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The emperor of the Western Empire has changed four times.

The Western Empire was a strong empire when it was led by Emperor Iver, infamous for his mysophobia. But now, it just barely existed, like a cookies with several bites taken around its edges.

The factions that had been exiled the corners of the western continent did not miss the opportunity to attack the empire. The entire edge of the empire became a battlefield.

And in the middle of it, a young child with a sword suddenly appeared.

“Even a child like that on the battlefield becomes a soldier…”

Those who pitied him, died first.

The persistent child survived fiercely. Even when the pain from large cut along his back took his breath away, even as he suffered numerous wounds all over his body, he endured it all.

The longer he stayed on the battlefield, the fewer injuries he received. By the time House of Miltan’s emperor changed for the fifth time, he had grown up and directed the tip of his sword towards the middle of the empire.

The symbol of the Iver family was etched into his gloves. After appearing with black hair, he suddenly became blonde. The necklace around his neck was just a tool to hide his natural blonde hair.

It was about 10 years after the child first appeared.

His name was Nabel Iver.

 

*****

 

Poke.

A fork stabbed the middle of the apple.

The hand holding the fork was soft and slender. The owner of the fork took a bite out of the apple, avoiding the side that had turned brown.

While eating an apple, Ronee glanced down at her hand. Every time she looked at her hand, it reminded her of a certain hand that used to tightly grasped hers.

The fork, that used to be large, was now small.

“Nabel.”

She frowned slightly. A name that has not been forgotten even after 10 years had passed. The child, who is no longer there, was older now.

‘By now, he must have grown taller than me.’

Ronée wondered how he was doing. She had bought him as a slave, but he was no longer a slave. Ronée never treated him like a slave.

Nabel had left and become a free man.

‘You said you would come back.’

Poke

Her hand, which was slightly pale from the lack of sunlight, picked up the fork again.

“My Lady!”

There was only one person who would rush into her room in a hurry. Her maid, Ryne.

“Ryne? Is something wrong?”

“My Lady….”

As Ryne rushed to her side, Ronée had difficulties understanding her as she stumbled over her words. There was only thing that would cause her to be this alarmed, the only thing that had her fearful throughout the past ten years.

“We have received word from the temple.”

Ronée dropped the fork.

Clink!

Bell, her fox, jumped into her arms and sat down. As if to reassure her that it would protect her. Ronée saw Nabel in Bell.

She recalled his childhood promise to surely return but pushed the memory away.

The child who was supposed to be back soon was running late.

She had been anticipating his return, but ten years passed, and she no longer expected it. Ronée closed her eyes. This year, she would by twenty-seven years old.

 

*****

 

“Where is the heretic?”

Mages with the insignia of the gods, flocked the mansion. While Count Rieda and her stepmother treated them with great hospitality, knights swarmed Ronée’s room.

“You’ll be dragged out if the mages come here. Is there any reason to endure this?”The knights laughed at Ronée to their heart’s content.

Since the mages had officially come from the temple, they thought that no matter how many foxes there were, she would not be able to hold out. For 10 years, they had waiting for this moment.

“My Lady….” Ryne didn’t know what to do.

Ronne looked out the window. She didn’t understand why her situation was so gloomy when it was so bright and sunny outside.

Ronée stood. It would be better to walk out with dignity than to be dragged out.

‘Don’t you want to go out?’

Nabel’s voice in her memories still young. He must be an adult now.

‘What would you look like as an adult?’

Ronne glanced out her window again.

‘I want to go out too.’ It was the first time in her 27 years that she had such thoughts

‘Can I escape from here?’

The Rieda household was a household that employed many knights and mages. Her power alone was not enough.

Until now, she had not been killed because the temple had ordered her imprisonment and observation. But now the order had been issued to kill her if she violently resisted.

“If the devil resists violently, purify it.”


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Her father, Count Rieda, accepted the command from the temple with a face of disappointment. But what he said was very condescending.

“It will take a long time to raise another daughter, but since you’re young, wouldn’t it be okay?’

Countess Rieda, who was now in her late thirties, didn’t bother to conceal her joy at hearing those words.

After hearing their conversation that day, Ronée completely gave up any affection she held for the two of them. It was already thinner than a single thread.

“….”

She couldn’t run away nor escape from the situation.

Since the order was issued, they acted if they could now overwhelm Bell and kill Ronée. If they attempted to flee with all their might, the other side wouldn’t hesitate to do cruel things.

“… .”

But she still wanted to run away. It was a better option than being treated like a devil and dragged to the temple anyway.

“Aren’t you going?”

The laughing voices of the knights echoed through the room. Ronée straightened her posture.

Kyaang!

Understanding the intentions of the knights, Bell jumped out of her arms and began to glow. It was waiting for the moment to bite them if it could. The knights flinched in response.

Several of the knights who had been bitten by Bell in the neck and arm were still unable to raise their swords.

