How a Reincarnated Warlock Lives – Chapter 19

Chapter 19: Nightmare (1)

Normally, dreams are little more than a slightly distorted reproduction of one’s own experiences.

Of course, it was also possible to use a simple spell or curse to make someone have a specific dream, but that was naturally not an issue I concerned myself with.

Mental strength is directly proportional to the rank of one’s soul, and in this regard, I was confident that I was second to none.

Thus, the nightmares that I occasionally had unfortunately originated from experiences in my past.

Experiences from my past that I did not like to recall, but that I had never forgotten.

Of course, I was not the type to place much significance on the nightmares that visited me from time to time. After all, the present and the future were what mattered, not the past.

“Excuse me? Are you speaking to me?”

I asked with a dubious expression as I received the report containing the mission details.

The main office of the Inquisition.

A new mission had come up just as the long break I had been enjoying was starting to get boring.

Inquisitors sometimes chose to investigate a specific region of their own volition, but in most cases, they were simply sent to investigate a location assigned to them.

After all, countless requests and petitions flowed into Herentica on any given day.

The previous mission, in which I was allowed to investigate a location of my choosing, could be considered special treatment from the Inquisition.

It could even be seen as a kind of privilege for someone who, though talented, had only just managed to pass the exam with the highest score.

“Yes, the Order has decided that you are capable enough to handle this matter on your own.”

The friar who had spoken to me had trust in his eyes. It seemed that the incident on Mount Fehern last time had spread like wildfire within the Inquisition.

“Well, I don’t think it will be too much trouble. Some are even saying that you are already as capable as Inquisitor Lefra, haha.”

I laughed off the old friar’s words. Maybe in a few months, but not quite yet.

In any case, it was good news that I could set out on the mission without having to worry about the opinions of others. I did not know how the Inquisition judged my current abilities, but they would not have assigned me an impossible task.

“The details of the mission are all written down here. Please depart as soon as you are ready, Brother Luciel. May God’s protection be with you.”

“Understood. I will prepare at once.”

I replied curtly and, after giving a nod to the old friar making the sign of the cross, turned to leave. Or rather, I tried to leave.

‘Lefra?’

I stopped in my tracks, having noticed Inquisitor Lefra walking towards me from the end of the corridor, and gave her a slight nod in greeting.

“. . . . . .”

Swish.

As always, she was wearing her robe pulled down low over her face and passed me by without so much as a glance. She seemed a little out of sorts, somehow.

‘Ah.’

I smiled to myself as I watched her retreating figure.

Rumors of how I, a so-called veteran Inquisitor, had single-handedly defeated the warlocks before Lefra had even had a chance to swing her sword had spread throughout the Inquisition like wildfire.

Naturally, there would have been some backlash to her reputation as a result. Especially since she was someone who did not socialize with others and always seemed gloomy and aloof.

Well, it was not something I needed to go out of my way to worry about.

‘She has a rather strong sense of pride.’

I filed away another piece of trivial information about her and turned around without giving it much thought, heading towards the place I had to visit before setting out on my new mission.

🔹🔹🔹

For an Inquisitor, experience is something separate from one’s talents. No, it could be said to be even more important.

The machinations of the devil itself, or of those who worshipped the devil, often fell outside the realm of normal expectations.

In this world, even skilled individuals, whether Inquisitors or warlocks, could end up losing their lives in vain.

However, the fact that I had been given a solo mission meant one of two things.

Either it really was something I could handle on my own and gain experience from easily.

Or. . .

‘Is that all they figured out?’

I would know for sure once I got there.

I shook off my thoughts and turned my gaze to the large figure in front of me.

“Well, what are you planning on breaking this time, Brother Luciel?”

Baroque asked, glaring at me with his arms crossed.

The dark circles under his eyes suggested that he had been working day and night, unless he had simply had a bad dream.

And some of the excessive work he had been given had probably come from me.

