Chapter 15 – Suggestions.


Carmen stared at the arrowhead with trembling eyes, her face rigid.

He was right, if the bead didn’t react to the blood, it meant that the kin she was looking for was already dead. Carmen was worried that her mother was already dead.

After stopping to prick her fingertips several times, Carmen raised her head and turned to me.

“Father Marnak, do you think you could pray for me?”

I smiled and nodded.

“I’d be happy to.”

I patted my breast pocket and invoked the Mother of Corruption, whispering softly.

“Mother. Did you hear that?”


I smiled silently, knowing better than anyone that she didn’t have that ability.

Carmen finally squeezed her eyes shut and stabbed her fingertips with the arrowhead, the drops of blood from his fingertips landing on the bead and the bead hungrily devouring his blood.

With a gurgling swallow and trembling eyes, Carmen watched the bead, and a tiny needle emerged from the blood-soaked bead and began to point somewhere. It was the west.

“Oh. Mother–you’re still alive.”

Carmen cried, tears dripping from her eyes. He was always such an emotional man. Wiping away her tears, he bowed deeply to me.

“Thank you so much, Father. This is really all thanks to you, priest. How can I ever repay you—.”

“You can repay me whenever you can, and with a lot of sincerity. I’m a very patient man.”

I pushed firewood into the bonfire. Carmen, who had been staring into the orange glow of the fire, spoke cautiously.

“Do you mind if I make a suggestion?”

“By all means, please feel free. It’s been a long night, and my ears are tired of listening.”

Carmen slipped a beaded necklace around her neck and opened his mouth slowly.

“I would like to extend Father Marnak’s employment a little longer. Until we find my mother, and since we’re heading west, we can stop in the capital on the way, and I’ll give you ample compensation for your work.”

His offer meant that I would leave Guise with him.

I rummaged through the firewood and thought about it.

I needed to weigh the benefits of staying in Guise against the benefits of leaving with Carmen.

For one thing, there was a demon lord in Guise who was very friendly to me. I had some pretty solid ground to stand on, thanks to a recent demon incident. Perhaps, if I went back now, I could even get a silver mercenary plaque from the Mercenary Guild.

But there was a small problem. I had become so famous in Guise that I attracted attention wherever I went. The stares were too much for me to bear as I tried to keep a low profile.

On the other hand, what did I gain by leaving Guise with Carmen? For one thing, he was a nobleman, despite being a bastard, the son of Ensis Valtas, a black wolf notoriously feared in the North. His presence alone allowed me access to many places that would otherwise be closed to me.

That meant I could find holy relics in a wider variety of places.

I hardened my heart.

“Of course, I’ll pay for all your traveling expenses while you’re there, I can afford it.”

There was a pause. I didn’t want to come off as a snob for saying yes right away.

I patiently shoved about three more logs into the fire, then grinned.

“I’ll give you a hand in finding your mother.”

And while we’re at it, find the Mother of Corruption’s holy relic.

Carmen smiled brightly.

“Thank you!”

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Erin shot me a pointed glare.

“So you’re leaving, all of a sudden, after all I’ve
done for you?”

I smiled awkwardly.

“Not right now, I’m leaving tomorrow.”

“Well, today or tomorrow is just as sudden! Never mind, where are you going anyway?”

“Well, we’re heading west. We’ll stop in the capital on the way.”

Erin tapped her slender fingers on the reception desk and muttered, “The capital—.” Then she pouted her lips and glared at me again. It was a series of movements that, at first glance, might seem like the actions of a petulant child, but she executed them so naturally and lovingly.

“You’re so mean.”


A smug voice, my mother already basking in a sense of victory.

“Give me your hand.”


I held out my hand, and Erin placed a silver mercenary plaque over it.

“This isn’t supposed to come out this fast, and I worked really hard for it, so what do you have to say to me?”

“Thank you?”

A white, slender index finger snapped in front of my eyes. Erin’s still glaring at me, her eyes piercing and stinging.

“No, that’s not it. I’ll see you again. I’ll definitely come back here to see you again. You have to say that.”

I didn’t argue back, just smiled quietly. With my life drifting away, saying I’ll see you again was a promise I couldn’t keep.

So I chose silence over a lie.

Erin stared at my face, then sighed heavily.

“Seriously, Priest Marnak, if you live like that, you won’t be able to have a relationship until you’re old and dead.”


Her mother’s shout of none of your business obviously didn’t reach Erin. Wearing her usual mischievous grin once more, Erin gave a quick wave as she passed.

“See you later.”

See you?


“I’ll see you when I get a chance, and I suspect that chance may be a little sooner than you’d like, to visit the Marnak priest.”


“What the hell does that even mean?”

Erin gave me a knowing smile and pushed my back.

