The Demon Saint is Missing, so I Ran Away to Another World Vol. 12
***The private quarters of the Special Scholar…***
It had been a long day, and just as they finished eating their dinner, Greg immediately went to his bed, exhausted. Shevaun, typical of her duties as the chamberlain, finished the chores left before they went to sleep. As for Noir, her responsibilities as the demon lord kept her awake for a while. There were new proposals that came in from her vassals, some asking for her financial support in completing their community projects, while there were some that were giving reports on the progress of the works she supported early on.
Well, as the demon lord, it was pretty easy for Noir to approve most of the proposals brought to her. As long as it would help the community, she’d immediately approve it. The ones that were quite ‘suspicious’ were put on hold, which she would review the moment she woke up the next day. That way, she was almost finished by the time Shevaun came in to inform her that she would take her leave as the chamberlain for the day, and sleep ahead of her.
Of course, the Usarved Princess—since she had nothing else to need from Shevaun, allowed her servant. However, Noir would not rest just yet…
There’s another reason she deliberately stayed awake.
The Usarved Princess brought out the small blade she had been using repeatedly on the Lord Greg for the past few weeks. Honestly, she didn’t expect that the human could be so ‘resistant’ on the curses she repeatedly applied to him. She would even slip in a few drops of love potions in his meal whenever she had the chance, but…
It has no effect!
Noir had made sure she followed the ritual that she devised herself. She used it before to some people, and it was effective. But to the Lord Greg…it’s as if he possessed a charm that wards off the effects of curses.
However, Noir will never give up! She will make him look at her soon…
The Usarved princess’ fantasies were suddenly interrupted when she noticed that the Lord Greg got up from his bed. The human looked around, as if looking for someone, and stood up.
“Lord Greg?” Noir asked him. “Is there any problem?”
Nevertheless, the human never answered her. He just continued walking around the room, searching for something.
“Lord Greg? Sir, do you need help?”
Still no answer. Noir was puzzled; his eyes were open, yet it’s as if he’s not hearing her voice…even though their room was not that big. Sensing something was wrong, the Usarved princess went near and gently poked him to call his attention. However…
“Maddie!” the Lord Greg suddenly shouted. “Don’t leave me!”
“Lord Greg!” this time, Noir wrapped her arms around him, as the human was trying to go outside. “You’re sleepwalking! Please wake up!”
However, her pleas went to deaf ears. The Lord Greg struggled with her, as he kept on shouting the name of the girl he loved. At that moment, even Shevaun was already roused from her slumber.
“What’s happening, Your Highness?” the chamberlain asked as she dressed herself.
“I don’t know Shevaun! The Lord Greg suddenly got up and was sleepwalking! Help me!”
The chamberlain then took hold of one of the human’s arms as she attempted to wake him by slapping his face. But her efforts were in vain. The Lord Greg was still out of his wits, and kept on fighting their restraints.
“Your Highness,” Shevaun called her mistress’ attention. “This isn’t a normal sleepwalking that the Lord Greg is having! Someone must’ve been trying to control him through his dreams!”
“The Biornos!” Noir blurted out.
“Leave the Lord Greg to me, Your Highness!” the chamberlain reassured the princess. “Please find the one controlling him!”
“Got it!” At once, Noir let go of the human lord’s other arm, and with Shevaun restraining him on the other and on his legs, they fell on the floor together. Fortunately, the demon chamberlain was stronger than him, and using her magic, she kept him down for a bit.
As for the Usarved princess, if the Biornos were using their powers to control him, they were nearby, for sure. Casting her detection magic, Noir immediately found the culprit—a succubus, just flying outside their room’s window.
“There she is!” the Usarved princess wasted no time; just as her detection magic was discovered by her succubus target, she went on the attack that caused the glass windows of their room to break.
“Kyaaa!!!” the succubus had no time to avoid the magic of Noir. She was hit on her shoulder, which caused her to fall on the ground.
“!!!” Noir, however, would never let her recover. The Usarved princess jumped out of the window to follow her enemy.
