I was surprised at the sight of the mirror that had suddenly appeared in front of me. Besides being in Vinter's hideout, the shape of the mirror was exactly the same as...
'It's the same mirror I've seen in my dreams.'
I slowly approached the front of the huge mirror. "Is this the mirror of truth? Why is it here...?"
It was time to reach out slowly and try to touch it.
As soon as I touched the surface, my fingers were halfway in. I withdrew my hand in surprise.
"It's a model we've built based on ancient materials. We're studying whether the recent appearance of Leila can be recreated."
Vinter replied, poking his arm into the mirror. Somewhere along the line, there was a loud noise 'Ah!'
After all my thoughts had cooled down, I narrowed my eyes and looked around. "...Then, what about the children?"
"They've evacuated to the safe house."
At the short reply of Vinter, I tilted my head. 'Wasn't this a safe house?'
But I wanted to take care of it soon, so I turned my attention back to the mirror. "What is this?"
At that time, there was something that caught my eye.
Where the frame had been cut off from the right corner of the mirror, there was scratches around it.
"When ancient wizards made mirrors, the Leila clan did not stand still either. They constantly attacked the mirror and succeeded in damaging some part of it."
Vinter, who looked at the place I pointed, explained.
"But some followers were just ordinary wizards, and eventually the mirrors worked and the Leilas were sealed to the Balta."
"So some of them are then extinct?"
"It's said in some literature that it was spread out into the world in 15 pieces..." Vinter's gaze, blurring the end of his words, suddenly darkened.
"We recently got information that Leila's followers is using it badly."
"Leila followers? How do they know how to use mirrors made by wizards...?"
"By using the nature of the mirror, it shines and brainwashes the person using their innermost thoughts and what they fear the most."
I could understand what he said at once after I had been directly subjected to it. This gave me all the information I needed.
I said without hesitation looking in the mirror, with my back turned to him. "Thank you for letting me know. Now give me my money and the piece."
Vinter shook his head, looking at my hand with shaky eyes.
"As you heard a while ago, the pieces that Leila uses are very dangerous. It's not something that young lady should have..."
At the repetitive conversation, I took something out of my bag with a sigh. "This..."
His striking blue eyes widened.
What I had given to Vinter was another piece that Emily had taken Yvonne, which she had tied up. "Is this...also from what happened in Soleil?"
"No. I took it from Leila a little while ago." "How it can..."
"I was brainwashed in the mansion. I managed to stop it and run away in the middle of it." There were a few breaths from Vinter at my words.
His eyes, which had hardened like stone, slowly crumbled. "Ah...have you..."
A clear pain swept over his dark blue eyes. Vinter slowly reached out to me. He then stammered and touched my face.
"I dragged you into this and because of me you end up..."
I felt him tremble against my skin. A good man who felt guilty for not helping others.
He seemed to be in a lot of pain because he thought he was to blame for my brainwashing.
It wasn't entirely his fault. If you think about it, everything went according to the game's story. Was it because he didn't trust me and I didn't know him?
The words 'it's not your fault' didn't come out.
I just stared at Vinter who was pitifully trembling. "...Who is it?"
After some time he calmed down a little, and questioned me in a hollow voice. "Who would dare to sneak into the Duke's home?"
He stopped talking when he was questioning me. As if he had realized the answer himself, he asked with an unfocused look.
"Is it...that Lady Yvonne? That Yvonne kid, Leila..."
"...I have confirmed that she has no reflection in water or the mirror. Whether you believe me or not, is up to you."
Vinter's eyes lowered again at my words. He seemed to regret the past when they had doubts directed at me.
Would he have believed me if I had told him earlier, not until this extreme situation? When I saw Vinter filled with guilt, I felt useless.
I brushed this feeling off and then spoke calmly.
"The pieces might be safer for me to run away with. Because you have a lot to protect besides this relic."
"I'll...take care of everything. I'm going to solve this..."
"I don't trust you."
I spoke rather coldly.
"Because Leila can brainwash, and you believed Yvonne to be good and nicer than anyone else."
And in normal mode, Vinter, who had a mission against Leila, falls in love with Yvonne without much difficulty.
It was just a temporary diversion from me as the duke's adopted daughter, and I didn't trust him from the start.
The hand that was holding my cheek fell off without strength. After a moment of silence, Vinter soon carefully grabbed my wrist. "...Come here, please."
He dragged me through the huge mirror and walked further inside. Not long after I followed him, he stopped. The center of a vast space.
Among numerous glass cages containing artifacts and materials, there was only one pot exposed to the air.
