I asked as I headed to my playroom with Ilypia.
“Is your summoned clone with Chloe right now? When do you think Chloe will return?”
Everything that the spirit’s alternative form saw, heard and felt was transmitted to the current body. I couldn’t figure out how the two selves thought and moved concurrently, but perhaps it was possible since they were a different species.
“I think she’ll be back as early as tomorrow evening.”
Depending on one’s way of thinking, they could consider the duration as short or long. I’d have to make my decision by then. As I pondered over what I should do, the spirit looked at me suspiciously and asked.
“Are you hiding something from Chloe?”
I didn’t know you were such a quick-witted ghost. Did they have something in common since they were both spiritual beings?
Truthfully, rather than that, Ilypia was sensitive to any Claudia-related matters.
“I’ll tell you about it later. First of all, let me see if it’s possible with your abilities.”
The spirit made an expression that seemed to say, “What the hell?” Soon after, I showed him the inside of the tent made of red velvet.
In a space that was large enough to fit five or six people, there were cute dolls stuffed tightly inside and a man buried in between them.
Ilypia turned away for a moment and asked as he rubbed his eyes.
“What did I just see?”
As if he had suffered a visual blow, he instantly squeezed his eyes shut in pain.
“Oh… my eyes…”
Err, this was the easiest place to hide a man of this size. I personally didn’t have much choice.
For some reason, I was stabbed with guilt and felt like I had to apologize since he hated it that much.
Or, was there something wrong with the dolls?
Even as an adult, one might still like dolls. Dolls weren’t the exclusive property of children.
“Isn’t your reaction too much? Individual preferences should be respected.”
“What are you talking about when you’re the one putting yourself in here at will?”
As I was sternly scolding Ilypia, Larry wrinkled his face and quickly slipped out of the tent. He then approached me with a fearsome look as if he was going to hit me but instead pinched my cheek.
It didn’t hurt that much since he controlled his strength, but what was he doing right now?
There were only two people in the world who could touch my face. Claudia and Felix. It did not include the devil parasite attached to Felix.
I shook off the devil’s hand, but his eyes had already widened, and the corners of his lips twitched. It was as if he liked the ways my cheek felt.
Anyway, now that I escaped from the attack, I approached the spirit and asked.
“Can you make a doll identical to this guy? I heard he will be inaugurated soon and will then head to the battlefield. Make it very natural so that no one feels any differences.”
Ilypia then glanced up and down at Larry, who was vacantly standing there with bloodshot eyes.
“It doesn’t really matter. But is this a complete human being?”
Ilypia suspiciously questioned as he felt a sense of disparity. After pondering for a moment about what to say, I decided to answer really concisely for the time being.
Now that the opponent was a devil, he must die! But Ilypia didn’t pounce on him.
Unlike on the island, where he lost half his sanity, Ilypia, who regained his original form, was rather calm and more serious.
Until Claudia’s orders were issued, it was his daily routine to remain behind her and silently guard her like a knight.
Even though it was suspicious enough as it was, he didn’t ask any further and just thought about the promise he made with me.
Anyway, he still hated devils, so the spirit approached Larry with a repulsed gaze. And after grabbing his chin, he meticulously examined him from left to right.
Larry was making an expression of ‘Should I shake him off?’, but when I moved my thumb across my throat1 without saying a word, he somehow turned sulky.
“It’s hard to accurately replicate the devil. I’ll roughly imitate it, but I can’t guarantee it. The people close to him might notice.”
“He doesn’t get along well with anyone, so that part will probably be fine. Due to his personality… no, strength? Anyway, I want you to utilize more power than what you used to create yours.”
“If it remains within the range of my powers, a month at most is the limit.”
“Well, since he’s a killer of thousands and thousands, wouldn’t a month be enough?”
I asked as I turned to look at Larry. It was an implausible period for an ordinary person, but if it were the power of the devil, it would be sufficient.
Larry slowly nodded as if he was answering my question.
“A month is enough.”
He was more incredible than I thought. I gazed up at Larry in amazement, and soon after, I pointed my finger at Ilypia and said.
“I told you so.”
“What command do I inscribe?”
“Just two things. Lead the war to victory and return safely.”
The command here was to set the purpose for which the doll created by Ilypia would move.
For example, when he embodied the island four thousand years ago, he engraved an order to ‘feed outsiders.’
It was a similar principle to how a person would not properly progress if they wandered around without a goal in life.
“So, who is he?”
Ilypia only asked about the man’s identity after finishing the conversation related to our agreement.
“Chloe’s older brother”.
At first, he exclaimed in disbelief, but then he muttered, “Oh, so that’s why,” as if he figured something out on his own.
“That’s why you wanted to hide it from Chloe.”
Oh, that was what he meant.
“I’m not hiding it. But can you keep it a secret for a bit? I don’t think this is a matter for me to decide on my own. First of all, I have to ask him what he wants to do.”
“I will stand on the sidelines2 until Chloe returns. But, you have to solve it right away. If I were you, I’d tell Chloe as soon as possible so that she doesn’t get hurt.”
After he said that, he turned his back, indicating that he was about to leave my playroom. Even if he was as rough as sandpaper, Ilypia had become relatively gentle after being comforted by me3.
That bloke had gotten pretty cool.
I swiped under my nose with my finger.
“Keep your promise”.
