The Villain Wants to Live - Chapter 286
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Chapter 286: Time (1)
The sanctuary, Time. As Idnik said, it was an insignificant community nestled at the bottom of Annihilation.
Epherene was sitting at the tea table, facing Idnik.
Idnik nodded as she yawned.
“Well, in the beginning, it is true that Demakan and Murkan founded that desert.”
Demakan and Murkan founded it as a base to protect humanity. Here, Idnik and Rohakan were taught by Demakan.
“What’s the difference? I don’t even know where they are or what they’re doing.”
Demakan was already an archmage that transcended humans and was closer to being a different species, and while Murkan wasn’t at that level, he was far from the norm. Now they never engaged in worldly affairs.
“More importantly. What have you done to Deculein?”
Idnik asked curiously. Epherene flinched.
“…Have the rumors reached all the way here?”
“Yes. Even Julie knew about it.”
She pointed to Julie, who was sleeping right now. Leaning against the Time tree, holding a sword tightly in her arms.
“But I don’t know the details. So please tell me.”
“Why are you asking something like that….”
Epherene pouted, but then she explained what happened in the personnel committee. The thing that Deculein hated more than anything else in the world, the way she ruined his image.
“…That’s why the word plagiarism is circulating around Professor Deculein now. Is this enough?”
After hearing everything, Idnik’s mouth widened into a grin. Epherene licked her lips and continued.
“It will be over. It’s over. Next time we meet, we won’t even greet each other. The Professor will hate me…”
“But why did you do that?”
“…My research is bad for the Professor. If the Floating Island brands my research and magic as heresy, then there is no point in rushing to make excuses then.”
To not besmirch Deculein, Epherene chose the most certain way to be hated.
“Okay. If it’s that guy’s personality, it might be the end for you.”
Epherene lowered her head and clenched her teeth.
“He’s not the kind of guy who would just let it slip after hearing that his thesis was stolen. But, is that true?”
Epherene remained silent at that question instead of turning to Julie.
“Is that knight okay?”
“No, she’s not okay. She can’t live long, and sleep is the best way to keep her living.”
“…Is there no other way?”
“Yeah. She has one year at best. But if she works at sleeping like that, about three years? Who knows? If she sleeps 22 to 23 hours out of 24 hours a day, 30 years?”
Idnik spoke like it was a joke. Epherene shook her head.
“…Then, why did you call me?”
“What do you think? You got kicked out too. I want to hire you.”
“Yes. We are going to stop Sophien and Deculein first.”
Idnik poured more tea.
“They will now march into the desert. To annihilate the Demon Blood, and to destroy Annihilation.”
“Oh… I know that. Everyone does. The whole continent.”
“Yes. But what do you think about the Demon Blood?”
Epherene’s thoughts on them were not so profound. Of course, she didn’t hate them as madly as the nobles of the Empire, but…
“Poor people… I guess that’s all.”
“That’s pretty good. You’re different from the Imperial heads who rage when someone mentions them.”
“…But why mention the Demon Blood all of a sudden?”
“It is because the eradication of their clan is what their God wants. To be precise, God wants war. Epherene. You met God too, right?”
“Is the God’s name Quay? Anyway, I met him too.”
Epherene’s eyes went wide.
“He told me. He will re-create the continent.”
Sipping tea, Idnik frowned.
“But can he alone annihilate and re-create all mankind on this continent? No. Absolutely impossible. And if it were possible to do it alone, he would have done it already.”
At that moment, a word popped into Epherene’s mind.
“Yes. Right. God wants to start a war and destroy the foundations of the continent. That will make his meaning easier.”
Idnik looked at Allen behind Epherene.
“So we are working closely with the Demon Blood. The idea is to save them.”
Epherene’s jaw dropped. A civilian who hid Demon Blood’s children would be sentenced to death, but they wanted to save them.
“If you want to run away, run away. If you get caught, you will be sentenced to death.”
After that, Epherene thought for a moment. No, at first, she was thinking of rejecting it. First, she was a wizard, not a political activist, and right now, she had no interest in anything other than magic.
But suddenly, a memory of an old day came to mind.
“…Right. Idnik. I tried to join the Imperial Guard in the past.”
Idnik raised an eyebrow.
“Really? And did you?”
“Nope. The Professor stopped me back then. He tore up my application form, saying this…”
The words he said that day still lingered in her mind.
“He said he was a man-killing wizard but that I wasn’t. That I’m not a wizard who kills people. So, he told me to become a wizard who saves people.”
“That might be… a way to ask me to stop him?”
It seemed to be. Though now, he likely hated her.
The moment when Epherene smiled sadly-
“It all depends on how you look at it. It’s a bit unsightly to see you interpret it your way.”
“I beg your pardon?”
Epherene frowned at Idnik.
“Anyway. There’s a lot of equipment here, so if you have something to study, you can do it here. If you want to go out, go through that friend.”
Idnik pointed to Allen.
“…Oh~, that’s right. Assistant Professor Allen. Come to think of it; we have something left to say, right?”
Epherene glared at him with squinted eyes, and Allen, knowing his guilt, grinned and scratched the back of his neck.
* * *
A calm morning with the sun shining.
The Yukline Mansion.
“Again. Move your mana properly.”
This was the annex I used as a training room, but now I was teaching a kid other than Epherene.
“I’m saying that you must see your body with your own eyes.”
Lia was staring at the circuit diagram of her body. A circuit diagram was a kind of human body diagram in which the movement of the mana circulating was displayed in real-time. It was also a high-quality artifact that I gave four levels of Midas’ Hand.
“Can’t you see?”
However, Lia didn’t seem to be able to catch the idea. Even when she looked at the circuit diagram, she couldn’t properly use her mana. The flow of her mana kept wandering back and forth. The road had already been laid, but she couldn’t use it.