There was only one thing that grew in it for the size of a fairly large pot. A single plant with slender, purple colored buds.
I had a curious look on my face when I saw the pot that was out of place.
Then he suddenly reached out and seized the stem of the plant. And he pulled it out with all his strength.
Embarrassed by his bizarre behavior, I shut my mouth when I saw it coming out with tiny roots. It was the mirror piece I left to him.
"This space is connected to my unconscious mind." "Unconscious mind?"
"So if I am brainwashed or dead, everything that exists in this place is destroyed as well."
Vinter took the piece of the mirror from the root and threw it back into the pot. Then he turned to me and gave me the purple flowers he had pulled out.
I grabbed the flowers he handed me in a daze. Then a strange thing happened.
The buds, which had been closed until just now, began to spread out and in an instant they blossomed. It was a colorful, purple rose.
'Why would he give me a rose?'
I couldn't understand the meaning of it, so I just looked at the flowers and Vinter alternately. He looked down at the blooming roses, and slowly opened his mouth again.
"When I took young lady back from the Soleia's job... there was a rose blooming in the corner here." There was a question of how it was possible, but I was soon convinced.
'Didn't he say this was a place where his unconscious mind was connected?' But I couldn't understand why he suddenly told me this.
"I suddenly couldn't figure out how the flowers bloomed. Because a rose usually means love." "..."
"Purple roses are even more ambiguous. An imperfect love and complete love." "..."
"I didn't know... why the flowers bloomed or whether my feelings were either."
It was then. The flower petals of the rose I was holding began to fall one by one. I looked over his head blankly.
Even though hard mode was over, the favorability gauge bar was still floating over his head clearly. "Lastly, I realized after I met you at the duchy."
"I've...ruined everything." Tuk, tuk.
The purple petals fell to the floor, one after another.
Vinter let my hand go and lifted the rabbit mask he was wearing. On his exposed cheeks, tears flowed down.
A man who no longer wore a mask in front of me was crying like a falling petal. "...Marquis."
I called out to him with difficulty.
When I saw his beautiful face in tears, my heart felt heavy as if it were a lump of lead. How did we end up like this?
"...Even if you don't trust me, leave the piece you entrusted to me here." Without a groan, he said quietly.
"She'll find the piece and try to complete the relic again. Maybe it's wiser to distract them." "..."
"And...I'm going to find a way to neutralize her from now on, and I'm going to attack back. Her attention should be focused on you so you won't be able to get in her way."
After thinking for a moment, I soon nodded gently.
As long as Yvonne believed me that I consider her as Leila, his words made sense. 'Anyway, it means he doesn't want her to complete the artifact...'
In his usual manner he asked me with gentle voice. "...You're not going to tell me where you're going." "First of all, I'm going north."
"Suddenly, why north...all of a sudden?"
He must have figured out why, but he asked irritably.
I'm really sorry for him, but I've lied until the end. Just in case he gets beaten by Yvonne.
In order to complete the quest, she must never find out where I was headed. It was after all the quests were finished I would go to the north.
'My brainwashing's issue is the first thing to solve.'
I was worried about Callisto, but he's not going to die because he's a male lead.
I knew everything I saw was an illusion, but I still couldn't figure out what kind of brainwashing I had. But I decided to do what the system told me to do. Whatever awaits for me at the end.
"I'm sure you'll say no if I ask you." "I have a favor to ask of you."
Having regained my reason, I uttered what I wanted to say to him instead of a refusal answer. "My maid is in trouble from helping me get away. Please take good care of her."
"...I'll evacuate her to a safe house. Don't worry." "Thank you and I'm sorry."
Vinter, who understood what I said, laughed with a crying face.
All the flower petals have fallen completely. After confirming it, Vinter soon put on the rabbit mask again.
Then he took out his cane and swung it in the air once. A small pocket appeared.
"I've put some money and moving magic scrolls in. I changed money into gold coins for ease of use." Vinter handed it over to me.
"There was a limit to my magic pocket, so I couldn't put the full amount in there. But you could still buy an island or something like that."
I treated him as the top magician again once he was wearing the rabbit mask. "I'll stop here, be careful."
Then I bowed lowly and went straight back. He didn't answer my farewell.
It was about time to leave, so I left Vinter standing there alone.
As a reward [Purple Rose], [Movement Magic Scroll], [999,999,999+ gold] are given.
He finally gave me his trust and instead lost his affection.
I controlled my bitter heart and treasured the purple roses I had received from him in my bag.
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