Basically, all items given to Inquisitors going out on missions were loaned, not given. Of course, it was not as if I would be asked to pay for anything I broke, but it was considered good manners to return them in good condition if possible.

After all, each and every one of them was quite valuable.

“When facing wicked heretics, how can we possibly be concerned with material possessions?”

I replied with a grin, and Baroque looked at me as if he could not believe his ears.

“Heh, you sound just like that guy, Anton.”

“At least I didn’t damage any relics.”

“. . .That is true.”

I sighed and slowly began to recite the list to him as he nodded.

“A sturdier sword than last time, plated with holy silver, a consecrated rope, Kadalan’s powder, and. . .”

“Damn it. It’s going to be a pain to restock all this again.”

I chuckled as he handed me the items while grumbling, and said something I did not mean.

“I will try my best to return it in good condition this time.”

🔹🔹🔹

My destination, the village of Browell, was located in the corner of the territory of a local noble, far from the Inquisition headquarters in Herentica.

It was quite a distance, but fortunately it did not take too long to get there. The horses assigned to Inquisitors were not ordinary steeds.

The horses assigned to Inquisitors were blessed by priests after being bred from exceptional bloodline warhorses, and they boasted impressive speeds.

The weather, which had begun to turn towards the end of autumn, was quite chilly, but it was not cold enough to require a heat-inscribed camping tent, so I did not experience much discomfort sleeping outdoors.

I continued traveling, eating jerky and dry bread soaked in sour grape wine that I had prepared in advance, and after about a week, I finally arrived at the entrance to the territory of the noble who owned the village.

“Halt!”

I slowed down and stopped my horse in front of the gate, where several soldiers armed with spears had stopped me.

Clatter.

The horse stopped with a stomp of its front hooves as I pulled on the reins. The soldiers seemed a little taken aback at the sight of the large black horse, which was not something you saw every day.

“D, Ddismount from your horse and state your identity and purpose!”

The soldiers, who were using honorifics as they recognized that I was not a commoner despite riding an unusual breed of horse, were still carrying out their entry procedures diligently.

However, they did seem to have some military discipline.

I remained on my horse and took out the Inquisitor’s emblem issued by the Inquisition from my pocket.

A black cloak, a large black horse, and an intimidating emblem depicting a cross-shaped sword and the flames of a stake.

The meaning of all this was obvious.

“I am an inquisitor of the Inquisition of Herentica. Stand aside.”

The soldiers’ eyes widened in surprise at my quiet words.

“I, I apologize for not knowing! Hey, step aside at once! It is an Inquisitor!”

“Quiet.”

“Y, Yes, sir!”

I tried to pass by the soldiers, who were hurriedly making way for me as if they had been burned, when the man who seemed to be the captain of the guard came running up to me and grabbed me.

“We, we do not know your destination, but you must inform the lord at once and partake of some food. . .”

Inquisitors were basically one of the symbols of the Order’s power. Regardless of their status before becoming Inquisitors, they were not people that rural nobles could afford to trifle with.

On the contrary, many of them wanted to establish connections with Inquisitors in advance in case of emergencies.

“That is not necessary. I will pass through here and head straight to the village of Browell.”

I said curtly to the flustered captain of the guard.

“B, But. . .”

“I would appreciate it if you could step aside.”

I did not have time to waste on useless things. Or rather, to be precise, I had the time, but there was no reason to. The soldier who met my gaze jumped in surprise and stepped aside.

I could read the fear and terror in their eyes.

Unlike in a large town like Herentica, in rural areas like this, Inquisitors were objects of fear, not only to heretics, but also to innocent people.

A faint sense of relief appeared in the eyes of those who were watching me as I said that I would not be staying and accepting their hospitality.

Swish.

I passed by the soldiers and headed towards my destination, the village of Browell.

🔹🔹🔹

It had been a tiring day.

Wilson yawned widely and pushed open the creaking wooden door. 

