The Devils were a terrifying group of beings.
They harbor endless malice towards humans and also possess a terrifying power that surpasses that of a Sword Master.
Unlike monsters, they were highly intelligent and cunning, so they weren’t that easy to denounce even after being killed.
The Posthumous Curse.
An ugly, disgusting ability possessed by all the high demons and Devils which destroy the minds of countless people and gnaw at their bodies even after the death of the devil or demon that cast the curse.
That was the reason why the exploration team couldn’t get out of the dungeon.
The barrier left behind even after the clown’s death surrounded them layer by layer, constantly emitting out the disgusting magi.1
Negative emotions, incomparable to the mere doubts, anxiety, and the delusions that struck at the beginning, floated in the air all around them.
‘It is wide, thick, and awful.'
Ignet Crescentia, who swung her hand to disperse the magic trying to affect her, frowned.
No matter how badly she was injured, she was still the commander of the Black Knights of Avilius.
If the strong magi irritated even her, it was normal for the ordinary members to go crazy, since this had enough power to lead to their minds being corrupted in an instant.
However, that didn’t happen.
Lying on the makeshift bed, she gave strength to her body. It was painful enough to groan, but she endured it.
Anya, who was sitting next to her, put her hands on her waist and said.
“Captain! I told you not to overdo it!”
“Right. I’ll only do it till this extent.”
“Ugh, so stubborn!”
“Didn’t you know that already? I am stubborn by nature.”
After giving her a short reply, Ignet finally stood up.
With her widened field of vision, she looked at the scenery of the dungeon.
“What? Amira? I knew you were good, but this much?”
“No, don’t say it out loud…”
“Why? When you have so many skills, isn’t it right to brag about it? Umm, but I think the reason you don’t want to tell people is because your cross-stitching skills are better than your swordsmanship…”
“Yah! It isn’t like that! This, this is, part of mental…”
Amira Shelton, who was devoted to cross-stitching, and Gregory Griffin, who made fun of her.
“Wow! Do it again! Again!”
“No, it consumes too much physical stamina to continue…”
“Then how about I give this to you? Show me how you do that once again.”
“Hmm, but if you are this tired with just this, you should just throw away the title of the best magician in the central continent."
Lulu, the cat, who gave him an amount of gold he couldn’t refuse, and Perry Martinez, who was defeated by her actions, showing off his magic.
In addition, the others who were spread out were resisting the curse in their own way.
Whether it’s playing silly jokes, swinging swords, or doing simple hobbies, it didn’t matter.
It was about doing their best and making sure they weren’t sinking into the abyss.
Of course, that was absurd.
The direction was indeed correct, but the curse of the devil wasn’t enough to be stopped by such a thing.
It was at a level that the current exploration team wouldn’t be able to escape.
However, an existence which transformed the impossible into something possible, stood in the center of everyone, holding his sword.
‘… Airn Pareira.’
The young Sword Master who kept spreading out the golden energy.
Ignet’s expression turned serious as she looked at him.
In fact, there was nothing strange about it.
And by then, she had also realized something else. Why she threw herself at the devil.
It was because she trusted him.
It was because she had an intuition that he could be a leader for everyone in such a situation, and that he had the ability to protect everyone from the devil’s curse.
Unsurprisingly, Airn was exerting his influence in such a way that even she nodded her head.
‘The Aura. And the spread of his will…. It’s amazing. The fact that he is doing both at the same time.’
Ignet closed her eyes. And remembered Airn from the past.
He certainly wasn’t like this.
The guy she met just one and a half years ago was wandering here and there, swept away by some unknown will, without even having a proper direction.
And it was no surprise that he became a Master. She knew that he had the talent for swordsmanship, and because of that, she even tried to recruit him.
However, not only was he freed from the never-ending iron block that was in his heart, but he also had grown to cultivate a deep and profound meaning to exert his will on others that were even beyond himself… she never imagined that such a growth would unfold in such a short time.
After finishing her recollection, Ignet looked at Airn again.
It wasn’t just Airn she watched.
She suddenly looked at the cat, which sat weirdly next to Airn, and Ilya Lindsay, who was muttering something next to him.
Come to think of it, these people too caught her eye.
Was it because their ability was better than what she had expected?
It wasn’t like there was no reason.
But Ignet’s focus was on the other side.
The two humans and the cat.
Instead of separating them and their individual abilities from each other, she put the three together and tried to grasp them.
And she felt several things.
That they had strong trust in each other.
And there that there was an immense positive energy from that belief.
The complex and surprising changes which have been initiated and spread by that which cannot be grasped.
The greatest talent of this era was constantly watching them. She tried to dig in, analyze and understand all three of them.
This habit was the biggest advantage that Ignet had.
The master of Krono, the White Knights commander, and other such powerful people had quite a lot of things stolen by her.
However, it was a little different this time.
Time passed. And Ignet’s sharp eyes lost their strength little by little.
But it wasn’t because she hadn’t achieved what she wanted. It wasn’t because of the pain in her injuries.
And it was because of the past which came to her.
A time when she had a hard time living each day without a grand dream or even a sword.
A time roaming in the slums with her old friends, most of whose existence right now was unknown.
It seemed quite enjoyable to see them running somewhere together rather than alone.
… the memories of that time were enjoyable, and perhaps she was thinking about this because the three of them in front of her were smiling when this thought came to her.
