Soon after, they got up and left, leaving a table full of dishes for her and Lazer to enjoy. Perhaps they had also noticed that she had not eaten much. She touched her chest with both of her hands, and her pinkly trembled for a long time.

“… Are you scared?”

“No, it is not like that. It is just that I have not talked to the family head for so long that I got a little nervous.” Her tone was slightly erratic, and her breathing unsmooth. “I am surprised… to hear them thank someone like me.”

“That was merely a social rhetoric.”

She pondered for a moment and said “Even then, I feel content.”

Lazer frowned, unable to understand her reaction. To him, the couple was simply taking advantage of the girl’s inexperience and used lies to deceive her into doing a job where she would be killed sooner or later. Even if Diana succeeded in ascending to the throne, it would just be more difficult for the girl to escape the fate of serving as Diana’s double until she was killed.

Although they mentioned loyalty, Lazer believed that the girl did not truly understand what said “loyalty” entailed. She did not even think thoroughly about how she would die.

“Teacher, I think it is time for me to go back.”

“You still have not eaten much,” said Lazer, looking at her empty plate.

“Well, I want to train a little bit more. I still do not have Diana’s mannerisms down.”

“Okay,” nodded Lazer. “The family head is worried about your progress. You may not have time to rest in the future.”

She quietly clasped her deformed hand and seemed devastated hearing this. “I…”

“Do you understand what is at stake here? There are still five to six families vying for the throne, and most of them are strong. Some families that have not taken any actions are about to as well. You will face more frequent and powerful attacks from now on.” He paused and watched the girl’s frightened reaction before proceeding: “If you have any concerns, speak now.”

“… This is something that I have to overcome, and I will.” She shook her head and tried to lift her spirit.

“Yet, she shows no reactions to my kind words,” He blurted out in a low nasal voice.

“What was that?”

“Nothing. Let’s go.”

They left the dining room. Lazer’s face was cold, as always, but his mind was not; he was anxious.

He remembered about he and the girl’s first meeting in the Juan family. He was excited and never felt more alive. The blowing wind in the garden, the heat of the sun shining on them, and the rough sensation of the girl’s severed finger. She did not know him and did not know why he cared about her severed finger when she no longer felt pain from it. She did not know that it was a proof that Lazer was still alive, and a proof that she was too.

Unfortunately, that pleasant feeling soon evaporated, leaving only confusion behind.

The girl was unaware of the crisis she was about to face and made no considerable progress. All she had was that pair of vacantly looking eyes that appeared soulless and lifeless at times—Perhaps this was the main reason why Lazer was anxious.

He did not know what the girl had been through, which was the biggest obstacle to overcome during this double training. She was still very different from Diana in terms of how they thought spiritually. She worked hard, but the time she needed was as long as she had been vulnerable.

Lazer could not understand the darkness inside of her, but he knew that things should not have turned out the way they did.

The reason why he specifically came to the Juan family and accepted this position was not to see her like this.