ILAV Chapter 9

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The knight’s name was Lionel Delph. Apparently, he was the youngest of the Frost Knights of House Oberon, more specifically of the 5th Order, which was stationed in the North. He did his best to escort us. The problem was that he was working really hard.


[What is he doing?]


Harry, who was following me, looked at Lionel and kicked his tongue pathetically.


[Isn’t he like gasping? He can’t even protect himself, let alone protect you.]


It was obvious even to me who didn’t know the art of swordsmanship. While walking on the street, he stumbled on a stone, dropped the sword that was hanging on his waist…….


[Even if it was a piece of paper shaped into a human, it would have been stronger than him.]


With Harry’s acrimonious comments, we arrived at our destination. The place we arrived was a small house around a narrow dark alley.


“It’s where I spent my childhood.”


Emma smiled awkwardly and looked at the lamp in my hand.


“Adults can endure the cold somehow, but there are only children here…….”


As soon as Emma guided us to enter the house familiarly, a narrow interior came into view. Of course the fireplace was cold.


“Older Sister?”


A girl stood up from her seat seeing Emma entering the darkness with the lamp. The children were all gathered in one place and wrapped in a thin piece of cloth.


‘Perhaps they tried to endure a long, cold night by sharing each other’s body temperature.’


But that wouldn’t have been enough. If Emma hadn’t brought the fire, someone here might have frozen to death. Children are very weak.


“It’s Sister!”




One child’s cry spread to the other. Ragged children crowded in front of Emma. Emma patted the children affectionately.


“It was very cold, wasn’t it? Just wait a little bit. I’ll make the fire in a minute.”


“We can’t make a fire. There’s no firewood.”


Emma lifted up the Black Ironwood in her hand at the child’s remarks.


“Who says we don’t have firewood? It’s here.”


It was known to everyone that the territory was overflowing with Black Ironwood, and the Black Ironwood on Emma’s hand was a log we picked up along the way. But the children who saw it snorted.


“Oh, that’s Black Ironwood. It doesn’t burn.”


“No. I brought a fire that can burn this, trust me.”


Emma stroked the children’s heads and approached the fireplace. While she filled the fireplace with the Black Ironwood we had picked up on the way, the children’s attention reverted to Harry and Lionel. Among them, Harry became the most popular.


“Wow, it’s a dog!”




The children exclaimed in delight seeing Harry. Harry shouted inside when the children began hugging, stroking and kissing him.


[Oh, what kind of torture is this this?! I can’t breathe!]


Lionel was also struggling around the children.


“What is this? Is it a knife?”


“Hey, hey, don’t touch it! It’s dangerous!”


“Why do you carry something dangerous?”


“I’m a knight, so it’s okay.”


“Oh no, you’re lying. Knights don’t look like this!”


“……I don’t look like a knight to you?”


But unlike the two people surrounded by children, I was left alone. Only my surroundings were empty as if someone had drawn a crack.


‘They must have felt my villainess aura, that’s why they don’t come close because they’re scared of my aura.’


As I walked toward the fireplace with the lamp in my hand, the children who were blocking my way moved away quickly.


It was then that it happened.




One little girl, who was avoiding me in a hurry, tripped and fell forward.


If she had just fallen, it would have been a small incident. But the problem was that she hit the lamp on my hand while falling. The lamp that hit the girl’s hand rose into the air and fell to the floor. The fire, which was burning weakly on the candle, had already been extinguished in the air.


Emma’s action of filling the fireplace with enthusiasm hardened.


“The fire… The mysterious fire…….”


Seeing Emma repeating the word ‘fire’ like a broken record, the girl who fell down became tearful. I don’t know exactly how and why it happened, but I had a hunch that I was involved in the accident, even though I didn’t do anything.


“What shall we do, Miss? It’s a fire that we barely brought out of the mansion…… the fire is gone …….”


Emma sat down in front of the fireplace. Tears were dripping from her eyes before she knew it.


“The fire… I needed that to warm the children…… Heuk.”


“Oh, Sister. I’m sorry. It’s my fault.”


The fallen girl rose quickly and patted Emma, who was crying. But rather than stopping, it made Emma cry more. She embraced the girl and began to weep.


Then in an instant Emma’s crying spread to the children. First the girl Emma was holding, then the boy next to her, then the girl next to her…….


The cry that spread in this way filled the whole house. As I watched the rare scene where more than 10 children were crying at the same time, I couldn’t help but laugh.


‘I think I’ll go crazy. Why am I meeting so many people crying today? Am I destined to be a nanny today?’


I stood in front of Emma, who was wiping her cheeks and crying out loud. I crouched down and tried to soothe her, the cause of crying.


“Don’t cry. Because you’re crying, the children are crying too.”


“But, without the fire, the children, will freeze to death!”


I couldn’t stop her crying. Now I had only one way to end this noisy situation.


‘I can’t help it.’


I called Harry with a wink. Harry, who barely escaped from the children, staggered and stood next to me. I bent over and looked at the fireplace, tidying up Harry’s hair as I whispered to him pointing to the fireplace full of Black Ironwood.


[Harry, I need your fire. Just like before.]


[But aren’t there a lot of eyes around? Didn’t you want the fire in the mansion to look like it was made by accident?]


[Yes, but…….]


I looked around the crying children slowly. children dressed in shabby clothes made of thin, coarse clothes. Emma was right in her judgment. Without a warm fire, the children would not be able to withstand the cold of the night.


[If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have cared. But since I already saw their situation with my eyes, I can’t sit still. They’re humans, too.]