“You said you were going to see the lord before you left, so go ahead. You can’t be flirting with the mercenary guild receptionist when the lord is waiting for you, Am. No way.”

I retorted as I floated away.

“What do you really mean, that!”

“You don’t have to know, just keep wondering, because that’s my punishment for you Priest Marnak.”


“This is very tasty with this. Come on.”

The elaborate prosthetic moved as if it were alive and pushed a bowl of cookies toward me. I picked up a cookie and popped it into my mouth. Again, I could taste nothing.

The demon looked at my face and smiled softly.

“You look like you have a lot of questions on your mind.”

“I was asked a nasty question on the way here, and I can’t get it out of my head.”

“I suppose that’s what life is all about, those problems that just won’t go away. You’re leaving, by the way?”


I lifted my head and faced the devil. His hair, once so luxuriant before he left, had lost its strength and was limp. His scalp peeked out shyly through the thin hair.

I spoke with sympathy.

“You must have gotten the side effects very quickly.”

“Hahaha, don’t look at me so pitifully! Aren’t humans originally born without hair? I’m just a step closer to being human. You’re going to the capital, aren’t you?”


“When I heard that, I made arrangements for you.”

The demon held out a pure white envelope to me. I took the envelope and asked.

“Is this for—?”

“If it were up to me, I’d give you some money, but as you know, Priest, I’ve been raiding my own pockets to restore Guise, and I don’t have a dime in my pocket right now, I swear.”

The demon, who had reached into his pockets, smirked.

“That’s why I wrote you a letter of introduction while you were on your way to the capital, so that if you ever find yourself in trouble, you could open it and ask for my friend, and he might be able to help you out… but he’s such a pain in the ass that you might as well not bother, hahaha!”

He didn’t tell me whether that friend was the human “Tredon Filian” or the demonic “Crawling Creep”.

Well, it’s always good to have a variety of means. It’s always good to have something on hand.

“Thank you.”

The demon bowed deeply in response to my greeting.

“May your travels always be pleasant, Priest.”

“Is that your blessing as a demon or as a human?”

The demon chuckled and replied.

“I’m blessing you as a friend, Father Marnak. May you always have fun, for life is always too short!”


“Let’s go, Priest.”


In the early morning hours, Carmen and I left Guise and walked through the snow that had fallen overnight.

Thus I left Guise.


A few days later.

As I walked toward the west, as the orb had indicated, a faint scent of blood pierced my sensitive senses.

“It’s blood.”


“It’s very close, and it’s coming toward us.”

Carmen’s face hardened, and he drew his bow and nocked an arrow.

The scent of blood grew thicker. Something was coming at them at high speed.

A thud!

– Squeaky, squeaky, squeaky!

A body covered in pure white fur and eight legs. A spider the size of a wagon jumped out. Carmen shouted urgently.

“A snow spider!!! It doesn’t belong on the side of the road!”

I was just as puzzled. Why would a monster attack me when I was here? This couldn’t be natural.

“Carmen, I’ll take care of it for now! Watch it and when I give the signal, shoot it.”


I took out the artifact sword I got from the ruins instead of the Frost Steel Sword.

In fact, the reason I had asked Carmen to help me if I gave the signal was because I wanted to use the relic sword. It had been so peaceful these past few days that I hadn’t had a chance to use it.

I started it up and it started howling like crazy.


That’s right. This artifact sword I had acquired was a chainsaw sword, with a chainsaw blade taking the place of a normal blade.


And my mother had given it the name ‘Butcher’.

I leapt at the snow spiders, sword raised in a roar.

– Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Its massive, blood-soaked forepaws lunged to impale me. Without hesitation, I swung Butcher.


The rough metal blades spun at high speed, slicing through the snow spider’s front paws. I didn’t stop there, but continued to slice through the snow spider’s body. No, the Butcher ripped it apart.

– Crunch!!!

The snow spider let out a terminal scream and was instantly reduced to finely minced meat. The high-speed spinning blade slowly came to a stop.

I wiped the fluid off my face. The snow spider’s fluids were extremely sticky.

“If you’re going to use this sword, you should probably have a place to wash up beforehand, it’s too sticky and splattered with flesh.”

Carmen stood there, dumbfounded, looking at me.

“So an artifact is an artifact, after all. It’s quite powerful.”


My mother’s warning. “Butcher,” I shouted again.

“More coming! Two, no, three!”

– Squeaky!

– Squeaky, squeaky, squeaky!

– Squeaky, squeaky, squeaky!

With a creepy scream, three snow spiders jumped out. Snow spiders certainly don’t swarm.

“Carmen, this time just shoot them as they come!”


As Carmen’s arrows sliced through the air, I revved up ‘The Butcher’ again and slammed the seat.


The harsh sound of the engine echoed over the snowy field.

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