The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 61

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Chapter 61: Elise Berth (1)

In the faint dawn breaking across the early morning sky, a woman’s dark blue hair fluttered gracefully in the mingling dim light.

“Are you leaving?”

The familiar voice that suddenly came from behind made the woman turn her head. A fist-sized spirit shimmered with a transparent light.

“You didn’t come to see me off, did you?”

“Don’t misunderstand. I simply happened to find you while I was out enjoying the morning air.”

The woman chuckled softly, covering her mouth, as if she knew the spirit didn’t mean it.

“It’s a pity, but I just left a letter and quietly left. I couldn’t impose any more trouble on you all.”

“Trouble… I don’t think the children would see it that way. It’s strange to see you shy away from something you’ve never shown before.”

“Is that so?”

Trying not to show the emotions inside, she still managed a smile.

“Either way, I’ve had my struggles as a stranger taken care of for the past two years. I’ll cherish the memories here as precious moments I’ll never forget.”

“I wonder if there were truly such good memories. It’s fortunate if you have any memories worth taking with you.”

A hint of bitterness colored the spirit’s words.

“Are you heading back home?”

“Somewhat, but I have a place to visit before I go. I need to meet someone who guided me to this point in time.”

“I see. Take care on your journey back.”

“Yes! Marian, may you live long and healthy!”

The spirit couldn’t help but laugh dryly at the wish for it to live long. After all, wishing longevity for a being with a lifespan far exceeding a human’s was quite peculiar.

As the woman took her leave, her figure soon disappeared beyond the horizon where the sun was rising. The spirit remained alone, intently looking at the spot where she had vanished.

“It’s truly regrettable. She has innate talent, but it’s a shame that it couldn’t fully blossom before her premature demise…”

The spirit seemed reluctant to leave, their steps heavy with lingering feelings.

“Perhaps it’s better to die early than to suffer a life of being tossed about. Live well with the little time you have left, Elise Berth…”

Although all it could offer was pointless sympathy, the spirit turned away to return to the dark forest.

Where the spirit had been, only a faint mystical energy lingered.

* * *

“Please confirm your identity.”

At the city gates where a long queue had formed, a woman presented her badge upon request.

“…?”

It was a golden emblem, with three different swords crossed. It symbolized one of the most influential families in the Ussif Empire, the Duchy of Berth. Owning it was proof that one was part of the Berth ducal family.

The guard’s eyes widened as he looked at the woman who handed him the emblem.

“Eh…”

Her deep ocean-blue hair gleamed.

Her pure silver eyes showed no hint of malice.

Her attractive physique could stir the innate desires of any human being.

To bear these features and possess this emblem meant she could only be one person in the whole world.

“Are you, Lady Elise Berth?”

Renowned as the child of the gods, Elise Berth was the second child of the Berth family and a graduate of the Royal Academy.

“I’ve graduated, but I still have the right to enter, right?”

No person, young or old, could deny her entry upon witnessing her beaming smile.

With no issues to address, she concluded the simple procedures and entered the city.

It had been a full three years since her last visit.

With each step she took, all eyes turned her way.

Her goddess-like appearance made it impossible for hearts not to race, and the sheer force of her magical aura caused many to sweat in her presence.

But Elise, with her face calm and tranquil, simply followed the golden path toward the Academy.

The first place she headed following the footsteps of memory was the main building of the Academy, straight to the headmaster’s office on the top floor.

“…”

The headmaster, who was busy with his work, gave her a steady stare.

“It’s exactly been three years.”

Welcoming her as if she had been an expected guest, Headmaster Kundel rose to greet her.

“I was worried I might have been expelled, but I’m relieved.”

The girl who had been hailed as a child of the gods at 16 had grown into a stunning woman after three years, so much so that one might not be exaggerating to call her a goddess.

Elise smiled casually as she took a seat.

“So, how do you feel after three years of traveling the continent?”

“To tell you frankly, there wasn’t much continent traveling involved. I was in ‘Freuina’ for two whole years.”

