"Give me your hand," Cecily said.
Joshua just held his hand out. He did not do anything wrong and had nothing to hide before the sentinel.
Even if she detected the little mage in the room, Cecily would simply think of the Royal City's safety and get Joshua to send the human back to her world.
That's right... Send her back and not execute her on the spot.
Cecily was one of the Demonic Realm's conservative faction leaders, and as a sentinel, she had always hated senseless killings.
Joshua's hand was held by Cecily as she pulled his sleeve up to reveal his arm.
Joshua felt like he was being treated by a traditional Chinese physician who was taking his pulse.
"There is no chaos in your magic..."
Cecily once again placed her hand on Joshua's chest, and that movement brought her closer to Joshua. He could even smell the scent of her body...
It smelled of gooseberries and lilac.
"Good, there are no after-effects."
"Sister, what are you doing?" Joshua pulled up his sleeve as he glanced at Cecily.
What Cecily did was not so much a body search, rather a check on Joshua's health.
"Did you forget that your magic went out of control due to one of your experiments last time?"
"Of course, not." Joshua remembered that before the prince headed to the Human Realm, he had lost control of his magic during an experiment and had nearly been consumed by the chaos. While he managed to control the magic in the end, it still caused massive damage to his body and soul.
Since that accident, the prince was determined to learn new magic from the Human Realm. The memories after that were somewhat blurred.
He recalled that when he used the last of his soul to summon Zenarth, his dissipating soul met another him in another world.
"Don't worry, I have recovered. "
While Cecily's expression was stern, he could still tell from her eyes that she was worried, so he spoke up to ease her concerns.
"Make sure... there is no next time."
Cecily fixed Joshua's collar as she spoke in a serious manner.
"I have work to do. Get rid of that human and the others in the dungeon as soon as possible. The dungeon is not a hotel."
The sentinels' job scope was not limited to the compounds of the Royal Castle. They would scour the darkest corners of the Royal City, dealing with the most vicious of criminals.
So, Cecily's trip home to the Royal Castle was to see Joshua.
As he looked at Cecily's departing silhouette, he noticed that the prince's relationship with his siblings was not that tense.
Joshua still had memories of his eldest brother teaching him and his elder sister magic when he was young.
Aside from their status as a demonic royal family, they were like any ordinary family, supporting and caring for one another.
However, that relationship... faded as the siblings grew up.
Joshua initially thought that everyone was just that way. Were they so cold-blooded that they ignored familial ties?
The answer was no.
His elder brother, Knox had grown up within the citadel and armed himself as a general all for the sake of using war to make humans recognize demonkind's place.
His elder sister inherited the management of the Royal Capital. As she wore the mask of a sentinel, she saw to the enforcement of order in the capital. Yet she held a conservative attitude with regard to the relationship between demons and humans, and would rather maintain the current peace than go to war.
Owing to their respective ideals, they had to stand on opposite sides. Joshua could already foresee the blood that would be spilled in the struggle for the throne.
For Joshua, both the eventual winner and loser were pitiful.
Those who struck against their own kin for power were the most pitiful.
Joshua believed that change was still possible. It was not difficult to change a person's mind as long as there was an opportunity.
It was like that time many people believed in true love again after they watched Titanic.
Be it movies, novels, or songs, all of them were created to give the audience some sort of power.
It was time for him to stop waxing lyrical as Joshua could feel that the little mage had already squatted until her legs were numb.
"She's gone, Ciri."
Joshua closed his room door and went up to the bookshelf as he pulled out a sheepskin scroll from the rightmost side of the shelf.
"Do you intend to kill all of the people in the dungeon?" Ciri asked as she walked out from the back of the bookshelf. She had been listening to Joshua and Cecily's conversation.
And she had clearly heard the words, "Get rid of them".
"Kill them? Nah, too much trouble. I plan to let them all go."
"Let them go..."
Ciri had to confirm that she did not hear him wrongly and asked again.
"The Demonic Realm is constantly short of food. I have no reason to feed a group of humans I do not even know. I plan to send them back to their village a few days later or rather, I will personally rescue them myself."
There were fifty-seven villagers whom Zenarth had abducted from the village. Excluding Ciri who escaped by chance, the rest were imprisoned in the dungeon.
Most of them were survivors of the bandit raid, and as for how to deal with them, Joshua already had a plan.
He was going to send all of them back. No, sending them back was not the right phrase... Joshua would personally rescue them from the demonic dungeon himself!
There were three main scenes in "Beauty and the Beast". First was the small town, the second was the snowy mountains on the way to the castle, and the last one was the castle itself.
The importance of the town that Belle lived in was only second to the castle.
There would be many townsfolk in the town, and they were all extras with barely any roles to speak of. Nonetheless, for a good movie, excellent extras were a necessity as they were one of the cornerstones in the overall atmosphere of a movie.
In a world without actors, where would he find extras?
Even if Joshua found a group of humans for cameos, their acting skills would be a problem.
The final conclusion was simple enough. People played a role the best when they played as themselves.
Hence, Joshua decided to use that village and its villagers as the town where Belle lived.
In Beauty and the Beast, there was a hunter named Gaston who lived in the same village. He was tall and handsome as well as popular with the villagers. He tried to pursue Belle all the time, but his arrogance and uncouth attitude repelled Belle.
Gaston was an indispensable character in the movie, and Joshua was not looking for anyone to play the role because he would be playing it himself.
Next, Joshua just needed to act as a human hunter who had strayed into the Demonic Realm and break into the prison where the villagers were held before rescuing all of them.
With that, the villagers would naturally worship Joshua or the character "Gaston" as a hero.
Life was like a play, and a play was like life. How true those words were.
Perhaps the villagers would never know that they had been living in a story Joshua had written even after filming was over.
Anyway, as long as the story was good enough, even if they found out, they would not have any opinions about it, right? Just like the little mage...
"Then, can you take me along with you?!"
Ciri started to regret her rash usage of the ring. It was worth three years of food.
"Unfortunately, no. "
Joshua shook his head to say no.
"Why!!! I was kidnapped too!" Ciri almost cried.
"Because you know too much."
Joshua pondered a little before he replied with a very classic response.