The Priest of Corruption
Carmen looked at the arrowhead he thumbed with trembling eyes, his face stiff.
If the marble showed no reaction after soaking in blood, the family he was looking for was already dead.
After a long moment, he raised his head and said to me.
Could you please pray for me?”
I smiled and nodded.
“As much as you want.”
I tapped my pocket to call for the Mother of Corruption and whispered softly.
Did you hear that?”
I smiled quietly as she said I knew better than anyone that she didn’t have that kind of ability.
Carmen finally closed his eyes and stabbed his fingertip.
Drops of blood dripped on the marble, and it devoured his blood.
As Carmen watched it drink his blood, a tiny needle floated from the surface of the bloody artifact and began to point west.
Tears rolled down Carmen’s face.
He was always a very emotional man.
He wiped away the tears and bowed his head deeply toward me.
“Thank you very much.
This is all thanks to the priest, and how could I repay this favor…?”
“Any time, you can pay it back with your sincerity.
I’m a very patient person.”
I pushed the firewood into the bonfire.
Carmen, gazing at the glowing orange light, carefully spoke.
“Is it okay if I make a suggestion?”
“Of course, feel free to tell me.
The night was long, and my ears are bored.”
Carmen hung the beaded necklace around his neck and opened his mouth slowly.
“I would like to extend your employment until I find my mother.
The direction I have to go is to the west, so I will stop at the capital on the way and give you enough compensation to make up for this.”
I rummaged through the firewood with my kindling, deep in thought.
It was necessary to compare the profit I stood to gain by staying at Guise with what I would gain by leaving with Carmen.
Guise had a demon lord who was friendly to me.
We also laid a pretty solid foundation thanks to their recent rampage.
Perhaps, if I went back now, I would be able to receive a silver mercenary plaque from the mercenary guild.
But there was a small problem.
In Guise, I had become so famous that I would draw attention everywhere I went.
Those gazes were very uncomfortable for me, who wanted to lead a quiet life.
On the other hand, what were the benefits of leaving Guise with Carmen? First, although he was a bastard, he was a nobleman.
The son of the Black Wolf Ensis Baltas, who everyone in the North knew.
The mere fact that I was with him allowed me to go in and out of many places that weren’t otherwise easily open to me.
Meaning I could find relics in more diverse places.
I made up my mind.
“Of course, I’ll cover all the travel expenses during the trip.
I have enough money to afford it.”
I took some time because if I said I would go right away, he might feel like I was crazy about money.
I patiently shoved in about three more pieces of firewood and then smiled.
“I’ll help you find your mother.”
While searching for the relics of the Mother of Corruption.
Carmen smiled brightly.
Erin gave me a sullen look.
“So, you’re leaving? All of a sudden? Even though I’ve been treating you so well?”
I laughed awkwardly.
“It’s not right now.
I’m leaving tomorrow.”
“It’s the same today or tomorrow; it’s still all of a sudden! Well, that’s all right.
Where are you going anyway?”
We’re going to stop by the capital on the way.”
Erin tapped the reception desk and murmured, ‘Capital?’ She then pouted her lips and looked back at me.
At first glance, they were movements that would make her look like a whining child, but they looked so natural and lovely to her.
“You’re too mean.”
Mother was already drenched in the sense of her victory.
“Give me your hand.”
As I held my hand, Erin placed a silver mercenary plaque onto my palm.
“It usually doesn’t arrive so quickly, but I’ve worked hard on it.
So, what should you say to me?”
She wagged her finger in front of my forehead.
Erin, staring at me with a sharp look in her eyes, flicked me.
“That’s not it.
Let’s meet again.
I’ll definitely come back here to see you again.
You have to say this.”
I smiled quietly without answering.
In my wandering life, the promise to see her again wasn’t something I could keep.
So, I chose silence instead of lying.
Erin let out a deep sigh.
“Seriously, Priest Marnak, if you live like that, you won’t be able to date before you die of old age.”
Of course, Mother’s shout, saying it wasn’t her business, didn’t reach Erin.
Instead, she had her usual mischievous smile again.
“See you again.”
See you again?
“Let’s meet again when you get a chance.
