- Do you still like it?
Eventually, it was a middle-aged man who ran in front of them. Moreover he was wearing the familiar prison uniform.
Martin was wary, wondering about the man.
“No, you’re not a guard. A knight?”
Martin heard the prisoner’s tone and immediately recognized his identity. A noble prisoner.
Those who had been imprisoned in the central area until recently and were moved to the ward where they were monitoring.
Noble prisoners were treated differently from other prisoners. Among these was the surprising condition of being free to go to the bathroom at night, which gave great freedom in this situation where surveillance personnel were not adequate.
The reason was that they had already identified all of the noble prisoners. Those who were currently enjoying their freedom were those who had not yet been released from prison.
The prisoner who ran, quickly explained the situation of why he was running.
“I am Baron Palladis. Oh well, I’m in a hurry, so…….”
His expression was urgent and looked like he was quite surprised. Martin’s face grew serious when he heard all the circumstances.
“Did you see a suspicious person?”
Listening to what the prisoner described, they were not even the Imperial Guards or Imperial Knights dispatched here.
“Oh, was it a woman and a man?”
Moreover, one is a woman. Martin thought of a female knight in the Knight’s Order, but couldn’t find a match. Above all, there were no female knights among the knights dispatched to this building.
The more he listened, the more similar it was to what the Empress has described. Martin’s colleague immediately reported it to the Empress.
After a while, the prisoner was brought before the Empress. Walking behind the knights, the prisoner, Baron Palladis, bowed his head.
‘It’s been good so far. Well, of course.’
In fact, Baron Palladis was a prisoner who had not yet been released from prison, as explained earlier. It was easier for him to deceive others than anything else. It was also true that he was a prisoner who was sentenced to prison for such a crime.
And he was already in his third imprisonment. The third time he’s been in and out over the years. After this, he should be released for the third time. For some reason, he thought that the situation in Kambrakam was very strange before his release, but he understood the reason only a few hours ago.
‘Hoho, I didn’t expect my dear friend to ask me such a big deal.’
The prisoner Baron Palladis’ crime is ‘scam’.
In his opinion, the purpose of scammers is largely two things. Survival or money. Baron Palladis was neither. Because he made terrible money from his first scam. He probably had enough money to live on for the rest of his life.
Then why was he imprisoned in this prison again, because he was addicted to the act of scamming others.
This was no different from gambling addiction. The joy, thrill and happiness of the moment he managed to scam someone. It is very similar to drug addiction in that those who have already tasted it cannot return.
So once a young prisoner friend said,
<Uncle, you’re going to be ruined by scams.>
A prisoner with pink hair that stood out. She did not know how conspicuous her appearance was, and her face was simply indifferent to everything without fervent attention and gaze.
He knew from experience that a face like this can sometimes drive certain people crazy. Therefore, he also expected rumors that would later be heard in social circles. In fact, this indifferent friend sometimes says a lot of funny things.
<Because the only time you tell a good story without a reward is to scam.>
She blinked her eyes once in a while and said something strange. Such a person suddenly appeared as a noble person pursued by the Empress. Hello, Uncle. Still indifferent, but with a very friendly tone.
<Scams, do you still like it?>
Of course he does. Baron Palladis was delighted with her re-appearance, which once made him forget his boredom in this boring prison.
<Then why don’t you risk your life for a big target?>
It didn’t matter why she appeared breaking down one of the walls of the prison cell. The prison mate he met again after a long time just told him what to do to satisfy his boredom and hunger for this bad addiction.
“Raise your head.”
He didn’t know what his neck would be like if he failed. The situation was completely different from when he sold fake fairy tales and deceived the great nobles. Nevertheless, Baron Palladis accepted the task. It was because it would be less dangerous if he passed it well, and there were enough holes for him to escape.
Don’t be too bold when it comes to scamming. At least in the current situation.
At this moment, appropriate fear and trembling would rather increase credibility. When Baron Palladis’ story was finished, the Empress twisted her lips.
“…… Is that really true?”
The Empress’ gaze, who was rumored to have made the Empire prosperous, was more gloomy and dark than he had expected. Baron Palladis said without hiding his instinctively trembling body.
“Oh, yes! I’m sure, oh my God, Your, Your Majesty. Those unknown people…… they were heading towards the easternmost part of Kambrakam!”
