Chapter 3:

CHAPTER 2: LIFE INSIDE THE CONCLAVE

The Demon Saint is Missing, so I Ran Away to Another World Vol. 12


***The Red Goblin Clan’s Castle, in the city of Goblinhom…***Bookmark here

Several loud explosions could be heard coming from the courtyard of the Red Goblin Clan’s castle. If one was not familiar in the area, they would immediately think that a battle was in progress around those parts, for it was the sounds of multiple black powder shots. However, as for the people who frequented the place, they do not need to be alarmed; for it was only the patriarch of the Red Goblin Clan, the Lord Tenguri, testing out his latest design in gunpowder weaponry.Bookmark here

“Alright, the matchlocks have been set in place,” the master engineer called out to his wife, who was the one operating the experimental weapon. “Are you ready, my darling?”Bookmark here

Lady Baraquiel just gave him a nod, for she could barely hear his voice through the ear muffs on her ears. The orc noble lady planted her feet firmly on the ground, took aim with her arms, and pulled the trigger.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

There was an irregular succession of explosions, and shots went flying out from the multiple barrels that were put together by the Lord Tenguri. It shredded the target, placed about 100 yards away from where Lady Baraquiel stood.Bookmark here

“Whew!” the orc lady put down her weapon. “That was a real blast!”Bookmark here

Despite that, the Lord Tenguri was visibly displeased, looking through his notes as if there’s a mistake in his design. “No, it won’t do,” he quipped. “The firing time is too slow and not synchronized. In a real battle, it can cause accidents to its wielder and the ones around him.”Bookmark here

Lady Baraquiel went beside him to help her husband review his notes, “Hmm…and if I must say, only my people, the orcs, can use it effectively. It’s too heavy, and the recoil is too strong for a goblin soldier.”Bookmark here

The Lord Tenguri was silent. Deep in his mind, he was thinking of how the designers of that weapon the Usarveds gave him before was made. They claimed that the ‘Knights’ wielded it, and in battle, those crack horns shot bullets in rapid succession, without reloading until the last round was fired from its canister.Bookmark here

He sought to reverse-engineer and imitate it. However, his attempts to replicate its mechanism failed. So he tried a new, but similar, design…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

And what he built was a ‘crack horn’ with multiple barrels. While he did manage to make it fire rapidly, the ‘demon powder’ generated too much smoke, and accumulated residues when burned, thus blocking the exit of the weapon. Not to mention, the reload time became even slower than a single-barreled ‘crack horn’. The combination of cleaning the blockage and manual reloading made his design impractical.Bookmark here

There were also the issues of weight, and recoil, which was too cumbersome for a one-person operation.Bookmark here

“Darling,” it was Lady Baraquiel, “I guess you should stop for a while, and take a rest. Your weapon designs won’t go away, so there’s no need to rush, see? How about we get something to eat in the kitchen? I’m sure the chef has already cooked some food for us.”Bookmark here

Hmm…you’re right,” the goblin engineer nodded. “I’ll just get back to this after eating. By the way, won’t Srexe join us?”Bookmark here

Ah…our daughter shut herself in her room,” the orc lady chuckled. “She told the servants never to bother her until she calls for them.”Bookmark here

“What’s she’s doing in there? Will she be alright?”Bookmark here

“You worry too much; Srexe is at the age where she would like to connect with someone.”Bookmark here

“You’re right; that kid’s a beauty, only if she would watch her tongue.”Bookmark here

The Lady Baraquiel laughed and took hold of her husband’s hand, “Hoh…I’m sure she’ll be alright, milord. After all, that girl is going through her phase.”Bookmark here

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Meanwhile, Lady Srexe had buried herself in books she had ordered brought inside her room. With her was one of her servants, who was also sifting and looking through the article she needed about the matter the goblin girl had in her mind.Bookmark here

She has to convince the Special Scholar to help her pass, as the man named ‘Jules’ told her.Bookmark here

“Rigel, I said I like to know the usual things a human male wants,” the goblin girl demanded. “What you’ve been giving me so far are the preferences of a typical goblin male!”Bookmark here

“I-I’m sorry, Your Excellency!” the servant quickly took the book she gave her mistress away, and went back on her search.Bookmark here

Though annoyed, Lady Srexe diverted her frustration on her own research instead. Ever since meeting that ‘Jules’, and receiving suggestions from him, she was busy looking for information on how to get a human male’s favor. She ordered every psychology book in their library brought to her, and burned all her ‘weekend’ searching for useful knowledge. What she had got so far was…Bookmark here

