３９． Imprisoned Saint
――The first time I met her was right on the battlefield.
I wouldn’t be able to forget that moment, the defence in front of the forest elf.
I, who took a rest in the fleeting peace that happened after pushing back the vanguard of the demon king army which was composed of beastfolk, ogre, and goblin, was sitting alone on the ground while enjoying my meal.
Thereupon―― Suddenly, I sniffed a really wonderful fragrance.
The next moment, I already saw a woman wearing a hood sitting beside me.
『Hey, You’re a hero right Can you show me the holy magic of human』
Gem-like green eyes peeking out from inside her hood was shining with curiosity.
That made me realize that she was that kind of forest elf.
And I had been used to this kind of curiosity.
Originally, it wasn’t that rare for long lived forest elves to end their life without being in contact with the other race, that’s just how inclusive the forest elves are.
They who led a complete, self-sufficient life in the forest had no need to interact with the other race.
Or so it used to be―― The prolonged war against the demon kingdom had changed their policy.
They joined the Panhumanity alliance, and increased their interaction with the other race.
Thus, the young elves who were brimming with curiosity secretly slipped out of the village to join the soldier camp of the alliance.
The me at that time had already been completely exhausted due to the previous battle.
I planned to treat her coldly and show her what she wished and get over with that.
Thus, I ignited the tip of my finger with the holy attribute.
I turned my finger and drew a simple flower in the air with the white spark from holy magic.
『That should be enough right.
Now go back to your group.』
I told her that this wasn’t a place for a lass like her to come.
I knew that despite her young appearance, she must be much older than me.
『But I can’t do that.
I might be the same as you.』
――What That reply was completely outside of my expectation.
Her fingers then danced in the air as if she played an invisible harp.
I was completely stupified but then, I knew that she was actually kneading an advance magic.
The young woman placed her finger on her lips while singing a prayer-like song ―― Blew her breath toward me.
It was a torrent of extremely refreshing magical power.
Her breath of magical power soon enveloped my entire body, restoring my exhausted body back to its peak state.
She introduced herself as she took off her hood.
『I’m dispatched by Holy Tree union… The one they hailed as saint.』
She continued on with a bashful smile on her face.
Her ears were slightly more pointed, and longer than normal elves.
A beauty which is akin to a blooming flower.
Her skin was healthy, tanned skin just like a forest elf should be.
『Hey, tell me your name――？』
That was my first meeting with 『Saint』 Liliana――
「――The times when this woman screams like a pig is truly a masterpiece!」
And then, back to the present, night elf prison under the demon king’s castle.
The story of the shady-looking night elf before me basically entered one ear and came out from the other.
Roughly seven years had passed since the assault operation―― Just how much had they humiliated and tormented the saint during those long years The story of her torture went on and on as if there was no end to it.
Let’s omit the details… But, something like skinning her alive or throwing her into a flock of goblins was only one of the hundreds of tortures that she went through.
「Nevertheless, I still couldn’t help but be surprised.」
I, who found that there was no need to continue with this topic, decided to interrupt the shady man―― Shidar’s fervent speech.
「Why are you using such drastic measures just for this one woman, I mean ――」
… I was at a loss for words.
「――Why we used such drastic measure, is it」
By the way, Vigne arrived silently before I knew it… She was laughing scornfully as she looked at the sorry appearance of the saint.
Yup, Vigne was from that side after all.
It was something that I fully understood after seeing Liliana’s state.
「Now I shall tell you about it!」
Shidar clapped his hands without even feeling guilty about being rude toward me.
「The truth, there’s already a lot of victims from our side before we arrived at the current measure――」
Shidar spoke while glaring at Liliana.
「――Thus, I wanted to make sure that she regrets it for the rest of her life.」
「First are her limbs, the metal fittings are created to disturb her magic and prevent her from escaping.」
Shidar gently took one of the knives hung on the wall.
And casually stabbed the knife into Liliana’s abdomen.
Even though it wasn’t me who got stabbed by the knife―― I almost raised a cry upon seeing that.
Liliana on the other hand only raised a small moan despite her abdomen being stabbed with a knife.
「The saint won’t die with just a simple stab like that.
Please take a look.」
Shidar pulled the knife.
Dark blood overflowed from Liliana’s abdomen―― Which normally was treated as a fatal wound and yet, the bleeding stopped as soon as it happened along with the healing of her wound.
