Lachersia came back after only a minute. It seems she was hurrying quite bit.
She then opened the cell and waited for Jennifer to come out. Jennifer was afraid and cautious still but it seemed that she began to trust Lachersia more as she was sticking close to Lachersia the whole way, while her frightened eyes were scanning the interior of the dungeon. If Lachersia didn’t know any better she would think that Jennifer was planning an escape or something. Ridiculous, right?
The cell did have a toilet actually, but it was very unsophisticated and it would be unthinkable for a small child to live in these conditions. In the first place, she didn’t land in the cell for any heinous crimes. Well, what she did would technically be considered a serious case of blasphemy, lese-majesty and offence against the nobility, which in some cases would get the offender executed.
But still, summoned heroes receive blessings from the Goddess of Fate, Lachesis, herself, so imprisoning a summoned heroine was not just a case of blasphemy, it was a transgression of the highest degree in the lands of humans, elves, beastkin, dragonkin, dwarves and other races of the Great Union of Nations. Not that anybody would pay attention to it as Gods were illusive which led a lot of people to take their word lightly. But still, being blessed by the chief Goddess should mean something.
Anyway, as a summoned heroine, Jennifer deserved better treatment, or so Lachersia believed. That’s why she used her authority that even the king wouldn’t take lightly and got the key.
After they were done and she led Jennifer back, she noticed that Jennifer looked very tired. Indeed, to suddenly appear in an unfamiliar place in the presence of so many people and to then be imprisoned at that, many children Jennifer’s age would cry their eyes out. Tsk, what were those idiots even thinking?
Lachersia squatted down and men Jennifer’s shaking eyes
“You must be tired and scared too, right? Don’t worry, I will not let anything bad happen to you. Will you believe this big sister?”
Lachersia hadn’t put as much kindness, compassion and strength in her words in the last year put together as she put in those three sentences.
Seeing those innocent eyes looking at her with so much trust, Lachersia smiled. She put her palm on the head of the girl
“There, there. Jennifer is such a strong girl, right?”
“Now, you don’t have to hold back, I will definitely protect you!”
“Hick, hick, sob”
Lachersia felt a somewhat strong grip on herself. Seeing the little girl cry and cling to her so desperately, she felt so much pity that she almost cried herself. Just when did she get attached to this girl so much?
She hugged the girl back. She was so soft and warm. And so fragile. She needed to be protected at all costs. Wouldn’t it be fine if the kingdom burned if only Jennifer was safe and sound?
Unaware of how scary her thoughts were becoming, she continued to soothe Jennifer until the latter tired herself out and fell asleep.
The girl with raven hair and piercing blue eyes, Claudia has arrived in the new city. She has already made an appointment and she didn’t love to waste her time and the other party knew it, so she immediately set off to the destination.
She arrived at the huge opulent mansion in just fifteen minutes and was immediately escorted to the spacious and richly decorated, if not a little grim, room, where in the middle there stood a small dining table.
At the table sat a girl. She was beautiful, even though her skin was a bit too pale, but seeing the girl an expression of distaste appeared on Claudia’s face and she cautiously sat at the opposite side of the table.
Claudia was right to feel distaste towards her host as her host’s identity was Eliza Tarbell, the world’s greatest necromancer. It was no secret that necromancers used blood sacrifices to prolong their youth and improve their appearance. The more innocent the sacrifices were, the better the results and there was no need to question the quality of the sacrifices that the best necromancer of Earth would bring to the Dark Gods she worshipped.
Eliza was very absorbed in the book she was reading and ignored her guest until she was finished with the last few pages. After she closed the book she put her weary gaze upon the new arrival.
“So, what did you come here for”
Her tone was even and cold as if she wanted to freeze the person she was talking to death.
“Take a look at this”
With the tone as if she was dealing with something filthy, Claudia spat out and threw several photos at the table. Not minding Claudia’s attitude, Eliza grabbed the photos and looked through them with undisguised boredom.
“A tri-complex rank circle. Usage is… Transportation. The central glyph is rather confusing so I can say neither the destination nor the nature of the transported object. I can’t see any traces of residential mana’s effects on the surroundings of the circle, so I can conclude that it’s a child note of a greater array. The thing you have probably come here for is… Yes, it is not man-made, I assume that either a greater Earth God or a lesser Sky God was involved. My bet is on the former, though the latter is not out of the question…”
Visibly tired and unmotivated, she produced a pen out of thin air and marked several parts of the photo she was holding
“These lines right here indicate the God’s identity and the degree of involvement. It doesn’t seem to be a conscious effort, so we can assume that a ritual took place. This is all I can say”
Not even hiding her annoyance and irritation, Claudia threw a small silk bag towards Eliza with enough force to kill if it ever reached the recipient.
Eliza waved her hand slightly and the bag obediently floated towards the hand. She looked into it and saw several crimson-red crystals and several blue crystals in equal amount.
“Is this enough?”
“Yes. The god is of extraterrestrial origin as you might’ve guessed. Its identity, therefore, isn’t known, but I think it might be the head of its own pantheon as can be seen from this line. Its planet is probably in another realm, judging by these three incantations. The possible sectors would be the Third Blue Realm, the Sun Realm and the 20 Shards Realm. As for their respective sectors, it’s outside of my expertise. Now go away”
Claudia stood up and left. The results of the investigation weren’t great, but there were now some leads, so she wasn’t too dissatisfied. She remembered that several years ago, Eliza was a bit more welcoming but after some kind of accident she suddenly changed.
It was something along the lines of an escaped familiar or an apprentice or something. Well, the change was one from being a sadistic psychopath that was difficult and unpleasant to deal with to a gloomy sadistic psychopath that was difficult and unpleasant to deal with.
Well, Eliza’s circumstances didn’t bother Claudia too much but the way their situations were similar now was quite ironic, though Claudia has lost something much more precious to her than a mere familiar. And she would get it back by any means.
It’s a king’s duty to sacrifice himself for his country and its citizens, would be what Epipleon I, the current ruling monarch of Trelos-Agapi say about one’s responsibilities as a king.
A king is the face of a country and, therefore, his pride and honor are the pride and honor of the whole country. That’s why it must not be allowed to be tarnished in any situation.
It was for that reason that he had to send the lovable kid that was summoned as the current generation’s to the dungeon, even though he enjoyed her long tirade and some of her points on human nature and human relationships struck right in the heart of the problems.
He thought that she would make a fine advisor. Still, being disgraced by a child in front of so many nobles and members of the church required a form of retaliation. Not only that, among the people who were present during the speech, some weren’t as open-minded, humble in character or easy-going enough to take this heroine seriously. Or worse, they could take her too seriously. It would be best to shield her for the time being, indeed.
It’s a good thing that Lady Lachersia took a liking to the child too, as seen in the reports. With her protecting the heroine, everything would be alright.
Should he secretly improve her living conditions? Of course! It’s not like he was a tyrant. Besides, she was clearly intoxicated with alcohol. Yeah, he should push for a law that banned under-aged drinking.
But still, the heroine is a heroine alright. She really made a mess out of things the moment she appeared. The poor Cardinal that went to greet her was now receiving counselling from the Royal Teacher as the former’s self-esteem had hit rock bottom and he almost had a mental break-down. Yes, heroes are, indeed, a different kind of people.
No doubt, this story would spread like wildfire through the noble circles in the next few days. Sigh, being king is so difficult.
Now, how should he handle their second meeting? It’s not like they summoned her for no reason.
Being king is difficult indeed.