“The realm of the White Elves?”

The headmaster raised his eyebrows in surprise.

“That’s a place not particularly welcoming to humans.”

“I thought it would be a good place to reflect on the meaning of harmony you spoke about. How much could I shine as a being within a group filled with distrust and rejection? It certainly was not easy. It took a full year before I was truly accepted by them.”

Freuina, the northern territory of the continent with its snow-white lands, was home to the White Elves. They had lived secluded from outsiders for hundreds of years, and were known to outright reject human presence. The fact that Elise had lived there for two years, blending in as if a native, made the headmaster inwardly think that only she could have accomplished such a feat.

“Three years ago, right before I graduated, you gave me much advice. Do you remember it?”

He couldn’t possibly forget.

After all, he was not the type to freely offer advice to just anyone.

‘Wherever you go, whatever organization you join, it will inevitably thrive.’

‘Therefore, you must continuously reflect and ponder where you should belong.’

As a student who had shown prodigious talents, the headmaster had no doubt that wherever she went after graduation would become the center of power on the continent.

So, he suggested she take time for a journey, a time to organize her thoughts.

It was made without any special intention. He just wanted, as an educator before a headmaster, to set her on a path for a good life.

Accepting his advice with alacrity, Elise had spent three years and now reappeared before him, her gaze sharpened and filled with firm resolution.

“By the look in your eyes, you seem to have made a decision.”

“Yes. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the answer was predetermined from the beginning.”

A bittersweet sentiment accompanied Elise’s words.

The headmaster did not press, instead waiting for her to speak.

“I’ll join the Knights of the Light.”

The headmaster’s expression tensed slightly in response.

The Knights of the Light was a high-ranked knightly order that pursued the peace of the continent under the doctrine of the God of Light, Lumendel. Its members included high-ranking warriors who had achieved top martial prowess, and it was led by the Guardian of the Continent, the Duke of Berth, on the mission to protect from demonic threats.

It wasn’t surprising.

Most people who knew Elise had expected her to join the Knights of the Light after graduation.

At the age of 16, she had reached a 6-star level.

With an astounding 88% water attribute affinity.

Her swordsmanship was excellent enough to defeat even the most skilled instructors at the Academy.

And considering her father led the order, it was the prime place where she needed to be and could stand out.

The headmaster understood why she made that choice, though he did not wish for her to join the Knights of the Light.

His reasons were difficult to explain.

Affection for a cherished student?

The intuition of a senile old man?

Somehow, he felt that it wouldn’t end well if she joined them. He had suggested her journey in hope that her heart might change.

“Ultimately, it’s what my heart tells me. Someone must take on this task. If I can do it, if I can bear it, then I must. At least so that my younger siblings studying here now can live peacefully…”

Her mention of younger siblings caused a subtle change in Kundel’s eyes.

“Siblings, did you say?”

“Yes, that’s right! You know them, right? Cranzt and Xian! Are they doing well without trouble?”

The headmaster hesitated to answer.

“Headmaster?”

Instead of a straightforward reply, he posed a question back to her.

“What do you think of your siblings?”

Elise replied without thinking much.

“For Cranzt, he’s a bit malicious, but with proper guidance, I think he could grow up to be a good man…”

There were no objections regarding Cranzt.

“But Xian is still difficult to read. He seems to have an inexplicable talent. He’s a child with much to learn! Though a bit timid is a flaw… Headmaster, why so serious?”

Noticing the headmaster’s hardened expression, Elise was confused and concerned.

Just then, a knock came on the door.

Kundel sighed lightly before continuing.

“One of those people has just arrived.”

“…?”

“Come in.”

As the door opened, Elise naturally turned to look.

A young man with dusk-colored hair and sharp eyes. His stature was comparable to hers but slightly shorter, in the late 160s. However, his face seemed younger.

Though his features had changed a bit, Elise recognized him instantly.

“Xian?”

It was Xian Berth, the youngest of the Berth family and her brother.

(To be continued)

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