The succubus, on the other hand, countered Noir with her own magic, unleashing a flurry of spells against the Usarved princess. As she was already wounded, she had to cast her powers using her uninjured hand, greatly diminishing the accuracy of her attacks. The stray spells hit the neighboring dormitories and other buildings, causing its inhabitants to awaken and witness the battle between the vampire and the succubus.
Avoiding the incoming offensive spells from her enemy, Noir sought to glide through the air as she fell down. If one who was familiar with aerial warfare was watching, they could easily mistake it as a flak battery firing its anti-aircraft shells on the raiding plane.
Noir never let her recover. Consistent with her vampiric abilities, the Usarved princess closed in the distance against her enemy with her inhuman speed, pinning the succubus down through her neck. She was about to land the killing blow on her subdued enemy, when…
“Y-You!” the Usarved princess stopped from attacking the succubus, “Scholar Capaldi!”
“!!!” the succubus, nevertheless, took the moment Noir let down her guard as an opportunity to escape. She quickly cast a spell, which the Usarved princess had to parry, letting her go. Then, amidst the confusion, the lady scholar escaped from Noir’s grasp.
I had no idea of what happened yesterday while I was sleeping. All that I could vaguely remember was that, Lady Madelaine’s face appeared to me in a dream…though it felt so real, now that I thought about it. I was calling out to her, ‘Maddie’—perhaps the name ‘Kuro’ used to refer to her. But I had no idea why…
All that I can recall is that, I’m feeling sad as I shout her name.
Then, Princess Noir and Shevaun woke me up. The demon chamberlain was already restraining me with some magical chains, though she used her lap for my head to rest. Our entire room was a mess; the Usarved princess said that I was the one who did that, as I struggled against them while sleepwalking. According to them, a succubus was trying to seduce me. Much to my surprise, Her Highness told me that the culprit was a fellow teacher of mine, the Lady Scholar Irene Capaldi.
What’s going on?
“The Biornos are trying to pre-empt us,” Shevaun said. “It must be that the Lord Head Scholar got alarmed by the fact that the Special Scholar and the Lord Tenguri of the Red Goblins are friends.”
“Is there anything to that, Shevaun?” I asked her.
“Don’t you know?” Princess Noir answered me a question, though after a pause she explained the reason, “The Lord Tenguri is one of the esteemed commanders of the Goblin Legion.”
“He did say that, yes.”
“And his wife, the Lady Baraquiel of the Orcs, is a princess of the Orc Clan. For short, if you want to, you can ask for their help, and they would come to your aid, Sir. You know how we demons value the words we say to our friends; once we tell you we’d die for you, then we would really do that.”
“Whoa…” hearing such heavy statements like that felt surreal. An army of goblins and orcs willing to fight for me? This is insane! But yes, I didn’t want to abuse the privilege, so all I could say was, “I didn’t know the implications of that friendship!”
“And the Lord Head Scholar Emile Biorno is seeing you as a threat to his position as the Head Scholar,” the chamberlain interjected. “So he sent one of his teachers, Lady Scholar Capaldi, to seduce you. And one of the rules of the Conclave is that, illicit relations inside the school grounds is forbidden. You and your partner can get expelled if someone catches you both.”
“I-I see…” I couldn’t believe I just escaped that.
Shevaun chuckled, “Good thing is, they’re pretty stupid when doing something illegal.”
“I don’t think they are that stupid, Shevaun,” Noir rebuked her. “While it’s true that Lady Scholar Capaldi can’t fight properly, her succubus magic is potent enough to gain near-control on the Lord Greg. And if the Head Scholar is serious, he would’ve sent in an incubus to control us as well. But he didn’t.”
“So, Your Highness, you’re saying that…”
“It’s a warning,” the Usarved princess continued the statement of her servant. “Emile Biorno is telling us that our continued presence here is because he allows it.”
“Then, whatever it is that we’re planning beforehand, we have to move quickly and carefully!” Shevaun confirmed what was in our minds.
“Yes, I guess we have no other choice but to strike back, and hard, as fast as we can,” the Usarved princess then turned to me, “Sir?”
Princess Noir took a deep breath before continuing, “If ever, are you ready for anything that might happen?”
“I already committed to reform this school,” I winked at her. “Of course, I won’t do it half-heartedly. My only concern is that, we’re still lacking in support. If ever we launched our plans prematurely, it might end up in a disaster.”
