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“Excuse me, Sir Lucian.”
“Yes, go ahead.”
“What will happen if I reject Sir Ian’s offer?”
Lucian grimaced then laughed as if he was in trouble.
“Perhaps the Commander will continue to make proposals to the Saintess in order to reach an agreement.”
“I guess so.”
“….and personally, I would like the Saintess to accept Commander Ian’s offer. I apologise for saying this.”
No. I shook my head.
Of course, Lucian would prefer that. He has lived with Ian for nearly two decades, being his loyal servant and right-hand man.
Ian’s failure to become a Cardinal would create a significant impact, even to Lucian; his decades of hard work will be in vain.
‘Becoming a Cardinal is to ascend to the highest rank in the Elune Church.’
In other words, it meant gaining the military power to control the Holy Knights Commander’s army.
In 『A Saintess Doesn’t Know About Love』, as soon as Ian became a Cardinal, he led the entirety of the Holy Knights to the Imperial Palace for a raid.
Ian’s vengeance was successful, not only because of his own abilities, but also because of the Holy Knights’ immense power.
“I understand that my request for the Saintess is unreasonable. However, people will gossip about you wherever you go, so you will tired of it.”
“But this is really important for the commander. As much as 10 million Mars will be yours without resistance.”
“Pardon, Sir Lucian.”
“You don’t have to use honorifics with me. Please speak comfortably to me.”
“Uh, well, then Sir Lucian.”
“Yes, Saintess. Please speak.”
I decided to ask something that has been bothering me for a while.
“Is Commander Ian completely eliminated from becoming the next Cardinal?”
Lucian nodded with a stiff face.
“Because it is the law that a person who is not pure does not deserve to be the supreme servant of the god Elune.”
My voice trailed off by the end of my words. Lucian, who was staring at me, said.
“Are you concerned about it? Saintess.”
“Um, probably. Yes.”
I admitted with a sigh.
“Honestly, Commander Ian becoming a Cardinal was very promising up until today. The youngest Commander of the Holy Knights and the youngest sword master… Everyone already looked at him as the next Cardinal.”
And Ian successfully became a Cardinal in the novel.
It was a simple matter of course. The God of this Empire, Elune, is also known as the God of Forces. The armed forces were naturally revered by the believers.
If the strongest Holy Knight becomes the Commander of the Holy Knight Division and stays in that position until the predecessor retires, he will be the next Cardinal without a doubt.
Lucian looked at me with a warm smile on his face.
“Thank you for worrying about our Commander, Saintess. Even the Saintess must be troubled right now, in many ways. Saintess is a very warm person.”
No, It’s not because I’m concerned; it’s because it’s my fault. I stealthily avoided Lucian’s eyes because I had a bad conscience. Lucian laughed and said,
“However, you don’t have to worry too much. The Commander might not be able to become a cardinal, but that doesn’t mean he’ll lose his place to someone else.”
I squinted my eyes. What are you talking about?
At that precise moment, Information that I passed over in the novel flashed through my mind like a thunderbolt.
「The first qualification to become a Cardinal is to be the strongest. The second qualification is to be a sword master.」
That’s not all, in the novel there was something even more advantageous for Ian as a candidate for Cardinal.
This was a time when the quantity of upcoming and current sword masters were at an all-time low.
“Currently, the Commander is the only sword master on this continent. So if the Commander fails to become a Cardinal, the position will remain vacant.”
“I see! Wait, what happens then…”
There was only one reason why Ian wanted the Cardinal position. The reason was to gain the Cardinal’s military power of Eluneism.
But if the Cardinal doesn’t exist…..
‘The army will be directly under the command of the Commander of the Holy Knights, who is in a position below the Cardinal!’
Oh My God. That was it. I opened my mouth wide.
I could see why Ian wasn’t as angry as I had thought.
‘It was because a Plan B existed.’
It was true that Ian’s plans were disrupted because of me.
The fact that his seemingly flawless image was stained would be a huge blow. But other than military power, the Cardinal position does not have anything else beneficial to him.
However, as the Commander of the Holy Knights, Ian was still able to gain military power.
‘No wonder! He didn’t try to kill me at all!’
I breathed a deep sigh of relief. We walked while continuing to talk, and soon we arrived at the end of the hallway.
There was a large door right in front of us.
“This is the temporary residence where the Saintess will stay for the time being.” Lucian said, opening the door.
I looked into the room and opened my eyes wide.
‘Wow… it’s beautiful.’
