Hestine trembled at the strange atmosphere. There was nobody guarding the entrance to the office, which a knight ought to be doing. That wasn’t the only thing. Strangely, a fishy smell poked the tip of her nose.
This fishy odor was nothing new to Hestine. She couldn’t forget the smell that she had smelled countless times whenever she cleaned up the disaster.
Her body started to shake uncontrollably out of fear, instincts screaming for her to turn away, but she was unable to do so because it felt as though something was holding her foot firmly and wouldn’t let go.
Hestine eventually reached for the doorknob, and as she did so, she experienced goosebumps all over her body. She initially doubted that she should turn the doorknob, but Hestine ultimately unlocked the door.
The fishy smell that had been coming from the other side of the door intensified as soon as she opened it. Hestine instinctively covered her nose. Simultaneously, she went to his father to find out what was going on.
Soon after, Hestine witnessed a horrifying scene.
The earthenware was a mess. The elegant and tidy office that Hestine remembered was nowhere to be found. There was blood all over, along with two recognizable faces and one stranger. Finally, lying on the floor……
Hestine dashed over to Giorgio, who was pale and blue.
“B, brother! How did this……. Oh, my father……. Father!”
Giorgio remained motionless despite Hestine’s calls and shaking. His eyes appear to have become soulless. It was the type of eyes she had seen a lot of as she walked around the slums.
Death. It belonged to the dead.
Hestine slowly turned her head to look at Berkian, who had a well-lit sword in his hand and was staring down at Giorgio without expression. For a split second, Hestine was in despair because something bright red was flowing down at the end of his sword.
Hestine, who loved and respected her brother, was left with no choice but to resent him at this time.
As if Hestine’s resentful voice had reached Berkian, his empty eyes slowly came back to life. Soon his lips, which had been tightly closed, moved.
“What… What have you done? You didn’t, right? Please say no!”
Hestine begged. She hoped it was all a well-decorated play. The future she hoped for was not this terrible tragedy.
Berkian fixed his gaze on Hestine and replied without a trace of guilt.
“This was absolutely necessary to protect you, me, and the family.”
To protect the family? To protect me?
Hestine was unable to comprehend what Berkian was saying.
Why was it necessary for Father to die for all of this? Why was it necessary for father to perish at the hands of his own son?
“Oh God. Our saint must be quite shocked.”
Hestine slowly turned her head to an unfamiliar voice as she was looking blankly at Berkian in confusion. A woman with silver hair hanging down.
“You would not have seen such a terrible sight if you had stayed in your bedroom as calmly as you always have.”
Beces looked pitifully at Hestine. Only then did Hestine find Peloche standing next to the woman.
‘Is Peloche related to this?’
Hestine looked at her assistant priest with lost eyes. Now she didn’t know who to trust. She didn’t even know who to rely on.
Peloche unconsciously avoided Hestine’s gaze.
‘This is what happened.’
Feeling weakly guilty, he recalled the reason why this happened.
“You’re out of your mind.”
Beces’s face, which was filled with a relaxed smile at Giorgio’s words, quickly hardened. She didn’t say anything, but she was confused.
‘No way. The spell did not penetrate him.’
This was unusual in many ways.
Peloche scowled and questioned Beces about what had happened. Beces made a brief tongue click as she opened her mouth.
“You’ll regret it.”
“Regret? If it’s regret, I’m already doing it! I shouldn’t have held your hands! I… didn’t mean to start a rebellion!”
Beces looked coldly at Giorgio, who was pouring out his words.
“Rebellion? The Duke must have sounded like I was just starting a rebellion.”
“I don’t mean to play with words.”
“If the world changes anyway, the royal family will also be nominal, I don’t understand what you’re hesitating about.”
Giorgio shut his mouth tight. Beces realized she couldn’t change his mind.
“Then…… it can’t be helped.”
Beces knew Lasette would not tolerate failure this time. So, she prepared another plan with that in mind. Of course, even Peloche did not know about it.
