Translated by: Miss Ruby
Edited by: ShadowDog
* * *
The happenings of the first day of the praying festival turned the East upside down. But the central council, on the other hand, was incredibly quiet.
Of course, it was not quiet internally, but on the outside, there wasn’t any immediate movement. They didn’t even seem to be pursuing the heretics who escaped together during the purification ceremony.
Then again, they probably didn’t have the time for that.
Whether it was the head of the Salvatore family who held an open confrontation before the people, or Tatiana, the ruler of the North, who aided him, neither of them could be taken lightly.
As a matter of fact, Yuri was the one who brought Tatiana onto the stage.
After doing some research, she found a link between the events in the East and what was happening in the North so she figured she could put that to good use. Besides, Tatiana had already commissioned her for something, so it was easy to contact Tatiana.
In fact, the purification ceremony was paused in the middle due to the appearance of the Salvatore Head and Tatiana. And it would have been easier to rescue Leo if Dominic Crawford hadn’t suddenly ordered an armed crackdown against them.
However, things didn’t quite go as she expected.
Above all, the biggest surprise was what happened after. In other words, the very sight of Dominic Crawford melting on the stage.
According to the claims of Kalian Crawford who later appeared, that guy was a daring fake who had been pretending to be the ruler of the East. Since such a heinous villain was captured, this event couldn’t be passed over that easily.
Moreover, the citizens of the East had witnessed that scene with their own two eyes.
So whenever people gathered together after that, they always gossiped about that day.
“So since when did the fake replace him then?”
“No wonder I thought something was strange! I can’t say exactly what, but somehow, he felt a little different from when I saw him before!”
“Then could it be that all that noise in the East about heretics or whatever was all a scheme led by that fake in the first place?”
“I don’t know but doesn’t this mean that monster was deceiving everyone to try and swallow up the East?!”
As time passed in this situation, the atmosphere in the East began to stir again but in a slightly different direction than before.
“But hear me out. If you think about what the Salvatore Head said, it means that the people we’ve been rejecting as heretics were kidnapped and forced into experiments…”
“Wait, then are these heretics and the people who caused the explosions, different people? Or is it all a lie that the heretics did all those terrible things?”
“I don’t know; at this point, I don’t know what’s what…”
“But what about that fake Crawford Head though? In the end, isn’t that monster a heretic too?”
“You’re right. That monster should be a mutant too. But he was arrested as the mastermind behind this incident, wasn’t he?”
“Are the heretics really all victims?”
Their aversion towards mutants was not going to be erased that easily in the first place. Above all, the hideous sight of Dominic Crawford melting that day was heavily imprinted in the minds of those who were in the plaza.
However, there was still no official response in the East, so people’s speculations began to get all over the place.
* * *
“The atmosphere isn’t great at all. I think it would be unreasonable to release them back into the East, no?”
Odin, who called back the crows he had sent all over the East, clicked his tongue. Then he turned to Lakis whose arms were folded and spoke hesitantly.
“Um, the…the thing that the…King of Carnot mentioned might be the best method we have.”
It seemed Odin was still very uncomfortable around Lakis.
After listening to Odin, Lakis raised a brow as if to say, why state the obvious.
“Naturally, what I said is the best way.”
“Yes, yes. Of course…”
Currently, they were gathered in Leo’s hideout.
The only difference from usual was that Lakis was here with them. But despite the familiarity of the area, it felt immensely out of place.
Maybe it was because Lakis was sitting at the head of the prayer room so confidently with his legs crossed.
Obviously, they were in a shabby, old building but somehow, it felt like there was an illusionary luxurious throne under Lakis. Rather, it was Odin and Siren that were sitting carefully and more uncomfortably than usual, even though they were more familiar with this place.
Meanwhile, Leo was all comfortable by himself.
He always had a simple personality, so he was laying on the floor, eating the snacks that Yuri brought him without a care in the world. These were the snacks that Hestia had given Yuri for him before she went out.
Odin and Siren watched Leo’s absolute comfort with half-envy and half-annoyance in their eyes.