The room was lovely and spacious, and it was nicely decorated, with white as the main color. As I frantically looked around the room, Lucian said something to me.
“Formal residences will be provided after the Saintess verification process.”
‘This a temporary residence?’
‘How much better would a formal residence be?’
“Do you have any more questions, Saintess?”
“No, I think this is enough for now.”
“If you have any other questions, please call me at any time. A believer and an escort will arrive soon to serve the Saintess. Don’t be surprised if someone knocks on the door.”
Lucian left the room with a soft smile, then only silence remained in the room.
‘I am alone.’
As soon as I realized it, my whole body seemed to lose strength. Because of the incidents that occurred in succession for several hours, I must have been very tired. I staggered over to the bed and collapsed on it.
“Wow, it’s insanely fluffy”
The bed was more luxurious than any bed I had ever laid on.
Is this really a temporary residence? I would gladly live here for the rest of my life, if I was told to.
‘I have to consider Ian’s proposal…’
My eyelids quickly became heavy from excessive fatigue. This was not the time to take a nap. It was reason enough to forcefully pinch my thighs and try to stay awake.
—Hello, Number 76.
A cold voice rang in my ears.
I covered my ears and looked back. There was no one there but a dark shadow swaying.
“A-a demon? A monster?”
My heart was beating like crazy.
As I tried to calm myself down, I could hear a titter from the shadow.
—Don’t be afraid. I am here to tell you that you are doing a great job.
— By the way, you didn’t make a report.
The shadow slowly came to me. The dark shadow that was just around the corner whispered insidiously.
—The superiors have high expectations of you. It would be better for you not to delay it further.
—Um, Could it be that you’ve changed your mind? No, I don’t think so. You have nothing in this world, not even your family.
As the shadow drew closer, a chill surrounded my body. I barely fixed my trembling chin.
—All right, number 76. I’m looking forward to the future. Don’t let me down. A scandal alone will not be enough to bring down one person, right? Make sure you take care of it.
—Remember. Your life is in our hands. Wherever you go, you can’t get away from us. You may have forgotten, so we will remind you again.
At the same time, there was a burning pain in my thigh.
—The curse we placed on you is still in effect. The deadline is this year. You have to end him this year. Politically… well, or his life itself.
—Well then, do it well.
With those words, the shadow disappeared like smoke.
I breathed heavily. Cold sweat dripped off my body like rain.
‘What-what was that?’
I raised my trembling hand forcing it into a fist and somehow managed to move my heavy head.
‘The owner of that voice doesn’t want to release me.’
Besides, their voice said ‘we’. It meant there was not only one enemy.
I struggled to calm myself down. But to be honest, I was so scared. The sight of the black shadow with a human-like figure was terrifying when I recalled it.
If they’re capable of penetrating the church, they must be powerful wizards.
‘What should I do?’
Should I ask Ian for help? No, that was impossible. Ian wouldn’t believe the story of me waking up in an unknown body in a world I didn’t know. No, not only Ian, but no one would trust me.
‘If I were to ask for help hastily, it would only provide proof that I was a spy.’
There was no one to ask for help. A sense of helplessness and fear strangled me.
Simultaneously, memories that did not belong to me flooded my mind.
‘Now let me go. If it was due to debt that my parents sold me, I’ll make money and give it to you.’
This was ‘my’ voice. In other words, the real voice of number 76.
‘I’ was begging someone. Desperation and despair filled ‘my’ heart.
‘A debt? That’s ridiculous. Your mother has sold you for some money, now you belong to us forever. If you want to run away, then run away. Don’t you know that death is imminent for traitors? Even after you die, even your body will keep being ours.’
‘I’ was sad. It was miserable.
‘I’ had been sold to this dark guild, ‘Nine,’ since ‘I’ was young, so young that ‘I’ can’t even remember.
The moment ‘I’ was sold to Nine, ‘my’ identity was erased. ‘I’ became a non-existent being in this world. It was worse than being a slave.
The guild treated ‘me’ like an animal. A life that carries out and fulfills missions received from superiors.
‘I’ couldn’t even make friends. Since ‘I’ changed ‘my’ appearance every time ‘I’ was on a mission, no one knew who ‘I’ really was.
‘I’ was unhappy. ‘I’ wanted to escape from this world.
‘I’ wanted to leave for a new world, a new world with no guild nor a God who left ‘me’ in pain.
So ‘I’ said, ‘The night before the mission begins-’
I came out from the flashback.
‘What was that towards the end?’
‘What did ‘I’ do?’
It was a very disappointing ending.