- The Saintess Likes Gifts.
After returning to their abode with Lara, Demian immediately went down to the underground maze to check the magic circle.
“Acerus is curious.”
“It’s still a secret.”
“The sorcerers may faint with their eyes open when they see this. Following the long-distance magic receiver, Valentine even made a magic circle for long-distance travel.”
“Shh, I told you it’s a secret.”
Lara was planning to secretly install Valentine’s magic circle on the Eastern border and the capital of Hautean. It had already been installed at the ruin on the Eastern border that Demian and Barbarians occupied, so as soon as Valentine made one more magic circle, Lara would ask the wolves to take it to Hautean. The location was decided to be the riverside manor owned by Isadora.
“Look at this first.”
Lara sat Demian down and brought a paper on one side. On top of it was a drawing of a skull covering its eyes.
“On the altar you discovered, were the demon worshippers wearing this symbol?”
“Yeah, this one.”
“Is that his name?”
“Don’t worry. Most of the altar was incomplete and their ceremony fell through because of us.”
“Then, he must still be in hell.”
“I’m sure he’s looking for a chance to come this way, but don’t worry.”
“How can I not worry?”
“I’m going to catch that too.”
Demian smiled and said. Lara could not help but smile at his light way of speaking, it was as if he was just talking about bringing a pretty butterfly somewhere.
“I think I need to go over there for a while. I threw Oscar into the wall when he blocked me from coming here. He must be very upset.”
“You guys get along well.”
“Am I not already getting along with him well enough?”
“By throwing him into the wall?”
“As long as he doesn’t get a nosebleed. He doesn’t like getting one because it’s embarrassing.”
Demian smiled lightly and stood on the magic circle. With a long spell, he slowly disappeared.
Lara had a short wash and changed her clothes while waiting for Demian. Konny nagging about how staying up all night being bad for her health followed her like a spring breeze. She listened to Konny’s voice in one ear and passed out the other. Lara came back to the basement only after having a simple breakfast. And there, she found Lampion with a pale face as if he had witnessed a ghost.
Lampion suddenly raised one hand and slapped himself as hard as he could while screaming.
“This is a scam! This is an illusion! This is just a dream! This is a lie! This is an ominous nightmare! Wake up! Wake up right now, o’ brave Barbarian!”
Lampion’s voice was so loud that the underground maze rang loudly.
The next one was Oscar. Oscar was a little better than Lampion. He showed his frightened face in a four-legged position above the magic circle, but as soon as he saw Lara, he jumped up and greeted her as if nothing was wrong.
“I wasn’t like that because I’m scared. I just don’t trust magic. I’m totally not scared.”
The last one was Domino. In a short time, he took a bunch of wildflowers near the ruin where the Barbarians were staying and gave them to Lara, who stood in front of the magic circle. Then, he barely caught his gasping breath and said.
“Huff, huff… This is from Demian. Even though we were the one who plucked it, anyway, this is from him.”
“Lampion asked me to tell you, if someone bothers you, don’t forget to write down their names in your notebook.”
“Will he scold them on my behalf?”
“He said he can just put the notebook in Demian’s pocket…”
Lara burst into laughter with a loud voice.
The Barbarians could not be away for long as the Eastern demon worshippers gathered together to keep a lookout for them. But when they returned, Lara gave them a lot of delicious snacks. Finally, she got out of the underground maze and went up the abode with Demian, who appeared last.
On that day, after taking a little rest, Demian and Lara immediately went to visit Isadora and had lunch together.
When Isadora heard Demian say that he had to go see Lara’s mother first, she gave him pocket money with a very satisfied face. Lara saw Demian pack the gold coin pouch with a satisfied look. Dumbfounded, she asked him.
“Are you here to get pocket money from my mom?”
“How much did you get?”
After eating with Isadora, they returned to the abode and memorized the road of the underground maze. It would be a big problem if someone found that place so Demian discussed together with Valentine and worked on a plan to either use artifacts to cast a spell on the maze or to totally block the entrance and enter through other ways.
