Published at 1st of May 2023 10:45:26 AM

Chapter 596

If audio player doesn't work, press Stop then Play button again

There was no need to act hastily.

Their opponents were a mysterious force capable of attacking a church where the leader of the Heretic Inquisitors resided and carrying out a massacre.

At this point, it was impossible to be certain if they were a group of mages, followers of the Demon God Cult, or an entirely separate third power.

The important thing was that they were the kind of people who wouldn't leave a pursuer alone, and there was a high possibility that they would target not only the hero but also the princess of the Schwarz royal family.

In that regard, even if they didn't know about the church where the Heretic Inquisitors were hiding under the guise of a ruined church of Tu'an, the Temple itself would undoubtedly be safe.

Stirring them up with hasty actions was not a good idea.

So, for now, Ellen planned to wait at the Royal Class dormitory, hoping to hear some clues from Anna de Gerna.

They also needed to carefully consider how to deal with the internal problems within the Holy Knight Order.

For now, they would wait and observe the situation.

Ludwig stayed in the B-Class dormitory.

Ellen, Louise, and Heinrich were in the A-Class dormitory.

Snow was falling, and they needed to sort out their thoughts.

Heinrich wasn't a superhuman; he was tired from wandering around all day and had gone to rest in his room.

Louise sat on the lobby sofa, lost in thought, and saw Ellen, who had just taken a shower, walking down the hallway with a towel around her neck.

"Is something wrong?"


Ellen tilted her head as she looked at Louise.

"Have you seen my cat?"

"Um... Did it go missing?"

Louise had never been interested in pets, but if it was Ellen's beloved cat, the situation could be serious.

As Louise hesitated, unsure of what to say, Ellen shook her head.

"No, it usually wanders around by itself. It was the same at the garrison. It'll be back soon."

If the cat wasn't in sight, Ellen calmly assumed that it was wandering around another dormitory. She sat down opposite Louise and started to dry her hair with the towel, rubbing the ends gently.

The hero, Ellen Artorius.

Her brother, Ragan Artorius's fame had already faded.

Ellen Artorius's status as the next hero had grown even more prominent.

At times, she seemed a bit clumsy and didn't talk much.

But she was still a girl of her age.

"Do you like cats?"


At Louise's question, Ellen furrowed her brow, considering for a moment.

"I don't think I used to."



Ellen checked that there were no cats nearby and gazed quietly out of the window at the falling snow.

"Even now, I don't think I 'raise' it... It just comes to visit me occasionally."

She added that she saw the cat more as a friend who stopped by now and then, rather than her own pet.

In fact, Ellen seemed unconcerned about the cat not being in sight, assuming it was simply wandering around somewhere.

"I hope it didn't go outside."

It was cold, and it was snowing.

So, she hoped the cat was wandering around inside the Royal Class dormitory, not outside.

Ellen said that and continued drying her hair.

A hero who kept a cat.

Louise couldn't help but smile as she thought about Ellen's sudden offer to pet the cat the day before.

It seemed as though she had no thoughts, yet her appearance today was somehow different.

When Ludwig, who had been through a lot, asked for help, she immediately agreed to lend a hand without asking any questions.

Despite knowing the danger, she took the lead in unraveling the incident, quickly figuring out where she needed to go with her sharp mind and judgment.

Wise, quick to judge, unhesitating in helping others, she was already strong in her own right.

She may not look like a hero, but rather, it was the ordinary appearance concealing all aspects that made Ellen a true hero.

To Louise von Schwarz, Ellen Artorius was a stranger.

Her son's classmate, a hero, the owner of two divine relics, and the hope of humanity.

It wasn't the first time she had seen her face in person.

Louise had witnessed Ellen fighting fiercely.

But she had never seen Ellen carrying a cat, conversing with friends, or handling problems.

These human aspects of the hero were unfamiliar to Louise.

In the end, she couldn't help but like them.

