Adandito was indeed the representative of the gods, someone who even received offerings while breathing.
So, it wasn’t just a casual remark when he mentioned that the dream realm was in chaos.
He must have received some kind of trust, and that’s why he came to the Demon Castle.
‘He left me and came here, so the dream realm is in chaos.
It must have been an unwise decision for a deity to make.’
Although I wanted to say it out loud, he was the only person who could get me out of there.
First, I needed to confirm if he had forgotten about me, just as the curse of the Demon King dictated.
While pretending to be kind, I maintained a confident smile, but I was cautious with my words, aware of his eyes that sparkled like newly polished gems.
“The dream realm is in chaos, and you came to the Demon Castle.
You don’t seem like an ordinary person yourself.”
Adandito didn’t change his expression at all and replied,
“Well, because I saw you in a dream.”
“…You saw me in a dream?”
“Yes, I saw you wandering near the Demon Castle.
Perhaps you are a manifestation of the Demon King?”
“A manifestation? You should know from my powers that I’m not.”
Healing abilities were one of the powers farthest from those of demons.
However, Adandito replied without hesitation.
“If it’s the Demon King, he can disguise himself.
Paradoxically, he is the being closest to the gods.”
Adandito smiled genuinely as if he truly believed that.
His tone seemed to invite me to speak if I had something to say, but it appeared that he genuinely couldn’t remember me.
In other words, it meant I could be torn to pieces at any moment.
I need to come up with an explanation.’
If I were mistaken for a demon, it would be the end for me.
I would probably endure countless cruel tortures until my identity as a demon was proven.
By the time it was revealed that I was human, I would already be a corpse.
However, if I were to say,
‘Actually, I’m someone who joined you all in the quest to subdue the Demon King and was cursed to be forgotten, so I’m here,’…
‘They would torture me until they confirmed the truth.
What should I do?’
With a troubled expression, Adandito took a step closer and asked,
“It’s a simple question.
Please reveal your identity.
Or is there a reason why it’s difficult for you to do so?”
“Um, it’s not such a simple question…”
“Why would that be? If you’re human, there should be records in the temple of you being an enemy.
Especially if you’re skilled enough to cross the Forest of Evil and come to this Demon Castle.”
I racked my brain, but I couldn’t come up with a suitable answer.
Adandito was right.
There wouldn’t be a reason for the temple to miss someone so powerful who infiltrated the Forest of Evil.
However, any vague excuses would only raise suspicions.
‘And what Adandito hates the most is lies.’
As soon as it became apparent that my words didn’t match, I was about to become the target of handling.
So, even if I had to say a word, I had to be cautious.
It was better to remain silent than to speak clumsily.
While hesitating, Adandito approached a step closer and spoke.
“Unless it’s something like falling from the sky.”
“…… Falling from the sky?”
He said it with a rather serious expression.
“Why? Such things happen occasionally, don’t they? Like a savior sent by the Eora deity, showing mercy to the world.”
Yes, I am that savior! Can I shout that out? Rather than that, how did he guess my true identity?
Although I may not know, it seems the intuition of the deputy chief is not something to be ignored…
I smiled cautiously, gauging his reaction.
Adandito also raised the corners of his mouth and smiled.
However, his eyes still had a mysterious glint, a glint filled with curiosity and anticipation.
It was a more chilling expression than before.
‘What does he want from me?’
As I looked at him with a completely puzzled expression, Adandito exuded his divine power from head to toe and murmured.
“Let’s start with a simple test.”
Before his words even ended, a sunlight-like divine power enveloped my whole body.
It felt like my body, which had been hungry and unwashed, was being cleansed in an instant.
The soothing divine power coursed through every part of my body, soothing the hardships I had endured.
The gem I had hidden in my sleeve fell to the ground.
At the same time, Adandito’s calm eyebrows twitched.
He glanced at the gem rolling on the floor and murmured to himself.
“…Seems like you are indeed human.”
“…You need to eat to survive.”
I’m not sure why you’re in a place where it’s most difficult to eat and live, though.”
Adandito covered his face with large hands, murmuring to himself.
“This must be the will of the deity.
Whether you’re a demon or a human… I’ll find out slowly.”
Is it really okay like this? I thought Adandito, who was almost a perfectionist, would delve deeper.
‘He dreamed, and then my image appeared in the sanctuary.
Perhaps that’s why.’
If it’s the will of the deity, even a demon lord would accept it, so it made sense for him to act like this.
Anyway, thanks to that, my situation had improved significantly.
