“Then let’s meet again.”
“Right. I hope to see you more often.”
A few days after the festival was over, the contestants left the Holy Kingdom and went their own ways.
It was the same with the four young people. The Pareira family, who was riding on Cherry, were the first to depart, and then Ilya Lindsay returned with her family.
However, Bratt and Judith didn’t separate that soon.
Unlike the others, whom they could see often, Judith would enter a really long training period after she went back. Bratt, who was sad to let her leave like that, decided to accompany Judith to Khun’s residence, and the Lloyd family didn’t stop him.
“Come back safe too.”
“Be careful, brother.”
“What is it?”
“Nothing, I can understand mother and father, but you…”
Seeing Gerard Lloyd’s grim expression, Bratt sighed.
It had been a while since they met face-to-face like this, and since his younger brother was boarding at the academy of the Kingdom to study economics, they rarely met.
And it felt natural for him to act like this.
Of course, he was the one who decided to let go of his brother so that he could be with his lover, but seeing him come here with that expression made him feel a bit bitter.
“I will come back and show you my dignity as an older brother.”
“When you come back, I won’t be home.”
“Then I will come to the capital.”
“Outsiders aren’t allowed…”
“Ah, you are treating your brother as an outsider…”
“Bratt, take it easy and go. Miss Judith, thank you for being with my son.”
“Y-you don’t have to say that…”
Judith answered with a shy expression.
The warm gaze of a mother.
As an orphan, it wasn’t something she could feel or understand. And when she experienced it, she realized that it wasn’t a bad feeling.
With the warm goodbye from the Lloyd family, the two began to leave Avilius and started their journey.
“It is unfortunate. Contestants are contestants, but that old man should have come. He would have gotten something from it. I wish teacher was there at that time.”
“To see his disciple in action? That sounds nice. The practice that he does every day must be getting boring. At times like this, watching their disciple grow will make one feel really…”
“Phew, knowing the teacher’s personality…”
“Ah. I don’t know. I need to go and ask him for a match.”
“Wouldn’t he be shocked? I definitely feel a lot stronger than before.”
‘This isn’t what I was imagining.’
Bratt Lloyd thought.
How long had it been since the two of them were on a date? He wanted a sweeter time than usual… with a soft air between them and maybe have a secret conversation that lovers usually had.
However, most of the words Judith spoke about were of her teacher.
He could understand it.
If Krono gave roots to her growth, then Khun was someone who acted as her father and looked after her.1
What other meaning could she have placed on her teacher, who looked after her well? How precious would he be for someone who had always been alone?
‘She might be quite sad.’
And she might be missing him too.
Bratt nodded and listened to her talk.
Sometimes he agreed with her, and sometimes he had different opinions. Sometimes she looked sure about something, and sometimes he wanted to whisper sweet nothings to her.
In the meantime, their pace increased, and their destination was approaching. Looking at the dry winter fields in the distance, their speed increased.
Judith had all those expressions on her face, and when they got closer, what they saw was an unfamiliar landscape where everything was different.
For a long time, there was no word from her.
Neither of them could speak, and Bratt looked around seriously.
There were craters everywhere and…
Khun’s residence was completely shattered. Bratt glanced at his lover.
Judith’s eyes were mixed with shock, sadness, despair and anger. She was struggling to understand the current situation.
It was then.
Lightning struck down from the sky, making their instincts stand up.
It wasn’t a cliched expression. It was more like someone who could use sorcery struck their heads and forced information into them.
There was a devil who was wearing a mask and was giggling and a swordsman with a jet black sword.
In the darkness where nothing should be seen, the two individual’s faces could be seen clearly.
And they immediately realized.
Logic or rational reasoning was of no use any further. It was them. They were the culprits who made Khun’s home like this.
A gigantic intuition led them to the truth, and a cry of anger erupted from Judith.
“Kill them. I’ll kill them. I will surely find them and rip them to pieces and cut them down.”
Bratt stayed silent.
As he watched Judith, who was turning hot and violent enough to not listen to him, he thought…
‘… let’s go back!’
‘We have to return to the Holy Kingdom! To Avilius.’
The three devils had appeared in the darkness, and the existence which confronted them had disappeared.
He assumed worse, but he didn’t want that to be true.
Perhaps, Khun had already fought the clown devil and the two unknown ones.
The problem was with the unknown ones.
From what he heard from Airn, the clown was a devil, which was at a level Bratt couldn’t handle. But now, there were two others with the clown.
