Translator: Kurehashi Aiko Editor: Queenie
Help me, Edi.
––––– However, the broken remnants of the bracelet on my wrist showed no response.
Why!? I wanted to scream. Why wasn’t it reacting!? But then I looked at the broken lotus ornament with the cracked magic orb. Everything becomes clear. The bracelet was shattered and stomped on by those women before I got back to the temple. I thought the orb was unaffected by the damage, but that must not have been the case. In other words, the bracelet would no longer be able to serve its purpose.
Unaware of my actions, the priest grasps the knife even stronger while licking his lips and looking at Klanven in the same way a predator looks at its prey.
「When this asshole became the High Priest, what do you think happened to my authority and influence? You have no idea how I felt at that time, and you never will!」
So that’s what this was all about? Authority and influence? I thought that other priests had the dignity and honor to tolerate the choice of Klanven being the High Priest, but now I could see that was not the case. Everyone must have been jealous of that and weren’t able to suffer that decision.
Being by his side for a whole month now, I knew that there were times when Klanven was truly insufferable, but there were also times where he was compassionate towards others and had an unexpectedly soft side to him. I knew that this side of him was genuine and that it was not a mere façade.
I had no idea what was required of a person to become a High Priest, but I was certain that whatever that thing was, Klanven had it. I was also certain that he was a way better candidate for that seat than that priest who was threatening him with a knife right now.
Despite the direness of the situation he was currently in, Klanven laughed at the man who was threatening him in his same old manner.
「Oh my, don’t tell me that there are still those who are butthurt over the fact that my influence is bigger than Heathrow’s? Don’t you think that’s pathetic after such a long time?」
「Shut up! If I was a member of the royal family and something like that happened to me, I would be damned sure to take it all back by force! …… Anyways, I won’t allow for a mere High Priest to lead the Royal Family by the nose!」
「Now, please excuse me. Being a member of the royal family or a High Priest have nothing to do with anything. I’m sorry for getting a bigger domain than some other people, but it was decided in a just and well-thought manner. Nothing else to it.」
「~~ Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!!!」
Driven by anger, the priest started to pull Klanven by the hair even harder now. His appearance right now was twisted in distorted beyond recognition. While this was happening, I was desperately trying to process the meaning of their conversation.
The Great Temple, much like the members of the nobility, has some pieces of land given to it by the crown. And some of the high ranking priests were sometimes given the rule over such domains in the name of the temple. Speaking of which, the area that was given to Klanven, the one that was probably the object of conflict here, was located west of the capital city. It wasn’t all that large, but its soil was perfect for cultivating crops and was rich in natural resources, namely gold. So that’s it.
Most likely it wasn’t a conflict caused by the fact that Klanven took the position of the High Priest from someone else, but it was because this priest had his personal gain on the line here. If that really was the case, then I simply had no words to describe this. Even though I couldn’t control my body all that well yet, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and falling onto the floor.
The priest gripped the knife’s handle so hard that his hand was turning white as he drew it closer and closer to Klanven’s throat.
「I send werewolves to dispose of you, but they fail. I try to poison you, but it falls short. I even bribe the damned Shadows to get rid of you, but even they can’t do their job right! You’ve caused me quite a few headaches, so finally getting rid of you is going to feel that much better!」
So everything that was happening recently was the doing of a single jealous priest? Someone who should guide others and preach the words of the Goddess? Not to mention that his ploys could have easily hurt someone other than Klanven himself, like those poor children.
And instead of just keeping the threats to himself, he actually took action to make them come true. There was no redeeming him anymore. I could even see flickers of madness in his eyes as he was drawing the knife closer to Klanven’s throat.
This was no longer a priest serving the Goddess. It was a mere demon overcome with greed to such an extent that he was even going to commit the most heinous of atrocities just to achieve his ambitions.
「The king’s brother, the royal prince falling in love with a common woman. But their love could not come to be, so if they couldn’t be together in this world, they would certainly be in another…… It’s such a well-made and moving story that everyone would take it for truth.」
A story that was still a cause of concern and sorrow for Klanven, spoken with such hatred and contempt…… Those words spoken by that priest were the proof of just how heartless and ruthless some people could really be.
It would be no exaggeration to say that my whole body was being drenched in disgust when I was thinking about the things that man here was trying to accomplish. He was truly the lowest of the low.
