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“See that, Master. You surprised the saintess.”
“Haha, my apologies. Lady Melody is pretending to be herself again and threatens to not meet the customer without leaving her alone. It got this way when I tried to break into the old lady’s mansion.”
I pointed at the doll with trembling hands and whispered.
“Master of the Magic Tower?”
“Of course, it’s me.”
A bright blonde gothic doll said as it twirled around in place.
‘He is eccentric……!’
I was afraid he might not be the Master of the Magic Tower, and his taste for dolls was creepy.
“Didn’t you stand me up a few days ago? Customer.”
The gleaming glass eyes of the doll locked on mine.
I began to break out in cold sweat.
“I’m really sorry. Something crucial occurred unexpectedly. The Master of Magic Tower knows that I went with him on the Rycallion march.”
“Hahaha, that’s fine. I’m not really upset.”
The haughty doll soon laughed and waved the teaspoon.
That was twice as annoying.
“No, I should thank you. You made an unprecedented contribution to the world of magic.”
The doll spoke to me through its gleaming glass eyes.
Goosebumps arose all over my body.
“As for the holy mana stone, I was just worried that it might be dangerous. Who wouldn’t be suspicious of a stone that glows green?”
“I’d heard that Rycalion’s survivors revered and treasured it as a holy stone. If they had all died as a result of the aftereffects of excessive magical power, the Mana Stone would have been reburied.”
“That’s too much! Haha, ha.”
After laughing awkwardly, Rizello stared at me again with those shiny doll eyes.
“It’s strange, customer. I don’t think it’s just a simple humble disposition. Has the desire for fame been castrated? Is that a characteristic of a saintess?”
Rizello abruptly began to view me as a research subject.
“Pardon. Looking at Her Majesty, Empress Lorelai, she can’t be said to be a characteristic of a saintess. Hmm, by the way. I already prepared the Cakulta extract.”
My eyes widened as I realized what had become the main topic.
“I’m ready to make a deal right now. What are your thoughts?”
“Let’s make a deal. Please let me have it!”
I quickly became a passionate customer and my eyes shone brightly.
Really? Can we trade this easily?
“Oh, I almost forgot. Right.”
Then the doll tilted its head.
When there was no response, anxiety set in me.
“Have the restrictions on the distribution of Kakulta essence been lifted yet?”
“I’d like to trade, but if I sell to you right now, I’ll be committing a crime. That’s scary.”
The doll shook arrogantly.
“What? Hmm. Oh, I think I’ll be courageous if the customer grants me one simple request.”
I bit my tight lip.
Yes, I was prepared for it.
Doing business with Master of Magic Tower is never as simple as handing over money.
“What exactly is it? A simple request.”
‘Let’s listen first, then negotiate.’
With bated breath, I awaited Rizello’s next words.
It wasn’t an easy request.
‘Saintess Irene’ had an unjustly high reputation in the current system.
Furthermore, Rizzelo has been trying for a long time to repay the debt, called “please” to me.
‘First, let’s reject it strongly. Then, lower the hurdle.’
It was when I was mentally going over the negotiation rules.
“Please come to the ball with me.”
“That would be difficult……What? What did you say?”
I forgot about the negotiations and was caught off guard by the completely unexpected request.
The doll smiled and said,
“I asked you to partner with me and go to the ball.”
“……Excuse me, Master of the Magic Tower.”
As I gently drew away from the doll, I said,
“I am a married.”
Don’t tell me you forgot about my wedding in the capital, which you attended.
The doll chuckled.
“Of course I know. Did it sound like a date request?”
“I never wanted to hear it that way, but it sounded that way.”
“Haha. Have you heard of ‘The Underground Ball’?”
I blinked slowly.
The Underground Ball.
There was no way I hadn’t heard about it.
There is a very debauched tradition in the capital of the Rehart Empire that many people are aware of but keep quiet about.
The Underground Ball was a covert gathering.
A place where nobles who hide their identities with masks secretly gather.
In a place where all kinds of desires collide, all sorts of illegal things, such as unwholesome love affairs, fraudulent gambling, and dark auctions, are rampant.
Why am I so knowledgeable?
‘Because that is where the first skinship occurred between the female lead and the male lead.’
