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Olivia’s behaviour which clearly broke the bounds of her own position after the commotion broke out in the square ignited the situation immediately. Because of that, the patients had no choice but to turn their eyes to the Lunar religion for treatment, causing the Great Temple of the Moon God to become busy without even having any time to rest.
‘I had wondered why I was so free, but it was because the people didn’t feel the need to come here since Olivia had been healing them.’
Didn’t I say that it was weird for not even one person to come until now?
I wanted to run over there immediately to protest, but I held it in. Unless there was a way for me to prove that her ‘strange power’ came from Frody, there would be nothing for me to reap if I ran there right now.
I needed a surefire way to prove that everything she had done in the past, including this epidemic, was all her doing, to be more exact. Because for those who didn’t know the full story, Meliara’s false accusation and Olivia’s ‘strange power’ were both two completely separate events.
“Is there no movement on the Solarism side yet?”
Linden shook his head at my question. He stood by my side publicly, while he secretly moved his subordinates to observe the situation. “Apparently there’s been conflict between those who have been requesting an explanation right in front of the Great Temple of the Sun God and those who don’t want to doubt their own saintess—it’s chaos out there.”
“Heok… Did anyone get hurt?”
“I heard that Older Brother’s order of knights in the surroundings made a move before it got too heated…”
“So only the Crown Prince has moved, but the temple remains silent.” I clicked my tongue. “What I need to know instead is whether or not the High Priest is in on their plan so I can formulate a plan of attack.”
When I only heard about what happened in the town square itself, the High Priest seemed to have nothing to do with it. However, I thought it was another bump in the road when I saw that the Saintess was staying in the Great Temple even when things had gotten to this point.
“By the way, Ara, do you know exactly what power that woman uses?” Linden asked quietly so that no one else would hear. “No matter how much I investigate it, I can’t tell what it is… but you seem to know.”
Linden naturally failed to conclude that she had a contract with a demon since he didn’t know much about demons.
I snuck a glance at Lecht. When our eyes met, he nodded slightly with an expression that said it was okay. It was a sign that meant I could tell him.
“Regardless, I was actually thinking of telling you later. When Lydia comes back…”
Just as I was about to speak, the teleportation portal opened beside us as Lydia appeared in the light. Despite the rumour that using the teleportation portal would cause severe motion sickness, Lydia approached me with her usual expression on her face.
“I didn’t expect you to be back so soon.” I welcomed her back happily.
When the incident first broke out, I had first sent a letter to her through Lu, the messenger bird of Lunarism.
“I didn’t think I could afford to waste any time when I read Miss Ara’s letter. Don’t worry. The Grand Duchy has all been put in order.”
It was incredible that Lu had arrived at the Grand Duchy in half a day with a letter, and the fact that Lydia was able to put the whole place in order in only a day was also incredible.
Nodding at Lecht in greeting, Lydia swept a glance around the temple.
“Now then, since even Lydia has arrived, shall we go over there to talk for a while?”
I requested for the rest of the priests to heal the remaining patients and headed to the parlour. With both Lecht and Linden of course. Tanma had left to do another favour of mine.
The parlour I had entered was where I had met both Alion and Meliara.
Meliara was waiting for me. I nodded in her direction, then sat down on the couch next to where she stood.
“A teddy bear? It’s something that I’ve never seen before.”
Lydia looked at it with a suspicious gaze when she found an object that she had never seen before in the temple.
“It’s a gift from the Little Duke to his little sister.”
Nodding, Lydia tilted her head and looked up at me.
“The little sister you’re talking about is yourself, right Miss Ara?” she asked, perhaps because it felt strange for me to use the expression ‘little sister’.
Lydia’s help was essential in helping us determine whether or not the High Priest of Solarism was in cahoots with Olivia. Now that I knew Lydia was a half-demon, I was able to tell her everything without any reservations.
“To be more exact, I’m actually not Meliara Darchez.”
pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
I was able to finish the explanation a lot more concisely, perhaps because I already had the experience of telling Lecht and Linden before. But of course, this time, it also contained the whole story about Olivia and Frody’s power.
Lecht listened quietly since he already knew the whole story, while Lydia listened without much of a reaction. The one with the biggest reaction was Linden.
“Haa, slow down for a moment. I heard it all properly, right?” Linden asked again, sweeping his hair back with an incredulous expression on his face. His eyes darted back and forth between Lecht and I.
