Riley put his face right in front of Rebethra’s and exuded a deadly aura. It seemed that Rebethra was overwhelmed by it. Rebethra’s eyes became blurry. He also started to open and close his mouth like a bass.
“The great one… the great one is…”
“The great one?”
Riley noticed something was odd about the way he was talking. Riley narrowed his eyes and asked,
“You keep saying the great one? Looks like she is not a human being?”
“The great one, the great one is…”
Rebethra kept on repeating the same thing. Riley shook Salvation in his right hand and asked again.
“The great one is…”
“Helena, that lass…Is she still human?”
Riley asked if the Priestess who had made him hold the Holy Sword in his past life was still human. Rebethra’s eyes started to roll to the back.
“The….. g…. great… one…. The….”
Riley was not sure if Rebethra had lost it because of his deadly aura. Puzzled, Riley pulled his chin and muttered inside.
‘What is this? I didn’t send that much deadly aura?’
Riley wondered if he should slap Rebethra to make him get a grip. He was slowly lifting his left hand. However, at that moment, Rebethra’s face started to melt down like how it had earlier when he had tried to self-destruct.
There was no precursor movement, but suddenly, his face was getting mashed up like clay. Riley turned to look at Nainiae.
“Young Master. This is… Don’t you think it is similar to something you have seen in the past?”
“Something from the past…?”
Nainiae looked at Rebethra and mentioned that it might be similar to something from the past. Riley stared at Rebethra’s melting face of and thought of his past.
‘Now that I think about it…’
In his past, when one of the followers of Helena had run his mouth carelessly, his face had melted down like this. Riley had seen it happen. Riley raised the intensity of the white flame on the Salvation and turned to look at where Priesia was.
“No, Young Master. This cannot be healed with the Salvation or Ms. Priesia’s power.”
Rebethra’s face, neck and entire body were melting down. Nainiae said this could not be stopped. She used Blink, a short-range teleportation magic and closed in instantly.
“If my calculation is correct, he will melt away completely and disappear in a few seconds. In that case, before that…”
Nainiae stood next to Riley. She paused for a moment and placed her hand above Rebethra’s melting head.
“… I’ll recover his memories.”
Nainiae said she will extract his memories before his body melts away, before the soul in his body disappears. With her hand above Rebethra’s head, she closed his eyes gently and said,
“Young Master, the time magic…”
Riley realized what she was asking for. He placed his hand on Rebethra like Nainiae and used time magic.
Rebethra’s body was melting down rapidly. However, the melting slowed down significantly thanks to his time magic.
‘You have about 30 seconds.’
It seemed Riley had an extraordinary amount of mana. It looked as if Rebethra’s body’s melting process came to an almost complete halt. Iril was watching this from the outside of the isolation barrier. She brought her hand toward her mouth to cover it and thought,
‘A… As I thought… He is a dragon!’
Iril thought that Riley was also a dragon. She looked like she was asking what they should do when she pulled Inaril’s sleeves.
“Um? What is it?”
“Grandmother. Do you know those two?”
“I could say I know or not know them.”
“Are those two… dragons?”
Iril whispered and asked. Ian and Priesia were listening to their conversation from the side. Dumfounded, they looked at Iril.
“Young Master and Nainiae?”
Ian and Priesia looked at each other and tilted their heads to the sides. They muttered. For a moment, they put looks on their faces as if they thought it was a possibility. However, they soon peeked smiles and shook their heads.
“No, they are not dragons.”
Ian, who had been with Riley since his birth, responded.
“I can guarantee it.”
Priesia, who was with Nainiae when Nainiae had been under the care of the Holy Temple briefly, also responded.
“You can guarantee it? What do you mean…”
Iril had puzzled look on her face, questioning how that was possible. Instead of Iril, Ryan asked the two.
“You two seem to know those two very well?”
“I am not sure…I don’t think I can claim to know them very well.”
“I can just say that they are not dragons.”
Ian and Priesia strongly claimed that Riley was a human. Unable to accept this, Ryan asked again.
“He is the rascal who sat around and did nothing except take naps. Let alone ever wielding a sword, I have never once seen him do mana training. Yet…How could he do all this?”
Having heard Ryan’s question, Ian looked at his face and said to prove that Riley was a human.
“I have watched Young Master Riley since the time he in Lady Iris’s womb. Young Master Ryan, if you think Young Master Riley is a dragon, then that means Lady Iris must be also a dragon.”
“If Lady Iris is really a dragon, then did we really need to worry about her illness, which would have been trivial to a dragon?”
“She coughed blood after eating the soup that was poisoned by Madam Oruli.”
Ian narrowed his eyes.
“Are you going to say that there are things we don’t know about that as well? As for how Count Stein met Lady Iris… You know about that very well yourself, don’t you?”
Ryan avoided Ian’s gaze. It seemed he was not interested in questioning Ian anymore. Meanwhile, Iril was still not satisfied. Priesia looked at Iril and said,
“I can understand to some extent why you think that Nainiae may be a dragon. I wondered about that myself at first. However…She is not a dragon. She is a human.”
Priesia remembered when she visited Andal at his cave the last time. Andal the dragon had called Nainiae his pupil. However, she buried this detail and instead, took a roundabout approach.
“Around spring, I spent a few days with Nainiae. Back then, I confirmed that she is a human being.”
“That is… back then….”
Having heard the question, Priesia turned her eyes to golden color and said,
“It is because I confirmed it with these eyes.”
