T/N: Anti-God Faction has been changed to Heretical faction
Why did the crown prince keep talking to me instead of the princess? I could be standing aside and watching them play like kittens right now.
“Come to think of it…”
This was already the second time I’d heard glass breaking today. I turned my head towards the sound.
Apparently, the servants had broken the glass jar that I offered while trying put it in something that looked like a jewelry box.
Round candy pieces were scattered all over the floor, rolling on the ground along with clear pieces of glass.
“Your…Your Highness, Saintess…”
“We didn’t mean to…the…the glass suddenly just fell out of my hand.”
The prince’s servants knelt on the floor, not even caring about the glass shards. They were trembling as if this was their last desperate plea.
I wrinkled my nose at the sight of blood seeping from the servant’s clothes and was about to make them get up, but the crown prince heaved ominously.
“Not only have you destroyed the Saintess’ gift, but to think you couldn’t properly store what your crown prince has given you.”
“Your Highness. Please…please…”
“The whip, it is. Receive your punishment.”(1)
…This is why nobles are just–.
The servants weren’t the only ones following behind the crown prince as he walked in. There were knights behind him, but they were as silent as the dead until he said those words.
Several of the knights standing tall to the side yanked the servants to their feet. I too, got up from my chair and stood in front of the knights.
“Your Highness, withdraw your knights.”
“What do you mean? Ah, I suppose you don’t want such a thing happening in your sacred temple. Of course, the punishment will be carried out at the palace.”
I was very clear about what the crown prince was talking about, but…
Seeing the princess just sitting there too, made me realize once again that these people thought very differently from me.
To me, this was simply a matter of broken glass. It was a minor glass jar.
But they all thought this was natural, didn’t they? To punish the servant who dropped something that was personally given to them by the crown prince.
It was a wonder what they would think of me for stopping something that they considered normal. That I didn’t understand the situation? Or that it was the crown prince’s right to punish his servants?
But from my point of view, this was not normal. It was more abnormal to punish someone who was bleeding, rather than treating them.
But in this world, this was the norm.
If the Crown Prince still didn’t understand after I told him what I thought, I was going to give up.
Give up on changing the crown prince, I mean.
“My request was to stop. It seems after talking to me informally for so long, Your Highness considers me below you.”
This was institution run by status.
Because I was also one of those with a higher status, I knew very well how it worked. However, I couldn’t just ignore someone getting whipped for breaking a glass jar.
Seeing me blocking the knights, the crown prince’s expression fell.
Just as his handsome face began to distort, a sob came from the princess.
After putting the dragged servants behind me, I turned to the princess.
Almost as if she was waiting for that, the moment my eyes fell on her, the princess covered her face, and spoke with agony, “I don’t want my two favorite people to be like this. Saintess, it hurts me to see your gift broken…If someone does something wrong, I think they ought to be punished for it.”
When she said the situation made her heart ache, the Crown Prince’s brows twitched.
“Nella is right. I wish to punish my own servants for their wrongdoing, so why do you stop me?”
The smart and cruel princess. I didn’t expect her to step in like this.
“The wrongdoing that Your Highness speaks of, and the wrongdoing that I know, seem to mean very different things,” I stated.
The princess was just on the edge, but she was yet to cross the line. By that, I mean that she was still interesting.
Because regardless of what the princess did, I could still respond calmly. Of course, if she went past my limit, I might get angry and to show that, I made my expression look both gentle and intimidating.
If only I had the previous saintess’ cane, then I would look even better. Why did I ever refuse that cane?
With belated regret, I looked at the two servants who were bound by the knights and asked, “What is your name?”
Both the Crown Prince and Ronella couldn’t understand the sudden change of topic and called out to me but I remained silent towards them.
The servant trembled and seemed to realize it was futile to remain silent and gave me their two-syllable name and family name.
They were trying not to cry but the tears in their eyes showed their devastation. They must be scared. I found it terrifying just thinking about it so imagine what the people concerned were thinking.
“Tessie, who is in your family?”
“My father…and 3 children from my uncle.”
“Can you describe your family situation, Tessie?”
“…My father is ill, and my uncle cannot use his legs, and since I am much older, I am supporting my young nephews. It’s been a long time since the fall of my family—.” 
