The evil god, Arhopev.
This was a sacred relic that would instead amplify the curse of the evil god.
In fact, the curse Hildeon got afflicted with in the original novel only got worse because of this sacred relic.
Right then and there, Charon’s jewelry store got blown away due to Hildeon’s rampage, and Hestin also got seriously injured.
‘So really, they should thank me.’
But of course, they wouldn’t know about that.
And besides that, no matter how I package it, it’s undeniable that I was the one who stole the sacred relic that day.
A notification window popped up.
〈 The purification of the sacred relic has been completed. 〉
I took the sacred relic, stopped the rampage, and (though technically not me) even purified it.
All for free.
No matter how I look at it, I’m the one losing out here.
Lost in thought as I pursed my lips, I suddenly heard something from my door.
“Milady, His Grace is calling for you.”
* * *
“Is it true that you went to Bastion?”
“…What? How did Father…”
“From your reaction, it must be true.”
I was genuinely taken aback.
‘How does the Duke know about that?’
Back then, no one should have known where I went.
Even Jane thought all this time that I just stayed in that jewelry store for a little longer.
So, the only people who should know that I was in Bastion…
Were the people who were personally there when the incident broke out.
Then, was the culprit here Charon?
No doubt about it, he was the prime suspect.
Hildeon and Hestin were there too, but they were hiding their identities.
Besides that, Hildeon sent me away immediately, saying that I didn’t need to stay there to talk to the guards.
Because of that, I had no reason to think it was him…
“I received a letter from the Imperial Family.”
“Huh? From the Imperial Family?”
“Yes. Not long ago, the Crown Prince wiped out Bastion, the alley where many illegal crimes take place. And in the process, your name was mentioned.”
Only then did I figure out what just happened.
‘So since they lost the sacred relic anyway, they decided to clean up Bastion without hiding his identity.’
Since the original novel’s events had gone lopsided, Hildeon and Hestin’s purpose in that place also changed.
“Why did you go to that dangerous place alone?!”
At the duke’s ferocious bellow, I dropped my head.
His blue eyes were blazing with anger.
“If you wanted to go there, you should have called someone to go with you!”
What’s he saying?
While I was trying to wrap my head around what he said, the duke let out a deep sigh, trying to calm his temper.
“Huu. What I mean to say is, I know that you’re doing it for a greater cause—as the Saintess, it’s only right that you want to protect the sacred relic.”
“You must have been very excited to hear a prophecy for the first time in your life. Yes, I understand that, too. But still. Even if that happened, you should have come home first and asked for help. Why were you in such a hurry to jump straight into danger all by yourself?”
The duke sounded like he was nagging me, but at the same time, it didn’t. As his tirade went on, my head was just increasingly filled with question marks.
What’re you talking about?
Uh, what did you say I did?
I went out because I got excited from suddenly getting a prophecy? And I jumped into that dangerous alley of Bastion to protect the sacred relic?
…What? Who did that?
However, despite being so stunned, a smile flashed across my lips.
I had no idea what was going on, but I at least knew that it wasn’t a bad thing.
Technically speaking, I guess I did do all of those things.
“I’m sorry, Father. As you said, I was elated because I heard a prophecy for the first time. I’ll be careful when it next happens.”
“That’s right. Don’t head straight into dangerous places all alone from now on. At the very least, be sure that you’re being accompanied by the Duchy’s knights. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Father. Thank you for your concern.”
“…Ahem. What concern…”
Ah. Was it too much to say that he’s concerned?
I laughed awkwardly for a moment, but I soon remembered that the sacred relic was in my pocket.
“Um, speaking of which, Father.”
“What is it?”
“What shall we do with this sacred relic?”
I took out the small jewelry box that contained the sacred relic.
“It’s in my possession now, but any sacred relic is inherently the property of the temple. I have a theology class in a few days, so I think I can return it to the temple through my teacher by then… However, I’ve been worrying about how I should keep it in the meantime. Father, is it alright if I entrust it to you?”
“What are you talking about? You are the Saintess. It’s only right that you keep it.”
His firm answer was the complete opposite of what I was expecting to hear. For a moment, I was rendered utterly speechless.
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