“A quotation from the Lady Cassandra David herself: ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’,” Lady Srexe turned to her servant. “Rigel!”Bookmark here

“Y-Your Excellency?”Bookmark here

“Can you cook?”Bookmark here

“Of course, milady!Bookmark here

“How about human food?”Bookmark here

“Eh?” the maid was surprised by the question. “M-My apologies, Your Excellency…however, I’m well-versed in goblin dishes.”Bookmark here

“Do you know anyone in this castle who can cook human food?”Bookmark here

The maidservant shook her head.Bookmark here

“Damn it!” Lady Srexe muttered. She went back to her search. The next thing that she read was…Bookmark here

’Like the demon race, human males are extremely erotic creatures. They love to make sexual relations with the females of their own kind, and is open to relationships outside their race, including the demons. However, unlike the others, human males like to bind themselves to their partners forever, in a slavery ritual they call ‘marriage’.’Bookmark here

Hmm…Rigel!”Bookmark here

“M-Milady?”Bookmark here

Lady Srexe asked her servant without even looking away from the book she was reading, “Can you marry a human male?”Bookmark here

“H-Huh?”Bookmark here

“I’m asking you, can you marry a human male?”Bookmark here

“P-Pardon me, Your Excellency,” the servant was panicking, “but wh-what are you saying?”Bookmark here

“Are you an idiot?” the goblin girl asked, irritated. “Marriage. Can you marry a human?”Bookmark here

Err…m-m-m-milady, isn’t that the human ritual of enslavement to one’s partner forever? M-My apologies, Your Excellency, but I t-think it’s too much! I would never trade my freedom to connect with whom I like for a weak barbarian from another land!”Bookmark here

Hmm…you’re right,” Lady Srexe finally relented. “I guess that’s too much of me to ask from you. And my parents might kill me if I abused my privileges again. Go back to your research.”Bookmark here

“Y-Yes!”Bookmark here

So the stomach and marriage routes were impossible to achieve, the goblin girl concluded. Nevertheless, though she was down with two options, Lady Srexe won’t give up; she was sure that somewhere in those sea of books, the answer to her problem lay hidden…and she was only moments away in finding it.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Throwing away the book that she was reading, the goblin girl closed her eyes, and uttered a prayer to their saint. Then, fishing a coin out of her pockets, she flipped it in the air, and followed it wherever it landed upon. Once settled, Lady Srexe grabbed the book where the coin was, and began reading it.Bookmark here

Coincidentally, it was a book written by an orc economist named Yuti’ah of Orcdwelt titled, ‘Money, Sex, and Love: Every Creature Desires It’.Bookmark here

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***Castle Darkmoor, the seat of the House of Usarved, from a long distant past…***Bookmark here

A lone lady was sitting by one of the windows of the castle keep, her head turned towards the dimly-lit ‘dawn’ horizon, in the direction of the Sea of Sand where the light was forever shining. Though her room was sufficiently illuminated with candles, she still longed to see the natural light that could be seen from that region. And that loneliness, though partly-hidden because of the darkness around her, could be traced on her face.Bookmark here

It reminds her of the place she once called her ‘home’.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

By her dress, one could tell that she was a noble lady. By the way she sat and conducted herself, one could say that she was of noble birth. And by the round shape of her ears, as well as the darker complexion of her skin compared to that of her companions in the castle, one could say that this lady was from the human race.Bookmark here

“Mother!”Bookmark here

The moment she heard that excited little voice echo throughout the room, the human lady turned her attention away from the windows and towards the little white-haired girl with a pair of magnificent horns typical of the Usarveds. With a gentle smile on her face, the noblewoman stood up, spread wide her arms, and caught the darting young demon girl in a loving embrace. Her child, in turn, buried her face in her mother’s rich and warm bosom.Bookmark here

“How are you, Noir?” the lady asked as she lifted her daughter and placed her on her lap.Bookmark here

“I miss you, Mother!” the young Noir told her. “It’s been a while since I last saw you!”Bookmark here

“Me too, my little one!” the noble brought her child’s cheeks to her face and kissed it. “Did you finish your studies?”Bookmark here

“Yes! I learned about the history of the House of Usarved today!”Bookmark here

“Really? That’s great!”Bookmark here

The demon girl happily nodded, “Also, earlier I played with my brother, at the garden!”Bookmark here