Ellen entered the temple, hiding her overly burdensome brother's name.

She was already the owner of a divine relic, but only a handful of people knew her true identity.

After all, a hero is a being that the times require.

Just as Ragan Artorius became a hero because of the Great Demon War.

Ellen Artorius is called a hero because of the current Demon King and the Gate Incident.

Even the Demon King Reinhardt was not treated as a hero until his true identity was discovered.

Everyone thought there were two heroes, but one was a Demon King in disguise, a fact that shocked everyone.

Because of her son's words that the Demon King might not be evil, Louise couldn't decide what to do.

Louise wasn't ignoring Ellen.

If none of this had happened.

If there had been no Gate Incident, would she have lived a different life?

As a princess and heir to the Schwarz royal family, Louise would have lived as a princess even without the Gate Incident.

But Ellen was different.

Ellen was a commoner.

If there had been no Gate Incident, she would have been destined for an ordinary life.

Because of the Gate Incident, Ellen became the most important person in the world.

If none of this had happened.

Ellen would have lived an ordinary life without bearing any heavy burdens.

"If none of this had happened."


"What do you think you'd be doing now?"


At Louise's sudden question, Ellen fell silent.

"You wouldn't have wanted to live this life, would you?"

"...That's right."

Everyone looked at Ellen only as a hero. But Louise saw the human side of Ellen hidden beneath that title, both yesterday and today.

That's why she was curious about what kind of life Ellen wanted, what dreams she had.

Even though she knew there was no point in talking about such things now.

Ellen stared blankly out the window in response to Louise's question.

If none of this had happened.

"I would have been attending the temple."

Although she was still at the temple now, if there had been no Gate Incident, the temple would have been bustling with countless students.

Even if they weren't very close, as time passed, she would have become friendly enough with everyone to exchange casual conversations.

It would have been the same then as it is now, a sad friendship that could only be called camaraderie.


There would have been no one who died amidst these tangled and distorted relationships.

There wouldn't have been anyone who couldn't come to this place.

If that had been the situation.

If none of this had happened.

Ellen gazes out the window.

Her cursed eyes wouldn't have had to be considered a curse.

If everything hadn't changed and it snowed like this.


A fragment of memory from that day naturally comes to mind.

The mischievous smile of Reinhardt, who shoved a snowball into Harriet's mouth.

The day they sat on the winter terrace on a quiet, snowing night, eating beef stew, comes to mind.

It wasn't a special day.

That's what they thought back then too.

That they would later reminisce about these times.

That these days wouldn't last forever, that every ordinary day they spent together had been special.

So Ellen had vaguely guessed.

That this would be enough.

That they wouldn't ask for more.


And the one they loved.

Just being together like that would have been enough.

In the end, it's just that kind of story.

They didn't not know.

The days they thought would never return had become days they couldn't return to.

It wasn't the way they had imagined, but in the end, that's how it turned out.

And they were the ones who had destroyed it all.

If they could go back to that time.

If everything had been as if it never happened, and they had continued living like that.

What would they be doing now?

"…Maybe we'd be making a snowman."

"A snowman…?"


Ellen says this quietly.

In the accumulating snow, just as they had done before.

Eating or drinking something while watching the snowfall.

Or making a snowman.

Simply doing things like that.

Nothing particularly impressive or grand.

They would have been living those ordinary days.

Those special days.


Anna de Gerna did not return the next day either.

Not only Anna, but Christina and Louis Ancton, who were devoted to their research, didn't return either.

The research being conducted at Magic University may not be related to the three of them, so the news might not have reached them.

Since they didn't know where they were researching, everyone had no choice but to wait at the dormitory.

More than anything, it was a time to be cautious.

The day before, they had stirred up people they didn't need to provoke while running around here and there.

In a situation where they didn't know who their enemy was, acting hastily for even a day was enough.

After waiting at the temple for two days like that.

Anna de Gerna still didn't return.

"Does she usually leave her post for this long?"

