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Adopting Disaster - Chapter 171

 Second Light (7)

"Tower Master, I apologize. This is all because I wasn't by her side."

"Do you mean to take responsibility for this situation?"

"Yes. If I can't resolve this situation, I will take responsibility."

"Doesn't that mean you're prepared to sacrifice your life? It's not even your fault, why should you take such responsibility?"

"Why not? I was the one who asked that she be brought to this tower in the first place."

Upon hearing those words, Phoebe's fists clenched tightly.

'So it wasn't the tower master who saved me, but that man?'

Phoebe had thought that Jude Roton, the Master of the Tower, had taken her in, and Reed was the man who took care of her under the Lord's command.

She had never heard such a story before, so she realized it for the first time today.

"I was the one who told her to think for herself, and she did as I said, coming to her own conclusion. Although her decision put us in danger, the responsibility does not lie with her. It lies with me, who made her that way. So I will find a way and restore the situation."

He must take responsibility.

He had always said that.

Phoebe thought he was just trying to show off and didn't think much of it.

Something was welling up inside her chest.

She desperately suppressed it and listened to the conversation.

The tower master's voice was cautious.

"Reed, I know how good you are at judging people. And I know how hard it is to have such an ability. You've never been so stubborn before, but it does suit your stubbornness. Are you sure you won't regret bringing her in?"

Jude Roton asked, and Reed answered.

"Although she has a fierce temperament and seems to have a hard time getting along with others, she has a good nature at her core. She just appears that way because she has been hurt a lot. Even her family wouldn't have known what kind of person she was. How can anyone know about her when she doesn't even know herself?"

Phoebe clenched her teeth and covered her head.

She hated him.

She hated Reed for brazenly claiming he knew her.

She wanted to burst in right now and scream at him, asking what he knew about her.

She felt that if she didn't do so, her rational mind would be overwhelmed by emotions once again.

"When this is over, I'll have a proper talk with her as she's still a child, just a bit slow to mature."

"Alright. I'll trust you. But if you fail to handle this situation properly, there will be no guarantee for your safety. Then there will be no one left to take care of her. Remember, you are important."

"Don't worry. I will find the answer, no matter what."

With that, the conversation came to an end.

She heard footsteps approaching the door, ready to leave.

Phoebe stood up from her seat, and Reed came outside.

Phoebe stood still.

Reed looked down at her.

There was no contempt or anything else in his eyes.

With the same unwavering gaze, as if nothing had happened, he said to her, "Take some time to review."

* * *

Dream big tl dot com


* * *

The head of the family, Roderick Astheria, always had a saying.

- Humans are not to be trusted. They can speak with two tongues, and if given the opportunity, they will pull out a dagger and stab us in the back.

And he always added this.

- That's why the only thing we can trust is family. Only we can have each other's backs and move forward together, so always keep your family in mind.

Phoebe had always lived with those words in her heart.

Her faith had been shaken for a while due to someone named Ritz, but in the end, her father was right.

Humans are not to be trusted.


An authoritative, fearless person who was like a puppy with no fear.

At first, she hated him so much.

She always harbored a dagger in her heart and planned to start her revenge by killing him.

But the thought of starting that revenge gradually faded.

'Maybe everything was calculated by that man. Maybe he made me be swayed by these emotions.'

Phoebe tried to steady her wavering heart towards Reed, but every time she had such a thought, she changed her mind dozens of times.

"I haven't seen Reed lately."

As soon as someone brought up Reed, Phoebe's ears perked up.

"He's said to be fixing the mana pillar ejection system. It seems he accidentally touched it, causing it to malfunction."

She felt that if she didn't, her rational mind would be covered with emotions again.

"Why don't we have any of our magicians capable of handling it? Can Reed fix it?"

"Even the tower master can't touch it. Although the creator was efficient, only the previous tower master was capable of fixing it."

"Then why doesn't he get help from the outside instead of doing such a thing?"

"Well, there's nothing more humiliating than solving a problem within the tower with outside help. That's why he's risking his life to solve this issue."

Something that no one inside the tower could fix.

As Phoebe realized what she had touched, her uneasy feeling grew even stronger.

Phoebe tried to shake off the thought.

'That man is playing with me. With my heart...'

"What a tiring life he has."

"It's no wonder he's tired. Hearing about Reed's past, it's amazing that he's so calm."

"What's in that old man's past?"

"It's not a particularly interesting story. He just lost his parents when he was young."

"Really? If that's the story, then let's talk about something else... Uh!"

The two men who were talking were suddenly startled.

A half-dragon with a pair of threatening horns stood between them.

She opened her mouth.

"Tell me that story in detail."

* * *

Phoebe went down the spiral staircase to the basement. At the end of the stairs, she bowed her head and cautiously peered inside.

The mana pillar, almost doubled in size, seemed to burst at any moment, as it was distorted.

A man was sitting on the floor in front of the panel controlling it.

Uncharacteristically for someone who always nagged about tidying up, he had spread out books and tools all around him.

Reed belatedly sensed her presence and sneakily looked behind him.

Phoebe hid in a narrow gap.

There were too many parts of her body that couldn't be hidden in the narrow gap.

