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“Dear, are you the new Saintess sent by God?”
Oh. Straight to the point from the get-go.
I returned my gaze to the owner of the voice that had asked me. It was a young lady with light lemon-colored blonde hair down.
I unintentionally admired her.
She was a woman wearing a primary coloured dress with mismatched accessories, regardless of this her beauty was stunning.
“My name is Cordelia Bernadette.”
I paused at the familiar name.
Cordelia Bernadette was a name that I knew. She certainly is…
‘The youngest Saintess, who was summoned 15 years ago.’
After that she became the youngest Saintess, however another Saintess has not appeared for fifteen years.
I kept my surprise hidden behind a smooth smile.
“Saintess Cordelia. It is an honor to meet you. My name is Irene Grace.”
“Nice to meet you, Lady Irene. I heard that you are a new Saintess. Is it true?”
Saintess Cordelia seemed to be the type of person who loved to speak bluntly.
I – hmm – coughed a little and laid my eyes down as if I’m embarrassed.
“When I came to my senses, I realized I was not in the Cathedral. Usually, the Saintesses are called that way.”
The important point here was modesty.
Thanks to my engagement with Ian, I was receiving attention in both good and bad ways. In times like these, humility was needed.
“I don’t think a lowly person like me should be called a Saintess, but… I can’t give you a definitive answer that I am a Saintess because the verification process hasn’t been carried out yet.”
Cordelia scanned my face slowly.
“If you were a true Saintess, you would have already been given power, regardless of the verification process. Are you not able to feel your power?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Hmm. For your information, I have the ability to make flowers bloom.”
Cordelia raised her chin and closed her eyes for a moment after saying that.
At the time, I instinctively realized this was the right moment to praise her.
“I heard, if you drink the flower decoction, it has a great rejuvenating effect, right?”
I clasped my hands together and opened my eyes.
“I think it’s a great power. It’s very romantic, like something out of a fairy tale!”
“Huh, hmm, is that so?”
It seemed like the timing was right.
Cordelia is the only Saintess with a similar age to me. I heard she’s also the most active Saintess in the social world. Only if I do well will things go smoothly for the next year.
“Someday, I’d like to drink tea blessed by the Saintess. Of course, this is merely a wish on my part.”
“Hmm, well, a cup of tea is easy enough…”
One of the men who stood by Cordelia’s side like a bodyguard gave her a gentle glance at that moment. Cordelia coughed in vain as if she had come to her senses.
“Hmm! Anyway, when did you start getting acquainted with Sir Ian?”
She threw another straightforward question again.
The young girls looked at me with a mixture of curiosity and excitement in their eyes. Among them, there were clearly undesirable glances.
‘Is now the time?’
It was time to tell the love story between me and Ian.
‘The story of how I fell into Ian’s bed and us coveting each other thinking it was a dream.’
Directed by: Ian.
Although it was a very promiscuous and lewd story with the subject coming from an innocent man’s head, it was certainly stimulating.
If you tell a story like this, the people who were satisfied will not be able to dig into the ‘truth’ behind it.
“It’s a bit long, and again… it’s an embarrassing story.”
When I said that and my cheeks blushed, everyone’s eyes widened. Everyone seemed to have instinctively grasped the story’s obscene extent.
“But I think everyone is curious, so even though I’m shy, I’ll let you hear it.”
I began to confide in Ian and I’s fictional love story.
Gloss over something that you want concealed, reveal what you want to be made known, and keep your imagination as wide as possible.
“Oh my god.”
Everyone was so focused and they even gasped, there were exclamations that erupted from time to time. A lady was blushing so hard she almost got a nosebleed.
‘Excuse me Lady, your nose is bleeding.’
It was at this point in the story that Ian finally slipped his palm into the back of my nightdress.
“Lady Irene. Are you here?”
A male voice called me.
“What! What’s going on?”
“Why is a man here?”
“Ugh! At a time like this!”
Everyone was taken aback by the unexpected appearance at the door.
This was the women only area. It was a place where only the ladies got together to hold a party.
A middle-aged man appeared from beyond the salon door. Behind him stood a Bishop with a troubled expression on his face.
“Are you Count Paras?”
With a surprised expression, a lady called out the man’s name.
I believe I’ve heard the name before. Count Paras, who saw me, strode forward.
“Apologies for the unexpected visit. Ladies.”
The Count looked towards me as he bowed his head toward the young ladies.