“It’s the truth. Lecht is hiding his appearance as the Demon King, and… Olivia has dipped her hand into sorcery and signed a contract with a demon.”
“Haa.” Linden pressed his finger against his furrowed brows, as if he had a headache.
“His Majesty the Emperor also knows about Lecht.”
At my additional comment, Linden sighed. “So that’s why His Excellency the Grand Duke said that to my Older Brother at the funeral ceremony.”
“The fact that you don’t recognise me… It seems like the emperor hasn’t fully recognised you as the next emperor yet.”
Linden now understood that the Emperor would have told Ziken the story behind Lecht if he had truly recognised Ziken as the next emperor. Because the story of how Grand Duke Arvis was the Demon King and telling them not to provoke him recklessly was always a conversation that occurred between the previous emperor and their heir.
While Linden tried to sort out his muddled thoughts, Lydia laughed quietly.
“You don’t seem that surprised though, Lydia. I expected it with Lecht’s identity, but… I thought you would be shocked at the part where Meliara and I were two different beings.”
“I was guessing.”
“…Don’t tell me it’s that obvious?”
“No, it isn’t. It’s just that…” She seemed like she was about to say something, but then smiled after a moment of thought. “Lunar told me. Not to be fooled by the next saintess’ appearance.”
“Not to be fooled… No, why did Lunar say it in such a weird way…”
Lydia was the only person who could hear the voice of Lunar apart from me, the saintess. As the saintess, I could only hear it in the temple on the night of a full moon, while Lydia could only hear it on a night with a red or blue moon.
‘I’m starting to have even more questions. Then did Lunar know that I was coming?’
While I was absorbed in my own conjectures, Lydia suddenly pulled me back to reality. “If that woman’s power comes from a contract with a demon, then it’s highly likely that the High Priest isn’t aware of it.”
“Since he’s the type of fellow who thinks the demonic clan is a race that’s lower than humans.”
“A lower race?”
“Yes. That’s why he considers Lunar to be of a lower class than Sol; because it’s a god that is worshipped by demons.”
“Lower class? But they’re both gods though?” I couldn’t help but sigh. There were naturally people who liked to discriminate and create a division between factions, wherever they went.
“That’s the fundamental reason behind why the Lunar and Solar religions are unable to forge a closer relationship with each other.”
“So that’s why you’re sure that the two of them aren’t on the same side, because there’s no way a person like that would appoint Olivia as a saintess if they knew she was in a contract with a demon.”
“The real question now is whether that old man’s pride will allow him to reveal the truth after he knows the truth behind the saintess.”
He himself would receive a shock when he realised that he had been serving a woman who was entangled with a demon all this time. Then, he’d probably feel betrayed.
But regardless of that, the High Priest also might choose not to reveal this matter since the honour of Solarism was also at stake.
“Although he didn’t know before, there’s a high possibility that he’d try and cover it up now that he knows.”
Olivia’s weakness was the fact that her power was fake, while the High Priest’s weakness was to hide it to protect the honour and reputation of Solarism. It was a fake and hypocritical relationship. It was a relationship that made me tired just from hearing about it.
“Then we should make our move before the High Priest of Solarism tries to officially cover it up for Olivia.”
Now that I knew that Olivia’s sorcery wasn’t related to the High Priest, I sorted out my thought process right away.
“Everyone, huddle toward me a bit closer.”
I beckoned over Lydia and Linden and relayed to them the plan that I had in mind.
It was a scheme that would be unveiled while we continued to cure the patients in the afternoon.
“Wait, then won’t you actually need the Little Duke’s help?” Linden asked with a frown after everyone had heard what my plan was.
However, I turned my gaze toward Meliara, who was sitting next to me. Despite her eyes still being red, she nodded toward me with a determined look on her face.
I suddenly thought of my conversation with her.
—I’ll try and convince Older Brother.
A calm Meliara told me a few minutes after Alion had left.
“How? He can’t see or hear you at all. As you can see, it seems like it’s almost impossible for you to get back into this body.”
When her soul tried to enter the body, it just ended up floating through me. It seemed like the body didn’t even want her back in the first place.
—Ara can tell him my words for me…
“It won’t be convincing enough. No matter how much I act, in the end, it’s still just acting.”
—I want to get rid of these false accusations against me.
“…You’ve changed for the better. I didn’t think you could even overcome it before.”
