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Chapter 26: The Hero and the Healing Magician

a small mansion near the forest that was originally an orphanage.

peaceful place where only the chirping of birds could be heard.

Next to a small well in the garden, Viola, as usual, was washing vegetables when she suddenly looked up at the commotion carried by the wind.

According to rumors, today was the day the hero would come to inspire. However, Viola was not interested. Even if she saw the hero from a distance—someone she had never met—she didn’t think anything would change. Viola quickly lowered her gaze and resumed her work.

After a while, a shadow suddenly fell on the hands that had been silently washing vegetables. Viola twisted her body to look up at the owner of the shadow.

Just as if blocking the light, a young man was standing there. His hair was blond, and his eyes were blue. Despite his refreshing beauty, his expression strangely lacked humanity.

“Who are you?” Viola asked in a small voice, but the young man in front of her didn’t answer.

He just sat there silently, staring at Viola washing vegetables. If he wanted to be like that, Viola would ignore his presence. She didn’t think it was anything interesting to be observed, but it didn’t bother her.

After washing a pile of vegetables in the basket and preparing to stand up, the young man spoke.

“What are you going to use those vegetables for?”

“These?” Viola looked down at the vegetables in her hand and answered smoothly. “I’ll boil these potatoes and make a pie. I’ll use some of the sage directly in the dish, but I can’t use it all, so I’ll dry it. As for the leeks, I guess I’ll stew them and make soup… Is this story interesting?”

“Not really.”

“I thought so.”

If that’s the case, why did he ask? Viola wondered. She swallowed the question about why he asked and tried to leave this time.

The young man in front of her caught her hand.

“What now?”

“You’re a member of the Demon King subjugation force, right?”


“Then, aren’t you going to see the hero?”


Viola tilted her head and, brushing off the dirt on her skirt, started walking again.

“If I go see him too, who’s going to cook today’s dinner? The hero won’t cook, right?”

“If you see him, you might feel motivated or something.”

“Not at all. What’s the point of looking at the face of someone I’m not interested in?”

“No interest?”

“Yes. Maybe it feels like the last trump card from the king’s perspective, but whether the Demon King is defeated or not, it doesn’t matter to me.”

“Well, then,” the young man said. Hearing a tone of desperation in his voice, Viola stopped and turned around.

“Why did you join the subjugation force?”

“Because that was the only path.”

“It’s dangerous.”

“Better than dying in the wild, right?”

“Don’t you want the hero to protect you absolutely?”

“Hey, it’s not like I’m brazen enough to ask someone I don’t even know to do that.”

Turning her back on the silent young man this time, Viola spoke.

“Can I go back now? If I don’t start preparing dinner soon, I’ll be scolded.”

“Tell me one last thing.”


“What’s your name?”

“If you’re asking someone’s name, isn’t it polite to introduce yourself first?”

For a moment, the young man hesitated. Viola shrugged her shoulders and started walking towards the mansion. A small voice came from behind.


“I’m Viola.”

Viola answered briefly, but her steps quickly came to a halt. Leon, he said. Could it be that Leon, the hero—.

With a loud, tremendous noise, Viola jumped up, hastily reaching for the light switch near her pillow.

There was a slight sensation of magical power being drawn, and the room was dimly illuminated. Squinting in the now bright room, Viola looked around to find the source of the sound.

The culprit was immediately apparent. The sword of the hero Leon, was lying next to the bed. It was the sacred sword passed down to the royal family, and Leon was the only one who could pull it out.

“Come to think of it, I was supposed to keep it,” Viola said.

Not wanting it to be turned into scrap immediately after giving it to Nox, Viola took it temporarily. She picked it up from the ground, placed it back on the table, and, fully awakened, found herself unable to sleep again.

“I had a nostalgic dream…” Viola muttered, immersed in the lingering emotions, as she began her morning preparations.

She quickly combed her hair and put on her clothes. The clothes Viola originally brought had worn out over time, so these were Nox’s taste, obtained from somewhere. Viola felt they were a bit too cute, but she couldn’t complain since she received them.

