52 Your smile [1]

"Hey, do you mind if I ask a question?" On a bright sunny day, Furina got curious.

"What is it?" Isaac, who was eating an apple as they walked, glanced at her figure.

"Would you still not consider becoming my official servant?" Furina said, keeping up her pace. "You don't have to do much anyway— moreover, what you would do is no different from what you're doing now."

"You'll merely follow me everywhere, do tasks I assign you to, and brew and cook for me." As she said this, her face turned, and looked at Isaac. "It isn't demanding at all."

"Sounds like a dream job of many," Isaac softly smiled. "However..."

"I told you many times, Lady Furina," Glancing back at the road in front of them, Isaac heaved a soft sigh. "I'm already satisfied with my current job. And, to be honest..."

Isaac contemplated for a moment before shaking his head. "I much prefer to not be around you."

"What...?" Hearing Isaac's words, Furina halted on the spot. She then looked at Isaac with bewildered eyes. "What do you mean...?"

"Oh— Don't misunderstand," Realizing that he used the wrong words, Isaac quickly tried to fix it. "What I meant is that your status as a God should not have a mortal constantly lingering around her."

"You fool!" Furina subtly bit her lip and did not let Isaac see it. "As the God of Justice, having a mortal assistant by my side at all times is a common occurrence!"

Hearing this, Isaac took a bite of the apple he was eating before smiling. Gulping down, he spoke with a soft smile. "I know."

"But It's not just the matter of becoming your assistant, is it?"

Isaac's words struck Furina's ears and she looked back at him with slightly surprised eyes. "Wh-What..."

Seeing her reaction, Isaac burst into chuckling lightly. "Haha, It looks like I hit the bull's eye."

Composing himself once more, he slowly walked past her and let out a small sigh. "Well, who knows? My mind might change one day but for now..."

He then turned his head and looked back at her with a genuinely sincere and soft smile.

"For now, I'm just happy to see you... Not as the God of Fontaine, but as who you are."

As he said this, the wind blew from a certain direction, bringing forth a warm breeze that swayed both of their hairs. Along with it was a crisp scent of nature.

"..." Furina looked at Isaac in front of her as her heterochromatic eyes reflected his figure. She wanted to persuade him more, but her words somehow struck something inside of her that made her words get stuck in her throat.

It was a warm sunny day that day. There were barely any clouds, and only the green grass that stretched far and wide and the blue skies surrounded them.

It was a serene moment.

* * *

"What's wrong?" Seeing Isaac turn silent, the Masked Clown got curious. As if mocking him, he chuckled with a deep voice, "Is perhaps seeing the God of Justice broke you? Oh, how pitiful—"

"Don't bring her into this." Suddenly, Isaac interrupted the man's words. His face looked up to see the Masked Clown. "Let her go."

"Ah, what a great expression you have." Seeing Isaac's face, the Masked Clown dryly clapped his hands. "Worry? No, it's more like..."


Isaac's normally flaccid deep-amber eyes which gave off both warm and eerie vibes on those who start upon, were now devoid of anything humane.

His widened eyes looked as if they wanted to crawl out of his eyesockets and find various ways to mutilate the masked person in front of them right now.

Coupled with his current outfit, Isaac looked a bit too close to a certain good hunter who hunts relentlessly.

The Masked Clown stared at Isaac's eyes, and, for the first time in twenty years, he felt a shiver run up his spine.

A cold sweat ran down his head, but the Masked Clown merely shook it off and composed himself. "Amazing. Such profound raw emotions waiting to burst out..."

"Good! Good!" The Masked Clown laughed. He then turned around and took something. "For such a wonderful sight, I shall reward you!"

The Masked Clown then turned around, this time, holding a syringe filled with liquid. "Before you dissolve, I shall let you experience a bit of happiness, no?"

"I'm sure you already know the effects of Sinthe." As the Masked Clown said this, he approached Isaac and held the syringe near his arm. "Just about this dose can make you experience euphoria beyond imagination!"

Looking at the syringe getting close to his arm, Isaac squirmed his body and struggled, not letting the needle touch his skin.

"Rowdy." Seeing Isaac's desperate efforts, the Masker Clown clicked his fingers, and soon, Clockwork Mekas resembling dogs appeared. "Don't let him struggle."


