Chapter 14:

CHAPTER 8: A VISIT FROM AN OLD FRIEND

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


***The Visitors’ Lounge of the Conclave***Bookmark here

“Ma! Dad! What are you doing here?” Lady Srexe came in just as her parents were drinking their teas. The Lord Tenguri nearly spat his drink from surprise, good thing his wife was there to prevent him from embarrassing himself.Bookmark here

Ah! Good timing, Srexe!” the Lady Baraquiel was the one who answered her. “See, your father can’t keep himself down after you came home last time. He wanted to meet that ‘Special Scholar’ who dueled you before and give him a warning.”Bookmark here

“But that’s unnecessary!” the goblin girl turned to the Lord Scholar Gracchio, who was standing beside them. “Milord, please stop them!”Bookmark here

“I tried to, Scholar Srexe,” the Discipline Prefect explained. “However, the Lord Tenguri keeps on insisting to meet the Special Scholar. I told him to ask your permission first, since you’re the one who caused the trouble for that man.”Bookmark here

“Have you heard the Lord Scholar Gracchio, Dad? I was the one who asked the Special Scholar to duel me!”Bookmark here

“No! Srexe, you need to understand the concerns of a parent,” the Lord Tenguri replied. “While you may have caused him trouble, it’s not proper for a scholar like him to go overboard and nearly kill you! And he’s a human!”Bookmark here

“That human is way too powerful for you, Dad! Stop this!”Bookmark here

“I don’t care! I didn’t earn these medals just to let some nobody to threaten my daughter!” the goblin lord beat his chest, emphasizing his military uniform, along with various decorations for his skills and valor. “That human needs to know his place! Give me his name!”Bookmark here

“I won’t do it!”Bookmark here

“If you won’t give me your permission, I’ll go around with the faculty looking for him! Our soldiers are waiting outside the city waiting for my instructions, and they’ll move in to sweep this school if you keep protecting that human!”Bookmark here

“Don’t do anything to the Special Scholar, please!”Bookmark here

“I told you, I’ll just give him a warning!”Bookmark here

Once more, Lady Srexe was helpless. She glanced back at the Discipline Prefect, who just shrugged as if he’s giving his tacit approval—like he was saying, ‘let them experience it’. The goblin girl, having witnessed what the Special Scholar’s might, was worried of what could happen if her father—as stubborn as herself, and the human with the saints’ god-powers fought each other.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Nevertheless, it was a deadlocked situation. The Lord Tenguri would never budge unless Lady Srexe called the Special Scholar to meet him. And her mother who was usually the ‘voice of reason’ for him, Lady Baraquiel, was silent about his unreasonable demands.Bookmark here

For short, Lady Srexe is in deep shit.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

As cold sweat formed in her forehead and drop to her cheeks down to her chin, the goblin girl was silently and frantically thinking of ways to get her parents out of the predicament they’re trapping themselves into. However…Bookmark here

Ah, Lord Scholar Gracchio, here’s the Special Scholar as you requested!” Tama’lee suddenly appeared with Nari and the Special Scholar Greg Santos in tow.Bookmark here

“What?!” Lady Srexe glared at the Discipline Prefect; he had already called for the human even without her permission, further increasing the tension inside the Visitors’ Lounge.Bookmark here

The Special Scholar was visibly clueless as to the reason he was called there. Nevertheless, when he saw the Lord Scholar, he gave a bow as respect for him. And casually greeted Lady Srexe.Bookmark here

Err…can I know why I’m needed?” he asked.Bookmark here

“Special Scholar Greg Santos, there are some people who want to meet you,” the Lord Scholar Gracchio told him.Bookmark here

Oh? Is it the parents of my student?”Bookmark here

“H-How did you…”Bookmark here

“Trust me, Lord Scholar, I’ve seen myself in this situation many times before.”Bookmark here

At that moment, it’s as if something within Lady Srexe shut down. With all her efforts to keep both sides off from each other going down the drain, her luck was up to the heavens itself. The goblin girl could only utter a silent prayer that what happened in her duel before won’t be that bad when her parents pissed the Special Scholar.Bookmark here

