* * *
There were two reasons why I hated the social circle.
First, it was annoying.
Second, they were loud and gossiped too much.
As I curtly replied to all the nobles dragged over by the princess, I was happy to notice that the questions coming my way had decreased at some point.
The princess was showing off by acting close to me.
The position of a saint was one that deserved to be praised and admired. It was no wonder that I felt like the main character when I first arrived in this dimension.
In reality, the main character of this world was Princess Ronella.
After acknowledging that fact, I felt like I was standing on the other side of a play, watching it unfold right next to me.
I grabbed a hot cherry muffin, pinched off a small portion and the moment I put it into my mouth…
I began to hear screams from somewhere, I didn’t know where it was coming from, and soon, they were screaming for me.
The stench of blood filled the air and public commotion ensued.
While everyone was confused, I put down my muffin thinking that what was coming had finally arrived.
I gathered myself together and suppressed my rising tension and worry.
I rose from my seat and quickly walked towards the center of the commotion. I had to cover my nose with my sleeve to keep out the smell of blood.
Annoyance surged within me. Annoyance at myself.
To think there would be a victim already; I must have taken this too lightly. My fingers trembled slightly as I headed towards the victim.
Seeing the outpour of blood, I hesitated for a moment but I acted unaffected. Since I enjoyed the benefits of being called a Saintess, I had to step forward when a ‘saintess’ was actually needed.
My blood turned cold.
One of the paladins who had been ordered to follow the crown prince was kneeling on the ground, supporting a wounded escort knight of the prince.
A demon was behind this.
Demons lived to destroy nature and ecosystems. And these bunch attacked and ate any living creature they came across.
The paladin gestured to the escort knight with his eyes. When I looked down, I could see the crown prince’s escort knight half-dead and gasping for breath
“His Highness…His Highness…a demon–!”
“Oh my goodness!”
“How can it be His Highness!”
“The Crown Prince?!”
“Is His Highness safe?!”
The escort knight squeezed out all of his strength to speak and I quickly covered his mouth and touched his wound.
“The goal was to have no victims…” I uttered in a muffled tone.
“I’m sorry! But the signal wouldn’t ignite…!” the paladin quickly replied with a pale complexion. Fortunately, he was not injured at all.
Blood was all over my hands. The situation was terrifying enough to draw tears, but I had to do it.
As I injected divine power, I could feel the vivid sensation of raw flesh against my palm. Thankfully, the treatment was over pretty quickly, so I stood up and stared at the obscured areas beneath the trees.
Only then did the paladin stand up and begin to control the confused crowd.
At that moment, someone rushed forward in the midst of the confusion.
I frowned once I realized that the person was our very own Ronella.
Eventually, I asked everyone on standby to search the hunting ground just in case. Then I headed in the direction that the princess had run towards, which was also the prince’s location according to the knight.
The situation wasn’t right for this, but I wondered what the princess was thinking when she rushed off.
I heaved a heavy sigh and wiped off the blood on my fingertips.
I was always prepared for this kind of situation, but it felt completely different to actually face it. But I knew that this was something only I could do, so I stared in the direction that the princess had disappeared.
There was no way Ronella ran off without thinking. Or maybe she trusted me to figure it out.
Either way, I felt there must be a calculated reason. I knew what direction to go because I had already learnt this area’s geography, so I started walking faster.
I knew people were still clamoring behind me, but the mountains were extremely quiet, isolating all of that.
Honestly, I resented the God of this world.
After throwing me here, God left me to solve every single problem. Nevertheless, I could bear it a little better these days because I was watching a love-and-war drama unfold in real time.
My stamina was much better than when I was in my previous world, so I could afford to run all over. I really wanted to avoid a situation where the demon ate the crown prince.
There were so many other nobles but it just had to be the crown prince in danger.
After cracking my knuckles and avoiding as much trees as possible, I spotted somebody and the knot in my chest finally loosened.
This is why I thought the princess was amazing.
I was just thinking that the smell of blood was getting stronger, then I see that it’s coming from the crown prince.
His shoulder and back were littered with wounds, and a woman was hugging him. Of course, it was none other than the princess.
Ronella was on the verge of tears as she wiped the area around the prince’s wounds.
“The saintess will be here soon, Your Highness. The demon will be quickly dealt with too.”
