Chapter 249 - Ominous Identity (2)
"What have you come to me for?" Theodore's tone was naturally wary as the dark presence around the mysterious Shim Samho touched on his nerves.
He didn't think she could win a fight against him. However, she had something which wasn't combat power. As long as he didn't know her identity, he couldn't be confident that he was superior in force.
Despite Theodore's calm attitude, Shim Samho's coy tone didn't change, "Huhu, you are still the same. Didn't we promise to meet again?"
"I don't remember us being that close."
"It is a relationship that is meant to be more intimate," Shim Samho said as she stepped over the threshold. The action was so natural that even the nervous attendant at the back couldn't stop her.
"Excuse me. Can I get a cup of tea?"
"Sure." It couldn't be helped, so Theodore sighed reluctantly. He couldn't go against that pushy attitude. Moreover, she was a notary of the emperor. Theodore beckoned to the attendant and instructed him to keep people away from this area. It would be safer if there was a battle.
Shortly afterward, a tea set was placed between Theodore and Shim Samho. Jade colored tea was poured into the cups, and a refreshing smell rose.
It was a tea which even a rich person had to wait three years to obtain.
There were several tins of the finest tea leaves stocked in the Lee family's warehouse, proof of their glory days. The tea was mainly enjoyed by the head of the family, but Theodore had little interest in tea. Therefore, he usually only brought it out when serving guests like this.
"Oh, my. This is great Longjing tea," Shim Samho said admiringly as soon as she took a sip of the tea.
Tea leaves were graded depending on when they were harvested. Those which were plucked just before they were ready for harvest were treated as the finest quality since there was a low production rate and they had the finest taste. These tea leaves weren't available for anyone without a thick wallet.
Theodore looked at Shim Samho and spoke without drinking the tea, "Stop talking about meaningless things. If you want good tea, I'll give you a few bags. So, tell me why you came here to visit."
"There is no need to be in a rush." Shim Samho laughed as she put down her teacup. "Just like a draft is necessary for a story, this conversation needs context. My lips are closed at this moment when I'm drinking tea."
There was nothing else to say. Theodore fell silent as he waited for Shim Samho to finish her tea and talk. After around two cups worth of time (30 minutes)...
"I was very surprised to hear that Theodore became the temporary head. Unifying the Fairy Dance Lee family in just three months... it isn't something that could be done with mere force."
"I have competent subordinates."
"There is no need to be so humble. Moreover, it is amazing that you can learn martial arts with the body of a magician."
"Um," Theodore answered in a short manner before glaring at the woman sitting opposite him. "Magic... You know it well."
There was something Theodore had realized after spending a few months here. Unlike in the West Continent where magic penetrated deeply into real life, it was difficult to find shamanism in the East Continent.
It could be due to the prejudice against it. Shamans were extremely reluctant to reveal their identities, so they hid from the public eye. Therefore, the Eastern people often didn't know the distinction between magic and shamanism.
So, what about the person called 'Shim Samho'? Her knowledge of magic was far beyond that of the Eastern people. Rather, it was equivalent to the knowledge stored in the magic towers. How had she studied the magic of another continent when she was a high-ranking notary of the emperor? The more Theodore talked to her, the more her identity fell into a bog.
He didn't know if she was strong or weak, and her presence was also a factor which made her identity questionable.
"Are you curious to see my face?" Shim Samho seemed to interpret Theodore's gaze in a strange manner as she playfully touched the edge of her cotton cloth. He hesitated before nodding. In some ways, it was a chance to figure out her identity. At the very least, he could get a clue. Shim Samho lifted her cotton cloth, and Theodore immediately realized it...
This decision was a mistake.
* * *
"――――Ah." It was disorienting. His reason broke down, and blood boiled up in his body like a furnace. His thoughts stopped the moment he saw Shim Samho's face.
Her beauty, which was too fatal to be praised as beautiful, pierced into Theodore's eyes. He couldn't explain the features he was looking at. The sight of this beauty which was outside the human domain of cognition was almost like a mental attack.
No, it could only be expressed as a mental attack.
