Author: rolypoly

Scar continued to speak in annoyance. “Ah, I don’t know. I’m going to pick up the kid as soon as we get to town. You saw it too, right? She can’t even walk properly, panting heavily and in a bad state.”

 

“….” 

 

“And what if she falls down? I should take her when she is in good health, even if she has lost even a little bit of stamina.”

 

Oh my… 

 

So, you’ll take them only when they’re perfectly fine? Me? 

 

When it became 99% clear that the conversation was for the purpose of human trafficking or kidnapping, my eyes turned white.

 

“Let’s just wait a little longer.”

 

“Phew. Aren’t you sleeping?”

 

“If you’re tired, go in and sleep. I should stay here.”

 

“There are plenty of guards around, so what’s the big deal?”

 

“It’s possible the kid might wake up and want to pee. Of course I have to follow it.”

 

…! 

 

If I had gone out, I would have been in big trouble. 

 

Soon, tsk tsk, Scar clicked his tongue and entered the tent, and their conversation ended. In the end, I couldn’t sleep that day and stayed up all night with my eyes wide open.

 

* * *

 

At 5 o’clock in the morning, when the pilgrimage group woke up and began bustling about, I waited for the sun to dawn before immediately running to the guard commander and saying, “Cheshire!” 

 

“What did you say?” 

 

When I told him the entire conversation between the two suspicious old priests, Cheshire was surprised. And he quickly looked at the pilgrimage list.

 

“…Belonging to the Argonia Temple. Both identities are properly registered. I also submitted their temple membership card before departure.”

 

“Is there any possibility they were impersonating priests? Without a portrait or anything, it’s hard to recognize them, right?”

 

“But, to say that…” 

 

Cheshire gestured behind me.

 

There stood Rick and Scar.

 

“Oh my, the Argonia priests are here too? It’s been a while. It must have been an arduous journey for priests of your age. You still remain sincere and faithful.”

 

“Hohoho, it’s been a while…” Rick exchanged friendly greetings with a priest from another temple.

 

“The people at the temple who have interacted with each other before seem to know the faces of those two priests.”

 

“…Right.” 

 

Their status was certain.

 

Then again, is it just a misunderstanding on my part?

 

No! 

 

“Ugh, Cheshire. No matter how much I think about it, it wasn’t a conversation that could be misunderstood.” 

 

“I think so too.” 

 

They say things like ‘I’ll take her’ or ‘I’ll take her when we arrive in town.’ Is there any room for this conversation to be interpreted differently? While I agonized over it, Cheshire stood up, ready to draw his sword at any moment.

 

“W, why? What are you going to do?”

 

“I’ll try to interrogate them.”

 

“W, wait!” 

 

“Just because their identity is certain doesn’t mean there is no room for crime. If what you heard is true, those priests clearly have other purposes.”

 

“I think so too. But we shouldn’t openly accuse them right now. There’s no evidence other than the conversation I overheard, and if the guards suddenly interrogate the priests, it will make others anxious.”

 

“Then leave it as is?”

 

“So, not now…”

 

I whispered into Cheshire’s ear.

 

* * *

 

During break time, Lilith couldn’t help but stick close to Cheshire, while Enoch stayed nearby, keeping a watchful eye on his daughter.

 

When she glanced at him, he smiled and waved his hand.

 

‘Oh my, our princess. The boundaries are very…’

 

Feeling scared, she avoided making eye contact.

 

Enoch still rested his chin and looked at his daughter with a happy expression. 

 

‘My princess, you’re working hard.’

 

Lilith always did something during her break.

 

After looking at the faces of the pilgrims one by one, she looked at the bracelet on her right wrist and scribbled it on the paper she was holding.

 

Enoch saw it and guessed it.

 

‘Are you checking to see if anyone among the pilgrims is sick?’

 

Lilith’s ultimate goal is to solve the epidemic among the people of Molech Village. She tried to refrain from using her abilities as much as possible and expressed her desire to investigate the cause of the epidemic, if possible.

 

‘Our princess, really…’

 

As he once again welled up with pride, he noticed Oscar beside him, nervously biting his nails.

 

“It’s really bothering me how she keeps looking at the bracelet. What is she planning again?” 

 

Enoch was taken aback.

 

‘If he finds out why the princess wants to go to Molech, there will be an uproar, right?’

 

Oscar had a pathological dislike for Lilith using her powers. To be precise, she spends her life force ‘saving others’. His daughter had to use her powers to grow up like others anyway.

 

“Are you crazy!!! You, again? I told you not to do that!!!”

 

“I told you not to go where the commoners are with the child!!! Do I have to burn the whole place down for you to stop?!!!”

 

Every time Oscar did that, his eyes rolled back, and he screamed. He taught Lilith to never use her own abilities to help others. When she countered that she had to use her abilities anyway, the response was to just burn the empty air. 

 

It’s not because his personality is bad.

 

He was wary of Lilith, who was getting used to self-sacrifice.

 

‘I’m worried about that too.’

 

What if everything ends and the day comes when she doesn’t have to force herself to burn her life force? Although he now respects his daughter’s choice, Enoch was also quite concerned. 

 

“I said I would take the child with me when I arrive in town tomorrow.”

 

As Oscar spoke, Enoch frowned and turned around.

 

“I told you not to do that? Then what should we do to clean things up?”

 

“If they found out that she’s in pain or uncomfortable, she can quit midway.” 

 

“…Ah, is that so? No, that still doesn’t work. You have to respect the princess’s thoughts. Why did I send you here…” 

 

Enoch stuttered, and Oscar’s gaze sharpened.

