“It will be a pity if I do not say anything in this situation so I’ll just say one thing.”
I rotated my wrist, feeling my muscles ache and tense in complaint. I tipped my head slightly and gave a warning to the unknown adversary.
“You must think the Saintess is a joke.”
Who says a Saintess is always kind, caring and accepting of the people around them?
“Otherwise, you wouldn’t take the temple so lightly.”
The silence in the hall turned chilly.
I watched as surprise filled people’s faces and they became restless. I didn’t know how many culprits were in this room but there were also innocent people here.
Then one young noble miss caught my attention. I glanced at her like I didn’t notice anything and turned away. While taking note of the yellow-haired young miss, I beckoned to Reneben.
Seeing people’s complexion turned white as sheet, I sighed and clenched my teeth.
“Reneben, the temple will cease all demon hunting henceforth until the culprit is found.”
“That is absurd!”
I was the head of the temple; the one could hear God’s voice and I have also kept the peace and well-being of this empire. God didn’t care how I used my authority.
The nobles made a fuss, clamoring together that I couldn’t do that. A rotation of about a few hundred people were sent every day to the territories to hunt demons.
Unless it was a man-eating demon, the nobles could actually deal with it on their own, but it was too much of an annoyance so they just ignored it.
However, I didn’t plan on changing my mind.
Because the temple was looking like an easy target to walk all over. It was time to change that perspective.
I felt it after seeing the actions of Duke Cassian and realized it after seeing the nobles’ reaction. At this rate, the temple will continue to be swept aside.
“Enough,” I uttered crisply but forcefully, wanting them to be quiet.
The wound on my arm was already bad enough; I didn’t want to go deaf as well.
“There was poison on the chandelier,” I stated in a calm and grave tone. My voice echoed throughout the hall.
It suddenly occurred to me that this vast hall had never been so quiet. While thinking that, I let a hint of exhaustion appear on my face.
“And if you look at the wreckage of the chandelier, it looks like it was cut with magic.”
I tipped my head back slightly and exhaled. Honestly, I felt like I had a good idea of who the culprit was…
“Despite this, do you still want to claim this was not aimed at me?”
I peeked at the princess from the corner of my eye. She was crying and looking at me with surprise…
I calmed my raging heart and opened my mouth again to speak, “If you require the support of the temple, then the culprit must be caught.”
“But the demons…!”
“If the average priest can handle it, I believe the knights are capable of dealing with it.”
I turned towards the nobleman who spoke and looked into his eyes. I brought a faint smile to my face and continued, “Everyone knows you can cut a demon with a sword and set it on fire.”
Of course, that only applied to weaker, insignificant demons. Higher-ranked demons could only be destroyed with divine power. However, a high-rank demon usually only appears once in a hundred years.
“Supposing a demon that can only be destroyed with divine power appears, I will not reject any requests concerning it.”
My gaze fell on the princess. Reneben was still holding onto my arm, acting like an anxious puppy. Because of him, I decided to stop here and leave.
“Saintess! Don’t you think this is an excessive…!”
“Your Excellency, Marquis Mithra.”
However, someone blocked me as I was trying to leave, and I frowned.
“All I have said is that you are capable of handling it by yourself. And considering, I, the Saintess, have been put in this state…”
I chuckled wryly.
They called me, ‘Saintess, Saintess’ respectfully, but it was funny how they changed their attitude once I wasn’t caring for them.
“I don’t believe I should help someone who might have hurt me.”
I was only staying in this position because I could save a lot of people as a saintess. And I was simply maintaining the goodwill towards a position that I could leave at any time.
“This is a challenge to the divine authority. And remember, this is my punishment to you.”
My arm already hurt and now, these people were giving me a headache. I turned around, ignoring them and started walking away.
And as I was slowly walking out, I spotted a man with silver hair. At that, I narrowed my eyes and pressed a hand against my temple.
* * *
When I arrived at the temple, the maids skillfully changed my clothes.
“Lady Emilone, your wound…”
“It’s nothing. Just bring me medication, you don’t need to do anything else.”
The maids were restless but I was firm. I didn’t particularly enjoy bring alone but at times like this, I liked to be on my own.
My stained robe couldn’t be reused. So I threw away the fancy dress without any regret and set aside the few accessories on it. My maids would definitely throw away all these expensive accessories if I put it in the trash.
I diligently removed all the jewels that were the size of a fingernail then I tossed the colored variety into a clear vase. When I took out the flowers that were originally in the vase, the scent was lovely and familiar.