There was an immediate change in the noblewoman’s expression. From a genuine, happy smile from seeing her daughter, to a wary, and worried, face, “Your brother? With the Lord Haya?”Bookmark here

Noir nodded excitedly. Confirming her fears, the lady turned towards the demon servants, who had just entered the room.Bookmark here

“I offer our apologies, Your Excellency,” the demon butler in-charge of the young demon girl entered the conversation, “Milady, the Lord Haya demanded that he wanted to spend time with the Lady No—”Bookmark here

“Didn’t I tell you to keep Noir away from that pervert?” the lady bellowed. “How useless can you be, George?”Bookmark here

“Lady Herriane, please understand, it is the Lord Haya we’re dealing with—”Bookmark here

“I don’t care even if it is their father! Even if you lose your head, I don’t care. I want my daughter to be kept away from them! Keep Noir away from those vermin!” then, she turned to Noir once again. “My little one, please be honest. Did the Lord Haya do anything weird to you?”Bookmark here

“Weird, Mother? Nuh-uh,” the young demon girl shook her head. “Why are you angry with brother, Mother?”Bookmark here

“Noir, listen to me. I want you to stay away from your father and your brother, do you understand me?”Bookmark here

“Why?”Bookmark here

“Just do it, okay?” the Lady Herriane gently demanded. “I want you to listen to your mother; this is for your own good. Don’t worry, my little Noir, there will come a time when we’ll both escape away from this accursed place.”Bookmark here

“Escape? Where shall we go?”Bookmark here

“To the land of the humans, Chersea. Have I told you before that it was a bright, beautiful place? And the humans…while many are afraid of things or people they don’t understand, most of them are kind. I want you to see and meet them!”Bookmark here

Noir, though she was still young, knew that whenever her mother was like that, she truly meant what she just said. However, she was also confused as to why the Lady Herriane was stopping her from playing with her brother, and from seeing her father. And it remained a mystery to her…Bookmark here

…until now.Bookmark here

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Fast forward to today. As of the present, Noir knew well the reasons on why her mother was so protective of her. Indeed, just as the Lady Herriane put it—her mother wanted to keep her away from her father and brother…who were infamous, even among the Usarveds, as ‘deviants’. All the ladies that got deeply-involved with them were traumatized beyond saving…Bookmark here

…and that includes Lady Herriane herself.Bookmark here

That’s why Noir ended up going alone in the world of humans, the land of Chersea. While it was true that she failed to bring her human mother with her, at least, the Usarved Princess fulfilled one of Lady Herriane’s dreams.Bookmark here

To let her daughter see and meet the wonderful humans, of which she originally belonged.Bookmark here

And so, Noir had been in Chersea—not only once, but thrice. The first was when she traveled incognito as a ‘demon merchant’, and the second was when the Demon Saint asked for her help in saving Chersea from the Saint of the Flame’s mindless undead. The third time was when she crossed borders again as a Lady Noir Usarved, searching for the missing Demon Saint and the Devil of the Grey Parka.Bookmark here

As the Lady Herriane had said before, the humans are good folks, and she made a lot of friends there.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

And one of those ‘good folks’ was the human sleeping across her, on another bed he specifically requested. While Noir and Shevaun didn’t mind sharing one bed, the Lord Greg was adamant on sleeping separately. It was a purely human custom, though as a demon, the Usarved princess couldn’t fully understand the reason behind it.Bookmark here

But in any case, at least, the Lord Greg did it because he ‘respects’ her and Shevaun’s privacy, something a human could give to others when they hold a person dearly.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Which, based on her observation of the human societies, can only mean one thing: she is dear to him, because he values her.Bookmark here

Watching her human teacher’s sleeping face was a treat for Noir; for not only did she admire him, deep inside her heart, she knew she wanted to ‘connect’ with the Lord Greg. However, his first love was already reserved for the Human Saint, and she was aware that it was a futile effort to replace the Lady Madelaine…no matter how much of his memories was lost.Bookmark here

Nevertheless, Noir…now that she already attempted to get closer and to know the Lord Greg, would not give up. Though his heart was already occupied by someone else, she could still hope that he had a space for her in his love.Bookmark here

After all, the Demon Saint, Lady Natasha wants them together as well, that’s why she kept on encouraging her to befriend him.Bookmark here

Ah, if only Lady Natasha never introduced you to me…” the Usarved princess muttered as she pinched the Lord Greg’s nose lightly. “Now, I won’t let you off easily, my precious lord! While my mother taught me manners, I am also my father’s daughter. And, as an Usarved, I know how to claim what—or who—I want…”Bookmark here

