The Demon Saint is Missing, so I Ran Away to Another World Vol. 12
***Somewhere in the Conclave…***
During the confusion after the human ‘Special Scholar’ displayed his god-powers, Lady Srexe slipped past the terrorized crowd into the safety of the inner alleys of the Conclave. Here, she could ‘lick’ her wounds—not the physical ones that was healed by the Special Scholar—but the emotional ones, for she was dealt with another astounding defeat.
Tears were about to fall from her eyes; nevertheless, the goblin girl wanted to be ‘strong’, so she just let out her frustrations at the wall. She gave it a punch, though not powerful enough to break it, or she’ll embarrass herself once again.
“Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!” Lady Srexe muttered. “Why am I always like this? I can never win against that Usarved Princess! Not even against her lackeys! This is so unfair!”
She let out a suppressed scream as she threw another punch on the wall. Then the goblin girl finally broke into tears as she sat down on the ground, ignoring her injured hand. Lady Srexe continued to cry for a few moments, letting out all the anger in her chest.
They always compare me! They always wanted me to fail! They are always happy to see me suffer!
“Aaargh!” the goblin girl let out all her anger in that scream, and, as if it wasn’t enough, she hit her head on the ground. Her black blood trickled down from her forehead to her cheeks as she sat on her spot, fuming.
Damn all those kids! Damn all those teachers! Damn them all!
When Lady Srexe was done, however, instead of sulking in that hidden alley for long, the goblin girl got up, dusted herself, and prepared to come back to her classroom, as if nothing happened.
No matter what, Lady Srexe resolved not to show to anyone her ‘weak’ side…
“Hoh…but I did saw that!”
The goblin girl nearly jumped and ran away in shock, when she saw a hooded figure at the open end of the alley she was in. It was a futile effort to escape, anyway, for the mystery person blocked her path.
“What do you want from me?” she growled at him.
“Relax, goblin girl,” the figure answered, handing out a handkerchief to her. “Clean yourself; I’m here to help you.”
Lady Srexe wiped the goblin blood off her forehead and asked, “Help me with what?”
“You know the answer to your question. You always bust your senior examinations. You always end up defeated whenever you’re dueling with the Usarved Princess and her supporters. You always fail spectacularly, that you’re famous here in the Conclave as a laughingstock. Don’t you want to change that, even for once?”
“I wanted to, but as you say, I always fail spectacularly,” the goblin girl sighed. “Well, if you have nothing else to say to me other than stupid advice and hurl insults, then pardon me, I must go now.”
“That human, the Special Scholar—the one you fought against earlier, is the one who can turn around your fortunes.”
“And why should I believe you?” Lady Srexe countered. “That human is a lackey of the Usarved Princess. In the first place, why should he help me? Second question is, what can a human like him teach us demons? He comes from that land of barbarians, Chersea; even my lowest of servants are more civilized than them!”
“Don’t you know that he’s a former teacher of your revered hero, Cassandra David?”
“A stupid lie. And everyone believed it.”
The hooded figure chuckled, “Ah, a truly doubtful mind…a valuable trait of true and honest scholars.”
“You reek of suspiciousness!” Lady Srexe blurted out. “Who are you? And what do you know about me?”
“Well, you can call me Jules,” he said to her. “Don’t ask how I knew about your struggles. Let’s say I’ve just seen you vent your frustrations.”
“So you’re stalking me! You’re a creep!”
“Hold on with your words, goblin lady; I do not care about you demons in the first place,” the mystery person named Jules chuckled. “So, let’s be clear; I’m not here to convince you to believe my words, the decision for that is up to you.”
At that point, the goblin girl couldn’t say anything else. ‘Jules’ drove his point home.
“So, will you listen to me, or shall we call it off? Although, I’d say, this is your one-time chance to reverse your failures…”
“Please…” she begrudgingly listened, “…speak.”
A smile appeared on the hooded figure’s lips, and he said, “Listen, that human, Greg Santos, can help you pass to your seniors. In fact, he should. After all, it is his goal to get everyone in the junior levels to pass, see?”
“His ‘goal’? He’s a human, so why?”
“Hmm…let’s just say he has a deal to keep,” the mystery person revealed. “And if he can’t do it fast, he’ll end up stuck in this place forever…like your revered hero, trapped and died miserably here. That, he can’t allow…”
“So you’re telling me this, so I can use it to make my demands, huh?”