“You!” Lady Srexe turned her gaze away in terror as she heard her father’s voice echoed throughout the Visitors’ Lounge. The event that she dreaded was slowly unfolding before her…Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

The goblin girl expected a pandemonium. However, much to her shock, her father was overjoyed to see the Special Scholar.Bookmark here

“Aren’t you that man from Chersea?” the Lord Tenguri kept on talking, “That man who fought the Imperial Legions and won? And that man who protected the humans from that accursed saint’s zombies? What’s your name again…?”Bookmark here

“Dear, I think he’s the Lord Kuro of Arles, the Commoner General and a servant of the Human Saint.”Bookmark here

“That’s right, Baraquiel! The Lord Kuro of Arles! You’re that man, right?”Bookmark here

Err…yes?”Bookmark here

“So you’re that Special Scholar ‘Greg Santos’ my daughter dueled before?”Bookmark here

“Yes, that’s my other name, and…I apologize for what happened,” the Special Scholar bowed to show his regrets.Bookmark here

However, the goblin lord stopped him, “No! No! Please don’t be sorry, milord! If you still remember your humble friend, I’m the Lord Tenguri of the Goblin Legion! We fought together with your forces, reinforcing the town of Huirot with the Demon Saint!”Bookmark here

Oh! Right…the Goblin Legion…yes. I think I did remember you leading the goblins back then. I’m sorry; I got involved in an accident before and lost a big part of my memories, see? But I do recall the Goblin Legion fighting alongside the human armies, pushing back the zombie horde.”Bookmark here

Ah, it’s fine, Lord Kuro! I’m just thrilled to see you teach here! Please don’t mind my daughter; Lady Srexe’s kind of boorish, but she’s a good child.”Bookmark here

“It’s fine, really! I already talked to her, and I think we’re friends now.”Bookmark here

“Oh my!” the Lady Baraquiel commented. “I can’t believe our daughter has made a powerful human friend! Our minds can be at ease now, dear!”Bookmark here

Listening to their stories, Lady Srexe, Tama’lee and Nari couldn’t believe that the Special Scholar Greg Santos was actually a living human hero known as the ‘Lord Kuro of Arles’. They could only exchange confused stares while the goblin couple and the human reminisced about Chersea’s Imperial War and the subsequent ‘Great Rising of the Undead’.Bookmark here

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***Gaius’ Garden***Bookmark here

The Saint of the Flame, Seirna Stephanie, never wasted her time once she appeared in the garden of her master, the former god, Gaius Julius. Without even greeting him, she presented a head from one of the monsters the paladins of the Human Saint had slain back in the manor of the Lord Haya. Then, she followed it by putting a burned—but still recognizable—gun, an M1911 pistol model, on Gaius’ table.Bookmark here

The former god, who was busy attending to his laptop, stopped from whatever he was doing and asked, “What are those?”Bookmark here

Milord, I think it would be proper if I am the one asking,” Seirna answered him. “What are these things doing at the manor of a demon noble with connections to the ‘Knights of Cassandra David’?”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

The Saint of the Flame picked the head and showed it to the former god, “This is from a minotaur, a creature with the head of a bull and a body of a man. Legends say that this monster eats men, and is often appeased by sacrificing young people in his labyrinth, which can be found on an island called ‘Crete’. And Crete is in your world, milord, and this minotaur came from your myths!”Bookmark here

“And?” Gaius referred to the burned gun on his table.Bookmark here

“Can’t you recognize it?” Seirna cried out. “That one is an M1911 pistol, a powerful weapon from your old world as well, milord!Bookmark here

“So, what are you trying to tell me by showing those things?”Bookmark here

“Milord,” the Saint of the Flame glared at him. “Those won’t appear at random. Besides the otherworlder, the only one who knew of those is me and you. And I can’t be imagining things; no other person from Cassandra David’s world was summoned after the otherworlder was accidentally summoned by the Human Saint.”Bookmark here

