Chapter 49: Introducing My Girlfriend. (1)

Luss and Lily sat across from each other in silence.

The surroundings were loud and bustling, but the space between them felt like a different world—calm and still.

Delicious food on the table was getting cold, untouched.

Only the bottles of alcohol were being moved around.

Luss silently offered a glass of alcohol to Lily.

Though they were rivals, at this moment, they were comrades sharing the same pain.

Without hesitation, Lily lifted her glass and clinked it with Luss’.

Lily, who usually didn’t enjoy drinking, couldn’t resist tonight.

She needed the influence of alcohol to endure this moment.


Lily hiccupped.

She brought her hands, which had been touching Starchis all day, to her nose.

The smell had faded over time, but she clung to the faint lingering scent.

“...I really hate this.”

Luss murmured softly as she watched her.

Hearing Lily talk about holding hands all day, Luss understood what she was doing.

But she didn’t have the strength left to stop her.

She was exhausted.

Even now, when she closed her eyes, Elza’s smiling face haunted her.

An ugly face that made her shudder and want to punch her.

Yet, it was so fresh, beautiful, and enviably expressive.

Elza’s eyes dripped with honey whenever she looked at Starchis.

At least, that’s how Luss saw it.

She wondered if she could have made that face beside him if she had just been brave enough... She sipped her drink, lost in daydreams.


In truth, it was probably harder not to make that face.

Even she, who wandered around with a somewhat stiff expression, couldn’t help but soften her face in front of him.

It couldn’t be helped if the man in question was as good as Starchis.

As the alcohol took effect, memories of her past with Starchis resurfaced vividly.

-“Luss, hang in there.”

Starchis, who excelled in training, had said that to her, who was lagging behind.

-“Haha, got it. Let’s speak casually from now on, Luss.”

After they had spent some hard days together, they dropped formalities.

-“Haha! Fooled you, didn’t I? Happy birthday, Luss!”

When she had almost felt disappointed for not receiving any birthday wishes, Starchis had surprised her with food and gifts.

That memory made her chuckle.

-“...It’s okay. Luss. Tell me everything.”

When she had been late and a criminal in the city had caused many casualties, Starchis had comforted her gloomy self.

The more her imagination continued, the more she laughed, and then her expression gradually turned cold.

As the alcohol kicked in, she habitually looked to her side.

For more than half of the six years, whenever she turned her head like this, Starchis had been there beside her.

But now, all she saw was an empty seat.

Starchis was leaving her side.

The relationship she thought would last forever was changing.

Suddenly, a surge of emotion welled up within Luss.

‘What on earth... have I done?’

She looked down at her hand.

The friendship ring was still there.

She had chances too.

Perhaps more chances than anyone else.

There was time to build countless memories, and opportunities to have serious conversations just between the two of them.

But every time, she was too shy and excited to take that extra step.

She had foolishly hoped that Starchis would make the first move.

‘Who did I let slip away?’

Even now, her memories with Starchis were her most treasured possessions,

but the thought that these memories would be painted over by someone else pained her.

It was unbearable to think that his favorite woman wasn’t her.

He had said he was going to meet Elza’s parents.

It felt like madness, but only because Starchis was doing it with another woman.

If he had said he was meeting her parents just weeks after they started dating, she would have welcomed it with open arms.

Maybe that woman, Elza, had quickly realized how wonderful he was too?

Was she doing everything to not let him go?

If everything went wrong and Starchis ended up marrying her, could she endure it?


Even imagining it made her heart ache.

If it was him.

If it was Starchis, once he stamped the marriage seal, he would never look at another woman.

The thought of Starchis not even sparing her a glance was unbearable.

Luss lifted her glass again.

Only alcohol could numb this pain.


Lily returned home and collapsed onto her bed like a golem whose magic had been cut off.

Her mind was a mess.

Her head was spinning from the alcohol.

Her emotions swung wildly, making it hard to keep her composure.

The day had started well.

He had reacted to the clothes she had carefully chosen.

He had blushed, felt shy, and his eyes had awkwardly met hers.

They had even held hands, continuing a pleasant atmosphere.

Her heart raced uncontrollably, her lower half kept getting wet.

And when she managed to secure a dinner date with him, she felt like she had the world.

Moreover, knowing that they would keep meeting until his hand healed made her happy, thinking these days would continue.

But what she heard today made her realize that her days alone with him might be numbered.

Or perhaps, the days when his heart wouldn’t waver might be few.

She brought her hand back to her nose, trying to catch his scent.

The fragrance had already faded.

She let her hand drop weakly.

Today had been truly wonderful.

Moving his mana with her hand felt like she was connected to every part of his body.

Even while touching him, she wanted to touch more, and even while seeing him, she wanted to see more.

And when she, who had never elicited a reaction from him despite her best efforts, saw his response when they held hands, she thought it was a chance given by the heavens.

Of course... she knew that the responsiveness to mana improved with increased contact.

She had thought everything was going according to her plan...

Then Elza’s face appeared in her mind.

She remembered her saying he was going to meet her parents.