“Alright then, we’ll be moving out tonight, and we’ve already checked out the path so we’ll be able to move around without anyone noticing us.”
Yuri said, summarizing the entire conversation so far. Then she turned to Siren and asked.
“Siren, how did asking people go? Same as yesterday?”
“Yup, most are fine with moving except two people. They say they’re East natives, so they don’t really want to leave.”
“Is that so? If they want, I can escort them home, but the locals already know where they live so it might be a little dangerous in the future.”
But they had already made the decision, so it was useless to talk anymore about it.
So Yuri wasn’t exactly thinking of persuading the heretics who decided to brave the risk and return home.
Right then, Lakis propped his chin on his hand and said in a casual tone.
“Did you tell them everything? That, if they go west, they will all get a place to stay?”
His tone wasn’t exactly pressing her, but Siren’s shoulders stiffened. Apparently, the mere fact that Lakis was the King of Carnot made her nervous.
“Yea, Yes. I did but…”
“Um, I said the west is a little…scary.”
Lakis’ eyes raised slightly. Seeing that, Siren looked away from Lakis, avoiding his eyes. Cold sweat ran down her spine.
“But I don’t understand. Carnot is such a nice place to live. It’s very calm and cozy, don’t you think? Hm?”
Carnot of all places being calm and cozy.
Lakis spoke very naturally as if he wasn’t lying through his teeth.
When his cold gaze moved to the side, Odin nodded so quickly that his hair almost flew.
“O-Of course, you’re right! It is exactly as you say.”
Although he had lost his memories of being Lakis’ servant, it seemed his habit of pleasing Lakis was still there.
Yuri gave a deep sigh when she saw them talk like it was a pity to not have seen the beauty of Carnot.
The notoriety of Carnot city was known even to the Eastern people so it wasn’t like she couldn’t understand those who chose to remain behind.
But although Yuri thought that, she didn’t say it out loud.
“By the way, I’m surprised, Mr. Lakis. I didn’t expect you to take in the heretics because it will be hard for them to live in the East anymore.”
It was already surprising enough that Lakis was the one to bring it up first. But he also declared that he would make a separate protection zone for them.
“Well, Ms. Yuri cares so much about this, how can I just do nothing?”
Lakis replied with an innocent look in his eyes as if he wasn’t the one who just sent Odin a chilly gaze, pressuring Odin to speak up.
“Besides, I’m a mutant like everyone here so we have to help each other to survive.”
Feeling like they were seeing a lion covered in sheepskin, Odin and Siren got chills and shivered unconsciously.
After which, Lakis’ gaze fell on Leo who was on the floor.
“By the way, this…watchdog, I think he was called.”
Lakis, who got corrected by Yuri, spoke in a soft voice that didn’t suit him.
Odin and Siren shivered again.
Perhaps even Leo got chills because he went ‘Kng?’ and lifted his head from the basket of snacks.
Regardless of how they acted, Lakis opened his mouth and spoke to Yuri again.
“I think it will be dangerous to leave this friend here, especially since a lot of people saw his face on the platform. The same goes for that pigeon friend too.”
“P-Pigeon…?! Th, these are swan wings, OK?”
Siren was shocked by Lakis’ title for her and stammered.
Of course, Lakis completely ignored the noise coming from his side.
“Why not have your friends use this chance to go back to their hometown?”
“I’m going to stay next to Arachne!”
“Ms. Yuri and the Crow can be set aside since they don’t have obvious tells in their appearance but if anyone were to see these two, I’m sure they’ll be quite shocked.”
His smooth voice rang inside the prayer room.
In fact, the thing Lakis was talking about was something they had also considered before. After all, there was already one record of Siren and Leo being captured by mutant hunters in the East.
But even now, Siren was still strongly declaring that she would stay next to Arachne.
Yuri fell into thought.
Siren would likely be in danger again if she kept staying in the East because of Yuri.
“Well, I just thought you might want to think about it.”
Lakis didn’t say anything more on the topic as if he had only brought it up casually.
For now, Yuri felt she should study the atmosphere in the East a little longer.