"Interspatial storage rings!" Jean cried out. What precious items!
"Yes. The devil found them for me." Claire handed over the one ring to each person. "Master," she said to Cliff. "Does your storage ring have as much space as this one?"
"The devil gave them to you?" Cliff's mouth was wide open. He could not believe it, it was inconceivable.
When Cliff sensed the amount of space inside the ring, he practically blushed with shame. "Such a large amount of space! It's twenty times larger than my ring's."
"Great! Let's switch. Give me your old one." Claire started to calculate what to do with the other storage rings.
"Miss, why did the devil treat you so well?" Jean muttered, staring at the storage ring in his palm.
"She was just bored. And these are just trash in her eyes. She was merely giving them to me as a way of throwing them away," Claire shrugged. She materialized the corroded sword, but as soon as it fully materialized, it clattered to the ground, too heavy.
Trash? Interspatial storage rings were trash?! Such priceless, nearly nonexistent treasure was trash to the devil?!
Just when Cliff was moving items from his old storage ring to the new one, he noticed the corroded sword on the ground.
"The sword was also given to me by the devil. But besides being exceptionally heavy, I have not discovered anything else special about it." Claire stared at the sword, befuddled. "But she specially told me to take this sword, so it must be special."
Cliff crouched down and examined the sword carefully. Gradually, his expression turned astonished.
"This... this sword is the legendary Sword of Death?!" Cliff's voice started trembling.
"What Sword of Death?" Claire frowned. She had never heard of any treasured sword with that name.
"The Sword of Death is a magic sword. Legends say the continent was once one entire empire instead of five such as now and the founding emperor used the Sword of Death to carve out the path of the empire," Jean said, solemn. "The Sword of Death does not have any specific elemental attribute, but has a much more terrifying effect. Anybody attacked by this sword will hallucinate, be paralyzed, and completely lose their ability to fight."
Claire's eyes widened, recalling the underground palace the young master had brought her to. Was the ruins of the once magnificent palace that of the founding emperor's? But why would the palace be there? And what about the white bones?
"In any case, you've found a treasure." Cliff eyed the sword, a grin forming. "I never expected this! What a strange situation, a devil helping a human."
"Master!" Claire's temper flared and she glared. "You ran into Devil Field so rashly. If something happened to you, what would I do? Even if you made a breakthrough, there's no guarantee you would have been able to exit."
"Haha, don't be like that... Isn't everybody just fine? I just knew my darling disciple was no ordinary person, even devils help you. Haha, I'm a sorcerer now, hahaha..." Cliff laughed heartily towards the sky, delighted.
Claire's mouth twitched. The old man before her with such immature behavior had actually become a sorcerer, but... Acting like this, he didn't seem powerful at all!
"Miss..." Jean's voice came quietly, full of conflicting emotion.
Claire turned to look at Jean. "This sword is for you," she said softly.
"It's... too valuable*." Jean stared at the sword, his expression complex. It was the legendary Sword of Death! Every warrior's dream!
"Right, it's too heavy*, I can't even lift it. You take it. If you don't want it, I'm throwing it back into Devil Field," Claire shrugged and said heedlessly.
*Pun because valuable also means heavy
Jean was speechless. He slowly picked up the Sword of Death.
"Master, you need to disguise the sword. If someone recognizes it, there will be trouble. And can you do something about this rust?" Claire asked Cliff, who was in the middle of moving his belongings to the new ring.
"Mhmm, no problem, leave it to me. Ahaha, the storage ring space is so big..." Cliff was laughing heartily, not sparing so much as a glance.
"Miss, thank you..." Jean felt a surge of warmth.
Claire didn't think much of it. She turned to watch Cliff move his belongings. She was trying to see if there was anything valuable she could exploit.
Jean stared at the sword in his hand, his emotions surging for a while. Sword of Death, I will use you to guard my lady until the end of time, Jean swore in his heart, swearing on his life.
"Ahaha, Claire, let's go back to the capital, hurry. I need to find Lawrence, that old fox, and flaunt. I'm going to chase him through the streets until he's sorry!" Cliff had his hands on his hips, laughing wildly. He had already forgotten the danger of almost failing his breakthrough.
