Chapter 27: The Locket
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I was rather surprised when I got back to the mansion. I would've bet money that Kasa would've intercepted me to explain herself. Perhaps my actions were more effective than I thought. Honestly, I'm glad that Kasa is rather introverted, otherwise, my poor acting would've been caught immediately. For now, the plan is to avoid talking to Kasa and evading her till a few days before she leaves for the academy. Right before she leaves for the academy, I'll wish her the best of luck on her new journey. With that, the relation between Kasa and I should shift from an obsessive one to a decent one, and she should look forward to attending the academy.

I'm a little hypocritical here, after all, I was the one who wanted Kasa to get over-dependent on me in the past, but all people make mistakes and all people are hypocrites deep down.

Regarding what can go wrong with the plan, I'm not too worried because I don't believe Kasa would try to harm me when she's trying to reconcile with me. Instead, I could switch focus onto my other goals at the moment.

I took out the locket I had to bury. It was the size of a small rock and shaped like an oval. Judging by how intricate the design was, the locket must've been rather expensive in the past. Unfortunately, with the number of scratches and dents on it now, the locket probably isn't worth much. I've been able to curb my curiosity for a few weeks, which is rather surprising, but I can no longer resist opening it.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but I don't think cats exist in this world.

I locked the door of my room and activated Tracking. Next, I placed the locket on my table and started examining it. I wasn't sure what type of locking mechanism lockets have, however, I suspected it was either a mechanical or magic-based lock. I hoped it was mechanical otherwise I had no way of opening it. After my brief examination, I couldn't find any lock opening mechanisms.

There was no button or keyhole, there was just a small rectangular opening that led to nothing but air. To my dismay, the lock was definitely some kind of magic lock. This was probably the first time I felt this sad about my inability to use magic, but I was determined to make the locket open. With how much damage it has sustained, maybe the magic lock weakened? In that case, I might be able to use brute force to open it.

I tried prying the locket open but the magic was stronger than I expected. After a few minutes of trying with my hands, I tried to use the table as a lever to pry it open. After a few minutes of trying with the table, I started using everything in the room to try to open the lock, pillows, the legs of the bed, books, plates, but to no avail.

I was out of breath and cursing how potent magic was in this universe. I was a fool to expect it to open that easily as well, if I was going to pry it open I would need some sort of leverage on the locket itself. Suddenly, a thought hit me. 'Leverage on the locket, don't I already have that?' If I was right the locket didn't have a mechanical or magic lock at all.

I put my nail on the small gap in the locket and begun to pull. Unsurprisingly, after a small amount of force, the locket opened with a squeak. As I looked at the opened locket, I couldn't help but shake my head and laugh with a wry smile on my face.
'How could I have missed something so obvious?'

It was probably because I made a false equivalence between opening a locket and a pocket watch, but I couldn't be bothered with analyzing myself right now, the locket was open.

Inside the locket was a small portrait sketch of a woman that looked like it was done by a professional. The girl had a pretty face and would've looked like a normal person if she didn't have heterochromatic eyes. With one eye blue and another brown, it gave her face an ethereal feeling. Whoever the artist was captured her emotions immaculately, as she had a smile on her face that resembled the one of the Mona Lisa. I could make a few decent guesses about her relation with Gruz, considering he wanted me to bury the locket.

Other than the picture, the locket was rather normal. I was relieved my curiosity didn't cause a life-threatening situation, but also inexplicably disappointed at how boring the locket was. In any case, I was relieved it wouldn't be a problem to bury it anywhere. However, I had to be wary of when I was burying the locket to avoid being noticed by the person monitoring me.

For now, I put the locket aside and started practicing Az again. While practicing Az left me with a refreshing feeling, I couldn't help but a little disappointed with my results. After a couple of hours with no progress, I spent the rest of my day reading.

I was almost done reading everything I wanted to in the Pendle library. It might sound impressive, but it really wasn't, most of the books in the library were random assortments of junk or detailed information on a specific topic I couldn't understand, and the only books I read were the general knowledge books and some entertainment books. In fact, I was rather disappointed with the overall lack of books regarding neighboring countries and the outskirts of Alvaine, but nobles didn't care about amassing knowledge in their library, they just needed a large number of books to use as a status symbol.

As I began to rest, I realized that finishing my reading list was a rather huge problem because it was one of my main sources of entertainment. I couldn't just spend all my free time visiting the prison. Luckily, I had about a week before I ran out of books, so I could kick this can down the road for a bit and sleep peacefully.

 

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