Strolling in a cloister within a forest of stone pillars, Valeria gave an exaggerated sigh.
“Hah… As expected, I’m still a little nervous. Even my shoulders have gone stiff!”
“Why do I feel like now’s still not the time to relax? I’ve already been chosen as a Dominus though?!” Karin Rudbeck said with a measured tone. She was another girl chosen as a Dominus alongside Valeria, though with lower test scores. Maybe Karin was tired too, but she did not show it.
Compared to Valeria, who would express her emotions on her face regardless, Karin was a person who wouldn’t show what she was thinking or feeling. Reportedly, she didn’t do it on purpose; it was just a habit she’d developed since from a very early age. Because of this, many people thought that she was a cold girl when she actually was not. Not like Karin cared, though.
Due to this, Karin was also looking at Valeria, her best friend, with a cold, indifferent gaze.
“… you’re going to meet your Hiera Glaphicos later, right?”
“Uhuh. Oh yeah! Who’s going to be my Hiera Glaphicos?”
“Did nobody tell you?”
“Yeah…. Karin, you’re so lucky to have Petra as your Hiera Glaphicos.”
“We’ll be entrusting our bodies to them from here on out, so it’s best if they’re sisters or relatives (girls, obviously) we grew up with. That way it won’t be that embarrassing. Ah… I’m so jealous of you.”
“But I still feel kind of awkward and embarrassed at having to show my naked body to my relative.”
“Yeah… but no matter what, its still better than having a man as your Hiera Glaphicos.”
“What?!!” Valeria shouted upon hearing Karin’s words.
“It’s happened before?!”
“I can’t really say it hasn’t happened before… Because in reality, a lot of Hiera Glaphicos’ are men!”
“That I know, but we’re girls! Wouldn’t it be weird for them to assign males as our Hiera Glaphicos’? I don’t think it’d happen, to be honest…”
“Generally speaking, if they had to assign male Hiera Glaphicos’ to us, they’d usually be old grandpa or relatives…”
“It doesn’t matter whether they’re old grandpas or relatives, I don’t want to be assigned a male Hiera Glaphicos! Because that way won’t I be… you know, by somebody I don’t like?!”
“You don’t have to be worried about that. Normal magicians may get male Hiera Glaphicos’, but I’ve never heard about Dominus’ getting one. If, by chance, you get assigned a male Hiera Glaphicos’, it would become an unprecedented situation, a sign of bad things to come.”
Valeria gave a big sigh of relief.
Indeed, Dominus’ were different to normal magicians who could be both male or female. They were all unmarried women for one, and could not lose their virginity until their 9 years of service were over. Therefore, assigning male Hiera Glaphicos’ to Dominus’ was something that could not happen.
“… let’s leave it at this for today.”
“Mnmn, do remember to tell me about who you get assigned to! If it’s really a male… haha!”
“Don’t say that, it’s making me feel uneasy…”
After patting Karin lightly on the back, Valeria said her goodbyes and left for the Magic Academy.
The Royal Magic Academy was an organisation of Crest Magicians under the management of the Kingdom of Yamoda. It’s main institution was located in the Capital City Ahmad, and it had many other branch institutions spread out all over Yamoda. Even though Dominus’ were of special status, they were still considered to be a type of magician; therefore, Dominus’ from Yamoda were under the jurisdiction of the Royal Magic Academy in normal circumstances.
“… forgive me for my discourtesy.”
Under the guidance of a female clerk, Valeria entered the office of the Academy Headmaster.
“Valeria Costacurta has come to report for duty.”
She said, whilst curtsying with her right hand on her chest and keeping the hem of her skirt from touching the floor. As a Dominus, she had no obligation to curtsy to State Ministers, but she still did so anyway, as the Academy Headmaster was not only the Headmaster of the Academy she studied at, but also the strongest magician in all of Yamoda!
Orvieto Richternach, known as the
“Now now, don’t be so formal. Welcome, Valeria.”
Orvieto put down the quill in her hands and stood up from her chair, welcoming Valeria into the room with a faint smile that made people feel at ease. Even though she was already over 40, people oftentimes mistook her for a 20 year old. Rumours had it that Orvieto had employed some type of magic to look this young.
Gesturing for Valeria to sit on the sofa, she grabbed hold of a goblet of red wine and proffered it to Valeria.
“I’m so sorry for having to make you come so far to the Academy.”
“No, it’s no problem, Headmaster.”
“Wait here for a bit, your Hiera Glaphicos will be coming soon. Really, to make a Dominus wait… that fellow sure does have guts.”
