Chapter 23

 

Gulp.

 

Judiel swallowed harshly.

‘Why? Why is that boy here…?’

She couldn’t understand why Raon Zieghart, who should’ve been sleeping, was standing behind her with a sword pointed in her direction.

‘Ugh…’

She wanted to try and grasp the situation, but she couldn’t even breathe—let alone try to think—when she saw the red eyes reflected in the lake.

She felt like her heart was being crushed, as if she was meeting the eyes of a murderer that had taken hundreds and thousands of lives.

“I know someone has been observing me since the day I returned to the annex building.”

“Hup…”

Since the day he returned… That meant that he’d noticed her gaze from the very beginning.

‘No.
No way.’

She had been trained as a spy since childhood.
That was why she was confident in her ability to hide her presence better than anyone else.

There was no way a mere child had discovered her identity and caught her off guard.

“Open your mouth.”

“Ahh…”

Raon’s words weren't a suggestion, but an order.
Judiel trembled and opened her mouth.

“Guk…”

His finger pushed past her parted lips and forced something down her throat.

“Kyah!”

She screamed.
A pain—like an awl piercing her esophagus and stomach—shot through her.

She sniffled.
Her stomach felt like she had just swallowed flames, to a point that she felt the urge to peel away her belly.

 

Splash.

 

Leaving Judiel, who was writhing in pain, Raon entered the lake and brought back the dark blue paper.

 

Rustle.

 

Raon’s eyes darkened as he unfolded the paper.

“This isn’t normal paper.”

“Hup…”

Judiel shut her mouth.
Despite the agonizing pain, she wasn’t going to yield.
Her pride as a spy wouldn’t allow it. 

“…”

Raon Zieghart nodded after staring into her eyes for a while.

“Water.
Earth.
Fire.
Wind.”

He suddenly started naming the different elements.
He appeared to be looking for a way to investigate the paper’s content, but she couldn’t understand why he was speaking aloud.

“… Sunlight.
Moonlight.”

“…”

The answer was moonlight, but Judiel didn’t react.
Biting her tongue, she endured the stomach-rending pain.

“So, it was moonlight.”

“Huh…?”

She felt like her heart was jumping out of her mouth.
Raon Zieghart had said the correct answer immediately after meeting her eyes.

‘Wh-what?! How?’

She was just enduring the pain.
How was he able to determine the secret of the paper, despite her refusal to show any reaction?

He turned the paper over and placed it under the light from the moon for a while, then began to read.

“This is a very thorough investigation.
Who were you going to send this to?”

“Ugh…”

Raon asked his question with a blank expression.
Judiel was now more scared than agonized.
The strangling fear was hurting her back.

“Aries Zieghart.”

He didn’t press her for an answer.
Instead, he said the name of Glenn Zieghart’s first daughter.

“Karoon Zieghart, Denier… It was Karoon Zieghart.”

“Huff!”

Judiel started shouting, unable to hold back anymore.

“Who… Who are you?!”

Her chin trembled in fear of the unknown.

‘Wh-what is this child?!’

Managing one's expressions and endurance were the first things taught to a spy.

It was impossible for a mere child to discern information just from looking into her eyes.

“…”

Raon Zieghart kept gazing down at her without saying anything.
Judiel bowed down, trying to avoid his menacing glare, and came to a realization.

‘Wait! What if he wasn’t reading my expression?’

His eyes weren’t checking her expression.
He was just calmly looking at her.

‘No way…’

The agonizing pain ripping through her stomach… The way Raon was reading her thoughts… The connection between the two snapped in place in her thoughts.

“Did… Did you feed me a rage worm?”

“You know about rage worms?”

Raon Zieghart’s expression changed for the first time.
He was jeering at her, at the way she knew about it, despite being a mere spy.
But that was enough of an answer.

“Kuh!”

She felt like throwing up.

‘No way… A rage worm!’

Rage worm was one of the worst curses in the world.
By making it enter the body of a target, the caster could discern not only the target’s location, but also their thoughts.

The worst part was the fact that, no matter how far away they were, the caster could kill the target whenever they wanted—accompanied with agonizing pain.

‘That’s the only possibility.
It’s a rage worm!’

The agonizing pain, and the way Raon Zieghart was reading her mind, made her realize that what entered through her mouth was certainly a rage worm.

“How… How did you use a rage worm…?”

She doubted how a thirteen-years-old child that had been sick his entire life could use a rage worm, but that was the only possibility she could think of.

“That shouldn’t be what’s important to you right now.”

Raon Zieghart approached her, swaying the paper in front of her eyes.

“Ugh…”

He was right.
Since a rage worm had already entered her body, she couldn’t run away or disobey.

“Since you sent this letter to Karoon Zieghart, you must be a spy from the Central Martial Palace.
And the operation must have started seven months ago, after the Judgment Ceremony.”

“…!”

Judiel’s eyes widened.
He was right once again.
She had come to the annex building seven months ago, after the Judgment Ceremony.
It confirmed, once again, that he had used a rage worm against her.

