Chapter 28 “You haven’t forgotten your promise, have you?”
“Not much progress …….”
After parting with Clarice at the temple, I muttered to myself as I looked out over the streets of Granden.
After all, there was nothing else of interest besides that huge crystal.
However, this also leads to the inference that there is something secret in that crystal.
An uncommonly large crystal of unknown use. The fact that it was full of divine energy suggests that it was quite valuable.
The chief priest Dorote told me that the other five temples that were located around the city of Granden were also considered to be quite valuable, given that they were full of divine energy.
But now, four of them have already been destroyed, so there are only two left.
One of them was outside this fortified city.
With a crystal like that, the fact that the humans who became the prophets heard the voices of the gods may not be an illusion.
And if there were six such crystals, there must surely be a reason.
There’s no point in collecting that stuff here without any reason.
If it were just a spectacle, it would be reasonable to assume that it would be set up in the more crowded Imperial City or in the temple of Mildiana.
If it’s used to monitor or attack demons, it might be a different story.
But I was told that it was just floating there and had never been used for anything.
There must be some kind of meaning, but there is not enough material to find it.
…… Think of me not as a demon, but as a human being.
The crystal was full of mysteries, that’s all I can say. Who made that thing and for what purpose ……?
I catch the girl who suddenly embraces me from the side as if she were going to hit me.
The elf girl with the dark green hair smiled happily.
“Fufufu, I caught you, Theo-kun”
“What’s the matter, Liz?”
“Hmm? What’s with the lack of response? Is it that thing? Do you feel like you’re getting used to what I’m doing this all the time?”
“I’ve come to understand that you’re a weird elf in many ways. I can keep myself from being surprised at every little thing.”
“How dare you call me weird! I’m still a princess of the venerable Tsefte Aria. I’m currently a runaway from home, though.”
When I was stroking her back as she hugged me, thinking, “I guess that’s what’s weird about you,” I suddenly thought.
——I wonder if she knows about the giant crystal in the temple.
“Liz. I need to talk to you for a minute, if that’s okay.”
“Yeah, thanks, well …… eh?”
Liz said with a smirk when I was caught off guard by the unexpected reply.
“You’re making a big mistake if you think I’m going to do whatever you say, Theo. We’ll talk about important things in a more comfortable place.”
“Okay, then. See you later, Liz.”
“Hold on! Wait, wait, wait, wait! I’m just kidding! Don’t try to leave me here!”
I answered curtly and tried to walk away quickly, but Liz grabbed my arm firmly and desperately.
“I thought you said you didn’t want to do what I say?”
“It’s just that I don’t want to hear it on a main street like this! I said it before. If you want to talk about something important, you have to consider the time and place. In my opinion, the best place for two of us to be alone in the city of Granden is …… a quiet place with a beautiful view of the sunset.”
Well, if it meant that we could be alone together, then so be it. I was led along at her behest to a place in the sky above Granden.
I walked over to one of the connecting roads.
The place where we can be alone together, as Liz calls it, is mainly used by military personnel.
Well, it’s true that people don’t visit this place that often, and this liaison road is intricate anyway.
I suppose it’s not surprising that there are places that are naturally less crowded.
Liz was enraptured by the dazzling sunset as she rested her arm on the parapet of the connecting road.
It’s not a bad place in terms of atmosphere. Perhaps there is something about sunsets that attracts viewers regardless of race.
However, the day would soon be over if I kept looking at it. When I was about to start talking, Liz suddenly said.
“Where did you come from, Theo?”
“…… out of the blue.”
“You told us you were from Granden, but none of them know who you are. Isn’t that strange?”
I knew it would come up at some point, but now of all times. It’s a little troublesome.
I can tell just by looking at her that she doesn’t have any hostile or harmful intentions, so it’s okay.
However, in some cases, I might need to manipulate some of her memories with a little bit of magic.
I decided to join her for a little while, putting some magic power into my right hand.
“So, I’m going to make a theory. I think Theo-kun has some kind of annoying circumstance that forces him to lie about his origins, and he’s hiding it from the rest of us.”
“That’s an interesting story. So?”
“I understand that there are some things you can’t tell others. I’ve been hiding the fact that I’m an elven princess for so long. I understand that there are things that are difficult to say.”
Liz continued to gaze at the setting sun, her posture unchanged.
“But it’s not right, is it? That’s not all.”
“It’s just an assumption. Even if Theo is not from the Empire, but from some country’s nobility or royalty. It doesn’t add up.”
“Why is that?”
“The Empire is surrounded by foreign countries, right? Zenan to the north, Lugal and Chiaro Diruna to the east, Tsefte Aria to the south, and …… to the west, you know what I mean?”
