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[t1v: this chapter is short so I’m not breaking it up]
“Then something remarkable happened when we stepped on that land. My lady was wearing a silver bracelet. The silver bracelet suddenly floated into the air and broke. The impact left a small wound on her wrist.”
“The bracelet made by Lapis and Lazri?”
Nora gave a brief explanation.
“Yes. They said the bell on it would ring in places full of tainted mana.”
Nora calmly explained the scene. Although it is a small bell, it chimed in the air so loudly that it was impossible to imagine.
Lucerne seemed to know what the bracelet was.
Demonic beasts emitted contaminated magical energy. So, there were objects that made a sound or vibrated like an alarm when they found twisted magical power. It was an object that sometimes could be made by the best of magicians, priests, and swordsmen who had reached the heights of power. They were high-level magic tools.
“That kind of bracelet reacted? Were there some crazy beasts or lively assassins around?”
Ian asked in surprise.
“I was also baffled and looked around.”
“But, there was really nothing there.”
Nora looked disconsolate.
“I didn’t even know that the madam was hurt because of that… … . I didn’t even cover her hand with my handkerchief.”
“No, wait. I am starting to get confused,”
Ian remarked. Lucerne looked thoughtful.
“Other than that, nothing happened. So the madam asked me:
‘Very bizarre. Is it possible that Lapis’ item was defective?’
‘And I replied, ‘The things Lapis and Lazri made would never malfunction.’
‘Then it’s working properly. But how can this be just a coincidence? How could something like this happen on the land that Arien is coveting? If I had been a little more experienced in this field, I would have investigated this to the end.'”
Lucerne put down his pen. Ian and Nora were startled by his expression.
“Explain the exact location of this land.”
Elisha was drinking tea slowly.
‘If I give you a hint like that, Lucerne will figure it out right away.’
He was intelligent and quick-witted. He would soon discover the secrets of that property.
She calmly drank all of her tea and after some time, went up to her hotel room.
A year before Elisha’s death, to the day, she peeped through a secret passageway into Jacob’s office. Through the faint cracks, she spied Jacob and Carola.
‘Hoo, I didn’t know we were going to get it.’
‘You did very well. Thanks to the stupid Marco couple–we were just mocking them for fun. We’d been holding it for so long; I didn’t expect a secret to be hidden there. You’re lucky. I’m glad I didn’t sell it or give up and kept investigating.’
‘Exactly. Who knew that the land that Arien wanted to gain could have such a secret? I did a good job stealing it out of their hands and getting it by any means.’
Right now, no one knew that this soil held a secret that would destroy Marco. Even Carola, who would soon take the land by cowardly means, would not know anything at this time.
Lucerne was not in the hotel room when she returned. And he didn’t come back until late. Elisha went to bed alone, tossing and turning, half anxious and half excited.
Elisha fell asleep and then opened her eyes. Lucerne was sitting next to her. She was startled.
“What are you doing awake?”
“Shouldn’t you be asking where I’ve been?”
She clamped her mouth closed and bit her lips. When a husband comes back from silently disappearing, it would have been normal for her to ask where he’s been.
Lucerne raised an unexpected question in a dark voice,
“She said you were injured.”
“Tis but a scratch. Just a flesh wound—[t1v: ;)] how can it be classified as an injury?”
He held out his hand, and she complied and showed her hand.
‘Is this important?’
He only let her go after confirming that her wounds were insignificant. Anxiety was spreading in her heart.
‘No way—did this person come here in vain?’
So, when Lucerne said the following, she was relieved:
“I will not be able to permit you to go out early in the morning.”
“Today is the only exception. Get up, Elisha,”
said Lucerne. He wrapped his cloak around her and covered her face.
“I’ll show you what you found.”
“It seems like you have obtained some merit.”
He took Elisha into the woods.
Now the weather was quite chilly. There was no light in the quiet forest.
Ian and Nora led the way with a lantern powered by a magic crystal. On the barbed wire, there was a sign: <The Land of National Mooring> There was a long warning message stating, “If you approach, you may be punished under the imperial law.”
“How did you jump over this barbed wire? You brought Nora here?”