—Now I know that Older Brother was taking care of me. I wouldn’t be able to be cleared of these false charges if it weren’t for Older Brother.
I agreed with that statement.
—I think I know. The place where Older Brother hid the messenger.
—We have a villa. I know that he always goes there whenever he wants to avoid other people’s gazes.
“Would he hide them in such an obvious place?”
—Because Older Brother is the most familiar with the saying it’s often the darkest right underneath the lamp1.
It was extremely heartbreaking to see the appearance of Meliara who had said those words. It sounded like a saying that accurately represents the relationship between the two of them.
—There’s only one other way if Older Brother doesn’t give him to you. Just steal it from him.
I smiled widely at her resolute expression.
“I thought you were just a gentle young miss, but you’re even more daring than I thought you were.”
—Clear me of my false charges and punish that woman for me. And… please relieve the burden weighing down on my Older Brother’s shoulders for me.
“Then, shall we knock out your older brother by hitting him on the back of his head to relieve him of his burden?”
It was the same expression as that older brother who cherished his little sister, yet never expressed that affection to her.
“Alright. The timing of those two people who keep stepping out of line to the point where it’s tiresome. I’ll try and rewrite that destiny that’s full of terrible luck.”
“What do you mean thank you? Since I’m now a saintess, that’s the least I should do.”
I should help if Lunar loves me. Despite the fact that they’re different gods, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m going to punish a woman who is tarnishing a god’s name. That was how our deal was sealed.
However, both Linden and Lydia’s help was essential for us to be able to fix a net so secure that not even loaches would be able to escape from it.
“Don’t worry and just trust me.” I smiled at Linden who looked at me anxiously.
All the puzzle pieces were being put into place. All that remained for us to do was to take action.
I was going to use the Solar religion as a shield to hurl that woman—who used Frody’s power to wield a false power—down into the abyss. Since she had been so disgraceful, this was something she had to endure.
* * *
Clouds filled the night sky and blocked the rays of moonlight on a dark night.
An incident was quietly unfolding at a villa on the outskirts of the capital, owned by the Darchez family.
The two figures in black who were wearing deep hoods blended into the shadows as two guards quietly fainted. The figure used the wooden beam to climb the walls to avoid the hallways where they were most likely to bump into other people. The figure with the larger build landed easily on the veranda located on the third floor with a more slender figure in their arms.
The two of them peered through the window to check. People who appeared to be maids were seemingly taking care of a man. The man continued to show signs of discomfort, as if he wasn’t used to such treatment. Then, they let out a noticeably long sigh as soon as the maids left the room.
The hooded figure outside of the window moved, as if that was what they were waiting for. The window was opened silently without a sound as the two of them entered the room like flowing water.
“I’m grateful for your protection, but it’s uncomfortable…”
It was the messenger who was the only one who knew that the tea sent by Meliara wasn’t chamomile tea.
The smaller figure slowly approached him, who was still muttering.
No matter how brightly the lamp had been lit, the messenger was still frightened when something black suddenly appeared in the already dim room. “Heok, w-what…!”
“Shush!” The shadow covered the man’s mouth before he could even scream in shock. The voice that flowed out from underneath the hood was faint, and the hand that was touching his mouth was small and tender. It wasn’t hard for him to realise that the person was a woman.
The thick clouds cleared just in time as the moon appeared from behind them. The moonlight flooded in through the window and illuminated the hooded figure.
“…!” The shocked man’s eyes grew even wider. As soon as the woman lowered her hand covering the man’s mouth, the man immediately let out a shaky voice. “Y-Young Miss?”
The woman in the hood had the face of Meliara Darchez, the young miss he had been serving until just a few months ago. The large figure behind her was Grand Duke Arvis, but the messenger was unaware of that fact.
“Young Miss, how could you…”
Although he had a lot of questions, the man shut up when she placed her index finger on his lips.
“Ask questions later. Shouldn’t we get out of here first…?”
The three of them disappeared after a while without a sound. All that remained was a slight trace of her divine power.
It was the first incident where a person who had been protected within the villa of Duke Darchez was ‘abducted’ by the Princess of Darchez. And this incident, which not many were aware of, was in fact, the starting point of everything.
 등잔 밑이 어둡다 it’s often difficult to see what’s right under your nose.
i really hope the og meliara finds happiness somehow QAQ