#When I returned, my family was ruined (255)
It was a calm confession. Ethan intuitively understood. That what Ysera said was true. If Lorotia’s plan went according to plan, someone had to make a sacrifice. It would have been an easier decision to throw away the unloving contractor rather than himself.
I was speechless for a while. I didn’t know how to deal with Lorotia. Should I break off ties like this forever? However, for that to happen, she had already completed her contract with Isera.
There was no way the contract would be broken by returning to the spirit world.
‘If I leave it like this…’
I’m sure he’ll be waiting for an opportunity. Ethan said after seeing Ysera.
“I need to meet Lorotia sometime.”
“…Duke! You don’t remember the devil’s actions? “She’s the bitch who tried to kill the duke!”
Ysera spat out words as if she was having a seizure. Meet Lorotia. If she responds to the summons, we can meet her on the surface, but what if that doesn’t happen?
Ysera asked a question with trembling eyes as fear welled up in her heart.
“Certainly… you’re not going to go directly to the spirit world like last time, are you?”
“If you don’t respond to the call, so be it.”
“…That’s too dangerous.”
“It is also dangerous to leave it like this. “You probably know that.”
“Besides, does Lorotia have anything to gain by killing me?”
“…When I gain freedom through my body, the obstacles that stand in my way will disappear. “Anyway, I’m against it, absolutely!”
“They say we need to break the chain on earth. “If I offer to help, the monarch will have nothing to lose.”
“Then you should have asked the Duke a favor a long time ago. “The fact that he didn’t do that means he must have some plan!”
Because it was related to the duke’s well-being, Ysera was raising her voice unlike usual. Maybe this was her original nature. No matter what anyone said, Ysera was the most highly regarded girl in Heidern.
“Even if I have a plan, I can’t spend my time like this.”
Ysera was speechless. It was these questions that worried her. In the end, it was as if he had taken on a time bomb by signing a contract with the Spirit Lord. Normally it would be fine. Because your ego will be clear.
But what if your sense of self becomes blurred due to a fatal injury or loss of consciousness?
There was no way the cunning Lorotia would miss that opportunity. Moreover, because she was a monarch in name and appearance, she was able to manifest into the earthly world even without the summons of a spirit master. Of course, the time will not be long, but even if it is a short time, there is no way to avoid being robbed of control if you look for a moment when you are vulnerable.
‘…a cowardly and cunning bitch.’
Ysera clearly remembered what Lorotia had said. Especially after my soul was tied up, the words she said were imprinted in my mind.
―Do you think you could be of help to the Duke with your talents? You’ll be lucky if you don’t grab your ankles.
-Better leave it to me. Then, when the duke achieves his goal, he might at least be of greater help than you?
The vicious words and actions that endlessly lowered my self-esteem and, as if that wasn’t enough, belittled me.
When I signed the provisional contract, I thought it was just an arrogant and powerful mysterious spirit. However, after experiencing this incident, her feelings toward Lorotia had changed significantly. A cunning, vicious, and beast-like being that preys on the weak.
A type of horse that you can’t even interact with.
From her perspective, it certainly was. That’s why I was afraid. It was obvious that if a being was a being that showed humanity that was comparable to that of a vile devil, it would show itself once again when a crisis arose.
“Then let’s do it like this. You call it. So, when you show up, we will talk on earth. But if you don’t show up…”
I will go directly to the spirit world.
The firm eyes said so. At this point, even if I wanted to stop him, I couldn’t. The Duke was an expert who could open the door to the Land of Fire on his own.
Even if he was against it, what would be the point if he went to the Land of Fire himself?
This was no different from an outsider.
“You don’t remember? “I hate the word sacrifice the most.”
“That’s not a sacrifice…”
“No, it’s a sacrifice. “Aren’t you saying that you will ultimately kill yourself to help me?”
Silence reigned between the offices. Compared to Ysera, whose emotions were heightened, Ethan’s voice was low and calm as usual. The third time he called himself. Ysera couldn’t hold out any longer and opened her mouth.
“Are we colleagues or not? At least I think of you as a valuable colleague.”
The calm words struck my heart deeply. At least Ysera hasn’t been thinking that way lately. Lorothia’s harsh beatings made her feel so small. Because that statement is irrefutably true.
“Just because it helps you in battle, you are a friend, and because it doesn’t, you are a stranger. “Were the standards for trust and friendship really that shallow?”
“If you think about it that way, not even the Dragon Slayers, Sylvia, or Illia are colleagues. Even my sister would be just a useless burden. Let me ask you a question. “Do you want me to do that?”
