Chapter 1 - Prologue
Before long, Lesche was wearing the light constellation gold armor.
In this world, for knights, the constellation gold armor was truly a necessity. This was because demons were the common enemy of the continent. Thanks to the many improvements made in each country, the Holy gold armor was even easier to wear than the traditional armor. Of course, the price was sky-high.
The armor that Lesche wore right now was the lightest and simplest armor among them. It provided enough protection to deal with a spell or two.
Apart from being reassuring, the situation wasn’t easy to understand. Why did the demon appear?
‘How many days have I not been to a glacier?’
Seria didn’t go out to inspect the glacier today because she had to get Abigail out of jail. She skipped yesterday, too. But that was still only a few days. Normally, it was very rare for the demons to come down this far within a week of the inspection.
‘Umm, it’s rare, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened before.’
The chances were very low, but there was a probability that a demon would appear. Just then, there was a light tap on the carriage door and it burst open.
It was Linon.
“Lady Seria! Are you alright? It’s so warm here. It’s like heaven.”
Linon quickly took a seat on the other side and crouched down, looking like he was about to cry. Seria asked as she looked at his blue face.
“Were you riding a horse?”
“No, I was riding in a wagon.”
“Why didn’t you ride in this wagon?”
“No, no, no. We left in a hurry and I needed to check something.”
Linon , who was slurring his words, continued.
“You know that we are almost at the Laurel Manor, don’t you? If you enter there, you will find knights, servants, including myself …. Anyway, don’t use honorifics with anyone. Or we’ll die. There are demons living in that house.”
Linon’s face was very serious as he spoke solemnly. He looked frightened. The demons seemed to be related to the story that Lesche was having trouble to tell her. When she was going to ask for details, she heard Linon’s cry.
“Oh, Young Lady. Get behind me quickly….”
Before she knew it, his gaze had turned to look out the window, and she reflexively followed his gaze.
For a moment, her own breathing became difficult.
As if she was dreaming, she saw the demon was right in front of her eyes. It was a far stranger figure than she had seen in the picture. His entire skin was as black as a hollowed out light, and his protruding red gums and teeth evoked a strong repulsion and displeasure. As Stern, she often inspected the glacier, but this was the first time she had actually seen the demon so closely. Those two eyes with different colors were unfocused and glowing.
The demon was in perfect human form.
That was the most bizarre thing about it. Unlike normal humans, it was large in stature, its arms were too long and dragged on the ground, and it seemed to be three meters tall. However, its basic form was that of a human, only more nightmarish. When she first witnessed it in a dream, she was almost out of her mind, and now she fully understood when she saw it in person.
This demon, by the way, was now …. standing in front of the carriage window staring at her.
This was the moment when she had a hunch that she had to jump out of the carriage.
But the demon opened its mouth wide and bit the carriage.
At the same time as Linon’s shout, the carriage shook violently. The horses neighed loudly and the carriage tilted in place. Seria shrieked and crouched down.
“There’s another one!”
“The carriage is under attack!”
She heard the knight shout urgently.
When Seria barely crawled out of the gap where the carriage broke down, she grabbed Linon’s arm.
She pulled. Fortunately, he wasn’t in a fainting state.
“Lady! Hurry up and run to the other wagon…!”
Linon’s words didn’t last long. A black stain bloomed from his cheek. That’s why humans should never be close to demons.
A chill went down her spine. She slowly turned around. The demon was pulling Linon’s leg with its long arm.
Seria immediately screamed and pulled Linon’s arm. Although she couldn’t push the demon out like the Holy gold armor, Stern had purification power to some extent. Even though Seria was born with a weak purification power, she seemed to be able to purify Linon’s face somehow. (To get rid of the black demon’s stain on his face.)
The knight immediately raised his sword and pounced on the demon.
With an ear-splitting sound, the knight’s body flew away. She opened her eyes wide in surprise. She knew it. She knew that the demon’s body was as hard as metal. She knew it from the original story, and she also knew it from Stern’s knowledge that remained in Seria’s body. However, actually experiencing it in front of her eyes was a different matter.
The demon’s mouth opened wide. That was when the other demon stared straight at her. Suddenly the demon’s arm got cut off and fell to the floor. She looked up. Lesche was right in front of her.
