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364 Infernal Gem

 After Lize's moment with Lydia, some mercenaries still weren't ready for their wishes yet, so they stepped down for the moment.

Marlene on the other hand simply gave up on this opportunity because of her status representing the Senia Family. There wasn't much she could wish for so Lydia reserved Marlene's wish for the future whenever she required it.

Randolf wished for Lydia to build a road for his remote hometown village located within the Molok Mountains that connected to the outside world.

Joey wished to renovate the orphanage in Baques City that he was previously from, so that unlike him, future orphans could live in comfortable rooms.

Lydia readily granted all these wishes as it had no impact on the nobles' influence.

Next was Lapis; her request surprised even Rhode. The timid girl who always hid in the shadows of others displayed the rare decisiveness that she revealed quite a while back. She bravely confessed to Lydia that she didn't participate in any fights, so she couldn't possibly accept a reward she didn't rightfully earn. From this act of courage, Lapis had indeed displayed the bravery of the Behermes Royal Family. Even though she might've acted like a docile mouse for most of the time, when it came to big decisions like this, her firmness indeed was quite an impressive sight to behold.

But as a benevolent Monarch, Lydia wouldn't withdraw her promise. Thus, as with Marlene before, she reserved Lapis' wish for the future.

Lastly, it was Gillian's turn.

The bewitching woman sashayed her way to Lydia, her tail swaying from left to right gracefully. When Rhode and the others saw this, their hearts rose to their throat. After spending much time with her, they understood her character. Everyone was worried that Gillian would request something outrageous - like Lydia joining Rhode's harem or something like that. If it were Gillian, something like that wouldn't be surprising.

"Hello there, Miss Gillian."

Curling her lips at the fox-eared woman, Lydia revealed a trace of curiosity. While Gillian's true strength had been constrained to Rhode's current level, she was, after all, still an Elemental Lord. Her power might be sealed, but her dignified air couldn't be easily hidden.

"You've provided us with an unforgettable spectacle on the Sacred Arena. What do you wish to have, Miss Gillian?"

Gillian's pointy ears perked up, and her bushy tail shook side to side.

"Can I really ask for anything?"

Everyone immediately became wide-eyed. From what she said, anyone could tell that her next line would be something crazy.

"Mr. Rhode..."

Marlene and Lize called out to Rhode nervously. They knew that Gillian was up to no good again and was about to request something ridiculous from Lydia.

Meanwhile, the nobles were also at the edge of their seats. Even though they didn't know who this Gillian was, judging from the expression on her face, they knew that she was going to ask something big.

The Main Square turned silent instantly.

Contrary to the skittish behavior of many, Lydia maintained her composure. As expected of a dignified Archangel, even as she faced Gillian who appeared to be harboring evil intentions, her expression didn't move an inch. Instead, she displayed a brilliant smile and waited for Gillian to speak.

After a while, Gillian's naughty smile surfaced and said, "Since that's the case-"

"I have only but a teensy-weensy request... can I have the 'Infernal Gem'?"

"Pff-!!"

Rhode almost vomited blood. Marlene and the others didn't look any better as they stared at Gillian in shock.

The Infernal Gem is no ordinary ruby; it is the epitome of perfection in both purity and appearance. Legend has it that this gem originated from the Fire Elemental Plane of Existence and was the result of a formation of the purest of flames. It was also one of Lydia's favorite gems! To think that Gillian would dare to lay her eyes on that gem!

My god, this piece of stone is worth at least sixty million gold coins and this woman actually want to own it? What is she thinking?

The moment Gillian stated her request, a burst of cries came from the crowd. However, no one dared to speak up as the Infernal Gem ultimately belongs to Lydia. Meanwhile, the nobles from the Reformist Party were gloating over Lydia's loss as they knew that she loved that gem, and now she was forced to part with it.

"Sure, no problem."

However, Lydia's response came much faster than expected. She maintained her smile and casually handed over a sparkling gem to Gillian as though it wasn't something worth millions.

"Huhu, thank you plenty Lydi-Your Highness."

"You're welcome, Miss Gillian. I promised, after all."

After a short exchange of words, Gillian finally retreated. It wasn't until when she reached the others could they finally heave a sigh of relief.

"Gillian, what do you need the Infernal Gem for?"

