Dalia raised her head in surprise.
She thought that it was a joke, but Hikan’s expression did not change at all even with her surprised gaze.
“What do you mean, all of a sudden?”
It’s not ‘we’, but ‘me’.
There are only five days left for the trip, so it makes sense if they need to leave sooner due to circumstances.
However, what he said means that he would leave alone and leave Dalia and Adrisha here.
“I have something to do. But if you are in danger, or if you call, I will definitely come.”
“If you’re going far, then how……?”
Hikan indifferently pulled a piece of parchment with a unique texture that had been folded a couple of times out of his inner pocket.
‘They always use parchment these days right?’
Dalia casually opened the parchment she had received without showing any expression.
There was a peculiar smell, like crushed and burned medicinal herbs. At the same time, her eyes widened.
“If you need me, tear this up. It’s synchronized with mine, so what I have will be torn together.”
“This is….. a portable warp portal.”
Dalia also learned magic as a basic liberal arts.
If you want to use high-level magic that is higher than your skill level, draw a magic circle using this magic powder to fill in the lacking parts.
She knew that this peculiar smell and the subtle color of the powder was a portable warp portal magic circle.
Hikan nodded silently. Dalia hurriedly handed over the parchment to him like a person who had touched something she shouldn’t.
“Wh, who uses this on people?”
The warp portal for humans eventually failed in the final commercialization process.
With a 1% probability, the upper and lower limbs are halved, so there is no way that anyone will move at the risk of that probability. No, even if there is, the Empire will not grant permission.
“Cut in half! Brother, you’re going to be cut in half!
Hikan’s expression changed subtly at her violent remark.
“……1% is not a very high probability.”
“Then I can use it.”
“What did you just say?”
Hikan widened his eyes.
At the expected response, Dalia heaved a sigh and touched her forehead.
“Can’t we just go together? Are you going back to the capital?”
“We can’t go together, but it’s true that I’m going back to the capital.”
Only five days left before they return to the capital. Just what on earth did the Emperor ask him to do?
Dalia received the parchment Hikan gave without a choice.
Hikan looked somewhat relaxed and gently swept her forehead with the back of his hand.
“The planned trip was for four weeks. There’s only a few days left anyway. You go to the places that you haven’t been to with Adrisha and rest for the remaining days.”
She couldn’t argue more when he said that. Dalia just nodded helplessly.
At that moment, Hikan placed both of his hands on her shoulders.
Unbelievable words came out of his mouth again.
“During the five days when I’m not here, something will happen to you.”
“Those who come to you may threaten you or try to take you away.”
Dalia’s eyes widened at the words she couldn’t understand.
Who, why, for what purpose? Why does Hikan leave this place if he knows that?
There was a little guilt in Hikan’s eyes.
“There will be people who will help you. But I’m sorry I couldn’t be by your side.”
It was completely incomprehensible. Dalia grabbed his hand again as he was about to pull away.
“Who is trying to take me?”
With all her attention focused on the new male lead, she didn’t know yet. That she made a threat towards herself right away.
Hikan’s eyes began to tremble slowly. He answered with a distorted expression.
Dalia’s eyes widened at the name she had forgotten for a very long time.
The man who escaped abroad a few years ago and the one who knew Dalia’s ability. He is now starting to move slowly.
* * *
At the same time.
Holy Empire Pope’s audience hall.
This is the most splendid space of the Cathedral Palace.
Marble sculptures modeled after the saints stood along both walls of the audience hall, wearing all kinds of holy relics.
The ceiling was in the shape of a round dome, and it was decorated with elaborate and fancy torches.
There is a red carpet at the center of the white marble floor that extends to the Pope’s chair.
Aceras sat at the highest seat.
He was wearing a clerical collar, while leaning his head against the cane that was standing on the floor.
It seemed far from the authority or dignity that a Pope should have.
But how many human beings can maintain their dignity in the face of this maddening headache?
Is it because he used too much of the power of the transcendent? It’s getting more and more annoying.
He wants to slit the throat of the annoying servant in front of him, stab everything that catches his eye, and slaughter them. Only then, this stuffy feeling would be relieved.
Last time, he put this idea into practice almost halfway. It was only after he saw the face of the servant who had become blood-stained, that he belatedly came to his senses.
At the time, it felt pleasant for a while, but it was short-lived. Rather, the brain, which had once tasted violence, sought stronger stimulation.
He looked at the servant who was kneeling before him and trembling in fear, with a smirk.
“Right, what else did our nobleman want to say?”
“……If Your Holiness the Pope extends his hands of salvation to the Eastern territory…….”
“Ah, it seems like the Duke of Winston is faltering again.”
It costs a lot for foreigners, especially commoners, to become the Pope.
The transcendent ability that Aceras possesses is the power to save humans on the brink of death. By sacrificing some of his own lifespan, he can extend the lifespan of other humans.
After leaving the Empire, he saved the sick by pretending to be holy and pure for several years. That’s how he got the titles of ‘Apostle of God’ and ‘Saint’. Until the nobles could no longer ignore his existence.
Next was the nobility. He was given citizenship and nobleman status in exchange for extending the life of a senior nobleman by one year.
There have been several similar deals, and that’s how he got here. But still, he needed more time. For the Holy Empire to be fully in his hands.
As a result of thorough calculations, the path that can consume the least life and the least power was chosen.
This is the best. However.
‘…… Damn it.’
He couldn’t overcome the rushing headache and frowned.
He knows that this headache, this great desire, is the greatest darkness cast over his future.
The moment this desire for destruction overcomes the desire for power, he will experience the path of downfall that countless transcendents have gone through.
That can’t happen. Just how hard it is for him to get to this position.
“How many of our believers left at Frederic?”
This time, he asked the people at the back. The answer came quickly.
“It’s three. They are the best one. They haven’t been caught yet.”
“All those who get caught take their own lives, so there is no fear of being caught.”
Even after hearing the news of the people who died for him, Aceras’ expression was always empty.
All his attention was focused on only one person.
“What about those three?”
“They’ve already surrounded the location of Dalia Pesteros. They will enter as soon as Hikan Pesteros is away.”
Just hearing her name seemed to calm his head a bit.
Yes. He had a way to end this eternal longing.
It was something he could not dream of because he was tired of the internal power struggle, but now was not the time to choose the means and methods.
‘I need to bring her here right now.’
This maddening headache forcefully pulled his wandering mind and ordered for her to be found again.
‘I need that power.’
The power that was clearly transmitted even in that short moment when their body touched during the fall. The power to purify the soul of the transcendent.
He needed Dalia.
She has to stay with him forever and save him over and over again.
There was a time when he wanted to go to Dalia Pesteros and see her innocent expression distorted.
‘……Hold on, was that really her?’
For a brief moment, confusion crept into Aceras’s head. Was she really the one he was trying to find and bring back?
For some reason, he felt like something went wrong.
However, Dalia was the only one who came to his mind.
It’s not just because of her ability. The girl who lied while awkwardly glancing sideways to protect him.
As he recalled that scene, a strange feeling seemed to creep up from the bottom of his heart.
It was a feeling similar to the guilt he had forgotten a long time ago.
Aceras forced himself to shake off his emotions and stood up from his seat.
‘Right, she’s a direct descendent from one of the four Ducal families of the Empire. It wouldn’t be easy to kidnap her.’
The plan had to be meticulous. He clenched his teeth.