Taking a deep breath, Noir uttered a ‘silence’ spell, closed the windows of their room and covered it with curtains. Shevaun’s sleeping beside her, and won’t wake up any time soon. Still, she was careful in going around, for she didn’t want the Lord Greg to be disturbed, and catch her red-handed. Then, Noir took out a small blade—a thin, delicate one, and made a small incision in one of the human’s fingers.Bookmark here

Crimson blood immediately flowed, and formed a drop. Noir paused for a bit, quickly hiding the blade, and waited for the Lord Greg to open his eyes. However, the human was soundly asleep; he didn’t even feel that he was already cut.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Once she knew that she had never interrupted his slumber, Noir gently took his hand and drew it near her lips. It was a fast procedure; in one move she sucked clean the blood from the Lord Greg’s finger, and whispered in his ear…Bookmark here

“Your blood is now within my flesh and soul. Fall in love, my darling, and your heart I shall claim for me…”Bookmark here

A gentle, warm feeling enveloped Noir’s heart, as the blood she drank from the Lord Greg was absorbed by her body. Being an Usarved—the demon race’s term for ‘blood-drinkers’—she was well-acquainted to the taste of human blood. And while she did have an appetite for it even before she went to Chersea for the first time, drinking the Lord Greg’s blood was sweet and intoxicating to her…a proof that she loved and yearned for him.Bookmark here

Although it was not part of her act, the Usarved Princess drew her lips near the Lord Greg, and kissed him. She would’ve wanted to remain like that for long, if not for his movement, trying to gasp for air. A surprised Noir quickly let him go and returned to her senses.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

With her ritual was finished, Noir returned to her bed. For a few moments, the Usarved princess never took her eyes away from the human, observing any changes in him. Admiring his unguarded form. However, aside from a sudden loud snore, the Lord Greg was normal.Bookmark here

She smiled, content at what she just did. It was something Noir had done repeatedly for the past few days, given the opportunity, so she was pretty adept at what she should do. After all, the Usarved Princess was not only the Conclave’s best scholar alive…she’s also one of its greatest curse-givers.Bookmark here

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**Greg**Bookmark here

Gah! I felt like I’m floating when I woke up. And shit, a few of my fingertips always hurt a little every damned start of the day…like I got wounded there or something. Though, if I take a good look at it, there’s nothing—not even a bruise, or a small cut. But it did hurt a bit.Bookmark here

The heck’s wrong with my body?Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

And, speaking of strange things…I don’t know, but when I arrived here, I started to feel like there’s something different about myself…and my companions. It’s as if, the more I spend time with them, the more I’m beginning to look at them at a whole new perspective.Bookmark here

Yes, Shevaun and Princess Noir. As much as I try to deny it, I’m slowly seeing them as proper ‘ladies’.Bookmark here

Don’t misunderstood me; I knew they were ladies (I should use the word ‘women’ for them; however, I couldn’t, for technically, they were demons). However, before, I hadn’t even considered or looked at them in an ‘erotic’, or ‘sensual’ manner. For me, Princess Noir was my student, and Shevaun was her servant. That’s it. No other meaning whatsoever.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

But, when we arrived here, everything slowly changed. They were—especially Princess Noir—always in my mind. Though I tried to shake them off my consciousness, they would return whenever my guard was down.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Greg, you need to watch yourself. It’s not because you’re in another world that you have a license to play around with the ladies.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

Argh! Fuck it! Go away, horniness! Shoo!Bookmark here

No matter what happens, I’d choose to give respects to Princess Noir and Shevaun. They’re my friends; I won’t dare lay a hand on them!Bookmark here

Haa…this mind-struggle is fucking exhausting.Bookmark here

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Anyway, it’s been around a week since I came to the Conclave—Cherflammen’s greatest institute for learning—together with two of their most esteemed alumni, Lady Noir Usarved and the former Head Scholar, Shevaun Ilkes. As for our accommodations, the current Head Scholar gave us one of the best, and largest, rooms in the boarding houses surrounding the complex.Bookmark here

“Err…I don’t know if it’s proper for me to accept such generosity, Lord Head Scholar, but this room is too big for a single human like me to stay with.”Bookmark here

“Well, it’s what the Prince Hurion requested,” the old demon replied. “He specifically asked me to allot you the best place for three people that I can find in this school.”Bookmark here