“Don’t worry about the support, Sir,” Princess Noir and Shevaun exchanged amused looks. “You might’ve not known it, but you are loved by many of the student-scholars.”
Or so as what they say. I couldn’t help but think that the Usarved princess and her chamberlain could only be jumping into assumptions about the fact that there were students who were happy with my way of teaching, thinking that it was as a ‘form of support’. Yes, it could be one, but I doubt that when it came to the actual conflict, that kind of support would melt in face of an onslaught. Though, yes, I won’t underestimate it; my point was that, I won’t simply move based on ‘faulty’ assumptions.
In any case, even with what happened yesterday, I still decided to come to my class. Lady Scholar Irene Capaldi’s classroom was in another building, so it’s impossible that we’d meet in the hallways. Nevertheless, I won’t let my guard down that easy.
As usual, I came to my classroom, and—following my lesson plan—prepared for my new topic. No, as I said before, I’m not really a ‘traditional’ teacher. While many of my co-workers, both here and on Earth, would use the ‘writing board’ (the Cherflammen equivalent of the black/white board), I barely write anything on it…save for some terms I had to emphasize. My subject was history (the Life of Cassandra David), and I always teach with props and story-telling.
Oh…speaking of props, I guess I have to get some from the storage room.
Each of my sessions consisted of 30 students maximum, and that number always change every time I finished my lessons. There were classes where I had 26 people, or sometimes, 29 students. But what was sure was that, the names vary in each lecture. Consistent with the customs of the Conclave, the students attend their class based on their whims—if they wanted to show up, then come and sit. If they don’t, then there’s nothing you could do about it.
What’s important is that they pass your subject upon the final exams.
In any case, notwithstanding the chaotic system, I still do my best whenever I stood in front of everyone. Unlike many of the teachers of the Conclave, I show up in all my classes, even if I had to appear to my classroom earlier than expected.
However, I was surprised when I came to my room with the doors already open. If I remember right, I locked it up when I went to the storage room. Well, I’m not that alarmed though, for the Conclave had security systems more potent than that of Earth’s, and anyone who tried to steal anything from my classroom would be caught in no time.
Besides, is there anything valuable inside my room? The only things kept in there are the table and students’ chairs.
Ah, no matter. Let’s see who came to my class this early…
“!!!” Much to my shock, it was the goblin girl, Lady Srexe, who greeted me. She stood up when she saw I was coming in, and offered an explanation…
“I destroyed the lock of your classroom,” she said with a nonchalant attitude. “I’ll just have it replaced.”
“Ah, please do,” was all I could say. I just couldn’t believe to meet her around this time; Lady Srexe would always come to my class around midday, so I guess no one could blame me for reacting this way.
“Is it really strange of me to come to your class?”
“Then why do you keep on staring at me?” the goblin girl replied. “You’re being creepy, you know?”
“M-My bad…” I averted my gaze from her, but not before seeing the title of the book she was reading. It was a book written by Princess Noir herself on the life of Cassandra David.
“Special Scholar Sir, tell me,” Lady Srexe asked, “is it really strange for a goblin like me to be a historian?”
“Where did that come from? I don’t think it’s strange at all.”
“Well, everyone else say that since I’m a goblin—a clan that specializes in engineering, I can’t become a historian.”
“Hoh…I don’t think it should be the case. Do you love history?”
“You bet I do, Special Scholar Sir! However, my parents—though they are supportive of me—try to discourage me from going on further. Even the teachers here say that I’m not cut to be a historian, and they always compare Princess Noir to me.”
“I’d say, fuck them,” I slammed the table, unable to keep my passionate rejection of stereotyping from surfacing.
The goblin girl nearly jumped from her seat when I did that, “Eh?”
“You heard what I said. Fuck them.”
“B-But why? If what they say is true, then—”
“Do you want to prove that what they say is true?”
“Well, n-no, but…”
I smirked, “I’ll ask you again, do you love history?”
“Yes!” her answer, unlike the others before, was fast and resolute. I could tell that this goblin girl, given the right ‘push’, would do everything and anything just to prove to everyone that she’s fit to be a historian.