“You’re telling me…”Bookmark here

“Are you conspiring with the Knights?”Bookmark here

Gaius was left speechless for several moments. However, when his thoughts returned to him, he chuckled, closed his laptop, and stood. He picked up the burned M1911, and—though the mechanisms inside the gun were melted enough to render it useless—pointed its barrel to his side, towards the head of the slain monster, as if aiming at someone. Then he pulled the trigger, even though nothing happened.Bookmark here

“And why would I do it, Seirna?” the former god asked.Bookmark here

“I…” the Saint of the Flame couldn’t continue. Though she was overwhelmed by her feelings at her discoveries, she could not provide evidences of her master’s duplicity, save for the corpse of a dead monster, and a gun that was burned beyond usefulness.Bookmark here

“What? You know the answer to your question before, my faithful,” Gaius said to her. “These are, indeed, weapons and creatures that came from my world. But what would I do such a thing? You know how powerless my mortality has caused me, and yet, you accuse me of conniving with those villainous demons for no reason?”Bookmark here

“M-My…apologies, milord…” was all Seirna could say. Deep inside, however, her instincts were going haywire. The minotaur was a creature from the Lord Gaius’ culture and the gun was from the modern-day world of his.Bookmark here

“Seirna, you know how those demons tend to violate the rules set by the heavens, even when I was still a god,” the former god explained to her. “The chance that they summoned those things were high, especially the guns. Or, in case of the monsters, they could’ve invented the spell that can turn any living creature into that minotaur. The possibility is there.”Bookmark here

“I-I’m sorry I doubted you, milord,” the Saint of the Flame told him, bowing low to show the former god her regrets. Nevertheless, Seirna was conflicted with herself. It was not only the minotaur; all the other creatures that appeared in that manor bear semblance to the monsters from the Lord Gaius’ old culture. While it was possible that the Knights created a spell that turned the humans and other demons into those monsters, the idea must’ve come from a single source…for the appearance of all those creatures from Greek/Roman mythos in one place was too much of a coincidence.Bookmark here

And the gun…if it’s summoned by the demons, it would only be in small quantity. However, the burned-down manor yielded many similar items. Assault rifles, sniper rifles, fragmentation grenades—weapons that came from a modern world, like the one where the otherworlder was from. And all of those were deliberately destroyed, as if the owners intended to hide it.Bookmark here

If it didn’t come from a suspicious source, then the demons would wield it instead of destroying those. After all, the assaulting paladins would hopelessly be outgunned if those weapons were used in the battle.Bookmark here

“Seirna!”Bookmark here

“Y-Yes, m-milord?Bookmark here

“Please watch yourself,” Gaius told her. “Last time, that villain, the ‘Seductress’, visited me here…at least in her spirit form.”Bookmark here

“Are you alright, milord?Bookmark here

“Yes, I managed to drive her off somehow,” the former god said. “But in any case, watch yourself. That vile creature from the void is attempting to drive a wedge between us, and once we’re doubting each other, we’ll be weaker when the times comes to confront her. Please be careful.”Bookmark here

“I…I understand,” the Saint of the Flame could not refute Gaius’ words. Maybe what she had seen was a new ploy of the Seductress to divide them, now that the Human, Beastman and the Flame saints united to fight back against her influence. Seirna realized the dangers of how close she was to getting tricked once again by Lady Madelaine’s ‘mother’, “M-My apologies, milord! It’s just that…maybe I was tired…”Bookmark here

“It’s fine. I see that you’re doing your best,” the former god gave her a pat on the shoulder. “We’re nearing victory, since the saints are uniting once again. Of course, the enemy is seeking to reverse our gains. But we’ll never lose focus, Seirna. We’ll defeat that villain and cast her back to that miserable void where she came from!”Bookmark here

Suppressing the doubts she had in her heart earlier, the Saint of the Flame was now reassured of the side she was fighting for, “Yes, milord! We’ll win once again!”Bookmark here

