One hundred and fifty years ago.
The continent had successfully defeated the Seven Great Devils under the leadership of the Holy Kingdom and made international laws prohibiting wars between nations and races. At first glance, the law was absurd, but no one opposed it. It was because they realized the chaos which came from that action would break the wall between the Devils and humans, and they felt terrified at the thought of devils.
Thanks to that, the present continent is more peaceful than in the past. The western part of the continent was centered on five Kingdoms, the central part was the Holy Kingdom, and the east was stabilized around Runtel. The North also had a much better life once the war with the Orcs had ceased.
And the South…
“It was still the same. There were terrible kingdoms.”
Ignet Crescentia’s words couldn’t be refuted by anyone. Even Judith couldn’t. She also had a miserable childhood but heard about how horrible the South was.
‘There is no such thing as another hell for those with no money and power.’
The fierce and messy power struggle between the people hadn’t gone down despite years passing.
When the external threat vanished, the high-ranking officials were eager to meet their own needs. It was common for princes and lords to fight for the throne, and a monarch’s tyranny is frequently seen. The commander of the knights who set out to corrupt the world gave birth to another king. The people had to bear the pain of war between them.
Those who couldn’t handle the taxes became thieves. Children who lost their parents in the war learned to pickpocket to survive, and some became criminals.
Ignet Crescentia knew this better than anyone and wanted to change it. If that was impossible, she wanted to build a country that was free from this pain. So she wanted to accept those wandering with no way to go.
Her sword and life meant to look after those who suffered.
“Isn’t that goal too risky?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do I have to spell it out? You know what I am talking about.”
Of course, not everyone would view her goals fondly. Most of them expressed serious concern. No matter how subtle the meaning, the birth of a new king would cause conflict.
Good intentions do not always result in good outcomes. On the contrary, it could enrage many people, causing a dimensional rift.
Bratt was discussing it, and Ignet disagreed.
“So, what are the results now?”
“The results of abandoning the South. Do you know how many people were harmed by civil war and corruption and continued to live under the guise that it was for the good of humanity? Still…”
Ignet took a pause and continued.
“… The devil is summoned by the devils. He is not your average devil. He is a Demon King, which has never appeared in our history, correct?”
“Of course, I had no intention of making a reckless move to call myself the king.”
Ignet looked around.
She could see Bratt Lloyd, who was impressed, Ilya, who looked worried, and Even Judith, who was an orphan, had the same expression.
And she showed three fingers.
“Ability, relation, cause.”
“If you properly have those three things, the side effects can be minimized.”
It is natural to hone your abilities. Becoming a vessel everyone embraces takes strength, and fortunately, Ignet had the talent. The swordsmanship that can decorate history and the charisma, judgment, and actions to support herself. That brought her to where she is today.
Of course, the ability alone isn’t enough. If one was going to face the entire continent alone, forming friendships is also essential. It was for that reason she joined the Holy Kingdom. Acting as the commander of the most prominent kingdom, she built friendships and more relations and further walked toward her goal with the support of Avilius.
What she needs now is a cause.
The Holy Kingdom’s power caused the continent to recognize the birth of a new kingdom. Who can resist the victims of the civil war in the continent’s south and the creation of a nation to care for those whom the other kingdoms refused to embrace?
“… I admit that it was quite reckless. It is still close to idealism but considering your abilities. It isn’t without possibility.”
“Thanks for letting me know.”
“But there are many concerns. You build a kingdom with calculations and noble thoughts, but not everyone will be the same. If the awareness that anyone could create a kingdom spreads, even idiots will start to call themselves kings, and new chaos will start to grow…”
“Lloyd’s eldest son.”
Looking at Ignet, who cut off his words, Bratt made a serious expression. The other person looked so solemn that he didn’t want to push his words. He looked in hope for an answer, and she said.
“Is it the change or the side effects of the change that you are burdened with?”
“Of course, it is the latter, but it seems to me that there is a fear of the change itself.”
“I apologize if I am wrong. Maybe it is my prejudice to high-ranking nobles. But…”
“No, there is no need to apologize.”
Bratt Lloyd shook his head and continued.
“I cannot tell you… that I didn’t feel that way.”