At Louise's question, Ludwig nods.

"Yes, she doesn't usually come back soon…"

The four gathered in the Class B dormitory were waiting for Anna to return.

"Even if we meet her, there might not be an ingenious solution… How about searching for the dark mage within the temple?"

"If it were the time when the temple was still in operation, maybe, but I don't think we can find them right now."

In the current situation, the majority of the mages had been dispatched, and it made no difference whether they were dark mages or not. Most of them were undoubtedly at the allied forces' garrison.


Although they had no intention of making hasty moves, they couldn't help but feel restless as they aimlessly spent their time waiting for Anna, whose return was uncertain.

As a result, everyone had gathered in the B-class dormitory and spent the entire day sitting there.

Ellen gently stroked the back of a cat that had fallen asleep on her lap.

Just when they wondered where it had gone, the cat was found nonchalantly sleeping next to Ellen's bed this morning. Ellen had left her door slightly ajar so the cat could come and go as it pleased, and it roamed around her room as if it owned the place.

"The snow still hasn't stopped, huh."

Heinrich looked outside with a worried expression.

Although the snowfall had weakened, it showed no signs of stopping.

"It seems the Royal Mage Corps have been deployed for snow removal. I heard a large number of mages have returned to the allied forces' garrison as well."

"That's a relief..."

At Ludwig's words, Heinrich quietly nodded his head.

Through the window, they could see the guards inside the temple clearing the snow.

With a considerable number of students dispatched for snow removal support, they all waited for Anna, whose return was uncertain. They only wanted to ask her a simple question, and although they knew that it wouldn't be a significant hint, it was the only option they had for now.

There was also the option of contacting the archbishops of the five major religions, but that was too risky.

Louise and Ellen had decided to gather more clues before taking action.

They had been sitting in the lobby for quite a while when...


Louise noticed a door of the dormitory open, and a student walked down the hallway, heading somewhere.

The student appeared sluggish, walking slowly with a gaunt and emaciated frame.

"Ah, Detto."

In response to Ludwig's greeting, the student just gave a slight nod without any other reply and continued to move along.


Even when Ellen greeted him, the student only gave a slight nod without showing any interest and went on his way.

During the two days of waiting in the dormitory, Louise had encountered the gaunt student several times. Louise quietly watched his retreating figure.

"Detto... Morian, was it?"


"Well... um... he seems like an odd kid."

Louise chose her words carefully so as not to be rude.

Although she hadn't observed him for long, Dettomorian had a strong, distinct impression. Anyone would inevitably feel a creepy and ominous vibe from him.

"He may be misunderstood a lot, but he's a good friend."

At Ludwig's words, Ellen nodded in agreement.

Louise couldn't help but feel noticeably flustered by that statement.

"No, I didn't mean he seemed like a bad kid..."

"Sister, we understand what you mean. I, too... haven't really talked much with him."

Heinrich was still avoiding Dettomorian because of his eerie atmosphere.

Dettomorian would carry on with his tasks, showing no interest in Louise, a stranger in the dormitory, or anyone else. He didn't care who greeted him or who was around.

Louise had some knowledge about Heinrich's classmates.

Of course, seeing them with her own eyes was different.

"His talent is in shamanism, right?"


Dettomorian, a talent for shamanism.

"What exactly is this shamanism?"

At Louise's question, both Heinrich and Ludwig wore ambiguous expressions.

"Well... I'm not quite sure myself."

Even Ludwig, who had lived together with her for a long time, had no idea what shamanism was.

Something like magic, but not magic.

"I can't be sure how it manifests, but it is certainly a means of harnessing power. I have witnessed it several times myself."

"You've seen it firsthand?"


It was Ellen who answered instead.

A long time ago, Ellen had witnessed the Dettomorian ritual to awaken the cursed demon sword Tiamata alongside Reinhardt.

She also saw the Dettomorian praying for peace with Bertus and Saviolin Turner.

