Evelyn’s punch was very clean and sharp. Although she wasn’t skilled in martial arts, it was enough to make Lyla exclaim in surprise, “Did you teach her how to do that?”
“Of course. Even if Evelyn is angry, she’s the type to settle things with just a slap. However, that would be too disappointing, and I can’t force her to kick him continuously. So, if she was going to hit him once, I wanted her to do it properly.”
“Well, I definitely feel more refreshed.” Lyla burst into laughter as she looked at Albus crawling on the ground.
“Evelyn never learned any martial arts before though. How can she throw a punch like that? Even from a glance, it was quite a punch.”
“Albus’ manipulation caused Evelyn’s physical ability to rise to another level. Plus, her innate ability is very high, and when I added my genius teaching skills on top of that, it’s no wonder she can throw such a good punch.”
In the end, Zich bragged about himself. Lyla knew that the rest of the conversation would be fruitless and shifted her attention away from Zich. Evelyn scowled while clenching her fists. Even if Evelyn received some special training and was manipulated, she was a lady who had never fought before.
“Urgh!” Albus groaned. Evelyn looked down at Albus with mixed feelings, but she soon turned her back.
“What do you want to do? Should I kill him?” Zich asked.
Evelyn shook her head. “…I don’t want to have anything to do with this person anymore.”
Evelyn went inside the shack, and Zich moved toward Albus. “You’re incredibly lucky that your ex-fiancée’s heart is so kind. What possible fault did you find in your fiancée that made you manipulate and throw her away?”
“…” Albus didn’t answer, but it wasn’t because of his consciousness or guilt. He was simply afraid that Zich might kill him if he said the wrong words.
“Don’t worry and tell me. Why would I kill you for just blabbering your mouth off after everything you’ve done? If I wanted to kill you, I would’ve done it ages ago.”
“…I already told you everything.”
Albus spat out the blood collecting in the corner of his mouth and said in a low voice, “I want more power than what I have right now.”
“You love power that much?”
Albus laughed, “Those who look down on power are just fools or people who have never grasped power in their hands. In reality, none of you can even approach the King or Crown Prince to free yourself of your charges. Even if you manage to do so, who do you think they would believe: nobodies like you guys or me—the heir to a Marquess family? That is also an example of power.”
“Do you really think that’s the case?” Zich smiled.
Albus smiled along with him. “Try it if you can, please.”
Albus thought if Zich really tried to do as he said, he would be able to pay back all the humiliation he felt to Zich. But that was impossible. Of course, if Evelyn received some help from her father, it would be a bit troublesome for him, but the overall situation wouldn’t change. There was no evidence that she had been manipulated, and there was a high chance that the Marquess would abandon Evelyn.
‘She won’t even be able to go to her father.’
Evelyn would be captured by the robed figures and probably be offered as a sacrifice to their plans.
‘Whatever happens, I’ve kept the contract.’
He recalled how Evelyn’s face had fallen into despair when she learned the truth and smirked.
Zich kicked his face. “Don’t smile. It’s annoying.”
Then Zich turned his body again, and Lyla glared at Albus as she followed behind Zich. With his bloody face, Albus glared at the spot where they left, but he soon started laughing like a madman. Although the situation had played out quite differently from his expectations, this was what he wanted in the end. Albus wondered for a moment if they might kill him on the spot, but he recalled Evelyn’s weak demeanor and erased the worry from his thoughts.
‘That’s why she won’t amount to anything!’
Albus smiled for a while, thinking that he could go back to his rose-colored future.
* * *
They went down the mountain. After throwing a good punch at Albus, Evelyn felt slightly relieved, but the pain she felt was still immense. Lyla covered Evelyn’s shaking shoulders, and Zich slowly walked behind them. By the time they arrived at their lodging at the capital, the sun was making hesitant preparations to set from the mountain ridge. Considering Lyla and Evelyn’s physical abilities, it was surprising that they came down the mountain in a short amount of time, but Lyla’s teleportation abilities did most of the work. However, since mana consumption exponentially rose if another person was included in the teleportation spell, Zich had to run diligently.
As soon as they arrived at their room, Lyla sat on a chair and asked, “What are you going to do now? You don’t plan to just let that guy go like this, right?”
By ‘that guy,’ Lyla obviously meant Albus Windpool. Sitting next to her, Evelyn’s pupils shook; it seemed as if her emotions hadn’t settled yet.
Zich replied, “Of course.”
Lyla asked, “Then why did you make a request like that to Evelyn?”
It wasn’t actually Evelyn’s will to not kill Albus; she had simply acted upon what Zich had asked her to do.
“Before that…” Zich turned his attention to Evelyn. “Have you calmed your heart?”
“Well, I understand.” Zich shrugged. “You loved him very deeply, but that probably also means your sense of betrayal was just as big, if not bigger.”
It was hard to understand her feelings after the man she loved so much betrayed her. In a way, the greater her love, the greater sense of betrayal she must have felt.
