“Seems like we have an unexpected guest! Like a deer falling into a trap, I welcome you, Miss Magadal.” Marquis Yoakam said in delight.
The Nun Princess glared at him, but her attention was still on Archbishop Moros’ hand. She was visibly shaking, anxiety written all over her face. Yoakam turned to the Archbishop and asked, “Master, how do you want to deal with this pretty lady here?”
“You better not have any perverted intentions with her. She is someone with a complicated background, someone you do not want to mess with.” Moros said sternly.
“You must be kidding, Master.” Marquis Yoakam laughed, “Women- I have loads of them. But compared to those charming and complacent women, I have always been interested in more provoking women, like prickly roses.” He added.
Moros gave him a cold stare.
“I will send you to Archbishop Wood and he will get to know everything about this matter. He will supervise you in my place for now. Please uphold your identity, princess.” Moros said to Princess Magadal.
He said with clear aggravation in his voice, “This is for your own safety. There will be no next time, Princess Magadal.”
“I don’t need pity from you despicable people,” Magadal said with a pale face, clenching her teeth and rebuked, “If you use the Holy Cathedral to intervene in any foreign political disputes, Flame King Gatel’s pride will be ruined by you people! Aouine will regard you all as sinners!”
Her eyes were smouldering with anger.
Moros was left without any expression. Those words from the Princess were as sharp as a knife, but they were nothing to him. The Holy War was just around the corner, and when its punishment arrives, the people will fall into despairing flames.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures. Princess, your opinion is just of a foolish woman’s,” he dismissed Magadal’s words harshly. He turned the tables, holding up the ring on his finger and said, “Moreover, isn’t this all you care about? You and I shall be judged by Mother Marsha without any prejudice one day, and I don’t think I’m more shameful than you are.”
It was a normal ring worn by nobles, smelted with silver, it glistened, showing the olive branches carved onto it. And in the center of the ring, a vermillion ruby the color of flaming embers.
It was the emblem of the Seifer family.
The Nun Princess froze and her face became a little paler.
Moros signalled to Marquis Yoakam and said, “Send her to Wood and if he asks, you can tell him the truth.”
“This is not important, and I don’t really want to meet Archbishop Wood. I can see that he doesn’t like me.” Marquis Yoakam answered mockingly.
Moros said nothing but he ridiculed this secretly in his heart. Magadal’s heart grew a little colder, after hearing them say that Wood had already known all this but did not say a word.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Wood or Moros, they all represented the Holy Cathedral of Fire, they all represented Kirrlutz. They will never be the ally of Aoiune…”
She was looking down and did not realize that Marquis Yoakam had come to her, smiling as he helped her up. Magadal felt disgusted, and she flung his hands aside and said, “I will do it myself.”
Something dark fell from Marquis Yoakam’s hand to the ground.
It was a ring with a coiled snake on it, indicating the destruction and end of all things.
The room fell into silence.
The atmosphere in the room turned ice cold. Magadal looked at Moros and Yoakam in disbelief. Here thoughts that were all over the place suddenly distilled into one.
<i> Run! </i>
The Nun Princess’s mind was fickle like lightning but her mind immediately became clear. She got up immediately and ran.
“Catch her!” The emotionless voice of the Archbishop came from the back. It was like an iced-cold and sharp sword had pierced her back, giving her a shock and destroying the last glimmer of hope in her.
<i> They really were working together! How could it be?! </i>
Magadal felt her heart tightening, and she knew if she was slow to take that one step, she might not be spared. After all, she had to relay this crucial information to someone else.
<i> Archbishop Wood?</i>
Magadal suddenly realized that she was a little scared. The image of her teacher, the one who made a big impact in her life began to crumble as she fell into disbelief. And then the silhouette of another person surfaced in her mind -
<i> But can I make it? </i>
The Nun Princess’ heart pounded and she could not help looking back. But at this point, time seemed to freeze right in front of her eyes. She first saw Marquis Yoakam close up, looking at her with sympathy, only then she saw the shining sword in his hands.
Magadal felt her tears falling uncontrollably, and for the first time, death had never been so fearful for her. She still wanted to live, even if it meant going back to her hometown, living a peaceful life.
The sword went straight through her back.
Magadal felt that she had been struck by lightning. She felt the tingling, sharp pain slowly spreading all over her. “I’m sorry, Gryphine……”
Darkness gradually unfolded before her eyes.
In the atrium of the Anderla Cathedral on a dark rainy night, rainwater was washing down the trees in the courtyard. But there were chattering voices between two people in the bushes.
“Hey, Jill. I was saying, wouldn’t it be too risky for us to do this here in the cathedral. Think about it, they can just kill us so easily.”