The black-haired swordsman who had reached the end of her 20s stared at Airn and the others.
“Stop the captain!”
“Can I even stop her? And how long will you call her captain? She is the commander now.”
“I don’t know about all that! Captain is captain!”
Georg shook his head, looking at Anya.
Of course, he knew. The current condition of the commander was among the worst in the exploration team.
Most of it could be resolved right away with the help of a priest, but proper treatment would be needed to make sure that her body wasn’t exposed to the magi that was constantly surrounding them.
‘Because she is the commander, she is still holding on to her life, but if it was someone else, they surely wouldn’t have survived.'
Georg, who had thought that far, glanced at Ignet.
The problem was even in such a serious situation, this stubborn woman didn’t seem to rest.
She didn’t force herself to get up and swing her sword.
She would just sit upright and watch the team, especially Airn and others.
However, that too was a concerning action.
Even when the others were sleeping, trying to rest, Ignet kept trying to stay awake. So, he could understand Anya’s worries to some extent.
‘At a time like this, the commander shouldn’t interfere.’
Georg recalled the past.
It was the same with Ignet in the past.
After spending a few days as if possessed by something, she would coop up in her room. Or quietly disappear somewhere.
As a few more days passed, she would show incredible growth.
Maybe even now, it was the same.
He couldn’t even imagine what she was thinking, what she actually sees and gets inspired by, but Georg trusted Ignet.
Even if Ignet didn’t believe in herself, Georg did.
She will overcome this.
A wound that even a priest’s holy magic wouldn’t work on?
It didn’t matter. She would be able to overcome it.
She would rise up and be rewarded too, and break down the barrier restricting herself, like a miracle.
She was as fierce as the devils, which had made a mark on the history, and even a curse of such a being wouldn’t stop Ignet.
Georg Phoebe nodded and looked at her.
Seeing her staring at Airn, he smiled.
“Why are you laughing?”
“You aren’t having a dirty thought, right?”
“What are you saying? I was just thinking about the commander.”
“You mean dirty thoughts about me?”
“No, that is unacceptable even as a joke…”
“Are you saying that sex with me won’t be nice? You must have greater ambitions.”
“… you seem all recovered to me.”
Georg Phoebe said with a serious expression.
They weren't empty words. Although she looked wounded, her voice, at least, felt fine.
Perhaps because of her mood, even her face seemed better. She seemed to recover much faster than he had expected.
Just a little, but he thought her eyes were turning warmer.
Of course, he knew that Ignet wasn’t a cold person.
Due to the influence of her mercenary days, she would often throw jokes at her subordinates.
However, it was only for the sake of building a warm air.
It would always feel like there was a line, a line which he had felt was hard to cross over, despite being 10 years with her…
“Yes, pretty good.”
“Ah, I am glad then. I really am.”
Hearing those words, Georg showed a sincere smile.
Things weren’t bad.
There was no shortage of food, and Anya could make up for it with her piggy bank, with gold which she had earned again, from her hard chores.
Airn was, of course, Airn, but Amira Shelton’s cross-stitching was amazing.
In the corner of the dungeon, there were piles of colorful work.
‘A little more like this… no, not even a little? Anyway, if you persevere, the commander with recover her body, then we will be able to escape.'
A faint smile appeared on Georg’s lips.
There was a lot of trust in Ignet, even in his eyes which always seemed languid.
Again, even if the commander didn’t trust others, he trusted her.
However, from her mouth, a surprising thing came out.
“… Are you planning on leaving the escape to someone else?”
“Right. It is a bit overwhelming in my current state. I need help.”
Georg was bewildered.
Anya Marta, and the other Black Knights, who were working on their own cross-stitching, also showed similar reactions.
They had no choice but to do so. It was because the person who asked for help was someone who didn’t trust anyone.
She never trusted anyone because she believed that she was the best.
She was the kind of person who would take the lead in everything without including anyone else.
‘That Commander is…’
‘Leaving the escape to someone else?’
‘Is there anyone other than the commander who can break the barrier?’
Doubts rose in the eyes of the Black Knights.
It wasn’t just them. It was the same with the other exploration members.
If even the second most powerful paladin, Georg, couldn't, then who the hell could break past the curse of the clown?
They didn't think it was possible for any of them.
They surely were a strong force, but they didn’t think that any of these people were powerful enough to do this.
“It is fine even if they are devoid of holy power too. It isn’t something which can be taught to others carelessly in the first place anyway..”
“But it won’t be a problem as long as they do it along with me.”
Did she have the same thought too?
Ignet got up and whispered softly.
Phew, she exhaled and drew her sword.
A movement that couldn’t be done unless one was in their normal state.
But the strong felt it. That there was something special inside Ignet’s sword.
And then they remembered.
Although she was the youngest Sword Master, she had come from a humble background, and that was also the reason why she was able to receive the title of Count in Avilius.
“Even before God’s grace was with me, my sword was able to cut through the darkness.”
Ignet Crescentia swung her sword as she looked at Airn and then at Ilya.
The gaze of the two who looked at the woman who was in a firm posture wasn’t too bad. And some even smiled.
After resting for a while, she looked at the rest of the strong men at once and continued.
“My swordsmanship, let me know if you want it.”
The swordsmanship of Ignet, which embraced the source of destroying evil.
Hot flames flashed in the eyes of the swordsmen who heard the unexpected proposal.
- More about magi will be explained in the next chapter↩
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