“You have investigated very thoroughly.
Not only about me, but also about my mother, Helen, and the other maids.”

Raon Zieghart smiled, looking at the letters shining under the moonlight.
The bloodlust contained in his expression drenched Judiel’s back in cold sweat.

‘I’ve offended somebody I never should have.’

She’d thought it was an easy mission.

The annex building didn’t have any warriors, and only kind people lived in it.
As she only needed to gather information about the young Raon and the disabled Sylvia, she thought it would be simple, easy.

It wasn’t.

There was a monster living in the annex building, and it was an extremely murderous one.
Looking into his red eyes made her want to hang herself.

“Kuh…”

She pulled at the flesh on her arm.

The pale bloodlust coming from him made her feel like her face was getting torn apart, and the organ where the rage worm resided felt like it was going to explode.

“I… I will change the content.
I’ll deliver a false…”

“You don’t need to.”

Raon Zieghart lowered the paper.
The letters that used to reflect moonlight went invisible.
After folding the paper once again, he set it afloat on the lake.

“Wh-why…?”

“Even if you change the information now, Karoon will eventually learn about me.
It will only result in him realizing your incompetence.”

“Hup!”

Raon knelt and met her eyes.
Meeting his bloody red eyes, her hands and feet trembled.

“How often do you report?”

“The periodical report is once every two weeks.”

“Since I won against Burren today, the period will become shorter.
It should change to one week.”

“Ah, yes…”

Judiel nodded.
She’d also thought the same thing.

“You are a double agent from now on.
Report him with any information that he will soon discover anyway, hide undisclosed and important information.
On the other hand, bring me valuable information from his side.”

“Un-understood.”

She nodded unconditionally, since she could do anything to get out of her current terrifying situation.

“I'm looking forward to some useful information the next time I return.”

After saying that, he disappeared into the darkness.

“Ugh…”

However, Judiel still felt like his red eyes were glaring into her heart.

 

Plop.

 

Unable to stop her legs from trembling, she collapsed on the ground.

“The… The pain…”

The pain had disappeared at some point.
It looked like Raon Zieghart had controlled the rage worm.

‘Monster…’

She couldn’t even think about disobeying him.
There was an existence more terrifying than the death itself hiding in the darkness of the annex building.

“Ugh!”

Judiel bit her lip and ran to her lodgings.
The fear left behind by Raon was deeply engraved in her heart, like goosebumps sprouting on her neck.

 

* * *

 

Reaper Scans

[Translator – Kyangi]

[Proofreader – Harley]

Join our discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics

 

* * *

 

When did you summon a rage worm?

“It wasn’t a rage worm.”

Raon, who had returned to his room, shook his head.

What?

“I fed her with a poison, making her feel intense pain temporarily.”

He’d fallen victim to a rage worm in his previous life, but he couldn’t even remember it.
Obviously, he didn’t know how to cast it.
What he’d fed Judiel was just a poison used for torture.

“I wouldn’t use something like a rage worm, even if I had it.”

He didn’t have any intention of using such a dreadful curse.
If he’d had the worm in front of him, he would’ve crushed it under his feet.

Then where did you get that poison?

“I made it.”

So earlier, when you went to the kitchen and warehouse…

“That’s right.”

Poison recipes were already in his memory, so he’d just modified one a bit to make a poison using the materials he had around him.

Wait.
Earlier, you read her thoughts.

“Yes, I did.”

How could you do that without using a rage worm?

“Some of them were guesses, and others were from looking at her condition.”

Her condition? But didn’t she maintain the same expression the entire time?

Wrath’s blue flame wavered.
He couldn’t seem to understand how he’d gotten the information from looking at her condition.

“I can tell.”

He’d lived as an assassin for over twenty years in his previous life.
He was also experienced with torture, so it wasn’t really difficult for him to read Judiel’s thoughts.

Even in devildom, the King of Essence has never seen anything like a thirteen-year-old that knows how to engrave fear into people.

He was right.

If he didn’t have the experience from his previous life as an assassin, he wouldn’t have realized that Judiel was gathering information.
He also couldn’t have used the same method against her.

When he thought about it, he realized his previous life was quite useful.

“Anyway, it was Karoon Zieghart.”

Raon repeated Karoon’s name, sitting on his bed.
He could guess the reason he’d sent Judiel.
He must have wanted to obtain information about him because of how he’d acted at the Judgment Ceremony.

But he made the incorrect decision.

Just observing him was fine, but he also included Sylvia, Helen, and every maid in the annex building as the targets of his observation.
That was the worst mistake he could’ve made.

But why didn’t you change the information?

Wrath approached while tilting his head.

She’d written that you managed to overcome the ice even more, and obtained an excellent aura cultivation technique.
Shouldn’t you have erased it?

“That's trivial information.
I need to give away that much if I want to trick him.”

Brushing his finger over the bedsheet, he continued.

“If she keeps sending real information about me to the Central Martial Palace, she will become trusted.
If I send false information after sending useless, but real, information… I can create an opportunity to dispose of Karoon Zieghart.”