“It’s up to you how you’d treat my words. After all, I’m only here to give suggestions,” Jules laughed. “Ah, you know who you are, Srexe of the Red Goblin Clan. You’re intelligent enough to know how to use the information I gave you. Help yourself with that.”
Satisfied when he saw that the goblin girl was pondering about his words, he turned and was about to leave. However, Lady Srexe called out to him, “And what’s your catch?”
“I’m asking you, what’s the catch?” the goblin girl repeated her question. “You told me that you have no interest with us, demons. Yet, here you are, giving me ‘good’ suggestions. What’s your goal?”
“Hoh…you’re a smart one, eh?” he quipped. “Well then, of course, I wanted something from you.”
“Srexe of the Goblins, that’s your name. The only child of the Red Goblin Clan’s most prominent members, Lord Tenguri and Lady Baraquiel,” Jules narrated her background, much to her shock. “As such, you’re in the position of power to decide whether or not your armies would march to war.”
“I-Indeed…that is true, but what do you mean by ‘march to war’?”
“When the conflict erupts between the Usarveds, the Biornos and the ‘Knights’, I want you and your clan to steer off from their war.”
“That’s an easy request,” the goblin girl chuckled. “In the first place, we goblins hated the Usarveds, who think they are only the ones who can rule the demons. The Biornos, too, whose claim to fame is only because they are the lords of this place, where the Demon Saint is. And the ‘Knights’? They are also Usarveds, thus, we have no business with them.”
“I hope that really holds true, Lady Srexe,” Jules said. “For you have no idea about that human of the Usarved Princess, the Special Scholar. I suggest that while he may be of help to you, be wary of his words and actions. He can make anyone fall for his charms…and what’s even worse is that he’s not aware of it.”
“That guy? He looks stupid,” was all Lady Srexe told him. “And, I got the brains and common sense not to believe his words! But, enough of him. See, I’m still suspicious of you. However, you know how to sweet-talk me. So I guess I should thank you for that.”
The mystery person then gave her a small nod before he retreated and disappeared. Now alone, the goblin girl pondered on what just happened. But, as she couldn’t see anything bad on the suggestion of that stranger—no matter how dubious he may be, Lady Srexe began to think of ways on how to convince the Special Scholar to get her to pass her subjects.
***The city of Goblinhom, two days later…***
Amidst Cherflammen’s most prominent geographical feature, the Sea of Sand, was the city of thousands of goblins and their ‘clans’—the most basic ‘unit’ of their society. The home of the goblins—from which its portmanteau ‘Goblinhom’ was derived—was a place not only full of early factories and mills; it was a region of thriving commerce from their sale of machines and mass-produced products that catered to the needs of every city, town and village surrounding the desert.
Of course, Goblinhom’s skyline was permeated with smoke vents from the factories. However, it was also where one would find several towering castles, each was owned by the five greatest goblin ‘clans’…the best among their people.
And in one of those castles, that of the Red Goblin Clan, a carriage had just arrived and parked at the courtyard.
Contrary to what the ‘Earth’ humans think about when the word ‘goblin’ was mentioned, Cherflammen’s goblins were a civilized bunch. In fact, they could be considered more ‘civilized’ than their human counterparts in Chersea, especially in their taste for clothing and architecture. The Red Goblin Clan’s castle, for example, was enclosed by a thick wall of uniformly-cut stones and surrounded by a properly-dug moat. The clear water in the pits were filled with fishes and other aquatic creatures found only in that part of the land. Its courtyard was converted into a mini-garden planted with well-trimmed shrubbery, flora natives of Cherflammen, and dotted by a few statues of their esteemed ancestors, as well as a grand fountain in the middle. The castle keep was also currently being transformed from a ‘fortress’ aesthetic into a ‘manor’, of similar design as to the lavish ‘hunting lodges’ of monarchs back on Earth.
As for the new arrival, she was met by her clan’s servants…goblins dressed in maid and butler attires, headed by a formally-dressed chamberlain, who approached the door of the carriage as soon as it stopped.
“Welcome back, Your Excellency,” the goblin chamberlain greeted his mistress. “Your parents are waiting for you in the living room.”
“Tell them I’ll come and see them soon,” the noble, Lady Srexe of the Goblins, replied. “And get those bags off the carriage as soon as possible. I want to make the best of my break.”
“As you wish, milady,” the chamberlain bowed and went to give orders.
