This incident, which involved chaos and destruction by animated corpses and followers of the Holy Temple, was summarized with that one word.
With the Magic Tower collapsed, there were talks about the incident being a conspiracy by the Magic Tower. However, it was found to be not true. Still, many of the Magic Tower’s associates were found dead.
Rebethra had gone missing. The associates of the Holy Temple, who were persuaded by the Archbishop Rebethra, were all imprisoned at the Solia Castle and branded as fanatics.
As for the animated corpses with pitch black eyes that moved around, people were told that it was an evil act carried out by the fanatics of the Solia Holy Temple.
All of the monarchs were shaken up by this incident. It was a huge incident that the newspapers on other cities had the news about the incident on the front page. What happened at the Solia’s Castle, Magic Tower and Holy Temple were described in detail, also decorating second and third pages.
‘So that’s what they are going to say.’
Riley sat at the chair as if he was lying on it. He carefully looked at the newspaper. He then casually turned his head.
‘But why is she over there?’
With a dumbfounded look, Riley looked at someone. He was looking at one of the four people who were gathered and having a friendly chat.
Of the four, she was wearing the shabbiest getup. The girl was at the center of worries by the people of Solia. She currently had a reward placed on locating her.
The things from his past life kept coming up in his thoughts, so Riley was not able to look at Priesia so fondly.
“I see. The parts I could not heal using my holy power could be cured using medical techniques… Nainiae, I am so glad you met such a superb doctor.”
“I am so glad you are safe, Ms. Priesia.”
“Still, it looks like the face or the fingers could not be fixed.”
“Ah, yes… Actually, I didn’t have much expectations on those, so it is all right. I became left handed as well.”
The three people who Priesia was having the conversation with were, starting with the one at far right, Nainiae, Ian and Nara.
“… So, the treatments are not completely finished.”
“Anyway, that lass is human, you know? If you make her strain herself already, it will be hard on her body. So, although she learned a lot of things, until it is completely finished…”
Sitting pretty far from where the four were, Riley and Andal were sitting and talking face to face. Sitting in front of Riley on the other side, Andal continued talking about Nainiae. He then suddenly tilted his head side to side.
Riley just vacantly held his head with his hand. Andal stared at Riley’s side face and furrowed his brows.
“Riley, did something happen?”
“Ah, Uh… No? Why?”
“What are you thinking so hard about? With a blank face?”
With a blank face, Riley was just staring toward the table where Nainiae and others were sitting. Riley was deep in thoughts. Having noticed this, Andal asked what it was that Riley was thinking so hard about.
Having heard the question, Riley closed his mouth.
Riley was thinking about the past life that Nainiae mentioned. Riley was also thinking about the Priestess from his past life who had convoluted bad fate intertwined with his own. Riley was also thinking about the favor that Ian asked.
“I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular. I was just thinking about what to eat for dinner.”
With the index finger of the hand he was holding his chin with, Riley tapped at his cheek. Riley gently closed his eyes so that he won’t stare at the table where Nainiae and others were sitting.
“By the way, what did you just tell me?”
Riley opened his eyes again. He asked as if he could not remember what Andal just told him. Andal, with a frustrated look on his face, scratched his head to turn it in to a mess as he said,
“I was talking about my pupil. About my pupil.”
“Ah, that’s what it was?”
It was not certain if Riley just didn’t hear it or heard it but forgotten it. Riley was asking as he tilted his head side to side. Seeing Riley’s response, Andal sighed.
“Ugh. I explained to you about Nainiae’s condition. Oh my… From what point do I need to explain again?”
“Uh… That is… I was reading the newspaper, so…”
“By any chance… From the very beginning?”
Andal looked like he was sick of it. When Andal asked, Riley scratched the back of his head and slowly avoided Andal’s gaze.
“Wow… You disgusting rascal… If you make me explain this for the third time, I’m going to do it in the dragon’s language, so listen up this time.”
Andal turned to look at Nainiae who was having a conversation with others. He repeated the explanation he gave earlier.
“It can be said that her current condition is just as unstable as before. She had a limited lifespan. With magical treatment, I merely extended her life a little.”
With his nail, Andal drew a horizontal mark on the table, and he made another horizontal mark. Having heard Andal’s explanation, Riley flinched his eyebrow.
Riley flinched because what Andal just said meant the illness that Nainiae had was something that even dragons could not fix.
“Tsk. So, why didn’t you listen to my explanations earlier? Hold on. I still have more to explain.”
Noticing Riley’s reaction, Andal clicked his tongue. Andal waved his palm around to say Riley should wait a minute. Andal continued.
“The treatment I gave her was pushing away all of the Circles she learned so far and teach her from the start again. Instead of human’s method, I used the dragon’s way.”
“Do you remember the shouting that lass did last time?”
“I’m talking about the dragon’s language.”
“There must have been a problem with her Circles. Once I swapped everything inside with new Circles, it felt like her body’s condition improved. However, the problem is here.”