When I silently urge her to go on, she turns around and stares at me with her pale green eyes while leaning her back against the railing.
“Zenan is a land ruled by human and dragon. Until a few years ago, it was at war with the Empire. There is no way that people from such a country would come to the Empire. Even if you’re in a position to do so, there’s no way you’ll be able to solve the Final Droplet case. Even though they have a ceasefire treaty now, it’s like an act of self-interest. If the empire is in danger, why don’t you just sit back and watch? Just go hide yourself somewhere else.”
“Maybe that’s one way to look at it.”
“Chiaro Diruna in the east is a country ruled by humans. Theo is also good at magic, so at first I suspected he was from this country, but that’s not true. The reason is similar to what I said earlier. It is natural to think that that country has little contact with the empire anymore, and that it is now hostile to the empire siding with Lugal, right? If that’s the case, your actions are still wrong. This is also weird.”
“Also in the east, Lugal. This is a land ruled by beastkins. It’s not that there’s no humans there, but when you’re as good as you are, you’re going to get noticed. Even though you have a particularly sloppy personality, you’re a strong opponen. There’s no way Roka doesn’t know about this. So this is weird too. And I don’t have to tell you about Tsefte Aria in the south. I and my mother wouldn’t have known about someone like Theo.”
“Theo, no matter what country you’re from, you just don’t look right. If I look at him normally, he looks like a human being, but there is something wrong with him. I’m still inexperienced, so I’m not sure what it is, but there’s a strange power in my family. I can see through people’s identities, read their minds, and so on. My mother is really amazing, you know.”
We stared at each other, but I didn’t say anything.
I noticed that the always elusive elf girl’s eyes seemed to become a little more serious.
Such she says.
“Theo-kun. I want you to answer me. What are you?”
“What do you want from me, Liz?”
“Are you going to tell that to the others? To those who have the power and authority, such as General Duras and Principal Ludio, or to all the other special students? Maybe both.”
“Uh, well, I didn’t mean it like that.”
“There are things in the world that are better left unknown. At the same time, there are some things that are better left unsaid even if you know them. Otherwise, a person like you who has only half-hearted power can die at any time.”
“…. Uh, umm, I……”
I gingerly approached Liz and lifted her chin with my finger.
“In the meantime, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone what you’ve seen. If you do anything too rash, I’m afraid I can’t guarantee your freedom.”
“Hmmm. …… You’re so kind. You’re not going to kill me.”
“It would be more fun to brainwash you and use you as I please. It would be fun to do things to your body that are many times greater than the seductive words you always say.”
“Oh, my God. …… You say you’re best friends with Roka, but you treat me like an object.”
“I’d like to have a good relationship with Liz, too, as long as you don’t do anything shallow.”
Liz, usually cheerful, looked at me with a mixture of frightened eyes.
….I’m not feeling too good about this ……. I don’t feel anything hostile from her, even if she’s hostile to me.
However, if I don’t say this, I have a feeling that this curious elf girl will do something irreversible in the near future. It seems that even during the Mildiana incident, she was investigating things without telling Principal Ludio, and I’m rather amazed that she’s survived until now.
I gently removed my fingers from the girl’s chin tip, which was trembling slightly with cold sweat, and placed my hand on her shoulder with a plop.
“Remember that promise we made?”
“Uh, promise ……? What ……?”
“How irresponsible of you. You’re the one who suggested it. You see, Liz said when Roka ran ahead to Granden and chased after that. I think this what you said [Theo-kun? This is a competition, okay? The winner gets to grant the loser one wish for everything.]”
Yes, she mouthed something like this.
After a while, Liz’s ragged breathing naturally calmed down, and her head began to spin, and she finally seemed to remember what had happened.
“Oh, yeah, ……. Oh, I did say that, didn’t I? You remembered it well, haha. …….”
“I won the game in the end, didn’t I?”
“I was the one who was in front of Granden first.”
“I’m the one who brought you to this fortified city when you were in trouble on the cliff. Therefore, I would appreciate it if you would accept what I said earlier about ‘keeping quiet’ as a promise.”
“…… Mmm, mmm. You don’t have to promise anything like that, but I’m not going to tell anyone. ……”
“I know you’re a tricky girl, so I must be careful. Don’t forget your promise, okay? For the sake of our relationship.”
“Okay, okay, okay. ……”
Liz looked a little flustered, but agreed.
The tension I had felt earlier had eased. I never thought that the promise I made back then would come in handy in this way.
That’s when I pulled my hand away from hers.
“Can I have just one question?”
“If I can answer.”
“Are you on the side of the Empire, Theo?”
“I don’t mean that.”