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**Greg**Bookmark here

It sure was a strange feeling, meeting friends you didn’t know you made from your past.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Meeting the Lord Tenguri of the Goblins and his wife, the Lady Baraquiel of the Orcs, was something surreal to me. For one, it still hadn’t sink into me yet that I was talking with goblins and orcs—traditional ‘bad guys’ in many fantasy novels—and reminiscing fighting battles side by side. Yes, I could remember the events they’re referring to, but it was sketchy. Many details were missing.Bookmark here

Second was that, I narrowly missed being bellowed upon by the parents of my student. I experienced a lot of it when I was on Earth, when the parents would demand I pass their child even though the student didn’t do anything. Here, I expected that Lady Srexe’s parents would show up eventually, and I was not mistaken.Bookmark here

Although I also didn’t expect that our meeting would turn into an idle chit-chat. It did help me clear some parts of my memories, though.Bookmark here

Anyway, enough of that. Returning to my earlier conversation with the Prince Hurion Devras, my decision to help the Conclave couldn’t be done without proper plans. As what the demon prince said, if I wanted to get reforms going, I need to aim for the position of the Lord Head Scholar. And, just like every ‘prestigious, top’ position in this world and in the others, supporters were necessary.Bookmark here

However, the fact that I only came to the Conclave recently was an obstacle. It’s not like I arrived here and became a Special Scholar because of popular demand; if ever, my original plan was to come, get my student’s ashes, and bail out as soon as possible. But, now that my goals had been ‘updated’, I had to gather followers to implement the reforms we—I and the Usarved Princess—had in mind.Bookmark here

Nevertheless, before I could ask them, the Prince Hurion Devras beat me to it, “Lord Greg?”Bookmark here

“Your Highness?”Bookmark here

“Your…” he took a pause for a bit, as if he collected himself, “…has your memories returned to you? You speak as if it did already. You even recalled key events in that battle in Huirot, along with the Goblin Legion and the Lord Tenguri.”Bookmark here

“Returned? You mean that of ‘Kuro’?”Bookmark here

The demon lord only gave a nod.Bookmark here

“Well, let’s say a big part of it has returned,” I admitted. “Ever since that incident where the Human Saint kiss—” I stopped just as I was about to spill the beans. But, it was too late for me; the prince had already heard it.Bookmark here

“The Human Saint kissed you?”Bookmark here

“My forehead,” I quickly changed the story to avoid complications. “She kissed my forehead, yes.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

“But, it’s incomplete. See, my ‘lost’ memories are slowly coming to light bit by bit, as pages of a missing book is showing up at random order. Not only it is confusing, there are blank details, too; so I’d say ‘Kuro’ is still a mystery to me…”Bookmark here

“Oh…” For some reason, Prince Hurion Devras had a poignant expression on his face. Well, don’t give me that look, Your Highness. We all know that my stay here isn’t that for long.Bookmark here

Ah, it’s time to go into the things I’d like to know. “Can you tell me the situation in this place?” I asked them, with Shevaun joining us after she sent the scholar student-fans of the demon prince away. I wanted to know the entire picture of the issue I was about to get involved with.Bookmark here

“What do you mean?” the chamberlain answered me with another question.Bookmark here

“I’m a bit confused. If I remember right, the Conclave is ruled by the Lord Head Scholar, who came from the Biorno clan. Then, we have the House Usarved, who reigns over the demon people. And, if so, what are those guys calling themselves ‘Knights of Cassandra David’?”Bookmark here

“Oh…” Shevaun glanced at the demon prince, who gave her a nod. Then she turned back to me and said, “Yes, if you look at it, we’re currently in a three-way conflict, see?”Bookmark here

“Really?”Bookmark here

“Yes. See, the demon race was never ‘truly’ united throughout its history. If we’re not fighting humans, we’re at war with each other, trying to stir conflict at the littlest issue there is. It just so happens that after the 11th Human-Demon War, Lady Cassandra David came to us and founded a school, her reason being—”Bookmark here

“To keep the peace between the demon clans through education,” Prince Hurion Devras suddenly cut through our conversation. I don’t know if it was Noir trying to remind us that aside from me, she’s the authority in the life of Alexa in that room.Bookmark here