A scion of a line of great goblin engineers, Lady Srexe had always strived to follow the steps of her parents, as well as their ancestors…at least, in their greatness. The Red Clan rebuilt Cherflammen in the aftermath of the 11th Human-Demon War, and with their creative hands—under the guidance of the Great Hero, Cassandra David—her great-grandparents built almost all the cities that now exist in the land, including Goblinhom. So much was her clan’s influence in the aspect of engineering and architecture, that in Cherflammen, the Red Clan was synonymous with ‘buildings’.
“Ah! Is that Master Tenguri and Lady Baraquiel’s wayward daughter?”
“Quiet! She might hear you! You don’t know how bad her temper is!”
“Here she comes! Shut up, both of you!”
Not only at the Conclave, but also in this place, Lady Srexe’s notoriety was well-known. Even their clan’s servants won’t stop gossiping about her, and it’s made even worse that they don’t show respect to her presence anymore. They were only afraid of what she would do, since she was one of the Red Goblin Clan’s prominent members.
Before, Lady Srexe would have those servants punished. In fact, the mere thought of looking at her maliciously could land them in hot water. But now, as she had lost all her credibility, the goblin noble would just let it pass. No one feared her anymore. And she was used to it anyway…
“!!!” Lady Srexe’s thoughts were interrupted by a shrill voice that pierced through the air. She stopped in her tracks, and turned around, for there was her mother, running across the hall with her arms wide open.
“I miss you, my baby!” the Lady Baraquiel wrapped her daughter in a warm, affectionate embrace, as her orcish arms carried Lady Srexe as if she was made of paper. “How’s your week at the Conclave?”
“Same shit as usual, ma…” the goblin answered with an unenthusiastic voice.
“Oh, you poor child…” Lady Baraquiel gave her a head pat.
Lady Srexe asked, “Where’s dad?”
“I’m here, Srex!” her goblin father, Lord Tenguri, finally showed up. He was panting after running with Lady Baraquiel, and rested for a bit before meeting his daughter. “Are you okay? We received news that you dueled with a human in the Conclave and lost! Do you want us to have that human executed? I’ll call the Goblin Legion to action if we must!”
“No, dad, I’m fine,” the goblin girl replied. “I was the one who started the fight anyway, and that human…he’s a scary one. I think he can annihilate the Goblin Legion with one hit of his magic power.”
“Pfft! Nonsense!” her father chuckled. “The person destined to defeat the Goblin Legion is yet to be born!”
“Enough of the boasts, dad,” the daughter stared at him. “I experienced his power myself! That’s why I’m telling you, don’t piss him off!”
“Alright, alright! Anyway, they say that the human possessed the power of the Beastman Saint,” Lord Tenguri asked, “Is this true?”
Lady Srexe nodded, and added, “Not only that, dad. The Special Scholar Greg Santos also used the power of the Human Saint on me.”
“What? That human’s a ‘special scholar’? And he healed you instantly?”
“Yes. He’s assigned to teach us about the life of Lady Cassandra David, and he possess the god-powers.”
“But that’s impossible!” her parents blurted out.
“We’re all surprised too! Everyone in the Conclave, we didn’t expect that from him,” Lady Srexe quipped. “However, I saw what I saw; I stand by my words.”
“My poor baby…” Lady Baraquiel hugged her once again. “The world is getting dangerous for you; you should just stay here and play with your mama!”
“Yeah, Srex. You should listen to your mother and just remain here with us,” Lord Tenguri backed his wife. “Look, Goblinhom also has schools that can compete with the ones in the Conclave, especially in engineering. You can study here instead!”
“I can’t do that!” the goblin girl insisted, “Or I won’t defeat that Usarved girl!”
“But you know how good Lady Noir is at writing researches! She’s a natural-born historian! All the Usarveds are!” her father pointed out. “And you, you come from a line of engineers! Why should you even compete with her? You two are different, and we’re perfectly fine with that!”
“Because I wanted to be a historian, dad!” Lady Srexe declared. “And Noir is not the only one who can study our hero’s life! A goblin can do it, too!”
The Lord Tenguri’s shoulders drooped, and he was about to say something; however, his wife stopped him from doing so. Lady Baraquiel just whispered for him to listen.
