Reneben’s mouth clamped shut.
“The princess will be our strong ally.”
The words of the princess had power. She could change a lot with just a few words.
Reneben gripped his priest robe tightly until it wrinkled.
“Well, that’s that but to summarize what I have said so far…”
“First, I plan to start the orphanage matter and then proceed with the tax issue. As for medical facility, I think we’ll need someone with extensive knowledge in that area…I might have to speak to that academy…”
That surprised me. While I was thinking about how to persuade the princess, Reneben spoke loudly.
“I will do more! I will work harder.”
Reneben’s eyes were slightly moist. His desperate eyes were looking at me, pulling my gaze.
I stared at him without realizing it and muttered as if possessed.
“It’s good enough that you say that.”
* * *
After working for a while, it got dark outside. After stamping my seal at the end of the letter to the princess, I got up. I slowly walked down the quiet and secluded hallway.
The weather has been pretty nice these days with warm sunshine and light winds. The temperature was also just right, not too warm or too cold.
“Today…should I go to the library?”
I suddenly thought and it didn’t seem like a bad idea. I nodded to myself and started heading away from my room.
“There’s a new book anyway; I can’t not go.”
Romance novels were my prime interest.
You can say fantasy is focused on hardships and adversities…while romance is a story that revolves around the love of two people.
After a short walk, I entered the library and I was greeted with the scent of books. The ceiling was made of glass allowing me to see the clear night sky, void of clouds. A scene which I loved.
The wooden bookshelves were arranged so that users could find books easily and each section was different depending on the genre.
I walked up to the farthest bookcase. Then I climbed up a ladder and grabbed a book from a shelf so high that it almost touched the ceiling.
I really liked the library in this temple and the reason for that is…
“There it is.”
It was designed by a preceding saintess with similar tastes to mine.
More than half of this space was filled with romance novels but I took out the book that I started reading yesterday.
The title was〈A Demon’s Love〉and it was a bit of an odd choice for the previous saintess and me to read. After all, it was a romance about demons.
I plopped into the sofa and opened the book. I flipped to the page where I left off. Then I lay down with a pillow underneath me and started reading with a drink I prepared in advance.
The story took place as far as 1500 years ago from the present Empire. But the setting didn’t change much because it was fantasy world so it was easy to immerse myself.
The female lead was a demon, but she was a demon in human form. Demons typically had a low intelligence, but she was different. She was able to live by imitating and emulating humans properly. She was clumsy but she could speak. She also had a sense of what was beautiful and could dress herself up.
“I knew it; this is interesting.”
It was interesting even though I had only read so little. Of course, it was only interesting because it was a novel. If it was real, then this would be a bittersweet story.
In reality, even if the demon’s appearance didn’t differ much from humans, a saint must eliminate a demon eventually. The demon must be eliminated because it could harm the humans that it worked so hard to imitate.
I read the novel like that for a while.
After I was halfway through, I decided it was time to go to sleep, and I picked up a bookmark. After putting the book back on the bookshelf, I left the library.
Since it was dark now, I wanted to head back to my room, but my eyes caught the sight of a lit room.
“Over there is…”
I thought it over for a moment, then I headed towards Reneben’s office which had the lights.
As a matter of fact, the temple’s main task was to eliminate demons. There was a separate group of priests who read documents and dealt with administrative affairs.
Like me, Reneben’s main task was to eliminate demons. But since he was the high priest, he also did administrative work.
Even though the sun was down, he was still sitting in a chair reading over documents. I observed him for a while without him noticing my presence then I walked in.
Dozens of papers were piled up next to him. The documents were the ones I requested, containing the misdeeds of the nobles. He should have just sent it to me straight away.
Reneben sprang to his feet, his chair dragged behind him.
I made him sit back down and I picked up one of the papers on top.
“Count Gwassen. With a record of imprisoning and kidnapping 21 young girls and even more records of assault and rape…. but he was not punished because he is a noble.”
As if it was very interesting, I held the paper and sighed.