Although they were a servant of the crown prince, it seems not all of his servants were aristocrats. I never thought one of them would be a fallen noble.
Next, I turned to ask Floren.
The crown prince and the princess didn’t seem to know what I was going with this yet.
“What about you?”
“…I have my parents and my younger brother. I am the son of the head servant under the crown prince. I b-became His Highness’s servant, and my brother is getting married next month.”
After listening to both of their stories, I turned back to the crown prince.
He was still seated in his chair, motioning for me to explain already.
“This matter has made me very disappointed in Your Highness. If you wish to punish them, go ahead.”
“What do you…”
“Your Highness has gotten very complacent. As Crown Prince, you must have received an abundance of education. Despite that, do you not know what they say about rulers who use power and violence to suppress their people?”
Before he could open his mouth again, I covered my mouth with my sleeve like I was laughing and spoke sarcastically, “Well…although I understand, in the end, I guess Your Highness doesn’t know how to handle them with kind words.”
“And I suppose you also don’t know how to ensure that they do not repeat the same mistake again.”
He sprang to his feet, “I am not sentencing them to death; it is merely a whip. This punishment is already very generous!”
Unfortunately, I did not agree.
“Since it is merely a whip, let them off this once.”
“Why should I?”
I was wondering when he was going to say that.
“Because you are the Crown Prince. A beacon of authority, the heir to the throne and successor to His Majesty the Emperor, and the one who will rule over tens of thousands of people in the future.”
I was the Saintess.
I was not in this position because I wanted to, but if I couldn’t say anything to the crown prince of all people, then that would truly be mortifying.
“What makes Your Highness able to stand here? Who is the source? Think about what that is, while you enjoy everything.”
I faced him with an icy gaze while reciting the knowledge in my mind.
Since he was going to be the next emperor, at the very least, he was obligated to understand and embrace the lives and pains of people other than himself.
“The moral obligation equivalent of one’s high status is called Noblesse Oblige. Those who do not abide by that moral obligation…”
I picked up the teacup that the crown prince was yet to touch. As the tea sloshed inside the cup, I started pouring out the tea into a flowerpot beside me.
“Do not deserve to be a ruler.”
They did not even deserve to sit across from me and have tea.
The crown prince opened his mouth again, but I stopped him from speaking.
I wasn’t trying to hear his opinion.
“What do you think? What kind of ruler are you?”
“What kind of ruler will you be?”
If his behavior remains as it is, it might be a little disappointing.
I didn’t want to abandon the little expectation I had for the crown prince. A differing response from him would be the same as throwing away all my expectations.
The Crown Prince’s face was getting darker and darker. I could tell that his thoughts were getting more convoluted.
“Consider others a little more. Learn to cherish people. Cherish them and be kind to them. Just as Your Highness has people you love, the people you consider insignificant have people they love, and people who love them.”
The more his face twisted, the longer I spoke. Because I knew he was properly listening to me.
“I hope you will become a ruler who leads the nation through the heart of the people.”
After all, he was the crown prince.
I straightened my back. The teacup I was pouring out had gotten empty before I realized it.
It had a refreshing herbal scent. I called it herbal tea but, in the empire, it was known as ‘Deschel’. It was said to be a tea enjoyed by ancient magicians.
It was tasteless but it cleared the mind, had detoxifying effects, and improved concentration.
I walked up to the Crown Prince, stood before him, and looked up at his face. I was close enough that I could hear his breathing.
Moving just my hand, I placed the teacup down on the table behind him.
I looked up at him with a sharp yet enchanting gaze and warned, “The temple loves all creation. As do I. Frankly, it is not my place to interfere in the affairs of servants under your service. But Your Highness—.”
Just as I could feel him, my breath reached him as well. As I watched bewilderment dye his face, I continued with satisfaction, “In the end, these are your people too.”
The crown prince opened and closed his mouth.
I stepped away from him and turned around. And I moved the knights away from the two servants.
These two probably wouldn’t be able to work at the Crown Prince’s side any longer.
However, I reminded myself that punishment by whip could lead to death without proper treatment afterwards.
 He is specifically referring to the knout whip, which is apparently quite terrifying.