“…You’re the only one who would come find me in this situation.”
“If I don’t, who else will find you, Your Highness?”
She was right.
How could anyone possibly find the crown prince immediately in this vast hunting ground?
Seeing that the crown prince was safe, I verified that there was no demon nearby then I started walking again.
“Don’t cry, this can easily be treated.”
The crown prince, who was wiping away the Ronella’s tears, reacted viscerally when I stepped on a branch, and threw a dagger before I could even open my mouth.
I was very shocked and the dagger flew right under my eye, skimming past me and I felt like I saw red for a second. As surprised as I was, the Crown Prince was also surprised when he recognized me.
The princess exclaimed softly, not wanting to attract the demon in case it was around. She grabbed me by my arm and led me to the prince.
It didn’t seem to matter to her that the dagger just barely skimmed past me. Her face was saying that the crown prince was the most important person right now.
I touched my new wound and unconsciously mumbled, “That hurts…”
The Crown Prince’s mouth moved slightly, but I walked up to him and first checked out his wounds.
It looked terrible.
Swallowing, I extended my hand towards the prince’s wounds and injected diving power.
“…Saintess, why…why is it not working?” the princess asked restlessly, seeing that the wound was not healing.
“No. It’s working, just not very much. The wound keeps worsening because of the demon’s poison. I think we need to remove the poison as soon as possible…”
I rubbed my blood-stained hands on my clothes, smearing it.
“But let’s get out of here first.”
I felt guilty for not shutting down the hunting competition and taking other countermeasures. To be frank, the men who participated in the hunt today were practically bait to draw out the demon.
After all, it would be quite a headache if the demon that was hiding in the hunting ground decided to move to another place to find prey.
The oracle told me that the demon would appear at the hunting ground, but once a demon began to move, its path was unpredictable. Hence, we had to catch it at the hunting ground and to do that, we needed human bait.
If I had told the nobles beforehand, they would have used innocent people from the slums as bait.
This was something I had experienced firsthand.
Not long after I became the Saintess, I thoughtlessly conveyed the words of the oracle and bore witness to the tragic scene of the poor being used as bait for the nobility.
The crown prince rose to his feet and furrowed his brows. Just in case he was stubbornly enduring the pain, I injected him with some divine power again, but the pervasive poison was interfering.
It felt like it would work if I poured in a little more energy but I knew that would cause excruciating pain so I figured it would be better to treat it little by little.
“…Saintess, what should we do? Do you think we can get out of here without the demon noticing?”
Demons could smell blood, so it was very dangerous with the prince’s current bloody state, and I knew that as well.
“No, it’s too dangerous. The demon might return at any time…ah.”
For the first time ever, I resented the saying, ‘words have a way of coming true’.
As I called upon my mother who passed away 12 years ago, I stared at the mushy dark-red liquid that was taking a repulsive shape before my eyes.
“A demon…is here.”
It was watery and shaped like that popular children’s toy, the slime, and was slowly approaching us.
When I heard the prince curse under his breath, I came to my senses. If I was going to save them, then I better get to it. My mind finally calmed down.
If I got home safely today, I was going to complain to God. Why did He make me do this?
Fortunately, the demon was slow.
Whenever its two tentacles-like antennae touched the ground, it looked like it was caving in, so the crown prince must have been hit by those.
It had no eyes, but it did have a mouth full of pointy teeth that was approaching us.
With no other choice, I glanced at the tree that the crown prince had been sitting on earlier. Then I grabbed his arm and made him sit down again.
I guess it was a good thing I took this heavy shawl with me.
I took it off and wrapped it around the crown prince’s shoulder. He seemed a little out of it after losing so much blood, but he was still somewhat conscious because of my temporary treatment earlier.
Now that I’ve removed the poison, he should regain his energy in a little while.
I looked straight into the prince’s eyes and said, “I will save you.”
I had only heard this line used in action cartoons from when I was a kid. I said it unconsciously and slowly got up, feeling like some kind of hero.
When I was young, I used to watch action cartoons where the characters would say those lines. The crown prince’s eyes opened wide.
I turned around again and looked at the disgusting demon. I really, really hated it.
I wasn’t confident enough to touch it and inject my divine power before it could bite me. I also felt like its antenna would hit me the moment I got close.
However, I couldn’t run away. Then there was only one option.