「I wanted to try to avoid having to kill you with my own hands, but oh well, it’s not like my reputation is going to suffer because of that. Ah, but since you are here, woman, I know that I said I would let you go, but now that I think about it, you if “decide” kill Klanven yourself and then commit suicide and kill yourself because of it, there’s nothing I can do about that.」
I could hear the priest saying something utterly incomprehensible. The sweet aroma invades my nostrils again, filling my mind with a thick fog and making me feel as if I was losing my senses.
What was my own free will and what was the thought that was imposed on me?
I don’t want to kill him. I want to kill him. I don’t have to kill him. I have to kill him. Kill him. Kill him. KILL HIM. K I L L H I M.
「Please, just, run, away, from, here……」
Even though his life was in danger, Klanven was still more concerned for my safety rather than his own. The priest laughed hearing that, and Klanven responded in kind, giggling slightly.
「You can laugh as much as you want, but we’ll see who’s going to be laughing once you are dead on the floor.」
Kill him. No. Kill him. I don’t want to. No! Kill him. I said no! KILL HIM!
As the sweet smell was overtaking my senses and the thick veil was clouding my thoughts, I could see my vision gradually turning more and more crimson as words of murderous intent kept on ringing through my head. I tried to endure it, but it was so nauseating that I had to close my eyes. At the same time I could feel someone slipping a knife in my hands. I must do it. I have no other choice.
Kill him. Kill him. Kill him. Save me. Kill him. Save me.
–––––– Save me, Edi.
Once again I call his name. The only name that could come to my aid in a time of need like that. One name that would certainly save me. So I call for him.
Hearing that voice in my ears, I open my eyes.
It took me some time to realize that this stunned voice was my own. There he was, standing right in front of me, with his golden hair glowing in the dark and with dark eyes that you simply couldn’t help but get lost inside of.
I call his name again. Edilka Vince looked at me gently, before he eventually turned towards the priest and Klanven.
The bracelet was broken, so how did he knew we were here? I thought like that before I realized that when it comes to that man, he must have had some other method ready for use in case something like that happened. Maybe a teleportation magic, since he was so adept at using it?
The hand that was holding the knife starts to shake as I was trying to move it, but then that man put his own hand over mine, stopping it. No, it’s not that. He came to me. A wave of relief surge through my chest. I was not entirely free of the scent’s influence, however, and the mixture of both relief and killing intent was swirling around inside of my head, making me feel sick.
「You! How did a mere stupid knight manage to get in here!?」
「A mere knight, you say?」
The man looks at the astonished priest, and then he shifted his gaze towards Klanven, who looked as though he was slightly relieved as well. He then laughed menacingly.
「Are you sure about that? Then what say you to this?」
The man runs his hand across his golden hair. His glossy, jet-black hair comes back into full view. There wasn’t such a person in this country who wouldn’t recognize that appearance at first glance.
It was none other than Agedilius Von Lancent, one of the Heroes who helped to save the world, master of magic and the court magician. The priest realized that in an instant.
But even without that realization, it was already too late for him. That man reached out his hand into the air, and then from an empty space, his favorite wand materializes in his hand.
「Let go of that knife, Filmina.」
I listen to his calm, soft voice, and then I let go of the knife. However, there was still this vile urge inside of my head screaming “Kill him! Kill him!”
「I-it’s no use! Once the suggestion is being planted inside someone’s mind, it must be resolved……!」
The man glanced over the priest looking extremely bored, and then extended his hand towards me. It started to glow brightly as he said:
「Come here, Filmina.」
His hand shone brighter, and in that moment, his command was more important to me than the one the priest gave me. But as I walked towards his open arms, there was one last “KILL HIM” sounding in my head, forcing me to grab the knife again and jump towards Klanven with it.
I raise the knife, which was so incredibly hot for some reason, and the smell of rust and burning metal fills my nose. I strike with my knife and there was a dull sound resonating within my ears. At the same time, I let go of the knife, the sweet scent finally gone from my mind.
「Are you alright?」
「…… Yes, Edi.」
I hear his voice in my ear, the voice that I would recognize anywhere. Suddenly everything else disappears from my field of view: Klanven, the knife, the priest, the hidden room. There was only me and the figure of my husband.
The knife fell onto the floor with a dull noise, and stains of bright red gradually drip down onto the floor. The man’s face was as normal as ever, but his white-gloved hand was pressing against his stomach, from where the red stains were coming from. The white glove was gradually turning redder and redder. The floor was becoming redder by the second.
I look up at the man’s face. It was as beautiful as ever, but this time around it was somewhat different. What did I just do?
I was about to collapse from shock, but then the man’s hand reached out to me, supporting me from falling down.