A cold-blooded person who is willing to abandon even his family for use. Was this what he wanted the duke to look like?
I didn’t think the duke was a kind person. However, he was a person with strict lines. Those who fall within the line are infinitely embraced, and those who step outside the line are punished mercilessly.
A person with extremely thorough subjectivity.
If we were to criticize it, it could also be evaluated as narrow-minded. However, at least the people of the duchy and Ysera did not think so. Maybe he thought that way because it was within the line he had set.
He was a person who was infinitely merciful and did his best to those who fell within his standards. If you think about it, the answer was clear.
“…I hope you don’t do that.”
no. Actually, I wish I could do that. The madness deep inside my heart was saying that.
What does it matter? I wish those warm eyes were only directed at me. I hoped that the standard of intolerance would come down to only myself.
It was an extremely selfish feeling.
But Ysera suppressed those words. The answer the duke wants would be a direct message: to become a monarch who knows how to take care of those around him, rather than to become a cold-blooded person. I didn’t want to be hated by the duke. It was a simple mind.
Since it was an incredibly simple proposition, it was easy to follow. All the Duke has to do is give the answer he wants. Then at least it won’t be a problem.
“That’s why I’m trying to act like that.”
Ethan answered like that and looked at Ysera. As if he could clearly see the madness sleeping deep inside her heart.
“You don’t have to worry too much. If, as you said, Lorotia acted like that to keep me out of danger, wouldn’t she have harmed me right away if I went to visit her?”
“Still… I’m anxious…”
He smiled awkwardly at those words and said while scratching his head.
“I recently had an epiphany. You probably saw it too. “A sword that cuts through space.”
Knife sword. It was a technique that remained vivid in Ysera’s memory. It was a sword strike that instantly freed his tightly bound soul.
“In the worst case scenario, even if Lorotia tries to kill me, I will be able to escape.”
A sword that can split space would be able to create a rift even in the Land of Fire.
“It means that I can protect my body. There’s no way Lorotia wouldn’t know that.”
It has recently begun to grow rapidly along with the new sword of Mukryonggap, Yonginhwa. That gave me the ability to find my way back to life at least once even in the Demon Beast of the Absolute. Only then did the strength slowly drain from the corners of Ysera’s eyes.
The duke was right. Even assuming the worst case scenario, you may be able to get out. In that case, talking to Lorotia was something worth trying at least once.
The best case would be for her to appear on the surface at his call, but even in the worst case, the duke would not turn a blind eye.
“…Are you really confident?”
“okay. Since I have to do everything I can, I plan to move after my internal injuries are 100% healed. I promise. “Even if problems arise, I will definitely come back alive.”
Only then could Ysera feel at ease.
* * *
Two weeks have passed since then. It was a time when both Isera’s internal injuries and Ethan’s internal injuries were completely healed.
“What is the response?”
“…Nothing at all.”
“At this point, it’s safe to say I’ve completely blocked my eyes and ears.”
“…Maybe. “I wouldn’t even like to see it.”
The contract was signed anyway. Unless you are trying to turn everything you have done so far into a public affair, it is normal to move at some point.
‘You don’t want it to end like this, Lorotia.’
Fire spirits. Their situation was very bad. Desperation will be stronger than anyone else’s.
“I will come back.”
“You need to take care of yourself.”
Opened the fire passage. Only after promising several times did Ysera let him go. Ethan entered the Land of Fire. It was my first time visiting this place alone without the monarch’s presence.
‘This is my first time seeing terrain like this.’
When I accompanied Lorotia, I moved to an area close to the palace, so the terrain was always familiar to me.
It was different now. The biggest difference was the level of spirits playing around.
While the spirits located near the palace all had sharp energy and high levels, most of the spirits located in this area were individuals with the lowest level of power.
―How do we get here…
Most of the languages were spewing out cries that could not be understood by anyone other than a few low-level spirits that implemented the language. Several spirits were seen moving in a hurry. The intention was probably to inform the higher spirits about the presence of the intruder.
This also had a different appearance.
When we visited after talking to each other in advance, none of the spirits showed any hostility. He sat down in his seat and passed the time in silence. Anyway, he didn’t know the way from here to the palace.
However, I didn’t really want to scare the spirits to find out the way.
Aren’t most of them the lowest level spirits that can’t even form their own form properly? It would have been better to wait until a superior arrived.
After waiting for a while, mana began to flow throughout the space. These were the same passages of fire that Ethan had created. Superior and superlative. High-ranking spirits were appearing.