Volume 2: Chapter 42: Explanation
Following Baron Albert into the Hall of Ruling, Qin Lun finally noticed that this was the main castle’s highest floor. The pointed end of the tower was the roof. The hall was squared, french stained-glass windows were placed on all four sides. Besides the magic array on the ground, there was nothing else.
All the exorcists showed how comfortable they were once they entered the room, except for Qin Lun. However, he also relaxed. Back when he had agreed to sign the Exorcist’s Oath, the protection power did not affect his law body. It had only condensed into a layer of “magic resistance” on the surface of his body, so the longevity power in the Hall of Ruling naturally did not influence him.
“Nova, Meyer, you can talk about it now, right?” Albert stopped at the center of the room and held out his hand, “Just what did you guys find while investigating the Maize Forest?”
“I’ll explain.” Meyer looked toward Nova and took the initiative to step up and explain the progress of events.
There wasn’t much to say about their fight with the magic organisms the first two days, so Meyer skimmed right over it. He explained the main points to everyone, of how they split up into groups, and had further split their group into two at the end in order to draw away magic organisms and look for the witch’s cabin. His explanation included the crucial battle where Otto finally killed the witch.
Meyer did not participate in the final battle, so he mainly repeated what Tony and Qin Lun had reported once they returned to the camp.
“So that means you guys found something important in the witch’s cabin?” Baron Albert’s eyes lit up and he hastily asked.
Nova and Meyer glanced at each other, reached into his bosom to take out the witch’s notebook, and tossed it to Baron Albert. All the exorcists remained silent as their gazes converged onto the baron.
“…Are you guys suspecting that the Albert Family colluded with the Maize Witch?” Baron Albert angrily questioned them after opening up the book in confusion, his face undergoing a huge change as his attention was drawn to the two pieces of information Qin Lun had specifically circled.
“No, Father, it’s not that everyone is suspecting the Albert Family.” Tony, who had remained silent since the start, finally spoke up, his face filled with determination. “However, I want to know why the werewolf you gave me turned into a human after dying!”
“It turned back into human form?!” Baron Albert frowned but did not immediately set out to explain himself. He looked around at the surrounding exorcists and calmly spoke, “It is not only the Albert Family that commands nonhuman organisms amongst the exorcists. I think you all have other questions, ask me all of them now. I have no wish to be questioned, having to reply one by one like a convicted man!”
Looking at Baron Albert’s furious appearance, the exorcists all went silent. Even Meyer seemed unwilling to speak out at the moment.
“Let me ask then, after all, I was the first one to question the Albert Family.” Qin Lun faintly smiled as he walked forward from the back of the crowd, giving a nod to Baron Albert.
“You? Dr. Stein?” Baron Albert stared at Qin Lun in disbelief.
“Sire Baron, you shouldn’t be so surprised. Do you not realize that any doctor that has seen Little Miller would definitely start having questions?” Qin Lun sighed and shook his head, “Especially after you let me look through all the medicines the many doctors ‘left behind’.”
“They… were not hurt by the Albert Family, rather…” Baron Albert spoke, looking somewhat panicked.
“I know. They probably all died from being infected by the plague and were not hurt by the Albert Family.” Qin Lun slightly nodded his head in agreement with the statement but continued, “However, any doctor who checks on Little Miller would immediately be able to deduce that he has been bed-ridden for a long time. The plague was not something that has happened in just a day or two. Plus, the little guy hasn’t died from the plague after so long, it’s hard for people to not make the assumption that he could be the source of the plague.”
Baron Albert fell silent, his face unreadable. His furious expression had already disappeared without a trace.
“According to the witch’s notes, Steven’s wife was a Maize Witch named Mary Claire, also known as Nina. And over a year ago, you had led two magic organisms to kill Nina, taking Steven and Little Miller back. Steven has since disappeared without a trace while Little Miller was bedridden, and now a strange plague has suddenly erupted in the Odia Region.”
Qin Lun grimaced and continued, “Humans turning into werewolves are indeed not the important point. What everyone wants to truly know is if the plague throughout Odia Region is an undead epidemic that spread while you were developing magic organisms? Little Miller has been ill for so long, yet the other members of the Albert Family have never fallen ill. Does that mean you have medicine that makes a person immune to the plague?”
“So you all are under the impression that I used Nina’s black magic to develop magic organisms, which caused an outbreak of the undead epidemic?” Baron Albert’s face went white, as if he had taken a powerful, direct hit; he subconsciously took two steps back.
“Thomas, we don’t believe that you would use black magic to make magic organisms, but you must explain to us how Little Miller had fallen ill, and what you used to keep him alive for so long.” Lady Nova took a step forward, with worry creasing her face.