Iril vacantly stared at Priesia’s eye color changing to gold. It seemed that Iril had remembered something very important. Staring at Priesia’s face, Iril looked shocked.
“By any chance… You…”
Until just a moment ago, things were so chaotic that Iril was not able to check out Priesia’s face very well. However, now that she observed Priesia’s face in detail, the face was… almost identical to the face she saw on the board recently at the village.
“Are you the Priestess of Solia?”
Because she had disappeared, there was a reward for finding her. Looking at her face, Iril pointed at Priesia with shaking finger. Priesia nodded and said that was the case.
“So, I can guarantee it. I can put my title as the Priestess on the line to say this. Nainiae is not a dragon. She is a human being. As for Young Master Riley…I am not sure.”
Priesia glanced at Ian as she said that. However, it seemed Ian didn’t really mind it. With a serious look on his face, he just crossed his arms and watched Riley and Nainiae.
“… I’m sorry, Young Master.”
The clothes that Rebethra was wearing only a moment ago were now on the ground. Looking at the clothes, Nainiae apologized to Riley.
“No. It’s fine. This is not your fault.”
Riley shook his head as he also looked at the ground. The owner of the clothes seemed to have wondered off somewhere. There were just clothes on the ground.
“It is that lass who did it, right?”
Although she was not able to extract all of the bastard’s memory, it seemed Nainiae was able to find out some things. Having heard Riley’s question, Nainiae nodded. She compared the memories from Riley’s past and the memories from Rebethra and said,
“Yes, definitely… It was the method used by that woman, Helena.”
As soon as Rebethra was about to say something, he started to drool from his mouth. Thinking about how it all had happened, he compared it to how the followers of the Priestess from his past life melted away. Riley clicked his tongue.
“The self-destruct earlier was done by Rebethra himself. However, this one was done by Helena… or someone who is helping her. So…”
“So, we could not stop the bastard from melting away, even with the Salvation or Priesia’s healing, because I didn’t pierce the one responsible for the ability.”
Riley was going to ask what Nainiae had gained from Rebethra’s memories. However, he felt a gaze from behind, so he slowly turned around.
‘Ah, there was Ian. I totally forgot.”
Riley then saw Priesia who was standing next to Ian, Iril with vacant look on her face as if she just got up from asleep, Inaril who was wearing the blinds, and…
He found Ryan.
Riley had his eyes meet with the big brother who had been chased out of the mansion. Riley’s head became vacant for a moment.
* * *
“Big Brother, why are you here?”
“I would like you ask you that instead.”
The situation was wrapped up for the most part. Sharing tea at Inaril’s house, they talked about what had happened so far. Of the people gathered here, the people who were feeling the most awkward were Riley and Ryan.
“I thought you would be at the Moregard Family Household?”
“Ian asked me the same question earlier. As for the answer, you can just hear it from Ian.”
Ian was standing near the kitchen and glancing around. Ryan glanced at him and said to Riley,
“I have a mountain of questions. I think staying awake through the night won’t be enough to talk about them all, but…”
Ryan paused for a moment. He then started to glare at Riley with a piercing gaze.
“… I’ll ask you just one thing.”
With eyes that had many emotions mixed in, Ryan looked at his younger brother and asked,
“Are you really…Riley who I know?”
Ryan chose the one question out of the countless questions he wanted to ask. With just one kind of emotion, he stared at Riley.
Although Ryan was a big brother who was born from a different mother, still, he was the big brother who Riley had grown up with under the same roof. Riley just stared at Ryan with a steady gaze and said in quiet voice,
Just in case there was not enough explanation, Riley added,
“In the past, present and the future, I am Riley Fin Iphalleta. I’m the youngest son of the Iphalleta Family. I have never lived the life of another person.”
Riley said with a serious look on his face and Ryan watched him while leaning on a wall. He stopped leaning and turned.
“… In that case, that’s enough.”
Ryan was about to leave Inaril’s home. Riley was about to ask something like he did earlier. However, he kept it inside and closed his mouth.
“Did that bastard die?”
“Yes, practically speaking.”
The rest of the group was having their conversations elsewhere. Riley looked at them and walked toward them as he tuned into their conversation.
“Grandmother, I didn’t know that you were fighting such people.”
“Someday, before I become unable to speak, I was going to tell you. I didn’t know that the day would be today.”
Nainiae and Ian seemed to have decided to focus on their roles as servants. They were in the kitchen, preparing tea and fruits.
Inaril, Iril and Priesia sat around the table so that they all could face each other. They were talking about what they had experienced just now.
“Ah, Young Master.”
Nainiae welcomed him.
“Have you finished…the conversation?”
There was must left unsaid. However, Riley thought they would have the time later to talk about them slowly. He nodded and Nainiae lifted a tray which contained tea cups. She said,
“Well then… I guess it is Mr. Ian’s turn.”
“W… What are you talking about?”
Having heard her voice, Ian flinched his shoulder and started to glance at Riley.
Ian looked at his chest where a hole had been created earlier. With a refreshed look on his face, Riley asked,
“Have you told your teacher about your feelings?”
Having heard Riley’s question, Ian flinched his shoulder again. He brushed and started to act like he was busy with something else.
“I don’t know what you are talking about?”
“You had been singing about it, yet…”
“Sing? Who sang about what?”
Covering her mouth with her fist, Nainiae laughed lightly. However, she suddenly turned her head toward the door.
Since the Rebethra incident, Riley also had widened his senses, just in case. He also felt someone quickly approaching Inaril’s house and looked toward the door.
Someone was coming toward Inaril’s home.