There was an episode in which the two main characters infiltrated to catch a cultist hiding in an Underground Ball.
They were the main characters, armed with a sense of righteous duty and infiltrated, but because the place was such a place……
The main characters had to risk skinship in order to blend in with the people who were frantically playing around them.
‘It was a very heartwarming scene…….No. That is not the case.”
“Why do I have to go there with the Master?”
“Well, if I say it back and forth, you seems will only get frustrated, so I’ll be straightforward. Did you know that the main event of the Underground Ball is the Dark Auction?”
“……I’ve heard of it.”
“I’ve received word that a special item will be available at this dark auction.”
“A piece of paper with the true name of the incubus written on it.”
I almost choked.
‘Why is that name being mentioned?’
The story of the incubus appearing in Rycalion was a secret to outsiders.
It was because the story of such a powerful demon appearing could cause a great deal of consternation.
‘Could it be a coincidence?’
Items related to incubus were auctioned off at this time?
“Wait a minute, what can you do with paper?”
“If you know the true name of the demon, you can use it in a variety of ways. The most powerful one is summoning.”
“That’s right. Other things are time-consuming and necessitate elaborate preparations, but the most important thing is, of course, the true name. In other words, if you have that piece of paper, you can summon the great demon.”
That means……don’t tell me.
One possibility crossed my mind.
‘The incubus that appeared in Rycalion was deliberately summoned by someone…… ?’
But who in their right mind would do something so insane?
Nonetheless, the existence of the incubus perplexes me even more. Because it wasn’t in the original.
“In any case, I hope the saintess finds out if the paper is real.”
“What makes you think I’ll recognize it?”
“It’s a piece of paper with the true name of the Incubus written on it. It will be inundated with powerful magic. A saintess would recognize the order at first glance.”
In response to Rizello’s upbeat words, this trickster saintess had no choice but to lower her eyes.
But in fact, even I, who can’t see magic, had a way of telling if the paper was real.
‘That demon told me my name before he died.’
I don’t remember the details of the incubus before he died.
However, a vague memory of him pleading and clinging to me came to mind.
‘Please help me, will you? I’ll be sure to pay you back. Raspell doesn’t like to be in pain…….’
The voice that had been pleading with an alluring beauty to the point of being bizarre returned vaguely and lingered in my mind.
‘He definitely said Raspell.’
I know what the devil’s real name is.
Simultaneously, the devil’s voice begged me to sign a master-servant contract came to mind.
It was a life or death situation for that devil, so the contract would have been fulfilled if I had only responded. So I didn’t think the devil used a fictitious name.
Therefore, as Rizello said, I can confirm the authenticity of the paper.
‘If the paper with the true name is really going to be auctioned off……’
This was usually not a serious matter.
It would be a different story if the previous owner of the paper was the one who brought the incubus to the present world.
‘I’m too afraid to ignore it.’
After all, I needed a Cakulta extract anyway.
To be honest, it wasn’t a bad deal for me.
The Cakulta essence will be in my hands as long as I know the paper is legit.
And, if what was written on the paper was his true name, I’d have to inform Ian in a letter written anonymously.
That was all I needed to do.
Ian will handle the rest.
I nodded softly.
The risk was high, but it was a good deal.
“I’ll accept it. That’s the deal.”
“That’s cool. Let’s see, customer.”
The doll raised both thumbs.
“Only. When we meet at the ball, you must hand over the Cakulta extract.”
“Yes, of course. Let’s prepare it with the highest quality that you will not find anywhere else.”
The doll winked.
It was a tempting offer. If the ingredients are of the highest quality, the success rate will increase.
“I’ll trust you, that words you said.”
“I will never fail you.”
I gave the doll a firm handshake.
“Are you here, Sir?”
A lifeless voice as if it were about to break.
Ian advanced toward the source of the voice.
A woman with white hair sat half-up on a large bed.
“Do not get up. Your Eminence.”
“It’s all right. I’m going to sit like this.”
The Cardinal t looked up at Ian, her head trembling.
She looked incredibly frail for someone who once stood tall as the apex of the sword and the strongest in the church, preaching God’s will.
Ian silently looked at the Cardinal, who had now lived nearly her entire life.