That face, now so full of hatred.


Lily shook her head.

Enough with today’s stress.

Feeling like she might rip her hair out again, she imagined something to make herself feel better.


Slowly, Lily moved the hand that had held Starchis’s all day downwards.

She set aside the negative memories and thought about his strong hand that she had touched all day.

She recalled his tightly closed eyes as he tried to feel the mana, trusting her.

She remembered his face, which she had closely observed.

When her hand touched her intimate area, she could imagine it was Starchis touching her.

The sound of water splashing filled her room continuously.



Vienna wiped the sweat off her brow with the back of her hand.

Birds were chirping.

It was early morning, but she was trekking through the mountain paths with a small pouch.

The path was quite rough.

There were many rocks, and in the dewy morning, it was slippery,

with many steep paths and sections where slipping could cause serious injury.

Despite this, she trudged through the mountain, searching for herbs.

She planned to make medicine for Starchis.

For his stiff left hand.

It had been days since she last saw him.

She wondered if his rehabilitation was going well.

After searching for a while, her eyes stopped on a particular plant.

“...Found it.”

Another ingredient.

She carefully approached the herb and began to dig out the surrounding soil.

Her clothes and hands were already dirty from hours of herb collecting.

Once she carefully unearthed the root, she opened her pouch.

The bag was already full from her early morning trek.

Vienna checked the bag as she added the herb.


It seemed like it was time to head back down.

This should be enough to make medicine that would last for quite some time.

She sat down to catch her breath.

The sunlight was warm, and the fresh air seemed to clear her mind of the frustration and irritation.

And it strengthened her resolve to win Starchis back.

Of course, collecting these herbs was not to win him back.

She genuinely wanted him to get better.

But she did hope that bringing him the medicine would give her a chance to see his face.

After a short rest, she prayed.

She had always prayed frequently, but it had become a habit since Starchis’s collapse.

The image of him collapsing was deeply ingrained in her mind, appearing as a nightmare.

Yesterday, the day before,

even during a short nap.

The scene of him collapsing and his cooling body played vividly in her dreams.

And waking from that worst nightmare brought immense relief and gratitude.

Even if she woke up gasping, with cold sweat running down her body, the sense of relief was stronger than the discomfort.

That’s why she prayed.

It wasn’t the only reason she prayed; she also did it consistently for the future.

When she woke up from the nightmares, she felt relief but also powerlessness.

If she had been able to use purification on Starchis twice, his life wouldn’t have been in danger.

Her lack of holy power almost caused her to lose him.

If there hadn’t been a passerby, or if his brother hadn’t found vampire blood,

if countless coincidences hadn’t aligned, she might have lost Starchis forever.

She couldn’t let that happen again.

She needed to increase her holy power.

Holy power gradually developed through prayer.

So she found herself praying anywhere and everywhere.

Early morning.

On the mountainside, where birds chirped.

Kneeling in the sunlight, Vienna prayed devoutly.

Anyone passing by would have thought she was a saint.


Casey was shocked to see Vienna returning with dirt marks on her face and torn clothes.


Casey, who had been sweeping the church courtyard, dropped the broom and approached her, wiping her face.

“Vienna..! What happened this time?”


“Why are your clothes all torn again..! Where have you been rolling around?”

Just as Casey said, Vienna had fallen several times while descending the steep mountain.

Each time her knees got scraped and bled, but she first gathered the herbs she had collected.

Afterward, she used her holy power to heal her wounds and continued down.

“I went to the mountains..?”

“The mountains?”

Only then did Casey notice the pouch Vienna was carrying.

She reached out and opened it briefly, seeing various herbs inside.

“I thought you were off early to see that guy, but you went to the mountains?”

“...I’m going inside now.”

Vienna didn’t want to explain further.

She wanted to quickly make the medicine and go to Starchis, as Casey had guessed.

“What kind of medicine are you making?”

“Not telling.”

Vienna planned to make a potion that would enhance mana sensitivity.

She had heard that Starchis needed to control his mana for his hand to move again.

She wanted his hand to move sooner.

“Ah, Vienna, Vienna!”


She turned around because Casey, who had suddenly called her name and grabbed her shoulder, was there.

“Your party members came by yesterday.”

Vienna’s eyes widened at the unexpected news.


Casey shook her head.

“No. It was that female party member. Was it Luss? She came by in the morning.”


Her mood plummeted upon hearing it wasn’t Starchis.

Still, she was curious why Luss had come looking for her.

Casey hesitated to continue.

But she had called Vienna back, and it wasn’t something she could just gloss over, so Casey spoke with difficulty.

“Well... she said there’s a dinner meeting scheduled. She said to come if you can.”

“...A meeting? With whom?”

“Well... that...”

Casey was calculating whether this would hurt Vienna or not.

But Vienna couldn’t wait.

“Casey. If you don’t tell me quickly, I’m going inside.”

“...The entire party... and Starchis’s girlfriend. It’s a meeting to introduce her.”

Vienna’s pupils shook.


She couldn’t understand why her heart was trembling so much at those words.


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