Prologue: A Counterfeit Chair
It was an event in the “Holy Fig Tree Room”.
“John, are you unhurt?”
Riz Milton asked this in a stiff voice.
She clasped her hands tightly in front of her abdomen so as not to lose to the terror gnawing at her heart.
“I am unharmed.”
John Smith answered without hesitation.
He was sitting in an old wooden chair that was placed alone in the middle of the room.
It was a special chair that the pious eighteenth pope, Urbaunus, who dedicated his entire life to God, habitually used until he welcomed the end of his days. The backrest was engraved with a drawing of branches that could be regarded as hooks and a fig tree drooping with fruit.
To the devout this was a “Holy Chair”, but to the wicked it was equal to a “Torture Device”. It was said to deprive the body of freedom and to seal powers, and was used to destroy vampires or malicious spirits who would threaten the peace of the people.
And it was also used on demons.
Riz approached John, who was imprisoned in that chair, and firmly swore a vow.
“Just wait. I’ll definitely save you.”
“I am alright. Please do not do anything unreasonable.”
“I won’t hand you over to anyone and I absolutely won’t let you be executed.”
She crouched on the spot and placed both hands on his knees.
John stared at Riz’s hands and furrowed his brows in conflict.
“You are my demon.”
“However— My lady.”
“Let me save you.”
“No, I’ve considered it and, in the end, you cannot. Please be quiet and obedient.”
His voice seeped with a distress that couldn’t be hidden.
He might have been concerned about her welfare— was her sorrowful assumption but, in the next instant, that was easily betrayed.
Faster than Riz’s answer of “Don’t worry” his lips curled with sarcasm and he told her this.
“Let us look at the facts. No matter how hard you try, you are extremely frail, are you not?”
“You would likely die before saving me.”
“Simply running a little will make you dizzy and collapse and your breath will be feeble. Rather, the one who needs help is you, my lady.”
Riz instinctively had questioning eyes.
“Oh dear, will this lady be alright without me there?”
He was legitimately troubled.
“You cannot skip your meals. Keep to your medicine time. In addition, you cannot act without restraint and stay up all night because there is no concern of someone questioning you. Listen, you must get six hours at the bare minimum. Be sure to sleep. You must take a break every fifteen minutes when you are outside.”
Riz felt like her cheeks were about to twitch after being told this with a serious expression.
“Are you aware that, right now, you’re being restrained?”
“Do not divert the topic. In any case, do try your best not to do anything reckless. Understood?”
He sent her a dubious look when she reluctantly nodded.
“Do you truly understand? I cannot seem to believe you though.”
Riz thought this demon should work harder to read the atmosphere.
He was the one in a dangerous situation, and yet why did she end up in a position to be scolded?
“Shall I make a contract so that you won’t live a life of sloth and make you seal it with your blood? No, rather than such a slow method, perhaps it would be quicker to employ a spy to monitor you?”
“Just how much trust do you have in me?”
“Smaller than an apple seed.”
Riz drew her eyebrows together. What sort of human was one who was distrusted by a demon?
T/N: Don’t worry, we’ll get a flashback the next chapter as to how things ended up like this.