Erik and Theodor didn't waste time and immediately headed towards the teleportation array, they went back to the holy church's headquarters to report what just happened, Erik is not stupid enough to try to bring back Lucy forcefully as he saw how strong the black-robed man with her was.
Even though the Pope personally ordered him, he can't do something impossible so he headed back to report what happened.
Erik's position in the Holy church was considered high, actually, the Holy church was divided into 2 divisions, the first one is the army division which included soldiers, healers, and some mages and this division is led by a strong commander known as the Holy general, as for the second division; it's composed of 6 Cardinals, 3 Bishops, and 1 Archbishop.
The 6 Cardinals are the weakest ones and must obey the 3 Bishops, which in return, must obey the Archbishop. Erik was one of the Cardinals, which is considered a high position in the church. The difference in power between a Cardinal and a Bishop is very big, so no Cardinal dares to provoke or oppose a Bishop, much less the archbishop.
Of course, the Pope had the absolute authority and can command both divisions at will and no matter his orders, they must obey without questioning. Once Erik arrived at the Headquarters, he quickly headed towards where the Bishop Arnold was.
Arnold was one of the 3 Bishops and also the 'master' of the deceased Holy Knight Rein, he was the one who took him under his care and trained him. Erik usually receives the Pope orders from Arnold except in some unique cases where the Pope personally talks to him.
The old man soon arrived at what seemed to be a garden, he spotted a handsome middle-aged man with long green hair and charming eyes, he had a sheathed white sword at his waist and seemed energetic, the man wore a long sleeved blue robe with golden patterns on it. His appearance was of a definite ladykiller.
"Lord Arnold, excuse me for disturbing you but I have some urgent matters to report."
Arnold who already noticed the presence of Erik, continued to stare at the sky as if he didn't hear what Erik said, after a couple of seconds he spoke with a calm yet overbearing voice
"Mhm? if it isn't Erik, weren't you in the Nemia Academy per the orders of our Lord?"
Of course, Arnold and every other Bishop knew that the Pope wanted that demon girl but they didn't know why.
They only knew he was obsessed with her and he chased after her for years without catching her. When he questioned why did the Pope not send any of the bishops to just capture her, the Pope replied saying that doing that would attract a lot of unwanted attention so he just kept sending normal soldiers from the church.
Erik didn't waste time and replied with an uneasy tone
"Yes, about that, it seems she has someone powerful by her side and I judged that person to be more powerful than I am, so I cannot take her forcefully even if I wanted to. That black-robed man actually ..."
He then continued to narrate what happened in details including how he couldn't react to the sudden attack of Arthur.
When he finished speaking, Erik awaited for Arnold to give him his new orders but nothing happened, the middle-aged man just ordered Erik to stay here for now until he speaks to the Pope about this.
Late at night, in a long and enormous hall, with a throne at the end of it, there was an old man sitting on it, he seemed on the verge of death, he wore a simple white robe and had a wrinkles all over his face, a couple of meters ahead of him was a kneeling Arnold.
Arnold already told the events of today to the Pope and waited for his orders with the utmost respect. The old man, who obviously was the Pope, was stroking his beard seemingly lost in thought, and after some time, he finally spoke with his an aged voice.
"Since it's like this, we cannot capture her if she is in that academy. Young Arnold: I want you to wait for the moment she gets out of that island and capture her, and this time I don't want any failure, do you understand?"
"Yes my Lord, your servant obeys."
Arnold soon left the hall prepared to carry out the pope's orders, while the pope was still sitting on the throne, a flash of cold light appeared in his eyes as he thought about that demon girl
'Ahhh if I wasn't afraid of those powers lurking in the darkness, I would have long since captured you myself, little girl!"
Arthur and Lucy soon arrived at their room when night has finally fallen. It was too early to sleep and with his infinite Stamina, he didn't need any sleep in the first place so he wanted to try something new today.
He was still curious about the attribute fusion he did against that dragon and wanted to try it again, as for Lucy she was little tired so she laid on the bed to rest for a bit.
The room was spacious enough for him to practice without wasting time so he began doing his tests. The first thing he did was create a fireball with his ancient fire and tried adding the chaotic dark magic but to no avail, he couldn't do it as the same notification popped up again and again
You don't meet necessary requirements to do that!
You don't meet necessary requirements to do that!
You don't meet necessary requirements to do that!
After multiple tries, he gave up on fusing the ancient fire and chaotic dark magic as it was deemed impossible for the time being, nonetheless, he tried fusing the chaotic dark magic and the void magic which worked perfectly, he created a weapon with their fusion and it was a dark blue spear with some violet in it.
Surprisingly, creating it did cost quite an amount of mana. The exact cost of making this spear was 400 Mana, which was by no means a meager amount but that did make sense since the Hell Arrow did empty his Mana pool but its power was extraordinary too. As he was musing over this idea, a crazy thought struck him
'What if I were to fuse Void Magic and Ancient Fire? A Hell Arrow constructed from them both would be an interesting sight to behold..'