Rhode furrowed his brows as he whispered to Gillian. He wasn't sure what she needed it for.

In response, Gillian merely chuckled and wagged her index finger.

"Ah Master, please mind your words~ It's not like I needed to ask politely for it, but I just wanted to retrieve what is originally mine. The Infernal Gem belongs to me, and I'd already been extremely patient not to demand it from that child. It is one of my favorite gems, and..."

Gillian narrowed her eyes and unveiled a meaningful smile.

"... it is absolutely crucial for the current me."

After Gillian, the rest of the ceremony was as per usual. Viktor led his Cole Falcon Guild to clinch the championship for the Guild team matches. As part of the King's Party, Viktor and his men naturally wouldn't ask for anything abnormal from Lydia. Soon, the ceremony came to an end which signified the commencement of the carnivals and feasts.

When everyone headed towards the banquet hall to eat, Rhode led Christie to Lydia.

"Isn't this little Miss Christie?"

Lydia lowered herself to Christie's height and revealed a gentle yet dazzling smile at the girl who hid behind Rhode.

"What a cute little child. Now I can understand why Mr. Rhode chose to use his wish on you. It's such a pity for an adorable child like you to not be able to run and play like the others. There's no doubt that being an incomplete beauty is absolutely heartbreaking, and it is definitely worthy of my wish - especially those who have pure souls... hmm?"

Lydia's brow twitched slightly; a trace of hesitation flashed across her face. Then, she stood up and extended her hand towards Christie.

"Come with me cute little girl. As for you Mr. Rhode, please wait here for a moment with my subjects."

Christie's reaction clearly revealed her intentions towards Lydia's invitation. She held onto Rhode's sleeves tightly and looked at him with uncertainty. However, Rhode merely patted her head and smiled at her.

"Don't worry Christie. Royal Highness Lydia is a kind person. She will cure you of your illness and you won't be in pain anymore."

"..."

Christie kept silent for a moment before nodding hesitatingly. She stretched her arm out slowly and placed her tiny hand on Lydia's palm. Then, both of them entered a nearby room.

The large doors closed behind them.

Christie stepped into the spacious room filled with a holy aura. She lifted her head and stared at the woman beside her, wondering what was going to happen.

"Don't worry cute little Christie. There's nothing to be afraid of. Now, stand in front of me and close your eyes."

"... Ok."

Christie's heart still held some uncertainty, but she still obediently followed Lydia's instructions. Lydia extended her hand and caressed Christie's smooth and dark long hair before planting a light kiss on her forehead.

"Relax your muscles. I will think of a way to expulse the dark energy within your body so it won't trouble you any longer. It might hurt, but I hope you can bear with it."

"... Ok... I will endure... it..."

"Good girl."

Lydia smiled and stood up. Suddenly, her expression became sharp as she extended both arms to the front.

Six wings of light gradually emerged from Lydia's back which wrapped and embraced Christie, releasing a gentle, holy light.

Countless light streams floated around Christie like a gentle river creek, cleansing the little girl's mind and body. At the same time, Christie's body also began to shine with the same light.

"Holy Soul, listen to my command. Purify this child's body and alleviate her pain..."

Lydia chanted softly, causing the holy aura to shine even brighter. Meanwhile, Christie's body started to tremble, but Christie bit her lips and endured the pain.

The divine power grew stronger; however, Lydia realized that something was amiss.

Its reactions were overly aggressive.

The magical fluctuations became increasingly fierce as though warning her... and at that moment, Lydia suddenly witnessed a large purple ray flashing through the light.

"---!"

The ray dispersed the holy aura, and Lydia immediately retreated backward. Her wings quickly formed a cocoon around herself to withstand the sudden erupting energy.

"Sriysate!" (TL: Angel's language: Stabilize)

When Lydia shouted, the raging magical fluctuations instantly dwindled into a breeze and eventually lost its strength. After keeping her wings, Lydia widened her eyes in shock when she saw her surroundings.

At that moment, the formerly pristine meditation room was in an utter mess. What was left was Christie floating in the air, unconscious. Beside Christie was a cloak formed from dense shadows which silently swirled around the girl before disappearing.

"This is..."

Lydia frowned as she attempted to digest the situation.

Then, a purple-colored lightning arced and scattered before eventually transforming into static.