361 The Cowardly Demon 1
In the Sapientia hall, whispers and animated talks about Airic's story spread along with rumors about just who this boy was to Madeleine. It wasn't as though Madeleine hadn't seen talented young men before, so they could hardly understand why she seemed to be so interested in this one in particular.
However, Ester, Madeleine's master, found all of this decidedly less funny – even to the point where she found the first opportunity just as everyone mounted large golden eagles, to pull Madeleine off to the side.
"Is there a problem, master?" Madeleine already knew what this was about, but she was in too good of a mood to let it bother her now.
"You fully understand what the problem is. You've gone from saying you like this boy to loving him to calling him your fiancée and now your husband? Did you take my words seriously at all?" Ester didn't seem happy. In fact, she rarely used her air of an expert to intimidate Madeleine, but right now, saint energy was imperceptibly dripping from her.
However, Madeleine only smiled and continued to elegantly step onto the large bird, "I seem to remember you saying that after spending a few months with the prince I would change my mind?"
Not wanting the conversation to go further, Madeleine found her way to the carriage strapped to the large feathered back and sat quietly – eagerly anticipating the coming days.
Hearing Madeleine's words, Ester was at a loss for her own. It was true she had said those things, and a large part of her actually believed it. But, it was clear that she was wrong.
Ester had no idea about this demon sage that Airic had mentioned and she found it quite ridiculous that a child from the human world would ever be number one on their rankings. As such, she chose to focus on Airic's mention of these things as rumors, dismissing them entirely.
Over the past few weeks, Ester's heart had been in turmoil. Something was distracting her and it was heavily weighing on her mind even to the point where she hardly fulfilled her duties. She hadn't even guided Madeleine's cultivation in all this time. All of this made her feel as though she let her personal issues get in the way of properly disciplining her disciple, so, she stepped forward to do what she thought was right.
The reason why Ester had become Madeleine's master in the first place was because she too loved the idea of music will. Although Ester herself wasn't very proficient, in her hundreds of years of trying, she had finally managed to get her music will to the third level.
Because of her clear lack of talent for the will, Ester had focused her pursuits in other ways, trying to find any possible avenues for improving music will. During that time, she had stumbled on something… But, unfortunately, it had the direct opposite effect – instead, stifling one's voice.
Taking out a small black pill, Ester entered the carriage she alone shared with Madeleine. "Swallow this." She said sternly, not leaving any room for debate.
Madeleine, from her window seat, turned a calm gaze toward her supposed master's palm. "And this is?"
"It's a preventative measure." Ester continued to maintain her righteous air. If she had to play the villain, then she would play the villain.
Ester couldn't tell Madeleine what she knew unless she wanted to die. Any words spoken even remotely related to the subject resulted in years off of one's life and that wasn't something Ester was willing to do. She would rather Madeleine hate her as she forced her to listen than have Madeleine drive down a path that would without a doubt result in death.
"That doesn't answer my question." Madeleine's brows furrowed. More and more off-put by this person she was supposed to be able to trust. Just what was she trying to do?
Ester didn't answer, instead making a movement with her hand to lock Madeleine in place with saint energy. Because of the difference in their cultivation, as long as energy was properly focused, the ability of the weaker martial artist to control their own flow of energy is disrupted, thus causing a temporary paralysis.
Madeleine's gaze burned into her master as soon as she lost her ability to move. Up until now, through all of the things her master had said about the love of her life, Madeleine had still forgiven it. It had seemed like Ester still wanted the best for Madeleine and that she was at the very least still going to give them a chance should Dyon prove himself enough.
This was the only person in this terrible family that had ever stuck up for Madeleine. When her talent was at its peak, and Connery wanted to use that to spread the influence of the Sapientia, it was Ester that had tried to protect her. When her talent was declining and she could no longer cultivate, it was Ester that tried to protect her. When she had been sent away, ostracized by a place that had once accepted her – a place that had once called her a genius – it was Ester that had protected her.
So, despite her love for Dyon, Madeleine had forgiven her master again and again. When Ester said Dyon was no good, she forgave. When Ester had said Dyon would never match up to their best young geniuses, she forgave. When Ester had sent her away to another planet to essentially be pimped out to a prince, she forgave. But, now? There was nothing but hatred in Madeleine's eyes.
She could only watch as the small black pill was forced between her delicate lips. Her complexion, once rosy and the picture of perfection slightly paled, her pink lips discoloring ever so slightly. One could barely tell the difference, but Madeleine very much felt it.
And the worst part? When Madeleine finally felt the hold of saint energy release, she couldn't speak. She couldn't express how angry she was and she couldn't tell this so-called master of hers that she would never see her as a master again. If it wasn't for the fact that this trip might give her a chance to at least catch a glance at Dyon, she would have fought with her everything to not be in the same carriage as this horrible woman.
In the end, her eyes could only glisten with tears of rage and hatred. She suddenly realized she could no longer access her music will. The will she loved the most. The will that connected her with her love… It was gone.
Madeleine turned away, looking outside at what should have been a beautiful day to only see black and white. The Sapientia family would never be her family again.