Following this command, the Clockwork Meks resembling dogs immediately bit down on Isaac's limbs.

"...!" Isaac felt the immense pain from the sharp teeth of the Meks and wanted to yell, but he controlled himself. He focused all of his energy on trying to avoid the needle at all costs.

He wanted to use everything in his arsenal to try and break out, but his Serenity system was only that— it didn't sell anything that could help him in this predicament.

In the end, all his efforts were futile.

"—Urgh!" Soon, the stinging sensation of a cold needle penetrating Isaac's skin was felt. "No... No...!"

"Don't worry now," Seeing that the Sinthe successfully entered Isaac, the Masked Clown chuckled deeply. "From this moment, just treat everything like a hazy dream. A euphoric hazy dream."

After saying this, the Masked Clown ordered the Meks to stop biting Isaac and broke his chains, letting him go.


Isaac fell to the ground with not much strength left.

'No...' Not long after the drug was administered to him, Isaac immediately started feeling the effects. His senses turned sluggish and it was as if his perceptions were being muffled.

His groggy deep-amber eyes looked up where Furina was, only to see the Masked Clown walking beside her, proceeding with his experiment.

At the thought of Furina getting dissolved, Isaac's mind raced. He can't allow that. He must not allow that.

...he will never allow that.


Isaac's mind raced so fast, that it was as if the world halted and became frozen. In this world where time did not move, multiple thoughts entered Isaac's mind.

'If your one true wish could be granted, what would it be?' Just then, Freminet's questions resounded in Isaac's mind.

'To live a comfortable life,' Isaac vaguely remembered his answer. 'To give peace to troubled minds.'

'Will you fight for your wish?' Freminet's words continued to echo in his mind.

'Of course. Apart from her, no one else knows about her troubles.' Isaac didn't even know if that was the answer he gave. 'I will let her know that she can still rest for tomorrow.'

Finally, Freminet's last question dropped. 'What would you do if your wish is lost?'

"..." As the last question drifted to Isaac, he fell silent. However, after a second, he smiled. "Of course..."

Suddenly, memories of the times he spent with Furina flashed through his mind. He remembered all her smugness and boastfulness. As well as her pain and the tragedy that she hides behind a mask.

She was suffering, but for her people, she continued acting. Every day, for the past five hundred years.

Knowing all these, Isaac wanted her to be happy. But not the point that it will destroy her progress.

He only wanted to maintain all that was beautiful about her.

"Of course..." Having thought of all of this, perhaps it might be because of the drug, but Isaac smiled softly. "I'd fight for it... Over and over again... To let her know that someone acknowledged her pain."

That's right.

That was his first and utmost goal ever since he woke up in this world.

He wasn't a spotlight taker nor did he want to help the traveler.

Since the beginning, he always wanted one thing:




[The Main Quest, Pious Believer, has now reached its completion.]

[Rewards are now being distributed...]


[Rewards are being altered according to the host's performance.]

[Calculating rewards...]

Just then, a series of notification windows appeared in front of Isaac. His diluted deep-amber eyes focused on each word until finally, the last few windows popped up.


[New Reward:]


[Name: Evernight]

[Type: Skill]

[Description: ...]

[Effects: For 30 seconds, able to use a portion of the Authorities relating to the Darkness, Dreams, Concealment, Horror, and Misfortune.]

[Note: Can only be used once a week.]

[Warning! Unknown side effects might occur after use. Please use with caution!]

As the notifications appeared, the moon outside shined brighter.

The moonlight had always been beside Isaac all along.

His guiding Moonlight.




As the Masked Fool was just about to begin his experiment, he suddenly noticed something. "Hm?"

Turning his head, he looked at where Isaac was. He expected him to be in a hallucinative state— writhing out in pure euphoria.

However, what he met was something else. Something that shouldn't have been possible— by any means.

Standing in the same position he was in, Isaac's figure had trouble standing still, with his left leg slightly drooping down as his head looked upwards.

As he continued to look upward, his face suddenly broke into a smile. That smile wasn't gentle, soft, or sincere. Instead, it was... horrific.

At that moment, something changed about him. It was as if...

[Evernight Skill activated.]

It was as if it was someone else entirely.

