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His subordinate hesitated and looked at me.
“F-fi-first of all, what should I call you? I mean, can I call you Madam?”
“I’m not his wife!”
The subordinate stammered more as I became defiant and started to shout.
“But, you are the Commander’s lover, so….”
“I said I am not his lover!”
“Yes? Then it-it’s a one night fling…”
Ian raised his hand. His subordinate and I both shut our mouths at the same time.
Ian slowly swept his hand up his forehead. He didn’t say anything, but I could tell. That man was pissed off.
‘Of course you are mad.’
It was not surprising that even if he made hundreds of women cry with his face, Ian was actually a virgin. He kept his virginity throughout adulthood in order to become a cardinal.
It wasn’t bad enough that the virginity he had determinedly kept for so long was taken away from him in a single day by a woman he didn’t know; it was even publicized across the nation. Lucian said in a piteous voice.
“Someone seems to have planned well for this conspiracy. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have developed this quickly.”
As he looked at the picture, Ian burst out laughing. The picture depicted a couple, a disheveled brown-haired woman and a silver-haired man who appeared to be deeply in love.
“You got that right.”
Ian gritted his teeth. The newspaper was soon crumpled in his grip. Then Lucian said cautiously.
“Co-commander. It’s not true, but this picture taken was overly explicit…”
“Yeah. If you tried to spin it more, it would only look ridiculous.”
Ian slowly turned his head and looked at me. It was as if my spine had become as cold as frost, it seemed to be frozen by his cold eyes.
“Now we’re both in trouble, aren’t we?”
“You and I. I think we’re stigmatized as being in a relationship.”
Ugh, I heard his grinding teeth.
‘This is driving me crazy.’
Even though Ian was being sarcastic before, he still called me a saintess.
“If this continues like this….we will be dragged under.”
The special underground torture chamber dedicated to the Holy Knights…!
That’s something I wanted to avoid. I looked up at him and wore a virtuous expression on my face.
“I can’t believe that you’ve been through this… and I’m sorry on the behalf of God Elune. Sir, let’s calm down and come up with a plan together.”
“You.” Ian turned to address me.
“You seem like a con artist.”
‘Oh my, I am still lacking to act like a saintess.’
“I was very embarrassed. Who took the picture in such a short period of time and even tipped off the newspaper?”
“I’m 100% innocent! We need to find and put them in jail!”
I wet my lips and spoke as if I was really angry but I wasn’t actually upset. I couldn’t stop looking at him.
Anyway, I had to appeal that I had absolutely nothing to do with the people who spread this rumor around.
‘I feel like I’m in a gang with the person who took that photo! Oh, and I’m sure I’m on their side.’
I recalled the voice that told me to complete the mission. The voice that called me number 76.
Ian lowered his hand and slowly tilted his head to the side.
Crack, crack. The sound was insanely terrifying. I answered quickly and earnestly.
“Yes, Sir Ian.”
“I would have regarded you as an enemy and thrown you straight into the dungeon if it hadn’t been for the conversation we just had.”
Gulp. I swallowed my saliva.
To be honest, if I were Ian, I would have screamed and yelled to lock this spy up right now. However, the actual Ian only sighed lightly.
“But, our saintess succeeded in convincing me.”
Uh. I opened my eyes wide at the hopeful words.
“Since you’ve said ‘that information,’ I’m sure you’re bound to be a saintess. Well, the truth will be revealed in a week at the very least.”
That’s right, the saint verification process will take place in a week. I gave a single nod.
“Thank you for trusting me, Sir Ian.”
“Things have gotten so messy and dirty.”
I heard a grinding sound as soon as I said the word ‘dirty.’ I tried to be full of life and pretend I didn’t know anything in Ian’s eyes.
“For the time being, our saintess must accompany me.”
“Of course. For now, we’ll have to kiss each other and somehow put an end to this damn scandal.”
* * *
The capital of the Rehart Empire was turned upside down.
Many ladies shouted while squeezing the newspaper.