Arthur continued practicing for 2 more hours but no matter how he tried he couldn't make a weapon made of void and that bugged him, the only thing can do is the [void slash] or fuse the void attribute with the chaotic dark magic or ancient fire to make a weapon.
In fact, when he fused it with the ancient fire it didn't cost that much mana and he noticed it that the weapon made by void+chaotic dark magic was slightly powerful than ancient fire+void so he guessed that the void and the ancient fire are maybe not that compatible, after all, if he fuses ice and fire it may work but the weapon or whatever he creates might not be that powerful.
Lucy has already fallen asleep some time ago and Arthur decided to sleep too, he wasn't the least tired but he enjoyed sleeping next to her for it was comfortable and warm, he soon joined her on the bed and slept next to her, he held her hand and closed his eyes to sleep.
The night has peacefully passed and morning soon came, Arthur opened his eyes and felt Lucy hugging him again like yesterday, she was also looking at him with soft eyes and a bright smile hanging on her face
"You finally woke up huh? so much for infinite stamina."
She teased him with her charming voice while hugging him tighter, to be honest, Arthur couldn't believe this was the same cold and emotionless girl he met in the auction house but nonetheless he stretched her arms and hugged her back while saying
"A little more, let me stay like this a little more."
He was unwilling to just wake up, he liked the feeling of her hugging him and felt his heart melting being next to her, to just wake up now and leave her warm embrace would be such a waste.
Lucy didn't say anything and just kept hugging him while leaning her face on his chest, though they didn't do anything obscene or didn't even kiss each other, they were quite close and enjoyed being the presence of one another and that was enough to let them forget their past for a little and free them from their loneliness. They stayed like that for some time without even talking, it was kind of awkward at first but Arthur soon got used to it and enjoyed this feeling.
Time passed quickly and it was time to finally let go of each other, though this time Lucy seemed more reluctant about it, there was nothing he could do after all classes were about to start and they can't stay like that all day, for now at least.
When they were adjusting their clothes and preparing to head out, someone knocked on their room's door and said :
"Mr and Mrs, the principal wants to see you, if you would please head to her office when you are ready."
Actually Arthur didn't share his name or Lucy's to the principal so they were just called by 'you' or 'Mr,Mrs', it was embarrassing for Arthur as he thought being called like that meant they considered them married, it's kind of childish to be thinking that and he may be overthinking a lot but that's just his attitude, when facing others he is as cold as ice and when with Lucy his personality changes completely, same goes for her.
Arthur replied to the man outside of the room and said he will head out immediately with Lucy. A couple of minutes later, they arrived at the principal's office, when they entered Arthur noticed the principal talking with Zephir and another man who was a beastman and had a long sword on his back.
Sonia seeing Arthur come with the demon girl, smiled at them while saying "Good morning, I see that my subordinate has informed you" her tone seemed slightly different and contained some seriousness in it.
With an expressionless face, Arthur walked in front of her while ignoring the beastman and Zephir and replied "Yes, so why did you call out for me? is it maybe because of those dogshit people from the holy church? "
"No no, that's irrelevant, they got what's coming to them, I called you here to propose a deal for you."-the principal
Arthur furrowed his brows for a second before speaking again "A deal? please enlighten me"-Arthur
The principal looked at Zephir who was standing near Arthur and nodded towards him, seeing that the demon bowed and left the room with the beastman.
She then turned her head towards Arthur and said
"I see that the holy church really want that girl, I can protect her from them if she stays in the academy but on one condition."
Arthur was surprised by what he heard and was a little delighted, he really wanted the academy to provide protection for him and Lucy, for the time being, actually he was going to ask her for protection but he didn't expect the principal to propose to him instead, but when he heard a condition he hesitated for a bit for he was fearful that she asks something unreasonable
"What's the condition?"- Arthur
"It's really simple, I want YOU to join the council and become a member."
To be honest, he never thought she would ask him something like this, he pondered for a moment before replying
"Why do you want me to be a council member?"
Sonia chuckled for a bit and gazed at him while saying
"Because of your strength, of course, I saw your power yesterday in your fight against Mary, and I must honestly say I'm speechless so having someone as powerful as you in my council would help me and the academy as a whole."
"Then just because I'm a bit strong you want to use my strength in exchange for keeping the holy church away?"-Arthur
"That's a bad way to put it but I suppose it's like that hehe"-the principal
"What if I was a weak person? what would you have done?"-Arthur
"If you were weak you would have died to Mary's hands and we wouldn't be talking about this right now."
The principal dodged the question but Arthur was disgusted by people like her, after all, everyone was the same, and he was sure if he was weak she would've just the holy church take Lucy and would not be proposing this deal to him, nonetheless he stared at her with cold eyes and replied
"Since it's like this, then I accept your deal, but you must know I will still follow my companion and don't want to bother myself with politics or anything of the sort."
Though Arthur disliked the idea of being used by someone the most, he truly couldn't do anything about it right now as he really needed protection or else he wouldn't be able to protect Lucy from all the holy church if they attacked with a large scale force.
