“……Then can I ask you a question?”
Lillian asked back with an anxious look. Enrique nodded willingly. Then Lillian, who had been dithering, carefully opened her mouth.
“Have you ever fought a beast?”
“A beast? Do you mean a real battle against monsters?”
Enrique looked a little surprised at the unexpected question. Seeing this, Lillian thought she was asking a useless question.
Enrique Evans was the elite of the nobility who was guaranteed advancement. Then why would he be sent to a scene where monsters came out? It would be like a director of a chaebol company running errands for copies that only new employees would do.
Surprisingly, however, her director seemed to have made some copies before. Enrique, who was pondering something, opened his mouth and replied.
“You know, it’s been years. While patrolling near the coast, I ran into a group and fought them.”
“At the beach……. What kind of monster was it?”
Enrique’s thoughtful eyes deepened. He seemed to recall the fierce battles of the past. Seeing this, Lillian felt an unexpected sense of homogeneity.
Anyone who hasn’t fought monsters in person wouldn’t know the threats and fears of beings other than humans. Armed with large, sharp teeth, and frightening claws, they were too strong. On the other hand, humans were naked and helpless, having to risk their life with only a sword in hand.
“I heard Lizard Man is very strong, that’s amazing.”
Lillian actually didn’t even know what kind of monster Lizard Man was. So she picked out the most generic words possible. Fortunately, Lillian didn’t seem to have said anything wrong. Enrique, nodded and replied,
“Yes, it’s a monster that usually eats fish. But sometimes they eat human young children, or take virgins as wives. So considering the security of the village, we had to kill them.”
But contrary to his words, Enrique’s expression darkened. He sounded as if he were trying to rationalize his action. The fact that he killed a group of monsters seemed to bother him. He was such a sweet and straight-forward person.
Lillian somehow seemed able to understand Enrique’s mind. She also slayed monsters in the visions made by Saléos, but if it were real, she would be distraught. Even if she was defending herself, it was not easy to cut off a life with one’s own hands.
“You did well. Because of you I am sure the townspeople were very relieved.”
Saddened, Lillian casually reached out and comforted the back of Enrique’s hand. Enrique was startled by the unexpected contact. As soon as their eyes met, Enrique’s white cheeks turned red.
“What a strange person you are.”
Enrique muttered as he turned his head. It was hard to put into words, but the moment their eyes met felt somehow special. It felt like Lillian really looked at him and understood him. Feeling vulnerable, he was shy even though he was also comforted.
The two were silent for a moment. There was a strangely bitter and sweet air flowing between them. Enrique heistated, his fresh face dyed red. He was uncomfortable in this type of atmosphere, it was unfamiliar and awkward and he didn’t know what to do. So he changed the subject with a cough.
“Anyway, Lizard Man’s skin is full of water. So they are very flame resistant. It’s good for gloves or outerwear. I also made some out of their leather back then.”
After speaking, Enrique wanted to bite his tongue. What? Gloves made of monster skin? How could he say that in this atmosphere?
Enrique bowed his head in self-loathing and ridicle for the first time in a long time.
Suddenly something grabbed his shoulders and his vision was filled with Lillian’s face. She exclaimed, her charming green eyes, shining like stars,
“Those gloves, can you show me?”
* * *
declared Saleos, raising an eyebrow. Lillian pouted and protested,
“Is that the pressing problem now? It’s much better to be ugly than to be burned to death!”
“I would rather burn to death than wear those gloves.”
…..Let’s not argue.
Lillian trembled and turned away from Saleos.
Her hands donned the gloves Enrique lent her. When Lillian showed great interest in these gloves, he gladly lent them to her, believing her lie that, ‘I wanted to refer to the design.’
To be honest, these gloves made of monster leather were not pretty. It was a mottled ochre color with unknown stripes. If Lillian had to describe it, it felt like the skin of a moldy crocodile’s living in the Amazon. Enrique, who believed Lillian words that it was pretty, must have been a naive angel.
Instead of being concerned that it was ugly, she was enamored that these gloves were resistant to flames. So in two days time what she faced the Salamander’s flame in the Billion’s arena she would be protected. Lillian’s expression darkened when she recalled the match coming up.
‘Can I really make it out alive?’
She hadn’t even won against the water basilisk yet. How could she beat Salamander, who was stronger than them? Of course, Saleos said he wouldn’t let her die, but she didn’t have much faith. He was a demon after all.
‘It’s probably a lie. Wouldn’t it be easier to eat my soul after I’m dead? Maybe that’s why he forced me to go to the arena.…!’
You can read more chapters here.