Fortunately, it was the weekend, so we were free to go out even though it was early in the morning. There weren’t many people up and about so early, except for those hard-working students, but we were able to follow those two across a fairly long distance.
Olivia Lanze walked with her head hanging down like a criminal, and the Commander was walking next to her without saying a single word.
They exited Temple and headed towards the station.
There was a problem. Adriana and I couldn’t help but simply look at each other.
Mana trains weren’t free to ride. It was only natural that we didn’t think of bringing any money with us because we spontaneously decided to follow them after our morning training. Therein lay the problem.
It was an emergency mission that had to end as soon as we two idiots started following them.
“Whwhat do we do?”
“We could leave our Student IDs as a deposit… I didn’t even bring my student ID through.”
We only came out with the clothes on our bodies, nothing else.
Of course, if we’re talking about valuables, there was Sarkegaar’s ring and the Flame of Tuesday that I was always wearing, but those weren’t things I could pawn off.
It was early in the morning, but there were already quite a lot of people at the station. Even though it was the weekend, there were still some people that came to Temple for work.
We had to come to a decision as fast as possible. I just walked up to a man wearing a suit, not knowing if they were part of the faculty or someone from the shopping street.
“E-excuse me. Teacher?”
“Huh? What’s the matter?”
“We’re Temple students, but… we forgot our wallets, and we have to quickly take the train… Couldn’t you give us some money for a ticket…?”
I never thought I would have to do something like that one day.
It felt like capital punishment!
Ah… I forgot my wallet, can’t you give me 5000 won for a ride home?
That was what it was!
“…Really? Your Student ID… Looks like you don’t have it with you either. Can you tell me which school you’re part of?”
“I’m Reinhardt, first year, Class A, number 11 of the Royal Class, and this is Adriana, second year, Class A, number 2. Yes. If you contact us later, we’ll pay you back.”
“Royal Class? Huh… I don’t know what it is that is so urgent, but I guess you’re in a hurry. Don’t forget your wallets next time.”
Fortunately, he believed me and kindly handed me the money for a ticket, probably because he was part of the faculty. He seemed to have realized that I was telling the truth as soon as I stated my affiliation.
The people’s hearts were so pure. Was it because we had entered the Golden Age?
Adriana stared at me blankly as I obtained the money for our tickets by begging.
“Co-come to think of it, you were…”
Adriana nodded, perhaps remembering that I told her that I was from the streets.
That’s not it! That was only a fabricated story! It was my first time doing something like that as well!
I felt quite shitty being seen as someone skillful in this because of how fast I decided to do it.
We bought some tickets and followed them again. We didn’t get on the same train compartment as them, but we did wait for them to board before taking the compartment next to them. There weren’t many people on the train—perhaps because it was dawn.
Because of that, we opted to talk in whispers.
“Where are they going?”
“They probably live close to the Knights Templar’s headquarters in the Commander’s residence. We’ll have to get off at the station close to the Knights Templar headquarters in Rosenak.”
Rosenak was the Yangcheon District.
To be honest, I couldn’t remember all the districts, so I had put a map of the Imperial Capital in my room.
Anyway, I had already been to the Rosenak District—where the headquarters of the Knights Templar were located—when we were rescuing the demon prisoners last time.
Last time, I hadn’t gone there with good intentions, but my business there was completely different this time.
They changed their routes a few times while we kept following them. They seemed to be talking about something with each other, so when I strengthened my sense of hearing, I was able to distinguish their voices from all the noise around us.
It seemed like they didn’t notice at all that they were being followed—we were still in their blind spot. They spoke in low voices so that no one could eavesdrop on them, but I could hear them clearly.
-Do you really want to go down the difficult path?
-…I’m sorry, father.
– You’ll give in sooner or later anyway.
-Can’t… can’t you just excommunicate me? What I saw and heard, I’ll forget everything about those things.
-That’s not going to work.
-You can change your personality, you can change your mindset, but you cannot change your talents. You cannot change what you are born with. You have been born holding everything: appearance, talent, and skill. You were born with everything. That’s why you became my daughter.
-Groups always have their good share of noise in them. Those who want to be perfect in every aspect cannot be leaders—those humans only live drunk on their own good looks. You are destined to be a leader, not some outstanding individual. This is only one aspect you simply have to accept. I wasn’t all that surprised that you criticized me. There are times where certain things have to be said and done.
-I… I can’t do this. I… like you said, Father… I’m just a wretched person living intoxicated by my own good looks. So please, father…
-Rather than stupidly getting hurt, it is wiser to just accept how things are at the moment.
It looked like something exceeding my expectations was about to happen.
It seemed like if she didn’t accept this on her own, he would continue to pressure her until she did.
He wasn’t trying to punish Olivia, but he had no intentions of letting Olivia go.
-I don’t think I’ll ever change my mind. So, father… Please…
-I won’t listen to your drivel anymore.
After that, the Commander didn’t speak a word.
“They didn’t say anything specific, but I heard him mention something about ‘getting hurt’.”
“Yes. Something like that… I think he might be talking about coercive methods.”
Adriana’s eyes shook as if she couldn’t believe what she heard.
Coercion. Adriana could only think of one thing, hearing this word.
The thing that was bound to come to mind was heresy interrogation.
“The-there’s no way… Does he want to do a heresy interrogation or something… Is that what it means…?”
“It’s not completely unlikely.”
While she said that she was innocent and would live quietly, he still tried to change her mind—even if he had to do so forcibly. The Commander, who had been careful with his words in a public area, had not said anything ever since; because he didn’t say anything explicitly, Adriana and I could only think about the most extreme things Olivia could suffer through.
