“Except for Evangeline, historically, most people who tried to ride a Phoenix ended up trampled by its hooves or struck by its wings and died.” Adrian accurately pointed out the issue in the conversation. Her words were true. Even after the Paris’ War, there had been several attempts to tame the Phoenix, but all three of them knew that they had failed miserably. Demons were inherently wild. Even if Apollonia had the demon’s favor like Evangeline, it would take time to earn that trust.

“Freya believes in me. If I ask nicely, she might listen.” Evangeline spoke as if the Phoenix were human. “If I can logically explain the situation somehow…”

There was a glimmer of hope in her eyes.

“Please, please, please, please, please!” Evangeline’s desperate voice echoed in a corner of the stable.

“You say if we convince it logically.” Adrian said with a bewildered expression, but Evangeline didn’t seem to hear as she blinked her eyes and folded her hands together. The three of them were inside the Emperor’s stable. Despite the late hour, they bribed the stable keeper and managed to meet Freya safely, using the excuse that the princess wanted to see the demon.

“Since the demon is already adorned with charms and chains that are enchanted, watching it won’t be dangerous.”

The stable keeper, who Adrian had built a good relationship with, smiled amiably and let them in.


The massive black creature, covered in chains around its neck and limbs, violently shook its head. Evangeline became dismayed.

“Caelion will die! Take Her Highness away.” The fearsome Phoenix, with its gigantic black wings resembling those of a bat, raised its head once again. It seemed to understand all of her words.

“He’s quite stubborn.”

“He dislikes Caelion. He knew he brought me to the Empire. Plus, Your Highness’s eyes resemble his, and he’s even more repelled by that. Please, carry out this request!”

Apollonia raised an eyebrow. If Evangeline’s explanation was true, then this creature truly understood the situation. It was a fascinating beast. However, understanding the situation didn’t necessarily mean it would listen to Evangeline’s words.

“It resembles its master.”Adrian murmured softly.

“I’m only a master to the one-eyed ravens but I’m friends with this one. It has the ability to leave anywhere if it wants, but it stays for me. So, please, listen to my request!”

Evangeline glared at the monster, but it only shook its head vigorously.

“Did you say Freya understands everything?” Apollonia asked, and Evangeline nodded.

“It’s not just understanding. It can see through lies. It can’t be tamed because it knows all the intentions behind approaching it.”

Apollonia took a step closer to the monster. If he truly resembled Evangeline, Freya would prefer negotiation over desperate persuasion. And this creature, resembling Evangeline, would need to realize that it was in danger of losing something precious to change its stubborn mind.


Apollonia stepped between Evangeline and Freya and called out her name.


The massive black creature, towering high above them, snorted and glared at Apollonia. Its stomping hooves and the way its chained body gnash made it seem like it would attack her immediately. However, Apollonia didn’t retreat. Instead, she took another step forward. “Listen carefully.” She firmly grasped its tuft of hair and pulled the creature’s head towards her, so close that its wide forehead almost touched hers.


“If you don’t carry me, Evangeline will suffer tremendously. Unbearably so.” She spoke each word with a cold face, exerting force behind every syllable. It was a voice that overwhelmed the listener, sharp as a blade. Evangeline’s eyes widened as she looked at Apollonia. But soon, it seemed like she understood the meaning and slowly nodded toward Freya. It was true. She truly loved Caelion with all her heart.


Freya stopped snorting and tilted its head. However, Apollonia didn’t release its head and she pulled it even harder. The beast’s black eyes met Apollonia’s golden gaze up close. Apollonia had no intention of avoiding that gaze. “If you don’t carry me, you will never see Evangeline again.” With an emotionless and cruel tone, Apollonia stared at Freya, who seemed to doubt her sincerity but there was not a shred of falsehood in her words. Apollonia had just made that decision.


“But if you help me, and if the plan succeeds, I will send you back to Evangeline’s side. Not immediately, but in the near future. I can do that.”

Freya, with its massive face against Apollonia’s, stared at her for a long while.


Finally, understanding that all her words were sincere, it nodded slightly. Its expression still held some resentment, but its rough movements came to a halt.

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