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Seduce The Villainess (GL)

Chapter 17 The Fallen Saintess (13)

(Wester lands- City of Relanter)

(Governor's Mansion- Private Study Room)

"Bring the governor here immediately and do not alert the servants about our discovery," Claire ordered one of the knights in the room.

"Yes Ma'am!" the knight replied solemnly.

He left the study and headed towards the meeting room to fetch the governor.

Claire stood silently in the middle of the study room as the other knights by her side kept a watchful eye on the surroundings.

At first glance this seemed like an ordinary place.

A roaring fire crackled away in the corner of the room and rows upon rows of books were placed against the walls.

A painting with the crest of House Cain had been hung above a long wooden desk. This study room had an atmosphere of literacy and tranquility.

It would have been an unremarkable place were it not for the hidden door that Claire had discovered behind one of the bookshelves.

Claire absentmindedly stroked the medallion that Elisa had given to her before she started the investigation.

According to the former saintess she had blessed the charm so that it would be able to detect dark magic.

The only place that gave a reaction was this study room.

Claire was a straightforward warrior and used her sword to slice across the bookshelves.

The hidden door was revealed after she tore the false exterior that concealed it. Now it was time for Lord Cain to give an explanation.

Time slowly passed until eventually the sounds of footsteps could be heard coming from the corridor outside.

Lord Cain entered the study room nervously while being escorted by the knight that Claire had sent to pick him up.

Claire did not give the governor any time to talk and simply pushed open the hidden door.

A narrow set of concrete stairs appeared that led to an unknown location.

She gestured for the governor to lead the way and the knight brought Lord Cain directly to the entrance.

Lord Cain seemed hesitant to walk down the stairs, but Claire did not tolerate any resistance and forced him to keep moving.

Torches had been placed along the walls that provided some lighting to the party walking down the stairs.

Unfortunately, these torches were dimly lit which cast long shadows and heightened the creepiness of the entire situation.

Finally at the bottom of the stairs was a plain wooden door with a single iron doorknob attached to its right.

Claire placed her hand on the doorknob and slowly turned it.

The door swung open with a rusty creak and revealed a sickening sight.

The room beyond the door was a cellar of some kind with hard cobblestone floors and with a single torch in the center of the room.

Iron cages had been placed along the walls of the cellar and inside every cage were creatures that Claire had only read about in the church's scriptures.

Dark Elves.

Their light brown skin, pointed ears and crimson eyes were the most noticeable traits of their race, but it was not those features that caught Claire's attention.

No… it was the signs of abuse and torture.

Several of these dark elves were missing limbs, fingernails and even tongues.

The female dark elves had whip marks and scars across their naked bodies while the males had open wounds that oozed pus and blood.

Small dark elves that were clearly children had not been spared and their bodies were sickly thin as if they had not been fed for days.

The knights behind her gagged as several foul odours entered their nostrils. Blood, death and excrement all mixed together to create a vomit-inducing scent.

Claire glanced at the nobleman who stared at the dark elves with panic in his eyes…

But not surprise.

At that moment Claire knew that Lord Cain was completely aware of what was going on here.

"What is this?" Claire asked in a plain tone as if the horrific scenes in the room did not affect her in any way.

"This… this… this…" Lord Cain stuttered for a moment as he could not find the right words to say.

Claire's piercing blue eyes seemed to stare into his soul and strip away the gentle scholarly appearance that masked his true nature.

"These… these are dark elf spies!" Lord Cain hurriedly shouted.

"My men caught them attempting to poison the city's water source and assassinate helpless women and children."

"And why did you not bring this to the attention of the church?" Claire questioned as she subtly motioned for the knights in the room to move closer to the nobleman.

Lord Cain took a deep breath to steady his nerves and then tried his best to explain,

"I was planning to send a letter to Father Amos to inform him, but I was afraid that the dark elves would attack my messenger."

"I needed to go in person but there wasn't an opportunity to leave my mansion in a way that would not attract suspicion."

There was a tense moment of silence in the cellar.

Claire and the other knights did not speak a word and heavy pressure fell on the cowering nobleman.

One did not have to be a detective to know that Lord Cain was lying.

Yes, there were some male and female dark elves inside the cages who could potentially be spies or terrorists…

But what about the children?

Also, his reasoning for not informing Father Amos sooner was also strange and did not make much sense.

"Break his fingers," Claire mercilessly commanded in a firm tone.

The cold look on her face didn't change as one of the knights grabbed Lord Cain and restrained him.

Another knight held up the governor's hand and gently touched his fingers as if he was about to perform a lover's caress.

"Wait… what are you doin… ARGHHH!" Lord Cain shrieked in pain.

The sound of bones breaking echoed through the dungeon as the knight mercilessly crushed every finger in the nobleman's right hand.

Lord Cain squealed like a pig and begged for mercy as his hand was slowly transformed into a bloody pulp.

Claire quietly observed the dark elves trapped inside the cages as they watched the governor's painful state.

Some were afraid to look for too long, but others could not stop their lips from gently curving upwards.

"Move on to his next hand… then his toes… then his legs…" Claire spoke nonchalantly.

The knights performing the torture nodded in acknowledgement, but Lord Cain could not take the pain anymore.

"Please… I… lied!" Lord Cain cried out as he desperately tried to break out of the grasp of the knight holding him down.

"They're slaves! I bought them! Please just let me go!"

Claire held up her palm and the knights moved away from the nobleman who collapsed on the floor while moaning in pain.

"I believe that slavery has been outlawed in the empire and it is forbidden to associate with the foreign races," Claire whispered softly.

The paladin unsheathed her longsword and approached the fallen nobleman.

The cold steel of her blade gleamed under the dim lighting in the cellar.

There was no hesitation in her movements as she brought her sword to Lord Cain's neck. One push would be enough to separate his head from his body.

Clearly the governor felt the shadow of the grim reaper loom before him, so he looked up at Claire and pleaded for his life.

"You cannot kill me… these… these are the enemies of humanity! I am simply delivering justice for all those who lost their lives in the war against these creatures," Lord Cain yelled fervently.

"As God as my witness, I have dedicated my entire life to the church. Everything that I have done is in his name!"

"My life's work… everything… I have… it is all for God's eternal glory!"

The tone of his voice became more confident as he continued to talk about his contributions to the Varion Church.

Donations, manpower, tax exemptions…

But none of it mattered to the paladin standing before him.

The white-hot rage that bubbled up inside Claire's body came from Sui Li herself. As a person from a modern society, she knew exactly what was going on.

This disgusting piece of trash was using religion to justify his sickening actions.

Hiding behind a shield of morality and righteousness to commit evil. Sui Li hated hypocrites and liars the most.

The Lord of Light had granted humanity his strength, but his teachings clearly stated that his power should be used to protect rather than to destroy.

It was forbidden for his believers to harm the innocent… regardless of their race or species.

"Your life's work…" Claire paused for a moment and allowed hope to return to Lord Cain's eyes before she finished the sentence.

"Would sicken him."

She swung her sword and beheaded the governor. His headless corpse crashed to the ground motionless.

His face still had an expression of surprise as if in his final moments he could not believe that he would die at the hands of a paladin.

"By the authority granted to me by the pope. I proclaim Lord Cain as guilty for his ties to dark magic," Claire spoke coldly.

The knights in the room placed one arm across their chest and nodded at her words. They were completely disgusted by the governor's actions.

Claire was the leader of this inquisition, and her commands were absolute.

As for what to do with the dark elf prisoners… truthfully Claire was not sure what to do with them.

Maybe she should talk to Elisa and Father Amos before deciding on the next step.

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