“Archduke! Archduke Kalion!” A servant of the council entered the Order, shouting at the top of his lungs. The knights stopped their training and stared at the servant, wondering what on earth was going on. The servant ran straight up to Kalion as it seemed to be something urgent. “Archduke Kalion! I have a message from the council head, Vanessa. The priest you requested is here.”
Kalion, who was on the training ground, sparring with knights, clicked his tongue when he heard the news. He was surprised at himself for reacting like that and making it seem like he was disappointed by the news. After all, he was the one who’d been waiting all this time for the priest. He then tossed his wooden sword to Cedric.
“That was dangerous!” Cedric scolded him.
“If you don’t have the skill to catch that, then don’t call yourself a knight. I’ll be going to the council, so go be the rest of the knight’s sparring partner.”
“What? There are ten of them left?”
“Only ten of them left?” Kalion said, teasing Cedric. “Well, I’m off then.” As he waved goodbye and turned around to leave, he could hear Cedric complaining under his breath, but he chose to ignore the remarks.
Kalion moved at a snail’s pace toward the knight’s showers to freshen up. Normally, he would wash up quite quickly, but today his hands were moving slowly, and by the time he was out of the shower, it had taken him twice as long as usual. And, it took him just as long to get dressed before heading to the council.
As Kalion walked painfully slowly, he wondered if the poison would leave his insides today. Since being attacked by the demons in Haldis, the demon’s poison had taken over his body for an absurdly long time. The sexual desire aftereffect had made him very h*rny every night he saw Erna. Kalion was relieved, however, that his lustful feelings were only toward her. There were many women in the Archduke castle, and it would be difficult to avoid them all. If his body reacted to those women, as it did when he saw Erna, he’d be in serious trouble. Kalion bit his lip when he thought of this; it would not be a pretty sight to see. He also contemplated whether his desire for Erna had anything to do with the fact that she was the only woman to have seen him naked.
Every night, Kalion was unbelievably lewd and promiscuous, which shocked him. He’d wrapped Erna’s legs around his waist as he’d licked her neck and sucked on her breasts. And that was not all. He’d pushed the tip of his erection inside her slowly, telling her to get used. But he now realized he’d been too hasty and had rushed her.
The sensation Erna’s most secret part provided was out of this world. The pleasure he derived from that experience was indescribable, and he’d barely been able to stop himself from going deeper. But it was all because of the demon’s poison. There was no way he would feel such sensations from Erna otherwise. In a way, he was thankful for the poison in his system because they could get used to each other’s bodies more quickly.
Kalion felt iffy. He liked and disliked what he felt emotionally as a result of the poison. And now, he still thought that as long as the poison didn’t cause any other problems, he wouldn’t mind having it in his body permanently. Other than the s*xual issues with Erna, there were no other problems between them, so he felt happier nowadays if anything.
Should I send the priest back? If he did, Vanessa would complain about how difficult it had been to convince the priest to come at such short notice. Distracted from his thoughts, he heard someone calling him while dragging his feet to the meeting room.
As Kalion was about to answer, wondering why he was being called in the first place, someone else spoke in the cloister across from him. “What’s going on?” Erna asked.
As he stared in confusion, he noticed Erna standing with her wizards. When he realized it was her, Kalion hid behind the closest marble pillar.
“You forgot this!” A maid called after Erna.
“Oh, thank you!” She replied as the servant of the Archduke castle handed her the green hair accessory. “It was a gift. So I set it aside to make sure I take it, but I always forget,” Erna said as she stuck the accessory on her hair. But because she didn’t do it while looking at a mirror, it wasn’t on correctly, so a wizard beside her took it out, saying that she’d do it for her. Then the other wizards swarmed around her, making suggestions about where to place the accessory.
They circled Erna and moved their hands for a while, and then one of them said in a proud voice, “How do you like it?”
“I can’t see it myself?” Erna said as she laughed. The wizards quickly cast a spell, and soon, an oval shape with a watery-looking surface appeared beside Erna. After observing her reflection in the water, she smiled brightly and then spun around. She was wearing Hessenguard’s traditional clothes rather than Archduke clothing, and the hem of her skirt made a beautiful circle around her as she twirled. “How does it look? Is it pretty?”
Kalion knew she was asking the wizards around her, and not him, but he nodded his head and answered. “It is pretty.” He hastily covered his mouth with his hand because he couldn’t believe what he’d said. And even more so, he couldn’t believe what he’d thought as his eyes stayed fixed on Erna.
Kalion rubbed his face roughly with both of his hands. But even then, the image of Erna’s smiling face while spinning around seemed to be burnt into his brain. Meanwhile, Erna left with her wizards. But Kalion’s head kept replaying her brightly smiling face and her sweet-sounding voice. Am I crazy? Kalion punched the pillar in the cloister. He felt pain in his hand, but that didn’t erase the image of Erna. It has got to stop.