“Don’t get me wrong, dad, I’ll become as great as you and mom someday,” Lady Srexe reiterated. “But not in engineering. I can’t deny my love for history! Why can’t we goblins become historians? Why are we limited to what the others expect from us? It’s unfair!”
The orc lady smiled and gave her daughter a pat on the head, “It’s okay, we understand you, Srex! Your father and I are just worried about you in the Conclave, especially when we heard that you got into a fight with a human. However, if you already decided, I guess we can’t stop you from running after what you wish…only, you should not lose focus.”
“Yes, mother,” the goblin girl smirked, “…and I got someone in mind to help me reach that…”
“Whoa!” Princess Noir nearly jumped from her seat and nearly spilled her tea when I sneezed. “That’s a loud one, Sir!”
“Can’t help it,” I said to her. “Maybe someone thought of me.”
“It’s a well-known belief in my world. We sneeze when someone thinks of us.”
“I don’t think that’s true, Sir,” Noir was serious.
“Well, I always think of you and—” the Usarved Princess’ cheeks turned beet red when she realized her mouth slipped. She quickly stopped herself from spilling more beans, and turned her gaze away from me. From a ‘chill’ atmosphere, the air between us quickly turned into an awkward one.
“Oh…” Shevaun noticed her embarrassment and nudged at me. I think we both had the same thoughts.
“You always think of me, milady?” I laughed, trying to hide the awkward feelings between us. “I did nothing wrong to you though…”
“No! That’s not it!” she turned to me again, and her face went even redder. “I-I-I-I mean, I think of y-you, not because I wanted to co-connect, or s-so-something…you’re my friend, Sir!”
“I-I understand, haha!” I could only scratch my head. Nevertheless, I sought to change the topic, so I brought out another concern of mine. “By the way, milady, I have a question.”
“That goblin girl I fought before,” I asked, “you said that she’s someone hated here.”
“Lady Srexe?” it was Shevaun. “I told you; she’s arrogant, and self-absorbed. No one became her friend for long. The last time I saw that student, she was heading down the delinquent path…that is, after she was defeated in her duels with milady.”
“Duel? So she fought with Princess Noir too?”
“You can say that, but it’s nothing serious like what you two did,” the Usarved Princess confirmed. “Srexe always loves to compete with me, she turned everything we did into ‘duels’—from answering quizzes, to simple eating contests.”
“She’s hell-bent on defeating me, that’s why,” Princess Noir turned to Shevaun, and smiled at one another, as if remembering some silly memories. “But Srexe never won. Hah! It would take Lady Cassandra David herself to defeat my genius!”
Hoh…so Alexa’s being hailed here as a genius. Back in our old class, we’re the last section, and she and her classmates were a collection of the worst among the worst.
I guess I can call that a ‘character development’.
Ah, in any case, I’d like to know more about that goblin girl. Honestly, there’s something in her that concerned me, especially when she was ridiculed by the other students. And since I’m here to help the junior students like her pass unto their seniors, it won’t hurt to know a thing or two about these children.
“Milady, if I may ask, do you have an idea of why Lady Srexe keeps on failing her senior examinations?”
Shevaun and Princess Noir exchanged puzzled looks, before the latter said, “We honestly have no idea, Sir. If I remember, Lady Srexe’s parents are kind and supportive to her, yet, she’s an underperformer in class when she reached the juniors.”
“I see…” I could only guess, but I’d like to make some more observations before coming up with a conclusion. After all, I should be worried about that goblin girl’s academic performance…if she fails the senior examinations, and my goal of getting Alexa’s ashes would be delayed.
“You called for me, milord?”
Gaius stopped tapping on his laptop when he heard the familiar voice of his servant, Seirna, echo from behind him. Turning around, he saw her, kneeling down before him as usual.
“How’s the Human Saint?” Gaius asked.
“Lady Madelaine’s mind is stable for now,” the Saint of the Flame replied. “Though if I may dare say, the presence of the ‘Seductress’ was greatly reduced after she woke up.”
“Must be that she was successful in resisting that creature’s control over her, even though that thing’s her ‘mother’. Lady Madelaine’s mind is something formidable, I’d say,” the former god quipped. “However, I will not take my chances. This is the ‘Seductress’ we’re dealing with, and she had entered the five realms through the Human Saint.”
“It is my fault, milord,” Seirna was quick to take responsibility. “I should’ve killed the Lady Madelaine when I have the chance.”