If Adandito acknowledges it, he’ll surely provide me with a meal, given that I’ve been starving.
‘And then, when the opportunity arises, I’ll escape!’
I clenched my fist tightly and glared with determination.
Then I followed him, leaving the forest of evil behind.
While it took a whopping three years to reach the Demon King’s castle from the entrance of the forest, escaping took only a few hours, which was more than enough.
* * *
The temple of Eora, known as the god of the continent and the god of life, the mother goddess, and the one who governs the beginning and end of the world.
Located behind the temple, dyed red as the sun sets, is a space exclusively permitted for the high priestess.
It was renowned for its elegance, surpassing even the royal palace.
As it was a private space for the high priestess, no one who was not invited could set foot there.
“…How did I end up coming this far?”
It seemed like this was a guest bedroom attached to the high priestess’s personal space.
‘The security is so tight, it would be a hassle to leave.’
It was a space where only thoroughly verified individuals could enter.
In other words, it meant that even if I were to disappear here without a trace, no one would know.
Therefore, I needed to make plans to escape before the intensive investigation began.
However, there was something more important than that at the moment.
‘You said you’d give me something to eat, so where did you go?’
I sang songs to the temple about being hungry, but Adandito disappeared, saying he was going to get something to eat.
It felt like an hour had passed, yet my hunger remained unsatisfied.
“Surely they don’t intend to starve me like this.”
There was nothing to expect in terms of meals at the temple, but I had hoped to fill my stomach with whatever side dishes I could find at the market.
‘Just you wait, I’ll eat everything you bring.’
While I was desperately trying to suppress my rumbling stomach, I heard a knock on the door, and Adandito appeared with a tray in his hands.
“I’ve prepared the meal.”
The front apron on top of his temple garment seemed to be stretched to its limit by his muscles, but I couldn’t care less about his appearance.
Although it still felt unfamiliar no matter how much I looked at it, I had grown accustomed to seeing him cook throughout my time in the punitive force.
Above all, as the savory aroma filled the room, my stomach roared, demanding to be fed immediately.
Adandito’s food was all bland and tasteless, not to mention it was all vegetarian.
So, I had complained and grumbled throughout my time in the punitive force, but now just the sight of it made my mouth water.
I quickly took a sip of the soup.
At that moment, a sensation gathered from all over my body and concentrated at the tip of my tongue, as if an electrifying shock ran through me.
‘Wow, this is incredible.’
It was a taste that instantly awakened my senses!
At that moment, without realizing it, a memory from the past resurfaced.
It was a cold winter day.
Even with a warming magic-infused blanket wrapped around me, the wind was piercing enough to freeze my bones.
I was hungry, cold, and sleepy, longing to go back home and see my parents.
That’s when Adandito made me a stew.
He had only added some roots, unknown vegetables, and fruits, but it instantly warmed my chilled body, which had been suffering from the cold
It was delicious, but as I reminisced for a moment about the past, suddenly Adandito’s nagging voice came to mind.
‘Even though we don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to get food, you all eat so much.
Are you all parasites?’
‘…The past wasn’t particularly enjoyable, huh?’
So this is why they say memories are beautiful when they’re memories.
I looked down at the empty stew bowl on the bedside table, regaining the almost moved feeling I had before.
It was slightly unsatisfying without meat, but it was excellent as the first meal after being hungry.
I patted Adandito’s shoulder without hesitation and praised him.
“You did well.
It was delicious.”
“Still, next time, let’s focus on meat, alright?”
Adandito looked at me with a confused expression.
“But why are you… using informal language…”
“Oh, sorry, I will.”
“…It feels even more awkward when you speak formally.
You can just speak comfortably.”
“…Right? It’s more comfortable for you too, isn’t it?”
After three years of not speaking, it felt strange to be polite.
‘I was worried about how it would feel if you asked something and hung on, but I’m glad.’
I looked at Adandito with an exasperated expression, and our eyes accidentally met.
He looked at me with a complex expression as if lost in thought, then quickly turned his head when our eyes met.
Then, with a more foolish expression than usual, he mumbled.
“Why are you like that?”
“…It feels like it just rained.”
After saying that, he cautiously spoke to me in an unusual tone.
“…Is meat enough?”
Suddenly talking about food.
Did I seem upset about side dishes?
Of course, meat was important.
But I couldn’t ignore the reward I had agreed to receive after the demon king’s subjugation.
‘Hard work for three years!’
I thought I would get the reward for my hard work in participating in the demon king subjugation.
