Author: Tam

Amelie flew to the attic to check whether the demon’s sentence was correct. Upon reaching her attic, Lira greeted her. As she was sitting in her chair in a black suit, she approached Amelie. 

 

“Where did you go just now?”

 

“Lira! You’re just in time! I just saw the symbol of the demon!”

 

Amelia ran to the bookshelf and pulled out a book.

 

“What is this? It’s a picture book for tapestry, isn’t it?”

 

Amelia opened a specific page. It was a picture of a bird flying from the sky. The demon comes down to earth in the form of a bird. So the witches have expressed a new image of the demon. 

 

It was characterized by strong claws, three antennae on the forehead, and colorful wings reminiscent of fire.

 

The figure of a demon drawn in the book and the figure of a bird carved on the black wall were the same.

 

“This is the symbol of a demon, right?”

 

“That’s right. It’s a symbol of the demon. When he descends on the earth, he always takes the form of a bird. Why is that?”

 

“I saw something like this at a place where the disaster was sealed.”

 

“What? That can’t be true.”

 

Lira’s eyes widened. The symbol of the demon was the demon itself. Witches don’t draw symbols of demons anywhere. 

 

“Was there a tapestry?”

 

“No, it was carved on the wall.”

 

“Let’s go there again for now.”

 

“Yes.”

 

Amelie took Lira back to where the disaster had been sealed.

 

******

 

When Lira entered the stone chamber, she felt her heart pound. She couldn’t see exactly what was sculpted on the black wall, but she felt strange just looking at the wall. 

 

“I’ll light the fire.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

Amelie turned off all the lights in the room and lit the black wall.

 

Then a bird of fire rose from the darkness.

 

Even if she checked again, the pattern of the demon was correct.

 

“How come this place has a demon’s pattern?”

 

There was no answer to Amelie’s question.

 

“Lira?”

 

When Amelie turned to Lira, Lira was already on her knees, looking up at the demon’s pattern. She held her hands together and pressed her lips together incessantly. Her voice was similar to when she chanted her magic spells. 

 

‘What is she doing?’

 

Amelie was curious, but Lira’s expression was so solemn that she could not speak. She waited patiently until the flames disappeared and Lira finished her prayers. As soon as the fire bird disappeared, she lit a brazier and lighted up her stone chamber.

 

“Lira, what are you doing?”

 

“It’s a praying. Then why are you just standing there?”

 

“Do I have to pray?”

 

“It’s a demon. My heart is pounding, my legs are shaking— So why don’t you just pray?”

 

The demon was the God and master of witches. It has been a long time since demons have disappeared, but witches have always lived without forgetting that they are priests for demons. Lira knelt down and prayed in her awe towards demon at the moment a firebird appeared from darkness. 

 

“It’s not even the real demon.”

 

Amelie couldn’t understand Lira’s words. Although the appearance of the firebird was wonderful, it was not to the point of awe. 

 

“You don’t think so?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“You didn’t feel anything when you saw that?”

 

Lira also didn’t understand Amelie. Even the children who grew up not knowing they were a witch had an instinctive awe for the demon. The moment they saw the demon’s crest for the first time, the little witches would shed tears of emotion as they said that they had found what they had longed for.

 

“You’re such an odd kid.”

 

“Is that so?”

 

Amelie tilted her head. She had never met any other witches, so she had no way of knowing if she was unusual. Lira thought it would not be easy for her to teach Amelie. 

 

“By the way, why is there a pattern of a demon here?”

 

“The disaster was sealed here?”

 

“Yes, according to His Majesty’s words.”

 

Serwin said that the disaster was sealed here.

 

“Twenty years ago, a witch sealed the disaster back in His Majesty’s body here.” 

 

“What kind of witch did that? Why did the witch do that?”

 

“His Majesty said he didn’t know.”

 

“Don’t you know Lira?”

 

“I don’t know. I didn’t even know there was a disaster. Hmm.”

 

Lira circled the stone chamber and looked around.

 

“There’s a tapestry on the wall?”

 

She pulled down a piece of tapestry that dangled to the wall. Amelie looked at the piece together.

 

“What do you think?”

 

“How?”

 

The tapestry was barely there at the end, so it didn’t help.

 

“Compared to the old building, this tapestry seems to have been hung up recently.”

 

Lira pointed to the wall where the piece of tapestry was attached.

 

“If you look closely, the color of the wall is slightly different, right?

 

“Oh, you’re right.”

 

“Even if it’s recent, it looks like something from a few decades ago—Isn’t that person who sealed the disaster on the emperor’s body?” 

 

Lira went around the room one more time. And she was sure.

 

“It’s similar in structure to the temple.”

 

A few years ago, while cleaning out the house of a dead witch, she saw a sketch of a temple. The appearance of the temple at that time was similar to this one. Tapestry is hung on the wall without any gaps, and there is a table that acts as an altar in front of the entrance, and there are pillars on either side of the table to hang candles. Behind the table hung a picture of the demon. 

 

“If it’s a temple… is it a temple of demons?”

 

“Yeah. Compared to the real temple, it’s small and gloomy.”

 

Amelie’s eyes widened. Was there even a demon temple? It was the first time she had heard of it.

 

“Is there a temple? Where is it?”

 

“We don’t have it now. It’s all a long time ago. I’ll tell you about the history of the witch gradually.” 

 

“Yes.”

 

Amelia nodded enthusiastically.

 

“The Imperial palace was built a thousand years ago, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“If something like this was made in the Imperial Palace, people wouldn’t have known about it.”

 

“From the beginning, people didn’t seem to travel this way. There were no roads around. But I’ll ask His Majesty one more time. There might be some records left.” 

 

“Yeah.”