She panicked when she heard Leon’s name. After all, she had declared that she wasn’t interested in the hero himself.

She was prepared to be scolded severely, but contrary to her expectations, Leon didn’t get angry. On the contrary, he started coming to the facility where Viola was for various reasons.

Initially, she found it troublesome, but Leon praised Viola’s cooking as delicious. In return, they occasionally talked with each other.

Viola, who had finished her preparations, was about to open the door to go outside when the door was knocked from the outside.


“Sorry! I didn’t think Leon would be here.”

“No, don’t worry about it. I came here on my own. Viola, you’re an early riser even here.”

“It’s become a habit. You’re early too, Leon.”

“Likewise, I can’t shake off the habit of training. I forgot I didn’t have my sword.”

“Sorry, I can’t give you the sword, even if you’re Leon.”

“No, I didn’t come to get the sword.”

And then Leon, with a refreshing smile, said, “You’re the head chef here, right? In that case, can I help?”

Upon hearing those words, Viola hesitated for a moment.

If he was willing to help, she could ask him, but he was still a resident of this place. Viola knew that Nox’s magic was so strong on Leon that it could be felt by her, but she couldn’t deny the possibility that Leon might be targeting Nox. Allowing him into the kitchen felt dangerous.

Seemingly sensing Viola’s dilemma, Leon lowered his eyes faintly.

“It’s a dangerous story for me to say I’ll help. It’s okay; don’t worry about it.”

“Um, Leon. Did you really come to visit my grave?”


“And you were okay with getting caught? Because, Leon, you’re the hope of the country.”

“If I can apologize to Viola, then it’s worth it.”

Apologizing quietly to Viola, Leon’s expression faded.

“Sorry. I hurt you. I said I would protect you.”

“I went there to hurt myself. It doesn’t count as hurting me.”

“Hey, Viola… Why did you protect the Demon King back then?”


Viola couldn’t answer.

The transaction was simple, but it meant that Viola had sold Leon in exchange for her own life. She knew about the struggles of the human army and the overwhelming strength of Nox’s forces. That’s why she never expected Leon to come all the way to the Demon King’s castle.

At that time, she didn’t know Nox’s character, deliberately luring the hero into the Demon King’s castle to face him herself. But that was just an excuse.

Uncertain how to interpret Viola’s silence, Leon smiled faintly as if to divert the situation.

“You don’t have to force yourself to answer. If you don’t want to, that’s fine. Hey, Viola, is it okay if you don’t cook? Will you get scolded?”

Grateful for his consideration, Viola also smiled as she replied, “It’s okay. While someone might claim to be hungry, there won’t be anything to get scolded for.”

“Is this place really comfortable for you?”


“Do you ever get hurt?”

“You’ve seen it, haven’t you? As long as Nox is protecting me, there’s no way I’ll be harmed in the Demon King’s castle.”

“Do you trust the Demon King?”

“I do.”

Perhaps that was true. When they first met, Viola thought she would be killed, and even after coming to the Demon King’s castle, she thought she could be killed at any moment due to Nox’s whims. But now, she could confidently assert that Nox would not let a single harm come to her.

It was probably because she was cherished in an incredibly profound way.

“Yes, that’s right.”

However, Nox didn’t seek more from Viola. He only cherished her, but he didn’t explicitly express a desire to be cherished in return. Even when told to notice the feelings, he didn’t demand the return of those feelings.

Viola didn’t understand Nox’s wishes. So, surely, they needed to have a proper conversation at some point.

Closing her eyes tightly for a moment, Viola started walking toward the kitchen.

“Leon, I can’t let you into the kitchen yet, but can you be someone to talk to?”

“Of course, I’d be happy to.”

Viola hurried to the kitchen with slightly quick steps.

Therefore, Viola didn’t notice.

The moment Viola turned her back, Leon glanced towards the center of the castle, and his eyes darkened.

Leon’s fist, clenched painfully, slid down to his waist as if reaching out to something nonexistent.



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