Chapter 33

“Didn’t I do something like that this time? I beat up that annoying bastard—no, that rotten—no, that man with a face you want to spit on—no, I mean…”

“It’s fine. You are talking about Grotim, right? You don’t have to be polite about it. Just speak freely.”

Lubella was now completely used to Zich’s rough speech. Seeing her change in attitude, Zich was amazed by her adaptability; but in a part of his mind, he wondered if this was really a good thing.

“It was also my wish to beat the heck out of Grotim. I hate those Bellid guys.”

“Yes, I feel the same way.”

As a Karuwiman, Lubella could completely understand Zich’s feelings.

“And even though I just did whatever I wanted, all of you treat me like a hero for beating up Grotim. And that’s when I realized, Ah, crushing bad guys are also acts of kindness."

“…”

Lubella hesitated to reply. Zich was not wrong. It was right to bring justice to those who brought harm to people. But seeing Zich’s happy face while talking about beating up people made her hesitate to agree with him.

“They are bad guys anyway, so it doesn’t matter if I screw them over or torture them.”

This made Lubella hesitate even further. Lubella let out a sigh, but she did not contradict Zich’s statements.

“Well, it sounds like you are on the right track.”

Lubella wondered if it was right to agree with Zich’s morally ambiguous realizations, but she thought there was some truth to his statements. But most of all, she had huge trust in Zich as a human being. For that reason, even though Weig looked at her with wide eyes and Hans stared at her in utter shock, she continued“If another person said that to me, I would have thought they were being too extreme, but I trust your judgments. I’m sure you can make the right judgments since you accurately judged Sude and Timmy for who they were. However, please reconsider a few times before you act on your decisions.

“I will try.”

Zich felt proud of himself. He felt as if Lubella, a future Saint, recognized and approved of his version to live a kind life.

Feeling pleased, Zich spoke up and asked, “Do you have any concerns? I might be able to assist.”

Zich asked this question without much thought, but Lubella seemed to hesitate as if she really did have a concern.

“Hmmm, this is kind of embarrassing to say, but…”

After a few moments, Lubella began to voice her concerns to Zich carefully. Weig knew what Lubella’s main concern was, so he quietly listened to her talk.

“I mean, I’m completely fine now. I’m quite strong.”

Lubella lifted her arms and showed off her muscles. Obviously, she didn’t have many muscles in her arms, but her lighthearted actions indicated that she was getting stronger mentally. She merely brought up the topic to hear if Zich had anything helpful to share.

“Hmmm, I have a good idea. Would you like to hear it?”

“Yes? A good idea?”

“Please lend me your ears for a bit.”

Lubella leaned towards Zich. Like evil villains making secret plans, Zich quietly whispered to Lubella and gave her his advice.

“…Is it really okay for me to do that?” Lubella asked him with clear surprise in her voice; his suggestion was extremely shocking to her.

“I’m just giving you advice. The choice is all up to you, Lady Lubella.”

Lubella glanced at Weig. Even though Zich and Lubella were whispering to each other, Weig heard their whole conversation and didn’t say anything. His mouth turned slightly upwards instead. Even though it was a bit extreme, Weig seemed to approve of Zich’s advice.

‘Well, Sir Weig always pushed me to become stronger.’

“I will think about it.”

“Then that will be enough.”

Zich fixed the position of his luggage.

“Then we will be heading out.”

“Ah, we will see you out.”

The four of them headed towards the temple’s entrance.

“Where will you be going next?”

“I’m thinking about heading to the nearest village first. Then I will slowly think about my plans after.”

“We will also be heading back to the General Assembly. There are a lot of things we have to report, and there’s going to be an event soon where all the Saint Candidates have to gather together.”

“Then there’s not much time for you to carry out my advice.”

“Yes, if I do decide to accept your advice.”

While they were talking, they soon arrived at the temple’s entrance.

“Ah!”

A person who was sitting in front of the entrance jumped up after seeing them.

Weig tensed up, thinking that an enemy might be approaching them, but Zich stopped him before he could do anything.

“It’s all right. I know them.”

Weig took one step back.

Then Lubella noticed who the person was and exclaimed, “Gosh! It's Mr. Timmy!”

Timmy was the man whose younger brother got his life force taken away from him. As soon as Timmy saw Lubella and Zich, he bowed his head towards them.

Greetings, Lady Lubella and Sir Zich!”

“Hello, Mr. Timmy. If I may ask, what’s your reason for coming here?” Lubella's voice was full of concern; she wondered if there was another thing she wronged Timmy for. Fortunately, Timmy’s face was very bright. It seemed as if he hadn’t come to relay unfortunate news or to chastise Lubella again.

“I wanted to come here to give my thanks to the two of you.”

“To give your thanks?”

Timmy gestured at the person next to him and said, “Hey, come here.”

Lubella hadn’t noticed that there was another person next to Timmy. The small figure next to Timmy began to clutch the edges of Timmy’s clothes even more tightly.

Zich spoke up first. “We saw him beforehe’s your brother.

“Ah! He’s all healed.”

“Yes! After that enormous fight near the Mayor's mansion, he completely healed after a few days!”

The magic circle that reversed Bellu’s ritual had successfully healed Timmy.

“That’s awesome news!”

Lubella was happy as if it was her own problem. The heavy guilt in her heart was relieved a tiny bit.

“I’m so sorry for how I acted to you before. I placed all my frustrations and anger on you.”

“No, it was my fault that I judged you as a bad person when I barely knew you.”

Zich added in his comments, “Yeah, that was your fault.”