Valeria took a sip of red wine and smiled. It was because of her frank and friendly personality – though other people may attribute it to her young appearance – that Orvieto didn’t look like one of the most powerful people in the kingdom. With some nobles and state ministers, etiquette had to be followed and formality was required, but with Orvieto, one could talk freely and openly.
Wetting her lips with top-notch red wine, Valeria asked
“I’m sorry… but before the Hiera Glaphicos arrives, can I ask you a question?”
“You guys decided on Karin’s Hiera Glaphicos pretty quickly; but why did it take so long to decide on mine?”
“I think you know that whether it’s in complexity or density, Dominus’ are much more stronger than normal magicians. It is especially the case with your Crests, so the Hiera Glaphicos that can repair them are very few in number. That’s why it took so long to decide on who’s going to be your Hiera Glaphicos.”
“Oh, so that’s why… It’s already been decided right? Who’s going to be my Hiera Glaphicos?”
Orvieto shrugged her shoulders and gave a mysterious smile.
“I’m so sorry…”
Orvieto put her goblet of wine on the table.
And at the same moment, knocking could be heard from outside the door.
“Forgive me for my discourtesy.”
Valeria could not help but widen her eyes in disbelief at the young man who walked in through the door.
His was around the same age as her, 16-17. Even though the air of naivety had not disappeared from his face yet , he was taller than Valeria by one head. He had a lanky, skinny body, but it did not give off the impression of him being weak and fragile. Maybe it was because he had solid, sturdy muscles in places where solid, sturdy muscles were needed.
“I’m very sorry that I’m late.”
The dark-silver haired young man ignored Valeria, who was sat upon the sofa, and gave Orvieto a deep bow of apology.
“You’re late by 10 minutes… what happened?”
“I was held back by the Chief Engineer.”
“Held back by Albiol?”
“Yes. He told me to give you his greetings and regards.”
“… Is that so… I’ll let you off the hook this time.”
Orvieto smiled sweetly, then turned her head to look at Valeria.
“– this young lady over here is the newly chosen Dominus, Ms. Valeria Costacurta. Di, you should know of the Costacurta family, right?”
Valeria frowned once again upon hearing the conversation between Orvieto and the young man. Why did they seem so close?
Disregarding Valeria’s look of confusion, Orvieto put her arm around the young man’s shoulders and said:
“This chap here is Dimitar Richternach.”
Valeria widened her eyes in shock and repeated the young man’s name again and again under her breath.
“His surname is Richternach… Could it be–?”
“Yes, he’s my nephew.”
“From today onwards, he’ll be your exclusive Hiera Glaphicos!”
Dimitar smiled at Valeria’s dumbfounded, vociferous reaction, then folded his right hand across his chest, bowed his head down and said:
“From today onwards, please take good care of me, your eminence Costacurta.”
Although the young man spoke with a hint of sarcasm, Valeria didn’t really register it. The fact that her Hiera Glaphicos was a male, and around the same age at that, gave Valeria such a shock that she went speechless in surprise and stupefaction.
The so-called Hiera Glaphicos’s were tasked with adjusting, repairing, and maybe even re-writing the Crests that covered Crest Magicians from head to toe.
In other words, it meant that when necessary, Valeria had to take off her clothes and expose her pure white skin (naked bodyyyyy YES) to Dimitar.
Valeria, who’d finally calmed down by taking deep breath’s nonstop, opened her mouth to ask Orvieto what in God’s name was happening.
But before she could speak, Dimitar interrupted her and said:
“I’ll be taking my leave.”
“You have to go back already?”
“Yeah. I’ve still got some stuff left to do.”
“…. although I won’t ask about your private matters, don’t overwork yourself.”
“Also, come over to my house when you have time. That child would be delighted if you did so.”
After replying to Orvieto’s question, Dimitar walked out of the Headmaster’s Office. To Valeria, it felt like it was as if she wasn’t here to meet with up her Hiera Glaphicos for the first time, but to listen to a conversation between Dimitar and his aunt.
After Dimitar left, Valeria asked once again with a high-pitched voice:
“What in the world was that?!”
“What, my dear?”
“Why are you asking me a question when I’m asking you a question–”
Faced with Orvieto’s surprised expression, Valeria felt a sense of powerlessness that she’d never felt before. Even though today was the first time that she’d had a conversation with Orvieto, never in the world did she expect that the
Valeria rubbed her solar plexus with her hand, then said in a low voice:
“May I ask… um.. can you tell me why you’ve assigned that young man to be my Hiera Glaphicos?”