So, even though I knew Adandito wouldn’t understand what I was saying, I spoke candidly.
“First, I have to receive a sufficient amount of gold.
Enough to build a castle with!”
“A castle made of gold…”
At that moment, for some reason, Adandito smiled brightly…
“Then will you continue to stay here until then?”
Of course, there was a teleportation array here, and it was close to the Yellow Road.
There was no reason for me not to stay here.
‘As long as Adandito doesn’t suspect me and torment me.’
Fortunately, for now, there was no sign that he wanted to torture me.
I’m not sure why he’s going along with it so easily, but bringing up the topic of meat and rewards made me feel like he was being kind to me.
‘But he’s not the type to just go along with things…’
Just as joy was about to surge, doubt suddenly raised its head.
And it’s understandable.
The Adandito I’ve seen so far has been cold, sensitive, and irritable, if not hysterical.
‘But why is he suddenly being nice to me?’
I’d rather believe that a passing thief is kind.
As soon as that thought came to mind, I looked at Adandito with eyes full of suspicion.
“You’re hiding something from me.”
At that moment, Adandito flinched.
Looking into his wide eyes, I became even more convinced of my suspicion.
I tore off a piece of the steaming bread and mumbled while chewing, lost in thought.
‘I guess… I have to find out what Adandito is hiding.’
* * *
Adandito, the chief executive of the Sunghwan Temple, had been practicing silent meditation for a whopping fifteen years.
He was an elite official highly regarded in the temple and even served as the deputy chief executive.
He maintained a reputation for calmness and composure.
However, today he couldn’t utter a word, his mouth agape.
It was after hearing what Adandito had said.
Separate from that, Adandito’s behavior was far from composed; it overflowed with leisure.
“Did I hear correctly?”
“Do I need to repeat myself?”
Adandito replied with a soft tone.
His gentle intonation sent chills down her spine.
The monk bowed his head, knowing full well that a knife lurked beneath the noble smile.
Carry out what I have instructed.”
Only with gold, to build an extravagant castle, is that what you mean?”
I will use my wealth.
As for the scale… yes, it would be nice if even a cute baby bird wouldn’t get bored too soon.”
“A baby bird… you mean the one currently staying at the sanctuary.”
It will stay there from now on, so please take special care.”
Adandito smiled and turned his gaze back to the pot.
The large pot was filled with chunks of meat, boiling vigorously.
The chief executive pondered as he looked at the pot.
‘I guess that’s for the baby bird as well.’
Adandito rarely ate meat.
To be precise, he was close to being a vegetarian.
He made a fuss about how he couldn’t stand the smell of meat, claiming it didn’t sit well with his stomach.
At most, he would eat eggs, removing the yolk and only eating the egg whites mixed with vinegar.
And now he was personally boiling meat.
‘Three years… seems quite long.
The chief executive concealed his bitter emotions and turned around.
As soon as he left, a hint of joy flickered in Adandito’s cold eyes.
“…Will this meal be enjoyed?”
He had a reason for saying that.
It was because of the dream he had been having all week.
After completing the seal and returning to the temple, Adandito had the same dream every day for a week.
It was a dream of a woman who appeared as if she were born with golden hair and spring’s blessing.
‘Is she a deity?’
At first, Adandito mistook her for a deity due to the resemblance of her power to divine power.
But upon closer inspection, her power was different from that of a deity.
She was a healer who inherited the power of fairies.
And there was something even more surprising.
The woman was in the Demon King’s fortress.
Forgetting that it was just a dream, Adandito held his breath.
“Why would you be in the Demon King’s fortress?”
The Demon King’s fortress was filled with venom, and even an ordinary person would be fatally poisoned just by entering.
Even with healing abilities, it was difficult to endure to some extent.
But the woman appeared completely fine as if she had plenty of energy.
Moreover, the Demon King’s fortress was not a place anyone could enter.
It took three years for the three most powerful individuals on the continent to break through.
And a lone human woman was standing there.
‘Could she possibly be a demon in human form?’
While sealing the Demon King, Adandito, a colleague and high mage named Hierian, noticed a rift in the space-time continuum.
Sending the Demon King to another dimension was the only option, as he was an entity that couldn’t be killed, but now there was a rift in that option as well.
It meant that at any time, the seal could be broken, or other minions sent by the Demon King could cross over to the current dimension.
As soon as he realized this, Adandito, who had been in a state of sluggishness, sharpened his senses.
He carefully examined the woman.
At that moment, as if shaking his entire dream, a voice resounded as if pouring down from the sky.
It was a divine voice.
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