I, who had gone to bed early to leave the monastery the next day at dawn, was awakened by the commotion in the monastery.
And it was only later that I realized that something unusual had happened.
The monastery was turned upside down because two of the children went into the woods behind the monastery and couldn’t come back.
One of them was Tom, a friend of Elika and Heron, whom I knew well.
‘This happens right before I leave…’
I stood by the window in the hallway outside my room, looking down at the forest over the backyard.
I thought it was a very strange timing because I was scheduled to leave the monastery tomorrow.
Of course, his disappearance didn’t matter to me in any way.
It was enough for me to go on my way when the day dawned as planned.
However, Elika, Heron, and Tom, the three of them, were the ones I got along with the most during my time at the monastery.
This happened, but of course it was embarrassing to just turn off your mind and leave.
Then someone appeared on the other side of the hallway and came closer to talk to me. It was the Thane priest.
It was midnight, but the dark shadow on his face was clearly visible.
“You have to leave tomorrow, but haven’t you gone to bed yet?”
“Yes, well… because this happened.”
At my words, Tane let out a sigh.
I asked him
“Did you find anything?”
“······Unfortunately, there is none. We just pray that nothing bad happens to the children.”
“I see. Are you still continuing the search?”
“No, the director said to stop the search once, so when the sun rises, the Paladins will resume the search again.”
According to Elika, priests and paladins had gone missing in the forest before.
In the middle of a night like this, the search was forced to continue, and the Paladins could be in danger, so it seemed to have stopped.
‘Is there really anything in the forest?’
Was it really that there was an unidentified monster lurking around as rumored?
But what I didn’t understand was how, if it was really the work of a monster, there could be no trace of it.
“Still, it is said that Lord Zerel himself went into the forest to find the children. If he finds anything…”
Does that mean that the knight of radiance started the search himself?
If so, it was at least reassuring.
His level is over 80. A person with that level of skill would be able to find clues that the Paladins couldn’t find.
But what if even the knight of brilliance disappeared in the forest?
It was something that could never be solved at their level in the first place.
At that moment, a single figure flashed through my mind.
He was a skilled player over level 60 who was hiding something around him.
Of course, it was speculation and leap to think that he might have something to do with this case just because of that.
But I had a gut feeling that I didn’t know why.
Without ignoring that intuition, I sneakily asked Tane.
“Where is the director now?”
Tane tilted his head and replied.
“Yes? Perhaps you are in the director’s office.”
It was like he didn’t know exactly.
I nodded without asking further.
“Anyway, don’t worry too much, Mr. Ethan, and stop sleeping. It’s very late.”
Thane left, and I looked out the window at the forest again.
For some reason, it seemed as if an ominous feeling was emanating from somewhere in the forest.
I checked the surroundings and space-jumped downward.
I would like to go into the forest myself.
Zerel felt his heart grow cold and looked at the gray-skinned man in front of him.
He knew very well the identity of that ominous creature that exuded terrible energy.
A feat on the continent that cost the lives of many colleagues in the young past. worst race.
“······You must be the demon who gave the director strength.”
It was not difficult to guess the identity of the demon.
It was clear that any demons that suddenly appeared in this situation would be related to the director.
Zer-El focused his whole mind on the demon and aimed his sword.
The destructive power of the flying blow from a moment ago was by no means inferior to himself.
The demon who looked around quickly let out a small sigh and muttered.
“Tsk, that bug-like guy… he gave me so much attention, but he made a big deal out of it.”
Dihod, who had been held in Zerel’s hand, trembled.
He shouted in a desperate voice as if he was protesting with a face full of fear.
“Me, Mepur-sama! You misunderstood! This is a knight of brilliance from the Papal States! I really did my best…!”
The demon cut off his words and waved his hands.
Then, dark red smoke erupted from his body and was absorbed by the demons.
Dihod let out a tearing scream that sounded like a agony.
His body became dry like a mummy, as if his vitality had evaporated in an instant.
Zerel watched the scene with a drool.
In the words of a person who made a contract with the demons, recovery of power. Because there was no way to stop it anyway.
In an instant, the demons who sucked all the energy from Dihod turned their gaze back to Zerel.
Zerel opened his mouth while standing with Elika and Heron behind him.
“Answer what you were doing here, Demon.”
Wonma is not.
Because they are monsters completely different from normal demons.
However, it was clear that the opponent in front of him was a strong man who belonged to the upper ranks among the demons.
To this extent, the demons were working secretly here with the head of the abbey as their contractor.
It was now an established fact that something unusual had spread out in the Monastery of Lobelgio.