“Like I said before, because your Crests are extremely dense and complex, there are only a handful of Hiera Glaphicos’ who can handle them. In fact, there’s so few of them that we can count them by hand! Also, your father has given the Academy a fair amount of money so that we assign a Hiera Glaphicos that is powerful enough to protect you from harm.”
“Therefore, we concluded that Dimitar was the best choice of personnel… no, the only choice of personnel.”
“Please don’t decide on things so casually!!”
Valeria was so angry that she’d already forgotten who she was talking to, slamming her fist into the table so hard that shook and rattled.
“He’s a guy! A guy!!!!”
“Yeah, he’s a pretty reliable man, and his sword skills are top notch–”
“But still, he’s a guy! A man! How many times do I have to tell you that he’s a man?! I’m a girl, for goodness sakes, how can you assign a male Hiera Glaphicos to me?! It-it’s…… too embarrassing!”
“Ooooohhh, so you were worried about that, huh?”
“To me, it’s a big problem!!!!”
Valeria shouted with a red face:
“— I’m a Dominus? No, even if I wasn’t a Dominus, what would happen if an accident happens…”
TL Note – Accident, as in getting $%^%$^%ed
“Valeria, you don’t have to worry about that.”
Orvieto cut off Valeria in mid-sentence, then said in a nonchalant manner:
“Di’s only interested in older women. That’s how he’s always been.”
“Wh-wh-what does that mean?”
“In other words, he won’t lay his hands on you, my little girl.”
TL Note: LOLI!!!!
“H-how… do you know that for sure?!! Nobody knows what goes on in a man’s mind–”
Orvieto cut her off mid-sentence again, then said warmly, though with an indescribable might:
“I’ve already said there won’t be a problem, so there won’t be a problem. Di won’t do anything transgressing to you — if you still aren’t convinced, then I’ll vouch for what I’ve said with my life.”
Since Orvieto had already said she’d wager her life, there was nothing more Valeria could say. Even though her lips were still trembling, as if she wanted to continue voicing out her opinions, she knew that she could not win against Orvieto in an argument. And like that, their meeting concluded, and Valeria left the office in a dejected manner.
Valeria did not know why, but the tabard she was wearing for the first time felt strangely heavy. She was so downcast that she didn’t notice the people who bowed their head down in respect of her when she passed them. To Valeria, the anger and frustration she felt of having a male Hiera Glaphicos had already buried the joy she felt at having been selected as a Dominus.
Unconsciously, she was already thinking of how to change this reality.
First, let’s stop worrying over whether or not it was because of my family that I was assigned a male Hiera Glaphicos. Even though I can’t confirm whether Orvieto really is that kind of person — it seems that she trusts that Dimitar very much. Based on the meeting just now, I can tell that no matter how many times I request Orvieto to change my Hiera Glaphicos, she won’t switch Dimitar for somebody else.
But even so, I cannot give up on being a Dominus.
Dominus’ were the wives of God, and there were only 12 of them within the 7 countries that comprised the
Not to mention, Valeria had the responsibility of restoring the Costacurta Family name. No matter what, she could not give up this hard earned opportunity just because her Hiera Glaphicos was a man.
Valeria rubbed her pouting lips with her hands whilst walking, before stopping dead in her tracks right as she stepped out of the courtyard of the Magic Academy.
She’d seen the young man who was basking in the sunlight by the side of the fountain, yawning ceaselessly. His current lazy, lax and indolent expression made him seem like a different person from the smart young man who was in the office just moments ago. Maybe this was his true nature.
Valeria frowned, then walked over to Dimitar Richternarch.
Dimitar looked at Valeria, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes with his hands.
“I’m going to be frank with you.”
“Please resign immediately.”
“What in the world are you saying?!”
Dimitar said rudely. The sincereness from back then had disappeared without a trace. He’d only act like a good, polite boy in front of Orvieto. Even though it was pot calling the kettle black, as Valeria herself was pretty rude towards Dimitar, but since Dimitar was speaking to her with such a rude tone, continuing to call him “dono” would be rather stupid.
Valeria furrowed her brows in anger, then pointed her finger at Dimitar’s nose and said:
“Hiera Glaphicos! Hiera Glaphicos! I want you to resign from your post as my Hiera Glaphicos!”
“What are you babbling on about?!”
Batting away Valeria’s finger lightly, Dimitar stood up.