Lubella made a strained sound at Zich’s statement, and Timmy made a bitter smile.

“Hey George, give your greetings. They are the people who healed you.”

“T-Thank you.”

George fidgeted a bit and bowed his head.

“Did you wait for us to thank us?”

“Yes.”

“Did you wait for us the whole time until we came out?”

“I wanted to do that, but since my brother just recovered, I didn’t think that was a good idea. I also have work to do, so I came up here every day since my brother recovered. I couldn’t stay for long though.”

Timmy spoke as if he was sorry for not waiting for a long time, but Lubella, Zich, and Weig were impressed by Timmy's persistence.

Timmy smiled and said, “But it was all worth it because I was able to meet the two of you right now.”

“Ah, I have to go now. It’s time for me to start heading to work,” Timmy quickly said this and gave another bow“I want to thank you again for saving my little brother. I will pray that Karuna’s blessing will be upon the two of you forever.”

Timmy quickly left the temple. George bowed his head again to Zich and Lubella and followed his brother out.

“He is really a good person.”

“Yes.”

Zich agreed with Lubella and began to remember what Timmy said to him in the past.

‘Did he say that I was the first person to help him when everyone treated him like an outcast?’

Zich was also treated like an outcast, and he never received help from anyone.

‘If anyone had helped me out before I got strong, would I have become the Demon Lord?’

Even though Zich had no regrets about the path he chose before he regressed, he could not help but think these thoughts.

 *     *    *

Zich and Hans left the temple. Lubella and Weig watched them leave until they completely disappeared.

Then Weig openly said, “He’s a really unique person.”

“Yes, that’s true.”

“I wonder who he really is.”

Lubella stared at Weig. “Is there anything suspicious about him?”

“There are many suspicious things about him—he is much too skilled for his age, and he knows a magic circle that no one has ever seen or heard. Moreover, he even knows Karuwiman’s emergency signal.”

“Our emergency signal?”

“Yes. I was expelling monsters in the forest when I heard someone send Karuwiman’s emergency signal. When I headed towards the location where I heard the signal, I saw Mr. Zich’s servant, Mr. Hans. He told me about your situation. Later, when I asked him how he knew about our emergency signal, he told me that he heard it from Mr. Zich.”

“…He really knows a variety of information.”

Weig crossed his arms.

“He doesn’t seem like a bad person, but I personally don’t think he is trustworthy. I am also curious about where he got his information from.”

“I don’t know if he was serious or not, but Mr. Zich told me he was of noble origin.”

“…A noble?”

Weig tilted his head. He hadn’t been with Zich for a long time, but Zich didn’t carry himself like a noble at all; instead, he seemed more like a street gangster. If Zich was of noble origin, he should have at least some of the mannerisms that fit an aristocrat, but…

“He told me to search for Zich Steelwall from the Steelwall family.”

“Zich Steelwall…? Wait, you mean the Steelwall family? Is it the Steelwall family I know? The one called the Kingdom’s metal fortress?”

“Yes.”

There was a high possibility that Zich was telling the truth since he revealed such a specific piece of information, and it was easy to find out if he was telling the truth or not.

“Well, it would be fun to find out if he told the truth or not.”

“If you find anything, be sure to tell me.”

“I will.”

“Then let’s start heading back. I want to give a proper farewell to the knights who passed away while protecting me.”

Lubella felt melancholy whenever she thought about the Holy Knights who died while protecting her. As Grotim said, he might have really grounded the Holy Knights and fed them as fish food or turned them into zombies. Either way, none of their bodies could be found.

“I’m sure they are with Karuna and looking out for you right now—they were that kind of people.”

“I hope so.”

As if to search for their faces, Lubella peered up at the sky.

“We also have to report on what happened. The magic circle we received from Mr. Zich and other information about the ritual such as using ‘the whole city as a sacrifice’ will also be very helpful.”

Through this event, Lubella and Weig had found out Bellid’s plan and their strategies, along with a way to counteract their plans and rituals. Moreover, if they studied the magic circle further, they could find a more effective way to block Bellid’s powers.

“But I think we should hide some information about Mr. Zich.”

“What? Are you saying that we should lessen his merits?”

Lubella looked horrified at Weig’s words. She looked like a child who just found out her parents were horrible criminals.

Seeing her face, Weig quickly made an excuse, “I don't mean to lessen his merits, but I think we should hide the fact that he taught us a magic circle that could nullify Bellid’s rituals. If that truth spreads, Mr. Zich might be in great danger. Bellid will try to catch him with all their might.”

Bellid would make Zich their number one target so that they could find out where Zich learned his tricks and gather as much information on the magic circle as they could. Hearing this, Lubella felt a shiver run down her back.

“He’ll be in grave danger if that gets out.”

“For now, I think it would be a good idea to let only the Pope and a few high priests know. Let’s decide later whether or not we should make an official statement that we found this magic circle accidentally or tell the truth and give credit to Mr. Zich. Either way, we should decide after discussing this more with Mr. Zich.”

“Yes, that sounds reasonable. Then let’s go back to the General Assembly and quickly give them the information we found.”

Then Weig suddenly said out of the blue, “Will you be all right?”

There was a solid reason why Weig posed this question. It was also probably the reason why Zich gave such a piece of advice to Lubella before he left. Lubella smiled; her smile was faint, but there was clear confidence and assurance in her expression.

“I’m all right. I even got some great advice from Mr. Zich.”

“It will be a sight to see. Then, let’s finish getting ready to go back.”

Lubella and Weig looked back at the place where Zich and Hans left one more time and went back inside the temple.

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