"Phoebe Astheria Roton."

He called her full name.

Phoebe, who had been hiding, revealed herself.

"I'm sure I told you to review, didn't I?"


"Well, I needed someone to help me anyway. If you came to help, why don't you give me a hand?"

Reed turned his head nonchalantly, and Phoebe cautiously walked over.

He spoke with an unusually weak voice.

"What... do I need to help with?"

"Just stay by my side. If I ask for a tool, pass it to me."


Phoebe nodded, and Reed reached out his hand.

"A temporary circuit pen."


"…This isn't a temporary circuit pen. The temporary circuit pen is blue."


"This pen is made using a material that doesn't conduct magic, so even if you draw anywhere on the magic circle, it won't affect it. On the other hand, if you draw with this, it will directly affect the magic circle and cause an explosion. It becomes irreversible."

"…I'm sorry."

As Phoebe apologized, Reed turned his head.

Only then did he see her deflated expression.

"You seem different than usual. Why are you so down? Are you skipping meals?"


"I thought you'd have more stamina than anyone else, but you seem to have less energy than me, who's been holding out for three days. I'm a little disappointed in the half-dragons."


"Take good care of yourself. When you think your body is feeling strange, it's already too late."

Reed rummaged through his tools and handed her two pens.

"Just hold these two. Blue in your left hand, white in your right hand. You can at least tell your left hand from your right hand, right?"

"I know that much."

She replied, holding back her annoyance.

"Good, at least you know that much."

Phoebe felt strange.

It should be an irritating situation, but his face seemed soft for some reason.

'I must be out of my mind.'

He said he's been stuck here for three days, so there's no way he's in his right mind.

That must be it.

Phoebe rolled her eyes and sneakily glanced at Reed's face.

His silver hair was disheveled, and his strands of hair were hanging down like silk curtains.

Between them, his golden eyes were focused on the traces of the magic circle and the book, alternating between checking the panel.

He didn't say a word for two hours.

Reed read the book, thought, and occasionally massaged his sleepy eyes with his index and thumb fingers to wake up.

Phoebe just stared at Reed.

'He's someone I hate to death...'

Every time I think of him, I'm annoyed and hate him to death, but why am I not angry when I'm just looking at him like this?

"You didn't do it."

Phoebe unknowingly blurted out.

She regretted it, but Reed turned his head, and there was no way to take back her words, so she pretended to be calm and looked at him.

Reed nodded.

"Yes, it's something you did."

"But why... didn't you tell me?"

"That's what a boss is like. As your position gets higher, you have to take responsibility. When you were a squad leader, didn't you manage the members below you?"

"They are my siblings."

When Phoebe corrected him, Reed nodded.

"Right, your siblings."

"Yes. I took care of my siblings."

"As much as you controlled and took care of them, the family head treated you well. It would have been harder to manage without you."


"Of course, he might have liked you personally as well."


Her lips curled up, pleased to be considered a useful existence.

Reed pretended not to see it.

"Anyway, that's why I have to show others that I'm above you. I have to show that I'm unaffected even when you emit that murderous aura."

"You didn't even flinch."

"Even though I'm saying this now, at that time, I barely held on. My legs were shaking, and cold sweat was pouring, but I endured it by trying to think about something else."

In Phoebe's memory, there was not a single person who could stand on both legs after receiving her murderous aura.

Even the knights, who boasted about their strength, were crushed by Phoebe's aura and wet themselves, which she vividly remembered.

"I heard that enduring is harder. Why did you endure it?"

"As I said, I had to show that I was controlling you. Only when the reins are tightened and you are muzzled will the other magicians stop being wary of you."

"Is that... for my sake?"

"It's nothing more than responsibility."

She knew that he hesitated for a moment in his words.

As Phoebe bit her lower lip in frustration, he asked.

"Did it hurt when I slapped your cheek?"

"It felt like a mosquito had landed on me. It just made me feel dirty."

"I had no choice but to do it. If I had taken your side at that time, the situation would have only worsened."

"That's an excuse."

"So if you hit me, will that make you feel better?"

Phoebe hesitated.

She had thought that hitting him once would make her feel better, but she couldn't bring herself to do it.

"At least try to hit me after this matter is over. Right now, I'm overwhelmed with focusing on this issue."

"What happens if you can't fix this?"

"I have to take responsibility."

"Could you die?"

"Since it almost killed the entire tower, that would be a fitting punishment, wouldn't it?"

Phoebe vented her rising emotions.

"Why are you taking responsibility?!"

She jumped up from her seat and glared at Reed.

"I did it! Why did you bring me here without asking, and take everything upon yourself, it's so annoying! Did you think I would be grateful?!"

"…It seems you heard everything."

He should have kept her further away.

Reed muttered under his breath as Phoebe continued to rant.

"Your cooking is terrible! You're trash! You, you... idiot! And, and…!"

"Is that all?"

"Y-you're a big jinx!"

She swung her tightly clenched fists wildly, spewing out the worst insults she knew at her level, but they didn't hurt Reed at all.

It was painful, though.

In that situation, if he laughed, the atmosphere would become tense, so he gritted his teeth and endured it.

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