“Now, ladies and gentlemen.
If you grew up hearing old stories, hurry up and take a seat! Here are some rare sights that will be remembered for a lifetime.
A monster we’ve heard but never seen!”

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The host, who had been depressed, raised his voice.

People who had lost interest and were about to go back stopped and turned.

Thanks to this, the stairs leading to the entrance were clogged up like sediment.

“As you know, we, who live within the barrier, are masterpieces created by the three gods.
That’s why we get unreasonable jealousy and attacks… by a monster that has been forsaken by God!”

The host walked through the blackout.
As soon as I saw what was inside, my expression hardened like a fossil.

Woo, woo, woo.

A black body that cried sadly.

There was an evil spirit inside the cage.

It wasn’t the first time I saw it.
I felt familiar with the sight of its hands and feet that were cut off.

That was the same evil spirit that Hugo gave me as a gift.

I looked back at Hugo, puzzled. 

Hugo pressed onto his eyebrows covered by the glasses.

“It’s something I don’t know.
I have a rough guess as to who it is, but…”

Boom.

Before I could ask who it was, the sky in the center of the circular stadium darkened.

It was right above us, where the evil spirit was. 

My heart was pounding in line with the dull sound.

The dark areas gradually darkened and then split into an almond shape. 

A cold sweat ran down my cheeks. 

Unlike me, who was speechless, people around me made fun of it mindlessly.

“Hiiyy, the barrier!”

“It must be calling your colleagues.
That monster bastard!”

“Kill the monster! Cut off the neck!”

People booed, but they didn’t run away.

On the contrary, more people came in after hearing the news, so the passage was crowded.

I didn’t understand it at all.

How did everyone stay so relaxed in this situation?

I remember the day I saw an evil spirit for the first time, and my legs felt weak.

“I guess it heard the cries of the evil spirit on the ground.
There’s a crack in the barrier!”

The host burst into laughter and kicked the evil spirit cage.

Woo-wooo.

The hole in the sky grew bigger and bigger with a mournful cry.

I was truly frightened and grabbed the hem of Hugo’s robe.

My voice trembled.

“Bro, ther, Hugo.
Isn’t that dangerous…? Why is everyone just watching?”

“Shhh… Calm down.”

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Hugo felt my trembling and hugged my shoulders with both hands.

“Most of the people here have never seen the evil spirits in person.
The Duchy’s barrier survived the civil war… Occasionally there are gaps in the barrier.
Because Father managed it well through periodic subjugation.”

Oh, I see.
These people had lived only in fantasy. 

They had never been chased to death by an unknown being.

“It’s okay.
It won’t break that much.
But I don’t know if there is one more evil spirit within the barrier.” 

I was doing well, but my blood turned cold at the end of the story. 

Excuse me, then it would be troublesome.
Because I am similar to the evil spirit.

“Wha, what if there is one more evil spirit?”

“Somehow two cries are louder than one.”

Was he saying that the number of evil spirits that would come would be in doubles? I closed my mouth so that I wouldn’t make a similar cry. 

I wanted to go back as soon as possible.

I had seen enough of Benny’s power, and above all else…

“Look at those black, sticky limbs.”

“How dare you crawl to the ground when you’re a monster?”

“God’s failure! You half-monster!”

“…Brother Hugo, let’s go back now.”

Even though it wasn’t criticism directed at me, my heart was stabbed.

It was natural for the evil spirit to be cursed.
Because they had been killing people.

So, if my true form resembling an evil spirit was discovered, I would be stoned.

I tried to hide it, but Hugo looked at my complexion as if he was worried.

“Are you okay? The celebration is not over yet.”

“I want to go home…”

I linked my hand in Hugo’s arm and buried my face in the robe.
I was quite tired. 

Hugo comforted me, but somehow held my arms together as if he liked this posture. 

“There are a lot of people at the exit.
Can I use a little magic so I won’t lose you?”

“Yes…”

I realized again, but surprisingly, people were not interested in their surroundings.

You have to, at least, take out gold coins like before to draw attention.

As Hugo cast a small spell, a glowing thread wrapped around his and my little finger.

Even though it was nice magic, he frowned slightly.

“My magic power is unstable.” 

“Because of that evil spirit?” 

It was said that the turbid energy of the evil spirit interfered with the magic of the holy spirit.

Therefore, I heard that despite the fact that the spirit was very strong, it was not suitable to directly deal with the evil spirit.

“…Is it possible? At most, there’s only one evil spirit.
Besides, I’m an archmage.”

Hugo bit his lower lip as if uncomfortable, and grabbed my hand, telling me to leave.

He shoved himself into the middle of the crowd.

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Behind my back, I heard the voice of the host who was excited.

“This year’s winner, Benibeni, will be given the honor of slaying the monster!”

I didn’t think Benny was interested.

I didn’t know if there was anything he was interested in in the first place…

Snatched!

“Ah!”

At that time, I missed Hugo’s hand.

It was not a mistake.
Someone pulled me from behind.

The magic thread wrapped around our fingers crossed the people and tightened.

“Lily!”