The amulet currently hanging around Ellen's neck was also carved by a Dettomorian.

Ellen didn't know whether the amulet around her neck was really protecting her.

Dettomorian had told her to wish for the amulet to be a guide that would protect her soul.

So, she did just that.

She couldn't know if it truly harnessed power or not, but she wished for it to be so.

Was this the essence of shamanism?

Louise didn't doubt Ellen's claim that she had seen the shamanism manifest several times. Ellen must have seen it, so she must be speaking the truth.


Louise crossed her arms.

"If shamanism manifests power, is it a method of handling mana, or is it a form of divine power?"

A more fundamental question.

Was the shamanism magic, or was it faith?

All three of them could only wear puzzled expressions at this question.

"I'm not certain, but I've heard that shamanism is the most primitive form of magic."

Heinrich's knowledge was limited to that, and even then, it was a story that most ordinary people didn't know. He only knew this much because there was a Dettomorian with the peculiar talent of shamanism among his classmates.

Before established magic existed in the world, the practitioners of shamanism were the first mages.

Thus, shamanism was a primitive form of magic.

Ellen knew this as well.

However, she had never given much thought to shamanism.

It seemed quite peculiar when she thought about it.

When Dettomorian performed the ritual for Tiamata and when he prayed for peace.

From the beginning, the word "prayer."

"But when actually using it, it's more like... praying."

Louise looked at Ellen with interest.

"Magic that manifests through prayer? Is that even possible?"

Magic was a 'technique' that refines mana within or outside the body using established formulas and theories. That was the way of mages.

However, prayer was simply wishing for the power itself to manifest. That was the way of priests.

"That's true."

Upon hearing Louise's words, Ellen sensed that something was strange.

"The shamanism, it seems like a very odd power."

It was impossible to determine if shamanism was truly magic or not.

There were no established formulas or theories. Thus, it was not a technique.

Yet, it wasn't praying to the Five Great Gods either, so it wasn't a power derived from the divine abilities of the gods.

Where did the power of shamanism come from?

If it didn't come from somewhere else, it should be within the realm of technique like that of the mages. However, shamanism didn't seem to have any techniques at all.

Shamanism was indeed a very strange power.

"Isn't it strange, though...?"

As Ellen and Louise were lost in confusion, Ludwig slipped into the conversation.

"Isn't it strange that a power that's neither magic nor divine actually works?"

At Ludwig's question, Louise tilted her head.

"Well, you know how heretics perform rituals that cause strange things to happen. I'm not talking about the believers in the Demon God Cult but rather... people who don't really believe in anything, yet their bizarre rituals manifest power... Couldn't such a thing be possible?"

Ludwig was merely recalling Rowan's words.

Heretics prayed to strange places, and while their prayers might not always be effective, sometimes they are.

They probably didn't use magic, but something did happen.

"Is shamanism not so different from the rituals of heretics...?"

"No, that's not what I meant."

Realizing what he had just said, Ludwig became flustered.

Ludwig wanted to say that it wasn't so strange for shamanism to wield power.

But by saying that Dettomorian was no different from a heretic, Ludwig almost wanted to bite his own tongue.


Ellen shook her head, looking at the bewildered Ludwig.

"Come to think of it, instead of Anna, we should have been looking for the Dettomorian."

The heretics in the refugee camp, or perhaps the followers of the Demon God Cult.

If they were involved in this case, they should be looking for the Dettomorian rather than Anna.

Praying to an unknown power and receiving a response.

If the cause of the incident was the heretics' rituals, they might need to look for a shaman instead of a dark mage.

Dettomorian had just left the dormitory.

"Let's go find him."

"Do you know where he went? Dettomorian seems to be out often."

At Ludwig's question, Ellen nodded.

That eerie and grotesque space.

The basement of the club building.

Ellen knew that the Dettomorian was there every day, offering his prayers.

Please report us if you find any errors so we can fix it asap!