* * *
When he saw Ethan running in after opening the door roughly, Claude approached him with his eyes wide open. Anxiety hit the child’s face at the look of urgency.
“Is something wrong?”
Claude’s voice trembled faintly. It was because he felt something in his father’s hardened face. The child’s face, who was following Ethan’s gaze looking at Sarah over his shoulder, quickly became teary.
“What happened to Nanny?”
“……Can you please step aside for a moment?”
Ethan gently ran his hand through Claude’s hair and placed a hand on his shoulder. Impatience was evident in the way he pushed the child away with a caring but determined force.
“Can’t I just stay here?”
Claude shook his head, standing firmly.
“I won’t disturb you. I’ll sit here quietly and unobtrusively.”
“I want to stay by Nanny’s side. Please.”
At Claude’s plea, even May, who was with the child, looked at Ethan with a desperate gaze. Originally, he would have been easily broken by the child’s request. But this time it was different. His eyes were far away, as if his soul had escaped somewhere, and his breathing was trembling violently. The tip of his lips trembled and opened, and soon he even bit his lips and closed his eyes.
Claude and May exchanged glances with each other quietly, looking at Ethan, who looked strange even though he was in a strange state.
“Young Master Claude.”
May shook her head quietly, and Claude bit his lips tightly.
“I understand…… I’ll be out for a minute.”
Ethan stroked Claude’s hair without saying a word. May held out her hand towards Claude, and the child took it. As he left the room, he looked at Sarah as if he had lingering feelings. Then Ethan called the child’s name quietly.
He pricked his ears and turned around to see Ethan smiling faintly at him.
“Wait in the garden.”
“In the garden? It’s not time for a walk……”
It was when Claude tilted his head at Ethan’s sudden words.
“I’ll go with Sarah in a minute.”
Claude’s eyes shook violently. His eyes widened as he stared at Ethan in disbelief.
“Can Nanny get up? Nanny……”
Ethan gave the child a slight nod.
“……I’ll be waiting. So please come with Nanny.”
Claude bit his lip and turned around. Sweat began to seep out of his hands as he held May’s.
“The Duke must have found a way.”
Claude swallowed his tears with his head down. If his father really found a way to wake his nanny up, he couldn’t greet her with a teary face. He would brag about studying hard, eating well, and exercising while his nanny was away. He had to tell her that he held back his tears even though he missed her, and that he believed his nanny who said she would come back.
“When Nanny wakes up, I’ll tell her I love her.”
At Claude’s words, May replied with a bright smile.
“Lady Sarah will love it.”
After Claude’s back disappeared, closing the door with a big nod, Ethan approached Sarah slowly, unlike his running previously. When Sarah was in front of him, his body stiffened and fear began to creep in. He sat carefully on the bed and looked at Sarah’s face. Her appearance of sleeping with a calm face was unfamiliar.
Ethan still didn’t know much about Sarah. Why did the Great Magician with such strong power live as an ordinary aristocrat of the Crombell Empire? How was she able to pour so devoted affection and attention to himself and to Claude? Why did her soul leave this place and become absent? Why did she make a soul-staking oath with her disciples and what did that have to do with this incident? He wanted to know everything, but there wasn’t anything he didn’t find out at Crombell. Only Sarah Millen was too difficult for Ethan.
‘From the beginning, Sarah’s behavior was not easily predictable.’
She was the person who blew away the door of Claude’s room from the first day she came to Ambrosia. She had approached them as if she had no fear, even though she knew how dire the power within Ethan and Claude could be. He didn’t dare to say that she was a predictable person. He couldn’t even figure out in her head how much was planned and how much was unplanned. So he had no choice but to be afraid.
“Will you answer my call……”
The contingency held him back. Sarah knew that Ambrosia’s power was the power to fulfill ‘desire’. That was why she believed in that power and blocked the rampage of the First Prince, Kazer de Crombell, with her whole body. She believed that Ethan’s power could change like Claude’s.
‘Do I look like someone who will leave forever without hearing the Duke’s answer? Absolutely not.’
He took Sarah’s limp hand and kissed the back of it. It was nice to feel the warm warmth around her body, which had been cold all year round. Sarah’s body temperature had been maintained ever since she opened her eyes. Sarah probably didn’t know how much of a comfort this fact was to him and to Claude.
“I trust you who will be waiting for my answer. So the fact that my terrible power can change……”
Ethan smoothed the ring Sarah had put on him.
