The 13th of the Month of Platinum (Hakkin), as the sun is about to set behind the steep ridgelines of the Galahad mountains.
At a point on the northwest highway that runs from Spada to Avalon, several hours’ travel from the nearby Dakia village.
Considering the time and place, unless one were in a great hurry, stopping and resting for the night would be a reasonable decision.
There is a single party of adventurers here, making preparations to set up camp for the night.
There are four of them; a Mage, an Archer, a Warrior and a Swordsman. They are all male humans. A party set-up that is not unusual to see in Spada.
However, they are not ordinary adventurers. It would be more accurate to call them bandits.
Bandits have recently been kidnapping people and causing trouble in Fauren. In addition, there are also many opportunistic groups who attack merchants, travellers and even other bandits when the chance presents itself.
Though they do not kill their victims, they always plunder all available money, goods and equipment.
In short, these bandits call themselves adventurers, but in reality they are just criminals.
Because such bandits are common these days, adventurers have a negative reputation of being crude, vulgar and violent.
Adventurers whose faces are well-known in the small villages they operate around are an exception. However, adventurers who pass through populated urban areas are viewed as such.
The group of adventurers in question have cunningly established an outward reputation of being eloquent, respectable young men.
「Oi look, there’s an amazing one!」
The Archer, who has been looking around for a suitable spot to set up camp, raises his voice in excitement.
His companions do not ask what he has seen.
The question they ask instead, is –
「It’s a woman!」
Their question is asking which kind of prey he has spotted – money, or women.
「That’s great, ain’t it!」
「It’s like the gods have blessed us!」
The Mage, Swordsman and Warrior’s expressions turn into twisted smiles of delight.
「It’s more than a gods’ blessing. She’s a real beauty!」
The four of them have abducted a sizable number of women in the past; they have a sharp eye for the beauty of women.
Their hopes, desires and the area between their legs are inadvertently roused.
「How many of them are there?」
The one who collects himself to ask this question calmly is the leader of the party, the Mage.
「One, no, two of them?」
「So which is it? Is there a man with her?」
「No, there’s two of them, but one of them’s a kid. A little girl.」
「A little girl, huh...」
The Mage frowns as he thinks about what to do.
Both the Archer who spotted them and the Swordsman also have similar, complicated expressions.
But only the Warrior’s expression remains that of joy.
「The little girl is damn cute too. They’re probably sisters!」
「I see. Then even if we can’t use her, we can make money out of her.」
They have a close friend who is a slave trader; if they could sell them to him, their purses would be filled with a single transaction. It seems beyond stupid to try and be an honest adventurer when such opportunities are available.
Slaves are top-quality, luxury goods.
「Alright, let’s go then!」
The Mage straddles his horse, and the other three send him off.
The title of party leader is not just for show; his looks and way with words that seduces women are second to none. He takes pride in those.
With his companions’ expectations resting on his shoulders, he makes his way down the highway and quickly finds the silhouette of the “real beauty” that the Archer had referred to.
The direction they are travelling is opposite from the bandits’ own direction; they seem to be coming from Spada and going to Avalon, passing through Dakia Village along the way.
It seemed the woman is sensible enough to not make such a journey on foot with such a young child; the silhouettes of the two are perched on the back of a strong-looking black horse.
The size of the horse is eye-catching enough, but –
「Wow, are you serious...」
The instant the Mage sees the beautiful face of the girl masterfully handling the horse’s reins, he is captivated.
She is wearing a Mage apprentice’s black robe that is unusual even for a student from Spada.
Though she is dressed in such an unfashionable way, it does not detract from her beauty.
The sunlight is reflecting from her mesmerizing black hair, cut short and swept back by a simple white hairband.
Her skin, so pale it is almost transparent, is in stark contrast to her black hair and robe.
Her sharp chin, peach-colored lips and straight nose bridge are all perfect, as if each feature of her face was carefully made by a god.
Above all else, the blue eyes that shine beneath her black-rimmed glasses have a laid-back look, giving off a mysterious feeling.
The bandit Mage himself wears order-made, fashionable glasses to maintain an intellectual appearance, but they look absurd and foolish in comparison to hers.
Her black-rimmed glasses are unfashionable, ordinary glasses that one might see being sold in some village shop. But even those are incredibly attractive on her, as if they were made only for her.
And so, he closes the distance enough to see her face clearly.
The Mage feels his heart throbbing in a way that it had a long time ago when he was just a young boy, infatuated with an older girl who lived in his village.
If love at first sight ever existed, this is it.
But he is no longer an innocent virgin boy; he has taken plenty of women in the past.
He hardens his resolve.
「I’ll definitely make you mine.」
And so he calls out to her with his usual perfect, eloquent smile.
「Getting a catch on the first day, this is a good sign, isn’t it?」
On the night of the 13th of the Month of Platinum (Hakkin), in the Galahad mountain range, where the sun had long since set behind the mountains.
At a spot in the bushes a considerable distance away from the highway.
Even if anyone were to pass through the highway, they would never realize that there are people here.
It is far enough away that no matter how loud one was to shout, it would not be heard from the highway.
「The evil god must be giving us his blessings on our journey. Ahh, evil-god-sama, thank you very much!」
「We’re about to offer him a sacrifice, so I don’t think praising him randomly will do anything, you know?」
「Yeah, you’re right.」
There are two silhouettes having this conversation in the bushes.
One of them is the girl wearing a Mage apprentice’s black robe, a hairband tying her hair back and black rimmed glasses.
The other is a little girl with her hair in long twin-tails, wearing a Priest apprentice’s white robe.
The two robed girls have the same black hair and blue eyes; on first glance they appear to be sisters.
However, these two are not related by blood. In fact, they are not even of the same race.
「I’m going to start the fire now, so stand back please, Lily-san.」
「Don’t burn it too brightly, Fiona.」
Yes, though their appearances have changed, these two are the Fairy Lily and the Witch Fiona of the Rank 3 adventurer party,『Element Masters.』
The two of them needed human bodies and souls, and those are not easy to obtain. But somehow, as Fiona said earlier, they managed to obtain these human bodies to use as sacrifices on their first day since leaving Spada.
The Mage in glasses who had approached them with a friendly manner and his three party members could be called handsome, nice-looking men. But the evil desires hiding behind their friendly appearance had been revealed by Lily’s powerful telepathic abilities.
No doubt the bandits had thought Fiona and Lily to be helpless apprentices, and they even went out of their way to bring them to this perfect location where nobody would come to help even if they screamed.
Because of that, preparations for Lily’s human experimentation went smoothly, and Fiona has no problems providing the fire for the sacrifice.
The four of them have been restrained and tied to a tree with ropes.
Lily has thoroughly messed with all four of their heads, so both their personalities and reasoning have gone out the window. They have been reduced to pathetic beings, drooling and moaning.
Looking on them emotionlessly with her usual sleepy, golden eyes – No, currently they have turned blue – with one hand holding the forbidden book,『The Guide to the Palace of Ten Thousand Demons』, Fiona begins singing the forbidden song.
「I offer to you, the God of all evils –」
The moment her song ends, the four restrained bodies burst into flames.
Their bodies ignite instantly as if they had been drenched in oil beforehand, and the flames burn fiercely.
The fire spreads to the tree they were tied to, creating a huge torch.
And so, the four victims’ bodies and souls are thrown into an evil god’s hell, to become a source of power for Fiona.