A piece of ground among the bushes suddenly swayed and then it sank in completely. It looked like a hole in a ball of mud, filled with the pouring of surrounding water and mud on the ground.
“Lower your voice, ahh-”
“Damn! I already told you that we shouldn’t come out on a rainy day, especially tonight. Now my new clothes are all wet and have mud all over. ”
“Bu, you stole that clothing.” A voice reminded kindly.
“That’s not the point. Besides, what’s the difference between buying and stealing? People pay for stolen goods in the end anyway. Anyways, let’s change the subject. The tunnel you found is unreliable, at least the designer of it never thought about the drainage system. In my opinion, he either has a brain problem or the tunnel is just a masterpiece for thieves.”
The voices stopped for a moment, “Just like us.”
“We are no amateur thieves Bu, we are professionals.”
“Oh please, Jill. We’re thieves.” The first voice said lazily.
“When we are done with this, we will be professional robbers! Hold up, someone is coming, shut up!” A small head emerged from the hole under the bushes. With this heavy rain, it would not take long before one’s hair become soaking wet.
However, this young man called Jill paid it no heed. Upon closer inspection, one will see that he has a pair of unusual emerald green eyes. Yes, he was a Fairy, the largest of his kind. If one did not pay attention to their eyes, they would have been regarded as demihumans, just less furry.
In Vaunte’s fairytales, fairies were beautiful creatures. Their distant relatives, the Elves, were the embodiment of beauty and they seemingly inherited that trait as well. They were all very delicate and beautiful, unfortunately their reputation was not so pretty.
If these homeless and lazy demihumans wander around the mainland, the tribe of the Fairies was simply just a place for thieves. Out of ten legends about them, nine would be related to theft.
Of course, many still aspire to be a legendary thief, but in reality, thieves never had a good reputation.
Jill and Bu were glorious members of the Brotherhood of Thieves. Their members were known for their stubbornness and baseless courage. With luck, Jill got a map. It was a blueprint, in fact, a blueprint of the secret underground passages in the cathedral.
It was no ordinary item.
If it was anyone else, they will either keep it hidden, burn it, or sell it off for a pretty penny in order to keep themself out of trouble. But Jill was no ordinary Fairy. He wanted to be the model for all thieves. And what heist could be grander than robbing the Cathedral itself?
Most people would think he had gone insane.
But of course, it made sense to the Fairy. To them, nothing in this world belonged to anyone, the only thing a person truly owns is their virtues. As to what those ‘virtues’ were, it would be better for them to keep it to themselves.
Jill stuck his head out cautiously, with the only glimmer of light on a rainy night. A Fairy has eyesight that is a hundred times superior to humans, which enabled them to see clearly in the dark. But the heavy rain disrupted his observation, and the footsteps on the opposite side were becoming louder. It was only after he wiggled his ear he realized the other party was coming towards him.
“Shh!” He turned and signalled for his partner to be quiet. Bu was notorious for being a blabbermouth among the Brotherhood of Thieves. There were… a couple of times their attempts failed because of him.
If it wasn’t for Bu’s blabbermouth, Jill reckons that they would have only spent half the time they did in Ampeare Seale’s Prison.
Fortunately, Bu was quite obedient this time, <i>probably because he was trying to wipe the mud off his ‘new clothing’. </i>
Jill’s eyes widened. He saw three people walking out from the darkness. One of them seemed to be carrying something on his back. The three of them came to the other side of the courtyard and opened a lid on the ground. That was another exit of the under tunnel. Jill knew because he had a good memory. Or maybe it was a basic skill of the Night Swallow.
In the rain, the man carrying the bag quickly put it down the tunnel. “This is very important. Let us put it here first. After Wood leaves, I will find a way to send it out.” Another man said.
“Will Archbishop Wood doubt it?” A low voice asked. The voice was so soft that if it wasn’t for Jill’s pointed and long ears, he wouldn’t have heard it clearly.
“Don’t worry. Magadal has been sneaking out of the cathedral these days. Once it becomes chaotic tomorrow, everyone will think that she actually went missing in the midst of the chaos.”
Three of them continued to have a few words with each other in the rain, and Jill’s heart was burning, “Dear Marsha, the thing they buried has something to do with the Archbishop!” -As one of the people from Ampere Seale, especially as a thief who knew everything about the nobles, undoubtedly knew what the name ‘Wood’ meant.
Without even listening to what the three said after, Jill went and shouted to his companion after they left, “Did you hear it, Bu? We are going to be rich!”
“Yes,” Bu said, not as excitedly. “Let’s hope we won’t get into bigger trouble this time.”
“Risks and benefits come together, my partner.”