“Huh. It looks like hydrangea but smells like roses.”
I aired my sentimental feelings then I put the flowers down next to the vase and went to the bathroom.
I wiped my wound with lukewarm water and frowned at the pangs of pain that was only now hitting me. I was the type to complain all day about a papercut so of course, a wound like this hurt like hell.
I grumbled at the God that sent me here.
When I finally cleaned off all the solidified blood, the wound was revealed and it was so gross that I looked away. I was thinking of just applying medication, then wrapping it with bandages instead of doing other first aid measures.
“Reneben isn’t coming…”
Reneben usually followed me just in case, and it was really just for emergencies. Technically, he was like my escort guard.
He acted as my assistant and often did things on my behalf so everybody thought he could at least protect me in situations like today but the reality was the complete opposite.
Today, I saved Reneben from the chandelier. If I hadn’t saved him, Reneben would have been pinned under the chandelier alone and I would have been perfectly safe.
I scooped out a chunk of the medicine and covered myself in a thick layer rather than spreading it gently. Anyway, neither the wound nor the infection was going to get worse so a rough application should be enough.
“A wound like this should heal within 3 to 4 days.”
Thankfully, my natural healing was faster than the average person. After I was done, I closed the medicine lid.
I never thought a Saintess would be attacked to begin with. I imagine whole country will be in an uproar by tomorrow morning.
The Empire was a powerful country, that is why, I, the Saintess, was here. In reality, it was up to me to decide whether I stay here or go work somewhere else.
Honestly, I didn’t really know much about that aspect…
The saintess was not only the master of the temple in the Empire, but also the master of all the temples in the world.
“At this point, it’s ridiculous.”
I was too tired to keep washing but since blood was everywhere, I had to finish up before I could sink into my bed.
“The temple cannot be disregarded any longer.”
Who could have imagined it? That the saintess, who is a symbol of world peace, would retaliate so strongly.
“It is not strange that we are disregarded though…”
It might be weirder if we were not disregarded. The temple always just smiled and took care of all the hard work.
I was the head of the temple for the foreseeable future. And as long as I was in this position, I planned to change that.
Sleep wasn’t coming so I was playing with the hampering blanket. I always liked my bed, which was soft and smelled like the sun.
Knock, knock, knock.
“Lady Emilone, it’s Reneben. I need to talk to you for a moment…”
I got up and opened the door, only to find him standing there with a conflicted look on his face. He seemed like he was trying to hide it but you can’t fool a former actress.
It was very dark so most people were asleep. And considering this was the temple which didn’t have many people in the first place, there was a heavy silence in the air.
After I took Reneben to the drawing room, he kept opening and closing his mouth.
What did he want to say?
He kept doing that for a few seconds so I was almost dying of curiosity. I pursed my lips, wondering when he would finally talk and I started counting numbers.
He opened his mouth about 8 seconds after I started counting.
“You…you were really reckless today.”
I thought he was going to thank me but Reneben’s fists were clenched tightly and his shoulders trembled as he continued.
“Even if I had to sacrifice my life, Your Holiness must not be harmed even in the slightest.”
I was a little taken aback and my eyes went wide. Why were all the people with divine power so pure? They were the type to think it was only natural to save others because you have power.
The emotion coursing through Reneben right now, was guilt.
(Emilone)“Why do you think that?”
I opened a round hard-candy and put it in my mouth. I licked the sweet white powder on my lower lip and gazed at Reneben.
(Emilone)“So you won’t say.”
I chuckled and leaned back into the sofa and at that, Reneben’s shoulders trembled again.
“Reneben, do you think it is right to sacrifice 49 people to save 50?”
There was only a 1-person difference. One was 50, the other was 49.
“…I think whatever side creates fewer victims…is the right one.”
I got up and picked up another candy from the table. Then I brought it close to his mouth. When I urged him to eat it, he looked confused but opened his mouth and I stuffed it inside. Then I plopped another one in my mouth.
I felt like I was dealing with a younger brother to me, so I decided to talk a little more. Otherwise, Reneben would be suffering in silence all night long.
I didn’t feel like sitting back on the sofa and this was Reneben anyway so I just sat myself on the table.
I brought the candy jar next to me then I looked him up and down.
“You know what, Reneben?”
He gave me a questioning look when I spoke vaguely. I rolled the candy in my mouth and took a deep breath. As a foreigner to this world, I knew just how significant and ingrained status was in this society.