Growth requires change, and development requires innovation.
And a sea knows that well.
However, knowing it with one’s head and accepting it with one’s heart are not the same. Despite the fact that he traveled the world and met commoners, he was still a noble. It was the fear of thinking outside the box.
He’d known for a long time how bad things were in the South. He was, however, unconcerned. Under the guise that it couldn’t be helped, everyone passed up the opportunity to help the South improve in favor of improving their own places.
He took it lightly.
But was it actually the fear of change?
What Ignet said made a ripple in Bratt’s mind. It widened his previously restricted thoughts and gave him a realization.
After thinking for a moment, Bratt turned his gaze to Ignet. With a more serious expression, he said.
“Your sword, the sword you made to become a king. I am curious to see what your thoughts are.”
Ignet hesitated for a moment.
Although she spoke, she wasn’t without a sense of shame when it came to saying her true thoughts. However, as soon as she stopped thinking, she smiled.
‘Still, I want to look good and great to all.’
The outcome didn’t matter. Just be truthful, even if she was awkward and terrible. That’s the first step toward a truthful conversation.
Ignet nodded and began to speak about the various things she had been holding on to.
“No, it is a bit…”
The reactions were diverse. Some people nodded, while others frowned. They had moments when they looked down. Even Judith reacted strangely to the words of her becoming king rather than becoming a sword who makes kings.
But no one laughed.
Even if it was an idea that couldn’t be accepted, they tried to understand it as much as they could, and that alone made possibilities open for them. Feeling that, ignet smiled.
Such a time doesn’t last long.
A sudden energy rose from Ignet and engulfed the surroundings.
No, actually, it wouldn’t be right to use the word sudden. Everyone was feeling it. The darkness was leaving her body and coloring her surroundings. Her body hadn’t escaped from the evil.
… the truth is, she can no longer be human. And everyone was aware of it.
Suddenly, Ignet got up and exhaled.
She wanted to be the king.
But she was now here. The Heart Demon vanished, but the influence he had on her body remained, and it was corrupting her. Her mind is still human, but it is unknown how long this will last. The body and mind were inextricably linked.
‘Before being reborn as the Demon King, it has to end.’
The demon looked at the heroes.
And Airn Pareira
Ignet looked at the last person and said.
“Airn Pareira, raise your sword.”
“I want to end things with your sword.”
Flames erupted as soon as she said it; they weren’t red flames but dark flames of demons that encircled Ignet.
The heroes all stood up, watching it. Judith, Bratt, and Ilya moved back.
Only Airn remained. He was the only one left to face the demon that the Demon King had left behind.
He should not have been hesitant.
It shouldn’t have been this way, but the aura from his sword was so weak that it couldn’t be compared to the aura in his fight with the Heart Demon.
The aura sword gradually faded away.
He couldn’t help it. The reason Airn was able to come this far was because of the respect he had for this woman. He thought killing the Demon King was a way to get Ignet back.
But now, he couldn’t.
Swinging a sword at Ignet, who was struggling to hold herself together, was far from creating a flower for the sake of a loved one.
In the end, the aura sword shrunk to the size of a candlelight.
However, no one could blame him, not even Ignet. She sighed and looked at the other three.
Bratt tried to deal with the clown. Judith used most of her strength to save him.
The answer was fixed.
The demon looked at Ilya Lindsay.
“Ilya Lindsay, pick up your sword for Airn.”
“I know well that you wouldn’t hesitate….”
“… you know me well.”
Ignet smiled as she saw the sky sword being used. Airn stood motionless, unable to act. Judith and Bratt looked at him, perplexed. Only Ilya remained expressionless. She took a stance and approached the demon.
“I hate it.”
… and drew back her sword
“What are you doing?”
Ignet was shocked. She couldn’t understand this.
Airn is heartbroken, and Judith and Bratt are exhausted. Only Ilya was capable of bringing her down. Ilya must have realized it as well.
Still, she won’t raise her sword?
What is she planning to…
“I will not kill you.”
“I, We, Airn…”
Ilya Lindsay exhaled deeply and then spoke courageously.
“… not with the ability to kill you, but with the ability to save you, we’ll return.”
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