The easternmost part of Kambrakam, it is the place where the most evil of the prisoners are kept. And on top of it was the monitoring room of the Chief Warden.
In the monitoring room, there were wizards that managed the magic circle in this prison. Baron Palladis did not know this far, but Lenag, including Iana, thought this would be a good bait for the Empress.
“Summon all the knights, now!”
At last, listening to the Empress’ command, Baron Palladis thought quietly.
Would this be enough, young friend?
“It won’t last long.”
I said walking in a hurry. There was no stopping us as we made our way down the spiral staircase. Those who could already be restrained were knocked out in the hallway, tied up and hidden out of sight.
“Miss Iana is right.”
Things worked out well thanks to Baron Palladis, who willingly agreed to the operation unexpectedly, but this was not a long-lasting move.
A bait is a bait anyway. The Empress will soon notice everything and run to this place. But it didn’t matter. Because I didn’t mean to completely outrun her from the start. It was a success as long as it bought us time. At least enough time to restore Ricdorian’s body.
When I finally got to Ricdorian’s cell, I made him attack the wall. Despite Ricdorian’s powerful attack, the wall did not budge. I stared at the wall silently and pointed to a spot.
‘When Ricdorian used his power, it was clearly visible.’
A strange pattern appeared and disappeared from a single brick. I quickly grabbed the brick and pooled my power. The wind blew in the cell without even a window. Soon the wind shook me and my companions’ hair wildly.
I thought I could hear the bricks collide and fall, and a huge cavity appeared in front of me. It was the cave that I went in with Ricdorian.
“You can go in here.”
I quickly set foot together with my companions. And as soon as I took a step, I noticed it.
…… It’s different from the last time, isn’t it?
Obviously, when Ricdorian and I went in together, a dark hallway opened up, and I remember that the blue light came soon. However, what appeared in front of me was a more ornate pillar, and the lighting around it was also colorful.
“…… what is this? Ricdorian. Look at that. It seems to be a different place than the one we went into, right?”
“I think so.”
Ricdorian also nodded while looking puzzled, as if he was thinking the same thing.
“Then did we come in the wrong way?”
Francia muttered, growing serious at the same time, I looked down at my hand.
“…… no. I don’t think so.”
There was a faint but blue light on my hand. I instinctively knew. We didn’t come in wrong. Rather…….
“We got it right. This is it.”
The more I stepped my feet in, the more I felt like I was really on the final stage. For a while, everyone walked silently.
Within our formation, I was placed in the center, Ricdorian in front and Lenag and Francia in the back. Everyone was vigilant and watched the surroundings. On the other hand, I was wary like the Roses, but I felt a little different.
I opened my lips slightly in an indescribable strangeness.
Why do I feel nostalgic in this space? Nostalgia, I can only describe it this way. Because this feeling that pierces my chest was longing. I didn’t feel this way when I came in with Ricdorian.
Looking at it a little closer, I could see it. It wasn’t my longing. It was the feeling of the guardian deity in me. My guardian deity was emitting waves of emotions close to sorrow.
We passed the long hallway and went down the stairs once more. When we finally came down the last stairs, a wide space opened up. For some reason, the space without the window was filled with white light and was as bright as daytime.
It was so wide that it was incomparable to the space I saw at the end of the hallway when I was walking with Ricdorian. And in the center of the space, a huge stone was floating.
No, would it be better to express that in an unusual way? A slate? A headstone?
The square cut stone was engraved with geometric patterns. There I found a familiar pattern. The Roses and their guardian deities. Obviously, that alone was consistent with what I saw when I came in with Ricdorian.
“…… What is that?”
“It looks like an altar.”
“I feel the same way.”
Francia and Lenag spoke in turn.
As they say, the square-shaped stone is laid flat under a headstone that floats in the air. It was as high as my shoulders.
From all angles, it felt like an altar.
I slowly stared at the headstone floating in the air. The more calmly I looked at it, the more I seemed to know everything now. In the place where the Red Rose was, there were red gems studded in it, like before. However, the jewels that would have been embedded countless times were almost broken, and only one remained, revealing a brilliant light.
As if there was only one petal left.
…… That’s Ricdorian’s state.