“The commander ha-ha-has a woman. Ah, I think I’m going to faint…”
“It’s such a vulgar photo…! Even if the sky falls, I thought you’d be everyone’s commander forever!”
Some of them gripped the newspapers close to their noses.
“Who is our opponent? I’ve never seen such a lady in social circles!”
“Do you think the commander had an accident with a foreigner?!”
“Aahh, I should’ve left it if I knew you were going to lose your virginity!”
“Who the hell is this Lady!”
The news quickly spread to the Imperial Palace.
“What’s happening here?.”
Rashid, the young Emperor of the Lehart Empire, raised the corners of his mouth.
“My younger brother makes all the women lose their rationality.”
“I never thought that the perfect Commander of the Holy Knights would cause this kind of accident.”
The Minister of Finance, Duke of Briott also shook his head. Rashid grinned.
“It is going to be noisy in the capital for a while. I think I should commend my younger brother for throwing bones at the people who are always hungry for entertainment.”
“Furthermore, Your Majesty. Will there be any surprises in the upcoming cardinal selection now that revelations have come to pass?”
Rashid shrugged his shoulders slowly.
“Well, it’s a pity. The doctrinal law is so strict that it can’t be helped. A believer who has lost their purity will not be able to reach the highest rank.”
“It’s really unfortunate. The Holy Knights’ Commander, who was a strong candidate for the Cardinal position, fell down like this…”
“All because of a woman. Haha, I can’t even tell what’s in store for me in human affairs.”
Loud laughter resounded throughout the meeting room.
* * *
Only I, Lucian, and Ian remained in the room after he rushed his subordinate out.
“The newspaper has already spread throughout the capital. I don’t think there’s any point in recalling it, Commander.”
Lucian spoke in a somber voice. Ian nodded slowly.
“Yeah. Now, I have only two options left…First, I tell the world that she is a swindler who was sent to get me into trouble, by digging up the saintess.”
Gulp. I swallowed saliva. To be honest, that was the best option for Ian right now.
It would be better for him to get a confession that I was a con artist hiding in Ian’s bedroom, even if he tortured me to receive it.
‘Honestly, it is the truth.’
“It is the most convenient for me, but not for the saintess.”
Ian said with a sly smile. I resolutely answered.
“…You said first, is there any second option?”
“Of course there is.”
“Please tell me.”
I said with earnestness. Ian didn’t answer me, but said something unexpected instead.
“…..No matter how much you think about it, to the point where it hurts your head, you really are a saintess…”
It was a voice that seemed reluctant, but considering the atmosphere… It seems that Ian trusts me to some extent.
I sighed inwardly in relief.
‘Bringing up the Emperor’s remains was successful.’
Ian seemed to have decided to trust me. I would have been dragged away without as much as a conversation if I hadn’t gained some trust in advance.
Even in the midst of all of this, he seemed to have a knack for maintaining a relaxed demeanor. Ian looked at me slowly and said,
“No one would believe the truth if I told them that the saintess appeared on my bed.”
“……That’s definitely true. Even if I stand by God Elune. Why did you drop me in such a place….haha, ha”
Ian shrugged his shoulders.
“I have no choice but to move on to the second method.”
Finally, I could hear the second method! I opened my eyes and listened to him.
“Admitting that I am in a relationship with the saintess.”
“Whatever it is, the second method is better than the first. It’s probably a lot more- Yeah? Yes? I beg your pardon?”
Ian folded his eyes and laughed as if he liked my bewilderment.
“I gather that you’re in agreement.”
“Excuse me, hold on a second! Why does the story turn out like that!”
“Don’t you think it’s much better to have a pure image rather than to be considered promiscuous by the people?”
“But it’s weird that the plan changed like this! Aren’t you supposed to fight rumors? Nothing happened between us! That rubbish journalist, no- Are you going to just give in to the reporter’s outrageous claims!”
“Rumors are so powerful that it’s easier to go along with them rather than fight a losing battle.”