‘I don’t want to see you take off the ring I gave you so coldly.’
Sarah’s last words lingered in his mind.
“I trust you.”
As a nervous sigh escaped his lips, Ethan slowly removed the ring from his finger. Like the day Sarah and Claude were humiliated under the First Prince’s sword, he crushed them in the palm of his hand with force. Then, the power of the ring permeated into Ethan and gently wrapped around Ambrosia’s power.
The power that warmly embraced him resembles Sarah’s, so Ethan closed his eyes tightly and slowly released the power. And he thought.
May Sarah come back here. May she choose me and Claude. So one more time…….
‘I like you.’
Tell me those sweet words.
As he slowly released the rampaging power inside him, Ethan was enveloped in anxiety brought about by the power. However, Ethan did not look away and tried to feel the power, and he constantly remembered the countless words Sarah had told him.
‘So the Duke has been through this without making anything precious. Were you really happy with that life?’
‘I don’t know what the Duke has lost or given up. But one thing is clear: The Duke is now a man who has the power to protect what is precious.’
‘Isn’t it better to protect it even if you get hurt and have a hard time than to do nothing in fear of losing it?’
‘It may seem fun to tease me, but it’s nice to see the Duke smiling more than before.’
As he recalled that friendly resonance that still resonated vividly in his head, a deep desire slowly began to boil within him. As it was gradually eroded by power, the desire gradually increased in volume.
“Your voice, your smile, your arms, everything……”
The rising desire didn’t know how to stop now. Ethan thought he could be honest about his desires now.
“I want it. I can’t give even a piece of your soul. To anyone.”
A muddy obsession flowed through Ethan’s bleak voice. That was his desire. It was something beyond wishful thinking that Sarah would recover safely and open her eyes. Ethan’s desire was Ethan’s obsession, even terrifying, to want to chew and swallow everything of her from head to toe.
“Nothing can take you away from me. Even if it’s a God, or a magician’s oath……”
A silver gray light slowly began to leak out of his body. Sarah’s hair also fluttered in the light accompanied by a faint gust of wind.
“I’ll have you.”
When blatant desires flowed out of his mouth without hesitation, Ethan’s body was completely swallowed up by the silver gray light.
The power of Ambrosia, which was dormant inside him, began to run out of control all at once. And it started to spread all over Sarah’s room. Ambrosia’s power flowed violently through the blood vessels throughout his body. It was already too late to stop.
Suddenly, fear surged up. Wouldn’t this power that had been controlling his whole life would harm Sarah rather than save her? Because he was a monster, this power was a curse.
It was when he struggled to call her name and try to regain strength. The voice of his mother came into Ethan’s head.
‘Disgusting monster, you should know your place!’
‘In the end you’ll ruin everything, you devil. Your power will make that woman die completely.’
‘Because you are the monster of Ambrosia!’
‘No one will ever love something like you……!’
His mother’s cries, close to screaming, rang out loudly as if tearing his brain. Her voice penetrated Ethan’s whole body with the power of Ambrosia.
‘What do you think will happen if that woman found out about that dirty desire, that obsession, boiling in your heart?’
Hearing his mother’s voice spreading like a curse, Ethan was finally able to smile, pulling the corner of his mouth.
“……Sarah would rather like it, Mother. Because I have already received her confession.”
It was only after hearing his mother’s hallucinations that Ethan was convinced.
Seeing how his mother who wanted him to remain a cursed child screamed so much, it was right that his strength was definitely changing.
“You finally decided to support this son’s love.”
He never thought his mother’s curse upon him would be so sweet. He smiled viciously and fully opened up the power of Ambrosia, which had been suppressed.
“Get Sarah’s soul back here……, so that I can hold her.”
Ambrosia’s unparalleled power spread throughout the mansion as well as the room. Moments later, a storm-like wind blew from the Ambrosia mansion to the entire continent. And……
* * *
The wave of power that started on the continent crossed the dimension and reached Park Hyeyeon, who was waiting for an opportunity.
“……The Duke is finally calling me.”
It was time to go back. Park Hyeyeon finally got up slowly from the sofa where she was burying herself. And she kept her house in her eyes.
She slowly kept the image of the place where she would never be able to come back to in the future in her mind, and with a single tear, she was ready to go back to the Ambrosia she longed for. The intense power was pulling Sarah’s soul inside Park Hyeyeon again.