“Reneben, I have no intention of going easy this time.”
“I know, but…”
Reneben was afraid to punish anyone, but I said, “If you are afraid of punishing terrible people, the position of the High Priest will be all for naught. Think about the feeling of those affected by this. Don’t despair about having to drop someone into an abyss with your own hands.”
He slowly got up and gave me more space. His face was distorted. He knew the evil deed committed by the nobles so he understood what I was saying.
I tilted my head. He worried too much. It was because he was nice but…
“Lord Reneben, do you know why God gave me this power?”
In the end, I had no choice but to bring up this topic. The power I had could save someone or destroy them. The power to destroy was none other than ‘God’.
Reneben’s eyes widened at that question, and he clenched and unclenched his fist several times.
“I don’t really know,” Reneben replied.
I looked at Reneben and smiled. The job of a Saint was to maintain peace. And the power to destroy was necessary for keeping peace.
“The identity of the culprit will likely be revealed in the next few weeks.”
“The Imperial Palace is also on the lookout for the culprit and I’m guessing they’ve already found most of the suspects.”
Reneben did not take his gaze off me. With a smiling planted on my face, I lifted my chin and pointed at him.
“Reneben. How should we handle Count Gwassen?”
“He should receive the appropriate punishment…” Reneben began and suddenly stopped.
It was only natural for wrongdoers to be punished accordingly.
“God never asked us to be good-natured. If he did, he wouldn’t have given me the power to destroy.”
Honestly, it felt like God didn’t really think too much. God just left everything to the saints.
“You have to distinguish between when you should be good-natured, and when you shouldn’t.”
Having said that, I turned to face Reneben and said my final words.
“I will propose the punishment of the nobles to the Emperor, tomorrow. But for today…” I pushed him back slightly, “Get some rest. I’ll take these documents.”
* * *
It had been 2 weeks and 3 days since the temple declared that it would not exterminate any demons and and eventually, the culprit who injured me with the chandelier was caught.
I woke up, recalling the meeting that was held a few days ago to discuss the crimes of the nobles. My body was still tired from the aftermath so I could barely open my eyes.
“Thanks to the princess, it wasn’t too bad.”
I muttered and yawned lazily. I was able to get it done in an interesting way thanks to Ronella.
The temple, which was usually quiet during the early morning, was livelier than normal.
Wondering what was going on, I got up to go outside then I caught my reflection in the mirror and immediately folded all thoughts of going out.
My attractive pink hair was floating around carelessly, so I sat in front of the dressing table and brushed it down.
With my prestige and all, I couldn’t go out looking unpresentable just because it was noisy.
I glanced at the clock and saw that it was much earlier than I expected. Although the sun was up, it was still a little early for everyone to wake up.
After going to the washroom and cleaning my face, I finally looked like a presentable sight. I dried my dripping face with a soft towel and checked under my eyes.
Needless to say, the wound caused by the prince had healed completely, as well as the wound on my arm.
I stroked my cheek thinking to myself that my recovery was actually pretty amazing seeing as it didn’t leave any scars. After finishing up, I headed outside.
The people inside the temple were moving back and forth, looking busy. When I looked further out, I noticed ordinary people too, making me wonder what was going on. So I went closer.
“Saintess!” then a maid called out to me.
She had a big smile on her face as she came over to me. She had brown hair, green eyes, and freckles on her face and her name was…
“Luanne, why is it so noisy this early in the morning?”
She clenched her fist and answered with excitement, “They’ve caught the culprit who hurt Your Holiness!”
They’re only catching them now.
I meant it took forever for them to catch the culprit, but Luanne received my words in the opposite sense.
“To think anyone would try to harm the saintess; what a foolish act. But I heard the culprit was a young noble miss.”
Luanne was happy as if this was her own matter, but I fell into thought and stared into space without answering.
“Oh, I shall excuse myself then…” she noticed I was thinking and looked determined not to disturb my contemplation.
I watched her scurry away, feeling bewildered and mumbled to myself, “I wanted to ask something else though…”