Hah…

Wrath gasped.
He realized Raon really was abnormal to be able to make such a plan in such a short amount of time.

You are obviously not thirteen years old.
You are like a hundred-year-old python on the inside.

“Just a python?”

Raon swayed his finger with a mocking smile at Wrath.

‘I’m not a python.
I’m an assassin.’

The best assassin.

 

***

 

Runaan Sullion didn’t stop training, not even after she returned home.

She couldn’t stay still, as she kept recalling the movements that Raon Zieghart had shown on the testing day.

However…

“I can’t.”

When she trained with the equipment in the house, the weight she could lift had clearly gotten smaller compared to when she was at the training ground.

It wasn’t just the equipment.
Long-distance running and other stamina training didn’t go well, either.

“Hmm…”

She pondered about it, but there was only one answer.

“Raon Zieghart.”

Raon wasn’t there.
Since Raon—who always used to be next to her—wasn’t with her anymore, she wasn’t in her usual condition.

Since Raon’s fragrance had gotten even better, she would sniff it unconsciously.
She thought that was one of the reasons why.

‘I need him.’

Runaan Sullion nodded and left the training ground.

“Runaan?”

Rokan Sullion, the head of the Sullion family, furrowed his brow as he watched Runaan leave the training ground.

“We were going to train together.
Where are you going?”

“To Raon.”

“Raon? Do… Do you mean Raon Zieghart?”

“Mhm.”

“Wh-why are you going to him? And why now, when we were supposed to train together?”

Rokan Sullion stuttered, losing his usual composure.
His hands trembled, because Runaan said she wanted to go to Raon when he finally managed to make time to play with his youngest daughter.

“Because of the scent, and the training.”

“Huh?”

He couldn’t understand what she was saying.

“I’m going.”

Runaan dusted off her clothes and left the training ground.

“Wa-wait! You can train here, with your father!”

“I have to train there!”

Runan resolutely shook her head.

“You keep saying that you have to go.
D-Did Raon do something to you?”

“Something?”

She blankly lowered her head and thought about what happened with Raon.

‘He helped me.’

Raon hadn’t directly helped her, but she could train more efficiently whenever she was next to him, so she was definitely assisted by him.

“Yes, he did.”

“Kuh! Raon, that bastard!”

Rokan grinded his teeth.

‘How dare you threaten my daughter?!’

Rokan added his imagination to Runaan’s short answer to draw a picture.
The picture of his poor daughter, trembling in fear from Raon’s threats, was embedded in his brain.

“Oh, no! My lord! You can’t be here! Today’s tasks can’t be postponed, no matter what…”

“Bring my sword immediately!”

Rokan shouted at the butler that came looking for him.

“Eek? Sw-sword?”

“Runaan, I’m coming too! I can’t let him be!”

Rokan glared.
He looked like he was going to destroy the Zieghart’s annex building.

“Huh? Huh?”

The butler opened his mouth wide.
His head was hurting already because of the mess that he was going to create.

“What are you doing?! I told you to bring me my sword!”

“Pl-please, wait! My lord! Please talk to me…”

“I don’t need to talk! I only need a sword and punishment!”

“Haaah…”

The butler turned his head towards Runaan.
She was staring at Rokan with a blank expression that made it impossible to know what she was thinking.
He knew that the quiet lady wasn’t going to resolve the situation.

‘That person is the only one who can resolve this.’

He shook his head and went into the mansion to look for the madam, instead of a sword.

 

***

 

“So.
You are saying that the young master Raon helped you with your training, rather than threatening you.
Correct?”

“Mhm.”

Runaan nodded at Clara’s question.

 “Dear.”

Clara’s purple eyes glowed coldly as she turned to the left.

“No, no.
I obviously thought she was th-threatened.
She only said she was going, so anyone would’ve misunderstood.
Yep! Anyone!”

Rokan, who had been about to charge without thinking, was now crouching in a corner.
He was bent nearly in half.

“Stop talking and get back to work.”

“No, I was going to play with Runaan today…”

“Hush.”

“O-okay.”

“I’m going to come and check on you later, so you’d better finish your work by then.”

“Ye-yes.
Don’t worry.”

Rokan went back into the mansion, slumping in disappointment with that huge body of his.

“Runaan.”

“Mhm?”

“Did you thank the young master Raon?”

“I did when he gave me a cracker.”

“How about when he helped you with your training?”

“I didn’t.”

“Haha.”

Runaan shook her head and Clara smiled as she brushed her hair.

“Then tell him thank you the next time you see him.”

“But father…”

“Hmm?”

“Father told me to not start talking to men.”

“Aha!”

Clara smiled.
The butler, who was looking at the smile, became certain that Rokan was going to be scolded the whole night.

“Forget about what he said.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a man or a woman.
It’s a common courtesy to give thanks when you are helped.
Do you understand?”

“Mhm.”

“Now then.
Do you wanna train with your mother today, instead of your father?”

“Mhm.”

Returning to the training ground with Clara, Runaan remembered Raon’s calm face.

‘I’m going to say thank you.’

She was slightly flustered when she thought about talking to him first.

 

____

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