It seemed like he’d underestimated the potency of the demon’s poison. He thought it just increased s*xual desire but had no idea that it would impact his emotions. Kalion didn’t know what he was thinking. How could he see her as pretty when just yesterday she’d been talking about dried-up earthworms? He could not allow these thoughts. No matter how much he touched and sucked on her naked body, to think she looked beautiful was ridiculous. If that was true, then people would stay with the first person with whom they had a sexual encounter. Kalion no longer walked at a snail’s pace towards the council but instead bolted in that direction!
The person waiting for him led him straight to the room where Vanessa was in, “You’re here. You were taking longer than expected, so I was wondering if I should send another servant,” Vanessa said, glaring at him as he walked into the room.
“Sorry about the wait. I was interrupted on the way here,” Kalion said, unable to look her in the eyes.
“It’s nothing important. So, about the priest.”
At that moment, the person who’d been sitting quietly on the beige sofa stood up. His head was covered with a white hood, and a thick robe covered the person’s entire body. Therefore, no one could tell if it was a man or a woman. This person was one of the few priests left on the continent.
Some people possessed the complete opposite power of mana and performed miracles that couldn’t be accomplished by magic or quietly served god while not showing themselves to others.
A long time ago, the kingdoms of the continent asked the priests to be on their side as they were at war, but the priests refused all of their requests, and the furious kingdoms, who were worried that they would join other empires, started to massacre them.
It was then that most of the temples got burnt to the ground, and many priests died. But as they had divine power, the people who killed the priests, and the royal family of the kingdoms, were all cursed.
These events had taken place a thousand years ago. The kingdoms that were on the continent during that period were all gone now. There were new kingdoms on the fallen land, but the priests still hid and didn’t reveal their presence to many people. There were times when priests helped people in need and that was the only reason they weren’t forgotten entirely by society.
“I know it was difficult to find a priest. Thank you, Vanessa.”
“Thank you for recognizing my hard work. I’ll be off so you two can speak alone,” Vanessa said and then left the room.
The moment she’d gone, Kalion quickly approached the priest and introduced himself, “I’m Kalion Hessenguard, the Archduke of Hessenguard.” The priest nodded in acknowledgment but remained silent. It was more the manners of common men than hierarchy.
“Two weeks ago, I was attacked by the demons residing in the lake in the Haldis area. Since then, I’ve been suffering from the aftereffect of the poison. So I would like to remove the demon’s poison from my body completely. I’ve spoken to the healers, and they said it naturally disappears after about a week. But for some strange reason, it feels like the poison is getting stronger.” Kalion thought about Erna’s image again. There was no way that he’d find her beautiful again once the poison had drained from his body. At the same time, his desire for her every night would vanish too.
The priest stretched out his hand after quietly listening to his story. “Understood. Give me your hand.”
The priest, whose hands and voice one couldn’t distinguish the s*x of, grabbed Kalion’s hand with both of their hands. “What effect did the poison have?”
“That is, well, it’s been affecting my feelings. And my sensations as well as making me focus on a specific desire.” Kalion couldn’t very well say that it was making Erna look pretty, and that it made him want to touch her body, and that it made him feel good when he touched the delicate part of her body. So he just glossed over what he was experiencing.
The priest raised an eyebrow as he looked at Kalion, “By the sounds of it, it seems like some strong poison. But there’s almost no instance where the poison affects one’s feelings.”
“Will it be hard to purify the poison?”
“I’ll have to see how much poison is in your body, and then I’ll be able to answer how long it’ll take.”
“Okay. Let’s start then.” The moment Kalion spoke, the priest grabbed his hand tighter and then started mumbling unknown words. Within seconds, a golden aura seeped through the priest’s hood and sleeves, which then started wrapping around Kalion’s body. There was no pain. Just a bit of tickling, as if it was a feather caressing him.
The gold aura, flowing from a person he couldn’t see the face of, seemed divine but very bizarre from a certain angle. Once the gold aura enveloped Kalion completely, the priest started mumbling again.
If the wizards were borrowing power from letters, the priests seemed to borrow the power from speech. It was something that couldn’t be witnessed by people, usually, and Kalion was hoping that the divine power would be able to fix him.
After a while, he could tell that the priest was very agitated. “What is it? Is it that bad?” If he looked that agitated, the poison in his body must have been strong. Or perhaps the amount in his system was too much for even a priest to purify. I knew it! Kalion had reacted to Erna because of the amount of poison in him!
The moment Kalion thought he was going to understand his condition, the priest glared at him and said bluntly, “There’s none.”
“What is it? Is there no way to treat this?” Kalion asked again because his brain had not processed what the priest had just told him.
The priest shook their head, “That’s not it,” the priest said in confidence. “There is no poison in your body.”