Nevertheless, Gaius folded his laptop, stood from his chair and tapped on her shoulder, “It is fine, Seirna. I know you did your best to fulfill the mandate I gave to you. It’s just that, there are ‘unseen factors’ that came in your way…” He then asked her to raise her head, and directed the Saint of the Flame to a nearby chair, opposite of him.
“Unseen factors, you say, milord? You mean, that otherworlder…”
“Well, it’s no use crying over a spilled milk. And it’s not like Kuro is useless; while he may be ‘soft’, he possesses the god-powers now.”
“But milord, this is Kuro we’re talking about. He has no spine, nor the eloquence that you have! That man is talentless!”
“Exactly. That’s why he’s useful, at least, to my plans.”
“He can’t even fight properly!”
“I’d like to disagree with you on that, Seirna…” Gaius smirked. “Don’t let your personal feelings cloud your judgment on that man. While he may be a coward, it is a given that Kuro fights back once he’s cornered. And he can bite hard. That long scar on your neck is the proof of what I’m saying.”
The mention of her old wound made Seirna unconsciously touch her neck.
The former god sighed, “Well, in any case, thank you for working hard. I’d like to give you a much better reward than my gratitude, but alas…I am but a mere mortal now.”
“For now, milord,” the Saint of the Flame reiterated. “And besides, your servant is even fine with you mentioning her name; a lavish reward for my faithfulness to your cause is unnecessary. Your unwavering trust in me is a prize in itself.”
“Yes, yes…” Gaius waved his hand. “Seirna, aside from giving me news about the events in Chersea, I also called you here because of an urgent matter.”
“What urgent matter, milord?”
The former god nodded, “It is about the Lady Madelaine. I want you to cooperate with her.”
Seirna couldn’t hide her surprised reaction from her master. Nevertheless, though there was a revolting feeling in her chest, she contented herself by saying, “I get it that I had to cooperate with the Lady Madelaine when she was possessed by the Seductress. However, now that she’s fine, what do you mean by ‘cooperate’, milord? What for? And to what extent?”
“I want you to help her restrain the ‘Knights’,” Gaius answered. “You got your men, and you know where their location is, right?”
“Hmm…I can see the doubt that you have in my instructions. Are these hard to follow?”
“Ah, n-no! You misunderstood me, milord! Never in my life did I doubt the wisdom behind your decisions. I’m just worried that if Lady Madelaine would begin to hunt for and arrest the members of the ‘Knights’ and their allies, bloodshed would ensue.”
“And, you’re afraid that you’re going to strengthen the powers of the Seductress?”
“Have no fear, my dear and faithful servant,” Gaius smiled. “While it is true that the Human Saint’s actions might cause bloodshed, I think we are left with no other options. See, if we let the ‘Knights’ go on with their poisonous beliefs, soon the humans and demons will be intoxicated by their heresy. Chersea and Cherflammen will be engulfed in conflict, much worse than having the ringleaders arrested and their supporters hunted. Between the two events, I think the choice is obvious, isn’t it, Seirna?”
“O-Of course, milord…” the Saint of the Flame squirmed in her seat. “At least, containing the ‘Knights’ is better than having an all-out war. The amount of bloodshed is considerably lesser, and we minimize empowering that vile creature from the Void.”
“It’s great that we’re understood each other, Seirna,” the former god chuckled. “Now then, since you have your guidance from me, I think it’s time for you to head back.”
“How about the otherworlder? Should I have him returned to Chersea, so that he can keep Lady Madelaine’s mind under control?”
“No, leave him in Cherflammen, and wait for my instructions regarding him,” Gaius shook his head. “He’ll get his ‘other role’ soon, but for the meantime, Kuro’s purpose is to enlighten the demons about the Conclave’s rotting system of education. I know that man; he wouldn’t sit out once he saw the injustices of Cassandra David’s famed school. He’s bound to plan and do something about it.”
“Don’t you think it will strengthen the demons, milord? Whatever the Conclave says, the demons will believe and do. And if the otherwolder gets his reforms considered by the Conclave, the demon clans might end up uniting once again, and present another powerful challenge to your beloved children of Ava.”
“Trust me, Seirna, while it may seem to be the obvious, the demons are a much complicated people than you think,” the former god then returned to his chair. “And I’m sure, whatever Kuro does in the Conclave, and the Lady Madelaine’s courses of action in Chersea, it will only lead to one inevitable result: the realization of my plans…”