“Then why do you let others tell you what to do? In the first place, what’s your name?”
“Obviously, you’re not Princess Noir.”
“I’m not!” the goblin girl slammed the table as she blurted that out with passion.
“Then their comparison is already invalid,” I winked at her. “You can only compare to yourself. See, you’re a goblin, and Princess Noir is a vamp—I mean, an Usarved. Even from there, the difference is obvious! So why compare?”
“Do you…m-mean to say I can’t reach what she had already done, Special Scholar Sir?”
“Yes, you can’t.”
“What?” I guess she half-expected me to correct her, but no. I had my own take on that…
“We all have our own roads to take in life, see?” I explained to her, “You can’t simply cross into someone else’s road, or you’re bound to derail that person’s life, and yours as well. In the end, both of you will lose. If that’s what you want, then it’s fine with me. But, let me ask you, do you want to be a loser?”
The goblin girl shook her head.
“It’s good that you already have the right attitude from the start,” I gave her a tap on the shoulder. “Don’t be a loser.”
“But I already have failed and lost to Princess Noir hundreds of times! How can you say I’m not a loser?”
“I told you, you can only compare to yourself. And failures are an essential part of success, Scholar Srexe. We won’t learn that certain things don’t work if we didn’t fail in the first place. Do you think of me, as Lady Cassandra David’s former teacher in our land, didn’t fail? It’s pretty stupid, but I did fuck up lots and lots,” I could only laugh as I remembered the idiotic things I did when I was of her age.
The goblin girl was silent. Perhaps she was weighing in on my words, thinking about what I told her. Or could it be that she was sizing up on my sincerity. Anyway, I said what she needed to know; if she accepted it, then it’s all fine. If not, then I could do nothing.
The Special Scholar Greg Santos. This human was a mystery for me. All I knew about him was that he came to the Conclave, together with my rival Princess Noir and the former Lady Head Scholar, Shevaun Ilkes. That hooded man I met before said that this guy could help me pass, though he warned me that the Special Scholar had a way with words…that he could convince even the most stubborn person alive just by talking. I thought it was only an exaggeration; but when my father tried to meet him, that he was also known by another name—the Lord Kuro of Arles, Chersea’s legendary ‘Commoner General’—also came out.
I said to myself, ‘who is this person’?
My father was a stubborn goblin. He won’t easily be persuaded, nor he would befriend anyone on a whim—especially the humans, whom he believed were an inferior race. Nevertheless, this Special Scholar did the unthinkable; not only did he earned my father’s trust, he also had his goodwill, enough for my parents to set aside their anger for me the moment they saw him. And, as if the mystery was not to stop there, I looked up about him, using the name ‘Kuro of Arles’ at the Conclave’s library…
What came to light before me was a flurry of deeds, many of those were almost too impossible to be achieved by one person:
The Lord Kuro of Arles, alongside the Iron Princess of Nerfes, fought against the Imperial Army—our race’s most formidable opponent during the 11th Human-Demon War—and won. He also did that with inferior numbers, as his army, the ‘Holy Coalition’ was composed mostly of mercenaries.
The Lord Kuro of Arles also fought against the mindless undead they called ‘zombies’, and devised the techniques to defeat those. He commanded the united human armies during the Battle for Huirot, and prevailed after the demon armies led by the Demon Saint, Lady Natasha Bellingsen, reinforced him.
The Lord Kuro of Arles was kidnapped by the Beastman Saint after the Great Rising of the Undead. However, he rose up and united the Beastmen tribes and Humans of Cherwind. He ruled them thereafter, together with the Beastman Queen, Ursura of the Beastmen. In return, the people of Cherwind look up to him as their ‘eternal king’.
The Lord Kuro of Arles implemented reforms that created the Royal Army, Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force of Cherwind. Their forces, organization and battle tactics are the first of its kind among the armies of Chersea and of the five realms. He also founded the Royal Academy of Cherwind, and the Academy of Chersea, with the support of the Human Saint.
Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I read. If the Special Scholar Greg Santos was this ‘Lord Kuro of Arles’, then by all means…his deeds could be considered heroic…almost of the same stature as that of Lady Cassandra David! But…
As far as I’m concerned, this human before me…he looked unassuming. In fact, my first impression of the Special Scholar was that, he’s an idiot. Nevertheless, the more I got to know him, the more my respect for this human grew.