When I answered immediately, I felt her gulp. I continued.
“I don’t mind anything as long as it’s fun. If the Mildiana case had been boring, I wouldn’t have bothered to solve it.”
“Fun ……? That incident ……?”
“Yes. It may have been a hair-raising incident for you elves, but for me it was just a sideshow. It was a good way to pass the time.”
This was undoubtedly my true intention.
I didn’t take the side of the Empire, I just happened to be dying of boredom.
It’s just that something interesting happened, so I checked it out and found it to be quite fun.
The number of elves killed in the past Mira blood tide incident and this late Final Droplet incident is enormous. But that’s just a trivial matter for us demons.
There was no pity for the victims, I was just curious about what had happened in the past and what was about to happen.
In the end, it helped to stop the disaster that was about to befall the Empire.
But that’s just an added bonus. They were all just a sideshow to me.
I could see a bit of sadness in Liz’s eyes.
It’s a bit of a hassle to have her digging into our pockets, but above all it’s wise to keep some distance so that she doesn’t go any further.
Liz kept her face down for a while, but then she looked at me again and said in a slightly dazed way.
“That’s just like you, Theo. He looks kind, but he’s actually a demon. I wouldn’t want to make an enemy of him.”
“I don’t want to make an enemy of Liz, either. — Oh, but antagonizing me might give me an excuse to do whatever I want with you.”
“It’s awful! I’m so disillusioned! I don’t even know who Theo is anymore! I hated you ……, but I now I hate you even more! You pervert!”
She’s a funny girl.
The earnest Clarice is cute, but this quirky elf girl is also wonderful.
If I only had more time, I’d get to know these women better, even while I’m in the Empire.
It sounds like it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have another one or two to pass the time with. …… Unfortunately, that’s not the case right now.
As if to make up my mind, I decided to ask something that had been bothering me for a while.
“Liz. Can I ask you a question? I’ve answered yours, so now I’d like you to answer mine.”
“… I don’t think I got a satisfactory answer, though. Hmm, fine. So what your question?”
“There was a crystal in the High Court of Magic in Mildiana that was used to block the power of Principal Ludio. How much do you know about it?”
“Hmm, the average person shouldn’t know much about it … Theo-kun isn’t in that category anymore…… But, as you said before, it’s just blocking the power of Ludio Sensei, who is too strong. So, nothing unusual about it?”
“No, I already know that. Perhaps it was one of the anti-Elfists who petitioned the emperor of the empire to seal off his power. But that’s not the point. It’s about the crystal itself.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’d like to know what kind of crystal blocked the power of even President Ludio. I’ve seen something similar recently, so I’m a little curious.”
“Hmm … Ludio Sensei didn’t tell me too much about it. However, I feel like he said it was from a very old times.”
“Old times, huh? Any other information?”
“It may be out of this world, apparently. ……?”
Liz said vaguely, as if she didn’t quite understand what she was saying.
“What does that mean? Does it have something to do with the Underworld, where the dead are sent?”
“The crystal was obviously made by someone, but now we don’t know who made it and how, and no one can make it. Even Ludio Sensei said that it was impossible for him to make it himself.”
“Impossible even with the power of the principal, huh? So it’s quite a nuisance.”
“And besides. He also said, [There’s no doubt that it’s old. But no matter how many hundreds or thousands of years ago it was, there is no way a human hand could have made something like that. I can’t believe it’s from this world.] I was wondering if it’s a metaphor or if he’s just saying it.”
The crystal that I saw at the High Magic Court in Mildiana seemed to be filled with a freezing magic.
That was probably due to the fact that it was unable to completely seal off the enormous amount of magic power that Principal Ludio possessed.
I just didn’t realize it at the time because I was so intrigued by the strength of its magic power.
So, it’s possible that the crystal was also emitting divine energy.
A crystal that could never be created by the hands of today’s humans and elves. It was used in Mildiana to seal the power of Principal Ludio.
And a crystal similar to that one existed in the temple here in Granden.
I wonder if this crystal also seals something.
Does General Duras know this?
I don’t think he said a word about that when we discussed it at his mansion. ……
While I was absorbed in my thoughts like this, the “thing” suddenly appeared.
“Ah! Finally, I found you!”
When I looked in that direction, I saw a girl dressed in light clothing.
She flipped up the hood she was wearing, exposing her bare face, her purple hair blowing in the wind.
Then, the adorable face of the girl raised the corner of her mouth in a smirk as she looked at me.
I narrowed my eyes when I saw that creepy expression on the pretty girl’s face.
Contrary to the cheerfulness, I thought when I saw the mysterious girl.
–how many people has this girl killed in her life?