The principal put her hand on her chin as if thinking about something then said "To join the Council you have to pass a test and be accepted by all it's members or else you can't join, even though I saw your power yesterday, not all council members will believe you are strong unless you show them"
To be honest, Arthur was quite irritated when he heard this, not only he needs to be a council member, he needs to pass a test too? he took a large breath and said
"What sort of test?"
"You just need to slay an imoogi, you have beaten Mary so I'm sure killing an imoogi will be easy"-the principal
"And where will I find an imoogi? do you expect me to search all the continents to find one?"-Arthur
"No need, there is an island nearby which have various dangerous beasts and imoogi is one of them"-the principal
"OK, and when will we go?"-Arthur
"Today would be great since I already called all the council member, we should head out in 10 minutes"-the principal
"Alright, let's head out and finish this quick"Arthur
Hearing what he said, the principal just smiled but didn't say anything, an imoogi is weaker than a dragon but it shouldn't be underestimated nevertheless she too doubted he will fail, after all, seeing his small fireball yesterday, she knew just that would be enough but there are some persistent members in the council who would not accept Arthur unless he shows his strength in front of them.
She soon stood up from her chair and prepared to go out with Arthur, as for him he turned to look at Lucy who was beside him and softly said
"You should go to the classes, since it's safe here and I know you are excited about these classes, don't worry I'll be back soon" Even though he very reluctant to leave her alone, hell he wanted her to accompany him but he didn't know how strong an imoogi was and what would happen, so.... the best decision was to let her stay here and just attend classes.
Surprisingly Lucy glared at him with an annoyed look and said with her cold yet worried voice
"I want to go with you!"
she didn't need to explain what she just, he could understand what she meant just by looking at her eyes, classes and such are irrelevant if he was not by her side, it's true she liked attending those classes to learn new things but what of it if she is alone, without him accompanying her, she would just go back to being lonely like the old days.
She stretched her small white hand and held his while still looking at him. Arthur look softened and he just nodded at her and firmly held her hand, then they followed the principal out of the office.
The three walked for quite sometime before reaching a teleportation array in an open area, there were 9 people waiting there, of course, it was all the members of the council. Once they reached their destination and were going to teleport, Zephir spoke
"We will be going to the ghost island, it's an ancient battlefield between and is full of dangerous beast so you better not head out deep into it or else no one of us would be able to help you and also for the girl next to you, it would be better not to take her as it will be dangerous and we don't want to lose a genius like her."
Arthur glared at the demon and said
"Mind your own business, whether she comes or not, that's for her to decide!"
he knew Zephir wanted Lucy to be his student and he said that because he wanted her to be safe for she is indeed a genius but since she wanted to come, of course, Arthur would let her come and he would protect her at the cost of everything.
Actually, he was interested in this ghost island, Zephir said it's an ancient battlefield so a thought struck him 'since it's a battlefield, could it be.....' soon enough they were teleported, and in just seconds they appeared at a deserted place.
Arthur looked around and noticed that they were in some kind of forest, there was fog all over the place and it was kind of hard to see for normal people, but for him? it was totally normal, in fact, it was as if the fog didn't even exist, the sky was cloudy and it seemed as it was night even though it's early in the morning. Also, he was totally astonished when he saw what seemed to be a corpse, or better to say a skeleton and not just one but many, dozen probably, there were even some strange skeletons which not human.
The principal noticing Arthur reaction quickly explained
"As Zephir said, this place is an ancient battlefield and it littered with corpses of various beings but what makes it more special is that it's full of strong beasts, actually it is rumored that if you go deep enough you can even encounter dragons, which are supreme existences with magnificent strength."
Arthur just nodded at her, but deep inside of him, he was full of excitement, since it's full corpses and he is a parasite who can possess them, it could only mean one thing....
The principal continued
"We can find an imoogi a little deeper in the forest, we will not help you in the fight, remember we are only here to watch so you better show us your worth."
Just as she finished speaking, a female human who didn't talk from the very beginning said
"Mr. Sonia this is clearly a waste of time, just because he could defend a punch from Mary doesn't mean he has the right to join our council, Mary! why are you silent! I thought you are the one who will be the most opposed to this!"
Mary who was standing not far away, lowered her head and stayed silent, after all, she got no right to oppose Arthur or anything of the sort, she lost a fight with him and also lost the bet so she can't bother him in any way possible.
"I also agree with what Selina said" One of the female elves also spoke and seemed to look down on Arthur, but all the members didn't say anything and stayed silent.
"Whether he is strong or weak we will see in the near-future."
The principal replied with a playful tone as if she was mocking them for being this naive, though they were right to look down on him since they didn't see yesterday's fight, however, she and Zephir knew what this man was capable of, and how with just a small fireball he almost killed Mary.
Frederic who was also present, was a bit shocked as he didn't expect the principal to try to invite Arthur to join the council but nevertheless he was overjoyed as he got a chance of a lifetime to capture Arthur. He began thinking of a plan to somehow take Arthur without warning any of the other council member, especially the principal who seemed to overestimate Arthur's strength but Frederic could only sigh and blame her naivety and short sight.