CHAPTER 23 - RESCUE
'Wait a minute, Demon gods are supposed to be sealed now, right'
It is said that the Demon god, who caused the world's calamities, was sealed deep underground after losing a battle with the gods of the Star God religion a long time ago.
If the demon god were to return, the world would be in great trouble.
'Oh no, such a terrible thing, these people…'
The masked man chuckled at Ortansia, who was speechless and ordered those standing behind him, "Take her away."
Ortansia desperately tried to escape, but there was nowhere to run to in the cramped confines of the prison, and in the blink of an eye, Ortansia was captured.
"Come, my lady, this way, please."
She resisted, flailing her arms and legs, but the masked men seemed unconcerned and carried her away.
Eventually, they arrived at a place that looked like a stone hall, with a strange pattern painted in the center of the floor.
'Is this some kind of magic circle ......'
Around the pattern on the floor, candles were placed at equal intervals in a circle.
There were bloodstains here and there in the room that could not be wiped away, and above all, the room was filled with a thick atmosphere of "death".
No, that's not all.
Ortensia gasped as she felt a tremendously powerful, terrifying presence nearby
'No way, the demon god is really on the verge of revival...'
The demon god worshipping cultists must have sacrificed many people in this place.
As a result, the seal of the Demon God may be about to be broken.
'If I were killed here, I would be in big trouble...!'
It hasn't helped much, but Ortansia now has the blessing given to her by the goddess Auriera.
If she were to be sacrificed to the demon in this state, she would surely be a great source of sustenance.
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Ortansia desperately tried to escape, but to no avail.
There was a restraint at the center of the pattern, and Ortansia's resistance was futile as her limbs were bound.
She has heard this scream many times since she was brought here.
It must have be Ortansia's turn this time.
She resisted the urge to cry out, and stoutly glared at the masked man.
'Everything you are trying to do will end in vain.
The Duke of Verite… Brother Gerard will never forgive someone like you."
When he heard this, the masked man smiled a crooked smile, as if he was terribly happy.
'I am impressed that you are still able to put up such a bluff...
Oh, I'm so sorry I'm going to have to sacrifice you to the demon god! But...
it's time to say goodbye."
The masked people who were standing behind began to recite eerie incantations.
At the same time, the masked man in front of her pulled out a dull silver knife from his pocket.
'Oh, I am sure that you are a beautiful lady, with all the blood that flows under your skin, and all your internal organs.
I would be honored to uncover it with my own hands."
The masked man approached step by step, spouting out his usual delusions.
Ortansia desperately gritted her teeth and stared at the scene.
"A true lady must not be distracted at any time, even at the most inopportune moment."
If she could, she would have followed that lesson to her last breath, but the moment the masked man raised his knife, Ortansia was overcome by the fear that came over her.
Oniisama!" She shouted suddenly
In an instant, sll light disappeared from sight and the area was enveloped in pitch-black darkness.
Ortansia wondered if she had gone crazy with fear.
"What's going on Turn on the light right away...
The masked man in front of her cried out in dismay and for some reason his words turned into a groan in mid-sentence.
Before Ortansia could comprehend what was happening, a flash of light returned to her vision.
In front of her was the same masked man as before.
A figure with a sharp edge of a sword protruding from its chest
Fresh blood overflowed from the mouth of the mask man.
At the same time, the masked man's body shook and he fell to the floor.
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Then, for the first time, the identity of the person behind the man, the person who killed the masked man with a single thrust from behind was revealed.
Ortansia looked up at him in disbelief.
Gerard, Ortansia's foster brother, who had just saved Ortansia from the brink of death, pulled his sword from the masked man's body without the slightest expression on his face.
Red blood dripped from the sharp silver sword.
But he did not wipe the blood off and stared straight at Ortansia.
Their gazes intertwined.
For a moment, Ortansia forgot the situation and the fact that she had just been almost killed, and she felt as if time had stopped.
Gerard's cold, yet beautiful eyes were fixed on her.
Ortansia was attracted to that gaze, which had been so scary until a while ago.
It was as if Ortansia had found the greatest treasure in the world.
But soon, a multitude of voices cut through the silence.
"There's only one opponent! Kill him!"
The remaining masked men attacked, each with a weapon in hand.
Ortansia screamed, but Gerard immediately took up a position between them to protect Ortansia.
Then, for the first time here, he opened his mouth.
"...keep your eyes closed."
It was a voice with a mysterious, irresistible sound.
Ortansia reflexively closed her eyes.
There were angry shouts, sword fights, and a death cry..., but that soon passed.
Eventually, when it seemed to have quieted down, Ortansia felt someone's presence beside her.
You can open your eyes now."
At the sound of that voice, Ortansia gently opened her closed eyelids.
She saw Gerard staring down at her.
His garments were soaked with a great amount of blood.
Seeing that, Ortansia immediately understood what had happened while her eyes were closed.
With his blood soaked sword in hand, he proceeded to destroy the restraints that had kept Gerard from Ortansia's body.
When he had finished destroying everything, Gerard reached out his hand toward Ortansia and just before his fingertips touched Ortansia's body, he stopped moving as if confused.
His gaze caught the fingertips of his own fingers, which were stained red with the blood of others.
Gerard looked at his own hand, widened his eyes in surprise and immediately furrowed his brow in bitterness.
Then he gently withdrew his hand from Ortansia's, as if it were forbidden to touch Ortansia with blood-stained hands.
But Ortansia could not resist.
Gerard rescued her from the depths of despair.
She didn't care how many people's blood was on his hands.
'I want to touch him.
I want to feel the body warmth of my brother.'
As if driven by this desire, Ortansia jumped into Gerard's chest.
Gerard's eyes widened in surprise at Ortansia's action, but he did not push her away.
He felt the warmth of Ortansia's body through his sticky, bloodstained garments.
With mixed emotions, Ortansia continued to call out to Gerard, not knowing what she wanted to say.
After a moment, Gerard's hand touched Ortansia's back in confusion.
Then, he hugged her tightly, seemingly stiffly.
"It's all right now."
As soon as she heard that voice from above her head, Ortansia closed her eyes in relief and immediately lost consciousness.