The height difference was immediately noticeable – Dimitar was taller than Valeria by a head. Therefore, Valeria had no choice but to lift her head to look at him. However, this did not suppress her imposing manner, and she raised her finger again to point it at Dimitar’s nose.
“Just what is wrong with you?!! This is no way to treat a Dominus! There is no way I can accept the fact that you’re going to be my Hiera Glaphicos. Resign now before you make the Headmaster lose face!!”
“It’s my freedom, my right to decide whether or not I resign, not yours. Stop sticking your nose into things that do not concern you.”
Dimitar swatted away Valeria’s hand once again, pressed his middle finger on Valeria’s nose, and said in an unpleasant manner:
“Sure, I’m your Hiera Glaphicos, but in no way does it mean that I’m your servant. During work, I’ll treat you with the required etiquette and formality, but I won’t treat you like a king at other times… really, casually telling somebody to resign from their post as Hiera Glaphicos… just who do you think you are?!”
“What an idiot. Stop trying to stick your nose into other people’s business when you should sort yourself out first. Sigh, honestly… If you get into trouble, my daily life is going to be affected!!”
“Y-y-you, do you have brain problems?!”
Valeria tilted her head to knock off Dimitar’s finger. Headstrong and stubborn, she was about to lecture Dimitar on how rude he was to her.
“I’m a Dominus. How dare you–”
As she was about to vent her anger and frustration at Dimitar, a deep voice of greeting came from behind them. Startled by the suddenness of the greeting, she hastily turned her head backwards.
“I’ve heard that you guys had already met, so I guessed that ya’ll were probably still around. Ah, it’s good to see the two of you.”
A young man dressed in the uniform of the Seal Knights Corps said with a faint smile.
Valeria pushed Dimitar to one side, then ran towards the young man.
“It’s been so long, Lucius-dono!”
“Your eminence Costacurta… congratulations on officially becoming a Dominus.”
After Lucius saluted her respectfully, he took hold and kissed lightly the back of Valeria’s right hand.
“Don’t treat me like such an outsider… Valeria is fine, Lucius-dono ♡.”
Valeria stuck her butt out and leaned forward seductively, staring at Lucius with eyes of adoration.
Lucius was the vice-commander of the Seal Knight Corps, a man that many young lady aristocrats yearned for. Not only was he handsome and a genius, he was humble, polite and kind to others even if they were of a lower status. And coupled with the fact he was only 20 this year and Orvieto’s only son, there was a high probability that he was going to take over the Richternach Family in the future. Lucius’ qualifications made the young women who wanted a rich and powerful husband even more crazy about him.
Valeria, obviously, was no exception. Back then when she’d just been selected as a Dominus candidate and had to go in and out the Royal Palace often, she’d always try to find opportunities to get closer to him and make him remember her name and face. Even though her best friend Karin looked down upon her actions, she did not care, because if she was really selected as a Dominus, then she would not be able to live the life of a normal young woman for 9 years. Finding opportunities to get close to Lucius was one of the only joys she had during that period of time.
“Lucius-dono! It’s a personal affair, but I hope you’ll say yes…. to celebrate my inauguration as Dominus, I’m going to be hosting a little party at my house. If you have time, I hope that you’ll come–”
“Hehe, I’m sorry, but can we talk about this at a later date? — I’m really sorry.”
Lucius, without malice, interrupted Valeria, adjusted and sorted out his cape which denoted his position as vice-commander of the Seal Knights Corpse, then walked over to Dimitar.
“I’ve already heard from mother. Di, you’ve been working pretty hard this time, eh?”
“Haha, not that hard as of yet.”
Valeria widened her eyes in shock once again upon noticing how intimately Lucius and Dimitar were conversing. Even the nobles who went in and out the Palace frequently could only exchange greetings of courtesy with Lucius. However, this unruly, rude and galling young man could make Lucius take the initiative to speak with him. Not only that, the young man looked uninterested with conversing with Lucius, and even tilted his head to one side! Valeria, who’d noticed Dimitar’s actions, found it extremely unbelievable.
“But, being the exclusive Hiera Glaphicos of a Dominus is not a job that everyone can do. Well, at least it’s different to serving as a Seal Knight, which any noble can become. This is a world where strength is everything, isn’t it, Dimitar?”
“Is it all thanks to Aunt that I’ve been appointed as a Hiera Glaphicos to a Dominus?”
“Even if it’s a relative, mother won’t allow people to do jobs that they don’t have the ability to do. Mother appointed you as the exclusive Hiera Glaphicos of a Dominus because she believes you have the power and the ability to do the job well — don’t underestimate your Aunt, Di!”
