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0.37% The Demon Lord’s Bride (BL) / Chapter 1: [Prologue] I was kidnapped...willingly

Chapter 1: [Prologue] I was kidnapped...willingly

The Kingdom of Lenaar was in a festive mood. Of course, since they had just won the war against the Demon Lord of Wrath. The cities were filled with banners and littered with flower petals. How did they manage to have a lot of petals in the middle of winter was beyond Valmeier.

The Capital was even more vibrant; lanterns with magic stones were deployed to every corner, and the night was as bright as the day in some places. It sucked a lot of taxpayer money, but who cared about the peasant's hard-earned money during a very happy day like this.

They looked happy though, throwing flowers and confetti at the parade of the young teenage hero, barely an adult. The kind yet naïve hero smiled bashfully at people's praises and went red as the princess, which also happened to be the saintess, hold his hand with a loud cheer from the crowd. The mage and the knight waved at the citizens, and the half-elf archer scoffed at what they thought was a sub-par reception.

"Truly a classic combination of the so-called Hero's Team," Valmeier muttered softly as he watched the parade from the tower of the Lenaar Head Church.

The dashing hero, the beautiful saintess, the formidable allies. It was the classic trope of every 'summoned hero versus demon lord' story.

It had nothing to do with Valmeier.

The door to the room where he'd been waiting for five hours finally opened, and an annoyed old man with his stern-looking templar bodyguard, as well as expressionless men whose faces said there were only here for business, entered the room.

"Let's hurry this up, we don't have much time before the banquet starts," said the old man, as if Valmeier was the one who made him wait for five hours.

But arguing would be useless, so he just sat in the chair in front of the old man quietly. He was only here to be 'judged' anyway.

The winter after the war was cold. But the treatment Valmeier received was even colder, although he grew used to it by now. There was no small talk, just straight business.

One of the expressionless men took out a contract, which Valmeier already knew the content of. It was the penalty he had for 'failing to return the royal artifact' that he had to pay. He had taken out all of his life savings, which was not much considering he was just a priest, and it barely covered one-tenth of the debt.

There was also a body waiver contract that stipulated the deadline of supposed payment before he either 1) had to work as a slave for the monastery, or 2) become a test subject for one of the mad scientists the kingdom seemed to be abundant of.

They had talked about all of this for the last two months after the war was over, so Valmeier hardly needed to read it now. He just put his signature on it, before even more degrading clauses found their way into the contract.

"With this, you are also abolished from the Order of Lazward," the old man said, again without even a shred of fake sympathy.

Again, Valmeier had used to this.

From the moment he woke up with a broken mana circuit after the war, he knew his life was doomed. Without a mana circuit, he couldn't exercise magic and divinity, and was reduced to a normal man.

He had thought he would be able to live as a normal priest, just working on the outskirt. But it seemed like he had way too many people antagonized him—or his deceased master—and were just too happy to get rid of him now that the chance had come.

It was fine if that was all he had to deal with. But then the palace told him to return the weapon they gave him before the war, the Spear of Judgement Alveitya. They said since he wasn't the High Priest anymore, he no longer had any right to wield the holy artifact, even though by right the artifact should be his from the start—it was the spear that choose him.

Unfortunately for Valmeier, the spear was hidden inside the stigma in his palm. And with his inability to draw mana, he couldn't activate the spear, and it was deemed to be lost.

Rather than trying to fix him, they just decided that he had to bear all the blame.

Funnily enough, he was still being invited to the victory banquet at the palace. Perhaps because he hadn't received enough humiliation. He had heard that the Princess—the supposed gentle Saintess—was still salty that he was the one that got chosen as the holy spear's wielder.

It the world was fair, that it should be him parading beside the summoned hero. But when the spear chose him, he was sent out to the frontier, secretly, and the kingdom elected the Princess as the supposed Saintess. He was the one receiving all the missions to 'clear the path' so the hero's journey would be easier.

And yet he was also the one being blamed for the massacre on the frontier during the second phase of the final battle, which was the mistake of the arrogant Mage. He had to burn out his circuit to generate a large-area sanctuary, and even then many soldiers ended up dead.

And the hero's company had the audacity to blame his unconscious ass. He couldn't even defend himself because he was literally on the verge of death, trying to survive with just pure physical constitution.

It wasn't as if no one defended him. But the frontline soldier's voice was nothing in front of the supreme hero's company. So there he was, attending a banquet where half the people looked at him with pity, and half looked at him with a sneer.

Valmeier had never thought that there would be these many people having contempt for him. Perhaps being too ignorant of the capital's climate was not such a good thing. He had thought that not involving himself with the Head Church politics was the right thing to do, but it killed his foster father, and now, it trying to kill him too.

What a good night to get drunk, then, with all this wine swirling around, free of charge.

He would walk, someone talked to him, he drank, and walked again, and being stopped again, and he drank again. So on and so forth, the alcohol helping him through all the condescending talk and sneer, all the fake sympathy.

