Calliope frowned lightly at Basil's offer. She was quite good at judging people but she frowned not because she could tell that Basil had a hidden agenda. She frowned because she couldn't just give away the jewel hanging on her neck. Oseya told her it was something precious to her, so she could never lose it.
"This is…mother's gift to me when I was born. I am afraid she will be sad if I trade it with you."
"Is that so?"
Basil immediately understood what was going on. The pendant was the only clue Oseya got of Calliope's identity. Oseya herself might not be so eager to dig up Calliope's past, but Calliope would reach an age when she wanted to know everything about herself. Oseya wouldn't be able to help, so the pendant was crucial.
Things got slightly more complicated for Basil. He couldn't just take it and said he would help Calliope find her mother in return. He would need to explain that she was adopted and it would be a long story. Besides, he didn't want to have a bad relationship with Calliope this soon. He was being serious when he said he took her as his disciple.
"Isn't that more reason to give entrust it to me, though?" Basil took out a pendant with a green Runestone hanging on it and showed it to Calliope. "It belonged to my late surrogate mother. It is very precious to me because it reminds me of my mistake. It didn't have any Runes carved on it before, but now it does."
"Is it a magical jewel? Can it write Runes by itself?" Calliope asked excitedly.
"No. I carved it myself because I don't want the same thing that happened to my surrogate mother to happen to the next person who wears it."
"She died because of my lateness. She might still be alive if her pendant had a defensive mechanism."
Calliope's face was immediately decorated with sadness. She wished she hadn't asked Basil why the pendant was important to him. She wanted to ask why he would keep something that would pain him but she held herself. She had already reminded Basil of something unpleasant, so she couldn't risk making him feel sadder.
She held her pendant, looked at Basil and then tapped the ground with her foot continuously. She had a little frown on her face as she pondered her decision. Basil looked like he would be happy if she entrusted her pendant to him and she took his pendant. She was still rather reluctant to trade her pendant but she also didn't want to disappoint her mentor.
Young as she might be, she could tell the 'exchange' was to see how far she could trust him and vice versa. Basil was genuine when he said that he wanted to train her as his disciple, so Calliope didn't want to make him sad by rejecting his exchange offer.
"Here you go, Uncle." Calliope gave the Runestone on her pendant to Basil after pulling it off.
"Here you go, Calliope." In return, Basil put the Runestone he had on the space that was previously occupied by the Runestone that Solomon made. "I will entrust my precious treasure to you, so don't lose it."
"You can't lose that jewel too, Uncle!" Calliope replied.
"I won't," Basil said with a smile as he petted her head. "I will always return to your side, so you can always see the jewel. I want you to do that for me too—can you do it?"
Putting on the Runestone that was part of Solomon's Mana Amulet, Basil took down the Isolation Spell that had been hiding them from the rest of the world. As they appeared, Solomon's Mana Amulet shone in blue, causing people to turn their heads to them.
Some wondered when they got there but no one wondered why there was a mysterious light before. As usual, Basil ignored the looks and focused on the more important thing—the effect of Solomon's Mana Amulet. He was an unnaturally calm and collected person, but the amulet made him calmer. He could think more clearly and digest things faster because of it.
He unconsciously recalled how Calliope had behaved in the past. Only then did he figure out why she could be careless and meticulous at the same time. She was already a talented individual, to begin with. Supported by the ability to remain calm in any situation, she was an anomaly just like him.
The thought made Basil look at the current Calliope. He wondered if this Calliope would still grow up to be the untamed but brilliant individual she was in his past life without the aid of the Runestone of Solomon's Mana Amulet.
"Hm? It isn't supposed to be cold here, but why do I get goosebumps?" Calliope frowned.
"The wind scares you?" Basil asked.
"No. My body is just being weird."
Basil had let out his killing intent slightly to see how Calliope would react to it. She was very calm about it. She was very sensitive to it, but she wasn't intimidated by it in the slightest. It was clear that years of wearing the pendant had made her accustomed to pressure and killing intent.
Seeing it, Basil would say that she would be what she was in his past life. With his guidance, she would be even better.
"Since you are now officially my disciple, let's have some ice cream."
"Ice cream? I don't think I am allowed to eat ice cream. Mom said it will get me fat. I will be eaten first if a monster appears before everyone."