“Are you blind?”
I was growing frustrated.
“Can you not even see a picture?”
“Are you a blind child who can’t think? Don’t you have a brain?”
“If not, look at your body and move your mana. Don’t stay still like a moron.”
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I pushed her shoulder with Psychokinesis. In an instant, her concentration was disrupted. I let out a short groan and grabbed her shoulder. At just that one interruption, the mana circulating in her body was dispersed.
“…Oh. Sorry, sorry.”
“What an eyesore.”
Lia was restless, but I waved at her.
“Get out. Allow the mana to cycle through your body at least once by tomorrow. Or you’re out.”
“It’s an underserved talent for someone like you. Don’t waste it.”
The girl bowed once and hurried outside.
Perhaps it was an act of timid rebellion as she closed the door a bit harder than she had before.
“…Is it this much in two weeks?”
Two weeks since I accepted Lia and two weeks from when Epherene had left. Given the amount of time, Lia’s pace of development wasn’t bad. Rather, it was excellent. The piercing of the circuit, which required tremendous pain, was finally accomplished, and now we were onto the next step.
“But, this is not enough.”
Even if it were enough, I would push it as far as she could handle until she was just before death.
If Lia was indeed the Easter Egg of Yura, she must have been gifted with an important role. I planned to rake up all of her remaining potential and make it bloom.
—Professor? Do you hear me? Today is Wednesday. My body is getting stronger.
Just then, Sophien’s voice echoed from the crystal ball. With those words, she was telling me to come quickly.
“…I’m on my way.”
The rooms at the Yukline mansion were luxurious. Whether it was the magic gramophone or the mansion had its orchestra, a classical melody gently flowed every noon through its halls, and the warm wind and sunlight caressed her face through the windows.
“Why! Why is it not working?! Why not?!”
A youthful yet sharp voice echoed over the music.
“It was all right when I practiced yesterday!”
Lia smacked the circuit diagram on her desk and shouted.
“It worked yesterday!”
It worked yesterday. It was successful, but today she was back at the starting point.
The eyes of Deculein, who was staring at her until now, the verbal abuse raining down on her, and the pain of the Psychokinesis that smacked her shoulder. The humiliation and shame still warmed her face.
Recalling all of that, Lia moved her mana again. However, it didn’t work this time either, and before long, the mana was out of her control.
“Shit! Shit! Shit!”
Lia’s eyes were dripping with blood, and her nose was also bleeding, as was her mouth.
Lia had been subjected to tremendous abuse by Deculein lately. Creating this new road of mana in her body was that harsh, and concentrating her mana on that road also required a tremendous amount of effort.
“…It’s kind of like when I was coding.”
Wiping away the flowing blood, she murmured blankly. It was just like coding when Lia would get pumped up, so she started talking to herself and yelling…
“…What? Stupid? Brainless?”
Even her boss’s abusive remarks were the same.
“You can’t even do that, you moron; what have you learned so far, hey do you think I’m an idiot? You do things like this on purpose because you think I’m a pushover, right? If you don’t like this, just quit….”
Even now, every time she heard it, her blood pressure rose.
Lia looked back to the door.
“…Hey. Are you okay?”
It was Yeriel who suddenly entered her room. She looked at her and raised her chin.
“Yes. I’m fine.”
“No. You don’t look fine. Your dark circles are huge.”
“Of course, I haven’t slept. If I get some sleep, I’ll be fine.”
That wasn’t all that Yeriel noticed, however. Lia’s eyes, which were round on the first day she came, were sharper for some reason.
“Take it easy.”
“Yes. I’m okay.”
“…Yes, well. Work hard then.”
Lia nodded without listening. Then she looked at the circuit diagram again, and Yeriel shut the door.
She pretended to leave and observed the kid from right outside.
It was a little cute how she screamed while shaking her body.
“Shit! Why not! Hihihihi, let’s do it then. Yes, again. Just like when coding. If there is an error, start over again. Start with error checking. Hehe, this is fun. So fun…”
A little terrified now, Yeriel snuck away.
* * *
“I can roughly guess last year’s divine language.”
In the Imperial Palace.
Having visited Sophien as her teaching wizard, I analyzed the divine language with her aid.
“I interpreted three additional revelations.”
Sophien leaned her back against mine, so her voice came from behind. We sat on the same couch, facing opposite directions.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Then she turned and rested her chin on my shoulder.
“Are you okay? You were stabbed in the back by your disciple.”
I answered briefly.
“I’ve known her promise of success for a long time.”
Sophien silently placed her hand on my side, hugging me from behind. Her sweet scent and red hair tickled my nose.
“Professor of plagiarism, Deculein. So, is this nickname okay too?”
I shook my head, pondering.
“That is upsetting. Who said that?”
“It must be one of your servants.”
“Well. I don’t know.”
Sophien smiled slyly and placed her hand on my cheek. She gave it a little strength, making me look straight into her eyes.
“Professor. Now I will march into the desert and annihilate them all.”
“Yes. The continent knows the will of Your Majesty.”
“But I’m more curious about your will than the will of the continent.”
She tapped her nose to mine. She asked, rubbing the tips of our noses playfully.
“Are you following my will?”
I looked straight into her eyes. Irises like dark wine.
“I may not.”
Sophien frowned, her aura turning cold.
“I act with integrity. If Your Majesty’s will would be harmful to Your Majesty, I will risk my life to reject it.”
Sophien closed her mouth. She gazed intently into my eyes.
“Can I put my lips on yours?”
I narrowed my eyes at that strange request. However, Sophien calmly added as if it weren’t anything special:
“It is simply curiosity. Yes. And it’s just a simple act. Don’t think too deeply. If you want to refuse, say no…”