Chapter 334: Two Rings
「It must be a serious injury. You should lie down and rest. You know, it’s easy to die when you’re a human being. You’ll die as if you were nothing at all.」
I chewed the tobacco on my lips and let out my voice. The words were directed at Vestaline walking behind my back.
Even if I didn’t look at her, the sound of her heavy breath gave a sense of her physical condition. It was not normal by any means. No, rather, one could say that she was covered with wounds.
Clearly, she seemed to be in a physical condition that didn’t allow her to walk. She should rest no matter what.
After receiving my words and putting her feet firmly in the ground, Vestaline pointed her voice at me and said.
「I’m doing some treatment. First of all, since the commander is moving, the soldiers will be amazed if I suddenly rest.」
I didn’t remember becoming her commander. I wondered what kind of change of heart Vestaline underwent in order to call me that name. She probably hit her head too hard.
Well, she certainly got her mercenaries safely inside the prison, and even if it was only temporarily, she took control of the entire prison, so it was strange she was not seen as the commander herself. I was not used to being called like that.
Moreover, if you called someone a commander, then people had to be obedient enough to listen to that commander’s words without question. After all, it was not possible to hold a position of commander if you couldn’t show fierce authority.
While responding lightly to Vestaline’s words, I let out a sigh and reached the dark stairs to the basement. The area around the interrogation rooms smelled awful with blood and saliva, but here it smelled of dust and mud.
How nostalgic. It smelled familiar to me. A place forgotten by people, a place where people turned their eyes away, it smelled just like this. The alleys of the city I grew up were similar.
It probably had not been taken care of very well. The traces of dust that piled up told me that.
Well, that was natural. In my past journey, I came here several years later from now. Even then, no one seemed to have entered this place. It was truly a forgotten place.
So, it was still here, too.
…Something that passed from person to person and moved around the world. A thing that was once called both a mystery and a miracle.
Down the dark, yet solid stone stairs, there it was. It was here as if it were sitting on a throne with dignity.
I narrowed my eyes.
I remembered seeing this from a distance before. As Helot once said. Yes, when he had a revelation. He said that someone guided him to pick it up.
It was a small ring.
It had a dull color and no luster at all. To be honest, I had no idea how valuable it was. If I was a thief, I wouldn’t even think of picking this up. Rather, I’d grab things that looked shiny and large.
However, this was different. It was not that kind of crap that shined brightly.
This was a magic tool that once made Filaret’s face, who was gifted with magic, frown in response. Then I had to take the necessary measures in order to attain it.
「Vestaline, can you give me back my sword? I feel like my waist is missing something. 」
Vestaline nodded at my words, but moved her lips as if she was a little puzzled. She touched the sword and said the following words.
「Yes, of course. I will return the trust you entrusted to me. However…please be careful, your sword is strangely filled with heat. Magic power is probably accumulating from within.」
It was hot. Before, it was cold enough to freeze with the cold air of the dead snow. However, now it was hot like never before.
While tilting my head lightly, I put my finger on the treasure sword that glittered a majestic purple light. I wondered if it was causing some kind of a strange magic reaction. It would be difficult to handle it if that happened for real.
I gently touched it with my fingertips. I stroked the surface thinly to confirm the feeling.
There was no problem. It was the same as always. Rather, it even seemed to stick to my fingers more than before. I put it around my waist and felt its familiar weight.
Maybe it was because we had been apart for some time, since I felt that at my waist it was finally calm. I wondered why it was so hot before.
After preparing my treasure sword on my waist, I once again stood in front of the ring. While leaking a heavy air from the bottom of my lungs, I reached for this ring.
I slowly moved my fingers over it so that I could touch it. For a moment, there was a sign that my skin was going numb. I felt something sharp piercing my spine. Was it the flow of magical power? Or was it something else?
Ah, it was no good after all. This was extremely dangerous. I had that intuition.
In that moment, I turned my ankle, twisted my waist, and pulled out the sword with purple light. There was no hesitation in my heart anymore, and the treasure sword drew a beautiful line as if to represent my heart, cutting off the hollow.
There was only one target, a small ring that sat still and didn’t move.
*a faint metallic sound*
With the tip of the treasure sword, I cut off the ring with a very light sound. I thought it would be a little more difficult, but it was surprisingly easy. Was it because of the treasure sword?
From the broken ring, the dangerous signs that I sensed before had disappeared. Therefore, I wrapped it in a thin cloth and tuck it into my chest. I didn’t want to carry it with me, but I felt like it would be troublesome to leave it here unattended.
Beside me stood Vestaline who was looking at me, wondering what I was doing. That’s right, since she didn’t know what I was doing, she probably thought I was a madman. She moved her lips to search for words, but I talked to her first.
「There are various circumstances as to why I’m doing this. It’s too long to talk about it from the beginning to the end. So I’m sorry, but please swallow what you’ve seen at once. In the first place, there are various reasons for coming here.」
Entering the Burial Prison Beulah was the result of a combination of factors and objectives.
One of my goals was to rescue Mrs. Ninz, who was like a mother to me since she was the one who raised me. Well, was it presumptuous to say that I was coming here to save someone? All I could do in the end was reach out my hand to her.
The other, as I told Vestaline earlier, was to overthrow this prison, which was a symbol of persecution of the Heraldic people. I wanted to make it lose its significance.
Besides, letting this prison rot also meant building a bridge to defeat the Gharast Kingdom. Saint Matia might destroy it early, but it was my duty to maintain it until she reached that decision.
Apart from those factors, there were two other purposes.
“Was one of them that ring?” Vestaline continued my words. I nodded loudly in response.
I did not know who made it, but this ring was a magic tool with a terrible nature.
Rather than guiding people’s consciousness, it was meant to capture people’s will. It was something with magical power that could directly interfere with a person’s soul.
It was not because I realized it, but because I only heard what Filaret once said in the past.
At the very least, I remembered Filaret telling me that it wasn’t something that could be handled that easily. In the field of magic, there was no error in her words. I believed so.
If so, I couldn’t easily hand over something like that to the Great Holy Church. I was sure that things would roll in the troublesome direction if someone from the Great Holy Church ended up using this cursed ring.
Therefore, it was necessary to crush it first. Even if I had to act a little reckless. I was thinking at the same time. Since it was such an ominous ring, it was probably something I couldn’t easily handle myself.
That’s why I decided upon reaching this place. Unlike the treasure sword, this one shall be destroyed. I had decided that I would cut it in two. Well, if I couldn’t do it, I was thinking of throwing it in the river around here.
I omitted the parts of the past journey and told Vestaline about these things. She was someone who was quite intelligent, so if I told her the key points, she would understand the whole picture.
Vestaline opened her lips as she tilted the battle axe, which she had held over her shoulder.
「So, what is the final objective, Commander.」
I nodded and answered.
In the meantime, I could hear the distant sound of something approaching.
「…I wanted to grab the attention of the enemy’s eyes. People are creatures who won’t see anything other than what they have in front of them. That’s why I sent a letter to the Great Holy Church Army so that they could move as I wished them to. In other words, I wanted them to come to this place, rather than the northwest area.」
The sound I heard was rushing footsteps. It was coming from above. It was as if announcing the arrival of a storm.
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