The temporary temple’s prison was located underground, as it usually was with other prisons. If there was one thing that was different, it was perhaps the braziers blocking one’s ease in breathing.
Green flames flickered from those braziers. The green flame was known as simply something that took away life force, but to be more precise, it would wrest out the magical power that a life force had.
As the flame would take away any magic that any living thing had in them, the outward effect was a temporary manifestation of aging.
In other words, it was a flame that took out the root of all living things.
And the flame, of course, was extremely deadly to mages.
‘They’re really determined to have this much all around me.’
As Alei looked at his surroundings sharply, his lips burst out coughing.
The prison he was detained in was not a wide one, and the flames were constantly burning so it was getting quite difficult to breathe.
Hearing Alei’s coughing, Yennit banged on the wall from the next room.
“Are you al—cough—alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine. You’re in a worse condition than me though.”
“Cough, cough! Sure enough, I haven’t experienced this in years, so it’s not so easy to breathe.”
The green flames of L’Haille burned through the mana in the air, and so this had a significant effect on the mages who lived while constantly feeling the flow of mana in the atmosphere.
To them, it felt like the oxygen around them was being depleted.
This, of course, depended on the amount of magic power they had.
Alei was someone who had a boundless amount of mana that wouldn’t decrease even if buckets upon buckets were to be scooped out of him. This kind of environment was bound to affect Yennit extensively more, as she had only one bucket in her.
Alei grimaced and shook the chains binding his hands.
‘It seems like Yennit will be in danger if this goes on for too long.’
He didn’t know what kind of effect the chains had on Yennit, but for him, they really felt like nothing. Perhaps even a slight pull on them would be enough for him to break free.
Regardless of this however, there were of course reasons why Alei was confined to this place.
The first reason was that he was afraid what kind of harm Ophelia would be placed under if he escaped. The second was that he was already guilty of the very charges that landed him here in the first place.
The charges of breaking into the temple and harming the imperial family.
It was a few hours ago when Alei headed here at the temporary temple.
It wasn’t such a difficult trip. With a few bouts of teleportation, he was able to reach this place where green flames burned in a blink of an eye.
‘I don’t think these flames were here when I came earlier.’
Alei felt a foreboding sense at the sight of the temporary temple that had changed in the short time that he wasn’t here. And there was a simple explanation—it was because a bishop was the only one that could conjure green flames.
Most temples had green flames only in places where torches were stationed, but here, there were these flames all over the temple?
‘It’s like a blatant signal of telling a mage to stay away.’
He had a sudden thought that this seemed a trap meant to catch someone. However, Alei went inside without any hesitation.
Infiltrating this place was already careless as it was, but Alei himself was so strong that he didn’t really consider anything a threat to his safety in most situations.
In the first place, nothing could even touch a person like him, who could travel long distances or completely hide his presence from other people’s sights in a blink of an eye.
‘More than anything, I know my way around this place.’
Alei headed towards the room that Sante had told him about. It was the room that the messenger siren had gone into—the room at the far end corner of the east wing, which faced the cliff overlooking the ocean.
After confirming that there were no movements inside the room, Alei entered.
However when he took a step forward, he realized that it wasn’t just an empty room waiting for him.
The room was full of dense smoke.
And it wasn’t difficult to infer where that smoke was from.
As soon as he unconsciously inhaled, Alei felt a terrible flow of toxicity going into his airways and straight to his lungs, burning the mana within him.
The smoke was created by the flames of L’Haille.
As he unintentionally inhaled the smoke, his nose and eyes prickled painfully. It felt like they were being burned.
When Alei coughed out in surprise without realizing it, and as though lying in the wait, someone opened the door. Soon, a figure approached him.
“Goodness, you look like you’re in a lot of pain.”
Even amidst the smoke, the green eyes of that person could clearly be seen. A dark, murky gaze that was like the sea if it had been eaten away by algae.
“The only ones that God’s flame will burn are witches and heretics, and yet I’m perfectly fine like this here.”
As the man in a priest’s robes walked forward while speaking, Alei staggered back a few steps.
From the smoke in the room and the expectant appearance of the man, it was clear the moment the smoke touched Alei’s skin that this was a trap.
“My introductions are late. I am Verlan, L’Haille’s sixth servant and one of the only three bishops of the Milescet Empire. It is one of my life’s pleasures to follow the word of the almighty God L’Haille.”
Concluding his introduction with verbose humility, as most disciples would believe it so, Verlan soon went on to tell a story about the god he worshiped.
“As you may know, L’Haille has mandated that violating the laws of nature is the greatest sin there is, and it is through the hands of his loyal emissaries that he condemns those who commit this terrible atrocity.”
Verlan added that he was also working hard to condemn heretics through the will of L’Haille. He walked towards the desk and picked something up.
It was a piece of paper. Alei could feel a faint trace of magic on it.
“However, I received a letter like this, stating that you are the Lord of the Magic Tower— Lord of that den of heretics.”
“I believe this was written by someone who knew you quite well. The sender was even kind enough to tell me to be prepared, because you might come here any time.”
So, Verlan prepared all this in a hurry, but he didn’t know that Alei really would get caught like this.
The moment he heard this, Alei’s face hardened for a moment.
‘So it really was from the magic tower.’
Alei realized that this was a trap, yet he didn’t back away because he wanted to check that letter. However, thanks to this, it became even more clear to him that the letter really was sent by someone from the tower.
But the situation was bleak. As it was mentioned, this was a trap that had been set by Verlan.
‘I can’t get caught here.’
Things got out of hand, but Alei still managed to confirm what he came here to check. All he needed to do now was escape. If he were to get caught here, Ophelia would be put into a difficult position. Now that it’s come to this, he thought that it wouldn’t be bad to avoid everyone.
‘I’ll escape and draw a teleportation circle leading to anywhere else, so…”
So then. What next?
He suddenly recalled Ophelia’s words, when she said that she didn’t want to live as a fugitive.
Everything was smooth up until this incident, where it felt like he was at a standstill, but Alei quickly shook this off.
‘Anything’s better than being caught here.’
At that moment, he tried to teleport out of that place, however his condition was worse than he originally thought.
As his body took the hit, he couldn’t properly invoke the spell.
An explosion broke out from an innocuous place, and once again, a harsh cough broke through Alei’s lips.
Unlike the first time, the cough was now mixed with blood. This was due to the incomplete invocation of the spell, which disturbed the mana within him and led to internal injuries.
Just as powerful as Alei’s magical abilities were, the internal injuries he sustained this time were also intense.
The metallic taste of blood spread through the inside of his mouth. Confusion and pain paralyzed his mind.
This mana disturbance was to the degree that he had never experienced before, and so the unsteady flow of mana began to fluctuate significantly.
If it had been any other time, Alei would have been in control. But right now, he was not.
He unconsciously tried to pull up more mana, like waves, and the building suddenly began to shake.
Boom, thud! He heard this loud noise around him, then, he gradually lost hold over his consciousness.
The thought of running away made him indulge in his power as it slowly grew destructive. He could hear other people calling out to him and he felt the urgent footsteps around him increasing. But as Alei had already lost his rationality, it was all nothing but the sound of the wind.
‘Yeah, it would be better to just destroy everything here.’
Then there would be no need to make Ophelia a fugitive, and there would be no more reason for her to be treated like this.
If he were to kill them all…
‘I’ll never be able to go back to Ophelia ever again.’
Don’t forget to rate and leave a review for this series on novel updates!
For update pings, novel discussions and/or to send mistake reports, join our discord server~