Chapter 38 - The Worshiper

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As they climbed down the stairs, there was a loud rattle of chain followed by a deep growl coming from the bottom.

It's like there's a beast waiting for us, Tetsuko thought as the nobles from the houses exchanged looks.

Despite the fear on the guard's face, he kept walking. Everyone followed him and the only source of light.

There was a single heavy metal door at the end of the stairs. He pulled a key from the rest and opened the door, placing the torch on the wall.

As the light shone the inside of the prison, there was another deep growl. Then the rattle of chains again, as if the beast was trying to free himself.

It wasn't a beast, but a man. However, it matters little how much he struggled. He couldn't break free from the chains and attack the newcomers.

Even so, Alonso stood before Cecilia as a shield, his hand on Tetsuko's handle.

The representatives took a step back and the blacksmith apprentice who carried the tray with the prototypes almost dropped everything.

The soldier pulled a leverage on the wall. The chains retracted and dragged the man to the back wall. Then lifted him by the arms until the prisoner wasn't touching the floor anymore.

That's an interesting device, Tetsuko thought as she looked the mechanism.

Though Baltasar had explained to her, seeing it was something else. The chain was an alloy of living metal and steel and nearly unbreakable, according to the master blacksmith.

When they were sure the Worshiper was no longer a treat and could only growl and stare at them, the group entered the prison.

Cecilia and Alonso were the last. The Lord was still before her as if a shield. Despite her pale face, she nodded when he glanced at her and entered the prison.

The man in chains stared Cecilia with empty eyes.

"As you all heard, we completed the prototypes made from living metal. Now we need to test if they're useful against the Worshipers," Baltasar explained.

"Since when you had this thing in the castle, Lady Cecilia?" one of the men from the noble houses asked. "Why did you keep it a secret from us?"

"There was no reason to tell until now," she said in a cold voice. "We were trying to figure out a way to kill his kind, but so far the attempts were for naught."

The man let out a frustrated sigh. "You're right, my Lady. But if you had told us, we could have brought our prototypes to test."

"If the ones made by Grandmaster Baltasar doesn't work, you're free to test."

Tetsuko looked at the old man. Instead of having his pride hurt due to the doubt, he had a smile under the beard.

He truly doesn't care about such things as pride or fame. He just wants to make stronger and better weapons... Just like me... back when I could...

"Let's test the prototypes now." Despite his age, his enthusiasm was the same as a kid testing a new toy.

Alonso took a step forward. "I'll test the sword."

The blacksmith hid his expression as he glanced down at Tetsuko.

Don't worry about my feelings, she projected her thoughts to him. I'm not a sword who get jealous. But thank you for the consideration.

Alonso took the sword from the tray and stared at it for a moment. "It's a great sword, Grandmaster Baltasar. It's almost like... my own."

"I appreciate the words, Lord Alonso. I know it's nowhere a pure living metal sword, but I at least hope it's as useful."

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