As a result, it was already night. Lara stared at Demian, who was lying down on her bed and stroking his stuffed stomach.
“Why did you eat so much?”
“Konny keeps telling me to eat this and that.”
“Did you have to eat it all?”
“I have to listen to Konny.”
Lara nodded and approached Demian with her pajamas flapping. Then, Konny called for Lara in front of the door.
“Milady, come out for a second.”
“Someone is here.”
Who’s coming at this hour?
Lara turned to a slight frown and turned her head. Demian also half-raised his body and squinted his eyes as he was lying in her bed.
“Which bastard dares to…”
“I will go out.”
Demian had no intention of letting Lara go alone. He jumped up and handed Lara a long gown, then opened the door.
“Konny, who’s here?”
“His Highness, the Prince of Lafort.”
“He wanted me to tell you that Nicholas came to hear some advice from the saintess.”
Demian looked at Lara. Lara had finished adjusting the long gown and lifted the corner of her mouth slightly.
Nicholas waited for Lara in a small drawing-room inside her abode. He looked much calmer than he thought he would be. Seeing his sunken eyes, he did not seem to have slept well since the theater incident, but other than that, he was no different from usual. Lara opened the door without knocking and entered the drawing-room.
“Take a seat.”
There was no need for greetings. The two agreed so silently.
Demian came inside along with Lara. He crossed his arms and leaned against the door. Though he had no weapons with him, Nicholas knew that he could take his life without leaving a trace if he wanted to.
“Is it that man? The one…”
“He’s a Barbarian. He fought on par with demons.”
Nicholas nodded heavily. He looked desperate.
“Can you catch a demon?”
Lara said without any hesitation. As if that was nothing to her. When she said so and turned her head to look at Demian, he nodded.
“It hasn’t been long since Paimon appeared. I knew that the demon worshippers had prepared something with the black sorcerers for a long time but I did not know they would bring out a real demon.”
“You knew, yet you turned a blind eye to it. That’s a sin. It wouldn’t have happened if you had stubbornly blocked them from the beginning. Don’t try to justify yourself by saying that you didn’t know.”
“When I think about Hautean… Now I know Lafort’s decision was wrong.”
Nicholas confessed a lot of things to Lara.
Similar things had happened for a long time in Lafort, just like with the black sorcerers Lara met in Hautean. The black sorcerers distributed drugs and made money in the red-light district while joining hands with corrupt priests and nobles to collect wealth and offerings. The difference was that Hautean defined them as absolute evil and tried to defeat them, on the other hand, Lafort joined hands with them and tried to use them.
“The black sorcerers in Lafort wanted the Eastern Union.”
They bloomed like infectious diseases and gnawed at the three Eastern countries little by little. When Nicholas came to his senses, most of the leading members of the union had already become subordinates of the black sorcerers.
“Who called out to Paimon?”
“The King of Sias.”
“And the offering was…”
Lara closed her mouth for a moment and blinked. She expected human sacrifices but she did not expect them to use the sorcerers.
The sacrifice needed to bring out a demon should be valuable. The disappearing elemental sorcerers were well worth the reward.
“Please get rid of Paimon.”
Nicholas got up from his seat and bowed his head to Lara.
“…I have been thinking about your words. I kept thinking about why you would give me a huge mission to unify the East, even though I was pushed out of Lafort’s succession structure.”
Nicholas’ eyes shook vigorously.
“My apologies for being dull. You were worried that the East as a whole would fall into the demon’s grasp, you tried to stop him and gave me a chance…”
Lara remained silent. Nicholas raised his head and begged.
“I just realized that I’m participating in a holy war!”
“I reflect on myself for trying to judge you recklessly only by hearing your notoriety. To get rid of those dirty demons, I didn’t even realize that you had come down to the darkest bottom!”
Prince Nicholas seemed to have fallen into a great illusion. While Nicholas was shivering and feeling heartfelt alone, Lara secretly rolled her eyes and looked at Demian. He was looking down at Nicholas with a look as if he was seeing bizarre things.
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