“Now it’s my turn to ask you,” he laughed. “Do I have something on my face? You kept on staring at me, as if you intend to melt me with your eyes!”
“Hmph! Don’t be stupid! I’m just thinking about something…and it just so happens that I stared mindlessly at you.”
“I see…” this idiot just laughed it off. However, though I call him like that, I’m loving the moments of talking to him.
Wait, is this what that hooded guy told me before? The Special Scholar is slowly convincing me to his side!
Mu! I guess I should take this time to confront this human about his real goals!
“So…” I showed him the book I was reading, “…do you think it’s fine even if I try to learn from my enemy?”
“Why not? It’s an opportunity!” he told me.
I think that answer’s a red-flag, “Hoh…so you’re not loyal to the Usarveds. I get it now; you’re only using them for your own objectives.”
“Eh? Did I say I’m not loyal?” the Special Scholar chuckled. “I only said it’s fine to learn from your enemy.”
“But you’re a supporter of the Usarveds, right?” I reasoned.
“Nope,” he laughed as he shook his head to dispel my assumptions. “If anything, I’m just a guest of Princess Noir and Prince Hurion Devras. And while I’m their friend, I’m not their lackey. If they did something wrong, I’ll be among the first ones to rebuke them about it.”
“Heh, why are you asking such questions?”
“Oh…I guess I was mistaken about you…”
“I only came here to teach, see?”
“To make sure we all pass, right?”
“What’s your goal, then? Alright, we know that you came here to teach, so we can all pass to senior level. But, what’s your purpose? I mean, you can’t surely be taking on a gargantuan task of helping us if there’s no worthy compensation for it.”
The Special Scholar was silent, though he never took his eyes off me, which made the atmosphere between us a bit awkward. Nevertheless, after a few moments, he said, “You know that I’m Lady Cassandra David’s teacher, right?”
“Or so you claim.”
“I see that you’re not fully believing me, huh?” He fished out three letters inside one of his uniform’s pockets and showed it to me. Then, the Special Scholar asked me to open it, which I did. Immediately, I was confronted by Latin alphabets…though the language of the letters were something I couldn’t understand.
“Is this Lady Cassandra’s home language, Filipino?” I asked.
“Well, it’s a language from our homeland indeed,” the Special Scholar confirmed. “However, it’s not Filipino. It’s another language, called ‘English’. Want me to read these to you?”
“Yes…?” I’m not sure of my answer. In the first place, I had no idea of the connection of those letters written in a strange language to the answer to my question about the Special Scholar’s goals. But then, since it was connected to the life of Lady Cassandra David, I might as well listen to its contents.
The Special Scholar read aloud the letters, first in English, and then he translated those to our language. I listened to his words—no, to our hero’s words—which was clear to me that she was asking for help…
Help to return to her home.
It was a plea that fell unto deaf ears, for we all knew what happened to Lady Cassandra David. She died after a botched experiment, though we never knew what the experiment was for. Yet, for all that she did, the Lady Cassandra David was—and would still be—a girl from the Special Scholar’s homeland. Of course, it would be natural for her to yearn for the people she lived her childhood with…
“Y-Yes?” I was surprised when I saw the Special Scholar offering a handkerchief to me. Then, for the first time, I noticed that I was crying silently. With no words, I took his offer and wiped my tears.
“You’re really a good soul, just like what your father told me.”
He just chuckled and said, “I hope you understand me, Scholar Srexe. Since you shed tears for my former student, let me be honest with you. I’m here to make her last wish come true—I’m going to bring her ashes home.”
“Bu-But where?” I asked in-between sobs. “Can you return to your world?”
The Special Scholar shook his head, which further added to the heaviness of my heart, “Like her, I can’t return to our land anymore. However, as I came from the same place as her, you might as well consider me her ‘home away from home’.”
“Y-You…” at that moment, my tears kept falling uncontrollably, “S-Sir…wh-why do y-you have to sacrifice for her?”
“She’s my student,” he smiled at me. “And as her teacher, I want to see her succeed until the end.”