109. The Fake Saint Removes her Mask
I immediately asked Claude and the king for permission to investigate the throne.
“…As I thought, there is something cleverly hidden here. I feel a strange sense of incongruity.”
While touching the throne, I concluded so.
“Then, Eliane, does it have something to do with the demon king being sealed?”
“All I can see is a somewhat awkward throne…”
Nigel and Claude said so.
Currently—Nigel, Claude, and I were circling the throne. The king and some of the knights were also present.
They were staring at us.
“Yes, but it seems to be cleverly concealed. It was probably sealed with magic.”
“I see, so it’s incomprehensible even to Eliane.”
I nodded my head.
“The demons probably set this up. If other people were to poke their noses here, it would be a hindrance. Therefore, it is possible they conceal it using that method.”
I wouldn’t be able to comprehend without looking into it.
No wonder no one had noticed it until now.
“But, if it’s impossible even for Eliane, then no one else can.”
Claude dropped his shoulders.
“It is as His Highness Claude said—at present, there is no one in this kingdom who excels at magic more than Eliane—no, I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world.”
“If I were to study it, I might figure something out. However, as we already know, we do not have much time. At the very least, we need to understand the true nature behind this incongruity. That way, we may discover something.”
Everyone had a headache.
However, I had finally found a clue.
I didn’t want to give up and go back to the drawing board.
“Except, we do not have time to worry. I shall look into it a bit more. As for His Highness Claude and His Majesty the King, please call a court wizard.”
It was when I tried to continue my words.
A haughty female voice echoed in the throne room.
Everyone’s attention gathered on her at once.
Claude rushed and approached to the woman—Leticia.
“Leticia, are you alright? Your complexion seems to have improved a lot…”
“Eliane, let me do it.”
Leticia ignored Claude’s words and requested that of me.
When I nodded, Leticia approached the throne, and put her hand on it.
“…As I thought, it isn’t magic, but a curse. It is one the blocks entry.”
“Is the entrance blocked?”
“Yes, in my view, that curse is the key. If you can lift it, the path down should open.”
Leticia spoke in a straightforward manner.
I see… so it is a curse?
I wasn’t an expert on curses. By all means, my knowledge was inferior to a sorcerer’s.
However, as we learned from Alberto’s case, Leticia was a sorcerer. Not to mention, a fairly excellent one.
Hence why, it was possible for her to detect the curse set on the throne.
“Leticia… what’s with your manner of speaking?”
Claude anxiously asked from behind.
Certainly… Leticia used to speak sweetly, to the point I might give me diabetes.
But… it seemed that she had dropped all that.
“It’s impossible for me to break this curse.”
Leticia ignored Claude’s question and continued.
“At first, I thought the demons placed it after successfully invading this kingdom—but, such isn’t the case. The likes of them can’t cast a curse that will persist even if they die.”
“I’m sure it’s from an even greater being. I think they set this up so humans wouldn’t discover where the demon king was sealed…”
…An even greater being.
Someone whom was even greater than an archdemon—which meant, either the original saint, or the demon king?
Still, I didn’t think the Original Saint can use curses. Therefore, the demon king was more likely.
My assumption started to transform into conviction.
“Anyway, the curse is pretty solid. I can’t lift it, but if it’s you, Eliane…”
Now that I knew it was a curse, everything was settled.
I closed my eyes and concentrated. In an instant, the curse was lifted.
“Okay, with this, the curse has been ended. Oh? The color of the floor has changed unnaturally… could it be…”
I tried placing my hand on the floor and sending magical power.
I couldn’t believe what happened next.
The floor glowed, and when the light diminished, a staircase leading downward appeared.
“We seem to be on the right track.”
When I peered inside, all I saw was darkness. It was as if the stairs descended endlessly.
Furthermore, from inside, I could feel magical power and resentment that I had never felt before.
My legs froze.
…There was no doubt. Something was down there.
“Thank you, Leticia. If you had not told me, I would not have noticed the curse.”
Leticia averted her gaze.
“What are you talking about…? Leticia, how could you have noticed something that not even Eliane could? Also, about the curse…”
“It’s quite simple if you think about it—because I’m a sorcerer; one who can cast curses.”
Leticia simply blurted everything.
Claude had an odd expression.
It seemed that he still failed to understand anything.
“Fufufu, what’s the matter? Are you mad that I hid such a fact from you?”
“I don’t care anymore. Also… the answer to that is obvious.”
Even Leticia’s bearing had changed.
Previously, she acted childish… but, as of the present, she looked like a determined adult.
“I like the current you better. I wish you had told me the truth since the beginning.”
“Is that so? I wonder what’s going on in your mind. Well, whatever’s easier for me.”
Leticia said bitterly.
“Well, it seems like the two of you still have a lot to say to each other. However, now is not the time. Let us go descend down this immediately.”
“Eliane, I’ll go, too.”
I nodded when I saw Nigel take a step forward.
“…Honestly, I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s definitely important. If you like, maybe you should take some of the kingdoms proud knights?”
The king suggested that.
“No, it is fine. I am happy with your consideration, but there is no saying what will happen inside.”
I politely refused.
Although I said that, I thought that they’d just be a hindrance.
As it was, it’d be difficult for Nigel and I to protect everyone. The inside seemed to be narrow which restricted movement.
“Then, Nigel, let us go—”
When I tried to descend, Leticia put her hand on her chest and said bluntly;
“I’m going with you. Don’t worry, I won’t hinder you.”
***T/N: In the back of my mind, there is a chilling clarity that Leticia will either: A.) Sacrifice herself to absolve her sins, B.) Die protecting Eliane.
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