I was rather touched and decided it would be better if I didn’t break the pleasant mood.
“Of course I will.”
I vigorously waved my hands from side to side and thanked him for his help.
* * *
After those affairs were all sorted, I was left alone with Larry.
I took him back to the cottage which Felix had used just before he left.
Even before and after he left, that place was restricted from the servants. Thus, there was no place more suitable place than this.
As expected, even though I didn’t say anything to the devil, he followed me around like a baby bird following its mother.
“Where are we going?”
“I’m going to talk to Fel.”
We barely reunited, but their time was shared, so there was a lack of conversation. But after the devil fell asleep, wouldn’t the twelve-hour duration be enough for a serious discussion?
‘Wait, now that I think about it, can I finally talk to Felix without any interruption?’
I couldn’t control the corners of my mouth from twitching and mindlessly continued walking. Larry seemed quite dissatisfied with me and chased after me with stomping steps.
In my arms, I was holding the items that I had asked the servants to bring. At that moment, Larry, who had been trailing behind me, snatched my luggage and took the lead in walking.
The memory of Felix adamantly insisting that he would carry my luggage since he was a sorcerer4 came to mind.
I rubbed my eyes with the back of my hand and followed after him.
“But what are we going to do?”
“You can quietly lie over there.”
I pointed my finger at the bed located in the center of the bedroom and said.
“Do you want me to sing you a lullaby?”
It lacked sincerity, but the melody of a popular folk song flowed out of my mouth. I didn’t know the lyrics well, so I hummed it roughly and diligently set up what I brought with me.
It was morning, so it might be too bothersome if it was too bright, so I pulled out the blackout curtain first. Then, after pouring wine into the glass, I gradually placed cheese and snacks onto the plate.
It was when rose petals were sprinkled on the floor and candles were lit… Larry’s expression grew worse and worse, and in the end, he screamed loudly.
“Are you going to sleep with him?!”
Gosh, you surprised me.
I looked back at Larry as I pressed the palm of my hand over my pounding heart.
“No, I’m not? I just wanted to create a good atmosphere for a conversation?”
“This isn’t a good atmosphere to talk in! No matter how you look at it, isn’t it a great atmosphere to have a conversation with your body?”
The devil, who noticed my secret intentions, kept raising his voice. It was as if he feared someone who wasn’t even the devil of pleasure.
“If Fel agrees, there’s nothing we can’t do, right?”
That was one of the reasons why he kept avoiding me, so if we did it once, he would feel reassured and wouldn’t make a big deal over it.
A conversation with words or our bodies didn’t matter as long as it was with Felix.
I just wanted to say, ‘What’s good is good,’ and create an atmosphere. It was possible that Felix might run away again. If that was the case, it couldn’t be helped.
If we could simply have a serious conversation with each other without him avoiding me, that would be enough for me.
First of all, the purpose was to talk. We needed to communicate.
Anyway, why on earth was he getting mad? It was the first time in my life that I saw someone wear an angrier face than Lucas.
“What’s wrong with that?”
“It’s your first time, so how will you handle the devil’s desires…?!”
“Devil, are you really suffering from memory loss? I hope you’re aware that you’re the one who instigated Fel’s desire to leave.”
The thought of seeing Felix soon made me in a good mood.
I didn’t get angry at Larry’s ridiculous behavior and spoke as calmly as possible.
‘Don’t disturb me, go wash your feet and sleep.’
“But isn’t it a good thing for you if Fel succumbs to temptation?”
“I-it doesn’t really matter anymore. Since I’ve already eaten half of his soul.”
“Really? Then that’s a relief for me.”
Now that I thought about it, it was fortunate in many ways that Fel endured his desires. Because, back then, he used to share every one of his senses and memories with the devil.
If we had a relationship at that time, that devil would experience every moment of it. Looking back, it was almost terrifying.
‘I’m sure he remembers the kiss at the sea.’
Even that was unpleasant.
I finished what I was doing and rubbed my lips meaninglessly.
In the first place, the person giving the rice cake5 was asleep and didn’t know what the devil’s thoughts, or about this conversation itself.
“Let’s put that problem aside for the time being since I have a lot to say. I have to ask Fel about his future plans, I’ll tell him about our plans, and then we’ll discuss how to tell his family…”
But it was then. Larry approached with an anxious expression and grabbed my wrist and neck. I reflexively tried to shake him off, however, before that, he forced me to look at him.
His face was pale.
* * *
T/N: Thanks for your everlasting patience, everyone! My updates might continue to be a bit irregular due to my studies but I’ll do my best to get the chapters translated every week! >_< Please take care of yourselves and stay safe, everyone! 💖
1. To “move your thumb across your throat” is a throat-slitting (or beheading) gesture normally used to threaten someone with death.↩
2. “Stand on the sidelines” means to not get involved or take part.↩
3. Irene is talking about how she comforted him back on the island in Chapter 79 with the speech about human virtue.↩
4. In Chapter 7, Felix insisted on carrying Irene’s luggage. and Irene concluded it was because “He’s a sorcerer, so no matter how heavy it was, it must feel like carrying a feather.”↩
5. This plays on the Korean idiom, “Don’t drink the kimchi soup first before being offered rice cake.’ Traditionally, kimchi soup is served with rice cake to help you wash it down and digest. Essentially, the idiom is saying you shouldn’t assume that something will happen until it actually does.↩
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