 

Lira couldn’t take her eyes off the black wall. She, too, had only encountered a temple in books, but it was the first time she had seen it in person.

 

“Here, is this really a temple?”

 

Amelia asked.

 

“No way, is it really a temple?”

 

The demons disappeared long ago, and over time, the way of life of witches also changed. Even witches in Lira’s age wouldn’t have known that this place resembled a temple, unless they were as interested in  history as she was.

 

“I don’t think this is a real temple. First of all, the exterior is like that.”

 

Usually, temples were built in open and windy places. Not in this grave mountain. The temple that Lira heard was larger and had several rooms.

 

“It is highly likely that the building was built following the temple to seal the disaster. She must have been trying to increase the effect of the sealing magic by borrowing the power of the Demon.”

 

“That’s possible.”

 

Witches were priests of demons. The witch’s magic was a special power bestowed upon them by a demon. Even if it wasn’t a real temple, if it was a sacred space engraved with a demon’s pattern, the magical power could be increased. 

 

“It’s such an old building, so it doesn’t seem to have that effect now.”

 

“Who would have made this?”

 

Lira shook her head. She didn’t have the faintest idea.

 

‘Brillai probably doesn’t know either. The Witch of the Forest of Fidelia may know— But she has already died in the arms of a demon.’

 

Lira swallowed the regret. The witch’s tradition is passed down from mother to daughter. Before awakening as a witch, they learn about witches in their daily life and grow up. In other words, it was common for witches’ history to be handed down from the head of the pillow. 

 

However, the tradition has long been cut off by witch hunts and other hardships. Recently, there has been a trend to leave books, but there has already been too much lost history.

 

‘At the very least, if a meeting is held, information will be exchanged—’

 

After the witch hunt, Brillai announced that she would not hold a meeting. Not only that, Brillai kept the witches’ residences and contacts in secret. The intention was to be careful among the witches in case the same thing as 20 years ago would happen. 

 

Lira thought it was a leader-like decision, but there were many times when she still regretted it. It was because she had a hard time contacting other witches except through Brillai. The way to freely share knowledge was completely blocked, and sometimes she was curious about the news of the child she brought, but she didn’t hear which witch the children went to.

 

“Let’s take a closer look. There could be something hidden like that wall.”

 

“Yes.”

 

Amelia nodded her head. After finding the black wall, she had already searched, but nothing had come out. Still, if she’s together with Lira, something new may come out, so she decided to explore the inside of the stone chamber once again. 

 

******

 

Around the time Amelie was spending her time in the stone chamber. Outside, the sun was already setting in the west. 

 

‘It’s almost dinner time.’

 

Serwin looked at the clock and the door alternately. It was close to dinner time, and there was no sign of the door being opened. He tapped the desk with his finger. 

 

“Your Majesty.”

 

When Serwin couldn’t concentrate at all on the conversation, Baron Avery, impatiently, called him. 

 

“Please focus on the conversation.”

 

Serwin’s eyes stared at Baron Avery.

 

‘He’s going to get mad.’

 

In a moment, the Baron said, “Ah.” Whether the Emperor listened to him or not, it wasn’t a matter of what he dared say.

 

‘I wouldn’t have made this mistake any other time.’

 

He was so tired that he made a slip of the tongue.

 

“Should I at least nod and respond?”

 

“It was off topic. I apologize.”

 

Baron Avery bowed his head, waiting for Serwin to give his punishment. 

 

“You must have had a hard time while I was away. You must be exhausted.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

Baron Avery asked back, unconsciously. What did I hear?

 

“I apologize, Your Majesty.”

 

The Baron habitually apologized.

 

“Go home early and rest for two days. Ordinary people say you need to take a full rest.”

 

“Your Majesty—”

 

The Baron was very embarrassed. Since the Emperor himself had hardly slept, he had little understanding of ordinary people. He didn’t want to know. And no one had the courage to explain to him one by one. 

 

‘No, not now.’

 

“Is that what Miss Amelia said?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

The corners of Serwin’s mouth went up slightly.

 

“She said I treated people harshly when they saw me. She also said that subordinates should be given enough rest and remuneration.”

 

“I see.”

 

Baron Avery admired her audacity. She was right, but she could say that directly to Serwin. It was something he had never imagined. 

 

“Now that the word has been spoken, let’s go to work on time from now on.”

 

“D, do you mean us?”

 

One of the aides asked in a trembling voice. Serwin nodded his head.

 

‘Hiik. Really? Really?’

 

The aides doubted their ears and exchanged glances with the person next to them. If they didn’t hear a group hallucination, starting tomorrow, they could go to work on time like everyone else. Now they can eat breakfast, see the faces of their children every morning, and talk to their wife. 

 

Aides transmitted with joy. Baron Avery had a sour look in the midst of a silent frenzy.

 

‘It’s fascinating that Your Majesty listens to it just because Miss Amelie said it.’ 

 

Amelie’s influence on Serwin was more than he thought. 

 

“That’s what I think, so everyone, let’s just go home.”

 

Serwin jumped up. Naturally, everyone’s eyes turned to the door. Serwin opened the door and went out into the hallway, and Amelie’s voice was heard.

 

“Oh? Your Majesty!”

 

Sherwin noticed her signs and left as she entered the hall.

 

Baron Avery stared at the closed door.

 

‘Should I just say it’s good—?’

 

It was welcome if Serwin could be comforted by Amelie, but if she was greedy for power and shook Serwin, the story would be different.

 

‘There are one or two Emperors who ruined the state—’

 

It is said that even the previous Emperor fell in love with women and didn’t take care of state affairs.

 

‘It’s fortunate that Miss Amelie is a good person, but—’

 

Baron Avery began to become worry. 

 

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