‘So that’s why this event became her first step towards becoming Succubus.’
“Moreover, this is not just a betrayal between lovers. It’s a conspiracy directed towards you and your close family and the entire Rouge family.”
Anger began to rise up in Evelyn’s soft eyes. Even if she was a young woman deeply in love, she also had a deep love for her family members and the Rouge family.
Zich met her eyes. “You were cool today. I felt refreshed when I saw you make that last punch.”
Lyla also nodded and agreed with his words.
“How about it, Lady Rouge? Why don’t you serve a nice punch against that traitor again? Of course, this punch would be incomparably stronger than the one you just made. After we are done, you will be completely vindicated from all the things he framed you for.”
Evelyn did not ponder on it any longer. This was no longer a conflict between lovers, but a conflict between noble families. “What do I have to do?”
Zich brightly smiled.
“You don’t have to do anything difficult. I will be there to help you out. All you have to do is help me out a bit, a very tiny bit.”
When Lyla explained this story later on, she described Zich’s smile at this moment as extremely chilling.
* * *
Albus returned to his mansion. His servants were curious as to why he suddenly went out, but nobody asked him any questions. There were no servants who had the guts to ask him about his strange behavior; but most of all, Albus’ personality was known to be awful. Albus went back into his room and sat down on his chair. Then he stared at his window.
‘Everything turned out well, right?’
Even though he suffered from Evelyn and those two mysterious strangers, Albus was happy that he fulfilled his mission. Now that he was back in his room, he suddenly felt anxious. What if their plans went awry again because of that strange variable? Or what would happen if they were not pleased by his performance?
‘…Anyhow, I have to wait until they come to me again.’
From that time on, Albus’ nervous waiting began. During the day, he carried on like usual but it was hard for him to focus—he anxiously awaited each night for the ‘robed figure’ to come back. Fortunately, Albus did not have to wait long.
The voice he had been waiting for finally appeared. Just as before, the ‘robed figure’ easily avoided the guards and came to his room. His voice was cold and indifferent like usual. Albus wondered what he had to say. Due to his nervousness, his lips became parched. However, the next words that the ‘robed figure’ said sounded like bells ringing in heaven.
“We were able to secure Evelyn Rouge.”
Without realizing it, Albus jumped out of his chair and pumped his fist in the air. Then he stopped. He became worried that some of his servants might come in after hearing his voice. Fortunately, he couldn’t sense any presence outside his door, and the only witness to his excited shout was the robed figure who maintained his silence.
“C-cough!” He cleared his voice. “Then is the contract between us over?”
“What if Evelyn comes back to the capital?”
“She will not be able to come back.”
This also meant that all the cumbersome details had been dealt with. Albus felt relieved. He sat back down on the chair again and felt all the pressure pressing down on him leave his body.
After the pressure left his body, Albus felt much more at ease.
“Then this will be my last time seeing you.”
“…Is there another thing I have to do?”
The robed figure threw something at him. Albus caught it in the air.
It was a book with an expensive-looking cover. Albus opened it and saw nothing written inside the book—its white pages were blank.
“What is this?”
“Write down how you controlled Evelyn Rouge, and what your thoughts were after Evelyn Rouge found out about our plan. Just write down everything that comes to mind.”
Albus scrunched up his face.
“What do you mean?”
“The reason why the plan went off course was because of the two variables next to Evelyn Rouge, but the biggest reason is that your manipulation didn’t properly work on her. We have to find out what went wrong.”
“Ah, I guess that’s true.”
Albus nodded his head at the robed figure’s words, but he didn’t plan to accept his request.
“But I think this isn’t included in our contract conditions.”
Even though Albus said this with ease, he was actually very nervous about how the robed figure would react. If the robed figure threatened him again, he had to do something to fight him off. He couldn’t be dragged by robed figures for the rest of his life. However, Albus’ apprehension came to an end.
“Open the last pages of the book.”
Albus flipped through the pages of the book. Unlike the completely blank pages in the rest of the book, there were a few words on the last page.
—People You Need to Kill
With a surprised face, Albus stared at the robed figure.
He went on and said, “Write their names and statuses, where they live, and exact descriptions of them. Whoever you write down, I will kill five people for you.”
Albus closed the book. There was a satisfied smile on his face.
“Let’s make a new contract.”
* * *
With the King’s birthday coming up soon, big and small events continuously occurred in Westillburd. However, even then, time passed by and the King’s birthday finally arrived. The citizens of Cronon raised their glass and wished for the prosperity of the Kingdom, and the nobles rode on their carriages to attend the party hosted by the King.
Another carriage was being prepared nearby.
Neatly dressed, Zich asked the two people in front of him, “Did you finish getting ready?”
Lyla and Evelyn nodded their heads. Zich hit the wall of the carriage.
Hans sat in the coachman’s seat, and he started the carriage. Their destination was no other than the palace where all the nobles were gathering.Previous Chapter Next Chapter