I think that opportunity may come to Priest Marnak a little earlier than expected.”
“What does that mean?”
Erin smiled softly and slapped me on the back.
“You said you were going to meet the Lord before leaving.
The Lord is waiting for you, so you can’t chat with the mercenary guild receptionist.
I asked as I was being pushed away.
“What does that mean?!”
“You don’t have to know.
Just be curious; that’s my punishment to Priest Marnak.”
It’s very delicious.
The elaborate prosthetic moved as if alive, pushing a bowl of cookies closer to me.
I picked up one and put it in my mouth.
Again, there was no taste.
The demon watched my face with a smile.
“You seem very curious about something.”
“On the way home, I was given a naughty question.
It’s really difficult because I kept thinking about it.”
“I guess that’s life.
The problems that keep holding onto your heart never fully leave us.
By the way, I heard you were leaving?”
I raised my head to face the demon.
His hair, which had boasted of its abundance last time I left, had lost its strength and was droopy.
I said with regret:
“The side effects came very quickly.”
“Hahaha! Don’t look at me so pitifully! Aren’t some people born without hair? I’m just one step closer to being human.
Are you going to the capital?”
“I heard so and prepared this in advance.”
The demon handed me a white envelope.
I accepted it and asked.
“I wanted to give you some money, but as you know, I don’t have a penny left in my pocket, and I’m losing even my slush funds to recover Guise.
The demon, pulling out his pockets and shaking them, grinned.
“So, since you’re going to the capital, I wrote a letter of introduction.
If you have trouble, you can open the envelope and ask my friend for help.
Although it might be better to not visit him since he has an annoying personality! Hahaha!”
A demon’s friend? He didn’t tell me if he was a friend of the human Thredon Philian or the demon, however.
Well, it was always good to have various means at hand.
The demon faced me and bowed his head.
“I hope that your trip will always be enjoyable.”
“Is that a blessing as a demon or a blessing as a human?”
The demon replied with a chuckle.
“I have blessed you as a friend, Priest Marnak.
May you always have fun! Life is always too short!”
Early in the morning, Carmen and I walked through the snow that had fallen overnight to leave Guise behind.
And like that, we left Guise.
A few days later.
We were walking toward the west, where the marble pointed as usual when the faint scent of blood caught my senses.
“It’s very close.
And it’s coming towards us.”
Carmen drew his bow and nocked an arrow.
The bloody scent gradually grew stronger.
Something was approaching fast.
A body covered in pure white fur and eight legs, a snowy spider the size of a wagon, skittered out.
“Snow Spider! Why is it on the road?!”
I was confused as well.
Why would a monster attack us while I was here? This was by no means natural.
“Carmen! I’ll deal with it! Watch and shoot when I signal.”
Instead of the Froststeel sword, I removed the Relic sword from the ruins.
In fact, the reason I asked Carmen to help me was that I wanted to test this relic.
The past few days had been so peaceful that I hadn’t had the chance.
When I swung the sword, the blade began to howl.
This relic sword I got was a chainsaw sword with a chainsaw taking the place of an ordinary blade.
Mother gave the sword the name the Butcher.
I raised my roaring sword and ran at the snow spider.
Huge blood-soaked legs approached relentlessly to pierce me.
Without hesitation, I swung the Butcher.
The rough metal blades rotated and ripped apart the beast’s front legs.
I didn’t stop there and cut through its body, and the Butcher ripped its abdomen open.
The snow spider let out a terrifying screech as it turned into minced meat.
The blade’s rotation slowly stopped.
I wiped away the splattered fluid from my face, which was extremely sticky.
“I must prepare a place to wash in advance when using this sword.
It splatters too much flesh and blood.”
Carmen stood stunned and looked at me, bewildered.
“As expected, relics are relics.
The power is really great.”
At Mother’s warning, I grabbed the Butcher again and shouted.
“More is coming! Two, not three!”
“Kyiiiiiigh! Kyiiiiiigh! Kyiiiiiigh!”
Three snow spiders popped out.
Snow spiders certainly weren’t group creatures either.
“Carmen! This time just shoot whenever you can!”
As an arrow cleaved the air, I started the Butcher again and kicked it off the ground.
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