Upon arriving at the station close to the Knights Templar’s headquarters, the Commander and Olivia headed towards the headquarters and not their home. We had no choice but to just stare blankly at the scene.
She just said that she wanted to quit Temple and forget everything about her religion, but the Commander was about to force her to accept everything. It would probably involve a lot of violent methods.
Olivia probably wouldn’t have thought that he’d do something like that to her, even though he’s her stepfather. Had she known, she would have run far away.
She thought it would be enough to promise to keep her mouth shut forever, but it seemed like she didn’t understand the depth of her stepfather’s obsession.
“Why do they have to do this…? Where the hell are they taking her…”
Adriana sobbed and hid in an alleyway, covering her face with both her hands.
It was true that Olivia Lanze was a great person, but why was he trying to force her to become his successor by torturing her even though she didn’t want that?
The Knights Templar weren’t the least bit ashamed by Olivia Lanze discovering their ugly side. They thought it was something she had to know in order to become their next Commander.
Olivia would have been faced with this situation no matter if the terrorist incident happened or not.
However, the character Olivia Lanze never had to play any major role throughout the whole novel I wrote.
In other words, she didn’t even show up when the Gates opened, even though she was such a powerful person.
This meant that the Commander failed in changing Olivia’s mind.
She would either get completely ruined by this incident or, in the worst-case scenario, die.
And the thing that confirmed my reasoning…
[Special Achievement Quest – The Inflection Point of History (Olivia Lanze)]
[Description ： If Olivia Lanze is rescued, the future will undergo dramatic changes.]
[Reward : You will receive one characteristic of Olivia Lanze at random.]
An inflection point of history.
If a person that wasn’t supposed to exist continues to live and that person could exert a tremendous amount of influence, that was what would be called an inflection point of history. It meant that history would change drastically. I knew this because of Charlotte’s case. In fact, due to Charlotte’s survival, the main story had become greatly twisted, making events unpredictable.
Olivia Lanze was someone on the same level.
The mere occurrence of such a quest made it crystal clear that something fatal would happen to Olivia Lanze that day, and she would either die or suffer greatly.
In other words, it was like the system told me what her future would be.
“This… This is ridiculous. This shouldn’t happen.”
Adriana continued to cry for a long time before she looked at me with a firm expression on her face.
As she said, I didn’t know Olivia Lanze very well, but I didn’t want to let her die or get ruined.
If I could save her, I wanted to do so.
The compensation was only of secondary priority; I just wanted to save her. It annoyed me that such a kind person had to be either broken or killed after getting treated so unfairly.
I didn’t even know what I should make of Olivia’s quest reward. To begin with, it was the first time something as abstract as that was given to me as a reward.
I never set up any ‘characteristics’, after all. This was an additional setting that the system just created on its own.
“I’m of the same opinion… So, what should we do?”
It was impossible for just the two of us to simply enter the Knights Templar’s headquarters and rescue Olivia. None of us had any reason to even be close to their headquarters in the first place. We might be able to get in somehow, but we wouldn’t be able to get even a centimeter closer to where Olivia Lanze was being held and tortured.
We had to fight power with power.
Charlotte or Bertus might be a good choice, but I couldn’t think of a single reason why they would want to save Olivia Lanze.
First of all, even if the Prince or Princess was to put pressure on the Knights Templar, that would cause some tremendous uproar—as they were interfering with their affairs.
Interference in their internal affairs was already a serious diplomatic issue in and of itself. The Knights Templar weren’t a nation, but they weren’t much different from one. No, rather, it might be an even bigger problem that a secular power was trying to interfere with a religious group.
Charlotte and Bertus could be of help in that situation, but it would probably have been rather hard to get their help.
“If a lot of people found out about this… Wouldn’t things be different?”
Adriana found out that the Knights Templar was trying to do something completely outrageous. What if thousands of people heard the rumors that the Saint of the Eredian district was being tortured by the Knights Templar?
The public was sure to get angry about what those guys were pulling.
“Something would definitely change. However, the moment they admitted to these things would be the moment the Knights Templar crossed the river of no return, so they’ll do anything in their power to deny these ‘groundless accusations’.”
If they were to admit that they did something as outrageous as this, they could throw their image into the fucking garbage. Of course, they would deny it with all their might.
Their religious groups already had a huge following—they might regard those rumors as ridiculous slander against the Knights Templar.
What should we do? It was more than clear that spreading rumors would take a long time, and there wasn’t a guarantee that Olivia Lanze would be safe while we made our move.
The fastest way was to mobilize one of the big powers of the nation, but Bertus took his attention off of the situation, thinking that the Knights Templar would take care of Olivia Lanze on their own. Even if he wanted to have her as the next Commander of the Knights Templar, whether they achieved that by brainwashing or not had nothing to do with Bertus. They’d make her into something that wouldn’t be able to cause any trouble anyway.
In the end, Charlotte and Bertus would have to carry a high risk, and they had no reason nor justification for why they should make a move.
A huge power.
Mobilize big powers…
Come to think of it… I was only considering the ones with the most power I knew of.
There were many powerful people around me, but I had just realized that there was another huge power I could make use of.
Power that would have a lot of influence as well as a justification to move.
“Urg… Senior, don’t laugh at what I’m about and just listen to me.”
“Di-did you think of something?”
However, bringing the words over my lips was a little difficult.
“H-how about we talk to the teachers about this?”
Let’s just go to the teachers!
I found what I said quite ridiculous as well, so I stuttered a little.
Adriana’s expression began to deteriorate as she heard my words.
I put it that way, but what I meant was to use Temple’s power!
Although, it wasn’t any different from saying ‘let’s go and tell on them’. Huh.