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MLAP | Chapter 4


Instead of denying it, the man’s mouth curled into a cold smile.

Why didn’t she realize it earlier? He was the only one who would’ve come to a burning city on his own.

“… The Red Knight of the Apocalypse, Leon Berg. That’s you, right?”

It was none other than the (1)Paladin, Leon Berg.

When talking about his fame, some say that “even Bahamut knows the Red Knight.”

As someone who was not of noble birth but joined the sacred knights, he was a prodigy knight who was awarded the title of “Messenger of God” at a young age.

However, he left the bright future behind and left the battlefield in the southern Tyran frontlines on his own. So why did he come to Bayern, and why did he rescue her?

“It’s no fun if you can guess it easily.”

Some say that he was obsessed with blood, and others say that he betrayed God and became corrupt. Either way, he was dangerous. Veronica asked, pressing her lips together.

“What do you want from me?”

“I don’t know.”

Disregarding the obvious boundaries, Leon leaned forward and touched her back with his hand. His black pupils stared into her eyes, piercing them so deeply that it made her breathless.

He wore a black tunic and had disheveled red hair, which was complemented by a sharp scar. 

Veronica tightly squeezed her clammy palms, feeling as if her eyeballs had turned into a transparent windowpane. The man in front of her seemed to read all her thoughts, and last night’s dizzying sensations disintegrated before him, as if she were an insect being dissected by him.


The man said in a low voice, leaning in until he was inches from her nose. Veronica blushed and quickly took a deep breath, realizing that she had been holding her breath. The strange noise she made might have been because of what happened yesterday.

As Leon calmly straightened his body, he reached for the glass that she had placed down. The liquid inside flowed easily into his wet lips as if it were his own.

It reminded her that the place where his lips touched was similar to where hers had been.

“Do you know how the Bahamut reproduces?” Suddenly, he asked an unexpected question.

Veronica looked at him in confusion, and he put down his glass before answering. 

“Through division.”

“Division?” she repeated, puzzled.

“When one city is swallowed, another city of Bahamuts is created. When one nation is swallowed, another nation of Bahamuts is created. It divides as many times as it eats a human brain.”

Veronica was surprised by the intense breeding method she had never heard of before and wrinkled her nose, forgetting her situation.

“Wouldn’t it be dangerous if it increases like that?”

“There’s a limit. No matter how much they increase, if you kill one, the offspring it produces will die one by one. Its children, and its children’s children. It’s like they’re all connected as one.”

The long fingers that were twirling the edge of the glass paused and then moved towards the handle.

“But once I learned that fact, I naturally arrived at one hypothesis.”

Veronica held her breath. Leon slowly looked up, no longer smiling. For no apparent reason, a chill ran down her spine.

“What if the monster hatchlings that now cover the entire continent was just one to begin with?”

The shocking assumption revealed an unseen past before her eyes.

Three years ago, a meteor fell into the sea. The one and only Bahamut was born from it. It ate human brains and called out its family. The more there were, the better, for each one would become a powerful force. And so they kept giving birth, over and over again.

“If we kill the first Bahamut, won’t the disaster on the entire continent come to an end?”

A straightforward and calm voice seeped into her ears. Veronica shuddered. She could imagine cutting a thread at the top of the connected strands.

It was at that moment when Leon tilted his wooden cup into the insect corpse on the floor that seemed to have died not long ago. To be precise, onto the swarm of ants that had clustered around the carcass’ body.

While the pungent liquor poured out with a “whoosh,” Veronica only watched from a distance.

The black ants were swept away in a yellow flood. They struggled, but it was useless. They couldn’t resist the flow.

“What does it have to do with me?”

“You should have understood.” Leon said in a hushed tone.

“A woman in front of the church told me. ‘The faceless Bahamut made eye contact with that woman.'”

Veronica recalled the woman she had met just before she was about to be assimilated. The monster that had stooped so low when she turned around. The red eyes that showed the destruction of the world.

Her breathing quickened as she finally understood what he wanted.

“It’s only a theory. But since you were assimilated to the first monster, you’re the only link to it.”

He expected her to help him track it down. Assuming his theory was correct, killing the first Bahamut would wipe them out from the entire continent. However…

“…What if I don’t want to cooperate?”

A feeling of apprehension gripped her throat, as she felt like she was experiencing the same situation again. Veronica, with a cracked voice, thought of Benjamin, the friend who had reached out with a helping hand but had died, his head pierced through for demanding a price.

“I don’t mind. But for you, it’s either your head explodes and you die, or you help me track down the Bahamut. Those are your only options.”