To be honest, I wasn’t the kind of person who likes to do good deeds out of whim.


‘Why don’t they have volunteer activities or donations? They look like they are struggling to make ends meet. Should I really help them?’


However, if a person who is in such a difficult situation appears in front of someone, I don’t think he or she could even turn a blind eye to it.


‘Perhaps a lot of people too.’


I was one of those ordinary people.


[Harry, we need fire.]


[Yes? Okay. As my contractor wants.]


Harry replied in a somewhat grinning voice, and at the same time a fire rose in the fireplace.




Lionel, seeing the weak rising flames, let out a loud exclamation. And Emma, who was crying, began to hiccup in surprise. Before I knew it, the children’s cries died down. The burning Black Ironwood began to warm the air inside.


“……Sister, are you a wizard?”


The boy, who was staring blankly at the burning fireplace, asked carefully. I answered with a smile and looked at Emma.


“Emma, remember? You made a promise with me at the mansion.”


Emma nodded with a hiccup. I asked her to confirm.


“What did you see and hear today?”


“I forgot everything.”


That was the answer I wanted. I stood up from my seat, smiling contentedly.


“I should go back to the mansion now. Emma, come back after calming the children down a little more.”


Emma stood up from her seat, startled at my words.


“No, I’ll go back with Miss.”


“Emma, use your mouth not for me, but to soothe the children.”


It also meant that children should be properly controlled. Fortunately, Emma sensed my intention quickly.


“My thoughts were narrow-minded. I’ll make sure the children know what to do for sure.”


I nodded to Emma and motioned to Lionel, who was still staring at the fireplace with a surprised face.


“Sir will escort me back.”


“Yes, Miss!”


Lionel scrambled out of his seat and approached me. As he moved, his sword fell on the place he once sat.


‘Is this man really a knight?’


Harry sighed at the same time I thought so.


[Contractor, can’t we just leave him? I feel like my stomach is going to explode just by looking at him.]


* * *


On our way back to the mansion, Lionel had a look of restlessness on his face.


His restlessness seemed to be twice as severe as when we headed to the place where the children were with Emma. He must have been quite shocked to see that I burned the Black Ironwood. Emma was in charge of controlling the children’s mouth, and I was in charge of his.


“Sir Lionel.”


“Yes, Miss.”


“What you saw and heard today…….”


Lionel’s shoulders stiffened as I murmured. Then he spoke with great suspense.


“I won’t tell anyone what I saw and heard today.”


“Yes. If today’s incident comes from someone’s mouth, I think according to Sir Lionel……”




“I’ll cut your finger.”


It was a ridiculous threat but I thought it would be quite effective for this frail knight, an extra character. And the prediction was right.




Lionel turned white and swallowed his breath. It was obvious that he thought, ‘As expected of the villainess, the rumor was true!’


“I will never tell anyone about it! It’s a promise!”


“All right. I’ll trust you.”


Then I pointed behind Lionel, who was constantly shaking his head and asked.


“But don’t you think the sword that fell behind you is familiar? It’s very familiar to me.”


It was Lionel’s sword. Lionel, who turned his gaze along my hand, said with astonishment.


“I see. It’s very similar to my sword. It’s impossible for an ordinary sword to roll on the street…… Oh? Isn’t that my sword?”


As Lionel began to fumble about his waist, Harry gave a deep sigh with a wry smile.


[Contractor, it’s not too late. Let’s throw him away.]


* * *


Emma was lost in thought as she looked at the blazing fireplace.


Evaria Oberon. It was a name Emma had heard countless times.


Erelle was the estate belonging to the Duke of Oberon, so there were many rumours among his employers about his family. Among them, Evaria won the first place for having the most rumours about her. It was because rumours about her were the most provocative. Isn’t a provocative rumour perfect for enduring hard work and gossiping? When someone starts talking about it, everything becomes much easier. The day passes quickly when they gossip about a story that has no end.


There were so many words to describe Evaria. Most were negative words. A witch who turned the royal capital upside down. The ogre of the Oberon family. The Duke’s good-for-nothing daughter. A violent, selfish, and arrogant woman.


So Emma was in despair when she was told to be Evaria’s exclusive maid. How can she handle such a rude person when she heard Evaria cut off a maid’s tongue because she made a slip of the tongue? If the Baron hadn’t offered to double her hourly wage, she might have just quit the maid job.


However, Evaria, whom she met in person, was a completely different person from the rumour.


‘I tried to steal that precious fire.’


Far from punishing Emma, she came out of the mansion and distributed the fire. Emma reached for the fire that Evaria had made. The frozen body seemed to melt down in the warm air.




A girl approached Emma, who was lost in thought. It was the child who fell down along the lamp.


“Who was that lady earlier?”


Emma laughed at the careful question.


“She’s the lady I serve. She’s the one who gave you great grace today.”


“Then she’s good person?”


Emma was briefly lost in thought at the girl’s question. Evaria in the rumour was far from a good human being. The same was true of her past as people say. But Evaria that Emma saw was different.


“Yes. She’s a good person. Don’t you think so?”


“Well… I think she’s a good person because she kept us warm.”




“Yes, and she was very pretty.”


The girl raised her voice with her little face flushed.


“I’ve never seen anyone so pretty. She looked a little scary, but very pretty.”


“Yes, My Lady is very pretty. But it’s true that she looks a little scary.”


Emma laughed and responded. Before she knew it, she was calling Evaria ‘My Lady’.





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