would eliminate her early on, cleanly and thoroughly." Walter snorted and then spit out, "That bitch always did things this way."
"The Goddess of Light did this to you before?" As soon as Claire asked the question, she felt it was a bit strange and sounded ambiguous. But from the hateful tone of Walter, there was something unusual.
"Before I started dark magic, I was the disciple of a healer. But that vile, ignoble man excluded and framed me, claiming my alchemy results as his own." Walter's mental ripples suddenly became violent. Apparently, he remembered some past memories and was extremely bothered.
Claire didn't interrupt, only listening quietly to Walter furiously howl in a low voice. She could kind of guess what happened. Walter was very talented, so the Temple of Light took him in as their own, but others were jealous and excluded him. Becoming a despised dark magician must have had a lot to do with this.
Walter suddenly became silent.
Claire understood that Walter had calmed down and he didn't want to talk about this anymore and she didn't ask any further.
Everyone has the right to keep their own secrets.
So Claire stayed in the garden feeling the breeze, thinking about other matters until the banquet ended.
After the banquet ended, Claire and Duke Gordan left.
Duke Gordan leaned comfortably against the side of the carriage, his eyes closed in thought. Claire was also quiet. Suddenly Gordan opened his eyes and looked at Claire, "Claire, what do you plan on doing with your fief?"
"Grandfather, find someone to look after it for me. I haven't finished my studies." Claire answered.
"Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Give me the castellan stamp, and I'll find a trustworthy person to take care of things. When you want to visit or manage things by yourself, you can always go anytime." Of course, Duke Gordan wouldn't take much notice of such a small city, and he definitely would not let these tedious issues affect Claire's learning of advanced magic from Sir Cliff.
"Thank you, Grandfather." Claire smiled.
"Study hard and learn from Master Cliff seriously. If one day you also become a wizard sage, then that day, the Hill clan's banner of roses will truly fly forever." There was a radiant look in Gordan's eyes.
"I will work hard and not disappoint Grandfather." Claire nodded and said conscientiously.
"I have faith in you. One day, you will become my pride, become the Hill clan's pride, and even more so, Amparkland's pride." Gordan's powerful words resonated, his eyes burning with expectancy. "Right now those people still view you the same way as before. I know there will be a day when you will give those people a huge surprise. One day, those people won't associate Gordan's granddaughter or Cliff's disciple with your name. I am sure that when they hear the name Claire, it will strike their ears with a roar of thunder! You are yourself, you are Claire Hill!" Gordan stared intently at Claire, pouring out all the emotions in his heart.
Claire only smiled and didn't say anything more, but inside she was incomparably moved. Right now, this old man in front of her finally looked just like an ordinary old man with high hopes for his granddaughter. Claire was even a little confused. Just now, the old man had understood her even better than herself. How he had such perception, Claire wouldn't understand for a long time in the future.
But Gordan never thought that the scene that he was looking so forward to would come so quickly, so abruptly.
In the middle of summer break, Claire's life was fairly boring.
Meditation, then learning magic under Emery's guidance. Literature in the morning, equestrianship and fencing in the afternoon. Cliff had sent a few people to bring over precious items, but never showed up personally. The whole time he was busy with his experiment.
No one knew that every night when Claire returned to her bedroom, she would be riddled with scars.
"Claire, what good will come out of tormenting yourself like this?" Walter's voice sounded in Claire's head curiously, smacking his lips. Every night when Claire returned to her bedroom and finished showering, her ghastly scars would show. And every time, she would wipe on some of the magical medicine she had asked for from Cliff that could heal the wounds instantly. Cliff never inquired why Claire wanted the medicine either. As long as it was Claire who asked for something in her letters, he would definitely give it to her, if possible.
Claire remained silent, putting the medicine on her wounds like there wasn't any pain. Walter could only sense it, but didn't dare to look. Even if he had ten times the audacity, he still wouldn't dare to look at Claire's body. But he continued to feel doubt. Did Claire really have to do this? Did she have to do it to this extent? Right now she had Duke Gordan's care, Cliff's support, and could have anything she wanted. Why did she treat herself this badly?
On the last ten days of summer break, something unusual happened.
The neighboring country, Lagark, sent a few of their own magician students to have an exchange with the Sunrise Institute's. On the surface it was just an exchange, but everyone knew what it really meant. This competition was a show of strength. On this continent, Lagark was only second to Amparkland in terms of military, power, and strength. In recent years they had risen in prominence, and were looking for trouble, so of course this student exchange wasn't as simple as it seemed.
"We can't lose." Duke Gordan said solemnly, sitting at the table in his study, passing on the emperor's message.
"Your Grace, do you mean that we need to take special measures in the case of a necessary situation?" Emery asked in a low tone. He stood aside quietly, clothed in a black magician's cloak.
"Don't rule out that possibility. On that last competition, Lashia's win was very precarious, and only because something turned up suddenly on the other side. It's going to be hard to tell who wins this time." Duke Gordan was very serious. "Not only will the emperor watch this competition, but the Temple of Light will also be present. All this time, the Temple of Light has been building their main temple in our country, the most powerful one. But if we lose this time, there is no guarantee that the Temple of Light won't switch sides." All of the nobility in the capital would come and watch the competition, so there was no way they could afford to lose. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that this competition was closely related to the country's politics and economy. It was far more complicated than people would think...... So they had to win, even if it meant not playing fair!
"Oh, and keep Claire out of this competition. She is still too young, and I don't want her getting hurt." Duke Gordan added, frowning.
"Yes, your Grace." Of course Emery agreed happily. He, out of all the people, would not want anything to befall Claire.
But would things happen so smoothly and simply as they planned?