It was time for Zich and his companions to leave the palace. Sunlight shone brilliantly in the morning, and it was a great day to travel outside. After bidding their farewells to the King and Crown Prince, the group gathered their baggage and headed out of the palace.
The guards at the door paid their respects on their way out. The incident that had taken place at the King’s birthday was spreading from mouth to mouth. Since the conspirators had used the palace as their stadium, they couldn’t even hide the matter. As the one who revealed the scheme and defeated the conspirators, Zich received admiration from everyone inside the palace.
‘I can never get used to it.’
People looked up at him with gazes of admiration and gave Zich goosebumps. Then, once he was out of the palace, a panoramic view of the whole city appeared before him. Considering the chaos that had happened not so long ago, it looked very peaceful. It seemed like the clean-up had gone well.
Zich and his companions heard the sounds of horse hooves until a fancy carriage stopped in front of them. The door opened and revealed Evelyn.
“Please get in. I will take you outside the capital.”
It seemed Evelyn had waited for them—no one refused and hopped into the carriage.
Zich saw Lubella inside the carriage and said, “Oh, Lady Lubella is here too.”
“Lady Evelyn said she wanted to greet you all on your way out, so I begged her to let me join.” Lubella moved her seat from the front to Evelyn’s side.
Zich and Lyla sat in front of them, and Hans and Snoc willingly got on the coach seat (they didn’t have the confidence to travel with ease along with these four). Soon, the carriage’s door closed and the vehicle departed.
“It seems you ladies have gotten quite close,” Zich said while looking at Evelyn and Lubella back and forth.
Lubella answered with a bright smile, “We got to know each other while I got rid of all the Bellu’s energy lingering around her.”
Evelyn was a great friend to Lubella. Since her youth, Lubella had always been busy with the responsibilities of a Saint Candidate and couldn’t befriend anyone her age.
‘Someone like Evelyn is more than enough to be the Saint’s friend.’
The current Evelyn Rouge, who wasn’t Succubus, was pure and kind. Even Lubella’s guardian, Weig, approved of her; otherwise, he probably would have already removed Evelyn from Lubella’s side.
‘Even the job of being the Saint’s guardian is tiring.’
Then, Zich noticed another small carriage following the carriage he was in. He was sure that Weig was guarding Lubella from behind so that Lubella could enjoy her time with her friend.
Evelyn said, “It’s such a pity that all of you are leaving so soon, especially when my father and brother are on their way here.”
There was no need to explain in detail how grateful Evelyn’s father was to Zich, the savior to his daughter and his whole family. He would probably shower Zich with praises and grant him a fitting reward. However, Zich didn’t need anything.
“It’s not a good thing for a traveler to reside in one place for too long. Besides, I have to do kind acts.”
“Can’t you do kind acts here as well?” Evelyn asked, but Lyla and Lubella knew what kind of answer Zich would give her.
“The kind act I want to do is crushing and torturing villains.”
“I-Is that so?” Evelyn tried to force a smile while Lyla and Lubella shook their heads.
“Ah, you know the matter with Albus Windpool?” Evelyn purposefully changed the topic, “It seems that he acted independently and on his own accord.”
“That’s probably right. I heard Albus insult his father, Marquess Windpool, a few times.” Even if that was the case, Marquess Windpool would not be free from all responsibilities.
“Marquess Windpool is critically ill, and it seems Albus had also planned that—or more specifically, his accomplices, had planned it.”
The Marquess’ situation was serious in many ways: not only was he ill, but his sole heir was locked in prison for treason and seemed as if he would meet his end soon on the execution ground.
“To quickly settle the situation, they have to find an heir, but it seems like there’s no one suitable.”
“Albus doesn’t have any siblings?”
“They all died recently, even the people qualified to be the heir.”
“It must have been Albus’ doing.”
“Yes, he confessed to these deeds, or more accurately, his accomplices carried them out.”
‘I don’t know why those ‘robed figures’ were so stubborn about corrupting Evelyn when they had an excellent Demon Person candidate like Albus Windpool.’
However, a person couldn’t become a Demon Person for simply having a bad personality. They had to also have a fitting ability.
‘Well, that guy didn’t seem to have an ability like that.’
If someone like Albus walked the same path as a Demon Person, there would be no need to mobilize skilled fighters like Weig. A relatively strong knight could easily slice his head off, and Albus would just be remembered as a guy with a terrible personality. Zich stared at Evelyn as she spoke quietly.
“What is it, sir?” Evelyn tilted her head because Zich seemed to gaze at her meaningfully.
“You seem to have recovered from Albus Windpool now.”
“Ah, you mean that.” Evelyn made a bitter smile. “It’s thanks to you all.” Then, Evelyn stared at each person. “Sir Zich told me my worth whenever I met him.”
“I still have the same thoughts about that matter, Lady Evelyn. You are too good for a man like Albus Windpool. You can live a much cooler life like the time when you punched Albus,” Zich said as he shrugged.
“…And Lady Lyla always comforted me.”
Lyla coughed like she was embarrassed.
“…And Lady Lubella always prayed for me.”
“As Karuwiman’s follower, it is only expected of me to spread Karuna’s blessings.” Lubella smiled widely.
