Episode 03: I think I’ve gotten possessed in a novel.
Muriel shuddered at the somehow unpleasant feeling she felt as an eerie gaze swept through her whole body, and then her eyes met the man who was staring at her from among the crowd.
A blue glow flashed in his black eyes.
His name quietly rolled off of Muriel’s tongue.
People here knew him as Kair Crawford, who’d come from another continent, but Muriel knew his true identity.
The Devil King, Kaiton Ur.
Of course, since he was a human being, it was apparent that the title ‘Devil King’ was only a malicious stigma that Sharan had attached to him. In the first place, it didn’t make sense that the title ‘Devil’ was being passed down from generation to generation. Does that mean that the Devil built a family, become a father and give his title to his children? Wasn’t the devil too human-like, then!
The war between Sharan and Ur was nothing more than a confrontation between the two families that had continued since the founding of the kingdom. Sharan won, Ur lost. History was written to suit the tastes of the winner.
Muriel looked at the man who inherited the name of the loser’s family and vowed.
I have to avoid him.
I’ll try not to get tangled up with him as much as I can.
It was Kaiton who caused Muriel’s destruction of the world in the novel. It was also Kaiton who tempted her to use evil power and Kaiton who killed her in order to awaken her as the true Demon king.
If I get caught up in Kaiton’s schemes, I’ll end up being a real demon king, not just by a nickname.
“Why are you staring at me like that?”
I thought he was looking at Rovelia, so I stepped away from her, but his persistent gaze didn’t fall from me.
It was embarrassing.
I hoped to not get involved with Kaiton, but his eyes were still on me. I turned my head away to avoid his stare, but as if enchanted, turned my head towards Kaiton again.
Of all the people here, only Kaiton seemed to be visible to me. We were a long distance apart, but it felt like he was right in front of me. I could catch even the small movement in his pulpils.
He was like a black hole that sucked in the light around him. Not far from him, the luminous Sharan was sitting on his golden throne, but it was Kaiton who emitted a stronger presence.
At least for Muriel, Kaiton looked like a beast that quietly sank into the darkness around him and waited for the right time – as if the darkness where he hid was an extension of himself.
Muriel and Kaiton’s eye contact only ended when the high priest, who’d been rambling about himself blocked her view.
“Hello, young lady Muriel. I’m Nicholas Neville, the high priest. I was the one who found the oracle that had been lost. Ha ha…”
“Phew…I’d believe it if he really was the devil.”
Muriel sighed and finally exhaled the long breath she’d been holding back. The hairs that stood up with tension tickled her skin. Thanks to the sudden staring-contest, her eyes were stinging and her ears were clogged.
“…So, we’ll be checking who the real saint is with the help of pacio, the breath of God. Do you agree with that, young lady?”
“Young lady Muriel?”
Muriel, who was still suffering from the aftereffects of the intense eye-contact, responded one beat late.
“…what did you say? I didn’t hear that.”
“Oh, you must have been very nervous. I understand. I was asking if you agree to measure your pacio with the Yunet.”
“Yes, please do what you require quickly.”
Nicholas laughed, turning as if he’d heard a joke, even though there was nothing like it.
It was like a fan service he’d created thoroughly, a calculated smile he had made since the days he was like an idol in the kingdom, who once drove girls crazy.
The priests who’d known him for a long time had seen this laugh a thousand times already. During those thousand times, his laugh was always exactly the same as if he measured it with a ruler. The angle he bends his head, the number of teeth visible, and even the fingers covering the mouth were always horrifically the same.
The only people Nicholas showed this smile and laugh to were ones he had something to gain from. The priests knew this, too. They’d thought a meager saint would appear this time, but how could their chief be putting this much heart into this if it was true?
Was there something?
The dim eyes of the priests began to twinkle.
Muriel, on the other hand, was very uncomfortable with Nicholas.
He just said hello, and there wasn’t something to particularly hate, she just didn’t like him. She didn’t like his shiny eyes, and she didn’t like how he was pretending to be friendly to get close to her.
“It’s not even that funny, so why are you laughing so much…”
Then the priests entered the banquet hall with a huge stone. It was the pacio measuring bead, Yunet.
Muriel and Rovelia had no powers that could be considered saintly, so they sought to find the real saint in another way. Saints usually had twice as much pacio than the average person, since they had to use their powers of prophecy.
Nicholas shooed away the priest who was in charge of the Yunet and lifted it up himself. His dramatic production caught many people’s eyes.
“It’s time for fate.”
Memories suddenly flashed in Muriel’s mind.
As expected….this was a novel, all right.
This scene was one she’d already seen in the novel.
That exaggerated, overbearing gesture. It was horrifically identical.
“I, Nicolas Neville, the high priest, am honored to play an important role in the resurgence of the great saint.”
Whether his role was important or not – even the words were twisted the same way.