Hugo followed the thread and rushed to me.

But in fact, it shattered in a moment, and scattered in the air like dust.

Hugo’s eyes widened in disbelief, and he moved away in an instant. 

Two men suddenly appeared in front of me.

“Did you enjoy the game, little miss?”

They were familiar faces.

Returning with fractured and splintered broken limbs were the two bullies who tried to rip Hugo off earlier.

“I lost all the money I bet on because of a baby gladiator who I don’t know.
I thought about why I had such a bad day, but I must be unlucky because I became short of an arm’s length because of your brother early in the morning.”

“Uphh! Uphh!”

A large hand covered my mouth. 

Although their appearances were like this, they were big in size.

They grabbed and moved me back and forth as if to hide me, and went down to the fence that divided the stadium and the audience.

Then they lifted me up over the waist-high fence.

“Don’t worry, it’s not that high.
At the very least, you’ll just end up with a broken leg.”

“Hey, throw her away quickly.
That bastard is crazy.”

From a distance, Hugo chased through the crowd stuck looking at the evil spirit.

Something was strange. 

Considering Hugo’s temperament, he would have used magic first, regardless if he was caught or not.

However, he kept clapping his fingers as if no magic power was coming out.

“Don’t blame me too much.”

I was out of breath and my body trembled. 

‘I’m falling down.
I’m falling…’

Grab!

Even if I were to fall down, I refuse to fall alone, you rotten bastards.

Just before I fell, I pulled the long-haired thug by his hair.

“Uh, what!”

“Hey, why me? Leave this…!”

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Boom!

The sky was spinning.

I think Hugo was desperately calling me over there, but I could not know what he was saying because of the buzz. 

“That dog-like bitch… Ugh…!”

The two thugs who fell together twisted their broken legs like worms.

The dagger protruding from his belt slipped right in front of me.

You guys, how does it taste to drown by your own actions? I didn’t know that both of them would fall, but I was happy anyway. 

I tried to get up quickly, but there was nothing I could do but turn over.

The bones all over my body ached. 

But because I fell on top of those gangsters, I didn’t break anywhere, right?

“Hey, what are you doing? Don’t intrude into the gladiatorial field…!”

The guards ran toward me and stood tall.

‘Mister, what are you doing? Why are you looking up at the sky? I’m hurt.
Please call the doctor…’

Crack…

What was this sound, all of a sudden? It came from underneath me, who was lying on the floor.

I looked at the ground while lying on my stomach.
It became more and more dull. 

‘The ground is splitting…’

I raised my head. 

The booing that was painful to the ears disappeared, and an ominous roar filled the stadium.

In the distance from the winner’s seat, Benny looked at me in disbelief.

He got up from his seat and ran towards me.

Like someone trying to catch a carriage that had already left.

‘…Why?’

I was stunned. 

The hole in the sky stopped shrinking.

Boom, boom, boom.

There was a gap of the same size between each hazy cloud.

I knew what this situation was.

‘Why… the barrier is breaking now!’

Boom! 

Explosive bursting sound.
The world was darkened black and the ground rose.

The circular stadium collapsed.
All subsequent scenes seemed slow. 

As the black evil spirit broke the ground and rose, I fell helplessly to the bottom of the cracked floor.

I made eye contact with the monster, upside down.

Woo.
Woo.
Woo.
Woo. 

A demonic claw hand flew towards me.

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Unlike the first time I saw them, they did not even look at me, they were just ferocious. 

Slash!

Red drops of blood splashed in all directions.

It was not my blood.
It was Hugo’s blood that hugged me.

“…Keugh.”

Instead of screaming, Hugo chanted a soft spell.

The pure white light emanating from his feet spread and took shape.

But that was only for a while.

The magic light was crushed and scattered like dust before it even became a weapon.

“…Why.”

I had never seen Hugo’s face so desperate like this before.

Whoosh.

The world was submerged in darkness as if candles were extinguishing in the deep night.

I saw the rubble of a building falling down just before my view was completely blocked.

‘It’s going to fall…!’ 

Dugh!

At that moment, Hugo pushed me away.

The magical light that had remained for a while wrapped around my back.

I felt the sensation of floating. 

I settled in a safe place, unlike Hugo, who was laid under a pile of stones.

“Brother Hugo!”

In a hurry, I ran halfway through the darkness.

The torches of the celebration, which fell together, sort of lit the way.

A dry cough was heard in the corner. 

After passing a few piles of stones, Hugo appeared.
He was still alive.
but his legs…

It was buried in the rubble of the building.

I pushed hard against the stone that was weighing him down.

It didn’t even budge. 

As I lowered my body and crawled, Hugo grabbed my ankles as if to stop me.

“Lily, hurry, run… away.”

His thin voice was desperate. 

“My magical power doesn’t come out.
This… does not mean that there are a lot of evil spirits.” 

Hugo slowly closed his eyes. 

No matter how much I shouted that he needed to calm himself down, it seemed like he couldn’t hear my voice.

“Instead of an evil spirit… there’s a monster nearby.” 

Drop.

Hugo’s hand fell off my ankle.

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