Both Giorgio and Peloche looked at the door with doubtful eyes at Beces’ sudden action.
Soon the door opened and a man walked into the office. Giorgio was astonished to see the man’s face.
“Berkian! Why are you here!”
Giorgio leapt to his feet looking at his son who suddenly came in. After a moment of bewilderment, he realized something was wrong with his son. The bright eyes, which calculated quickly and grasped the situation well, disappeared, and the place was filled with only doll-like eyes without focus.
“It’s a relief, isn’t it? Your son is a good fit for the spell.”
“Oh, no.…. Wake up!”
The sword in Berkian’s hand shot directly toward Giorgio as he walked in front of him without pausing.
It happened in a split second. Just before he passed out, Giorgio thought.
‘Oh, I ruined everything.’
But by the time he realized his mistake, it was too late.
Adelia’s group arrived in the Taklok Desert. The lush grasslands of Biltawil vanished like a lie and changed into a barren desert.
“It’s amazing how such a small distance (a river) can cause such a significant difference.”
“Most priests will not come here either; crossing such a vast desert alone would be too dangerous.”
“Don’t be discouraged; there is still a long way to go.”
Adelia walked silently, listening to the priests’ words. Undoubtedly, the temperature seemed to have risen quickly as she approached the desert. Her eyes throbbed, and her throat was dry from the sand-infused wind.
‘It would have been hard without Jeongjin’s blessing.’
Already, the priests were using their divine abilities to replenish each other’s physical strength. If she was the same way, their efficiency would suffer.
“What are you doing, Priest Sindalf?”
Adelia, who had been silently following the march, halted and turned her head in response to Melinda’s voice.
‘What’s going on?’
Melinda had a stiff face as she questioned the priest who was coming up behind her.
“Huh? W, what do you mean…….”
“Don’t tell me you’re asking because you don’t know, priest. Have you not just created a holy being and sent it away? As far as I know, the person in charge of contact with Cardinal Eustaf is not the priest Sindalf.”
Only then did Adelia realize what was going on.
The priest in the back row was assigned another task besides treatment in case of any unforeseen circumstances. It was to keep in touch with Eustaf using holy beings and exchange situations.
“It was definitely Priest Mason’s turn today.”
Melinda had every right to respond sensitively. The march needed to be conducted in total secrecy. It would have been a problem if there had been pursuers.
“What’s going on?”
Ivan, who was in the front, eventually stopped the march as the commotion in the back row grew.
“I was just confirming that the order of duties between Priests Sindalf and Mason was reversed. Originally, we only sent one holy being but the priest of Sindalp sent two. I couldn’t just let it go.”
Rowen, the leader of the Cardinal’s Paladin, joined Ivan in the back row to assess the situation.
“Is that true?”
When Sindalf was questioned by Rowen, he waved his hand as if he was innocent.
“I, I have a situation!”
“That means… Melinda’s report is correct.”
Rowen had a troubled expression on his face as he looked at Ivan, who was staring at the priest Sindalf without expression.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Bring me Priest Mason.”
Melinda, at Ivan’s command, quickly brought Priest Mason into his presence. Priest Mason and Priest Sindalf stood before Ivan with tense faces.
“I think I need an explanation first. Why did you change your mission without permission?”
Ivan’s voice was monotonous, but his eyes looked very cold. Priest Mason thought he should get out of this misunderstanding as soon as possible.
“I’m sorry. I was more tired than I thought, so Priest Sindalf sent the holy being instead of me.”
“Why did you leave out the report?”
“……it was also a short thought for us.”
“What a ridiculous decision. Yeah, let’s say that’s true. Why did you make two holy beings, priest Sindalf?”
“I thought I shouldn’t make more mistakes because it was flying on behalf of Priest Mason. Just in case.”
“That would consume twice the divine power making it more efficient.”
“Ha. That’s ridiculous.”
Hearing these two explain their situation, Ivan swept his hair and sighed deeply for a long time. Ivan quickly decided to dispose of the two.
“Exclude both of them from this march.”