“Nova, even you…” Baron Albert closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened them again, he had already calmed himself down.
“There isn’t much for me to say. Werewolves are not magic organisms in the first place, I can testify to that. As for Little Miller’s condition, I am unable to provide an explanation. I can only tell you all that the Albert Family’s constitution is a bit unique. If you don’t believe me, then you can ask Tony if he has ever eaten any special medicine that gives him immunity to the plague.”
“That doesn’t prove anything. You could have mixed the medicine into Tony’s food.” Qin Lun narrowed his eyes, a faint smile lingering on his lips, “Of course, it’s not like there isn’t something that can prove your innocence. Since Little Miller can survive this long, then I’m sure that his father, Steven Albert will also still be alive. As long as he comes out to testify for you…”
“Wellington Stein, do you have the qualifications to make me do as you wish?” Baron Albert coldly questioned as he glanced at Qin Lun.
Qin Lun continued to smile and took a step back into the crowd.
“Thomas Albert, while within the Hall of Ruling, no exorcist of the Odia Region is superior. Everyone is equal.” Meyer slowly frowned and stepped forward to obstruct Qin Lun from view.
“Whatever Dr. Stein says is what we are saying!” Flames lit up in Nova’s eyes, her large fists slowly tightening together. The faces of the other exorcists also changed, their gazes contained anger directed toward Baron Albert.
“So this was the reason why you guys wanted me to open up the Hall of Ruling…”
Baron Albert was a bit dumbstruck. He did not expect such a reaction from them, as if their years of camaraderie was just an illusion. From his point of view, the exorcists should be glaring at Qin Lun. Could it be that their dozens of years of friendship had not reached the level of truly trusting each other yet?
Qin Lun spectated coldly, his smirk more pronounced. Baron Albert’s reaction wasn’t out of his expectations. Back when he had first started to question the Albert Family, Nova and the others had really glared at him to death, completely unwilling to trust him.
At the time, Qin Lun had nearly fought to death against the witch and had helped patch up many exorcists, but it was not nearly enough to gain their trust. Their ties with the Albert Family ran deep, and they would not abandon each other so easily.
However, the tables were completely turned now. Step by step, they were forced into a corner by the epidemic. These exorcists had no choice but to put aside their personal friendship with Baron Albert, placing their duty to protect the human world first and foremost.
“Father, you have to explain everything to us, in detail!” Tony was incomparably solemn, pausing for a moment before continuing, “Because patients with the plague are also showing up in Hanson Town!”
“Hanson Town… the Hanover Region…” Baron Albert started to shake, his eyes stared blankly at them, looking for proof of this information. His face was quickly paling.
“It’s true. Thomas, tell us the truth.” Lady Nova turned her head away, unable to face the current him, “We might be able to salvage the situation.”
“…Fine, since you guys are determined to know, I will tell you all.” Baron Albert slowly raised his head and faced the back of the Hall of Ruling. “There is one thing that all exorcists in the Odia Region acknowledge. Members of the Albert Family always aged easily, despite the fact that exorcists have a longer lifespan than the common people, but you all have never known why.
“Is there some kind of secret behind it, Thomas?” Nova’s heart dropped heavily.
“That’s right, it’s not that every single member of the Albert Family ages easily. It is only limited to the present Baron.” Baron Albert faintly chuckled, “But because the Albert Family were always so few in number, the one showing up and taking charge was always the present Baron. So over time, you guys gained that misconception.”
The exorcists frowned thoughtfully as they combed through their memories. It really seemed to be that case. In this generation of Alberts, putting aside the baron for now, Tony Albert was always roaming outside, while Steven was forced to return to the castle after his accident.
Barely any exorcists had met Steven Albert before, and Baron Albert’s explanation to outsiders was that Steven did not like to fight, so he was not raised as an exorcist, therefore not needing to get involved. Now that they thought back on it, there was probably some other reason. As for Laura, Nina, Elizabeth, and Miller, their presence was even weaker. Almost no one paid attention to their situation.
“In fact, every man of the Albert Family, no matter what battle profession they start out as, will always turn into a Summons Master after becoming the baron.” Baron Albert placed his hand on the french window as he softly revealed this information.
“The longevity power we obtained, from that day on, has to be used to maintain the existence of our Servants and will no longer bring ourselves any benefits. The werewolves of Albert Family are not magic organisms, but humans we have signed a Servant contract with. They voluntarily guard the human world, working together with the exorcists as brothers and sisters!”
Crash! Baron Albert suddenly punched out and broke the french window in front of him. He leaped out of it and fell.