'D-Damn, what is with this face...?' His eyes felt like they were melting away as he looked at Shim Samho's face.
Then Shim Samho's body odor neared him.
His five senses were running wild with desire her, urging him to let go of his strings of reason. If even the mind of the highly disciplined Theodore couldn't withstand this, then other masters wouldn't be able to endure for a very long time.
Theodore could still hold on. It would be the end if he let go. As he thought this, Shim Samho moved.
"Hah... If you look at me with those type of eyes, will the heat go away?"
The corners of her mouth raised slightly raised, and lightning flashed through her mouth. As Theodore shook, her fingers held the strings of her loose clothing. Then she pulled without hesitation.
Theodore stopped breathing. She wasn't wearing anything underneath, so her intent was obvious. Otherwise, her clothing wouldn't have been removed so easily.
This was a sin.
Theodore's reason completely melted away when he saw Shim Samho's naked skin. Before he knew it, his upper body leaned forward. Her white skin which was as smooth as porcelain and her beautifully curved body that fit the golden ratio... It was impossible for any male creature to resist her. Theodore's instincts stopped responding as soon as he realized this fact.
If he persevered more than this, his brains would boil up and he would die.
The moment that Theodore's left hand touched that gentle skin...
[The mental interference of a myth-grade existence is detected on your body.]
[Gluttony resists the dreadful curse.]
[You have succeeded in resisting the 'Burning Carnal Desire.']
Shortly after that, Theodore's head became as cold as ice. It was a curse which dominated even a master's mind and couldn't be stopped even with preliminary preparation. Theodore looked at the situation calmly and did what he thought was best.
His seven circles rotated vigorously, and magic power emerged from his left hand, which was still in contact with the skin.
The shockwave hit Shim Samho's chest from a close range and caused her to be thrown back. Blood soared up toward the ceiling, and the flesh around the explosion was a mess. It was a fatal wound.
'...Did I do it?'
However, that didn't mean anything.
At that moment, Shim Samho's body, which had been turned into rags, stood up.
"What?" In shock, Theodore immediately retreated three steps. This wasn't a creature which could be called human and yet could still move even when it was fatally damaged. No, it was a monster.
This was the life-sustaining power worthy of being called 'immortal', which had been shown by Pride in the past. Theodore panicked as he realized where his thoughts were headed.
'No, it isn't playing around. What is this?'
Shim Samho's body was crushed. There was a big hole in her upper body, and blood was pouring out. From the first time they met, Theodore had felt like his combat ability would be no use. Now, her appearance was more like an undead than a human being. This made Shim Samho bite her lips like she was embarrassed.
-What? How did a mortal escape my mind control? Shim Samho's alluring voice rang out in a low-frequency range which couldn't be heard by human ears. She was an existence at a higher level than that of a human.
If it hadn't been for Gluttony's strength, Theodore's reason would've been taken away by her. This was despite the fact that he was a 7th Circle magician who possessed a divinity. It wouldn't be difficult for Theodore to resist if an 8th Circle warlock tried to control him, yet Shim Samho had easily overturned his reason.
Was she a senior demon? Or perhaps a grimoire? Theodore tried to find the answer to his questions.
However, the answer came from Gluttony. -I thought I heard a familiar mental thought. So, it was you. I didn't think you would cross over to the East Continent.
-...Eh? It was you, Gluttony. Shim Samho's expression changed after she heard Gluttony's voice.
Shim Samho was an existence that transcended beyond humanity, so the speed of her thinking circuits was different from humans.
Simultaneously, Theodore guessed her identity. 'Gluttony is a grimoire that eats grimoires, so other grimoires are just food to Gluttony. A regular grimoire would just be eaten if Gluttony encountered it. Then that means this person...'
-It is as you guessed, Gluttony read Theodore's mind and confirmed his speculation.
A grimoire that Gluttony knew...
A power that could suppress the mind and stimulate human sexuality...
Having discovered some common points, Theodore concluded that this must be one of the Seven Sins grimoires.
-She is one of the Seven Sins, Lust of the carnal desires. A grimoire who exerts its power through sexual stimulation, an existence that no man can deny... Maybe this empire has fallen into her hands.