“Although it is difficult for me to completely return to my original self, I don’t want to keep worrying and suffering over this. I mean, why should I care for someone like him when he tried to charge me with such a terrible crime?”
All three of them nodded.
“So, I no longer will be hung up on that man.”
Her bright smile clearly showed that she would no longer be affected by things such as seduction or trickery.
* * *
The carriage arrived at the outskirts of the capital. This was the extent to where Evelyn could take them. Even though Zich planned to immediately leave the city, Evelyn, Lyla, and Lubella had grown extremely close with each other, so they planned to have a picnic before Lubella and Lyla left the capital. Since Lubella and Evelyn had never experienced a picnic and Lyla lost all of her memories, a picnic was a very exciting event for all of them. Moreover, even though Lyla had a lot of experience camping, that was a completely different experience from a picnic. Hans and a servant tidied up the surroundings, and Zich and Snoc went out to find some small game.
During that time, the women sat in the carriage and began chatting.
“Ms. Lyla, is your relationship with Mr. Zich still the same?”
“What?” Lyla blinked a few times at Evelyn’s question.
Lubella looked at her with an excited, expectant face and asked, “Are the two of you in a relationship?”
“I think Mr. Zich’s treatment of Ms. Lyla is quite unusual.”
It was only then that Lyla realized what they were asking about. Evelyn still thought that Zich was interested in Lyla because of the way he acted at the beginning of their meeting to get closer to her.
“Honestly, I was a bit worried. Because of what happened between me and that criminal named Albus, I thought Lyla would lose all her interest in love.”
In the first place, Lyla had no interest in this topic. The only things that currently interested Lyla was eating good food and seeing beautiful things, but Lyla was not able to reply. She didn’t know if she should correct Evelyn’s misunderstanding or just leave it be. Evelyn seemed to have misjudged Lyla’s silence, because she said with a soft voice, “You should try loving Mr. Zich, Ms. Lyla.” Evelyn’s clear eyes looked at Lyla as if she was an older sister taking care of an inexperienced younger sister.
“Even though my love ended in tragedy, I believe it is possible to love and trust someone again.”
Lyla was slightly relieved since there was now a low possibility that Evelyn would transform into that accursed Succubus in the future who trusted no one and didn’t believe in love.
“Of course, it’s going to be difficult for me right now, and it might take a long time, but I’m going to work hard to find new love. I’m not going to give up my happiness because of a person like Albus.”
Evelyn looked directly at Lyla. “Ms. Lyla, you’re not open about your emotions. Judging by my case, you might even have a negative view of love. However, I’m speaking to you as your friend. It doesn't have to be even Mr. Zich. Just try loving someone.”
While saying this, Evelyn made a beautiful smile. “You don’t have to force yourself. It might be tomorrow or far off in the future, but I’m sure there’s a person who will creep into your heart. When that time comes, please listen carefully to your heart.”
* * *
After staying on the outskirts of the city for a day, Zich and his companions separated from Lubella and Evelyn. As always, Zich and his companions moved away from the set pathways and went into the forest. Hans and Snoc were now used to it, so there was no change in their expressions. On the other hand, the recent addition to the party, Lyla, had a look of disgust on her face.
Zich asked Lyla, “What are you going to do from now on?”
In the first place, Lyla had only followed Zich’s request to become closer to Evelyn, but Lyla immediately replied as if she had already made her decision. “I plan to stay with you guys for a bit.”
Lyla was slightly lacking in common sense right now, and she also shared a common enemy with Zich. Since Zich and his companions were also highly skilled, it was advantageous in many ways to stay with them.
Zich’s reply was very simple. For Zich, it was also advantageous for him to travel with a powerful magician. Moreover, if she happened to recall her lost memories, she could be helpful in uncovering the identities of the ‘robed figures.’ Just like that, Lyla easily joined the party. However, Hans and Snoc also didn’t think too much about it.
As they went off the path, dense trees appeared in front of them. From Zich’s back, Windur kept hitting the tree branches around them. It didn’t hamper Zich’s movements, but it distracted him. Zich removed Windur from his back. He planned to change Windur’s shape as he did when he needed to move discreetly in the Windpool’s mansion.
“…Huh?” Zich tilted his head and stared at Windur. “What’s up with this?”
Zich tried shaking Windur.
Lyla asked, “What’s wrong?”
“No, this guy. It’s not changing.”
Normally, Windur would have immediately changed into the shape that Zich wanted, but now, it didn’t change at all.
“Did it break?” He tried tapping Windur to a tree next to him and even tried slapping it with his fingers. However, Windur’s shape didn’t change at all.
While Zich frowned and glared at Windur, Lyla told him what she thought. “When you were uncovering Albus’ conspiracy, did Windur change its form because the situation called for it? Now that Windur feels like it doesn’t have to, is it not changing form?”
No matter how strange his sword was, could it make its own judgments? However, Lyla’s words explained why Windur wasn’t currently changing shape.
“…Is that for real?”
Even with Zich’s question, Windur made no reply. Zich stared at Windur for a while, and in the end, he could not help but say, “What kind of outrageous sword is this?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter