“Like most demonic beasts, Esprits like the darkness. They usually feed on the carcasses of demonic beasts, but they consume loud noises and mana too.”
Sir Geens explained. I nodded my head while listening to his explanation.
“The theatre is probably the best place if they feed on darkness and loud noises. They would be able to hide among the spectators while absorbing the music and applause.”
“Yes, your highness. It might have escaped here because it was difficult to find demonic beast carcasses in the Imperial Capital. It probably consumed mana from the actors when it was desperate.”
Christelle’s eyes sparkled while listening to Sir Geens and me.
“Should we just wipe it out? I think it’ll be done for if I wash out the entire theatre with water. His Royal Highness could light it on fire too. We will have enough ether since his highness is with us.”
“That will be a bit difficult, young lady Christelle.”
Vice Captain Élisabeth was the one to respond. She smiled awkwardly at her friend.
“This is the Imperial Capital. It is different from the Great Clearance of Demonic Beasts, where the field was specifically for hunting demonic beasts. You will bring fear into the hearts of the Imperial Capital residents if you use such amazing abilities to catch a demonic beast in front of a crowd. Our target is a low-grade demonic beast, so I would recommend against using such extreme methods.”
Christelle put a hand up to her chin.
“Furthermore, his Royal Highness will rise to the position of Crown Prince in two months. It is best not to have the nobles talking about him, regardless of the reason, until then.”
Her response was fitting for an heir to a Count’s House, especially one who has been the Imperial Prince’s best friend for her entire life.
I glanced toward Imperial Prince Cédric, who was standing like a statue.
A Holy Knight appearing in the Empire was definitely a blessing.
However, causing a fire in a theatre located at the center of the capital was completely different from using his holy powers to beat down thugs and having a sprite shower.
Many would praise him as a hero but a portion of the population would fear him.
Even someone who will become the Emperor should not want that.
“Can we evacuate the spectators first?”
I asked. All four people stared at me this time.
“I know that the beast can transform into a human. It is likely that it will escape through the crowd if we simply evacuated everybody without much thought, but is there really no way to detect it?”
Our best chance was to keep it within the theatre and capture it.
However, how can we find it when we have no idea who it has transformed to?
Furthermore, even if we were stealthy with our movements, we couldn’t keep so many civilians in our strategy room.
‘What a headache.’
“It is a demonic beast so it shouldn’t be able to speak the human language.”
Christelle’s sunken head jerked up again.
Vice Captain Élisabeth and my mouths were open in shock.
‘That is true.’
Although it could copy a physical appearance, it could not speak the human language.
It should not be able to respond to us even if we talked to it.
‘Mm, but that’s not enough.’
“There is one way to know for sure.”
Sir Geens, who had been quietly watching us, chimed in.
The corners of his eyes, which curled down naturally, seemed oddly mischievous.
He looked back and forth at Christelle and the Imperial Prince before speaking extremely gently.
“It may be a bit difficult, but my esteemed students should be able to find it.”
“Please calm down, your highness. I’m sure that they will all do a great job.”
Sir Geens sounded as if he was trying to console me.
He made it a point to call me ‘your highness’ when it was just the two of us.
It seemed to be his way of saying that he was from the Venetiaan Holy Kingdom despite giving up his nationality to be associated with the Vatican.
I tried to think about something else and glared at the stage.
Sir Geens and I were at the back of the first floor, against a wall where nobody really looked.
The orchestra’s magnificent playing ended and the dancers started to exit the stage.
A red curtain slowly covered the stage before rapidly spreading to both sides.
It was finally the start of Act 1.
I could barely hold myself back from laughing at what was happening in front of me.
No, I did not manage to hold myself back in the end. It was because the actor on stage was……
“Oh! My beautiful Daphnis. Is the reason for your death-like slumber to plead for me to wake you up? Or is it truly that cold-hearted Almighty God, what was it… , trying to take you away from my arms?”
I couldn’t help but drop my jaw in shock.
‘She already memorized all of it?’
Our main character, whose face was half covered with a white mask, was showing off some amazing acting abilities.
She did stumble a bit in the middle, but her performance was so amazing it was hard to believe she was a beginner.
Christelle plopped down on the ground, unable to contain her sorrow, and looked down at Daphnis, who was lying inside a completely black coffin.
My palms were getting sweaty.
Act 1 of the < Phantom of the Pas de Trois > starts off with Daphnis and Chloe’s dramatic separation.
The ballerino, Daphnis, takes his own life hostage in order to turn Chloe, who has been guiding him and writing songs for him since he was young, into his complete prisoner.
He falls asleep after taking a mysterious medicine that allows him to fake death, but Chloe believes that Daphnis really died because of her.
This was the result of the hotpot between the < Phantom of the Opera > and Shakespeare.
Christelle reached her hand in and basically slapped the man in the coffin. I flinched.
‘You’re supposed to caress him!’
“You’re so cold. You are like the glaciers in the North Sea! No, I refuse to believe this!”
Most of the spectators did not seem to notice because they were fully drawn in by her acting, but I definitely saw it.
Daphnis, who was buried in flowers inside the coffin, well, the Imperial Prince, clenched his fists!
“Ah ah. How annoying, no. How infuriating. I want to destroy the wheels of fate that have taken you away! However, I need to destroy myself first in order to do that……”
Christelle grabbed both of the Imperial Prince’s cheeks and started to shake.
Some of the audience was already groaning in sorrow.
However, it seemed to be as if she was struggling quite a bit with the next line and action.
‘Is it really that hard? But he’s so handsome.’
“The end…… If this is the end, then let me give you a final…… Kwish……”
The word she struggled so hard to say was kiss.
Her mouth moved again after that but I couldn’t hear what she said.
Christelle then slowly lowered her face into the coffin.
I could see the Imperial Prince’s picturesque side appearance, however, nobody seemed to believe that it was the real Imperial Prince.
Her pink hair fluttered down and intermingled with his pitch black hair.
I quickly covered my mouth with both hands.
‘Jung Eunseo, are you watching this?!’
Christelle shouted and jerked her body up just as the tips of their noses were about to touch.
The audience gasped.
‘What a missed opportunity!’
“Mm. This is enough. Now, the songs… Between you and I, our lo…… Logistics filled music.”
‘Wasn’t it supposed to be love?’
Christelle naturally didn’t care about me finding her lines odd and quickly started to sing.
She seemed impatient to finish the dialogue and get to the song.
It was the most important thing in order to find the demonic beast.
An ear-screeching loud noise, a mage’s strong mana, and a divine item that could pull out a demonic beast’s attacking nature……
The two of them were a perfect pair with all the baits.
The orchestra’s tragic and mournful melody echoed through the theatre.
The audience seemed to have easily been drawn into the play and accepted the flow of things despite the two of them not sharing a goodbye kiss.
‘That’s a relief, but……’
Christelle came up to the front of the stage and cleared her throat. That was the signal.
Sir Geens and I turned our heads and exchanged glances. After that…
“Noooooow! When you gooooooo! When will you come? Baaaaaaack?”
‘Wait, isn’t this song?!’
My eyes opened wide.
It was a song with unfamiliar sentiment and lyrics for the QNW world.
Chloe was singing a funeral hymn instead of a love song for Daphnis.
The nobles started mumbling as her rhythm and notes were completely off from the orchestra’s melody.
It was just a relief that her voice was loud.
‘The demonic beast should show a reaction!’
“The day you will? Come back?! Let! Me! Know?”
The MC enunciated the lyrics as she scanned the dark theatre with her large eyes.
‘Not on the fourth floor, third floor, second floor……’
I could feel Sir Geens’ upper arm tensing with anxiety.
Christelle’s loud voice filled the theatre.
“The path! To the afterliiiiife? They said it is! Far! First floor section A! Row H seat 13 it is!”
Sir Geens ran toward the coordinates as soon as she said that.
A light breeze brushed my hair back.
I quickly released my Holy Domain and started to walk.
A circle with a 30m diameter surrounded numerous people in the audience and released a radiant gold light.
‘It’s a fight against time now!’
[Everybody, please calmly stand up and head toward the door in a single file line. After that, follow the lead of the Imperial Guard until you get home!]
“Y, yes sir!”
“We understand, your highness!”
The nobles nodded their heads and stood up. Divine Oracles were truly powerful.