Despite the fact that autumn, the season of joy for farmers, was approaching, his expression was not particularly bright. This was because, after paying the taxes to the lord and the donations to the Order, he would barely have enough to get through the winter.

‘What the hell is God’s will. . . Those damn highway robbers.’

The reason why Wilson did not mutter the curses that came naturally to him was not only because of the fear that had been instilled in him.

There was a rumor that if you uttered blasphemous words too often, the devil, who had heard them in the shadows, would come looking for your village.

From a magical standpoint, this was not a very credible claim, but Wilson, who had spent his entire life tilling the soil, had no way of knowing that.

It was better to be careful.

Especially these days, when there were rumors of a small village not too far from here being destroyed by wicked warlocks.

It was an era when dark news was coming from all over the place, but the people of the village of Browell were not particularly worried about it.

After all, there was a priest of the Order staying here.

He was a priest in name only, and all he really did was pray a little and collect money from the villagers, but. . .

In fact, strange things had been happening in the village recently. Nothing to the extent that people were dying directly, but enough to make people feel a strange sense of foreboding.

However, it was probably nothing to worry about. Probably.

Creak.

Wilson, having firmly shut the thick window he had made himself and locked the latch, yawned widely again and walked unsteadily towards the bed.

“Haa.”

For now, he just wanted to forget about complicated problems and lie down on his warm, comfortable bed.

‘I feel like I’m getting more and more tired even when I sleep these days.’

Thud.

Wilson, who had thrown himself onto the bed, soon frowned as he heard a strange, irritating sound.

Scratch, scratch.

Had a mouse gotten into the room?

He thought it might be because of the grain crumbs that had gotten on his clothes earlier when he was threshing.

Wilson was about to get up despite the annoyance, when he suddenly realized that his body was not moving as he wanted it to.

“. . . . . .?”

The air around him felt a little strange.

It was warm and cozy, yet chilly at the same time. It was an ambiguous sensation, as if he could not tell if he was dreaming or awake.

‘Did I fall asleep?’

The question that naturally arose in Wilson’s groggy mind soon melted away like snow at the sensation he felt coming from below.

“. . .!. . .”

A tickling sensation. 

A feeling as if the strength was draining from his entire body, yet as if his toes were curling up on their own. 

Wilson let out a gasp of surprise without realizing it.

It was a dizzying yet thrilling sensation.

‘Wh, what the. . .!’

And then, he faintly heard a sound like something was chuckling. It was a sharp, piercing laugh, but for some reason, he did not feel afraid.

The pleasant drowsiness was so vivid that it overshadowed his sense of fear.

Swish!

At the same time, something flew past right in front of his eyes.

‘A ghost? A devil?’

No, it was someone dazzlingly beautiful.

“. . .!. . .”

At that moment, his body, which had not moved until then, suddenly stirred.

He sat up with a start, and at the same time, Wilson forgot why he had gotten up in such a hurry.

What had happened?

His head felt foggy and confused.

Chirp, chirp, chirp.

As he sat blankly on the bed, the sound of morning birds heralding the start of the day reached his ears.

Wilson stared blankly at the morning sunlight streaming in through the window for a while.

“. . .?”

Already?

Was it already morning?

Despite being a diligent man who had never slept in, he. . .

It seemed like it was already quite late in the morning, as he could faintly hear the voices of the villagers going about their morning business outside the open window.

“. . .Did you see? That person who arrived earlier is the Inquisitor━”

“He seems less formidable than I had heard. I wonder why he came here, causing all this unrest?”

“Shush! What kind of blasphemous thing are you saying!”

“Maybe it’s because of that woman━”

Had I fallen asleep with the window open?

The words of the people carrying their farming tools and heading out to the fields passed by Wilson’s ears.

His head was filled with the vague remnants of last night’s dream. Wilson frowned as he lost himself in thought.

‘What was it?’

It was definitely a very pleasant dream.

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