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I didn’t realize I was muttering something.
Of course, I knew that such a creature existed in this universe. However, The so-called existence of that creature was nothing more than a ghost story, as it only appeared somewhere far beyond the border.
‘The main enemy of the original was the emperor who wanted to drive out Ian, not the beast.’
“Report in detail.”
Ian’s forehead wrinkled.
“Did you say that all the follow-up backup forces were annihilated?”
“Yes. According to eyewitnesses, a huge monster with goat-like horns and massive fur covering its entire body, as well as bat wings, was flying through the sky.”
[TL/N: Balrog (발록) is a powerful fictional monster in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.]
Ian muttered, his face cold.
Just hearing the name made me realize they are filthy strong creatures. Did this happen in the original?
I rummaged through my recollections frantically. However, nothing in the book accurately represented the period preceding the start of the original work.
“What about Rycallion’s civilians?”
“Those who survived escaped. All of the neighboring wizards gathered and formed a barrier around Rycalion’s radius, but it’s unclear how long it will hold.”
Rycallion. I felt familiar with the name of the place. Where did I hear it?
I tried to search my mind, but as if I were turning to a saved page, a recollection sprang into my head.
‘Right. It’s the name of the hometown of the original male lead.’
To be more specific, the original male lead was from a city close to Rycallion.
A grubby and scruffy orphan who only has one talent for sword and hasn’t bloomed yet. He was the male lead in 『A Saintess Doesn’t Know About Love』.
He was an Elune Cathedral Holy Knight who found him and led him to the world of light. The passage in the original was reconstructed in my imagination as if it were a transcription.
「That day, Elliot never expected it. The day he thought he would end up in an alleyway, burrowing among trash cans like a rat, would change like a lie.
Einz, the Holy Knight assigned to Rycallion, came across Elliot, who was dying on his way back to the capital, by pure coincidence.」
Einz recognizes Elliot’s talent and succeeds in opening the heart of a man who had been like a mad dog.
Finally, he persuaded the male lead to join him in the capital city, transform him into a human being, and join the Holy Knights…
This is what I read in the past episodes of the male protagonist.
By the way,
‘Did the Knights of Rycallion annihilate?’
Does that mean that Einz is also dead?
I called Lucian with a hardened face.
“Saintess. I am sorry to upset you with this news on a happy day.”
“That is not the issue. What good is a good day when such a disaster has happened? Could I see the fatalities?”
“Are you referring to the list of deaths?”
Lucian looked confused for a moment, then soon shook his head.
“I apologize, Saintess. Because the body has yet to be recovered, the list will take some time to compile.”
“Well, that’s right. I asked you for something obvious.”
“It isn’t. Is there anyone else you want to see if someone is still alive?”
“Perhaps a member of the Holy Knights…”
Lucian’s face darkened even though I only said that.
“Every single member of the Holy Knights was annihilated. There is no way of knowing if any survivors have yet to be discovered. All of the members’ mana kept at the Knights Headquarters has been confirmed to be dead.”
Lucian bowed his head, a sorrowful expression on his face. I was also speechless.
‘Really…That means he died. All of them.’
Although I do not know a single face of them, the news that so many people have died fills me with mixed emotions.
And, most importantly.
‘Einz is dead. Who will thereafter save the original male lead?’
In my mind, a basic question arose.
Einz has died. In other words, the original has been altered.
There is only one difference between the original and the world I am currently living in. My existence.
‘No way, because of me…’
I shook my head slowly. Even the farthest border monsters couldn’t have been affected by my presence in the capital, no matter how strong the butterfly effect was.
Right. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault….
My fingertips trembled even as I thought about it.
The fact that the original began to crumble even before the sentence was written shocked me.
The sound of Ian’s voice brought me back to reality.
“I apologize, but it seemed that the trip will have to be rescheduled.”
“Of course, you have to do that. Please go back to the Cathedral.”
I responded with a quick nod.
So we returned to the cathedral that we had left earlier. The entire journey back, my head was a muddled mess.
