Sitting on the sofa in the drawing room, lifting the teacup that had been prepared in advance, Sarah asked.
"So, what was the message the Duke told you to convey"
After hesitating for a moment at Sarah's question, Veron carefully pulled something piled up on a soft cloth from his arms.
And he knelt down on one knee in front of her and handed it over.
In a very reverent gesture, Sarah corrected her posture and accepted it.
"Can I open it"
When she carefully removed the cloth surrounding it, a small branch appeared.
It was so dry that she couldn't feel anything vitality from it.
It was a branch that looked like it would rot and crumble at any moment.
Sarah immediately recognized what this was.
And what the Duke wanted.
"This is the power of Ambrosia."
As expected, you recognize it right away."
"I can't help but recognize it."
This was the living curse of the Duke of Ambrosia.
The black magic that had been passed down from generation to generation.
It took away the vitality and deprived life.
This power craved and devoured life force.
If this power ran wild, it would not only absorb the life force of everything around it but in the end, even its owner’s life force would be devoured by this power and the owner would die.
Sarah did not show up for six years after Claude was born because she was stuck in a magic tower to study this.
Failing to control this power could have put not only the Duke of Ambrosia but also Claude in danger because it was the power that drove the world to the brink of destruction in the future she saw.
It was not perfect, but Sarah was able to figure out a lot about this.
"Did it run out of power"
"It was temporary and very weak, but yes."
"When is that"
"A month ago."
Sarah's eyes frowned slightly at her butler's answer.
Although she had expected it, it was sooner than her expectation.
It seemed that the artifact she had given to the Duke before she retired seemed to be not enough.
A month ago, when Duke Ambrosia's power ran rampant, the same power began to manifest in Claude.
As Claude grew up, the power that was sleeping inside the child would have grown in volume.
Ambrosia's power grew on despair.
The power of the Duke of Ambrosia and Claude were the same, but they were growing by sharing different despair.
Sarah didn't know what the Duke's darkness was, but she knew what Claude's darkness was.
The absence of a mother, guilt about being born killing his mother, and anger at the fact that no one gave him full affection.
It was understandable if Ethan Ambrosia avoided Claude for this reason.
Just as negative emotions and negative emotions became despair, Ambrosia's cursed powers were able to increase volume rapidly when they met each other.
"Is this branch all that was sacrificed then"
Veron and Ronda did not answer Sarah's question.
But even if they didn't answer, Sarah could know.
She took a closer look at the two.
Veron and Ronda have been expressionless since they first met until now.
It was impossible for a butler and a head maid to look after all the household affairs of the Duke family and face and treat external guests in person.
Their faces were the face of the Duke.
It was the culture of the nobles that could tell how the Duke would treat the guest just by the butler's expression.
"My head hurts."
Sarah sighed loudly, shaking her head.
The test to test her skills was not this branch.
Two people who lost their 'expression' by Ambrosia's power were the actual test the Duke gave to Sarah.
If this was not resolved, Duke Ambrosia would expel Sarah from the mansion, no matter how great a magician she was.
With a sweet face and beautiful smile, she would make an endless and sober judgment.
"Did you know that Ambrosia's power could be used in this way"
"You have come to know it through us."
At Ronda's answer, Sarah looked at her with a serious face and was in a moment of contemplation.
This was the first time Sarah, who had been studying Ambrosia's curse for six years, had seen the power deprived of something other than life force.
Sarah no longer knew what the power of Ambrosia was.
"It's okay for me and Ronda.
We'll find another way so that we don't become a part of the Duke of Ambrosia."
"Unlike Veron, I have no discomfort at all even if I live like this."
Veron and Ronda, who were looking at Sarah's rapidly darkened expression, tried to ease her burden.
But that made it even more difficult.
It would be terrifying to have to live their whole life without expression, but Veron and Ronda only thought of Ambrosia.
It must have been that the Duke's power lost control and they were nearby, suffering the consequences.
The artifact Sarah gave the Duke of Ambrosia only helped him control his powers.
It was not enough to suppress the power that was constantly running wild.
It would have been better if it could be sealed, but there was something mysterious that even her superior power could not easily touch.
She studied this power for six years and was terrified of this helplessness.
"It could have been rumored in about a month.
You've covered the mouths of the servants well."
"This is what is expected from those who live for Ambrosia.
I am confident that Countess can be as free as she is in this Duke's family."
Veron's voice expressed pride in Ambrosia.
Despite the butler and the head maid’s entanglement with the curse, not a single word leaked out of the dukedom.
That was enough to make them proud.
Sarah grumbled quietly and laughed for no reason.
I'm going to miss out on an opportunity to take more of the Duke's time."
They didn't respond to Sarah's words.
But somehow she thought that a smile had risen over their expressionless face.
"Then, I'll have to prove my worth so that the Duke is willing to cooperate for the remaining hour."
Sarah put the branch on her palm with a careful touch.
It was a magic spell she had already tried countless times, but she didn't know it would be put into practice so quickly.
It was a task that required very delicate and precise control.
Even if this branch failed, there would be many more that were dried up differently by the power of the Duke, so it didn't matter, but the butler and the maid were different.
No one knew what side effects would occur if the magic to be used on them failed.
Sarah infused her mana more carefully than ever.
The green mana gushed out of her heart and gently wrapped it around the branches on her palm.
A cool wind blew along with the flow of her magical power and enveloped Sarah.
Along with her starting word, green mana continued to flow along the grain of wood.
When Sarah's mana enveloped the branch that had turned black, it began to change to the point where it looked green.
A very complex-looking magic circle appeared on the palm of her hand.
With the last incantation, a mysterious light emanated from the branch.
Veron and Ronda's eyes widened when they saw a branch slowly descending onto Sarah's palm while floating in the air and scattering light.
A turquoise light began to shine on the blackened, withered branch.
Sarah's mana was pulled out like a thin thread, adding flesh to the branch, and creating several new leaves.
It looked like when it still had vitality.
Sarah tingled her finger like this.
"It, it came back…..."
Sarah smiled as she wiped the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand.
She finished saying what Veron and Ronda couldn't say.
They looked at each other's faces, then looked at the branch again.
As if by the power of God, the dead came to life.
"Let's get started right away before I lose my senses.
Come a little closer, both of you."
Sarah reached out towards Veron and Ronda who were approaching her.
Once again, green mana began to erupt from her heart and surround the two.
It felt like her heart was being squeezed tight by the mana, that had been pulled to the limit, in order not to fail.
And after a while, a dazzling light surrounded them with a thud.
Veron contorted his face, crying his eyes out.
Ronda held Sarah's hand with her trembling hands, then let go, and then held it again, shedding tears.
"I will swear to do my best for everything Countess Millen desires."
"I will never forget your kindness."
Sarah had to struggle for a long time to get the two of them up with their knees on the floor, faces dripping with tears.
"Now that I'm going back to Count Millen house, can you prepare a carriage, Veron"
"I'll prepare it right away."
"And the tea is cold, can I have another drink while I wait, Ronda"
"I'll bring you some refreshments as well."
After asking both of them one by one, they got up and staggered out of the drawing room.
Sarah, who was finally left alone, leaned against the sofa, feeling the quiet, submerged air of the drawing room.
There was no magic to restore what was lost by Ambrosia's unknown power.
She had no choice but to pour out the mana she had in return for their vitality.
Sarah, who was controlling her nauseous stomach, fell forward.
With the feeling of her stomach being greatly twisted, Sarah cried and vomited helplessly.
It was the price of practicing magic based on vitality.