As expected, his response was a forceful demand without hesitation. Veronica had doubts. 

‘Is this person really Leon Berg?’

His cruel expression and speech made him look more like a rough mercenary than a dignified knight. Leon was a man who looked better in black than the night itself.

What would life be like if she followed this man? Was there any guarantee of receiving humane treatment?

She thought about it until she felt sick and stopped. Otherwise, she felt like she would vomit with a queasy stomach. Benjamin’s trauma left a bigger mark than she had realized.

Some misfortunes have no end, and sometimes the misfortunes people face are scarier than the disasters that have befallen all of humanity.

The cold gaze of the man overlapped with Benjamin’s trembling gaze. Leon and Benjamin seemed different. It was undoubtedly him who had asked for help, but they never agreed on a price. She had never dreamed of being asked to pay with her life and existence. She had never thought that she would be asked to give up her life in exchange for salvation from death.

A rebellious expression began to rise on Veronica’s white face.

‘If he needed information, there were other ways, such as letters or other methods. There was no need to go together. So…’

“I don’t want to.”

Veronica responded firmly.

“I’m grateful that you saved my life, but I don’t want to leave like this.”

In that moment, her heart pounded strongly and the air shimmered like a bright red eye opening. As a strange sensation filled her, Veronica unconsciously grabbed the dagger that was lying next to her bedroll. It was the one Benjamin had given her, the item she had stuffed into her pocket at the time.

But unfortunately, she had no chance to draw the blade. The man’s gaze changed before she could. In a flash, he grabbed her by the hair and shoved her head back, choking her throat.

The dagger fell with a clatter as she gasped in pain and made a feeble whimper, her consciousness fading. When she came to her senses, the cold metal tip was pressing against her skin. When she looked up, she met Leon’s eyes, who stared at her as if she was a slaughtered animal.

“I told you, didn’t I?”

He spoke in a completely different tone, with a sly smile on his face.

“If you want to live even if you have to roll in the fires of hell, ask me for help.”

Her body froze stiff like a corpse. It wasn’t just about strength, but violence. No matter how much Veronica had grown up as an outcast or acquired strange powers, she was still overwhelmed in an instant.

In front of him, her small body reflexively trembled in fear. She had lived a normal life for twenty years, and she could not face a knight who was legally allowed to take lives.

Before she knew it, tears had formed in the corners of her eyes. Veronika spoke in a shaky voice.

“…you’re not even a Holy Knight.”


“You’re supposed to protect the weak, not kidnap and threaten people like this.”

She snapped, her frustration and anger bubbling to the surface.

Leon frowned slightly at the tearful eyes, but that was all. He pressed the blade closer, leaving a scratch on her skin, as if he was engraving fear in her mind.

She felt a hot liquid flowing down her neck, as if blood was dripping. He slowly opened his mouth.

“I don’t think you’ve gotten the picture yet. You’re not a weakling anymore. You’re now a Bahamut that devours humans.”

Leon pulled her hair back tightly. His sharp face peered down at her at an angle, close enough to kiss.

“And I’m sorry, but I have to tell you one more thing. If I can find out the whereabouts of ‘it’ by torturing you, I can do even worse things. I can cut off your arms and legs, or tie you up and drag you around. As long as you don’t die, that’s enough.”

The low voice pierced violently into her eardrums.

He meant it. The subdued tone was not a simple threat.

“My demands are simple: First, as soon as you experience any abnormal symptoms, whether it’s a delusion or an auditory hallucination, you must tell me immediately. Second, you must obey me unconditionally. If you try to escape or resist, you will die. Is that too hard to understand?”

If she says that she doesn’t want to, she’ll die immediately. It was that simple.

Her eyes flashed red with rage. She wanted to spit at him, but her mouth was so dry that it was impossible, so Veronica cursed him instead.

“Go to hell.”

“Yeah, let’s go together.”

Leon interpreted her words as he pleased, his lips curling up into a breathtakingly handsome smile. But Veronica couldn’t bring herself to smile back. 

Even if he had taken out his sword and let go of her hair, she would have felt the same. She would have been too scared and paralyzed to move. 

She knew that running away now would be useless.

Her wings were broken the moment he saved her.

A fallen cicada with broken wings was no different from a crawling beetle.

1521 of the Divine Era. The winter’s longest night, when even angels sleep.

Veronica Schwarzwald was thus bound to a knight of twenty-nine.

[Collection of Footnotes]

1) “Paladin”

– I used Paladin as a term to differentiate Leon from the other Holy Knights, as although he is still practically a Holy Knight, he had already abandoned his position to pursue the first Bahamut. 

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