"Let's go, Jean." Claire strutted ahead, acting as if she didn't know Cliff.
Jean smiled and followed from behind.
"Jean, come on. Let me disguise your sword, haha..." Cliff was still laughing as he followed them, so gleeful he was.
Things seemed perfect, but... Little did Claire know the cruel ordeal awaiting her.
The pope was waiting for Claire's return.
Having exited Devil Field safely, Claire's heart had finally settled. The three journeyed back to Amparkland leisurely.
Once Cliff tested Claire's magic power, he was shocked. Claire was already at the level of a grand wizard!
"Haha, Claire, you're only fourteen, but you're already a grand wizard!" Cliff shouted to the sky. "My goodness, you will be the youngest sorcerer in history, haha, worthy of being my disciple." He shook his rump delightfully. "Now I can teach you high level incantations."
"Master, what about forbidden incantations? I want to learn forbidden incantations!" Of course Claire wouldn't be satisfied with only high level incantations.
"Learn with your head! You can't use forbidden incantations yet. They will deplete too much of your energy, endangering your life, understand?" Cliff rejected her immediately.
"I want to learn. It's not like I said I will use them yet," Claire persisted.
"No, no. Only high level incantations." Cliff shook his head, not willing to give in.
"Give me back the ring!" Claire humphed, arms crossed, nose raised. She pulled out a few ninth grade magic cores and sighed in a regretful tone. "I was going to give these to you, Master, but... Forget about it. And these..." Claire took out the precious ores from the underground palace and waved them before Cliff's eyes, then put them all back.
"Ah! So many ninth grade magic cores! And Reedle ore and Cyndler ores! Claire, where did you get so much precious stuff, ahhhhhh, lemme see..." Cliff howled ecstatically.
"Gimme forbidden incantations then." Claire walked forward, ignoring Cliff's howl.
Cliff caught up to Claire hurriedly and fawned, "Ok, ok, I give. What kinds of incantations do you want?"
Jean watched the two, a smile forming on his lips. He also sped up.
When they returned to the capital, people of the Temple of Light were already there at the gates to cut them off before they could return to Hill manor.
"Reverend," a believer of the Temple addressed Claire respectfully. "His holiness has already been waiting for some time."
"How did you know I was returning today?" Claire frowned, somewhat annoyed.
"We have been waiting here on his holiness's orders ever since you left."
They had waited here the entire time?!
"Reverend, please return to the Temple. His holiness is awaiting you," he said, indicating towards a pure white carriage not far away.
"Jean, you return first," Clare instructed. "Tell Grandfather I have returned. I will be back soon."
"Miss..." But before Jean could finish, Cliff interrupted him.
"Jean, you should go. I will accompany Claire. I was going to go find Lawrence anyways." Cliff grinned at Jean. His words were clear: he was going to protect Claire. Naturally, Cliff understood what Jean was thinking.
"Yes." Jean nodded, finally relenting to return to Hill manor.
Claire and Cliff got on the carriage together and went directly to the Temple of Light.
As they passed through the main entrance, believers bowed to Claire along the way. A priest was second only to the Diving Prince and Divine Princess, so naturally, she was respected.
"Hoho, disciple, from now on, Master shall rely on you." Cliff smiled vulgarly, his eyes slits.
Claire rolled her eyes. "Go and find sir Lawrence. Don't act like you know me."
Cliff snickered and followed a servant girl, turning past a corner, to find Lawrence.
Claire continued forward towards the main temple.
A servant girl led Claire through the main temple and past a side corridor, all the way in.
"Reverend, his holiness is just inside. Your servant shall take her leave now."
Claire knocked on the door lightly. A low voice came from within. "Come in."
Slowly pushing the door open, Claire saw the pope standing at the windowsill, his hands behind his back.
Slowly, the pope turned around. He broke into a smile. "Our Reverend is finally willing to return?"
Claire remained silent, watching the seemingly benevolent old man. The pope was, as usual, dressed in white with his air of authority.