Chuckling lightly, Basil responded, "Well, she is not wrong, but you don't have to worry. You have me to save you now." He shook his head lightly. "Besides, eating it once in a while won't get you fat."
"Oh, it's so convenient having a Master. I can just tell mom that you allowed me to eat ice cream with you later!"
Shaking his head faintly in amusement, Basil grabbed Calliope's hand and took her to the nearest ice cream shop. When they got there, the half-cow half-human Demi-Human ice cream maker greeted them with a smile. She turned her eyes to Calliope fondly, signifying that she knew Calliope. It turned out, Calliope was a regular there.
The lass tensed up as Basil turned his unamused eyes at her. She only calmed down when he promised to not say a single word to Oseya.
After getting ice cream, they went to the garden to look at the beautiful bed of flowers. Basil preferred the air to be less moist, but he still enjoyed the moment. Even if it was close to sunset, because of the temperature and the air moisture, the sun looked like it had just come out. Seeing the sunset made them feel like watching someone rewinding the day.
They went back when the night came. Calliope immediately fell asleep as soon as the moon hung high in the sky, so Basil had to carry her to the palace. He didn't have to walk, of course. He had set a [Teleportation Checkpoint] right before the gate.
He appeared before the gate after the bright light enveloping him disappear. The guards immediately opened the gate for him, showing utmost respect and hospitality. Kurdva wasn't ashamed to tell everyone he was defeated by Basil. Everyone already knew who Basil was and they admired him greatly.
They didn't think their Emperor was weak. Basil was just exceptionally strong and they were right about it.
"Oh my, Calliope. I am sorry for my daughter to inconvenience you!"
Oseya came running at Basil once she spotted him walking on the path to the palace. She was appalled that Calliope, a daughter of a nobody, made Basil, the Emperor's distinguished guest, carry her like he was her caretaker.
"Be gentle. You can't afford to wake her up from her sleep," Basil warned as Oseya took Calliope from him.
"Yes, I know. I don't want to ruin her sleep either." Oseya nodded in agreement before giving Basil a look. "If you don't mind me going like this, I will guide you to where your company are waiting, Lord Basil."
Basil waved his hand lightly. "Take care of Calliope first. I can find them myself."
Oseya looked at Basil hesitatingly for a few seconds before eventually bowing at him. "Thank you for your benevolence, Lord Basil."
Receiving a light nod from Basil, Oseya left for her room to put Calliope in bed. Basil immediately went to the dining room where he could sense everyone was. He got there in less than a minute. Everyone was sitting at the dining table but no one was eating despite the plethora of food on the table. They were waiting for him.
Basil sat down on the seat opposite Kurdva who was sitting on the head seat. Everyone immediately lifted their cutlery and then began eating.
"We talked about a couple of things about the Pacifer," Kurdva began. "I hope you don't mind."
"The world shall know about the Pacifer soon." Basil waved his hand lightly.
"It is slightly hurtful that you treat us like the rest of the world."
Kurdva's statement made Basil's company stare at him in anticipation. They wondered whether he was offended or begging to get roasted by Basil.
"Are you implying that you already know about the Pacifer long ago?"
"It is in our records."
"Then you must be shameless."
"I am extremely thankful for what your ancestors did for us, but I can't help my nature. The Pacifer are our benefactors. You can't expect me to believe a brat who suddenly appeared and claims himself to be the descendant of our benefactors."
"You knew I am the real deal since the very beginning," Basil retorted.
"I can't help my nature." Kurdva shrugged in embarrassment and helplessness.
The room became silent, but it wasn't awkward. While everyone was still enjoying their meals, Basil had already put his cutlery down. No longer focusing on what he had on the table, he stared into the air. Everyone could tell he wasn't admiring the glamorous decorations in the dining room.
He was using [Visualization] to observe the fight between Padeitophys and the Empire's army. He could see thousands of bodies littering the ground, half of them belonged to the Monsters Dantalion had created.
The battle had stopped, but it wouldn't be forever. No matter how much stamina they had, the soldiers needed to rest. After all, they weren't facing ordinary opponents. Each of their opponents knew how to end lives effectively.
After finding out that the Alliance Army hadn't lost a lot of people, Basil went to look at the Ninth Circle Mage.
"Kurdva, prepare your men and send them to Padeitophys."
From the way the Ninth Circle Mage gazed at the other side, he could tell the said Mage was going to end everything the next day. August wasn't ready yet; a distraction was required.
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