It happened so fast. It was only a matter of seconds before Lesche leapt and slit the demon’s throat. She vaguely watched the scene as the demon fell and Lesche rushed towards her.
He knelt on one knee in front of her and asked in an urgent voice.
“Are you hurt?”
“No, I’m not hurt.”
He methodically but quickly checked her condition. He exhaled quietly once he knew that she wasn’t really hurt. Then, Lesche pointed with his chin to Linon and asked.
“Is he dead?”
Linon heard and laughed.
“Hahah…I’m not dead…”
“If you’re not dead, what are you doing?”
“Ah, yes. I was trying to purify him….” Seria said.
“How much longer do you have to do that?”
“I’m done.” Seria said.
“Then let’s go.”
Lesche grabbed Linon by the shoulders and mercilessly yanked him away. Seria gently pulled her arms from Lesche’s hand and tried to stand up again, but he grabbed her and picked her up. Perhaps she was the only one who panicked, because Lesche was as calm as he was before.
Meanwhile, Linon checked his ankles and was in tears.
“I thought the demon had caught me and killed me…”
“I’m glad your face is okay.”
Seria was relieved. She was worried because Seria’s “power of purification” was said to be weak in the original story, but fortunately, Linon’s face was clean. There was no trace of the demon left behind.
“Thank you, My Lady. Thank you….”
Linon sobbed. It actually wasn’t too hard, but it was still an objectively good situation for the Grand Duke’s chief aide to cry “thank you”.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the demons were burning black. If that much hadn’t rotted away, it would have been quite a job to dispose of the bodies. Above all, it would have been aesthetically very frightening.
She felt like she was going to have a nightmare today.
“Your Highness, we can’t use this carriage anymore.”
Lesche looked at the half-destroyed carriage, clicked his tongue, and looked up at the sky. A knight said in a worried voice,
“The snow doesn’t seem to be stopping.”
“What about the wagon?”
“It’s fine, but it can only carry one person.”
“It goes slow.”
Because of the sudden onset of heavy snowfall, Seria was unable to change her clothes and was abducted by Lesche. Fearing that the roads would be congested, he made it a top priority to move quickly, so there were only two carriages in the procession. One was a small wagon. And the other was the carriage that Lesche and Seria rode in, which was just torn apart by the demon.
“You have to ride the horse, Young Lady.”
“Oh, yes, sir.”
As Seria prepared to descend from Lesche’s arms, he asked,
“Where are you going?”
“Aren’t I going to ride a horse?”
“You have to ride like this. I don’t think you’ll have time to get your riding clothes out of the wagon.”
“No, as long as I take off this comforter, I can ride.”
Seria was now dressed in a saggy nightgown, not looking so much like a lady of nobility. However, she was able to accept that much. She was confident because the original Seria was good at riding horses.
What was a waste was the blanket. It was warm, light, and soft, just like her favorite comforter, made of blue silk.
“You’re gonna freeze to death.”
Lesche pointed with his chin to a knight who was standing beside him.
“Untie my cloak and lay it on the floor.”
“Yes, Your Highness!”
The knight immediately untied Lesche’s cloak and spread it on the floor. Lesche placed Seria on top of it and quickly took out the comforter that had been covering her body and began to wrap it around her shoulders. The cape was wrapped up and tied tightly around her waist.
‘What on earth is going on now?’
Lesche exhaled and said in a voice laced with anger.
“Your arms are all frozen. Do you want to freeze?”
Seria replied, looking at his face, but Lesche’s expression remained the same. She could tell he was worried about her, but the anger in his voice honestly scared her.
“Your Highness, it’s because of me. Young Lady couldn’t help but to cleanse me.”
Linon took her side with his creeping voice. But Lesche was right, she didn’t notice that her arms were cold. However, she couldn’t help it because Linon was caught by the demon.
It occurred to her that Lesche was unbelievably great. How could he not cringe at all in front of such strange creatures, and even get rid of them in an instant?
While she was thinking, suddenly her body was lifted up again in a heap, and in no time at all she was on a horse. And what was more, Lesche was sitting behind her. She was faced with an awkward and strange situation of being a larva of a cicada that was dodged on the floor and was being held in Lesche’s arms.
“Your Highness …. Am I your luggage?”
“If you were luggage, I would have put you in the back.”
“That’s more valuable than a cargo. But now I’m like a kimbap… no, a cicada larva.”