 

“There’s a reason you have to go all the way to Molech, right? Are you going to keep avoiding the answer?”

 

Enoch slightly averted his eyes. Since he avoided answering several times, Oscar naturally noticed something strange. That was why Oscar followed Enoch, who had said he would go alone.

 

“Ha, that’s enough. There’s a reason I can’t wait until tomorrow evening.”

 

“Huh? What are you talking about?”

 

“I’ll run out of mana by then.”

 

“You’re running out? Why?”

 

Enoch tilted his head.

 

“You’re still using this ineffective transformation magic right now. You may be able to last longer, but I’ll run out of mana by tomorrow evening.”

 

“What did you say?” 

 

Enoch opened his mouth.

 

 “The mana is replenishing again…?”

 

“No, who doesn’t know that mana can be recharged? I’m saying this because the rate at which I fall to maintain this magic is much faster than the rate at which I recover!” 

 

Enoch was puzzled despite the explanation and focused on the core near his heart to gauge the remaining mana.

 

“Oh, this.” 

 

And he was surprised.

 

“I’m sorry, I really didn’t know. I didn’t even know because I thought this was such cost-effective magic.”

 

“Are you stupid? Can’t you feel that?”

 

“It’s okay if I don’t feel it…”

 

Enoch laughed awkwardly.

 

“…I’m currently recharging mana faster than I can use it?”

 

“….?” Oscar’s eyes widened. And then he muttered as if he were dumbfounded. “You really are a crazy person…”

 

“What kind of Lord of the Wizard Tower can only last three days?”

 

Oscar became furious at Enoch’s whispered words.

 

“It’s magic that’s not cost-effective! Don’t think only by your own standards that like a monster!”

 

“That’s right! You can’t think only by your own standards. Now you know how I feel, right? Why don’t you ignore other people because they’re stupid?”

 

“Haa.” 

 

Oscar sighed, covering his face with his hands. 

 

Enoch looked at him with concern.

 

‘Anyway, it’s until tomorrow evening; what should I do with this? It’s a big deal.’

 

Lilith says that if she wants to do something, she has to tell Oscar too. 

 

Oscar is… 

 

He has the right to worry about the child, and he has the right to interfere with the child’s education. 

 

Ever since he learned of Oscar’s sacrifice, Enoch has thought so.

 

“Then let’s do this.”

 

At that time, Enoch whispered quietly.

 

“When we arrive in town, I’ll go tell our temple’s deputy that we’re giving up halfway. You go talk to Lilith and tell her the truth…”

 

* * * 

 

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, evening of the third day.

 

As planned, the pilgrimage group arrived at Lagoda Territory, their first lodging destination. The pilgrims, who had decided to rent the entire inn in the town and stay there, were waiting for their accommodation assignment at the entrance of the building. 

 

‘Where is the child?’

 

Meanwhile, Oscar was looking for Lilith.

 

Enoch went to the priest to tell him about Oscar’s decision to give up…

 

“… Listen directly to why she wants to go to Molech, and respect her opinion. If she wants to continue, please don’t force her to stop.”

 

Oscar intended to follow Enoch’s advice and speak to Lilith.

 

‘Damn, there’s not much time left.’

 

Oscar was nervous.

 

He arrived at the town later than expected, so his mana was almost low.

 

‘Ah, there she is.’

 

Oscar found Lilith’s white hair and tried to extend his hand.

 

“….?” 

 

Someone’s strong grip seized Oscar’s arm before he could.

 

It was Cheshire.

 

“…What are you doing?” 

 

Cheshire glared sharply at Oscar and quietly guided him away.

 

“Why don’t you let go of this? What are you doing now…”

 

Then he handed Oscar over to the two escort knights.

 

“Don’t cause a commotion, and keep a close watch on him until I come back.”

 

“Yes, I understand.”

 

“I understand.”

 

At Cheshire’s command, the two guards quickly dragged Oscar away. 

 

* * *

 

Bang—! 

 

The door closed, and two expressionless guards stood in front of it.

 

‘Now… What’s going on?’

 

To the right of the pilgrim’s lodgings is another inn. 

 

Even there, Oscar was taken aback by being dragged to the room at the top.

 

“Oh, Vice Priest! Are you here to get me?”

 

Enoch, who seemed to have been captured first, approached him warmly.

 

“…No. I got caught too.”

 

“What?”

 

Enoch frowned and touched his forehead. He soon asked his escorts for a favor.

 

“Let me go out for a moment.”

 

“I can’t do that. According to the guard commander’s order, the two priests of Argonia must wait here.” 

 

“I think there was some misunderstanding, so I’ll talk to the guard commander separately.” 

 

“Yes, please wait. The guard commander will be here soon after helping the pilgrims allocate accommodations.”

 

Enoch nervously ran his hand through his hair as he glanced out the window.

 

It seemed like the allocation of accommodations had almost been completed, and there were only a few pilgrims visible outside.

 

It looks like Chesire will come soon, but the problem is…

 

“What’s the matter?” 

 

Oscar whispered.

 

“I don’t know. I, too, was caught for no reason. Cheshire says he’s going to interrogate me because we’re suspicious?”

 

“…? Is there something wrong? I made sure to prepare thoroughly before coming.”

 

“That’s what I’m saying! No, more than that.” 

 

Enoch swallowed his saliva and whispered louder. 

 

“…How much is left?” 

 

Soon Oscar’s mana will run out.

 

That’s the problem.

 

If the magic is broken while the unfamiliar escorts are standing still…

 

“About 10 minutes.”

 

Enoch was shocked at Oscar’s words.

 

 

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