“But still…this is—wait, what do you mean ‘for three’?”Bookmark here

“Where will you want to have the Lady Scholar Usarved and the former Head Scholar Ilkes sleep?” Lord Head Scholar Emile Biorno quipped sarcastically as he chuckled. “At the hallways?”Bookmark here

“N-No, it’s not what I mean…however…”Bookmark here

“Oh, you’re talking about that strange human custom of separating the ladies from the gents? It’s nonsensical for us demons!”Bookmark here

Right, that conversation was a week ago. I forgot that these guys had no sense of ‘restriction’ when it came to the opposite sex. Heck, they didn’t even have the limits on intimate relations with their own family members. Of course, a simple ‘separation’ of male and female was an alien concept to them, given that they treat sex as something to pleasure themselves with in the first place.Bookmark here

I guess I have to put up with this for the time being…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Yeah, even if I have to see these guys sleeping on the bed across mine, buck naked.Bookmark here

Gah! Have some shame, ladies…” I muttered under my breath. See? This was what I was saying. I had to contend with this kind of situation every time I woke up, so I guess it’s not rocket science that my urges were going haywire.Bookmark here

Surprisingly, for this place, which was surrounded by desert sand, the inner complex of the Conclave was relatively cool. There was no electric fan, or any sort of ‘cooling device’ akin to air-conditioners, yet the temperature was tolerable even if the windows were closed and there were curtains over it.Bookmark here

So yeah, I’m puzzled as to why these girls always remove their clothes to sleep.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Good thing I requested a separate bed for me in that grand room the Conclave provided for us. I mean, come on…I’m a guy, and I got my desires. Coincidentally, Lady Noir and Shevaun were…beauties. And seeing them together sleeping like that, guard down and with nothing on.Bookmark here

The temptation to do something sexual to them is pretty damn strong…Bookmark here

“!!!” I shook my head to ward-off the strange thoughts. Again, I had to remind myself that the Usarved Princess was my student, and Shevaun was a good friend. Even if their culture was open towards reckless ‘connections’, my respect for them was the best way I could show my humanity. Come on, it’s not like just because they looked like that, that I would have a free rein to even touch them.Bookmark here

And besides…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

…I hate to see Lady Madelaine’s sad eyes.Bookmark here

Every time that beautiful saint’s face comes across my thoughts, I could feel pain in my chest. No, not the physical one, but rather, a heavy, emotional feeling. Back in Chersea, there were times I would catch her looking poignantly at me; as if she’s reminiscing some events in her mind, perhaps about the two of us…for they told me that she was my girlfriend.Bookmark here

Though honestly, at first, I didn’t want to assume it is so, for it’s painful to expect something, yet there’s nothing there to look forward to.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Nevertheless, I wanted to talk to Lady Madelaine back then, to tell her that though I lost my memories of her, I could still try and love her again…as Greg Santos. Yet the language barrier prevented me from doing so, until that fateful incident where she tried to push herself onto me.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

It was then, at that time when she kissed my lips, that I realized this girl truly loved me. Not only because of her actions, but ever since that moment, there were fragments of memories…perhaps of this guy named ‘Kuro’, that would slowly come back in my mind. And because of that, I remembered my wish to marry her…though until it was safe for us to be together, I’d work hard to make that dream a possibility.Bookmark here

Perhaps that’s what ‘Kuro’ promised to her back then…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

It may be a long, almost impossible, shot, but I am not the MC of an isekai story, where everything—and everyone—is spoon-fed to him. So I need to double my efforts if I aim to go back to where ‘Kuro’ is.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Hmm…don’t ask me if I loved the Lady Madelaine Ann Rubinforth. While all of our friends back in the Holy Palatial Gardens claimed that she and I were lovers, I won’t jump into their conclusions. Not that I’m afraid, rather, I’m not sure of what I would do. For me, ‘love’ was something that was ‘decided’, not felt. Okay, let me be clear on that one; I believe that to ‘love’ someone, I should be prepared to spend my whole life with that person, accepting their flaws and good points all the same.Bookmark here

And honestly, with my memories bust, I’m kind of doubtful about Lady Madelaine. Can I—as Greg Santos—even make her happy? Does she love this person too, just like how she loves ‘Kuro’?Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Ah, I guess I wallowed too much in my thoughts. Well, in any case, it’s weekend today so there were no classes at the Conclave. And since it was ‘rest day’, I guess I could take my time idling around. But first…Bookmark here

“Here we go!”Bookmark here

I took a blanket and carefully placed it over the demon ladies. Then I went to attend to my business of the ‘day’.Bookmark here

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