Erna’s gaze was fixed on the figure before her – or rather, the demon that had taken hold of Kalion’s body. The memories of that fateful day still burned bright in her mind. The day they had returned from watching the play with Orpé, Kalion had spoken words that were completely out of character for him. Erna had quickly realized that they were lines from the book she was currently reading, spoken by the male protagonist.
At first, she had thought it was just a fluke, a temporary lapse in judgment. But as the days passed, Kalion’s words and actions began to mirror those of the protagonist more and more. It was as if a wooden puppet was speaking, devoid of any true emotion or feeling.
“This can’t be taught,” Erna thought to herself. She had tried to approach Kalion and tell him to stop, but her words fell on deaf ears.
Despite her reservations, a small part of her couldn’t help but admit that it was good. Kalion had always treated her with more kindness than anyone else in the world. She had always felt like the most precious person in the world when she was with him. And even now, as she looked at the demon inhabiting his body, she couldn’t bring herself to hate him.
But then she heard Kalion’s rough voice, and a completely new and unexpected side of him was revealed to her. Compared to the kind and gentle Kalion she had known every day, this new side of him was thrilling and exciting. And even though it was vastly different from the Kalion she knew, deep down she knew it was still him.
Erna couldn’t help but enjoy Kalion’s rough play. But then, things took a turn for the worse. His words and actions became increasingly natural, as if he had truly become the character of Marius. And as this happened, Erna began to feel a growing sense of unease towards Kalion. Even though he was the Kalion she loved, he was becoming more and more rough and unpredictable. In a novel, it might have been charming, but in reality, it made her want to run far away.
Then, when Kalion left her alone in the council and walked away, Erna felt something stir inside her. She knew she had to tell him to stop, to put an end to this dangerous game. But on that day, a few magicians quietly found her and spoke to her.
“Um, Erna Grand Duchess, we have something to tell you…”
The young magicians stood before her, hesitant and fidgety, their words stuck in their throats. Erna could sense their unease and pressed them for answers.
“Tell me honestly, what happened?”
One of the magicians burst into tears, struggling to speak through sobs. “I, I really… didn’t know that a demon would be summoned…”
Erna’s confusion was evident on her face. “What? A demon?”
She listened patiently as the magicians explained their actions. They had been playing around with an old, high-level demon summoning spell they had found at the magic tower, never imagining that it would actually work.
“So you’re saying that you were just playing around, and you drew a high-level demon summoning spell from some old materials you found at the magic tower, and then you tried to move it?”
“Yes… The last summoning was 1,500 years ago, and since then no one has been successful at it…” The magicians responded in increasingly weaker voices.
Erna shook her head and sighed, “It’s not a failure, simply an artifact of a bygone era. The spell you stumbled upon is ancient, surpassed by newer, more effective methods of summoning. Think of it as an abandoned road, long forgotten and left to decay, while newer paths have been forged. What you attempted to summon, a high-level demon of 1,500 years ago, would be considered nothing more than a common entity by today’s standards.”
“So, when did they succeed and what kind of creature was summoned?” she asked further.
The magicians exchanged uneasy glances, one of them stammering, “Well, that’s the thing… ”
Erna’s expression grew dark as the gravity of the situation began to sink in.
The day the wizards had successfully summoned the creature was the same day that Kalion had begun his peculiar behavior. Erna immediately examined the spell they had used and discovered that the summoned creature was a psychic-type demon that burrowed deep into the minds of living beings.
With a sense of urgency, she called for Orpé.
“So you’re saying that there is currently a spirit-type demon hiding somewhere in the capital?” Orpé asked.
“Yes, my defense magic is useless against demons, especially those of the spirit type, so we won’t be able to find it,” Erna replied.
Orpé thought for a moment before saying, “I understand. Honestly, spirit-type demons aren’t that difficult to deal with, so there’s no need to make the defense magic too complex. By the way, as you said, that demon is likely trying to slowly control people or animals. Should we start inspecting each part of the palace?”
“That’s what I was thinking,” Erna said, a hint of uncertainty in her voice.
Orpé hesitated, “There are a lot of suspicious people…”
Erna looked at her with surprise, her gaze drifting towards the knight’s building. Erna weakly nodded, knowing that Orpé had also heard of Kalion’s strange behavior. It was possible that the demon was the cause of it. Orpé sighed deeply and spoke, “Well, catching it shouldn’t be difficult, but…”
Meanwhile, Erna had drawn the spell for capturing demons that she remembered and lifted it into the air. “This spell, if it hits a human it would be incredibly painful…” she warned.