And right now, Bratt and Judith couldn’t be their opponent. Judith might rush ahead, but he had to stop her. He had to restrain her from fighting and make sure that they brought in the power of the Holy Kingdom to fight them.
Fortunately, the location of their lair wasn’t known, even if the sorcery power was used. Thinking that, Bratt looked at Judith.
She was crying.
And she was sinking deep into despair.
An infinitely deep puddle of water rose as the flames went out.
He embraced his lover, who was sinking into a hole of sorrow and regret.
“Let’s go to the Holy Kingdom.”
They had to think, act and execute.
Despite the words from her lover, Judith was unable to come to her senses for a long time.
“Dame Ignet Crescentia is missing”
“The opponent was the clown devil, and a greater evil than that. We consider it to be stronger than the Demon Dragon King.”
“Finally… the being holding the jet-black sword…”
After hearing the brief explanation from Julius Hul, Bratt Lloyd glanced at Ilya Lindsay.
He dared not turn his head. Just a glance was enough.
The rare genius who was supposed to brighten the name of the Lindsay family, but due to an unfortunate incident, his wings had broken… and as if that wasn’t horrible enough, he disappeared from the world and had been forgotten from the memories of the people.
… but it was a name which would forever remain in Ilya’s heart.
When she heard of her fallen brother’s appearance after 15 years, her heart was so hot that it couldn’t even be compared with Judith’s.
‘To say disappearance and not death…’
Bratt managed to come to his senses.
No one there fully understood the situation.
A total of five people had sorcery powers used on them. They were Judith, him, Ilya and even Georg and Anya. Fortunately, Anya was able to find out more about the situation using her Sorcery Gold Coin.
The fact that Ignet was alive.
The fact that the devil she faced was more powerful than the clown devil.
“The only problem is…”
Despite using two years’ worth of sorcery Gold Coins and all of Anya’s earnings, she couldn’t figure out their location.
And a joint operation of Avilius and Runtel Kingdom was unreasonable.
Maybe if the location could be found, it was a reasonable cause, but they knew nothing about their opponent. It was because of the thickly scattered magi and the horrible things that were happening all around.
And because of that, they couldn’t borrow much power to make sure each Kingdom had enough forces to defend themselves in case anything happened.
Bratt bit his lower lip.
He could understand it, but he almost said out loud that the entire situation was too self-sacrificing.
The only thing that managed to calm them down was the information which came at the end.
The most important piece of advice they got from Anya Marta.
“The key to solving this… is in the hands of a blonde hero.”
“This is the best advice I could get with my gold coins. It is also why we aren’t running around.”
The name came from the mouth of Judith and Bratt at the same time. And no one denied it.
But that wasn’t important.
With a deeper frown, Bratt Lloyd thought.
‘Why… why didn’t you come, Airn Pareira.’
Just as he and Judith came to this place as soon as they found out about the sorcery, Ilya, too, made her decision immediately.
Maybe anyone would. People gathered in the center of the continent, Avilus, so that they could confront the mysterious and enormous evil together.
But Avilus had the highest chance of being hit with this weird sorcery.
And Airn, who was the most sensitive to all of this, hadn’t come?
Even his sister, Kirill Pareira, was here. Bratt looked at her with a questioning look.
And the young sorcerer who didn’t speak till then spoke in a solemn way.
“I don’t know where he is. For a moment… exactly for a moment, within a few days into riding the griffin to the Cesar Duchy, he disappeared. Without a word, not a single word, he left…”
Bratt didn’t bring up the fact that it might be Airn’s sorcery insight acting up.
If that were possible, Kirill wouldn’t be here alone.
Perhaps the most frustrated one here was Kirill Pareira and not Judith, Anya, Ilya or Georg.
It was a silence that was as heavy as though death had fallen on them.
The Holy King, the White Knights Commander, the paladins, the priests, Ian, Joshua Lindsay and other powerful people on the continent. No one could speak.
Sadness, anger, frustration and hatred.
In the capital of Avilius, which was full of hope not long ago, dark emotions descended like the night mist.
“… Where? Where is this?”
Ilya Lindsay, Judith, and Bratt Lloyd.
Some time ago, when the people involved in the matter gathered in the Holy Kingdom.
Ignet Crescentia, who came to her senses in a familiar, yet awkward and confusing space, mumbled to herself with a voice full of doubt.
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