Not that Valmeier knew any of them, but damn if it didn't piss him off.

By the time he reached the balcony, he already felt quite tipsy, chuckling to himself and the night. "Ahh...is there really not a single way?"

People thought there was no cure for a clogged mana circuit—it was basically the death of a magic user. But Valmeier knew the way. He knew the stuff needed to forcefully break the clogged circuit.

It was something called Amrita.

The first thing he did when he found himself in this condition was, of course, to look for this mythical thing. He didn't even know whether this Amrita was a potion, a plant, a medicinal pill...he only knew the name. He employed informants to look for it, asking Lord Priest, and even seeking an audience with the Archmage.

Valmeier knew where exactly the Amrita was—who had it. But he just wanted to look for other options. Because the one that definitely had the Amrita was, ironically, a Demon Lord.

Yeah, the exact demon race they went to war with. The same demon race that he had killed during those years of fighting. The same demon race that was the archnemesis of the human race.

Obviously, Valmeier wanted to avoid this route if he could. But honestly, after weeks of nothing, he was finally desperate enough to corner the demon lord's spies planted in the kingdom, and sent a letter.

A very polite, sympathetic letter that would get him branded as a traitor should anyone found out.

But even if he did get found out, so what? He'd either be thrown in jail or executed. He'd die. He would also die within months if he didn't get the cure.

He was just grasping at straws while drowning.

He just wanted to live. Trying to.

He couldn't even dare to hope that the demon lord would heed his plea. Why would he, for an enemy? Still, there was something in the back of his mind that just persistently saying maybe...just maybe...

"It seemed like a joyous celebration, so why is the guest looking distressed?" a voice suddenly came from one of the benches on the balcony.

Valmeier turned his head and narrowed his eyes, but he could only see the figure of a tall man, dressed in luxurious, elegant deep blue suits. When he tilted his head in confusion, the man stood up, and walked towards him. It was only after the moonlight shone on the figure that Val could see the silvery irises and dark blue hair of the man.

Val didn't know the man, but then he did not know most of the people at this banquet. "Did I sour your drink?" he asked, with a self-deprecating and tired smirk. He would usually have just let the comment go and kept his silence, but Val was feeling drunk and annoyed.

"Fortunately, I don't have one," the man smiled, stopping in front of the priest. He was tall and big and imposing.

"Why not?" Val twisted the glass that he had in his hand, contemplating whether or not to just down it in front of this stranger.

The silvery eyes were narrowed as the man looked keenly at Valmeier, and the thin lips parted with a mysterious smile. "Because I didn't come here for the party,"

"Hmm...then?" if Val wasn't so tipsy, he would have his alarm blazing right now. A stranger who came to the banquet was not here for the party. Definitely suspicious.

Alas, Val didn't want to think too much this night. He had just signed a debt, he met a dead end in his search, and he'd probably wouldn't live past next year. Even if this stranger was here to kill him, it would just quicken his fate by a few months.

"I'm here for your inquiry," the man watched in amusement as Val leaned casually on the balcony while playing with the wine glass, as if contemplating about jumping to the ground or pouring down his drink.

There was only one inquiry Val had been making these days; the Amrita. But no informant he hired would be able to come into the banquet tonight, so there was only one other place this mysterious man could be coming from.

Val blinked, green eyes staring at the calm smile of the man. And then he burst out laughing.

God, he was so drunk.

"I see. The palace's security is as shit as usual if they allowed a demon's envoy to infiltrate the palace," he smirked, more amused about the man's identity than the news he carried.

"Well, I'm glad you looked less distressed, at least," the smile had never gone from that face. Probably quite handsome, Val had no idea. His vision was getting blurry, honestly.

Perhaps his judgment too.

"So," he looked up from his leaning position, "what the Demon Lord had to say about my inquiry?"

At that, the man was reaching out his hand instead, as if offering it to Valmeier. "You'll have the answer if you come to the Lord's Castle."

Thankfully, even while drunk, Val had the decency to move his brain cell a little bit. "Will I get to go back after I come with you?"

The ever presence smile was stretched further. "Hard to say," there was a slight chuckle in the man's voice. "After all, you'll come to the lair of the Demon Lord of Greed,"

True. That was true. Valmeier nodded, either in agreement or just drunk.

"It wasn't even as if you have any other choice," the man shrugged, hand still reaching out, palm up, waiting for Val to take it. "Or, are you that attached to this kingdom?"

Ha! Val scoffed.

Well, that did it. He let go of the glass in his hand, and took the cold hand of the man. "To hell with this place," he gritted his teeth, and then smirk, as his gaze met the man's. "Well, to hell with you, I guess?"

As his fingers touched the cold palm, he was suddenly being pulled into the man's embrace, crashing against the broad chest. Immediately, he couldn't see everything but the eyes that shone like the moon, and the black wings that cradle him like a cocoon.

And then, he was gone, leaving only broken shards of glass and black feathers.


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
Aerlev Aerlev

Don’t follow strangers, kids, especially the one offering drugs

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