Chapter 45 - Ludwig's Return
Ludwig had returned safely, but he was in a terrible state. When I saw the wounds on his arms and body, I shrank back.
“I’m sorry, Saintess. I’m still lacking…” Luciana led Ludwig into a room, and he immediately got on his knees with his injured body.
“You idiot!” This had all happened because Elder Marxen had taken Ludwig with him! I was pissed off when I heard what he did, but when I remembered that he had died, I calmed down. “Are you just injured? Or is there anything else?”
Luciana replied to my question, “We already used detoxification magic to counter the poison inside him. We’re lucky that it was a poison that could be neutralized by magic.”
“What in the world happened?”
Ludwig shook his head to show he didn’t know. “Elder Marxen told me to patrol the area alone, so I left. But I was attacked by an unidentified assailant.”
I tilted my head. “What? I thought he was killed by a beast.” Ludwig’s expression grew rigid. It seemed he didn’t know what happened. I had a feeling something was off. If it had been an unidentified assailant, then someone was trying to get at Ludwig.
“Saintess, this is…” Ludwig gave me something with his battered body. It was a small badge, and I immediately recognized what it was.
“…” There was no way I could mistake the pattern depicting a rising star. It was the symbol of the Vios senate. I gripped onto the badge tightly and said, “So Elder Marxen was trying to kill you.” I felt like someone had thrown cold water on me. Elder Marxen didn’t want to lose his divine power, so he had tried to kill Ludwig to keep his promise. My blood grew cold.
“My goodness.” I knew that the people of the Holy Empire didn’t view outsiders as humans, but I never imagined I would see something like this with my own eyes. ‘I almost lost Ludwig here.’ I got dizzy.
“I’m sorry, Saintess. I’m still weak…”
“If you’re that sorry, recover quickly.” As I said that, a bright light exploded out of my fingertips. The healing light enveloped Ludwig and immediately healed him.
Ludwig’s eyes trembled as he looked at me. “To think the saintess herself would heal me.”
“And take this.” I returned the holy sword I had taken from him.
“I can’t take this until I’ve become a person worthy of holding the holy sword.”
“Don’t talk nonsense,” I said. Ludwing was lucky he had survived this incident. No one knew what would happen next time. He needed to have good equipment to raise his chances of survival. “Ludwig.”
“Let’s get stronger.” Ludwig’s expression shook, and he looked at me with his blue eyes. I continued, “But if you meet a strong opponent who you can’t beat, it’s okay to run away.” It was possible that he would be too embarrassed to flee, but I thought differently. “The most important thing is to stay alive.”
The Ludwig in front of me and the Ludwig I had seen in my dreams overlapped. I recalled his bloody body that had protected Priscilla until the end. His huge, sturdy back had endured everything. Since I had brought him with me, I could never lose him. “You can never die. Understand?”
His teary, blue eyes looked at mine. His Adam’s apple moved, and he managed to let out a small voice. “I will! I will get stronger so that something like this never happens again.”
“Good!” My expression changed, and I smiled at him. Ludwig’s hand gripped onto the holy sword so tightly that I could see the bones in his hand. I didn’t exactly know what he was thinking, but I got the gist of it. I told Ludwig to rest well, then left with Luciana.
“Elder Marxen…” I wasn’t sad to hear that he had passed away. I actually thought it was a good thing that someone like him was dead. “It’s weird.”
Usually, villains like him didn’t die that easily. ‘Was he really attacked by a beast?’ “Did… Daddy do something?” I rolled my eyes after thinking for a bit. I made my decision. No, my dad would never do something like that. It was karma.
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