“N-no, that wasn’t what I meant…”
Dimitar shook his head, then gave a shy smile.
Valeria, who’d finally recovered from her initial shock, let out strange sounds of surprise and confusion, breaking the atmosphere of intimacy between Dimitar and Lucius. Walking in between them, she asked:
“— Lucius-dono, what’s all this about?”
“Ah?! No, I don’t even know where to begin…”
Lucius, who was a bit perplexed over where to start, looked to Dimitar for assistance.
“Did you not tell Ms. Valeria?”
“I have no duty to do so.”
“You’re so… ugh.” Lucius sighed wryly, before saying:
“Maybe you’ve already heard it from my mother, but Dimitar is my relative; my mother and his mother were cousins.”
“I-I-I’ve heard about that.”
Valeria did not want to ask about this, but why they had such a good relationship. Even though Lucius’ mother and Dimitar’s mother were cousins, their sons shouldn’t be so close to each other. Most second cousins only knew each other’s names; some may not even know each other’s names – after all, the familial relationship that tied second cousins together were pretty much non-existent.
However, Lucius and Dimitar’s relationship was so good that they seemed like best friends! Valeria just could not accept that. Well, to be more accurate, she was envious of Dimitar.
Dimitar, who’d been watching Valeria’s facial expression change and change and change, gave a “malicious” smile and put his arm over Lucius’ shoulder.
“Ah! Ah! AHHHH….!”
“Because my parents died when I was very young, I lived at Lucius’ house before I was old enough to start to living by myself.”
“H-h-how d-d-dare you not call Lucius-dono with honorifics…..! And you even leeched off Lucius and his family, eating and living for free at his place!”
Valeria felt her blood boil in anger. Lucius, who’d probably expected her indignant reaction, shook his head and smiled:
“He didn’t leech off my family. To me, Di is my little brother.”
Dimitar, who’d been observing Valeria’s reactions from the very start, gave a smile of victory once again!
“You want to know why Dimitar is a little brother to me? It’s because the only members of the Richternach Family still alive are me, my mother and Di. So whether it’s me or my mother, we view Di as our closest family; we also rely on him very much too!”
“Lucius, don’t say it like that, I’ve never done anything for you guys. I’m always on the receiving end.”
As if he wanted Valeria to see it, Dimitar purposely patted Lucius on the shoulder. No, it was not “as if”. Dimitar really “wanted” Valeria to see it, as he could see that Valeria fancied Lucius.
Even though he’d noticed that Valeria was clenching her teeth so hard it might break in anger, Lucius pretended that he still did not know what Valeria was thinking and said heartily to her:
“But Di here did not rely on his relationship with my mother to become your Hiera Glaphicos.”
“U, uuu, uuuuu, then its no problem now….”
“Di is not only an excellent Hiera Glaphicos, he’s an amazing bodyguard as well. It’s just that he’s a bit rude….”
Even though Valeria wanted to argue that Dimitar was more than a little rude, she could not oppose what Lucius said. In the end, there was nothing she could do but reluctantly give a stiff smile as a response.
“— If you get into danger or trouble that you can’t get out of, go find Di for help no matter what. Don’t underestimate him because he looks so young – Di’s actually seen a lot of the world!”
Valeria wanted to tell Lucius that the current situation was already trouble she couldn’t get out of, but in no way was she going to say it out aloud. In the end, she moved the stiff muscles on her face to give an unconvincing smile.
“Then I’ll be leaving now, Ms. Valeria — Di, I hope that you’ll protect her well.”
Dimitar waved Lucius goodbye and watched him leave, whilst Valeria tried to curtsy elegantly without her tabard touching the floor, which took her quite a bit of work.
“– see you.”
Just as Lucius disappeared from their field of vision, Dimitar gave a few big yawns, then strode away in a hurry to leave.
“Ah — wait, wait!”
Valeria called out to Dimitar suddenly.
“I haven’t finished talking –”
Dimitar turned his head back to look at Valeria, snorting and smirking:
“… Please bring your request to His Majesty if you want me to resign from my post as your Hiera Glaphicos — but if you do so, you’d be making my aunt, the Headmaster, lose face. I hope you think carefully before making a decision.”
When Valeria finally registered what he’d said, Dimitar was long gone already.
She did not know why, but she felt a sense of defeat at not being able to rebut Dimitar’s last point. Not resigned to the end result, she clenched her hands into claws and tore at her nicely braided hair, tearing it into messy clumps.