「Her magical power of light has an extremely potent healing effect.
Vigne covered the lamp with shading equipment.
And then, amidst the prison that was enveloped in total darkness―― only Liliana’s pure white body, and her blood that dripped on the floor emitted a faint light.
Despite the ghastly situation, that spectacle was simply―― Too picturesque.
「It’s thanks to this astonishing recovery ability, no matter how much we skinned her, or sever her limbs, it will be healed immediately.
Her limbs will keep growing forever unless we burn, or froze her wound, she’s as resilient as a lizard.」
The lighting in the room then returned to normal as Shidar explained those matters with a voice that mixed between scorn and astonishment while wiping the blood from the knife with a piece of cloth.
… I knew that she was extremely resilient.
Even without her extraordinary regeneration, she was quite powerful by herself.
But then… Her extraordinary regeneration ability had backfired on her right now.
By the way, the forest elf had unique tanned skin but―― As a result of being skinned for who knows how many times inside this dark dungeon, Liliana’s skin color changed to a white similar to a night elf.
Shidar laughed at her when he told me so, saying that they managed to rob her of her blessing from the sun.
「Forest elf is 『Kneading』 magical power after all.
So sealing their limbs is just the right measure for them.
Nevertheless, this woman is still unwilling to give up resistance even after being locked up for a long time in this place.
One time, she pretended to lose her regeneration ability by stopping it on her own will… And used the moment when the guard let their guard down to escape from this place.」
Shidar explained to me with an expression that mixed between anger and disgust.
「… Thanks to that, we lost five precious younglings.
They’re burned alive by this woman’s light magic!」
He said so as he slashed at Liliana’s abdomen with the knife that was just cleaned a while ago.
Red lines appeared on Liliana’s skin for a moment and vanished in the next moment thanks to her regeneration ability.
「… And that’s why we sealed her movement like this.
We’ve no idea what this high elf can do after all.
And that’s why we added this rope too.」
He was pointing at the rope that kept Liliana’s head in a semi-hanged state.
「We adjusted the length and the lock of her limbs to make sure that almost half of her weight was supported by the rope around her neck.
In this way, there’s enough pressure on her carotid artery and respiratory tract, forcing her to constantly stay in a semi-conscious state.
Thanks to that, the one on duty to guard her can somehow let their guard down since using magic aside, she in her current state doesn’t even realize that she is pooping.」
According to Shidar, any normal person would die after they’re put in this state for a few hours.
Meaning that the reason she survived this long was thanks to her being a saint with extraordinary regeneration ability…
「Since her body would develop resistance if we use drugs on her, keeping her in this state is the optimum solution.
Naturally, even in this state… We still let her taste agonizing pain 24/7 to strengthen the effect of the magic disturbance in her――」
Suddenly, Shidar looked as if he felt ashamed.
「While it’s embarrassing, even after more than seven years since we captured this woman, torturing her is nothing more than a formality now.」
「Torture turning into formality.」
This was the first time I heard such a strange combination of words…
And if possible, I never wanted to hear those combinations of words… Forever…
「At first, everyone joined hands to torture her together 24/7.
Yes, though we managed to break her heart with all the torture that we inflicted on her―― We ended up bored of it.」
And he actually said so with a hint of embarrassment on his face.
「The torture art that we cultivated for so long is focused on giving maximum pain to the target in the shortest amount of time.
In short, it’s torture designed to kill the target in the most painful way.
It isn’t the kind of torture designed for this living, filthy, limbless pig over here… Naturally, it isn’t enough to make us give up and we keep researching new ways of torture.――」
They actually used her for researching new ways of torture!!
「In the end, we ended up running out of ideas.
We ran out of ideas on how to give her the most painful torture.」
Sure enough, thank god this story ended just when I got fed up with his bone-chilling malicious story.
But, her resilience had actually forced them to 『Give up』 huh…
「And just like that, Jilbagias-sama is visiting when we’re racking our brain to torture her might be able to give us some inspiration.
I humbly beseech thee for the way of the demon race inflicts pain on others.」
Said Shidar as he looked at me with a look of expectation in his eyes.
When I looked at Vigne, she also looked at me with beaming eyes.
Seriously… How in the hell did I end up in this fu*cked up situation Someone, help!
It was no wonder they permitted me so easily to enter their base.
It turned out to be… Their ploy was to ask me about new kinds of torture.