“Excuse me. Lady Irene. Since we received a disconcerting report, I came here despite feeling bad.”
“Count Paras, it’s just speculation…! Sir Ian would never take such a woman as his wife.”
The Bishop who had been following Count Paras, stopped him with a perplexed face. But the Count was obstinate.
“This is about Lady Irene. Doubts need to be rooted out. Lady Irene would want to put these suspicions behind her before holding the Saintess Verification Process.”
“What are you talking about?”
When I couldn’t take it any longer and asked, the Count replied with a strange smile.
“We’re attracting too much attention. Shall we talk on the terrace?”
The Bishop, the Count, and I moved to the terrace. Even so, the terrace was not divided by a thick door, so if everyone in the banquet tried to listen in, they could hear everything.
‘What the hell is he trying to bring up?’
I raised my eyes to Count Paras who was facing me. With a sad expression on his face, the Count said,
“First of all, I apologize for saying such blasphemous words. I didn’t want to upset you with this, but I couldn’t help it, since I received an unpleasant report about Lady Irene last night.”
“Did you say it was an unpleasant report?”
A sad sigh came from the Count.
“Yes, it was a report about Lady Irene’s past.”
“Report about my past.”
I repeated it slowly.
‘You are not talking about what happened when I was in Nine.’
Nine was not a simple place. The guild members who belong there are thoroughly controlled by Nine. They carry out their missions as if they don’t exist in the world, with no identity or name. It is not a past that can be dug up by merely a few days of background investigation.
‘Then, there is only one answer.’
I smiled innocently at Count Paras and said,
“What kind of past?”
The conclusion is simple. The Count is lying.
My past that he is trying to report on, there’s a ninety nine percent chance that it was a contrived trap.
“The report that came to me said Lady Irene Grace is a wanted fugitive criminal from the neighboring country of… Pangena.”
The Count spoke as if he were embarrassed.
“A wanted criminal?”
“Yes. A criminal who committed fraud and gambling… Of course I don’t believe that Lady Irene and the wanted criminal are the same person. There is no solid evidence either. However.”
Count Paras said vigorously.
“Once a suspicion arises, it will spiral out of control if it is not explained. It is regrettable that Lady Irene would suffer from this misunderstanding even before you are proven to be a Saintess.”
The Count continued with mixed eyes.
“Therefore, Lady Irene. Please tell us about what kind of life Lady Irene had before you were summoned to be a Saintess. In this way, you’ll be able to completely block this promiscuous misunderstanding.”
He spoke for a long time, but eventually Count Paras had only one intention. Calling me out to talk about my past from my own mouth.
“Hmm.” I nodded slowly, very slowly.
“You are right. Indeed, you are right.”
Count Paras’ thought circuit was roughly understandable.
Count Paras appeared as one of the imperial nobles in 『Saintess Doesn’t Know About Love』.
The imperialists were divided into two factions.
A faction that keeps Ian, who is the first heir of the Emperor’s successor and has outstanding ability and popularity, in check. And there’s the faction that stands up for Ian, hoping that he’ll be able to do more than what the Emperor has done so far.
The reason why the faction was divided was that the current Emperor did not express a clear position on Ian.
Anyway, Count Paras was a representative of the people who kept Ian in check.
Because he was a member of that faction, he would naturally conduct an investigation into my background as soon as he read the newspaper.
‘You must have thought it strange, because no matter how hard you investigated, you couldn’t dig up my past.’
If there was a past that was kept so tightly hidden, he would have thought it would be hiding something bad. He probably made this move with such expectations. It wasn’t a bad shot…
‘It wasn’t a good shot either.’
As I gently nodded, the Count seemed to be a bit perplexed for a moment. He quickly rearranged his expression and reached into his pocket for a piece of paper.
“Look at this wanted paper here.”
A portrait was painted on the wanted paper. It was a work from a sloppy portrait artist, as if they had just added features to a potato.
“The painter’s painting skills… I don’t think it’s very good.”
“Huh, hmm, I couldn’t get a clear sketch of the wanted criminal, so it turned into such an ambiguous portrait. But, with brown hair and green eyes, as well as the gender and age, they fit Lady Irene perfectly.”
Haa. I sighed softly.
As I said, Irene Grace was a very common name. The appearance of brown hair and green eyes were also common.
If you searched all over the continent, it would not have been impossible to find a criminal whose name overlapped with my physical characteristics.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I thought of the Count’s subordinates who most likely have worked all night to find such a criminal.