The people outside the Holy Domain were in chaos but the people who heard my voice calmly stood in line, calming the others down as well.
“We are from the Imperial Guard! Please evacuate the theatre!”
“A low-grade demonic beast has appeared! We are taking care of it so please evacuate!”
The doors to the second and third floor box seats opened, as did the doors to the fourth floor.
I could hear Vice Captain Élisabeth guiding the crowd from a distance.
I scanned areas where I could see children and continued to give Divine Oracles.
[Please don’t worry. Everybody will be safe. Please calmly leave in an orderly fashion!]
[I know, it’s scary. Don’t worry. Nothing will happen.]
I gently hugged a child who was crying from shock and smiled.
The little kid quickly stopped crying after sensing my ether.
The parent urgently bowed to thank me.
I gently handed the child over and turned around to see that the stage was in front of me.
Christelle threw away her mask while looking at the people who were walking out like a tide in the ocean.
She looked toward Section A and shouted loudly. But Sir Geens…
“It copied him.”
There were two of them! The Imperial Prince walked out of the coffin and immediately pulled out his Sword of Wisdom.
I gasped while looking at the two men who were fighting as their white hair fluttered.
They looked completely the same. without even a single difference.
It matched Sir Geens’ strength and speed after copying all of his physical stats. However……
The Imperial Prince’s shadow shot forward like a bullet. The theatre floor sunk down.
There was light coming in from the seats, but the Imperial Prince already knew the hint to tell the demonic beast apart from regular people.
It was the same way Christelle figured out its location.
The Imperial Prince’s sword pierced deep into the spot where Sir Geens had quickly jumped away from.
The demonic beast dodged the attack as well and made a threatening noise.
The speed of this Archbishop level Holy Knight copy was unbelievable.
Its eyes sparkled like glow in the dark stickers. That was it.
It was a creature that released light in the darkness when responding to food.
That was the reason it was called an esprit or a ghost.
It charged toward the Imperial Prince so quickly that I couldn’t even see it. This was the end.
If it could only copy a person’s physical body and was unable to use ether or mana, it shouldn’t be able to go up against the Sword of Wisdom unarmed……
The demonic beast discovered me at that moment.
“Why this little!”
I shouted. It took my appearance and smiled.
The Imperial Prince’s movements seemed off balance for a moment.
He dodged the punch but used his scabbard to attack the beast, contradicting his usual actions.
‘Are you an idiot?!’
“Then it’s my turn! It’s easy if it is the prince!”
Christelle said such a sad thing very cheerfully as she attacked the demonic beast rolling on the ground.
I clenched my eyes and bent down underneath a chair. I decided to just complete the task I was assigned.
I need to check to see if there is anybody left-
“Ow, you son of a bitch!”
Christelle shouted in anger at that moment. I stood back up in shock.
My jaw dropped at what I saw.
The Imperial Prince had one arm around Christelle’s waist, his other arm was holding her wrist and his lips were getting close……
“Wow. It’s almost the same as the illustra-”
The MC headbutted his chin. I heard what sounded like a watermelon breaking.
– Haaak, haaaaak!
The demonic beast, which was copying the Imperial Prince’s appearance, flailed in pain and retreated.
Its appearance became scattered, flickering like a mirage before remaining firm once more.
It couldn’t stumble around for long.
Christelle, who seemed extremely angry, pulled a long ice spear out of her hand and…
Stabbed it deep into the beast’s left eye. The black tip of a sword came out of its right eye at the same time.
The black-haired man, who was just as angry as she was, had stabbed the Sword of Wisdom into the demonic beast’s skull from the back.
The demonic beast screamed.
The Imperial Prince mercilessly pulled his sword out and the appearances of the people it had copied until now appeared above it as if the TV channel was changing.
I checked the last seat on the first floor and gulped.
‘It should be good now.’
I heard that the fluorescent eyes of an esprit were its most vital points.
Once its vulnerable true body appears……
There was a cartoon-like sound effect asa black will-o’-the-wisp appeared in front of Christelle and the Imperial Prince.
Christelle did not hold back.
A sharp ice sword sliced the ghost in half. Her pink hair fluttered. At that moment…
I heard something that sounded like a ricocheting bullet. Something small and white charged toward my heart.
Uh oh, Jesse!