‘What the hell happened to Elliot?’
Even now, Elliot, the male protagonist of the original story, is still scraping by in back alley trash cans. He could not be saved by another good Holy Knight.
‘Without the male lead, the heroine would be unable to succeed. Then who will join forces with Ian to overthrow the emperor, and who will stop Ian, who has gone insane…..They are missing.’
Then what happens after that?
I do not know. Will Ian, who turned blackened like the demon and destroy the world?
‘This is driving me crazy.’
My head started to spin.
If the male lead does not join the Holy Knight, he will be unable to see the heroine unless he moved to the capital. The original work also does not begin. In other words, the original story’s happy ending for this world was way too simplistic.
It was something I had to avoid as someone who had been compelled to become a world traveler.
‘Somehow, I have to bring the male lead to the capital.’
It shouldn’t have gone wrong, no matter how messed up the process was.
Ian, who was sitting in the carriage opposite me and was wearing a solemn expression, returned my stare.
“What’s the matter?”
“Are you going to leave? to Rycallion.”
Ian gave me a long look before speaking.
“If I left and let my wife stay alone after the wedding day, it doesn’t matter if I am your fake husband, am I being a jerk if I did that?”
“No, it can’t be helped.”
I shook my head.
Ian was without a doubt the most powerful force in the Elune Holy Knights. As a reader of the original novel, I knew best he was the type of person who wouldn’t mind it.
“But I don’t like being alone.”
I clenched my fists and said.
“Please take me as well.”
“….What do you mean?”
“I asked you to take me with you to the war.”
No matter how much I thought about it, this was the only way.
As an avid reader of the original story, I was the only one who recognized the male lead, who lives in a filthy shanty.
I have to bring Elliot. Einz’s role will be taken over by me. That was the best thing I could do. However, my heroic resolution was shattered and flatly declined.
“Are you asking because you don’t know?”
Ian looked at me with a frown.
“That’s where the Balrog flies. How are you going to walk around there when you can’t even keep your neck straight?”
“I am not asking you to take me to Rycalion. You can drop me off at a nearby town!”
‘Why did I say drop off? Am I taking a taxi….!’
I was frustrated as soon as I said the words. Ian’s blue eyes shone cold, looking as if I talked nonsense.
‘As expected, it doesn’t work.’
“Why do you want to leave the capital in the first place? Let’s not talk about living in solitude again. I don’t have time to joke around.”
I bit my lower lip and stared at Ian. How am I going to persuade Ian?
‘Do I have to take my foresight card again?’
I was nervous about doing it again. Even at the gate, people’s reactions and Ian’s reactions were completely contradictory.
I had a gut feeling. Ian still has reservations about me.
If I continue to try to deceive him with my foresight in this position, the chances of being caught will increase.
‘Should I put up with it?’
The carriage came to a stop when I was experiencing short-term anxiety.
We had just now arrived at the cathedral.
“Let’s pretend this never happened.”
After then, Ian jumped out of the carriage. He extended his hand to me and escorted me down, but his gaze was locked on me, as though the last conversation wasn’t going to work at all.
As soon as I got off, he went to the Knights’ Headquarters to listen to reports from the knights.
There was nowhere for me to talk to him.
Dame Joan came to greet me.
“I have heard of the situation. I will take you to your room.”
I was in excruciating pain as I was led back to the room by Dame Joan.
‘Haa. What should I do?’
Instead of me picking up the male lead, how about hiring an errand boy?
That was a problem as well. Right now, the male lead didn’t even have a name yet. Elliott was only given that name as a baptismal name when he joined the Holy Knight Division.
‘If I asked someone to find a young vagrant with brown hair and green eyes, they would think I was insane.’
But Isn’t money supposed to solve all problems?
There could also be a third option. In any case, I needed to make a decision before Ian went.
I was wandering through the cathedral’s front yard at the moment, pondering intently.
My attention was drawn to a familiar voice. I whirled around, my eyes wide open.