Soon Nicholas would step on his priestly clothes and fall. It was because of his greed of wanting the spotlight all to himself that he refused a helping a hand.
The Yunet will be shattered, and the task of identifying the two’s pacio will go to Kaiton. Wizards were usually able to identify one’s pacio through magic.
Muriel, who wanted to avoid holding hands with Kaiton and facing each other, quickly reached for the Yunet. She had to stop it from breaking.
As expected, The Yunet quickly slipped from Nicholas’ hand and crashed to the floor.
Muriel’s arms were short. The Yunet smashed into pieces on the floor. Muriel couldn’t stop running on time and fell right on the floor.
The fragments of the Yunet dug deep into Muriel’s hand as she hit the floor. In an instant, deep red blood spread across her pale hand.
But it doesn’t hurt…!
When she pulled out a fairly large piece of glass out of her hands, blood began to come out in lumps, but all Muriel could feel was the warmth the hot blood.
Muriel bit hard at the tender flesh in her mouth to check. She could feel her sharp teeth tearing through the flesh, but it didn’t hurt either.
I think I fell into a world with no pain, not in any degree.
No pain, what is this?
“Young lady Muriel!”
Nicholas quickly approached, wriggling his thin limbs buried in his long priest’s uniform, and sat on one knee. He didn’t forget to sweep aside the glass with his long sleeve before putting his knee on the floor.
“Are you alright? Oh my…. I made a terrible mistake.”
“Do you want to hit me once?”
Nicholas’ body, which was fluttering like a paper doll until now, flinched at Muriel’s sudden words. Hit me? Are you being serious? Was this a kick unique to Aristocrats?
“What?! Young lady Muriel, what are you talking about…”
“No, it’s just to confirm something. So, please hit me hard. I don’t mind if you pinch me.”
Muriel pressed on her bleeding hand, but no matter how hard she tried, it didn’t hurt.
When he saw the blood, Nicholas Neville’s expression crumpled up. The rather deep wound gave him goosebumps just by looking at it. He couldn’t believe her calmness. It was strange.
“Oh, did you hurt your head when you fell? Oh, no. If that’s the case, it’s a big deal. I’ll heal you directly with my holy power.”
The pale face staring at her own blood raised her eyes fiercely. She looked too evil to say she was born under the star of a saint.
Surprised by the momentum, Nicholas flapped and quickly lowered his head.
“It was a slip of the tongue, lady Muriel. I didn’t mean that the young lady was crazy…”
“that’s fine. Just hurt me a little.”
“…What?… Aha! That’s why…!”
Nicholas’s Neville, who was trembling in case he got on Muriel’s nerves, brightened up. He had always captured the hearts of many young women since he became the youngest high priest. He was well aware some of them had unusual tastes such as taking pain for joy.
A white, dry hand slapped Muriel on the wrist and pulled away. It was a delicate hand that had only done prayers in its life, so it was shaking. Even if it was someone who did feel pain, the slap wouldn’t feel painful.
“…No, I’d rather you just pinch me. Very hard!”
Perhaps he gained confidence, Nicholas pinched Muriel’s wrist hard enough to bruise her red.
“What do you think, Young lady Muriel?”
Nicholas asked triumphantly. He’d seemed to forgotten he was intimidated only a moment ago. Nicholas, who’d hoped for some praise, was struck by lightning at Muriel’s words.
“It’s very unpleasant.”
The expressionless face was very relentless. Angrily, Nicholas cried out.
“It was the young lady who told me to hit you!”
“And… it really doesn’t hurt at all….”
Muriel muttered in disbelief. Nicholas, who’d started talking to himself again, interrupted.
“If that’s the case, I’ll hit you more carefully.”
“It’s unpleasant. Please stay away. Because it’s very, very unpleasant.”
Nicholas shut up at Muriel’s cold words.
The first thing she felt when Nicholas pinched her was unpleasantness. She got goosebumps when he touched her hand.
It was like the instinctive reluctance she felt for Sharan and Rovelia, except this time she felt a bit sick, that was all.
My wrists swelled red yet there was no pain.
As I expected, was it me after all?
Muriel was told that the power of the saint was prophecy, so she thought about it. She thought the novel she saw might’ve actually been a prediction of the future, a prophecy.
But who doesn’t feel pain? The fact that she was unable to feel pain of any kind allowed her to face the fact that she had really gotten possessed in a novel.
If there was no pain, it meant something had gone wrong while she was entering this fictional world. Like a synchronization error, so to speak.
Indeed, everything felt unfamiliar from the moment she opened her eyes. Her sense of reality had become so strange, and it felt as if a thin-vinyl was covering her whole body.
The vinyl-like feeling feels like I can’t permeate through this world.
Muriel became a little depressed. She knew from the beginning that this was a novel. But it felt strange when she realized that this was truly not her world, and that she was not a saint, but a wicked woman who would destroy the world.