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Thank you for the Ko-fi sarii! (2/5)
There was the patter of footsteps in the dark forest. It was the sound of Risralpho running away.
‘Right, that’s…. that’s what… … . happened that night.’
The situation gradually unfolded and took hold of Merha’s sight. Risralpho stood among the crowd like a ghost. People gathered in a circle and looked at the ground.
‘Why doesn’t anyone know? He’s over there.’
Risralpho slowly opened his mouth.
‘Do you remember? What happened here. I’ve been wandering for too long. Why did you take care of me, raised me, and then stab me? Why, I trusted you…..’
Risralpho lamented, standing like a ghost amongst the crowd.
“This bastard! Get away from me! I am the high priest of this country. Risralpho is definitely dead! If he were alive, he would be a ghost!”
“How do you know that?”
It was a low-pitched yet beautiful voice, like the voice you would hear when you were judged in hell.
Merha crawled on the floor and approached Risralpho.
“Who is that?”
“Isn’t that High Priest Merha?”
The people’s murmur grew louder.
“You must have died here. It was a fatal wound. Even if your brother ran away to distract my attention,”
Merha paused. But he couldn’t help but have secrets leaking out of his mouth.
Howling and out of his mind, Merha recounted the events of that night over and over again.
“You must be dead!”
A golden light flashed in front of him. It was then that he came to his senses. The roar of the audience grew louder.
“You murdered Risralpho?”
“Then you mean this body is real?”
“Who is that? Is he… … .”
It sounded like a scream. Merha was sweating in a cold sweat.
“No, what I just said… … .”
“That person is High Priest Merha, right?”
“At first, I thought a beggar had appeared,”
As someone commented, Merha looked down at his attire. He was in a baggy, ill fitting outfit, his hair in disarray, and with only one of his boots, the other was lost.
‘This can’t be happening. What’s going on? What happened to me?’
At that moment, Merha met Lucerne’s eyes. Him and his wife stood elegantly dressed against the backdrop of a beautiful mansion shimmering in splendid gold. A fair-haired beauty, Lucerne’s wife, Elisha, was smiling.
People in colorful costumes resembling butterflies dotted the landscape. The aroma of alcohol and the smell of sweet food. Glistening magic stone lanterns and elegant statues.
And when he came to his senses, he suddenly realized.
‘How do you know that?’
It had been Lucerne’s voice.
‘What happened to me?’
It didn’t take long for Merha to realize what he had done. Oh, he seemed crazy. Apart from seeing the visions of Risralpho… … . He couldn’t stop his mouth. Without realizing it, he confessed all the facts and condemned himself.
‘Right, when the guy lent me his horse and touched me, it stung under my fingernail.’
Merha looked at his finger. There was a bloodstain on the second finger of the right hand.
‘I can’t remember the horse owner’s face … . What did he look like?’
A face he couldn’t remember. A spirit that came and went. Merha realized. ‘You’ve been hit with a confession potion! Someone drugged me on the way here.’
Lucerne’s interrogation skills were quite famous. His ability to induce admissions was down to a science that could subdue anyone.
‘It was all a trap. It was Lucerne’s scheme!’
Where did this plot come from? Merha’s head was spinning. Lucerne slowly approached.
Lucerne spoke amicably and lifted Merha up.
“I heard rumors that you were crazy,”
he whispered loud enough for others to hear.
“I have affection for the one that raised me, so seeing you in such a state is heartbreaking. Do not worry. Because Risralpho is dead.”
Lucerne plunged his face into the pit. Beneath him was the corpse of Risralpho, with his eyes wide open.
“Look carefully and engrave it. You have to remember. The famous Prophet you looked after came back as a corpse like this. Isn’t it uncle’s job to check and identify the body?”
As Lucerne raised him up again, he was trembling. Making idiotic incomprehensble noises like “ah, ah.”
“Your body is frailer than I remember. When you raised me and I was a child, you seemed like such a giant,”
Lucerne clicked his tongue.
“Everyone, from the reaction of High Priest Merha, it seems that this is indeed Risralpho’s corpse.”
“Are you saying this isn’t a joke made up by the general?”
Inquired a nobleman who had the courage to raise the question.
“I just bought this land too, I don’t have time to build something as elaborate as this. Besides, what madman would play around with the death of a prophet?”
When he snapped back with a rebuke, the nobleman who asked the question frowned and stepped back. Elisha, who was watching the scene slowly, said graciously:
“Lucerne. The high priest is not physically or mentally sound. You shouldn’t shock him,”
She continued in an affectionate manner and asked him sweetly,
“Are you alright, High Priest?”
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