The demon looked at Zer-El with strange eyes and said as if muttering.
“It seems that he didn’t come to the dispatch knowing everything.”
“Well, if that was the case, the hero would have gone directly, not a bug like you.”
The demon indifferently stretched out its hand toward Zerel.
“I guess we can just take care of you and clean up this monastery and then stop collecting it.”
At that moment, Zerel did not lose sight of the demon’s eyes on Elika.
However, before he had time to think further, the attack immediately flew in.
The bloody energy from before flashed from the demon’s hand and then shot like a ray of light.
Zerel also blocked the attack from the front by stabbing the golden sword.
It was because Elika and Heron were right behind them, so they couldn’t avoid it.
A huge explosion occurred as the red energy and the golden energy were mixed.
Zerel spread the shield widely to block the aftermath of the explosion and shouted urgently to the two people who were mesmerized.
“Run away! Get out of the woods!”
Elika came to her senses first and took Heron’s arm.
Even she, who hated being helpless the most in the world, had no choice but to obey Zerel’s words this time.
Because they couldn’t be unaware that their presence only interfered with the battle.
The bloody energy flowing around the demons was gathered in the form of a huge blade.
The blade of the sword struck the ground as if it were crushing the entire ground at the two people who were trying to escape.
Zer-El hurriedly fired sword energy and destroyed the blade. Another shockwave erupted in the air.
As if the demons were annoying, he inflated his energy once again.
The sphere-like aura that floated around him exploded with sharp thorns in all directions.
Prioritizing the safety of the two, Zer-El had no choice but to focus on preventing the thorns from hitting them.
Numerous golden afterimages were engraved along his sword in the thick darkness of the forest.
After bouncing off the thorns for a while, Zerel’s eyes suddenly opened wide.
Before he knew it, bloody tentacles protruded from the ground beneath him and wrapped around his ankles.
At the same time, a huge energy of a different dimension flowed from the demons.
I urgently looked ahead and saw a large bloody orb clumped together.
Slowly but quickly, the sphere that created the illusion of distorting the surrounding space approached as if to swallow him whole and annihilate him.
Zerel had no choice but to use the last resort.
The rosary hanging around his neck emitted a dazzling flash.
The bright light also distorted the impression of the demon for an instant.
The light extinguished the energy that restrained Zer-El’s legs, as well as the giant spheres fired by the demons without a trace.
Zer-El, who had regained his freedom again, rushed towards the demons at terrifying speed without missing a gap.
It was the moment when his blade was about to slash the demon’s head and pass by.
Jeriel’s body trembled.
He looked down at the sudden burning pain he felt in his chest.
Without realizing it, a sharp, blood-colored aura pierced his chest and came out.
Why were you attacked?
As blood poured out, Zerel looked at the demon with a face of disbelief.
He was still looking this way with nonchalant eyes that said he was not particularly impressed. It seems that the result was decided from the beginning.
Only then did Zerel realize. That he had never been at full strength in the first place.
The bloody aura instantly penetrated the inside of the body and evaporated all remaining energy.
Zerel, who had lost even the strength to stand, fell to his knees in place.
Elika and Heron, who were running away at the sight, stopped and shouted.
“······ Sir Zerel!”
Zerel managed to wave his hand to keep running away, but the two of them just stood still and hesitantly.
The demon spoke in a voice full of ridicule.
“It’s useless. You and the bugs that infest this monastery will all disappear after the night.”
Zerel could barely hold on to the consciousness that was drifting away.
He could not use the magic he had borrowed the power of the sacred object from before.
At this rate, my life would soon end at the hands of these demons. And after that were the people of the monastery.
“What the hell is the purpose? Is it related to that girl?”
Zerel raised his voice and asked.
Clearly, the gaze of the demons directed at Elika before the battle started was unusual.
The demon didn’t answer anymore and stretched out his hand towards him. It was just to put an end to it.
Zerel closed his eyes, and despair filled the faces of Elika and Heron, who were watching.
Blood-colored energy rushed from the demon’s hand like a wave and covered Zer-El.
Had he been hit by that blow, Zerel’s body would have been annihilated without a trace.
But where the energy had swept away, he was still fine.
Feeling doubt, Zerel opened his eyes.
What came into his field of vision was the back of someone standing right in front of him.
The demon, whose attack was blocked, frowned and looked at the man who suddenly appeared.
Elika and Heron also stared blankly at the scene, not understanding what had happened.
An outsider who collapsed in the woods and was taken care of in a monastery.
The man’s true identity was none other than Edan.