“-It won’t be long before we see that fox cub burned to death.”

The knights turned away as if they didn’t even care, but the pace of their steps was too fast. They couldn’t hide their fear.

“Let’s go.”

Ronée hugged Bell. Bell looked back at her with a face that seemed to say:

‘I’ll try to fight as much as I can.’

But Ronée knew Bell could get hurt too. Bell’s abilities seemed to be greatly influenced by her own stamina.

Overtime, she had gradually lost strength in her body due to the lack of sunlight and the absence of her appetite for the low-quality food Ryne was able to procure for her. So she didn’t have much strength to begin with.

On the days Bell faced the knights, by the time the confrontation was over, its would be limoing with a slumped body. Each time, Ronée feared that Bell might die.

Still, Bell never died and always returned to her shadow.

“… ”

But still, Ronée hugged Bell tightly. It seemed unbearable to think she would have to witness one of the few precious beings in the world dying before her own death.

“Let’s go.”

After giving up any resistance, the knights held her tight. There didn’t seem to be a lot of strength in their grip. Maybe it was because she appeared weak, or perhaps the padding inside of her clothing was acting as a buffer.

One of the knights whispered to Ronée.

“Please listen without answering, Ronée.”


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It was a very polite voice. It was a voice of respect that was rarely heard in Ronée’s life.

“The Lord has told me to deliver a message.”

Ronée eyes widen.

Lord? Who? The Count?

However, if it was the Count’s knight, there was no way he would be so polite to her. Ronée recalled the person she had been wanting to see for 10 years.

She shook her head in disbelief as the memory of dusty blonde hair invaded her mind.

“Now, you’re not alone.”

‘Nabel.’

Ronne opened her mouth slightly.

“Forgive me for my disrespect.”

The knight on her right also spoke very softly. It was a voice only she could hear. Their presence could only mean one thing.

Nabel was coming.

“Take her down to the basement!” Knight Commander Devant ordered.

The knights, who had Ronée’s arms within their grasps, dragged her along while pretending to lead her ruthlessly. Ronée did not resist either.

Bang! Bang!

Devant, the knight commander, jerked the door open and shoved Ronée from behind. Their dust covered boots left signs that her sanctuary had been violated.

The sound of the knights’ boots filled the hallway. So, no one noticed anyone approaching mansion.

Hitching!

A splendid gold-decorated carriage crossed into Count Rieda’s territory.

Out in front of the carriage, a white horse ran out carrying its owner, as if he could not stand the slow speed of the carriage.

When the hood of the blue robe fell back, dark, ebony black hair was revealed.

Hair that was originally bright gold.

 

*****

 

There were ten heretic inquisitors who came to the Rieda mansion. One of them was a mage of the sixth rank of the nine steps to the gods.

He had come as the highest rank among the mages that engage in the temple’s external affairs.

“Heretic, raise your head!”

The mage raised his hand. Ronée’s hands were tied behind her back. Mages were kneeling by her feet, checking for the presence of any magic barriers around her. The method was very simple.

Hwaah!

Ronne’s dark pink hair was limp and dripping wet from the cold water she was suddenly doused with. She was unaware at how heavily she was breathing. The water left a salty taste in her mouth.

“There are no magical barriers,” said a mage with four bracelets on his wrist.

The mage of the sixth step raised his hand.

“Then let’s begin the ritual.”

“My Lady!” Ryne screamed.Lynn screamed.

The magic circle that unfolded in front of the wizard was a magic circle of lightning. There was a flash of lightning, then the magic circle from white to blue in color.

Kyaang!

Then Bell popped out of Ronée’s shadow. The mage screamed in surprise.

“Is that the summoned beast?”

“That’s right!” Knight Commander Devant shouted.

He was holding a sword but was still tense. However, as he looked upon the new mages, it was clear that they thought that they would be able to defeat the fox this time with the arrival of powerful mages.

“Attack!”

With the enemy confirmed, the mage approached the magic circle to attack. Then the knight, who was standing beside the mage, suddenly turned his sword towards him.

“!”

“What…!?”

It was one of the knights that grabbed Ronée’s arms earlier. Because his back blocked her view, Ronée didn’t witness the decapitation of the mage’s arm when the sword was swung.

“… .!”

Surprised, Ronée’s gaze began to lower to the floor near the mage’s feet.

Suddenly, her vision was obscured by someone’s sleeve. It was the sleeve of a blue robe. The ends of the sleeves were decorated with ornate gold leaf.

The owner of the sleeve draped her in a large black robe. The sun was hidden under the hood of the robe.

Ronée’s body, which had been chilled by the cold water thrown on her earlier, was warmed.

The blue robe sleeve no longer obscured her vision, and someone hugged her tightly.

 

 

FYI For those who read the previous translated releases: Since I am not breaking up the chapters for this web novel, this chapter coincides with chapter 13-14 of those releases. Five more chapters until we begin the continuation of the novel!

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