Andal brought his index finger to his eye and made tapping noise.
“… The eye?”
“That’s right. Her eye.”
Andal was talking about Nainiae’s right eye. The look on Andal got convoluted. He leaned on the chair’s back support.
“Her eye is the problem. It’s the eye… Something even more convoluted and tangled up than what was spread on her body is there. It’s like a lump of tangled strings, and it is rotting there. I can’t fix it all at once at the moment.”
Riley carefully thought about what Andal said so far. Riley had a confused look. He tilted his head side to side. Andal continued.
“I wish I could swap everything at once inside her eye just like what I did to her Circles and other parts. However…”
Andal showed his left palm and scratched it roughly with his nails. He pretended to be digging on a dirt ground and shook his head to say it was not possible.
“If I recklessly attempt to clean up the lump of strings in her eye… Instead of healing her or whatever, it will probably lead to her dying more quickly.”
Andal shrugged his shoulder and added why Nainiae would die from doing that.
“It’s because she is human.”
“Because… she is human?”
“I don’t know if it is because of the experiments that humans did on her or she is just natural at magic. That lass is pretty quick at learning, so she mastered up to the dragon’s language in a flash, but… The illness that she has is far from being related to that, so…”
Riley looked confused. Having noticed this, Andal decided to make an analogy to help Riley understand more easily.
“Let’s say there is an old sword. It’s super old. It has blood and rust on it. If you wipe it off clean with cloth or water… for now, the sword will be clean, right?”
“So, you polished the sword clean. You did, but you started to notice something on the sword that you didn’t notice before. What would that be?”
Riley kept silence. He said the very first thing that came to his mind.
“… A crack?”
Andal snapped his finger and made an exhilarating noise with it. Andal continued.
“That’s her current condition. All I have done is wiping off the impurities that piled up inside her and make her mana flow like us.”
Riley thought about how Andal yelled at him and said not to make Nainiae strain herself. Riley furrowed his brows.
“So, what’s going to happen now?”
“The problem is the crack.”
There was a dish that was laying around on the table. Andal brought it closer to himself and pointed at the soup on the dish.
“This dish with the soup shatters like this.”
Andal held the dish with two hands and tore it into two pieces. The soup fell to the table and splashed.
How it happened was reminiscent of how Nainiae coughed off huge amount of blood on the corridor last time.
“Now, with the soup dropped on the table, nobody can eat it now. The dish is broken so it cannot hold the soup anymore either.”
Andal carefully put the two pieces of the dish together and said,
“Nainiae is the same. Well, it is not like she is going to die right away if anything happens to the part where the crack is. I applied some measures so it won’t happen. However…”
“Even if you put the dish back together with sticky resin, would the dish be just as strong as before?”
Having heard the question, Riley thought about several tens of thousands of swords that he had swung in all of his lifetimes.
‘If a skilled blacksmith mended a broken sword back together, could it still be just as strong as before? No. It cannot.’
“So, what we need is a stronger dish.”
“A stronger dish?”
“That thing that humans do often to armors… What is that called? Coating? It’s like that.”
Andal placed the two pieces of dish together and put his palm on top of it. He then mumbled something as his lips moved.
It seemed the mumbling was a spell. The broken dish started to change into shiny golden color as soon as his palm passed by.
When his hand completely left the dish, the dish looked nothing like earlier. Now, it was a sparkling golden dish.
“Now that I did this, the dish is stronger than before. It can even hold soup again.”
Andal used telekinesis and slowly lifted the soup he dropped to the table. He placed the soup on the dish and looked at Riley.
“From the start, I broke apart the Circles inside Nainiae and fixed them for the sake of this process. It is just that… this process is not something I should decide for her unilaterally.”
Andal locked the fingers between his hands. He slowly turned his head and looked at Nainiae who was still carrying on the conversation with the others.
“Judging from what you are saying, it looks like you have not done the dish swap yet? You had been telling me not to make her overexert herself. You didn’t even finish her treatment yet?”
Andal nodded and said in a low voice,
“For now, I thought I might need your agreement. That lass said the same thing too.”
Andal nodded and said,
“For now, you are her master.”
The tone of his voice sounded like he was not liking it, but the voice had some courtesy in it, which was not typical of Andal.
Riley was agonizing inside because of his past life. Having heard this friend’s voice, Riley showed respect in his gaze. He soon peeked a smile and asked,
“So, what do you need me to agree on?”
“She needs to give up being human.”
It was the most unexpected idea. Riley furrowed his brows and asked back.
“It’s as I just said. With a human’s body, she cannot withstand it much longer with that crack. I went through the trouble of showing you the broken dish and transformation analogy because I wanted to explain that the human body won’t do and it needs to be changed.”
Having heard the explanation, Riley vacantly turned his head.
Nainiae was talking to others while smiling. Riley just stared at her.
“It is for you to decide. That lass also said she will respect your decision.”
“Choose. Allow her to give up being human, or let her die as human.”