In any case, Shevaun—who was a former Head Scholar—brushed it off and continued, “Nevertheless, while her ‘education’ did stop the war between the demon clans, it never removed the competitive spirit of the demons against everyone but ourselves. The battlefield only changed; from the wide plains and hillsides, it moved into classrooms. Clans fought for the position of the Lord Head Scholar, until the saint, Lady Natasha Bellingsen, put a stop into the fighting by introducing the ‘election process’.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

“But then, it still didn’t eliminate the ambitions of various clans to attain power. The House Usarved, the most prominent clan in Chersea, was continuously challenged by the others, especially after the death of Lord Hurion III.”Bookmark here

“Hurion…III?” I glanced at the demon prince.Bookmark here

Shevaun curtly explained, “Princess Noir’s father.”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

“Continuing on, one of those who never fully agreed to the overlordship of the Usarveds was the Biorno clan, led by its patriarch, the Lord Head Scholar Emile. They are originally a militarily-weak demon clan, for many of their members are never warlike. Nevertheless, once given the chance, they used their power to seduce people to their side. As a result, they elected the Lord Head Scholar to his current position—”Bookmark here

“And deposed Lady Head Scholar Shevaun Ilkes, just like that,” the prince added.Bookmark here

“Your Highness, if you’d please stay silent about that issue.”Bookmark here

“I can’t, Shevaun! After the injustice they did to you…”Bookmark here

Whoa…this is a complicated matter, huh? I couldn’t help but be reminded of the parliamentary system of government, where one motion of ‘no confidence’ from a member could end up in a sudden change of leadership for an entire country. Is this how the Conclave conducts its internal politics?Bookmark here

“Please don’t mind what His Highness said, Lord Greg,” the chamberlain cleared her throat. “As I was saying, the Biornos used seduction and trickery to propel themselves into power, offering an alternative to the two factions emerging in Cherflammen during that time.”Bookmark here

“Two factions?”Bookmark here

“Yes, before that, the House Usarved is already divided into two factions. Princess Noir’s leadership of our clan is being questioned by the many of our retainers, insisting that the late Demon Lord Hurion III be succeeded by his son instead, the Lord Haya.”Bookmark here

“So she has a brother, huh?Bookmark here

“Ahem,” Shevaun was quick to warn me.Bookmark here

“I-I mean, another brother, yes…”Bookmark here

“However, the Lord Haya…he’s an incompetent one. All that he did is to shut himself in, burning away his time consuming books and never trying to rule. If not reading, he is in Chersea, instructing his men to kidnap beautiful human women just like his father before him.”Bookmark here

Whoa…that’s some heavy stuff.”Bookmark here

“Trust me, you haven’t seen the worst of my brother yet,” the Prince Hurion pointed out.Bookmark here

“And what about the ‘Knights of Cassandra David’?”Bookmark here

“That group is originally a club in the Conclave promoting research on Lady Cassandra David’s life,” the chamberlain narrated. “However, upon the outbreak of conflict between the House Usarved’s factions, they sided with the Lord Haya—most of its members are his friends, see, and they all got expelled from this school in the end.”Bookmark here

“So, meaning, you expelled them, Lady Shevaun?”Bookmark here

“Of course,” she admitted. “Though I’m a retainer of the House Usarved, my loyalty lies with the Conclave first. Lady Cassandra David meant for this school to be a place of safety and learning; while in principle the Conclave did permit political dissent, it is a different matter once the others force everyone who didn’t agree to their views.”Bookmark here

“Yes, I agree to those limits,” I told her. “That’s not even dissent, it’s already bullying!”Bookmark here

Shevaun nodded, and continued, “But then, the students have seen this move as a blatant attempt at silencing ‘alternate views’, and removing rivals to the rule of Prince Hurion Devras. So, they conspired to elect a new Head Scholar in my place, and the one who rose to take that position is the Lord Scholar Emile Biorno.”Bookmark here