“There was a hole in the barbed wire, so I crawled in,”
Elisha said evenly with a monotonous expression.
Stunned, Ian listened quietly for a moment but eventually couldn’t keep a straight face.
Obviously, Nora mentioned earlier. ‘The madam moved so fast that I couldn’t stop her.’
He felt dizzy just imagining the lady crawling through barbed wire at an incredible speed.
Lucerne remarked as if the predicament was absurd,
“You’re a little boy, aren’t you? Do I have to check your knees and hands every time you come back home?”
“I don’t know what you’re going to do when you’re even crawling around and playing outside.”
Elisha’s cheeks turned red. Fortunately, it was night, so it wasn’t apparent in the dark.
“I don’t always crawl around….”
she said as she took the lead. Luckily she didn’t have to crawl through the barbed wire this time.
Lucerne had already opened the barbed wire. How did he dare do this without hesitation to a location controlled by the state? Elisha also thought he was crazy.
Nothing changed from before. There was nothing on the vacant lot.
“Why are we here?”
Elisha pressed down her own nervous heart and asked calmly.
“Is there anything here?”
In fact, she was hoping more than anyone that Lucerne had found that ‘something.’
“Take a good look,”
said Lucerne. Soon a shadow appeared in the air.
“My shadow found something beneath this land. So I sprayed magic on it.”
“Why did you use magic?”
“Sometimes there are monsters in a locale where magic waves occur, but there are times when magic crystals are buried in the ground. The General uses the Shadow Beast, which has the ability to detect monsters and find manastones,”
Ian kindly explained.
The shadow split the air. Then it started to make a slight tremor.
There was the sound of something opening. A secret device that had been hidden under the dirt floor appeared. Lucerne gestured, and the shadow opened a secret iron door with a handle.
“What’s in there?”
Elisha with her eyes wide. This was something she really didn’t know.
Ian made a strange expression. He winked at Lucerne.
“Let’s show her. I think the lady would want to see it.”
Before she could finish her words, Ian beckoned. He pointed the lantern down. She suppressed her fluttering chest and lowered her body to the ground.
The next moment, Elisha gasped and covered her mouth.
Inside lay the corpse of her man, with his eyes wide open.
The body was in excellent condition. If it wasn’t for the blood flowing from the swollen eyes and the corners of the mouth……. She would have thought he was alive.
And she realized that she had seen this man’s face.
“Isn’t his face familiar?”
said Lucerne. His eyes seemed to be searching Elisha as if they suspected her and asked, ‘You really don’t know?’
“I think I’ve seen him somewhere,”
Nora muttered. At the same time, Elisha thought,
‘If you’re an imperial citizen, there’s no way you’ve never seen a portrait of this man.’
This man’s true identity…….
He was the Prophet Risralpho, who was said to have died eight years ago.
“It’s Risralpho, isn’t it? When he died, his pictures and portraits were plastered everywhere, including all the temples across the country. This man’s face is still hung in the temple I attend,”
Nora recognized Risralpho’s face and bit her lip.
“It’s a real corpse. I went down to check.”
“And I checked the tattoos.”
Lucerne answered Elisha’s question succinctly:
“When beings such as saints and prophets manifest their powers, bluish tattoos appear on their bodies. That’s the first sign. Risralpho’s tattoo is wavy; I’ve seen it once when he’s alive.”
“So, the tattoo was on the body….”
Elisha murmured. Nora added:
“Then it’s definitely Risralpho?”
“Probably. So if this is the real Risralpho, the temple has been auctioning off fragments of some other man’s bones. That means that this information could destroy everyone involved with the temple.”
Lucerne’s captivating voice mesmerized people. Ian shook his head, waking up from a daze,
“Merha and Marco.”
“So members of the Cartier family……. Wait. What? Why Marco?”
“Marco used to be a boy priest. Plus, exhibitions and auctions are held every time an adult dies. All of that is handled by a proxy, namely Marco’s trading company. Before Marco was fifteen, the company was founded in his name,”
Lucerne explained. While Nora was confused, she was also surprised.
He wasn’t the kind of person to kindly explain things. And even though she was a little dull, Nora could tell that this was for Elisha’s ears.