"...You..." The Masked Clown, who saw this, felt horror. It wasn't simply being scared— no, it was pure genuine horror from the depths of his consciousness.

Fear overwrote everything in his body at this moment— every fiber of his being was telling him that that man had changed.

"Hey..." Just then, Isaac's voice escaped his mouth as he eerily giggled. "Do you believe in Serenity?"

"Attack him!" Sensing something was off, the Masked Clown immediately yelled to the Clockwork Mekas around to subdue Isaac. "No matter what! Kill him!"

Realizing that Isaac's potential danger rose, he did not want to take any risks.

He then pointed at a Meka, "You! Get a bucket of Primordial Seawater and pour it to him! Hurry!"

He was panicking.

Never before had he felt this kind of horror in his life.

As he commanded every arsenal he had in a hurry, he suddenly heard Isaac chuckling.

The Masked Clown turned his head to look at Isaac and saw him looking back at him.

"I knew it..."

As Isaac spoke, the temperature suddenly dropped to a drastic state in an instant.

In the Masked Clown's vision, darkness suddenly emerged from Isaac and attacked the Clockwork Mekas that were approaching him. The darkness materialized as strands of hairs that attacked and strangled the Mekas.

Soon enough, only chaos was left behind. The darkness then quickly changed, enveloping the two of them, and leaving everything outside.

"You! What is this!" Panicked, the Masked Clown looked around frantically as he tried to make sense of this. "What have you done?!"

He looked back to Isaac, however, the man wasn't there. He had disappeared.

Just then, he felt pressure around his shoulders get heavy, as a cold sensation spread throughout his body.

"—Serenity truly is the only escape." As these words fell, Isaac suddenly appeared behind the Masked Clown and pressed down on his shoulders.

Isaac's face then turned to him— and the two looked at each other eye-to-eye. His bone-chilling eyes devoid of any life and his horrific smile were all that the Masked Clown met. "Don't you think so...?"


"H—" Hearing his name, Vacher wanted to react shocked, but before he could do so, he was suddenly swallowed up by the darkness around them.

He didn't even have the chance to scream.

He simply got devoured by the darkness around them in silence.

Soon, the dark world disappeared, and Isaac returned to the real world. However, only Isaac remained.

Vacher had completely vanished— as if he was erased from reality.

[Skill has reached cooldown.]

[Adverse side effects: Immense fatigue and Hypersomnia statuses are now in effect for 48 hours.]

"Huff... Huff..."

Soon enough, the effects of the Evernight skill instantly wore off, and Isaac, who used it, quickly felt the side effects weighing down on him.

"Hmgh..." Just then, Furina's whimpering drifted over to Isaac's ears. His fatigued eyes then drifted over to Furina.

Furina, who had been unconscious until now, opened her heterochromatic eyes. "Where... Ugh!"

She felt a sharp throbbing pain in her head as she tried to stand up. Fortunately, Vacher had patched her bruise up.

Her bed straps had also been slashed away by the darkness that emanated from Isaac earlier.

"...Furina..." Suddenly, Isaac's weak voice drifted over to Furina. He walked towards her weakly.

"I... Isaac!" Turning her head, Furina instantly recognized who it was. She had never been happier hearing that voice— however, when she looked at him, she discovered something. "Wait... You..."

"I'm glad..." Isaac tried to stand beside her, but his legs were already trembling— even so, he continued walking towards her. Finally, the two were beside each other. "You're safe..."

Isaac's tired face and the horrible-looking state he was in instantly caught Furina's attention. Seeing this, she became severely worried, "You... What happened?! How did you—"

Isaac didn't know if it was because of his side effects, or perhaps because of the Sinthe effects, but at this moment, he just let his body move on its own.

His head lowered and got close to Furina. And soon, the two connected.

"—!" Furina, who was greatly worried for Isaac, was dumbfounded by his sudden action. A red hue suddenly spread throughout her face before she even knew it.

Both of them stayed connected for a few moments before Isaac finally parted with her.

With a flustered face, Furina looked at him with a flushed face. "What are you..."


However, before she could finish speaking, Isaac's body suddenly lost all its strength and fell down.


* * *


Isaac might have fallen asleep, but don't fall asleep on me just yet! We're approaching the end of the volume, lads.

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