“If you say that, do you mean that Lord Scholar Biorno and the members of the ‘Knights’ are once allies?”Bookmark here

“No,” the chamberlain shook her head. “Lord Head Scholar Biorno is also an opponent of the Knights; he even tried to have it banned before, because of their ‘blasphemous’ beliefs.”Bookmark here

“What beliefs?”Bookmark here

“They claim that Lady Cassandra David, though once human, became a demon in the end,” it was the Prince Hurion Devras who spoke. “To us, it’s an ultimate insult. While we’re fine in intermingling with humans, transforming into one is an affront. The demons are a proud people; we don’t easily accept outsiders into our fold.”Bookmark here

“But the Princess Noir…she did say to me before that she’s half-demon, and half-human.”Bookmark here

“Princess Noir…my sister…” there was a noticeable quiver in the demon prince’s voice, “…she’s a different case. Shevaun told you earlier that like our brother, the Lord Haya, our father is engaged in kidnapping beautiful human women in Chersea. Her mother…the Lady Herrin…she’s…one of those who suddenly disappeared. She—”Bookmark here

“Please stop, Your Highness,” I asked for him to not continue. The façade of Princess Noir was breaking, as she remembered her mother. I’m sure of what she would tell me; no one would go to great lengths in kidnapping beautiful ladies just to display them! The Usarved Princess was—undoubtedly—the result of that event I prevented her from saying. I know it’s painful to her.Bookmark here

“The demons, yes we’re proud, but we are honorable,” Shevaun was the one who continued, as the Prince was already shaken. “Though a product of the union of a demon and a human, we accepted the Princess Noir as a demon, in admission of the sins her father committed.”Bookmark here

“I…I see…” I couldn’t help but feel pity on the Usarved Princess, as well as her mother. Nevertheless, I didn’t want for her to know about my sentiments; Princess Noir was a brave soul.Bookmark here

“So, going back to the Knights,” the chamberlain reoriented our conversation. “They wanted to promote that view: turn humans into demons, adding power and strength to our people.”Bookmark here

“Is it even possible?” I blurted out.Bookmark here

“Why, yes, of course!” Shevaun chuckled. “We Usarveds possess the ability to turn any creature into our own, just by sucking some their blood and giving them part of our own. Haven’t you met the Lord Vitalis and his Ghoul clan? Those are formerly peoples from different races!”Bookmark here

My hand quickly went for my neck; for some reason, I immediately thought of vampires when I heard her say those words. The demon prince stared at me when I did that.Bookmark here

“The only problem with that ability of ours,” the chamberlain added, “is that our ‘converts’ die when we insert our own blood unto them. That’s why, we Usarveds have an unwritten code that restricts ‘conversion’ only to dead people. The Knights, however, wanted to create converts that are living! So those guys conducted illegal experiments on their kidnapped victims, and some unfortunate scholars who didn’t agree with them. When it was eventually exposed, I had all of those idiots expelled.”Bookmark here

Learning that information made me speechless. I didn’t want to delve deeper on those ‘experiments’ Shevaun was talking about; I’m afraid I’ve seen enough shit in my lifetime to know what it was.Bookmark here

“On the other hand,” the chamberlain seemed not to notice my silence and went on with her explanation. “Lord Head Scholar Biorno is a stubborn traditionalist. For him, humans and demons are like oil and water; they cannot—and shall not—be mixed. And demons are superior to the humans, a belief that is shared by a majority of the other demon clans.”Bookmark here

“And what about the House Usarved under His Highness?”Bookmark here

Shevaun was silent. Instead of answering my question, she turned to Prince Hurion Devras, who took her cue to reply to me.Bookmark here

“I and my supporters believe that humans and demons can intermingle, yet keep their differences,” he explained. “Lady Cassandra David showed it to us; she remained human till the day she died, yet her love and concern for the demons is a subject of legends. Another example is that person who I look up to, who isn’t afraid of talking to demons even at first sight.”Bookmark here

“Err…”Bookmark here

“Yes, Lord Greg, that’s you.”Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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