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“So that I, Saintess Irene, can completely disappear from this world. Please help me in preventing everyone who knows me, including Sir Ian, from looking for me.”
“If you agree, I will happily become your fiancée. For one year.”
One year was an appropriate time limit.
After completing hard calculations while walking down the hallway, Ian should accomplish his plan exactly 10 months later.
He will gather the entire troops of Holy Knights and attack the Imperial Palace. Ian would not need a fake fiancée once he becomes Emperor, having already gone crazy by that point.
But for some reason, Ian didn’t answer immediately.
“That’s a pretty … that’s a strange demand. Would you tell me why?”
“No.” I said firmly.
He clenched his teeth and looked straight up at me. Ian held a strange expression as he responded.
“Are you sure?”
“It is a difficult condition to comprehend, but if you really want to…”
“All right. If you promise me that, we’ll make a deal!” I reached out my hand saying that.
Ian just stared at my hand for a few moments, saying nothing.
What? Don’t you know how to shake hands in this world? That’s right, you don’t. As I wiggled my fingers in embarrassment, a large hand grabbed mine. His body was warm, in contrast to his cold appearance.
I grabbed it and shook it up and down with satisfaction.
“I’m looking forward to your cooperation. When will the contract be ready?”
“I’ll bring it to you right away. Lucian.”
Lucian eventually returned with a dark purple manastone. My eyes gleamed as I recognized the magical stone.
‘An immutable contract.’
A contract that was made with that stone – a stone of contract – had to be kept no matter what.
If you do not comply, the price is the contractor’s soul. Their soul would be dragged into the void, leaving only their body behind.
The penalty is clear, and so is the reliability.
Immutable contracts had the highest value of all contracts. It’s most likely worth the cost of a decent home.
I could see that Ian was willing to fulfill his promises just by bringing this contract stone.
“Would that be all right? Even if I proceed with this as an immutable contract?”
I raised the corners of my lips confidently.
“Are you really confident, Sir Ian? Will you keep all of your promises?”
“Of course.” Ian smirked.
“Fine, then I’ll sign the contract. Sir Ian will abide by the three conditions I mentioned earlier and I will-”
“You will be my fake wife for a year.”
Suddenly, as if remembering something, Ian added.
“Without two legs.”
[T/N: It’s an idiomatic expression of two-time, which means betray, cheating or deceive.]
…Why do you keep obsessing over it? It was a bit absurd, but I nodded my head.
“Okay. Include that. So, the contract is completed, right?”
We put our palms together on the contract stone. Dark blue magic gushed out of the stone at the same time, enveloping us.
‘I’m glad it’s not a system where you have to write your real name on a contract stone.’
I had such a useless thought while watching the sacred spectacle.
* * *
“Are you okay, Commander?”
Lucian followed after him with a worried face.
“The Saintess did not request unreasonable terms, but it would be preferable to use the immutable contract as little as possible—”
“The shackles from this contract must be put on for sure.”
Ian gently frowned as he remembered Irene’s face as she reached out to him. Throughout this strange day, she was the strangest thing.
Ian thought back to the moment he opened his eyes for the first time today.
First, it was his sense of smell that detected abnormalities. There was a strange smell on the tip of his nose. The scent of another person’s flesh. Mixed in, there was also a faint scent of bath salts.
Something was wrong.
The moment he realized it, he heard a strange voice.
A voice that trembled like a deer about to be hunted. His heart went cold in an instant. He now had the intruder in his arms.
‘What’s this, who are you?’
Ian was already tightening his right hand as he asked.
So he could control and subdue the strange deer’s neck at any time. With big green eyes, the intruder looked up at Ian and, shaking her lips aimlessly, said.
The strength was drained from his grasp as soon as he heard the greeting, trembling like a leaf in the wind. What kind of intruder would say something so stupid.
Am I dreaming? Isn’t this reality?
Ian would have been able to subdue the woman faster than breathing if that stupid thought hadn’t crossed his mind.
But Ian couldn’t do that. It was a mistake to be so careless at that time.
‘Things would have gone a lot easier if I had suppressed my hesitation.’
Ian hated being faced with something unexpected. But he also understood that he needed to be able to accept the variables created by overlapping coincidences.
A corresponding, unexpected variable was the woman.
‘Please help me disappear.’
…and it was a bit of a strange variable.
‘So that I, Saintess Irene, can completely disappear from this world.’
Ian shook his head to disregard useless memories. It was time to prepare himself for this variable and deal with it.
He didn’t completely trust her statement. But there was no doubt about it, the ‘evidence’ that Irene described was not something a con artist could discover.
“Anyway, the Saintess’ power is amazing. I can’t believe she even got that information.”
Lucian said with a serious expression as he had also considered it at the time.
“……Yes, it was amazing.”
“Isn’t this Saintess’ power extraordinary?”
Otherwise, he would have been in trouble. Because Ian’s plan could not be discovered by anyone. Even if the opponent was a saintess.
“I suppose so. I suppose so.”
When Irene discovered that the emperor’s remains were sleeping beneath his mansion, Ian had to carry her in one boat alongside him.
Or remove her completely.
“Anyway, did you notice it Commander? I could smell the residual effects of magical power when the Saintess returned earlier.”
“You did too?”
She had a faint smell. Those were traces left from Irene herself or someone nearby who used magic.
‘I didn’t think she was capable of using magic.’
Besides, when Irene returned to the office, her face looked strangely different. It was as if she had been chased by someone.
Ian tapped the desk with his fingers.
Obviously, that woman wasn’t just a naive person. It was clear that she was hiding something from Ian.
‘I’ll try to figure out what her plan is.’
She might be scared if he tries to dig it out forcibly. She appeared to be more surprised than she looked.
“Prepare for the most luxurious engagement.”
First of all, he was thinking of making his fake wife, who has already appeared in articles, as the most gorgeous bride in the Empire.
The title of ‘Innocent Holy Knight Commander’ has slipped out of his hands. If you have lost something, you must also gain something.
The title, ‘A man who loves a woman so much that he throws away his virginity that he has kept his whole life,’ would also be an effective image to win over the public opinion.
* * *
I fell flat on the bed. A blanket filled with feathers wrapped around me softly. I rolled to the side, half-conscious, drunk on the softness. No matter how much I rolled, the bed didn’t end.
Indeed, it was a matter of course. Because I was a Saintess who appeared for the first time in fifteen years.
My heart was pounding with a heavy feeling of pressure. I stopped lying around and opened the book I acquired earlier. It was a book that Lucian brought back for me.
‘That man seemed very concerned when I said that I was a runaway slave.’
Although I was born a slave, Lucian was relieved when I told him that I learned to read as a child before being sold into slavery.
He then went to the library and borrowed books like 『History of the Empire』 and 『Evangelism of Empires』 which he thought would be useful for learning basic knowledge of the Empire.
‘I mean, he is a very thoughtful person.’
It was no wonder that such a capable aide was paired with such a terrifying person.
Anyways, I decided to take a look at the books Lucian had lent me. Although I read the original novel, I still didn’t fully understand this world.
“That’s right, now, First of all, 『History of the Saints』.”
Looking at the table of contents, it seemed to be a book about the past saintess’ abilities and stories.
I almost opened it on the back and read about the most recent saintess.
Born as the second daughter of Count Bernadette, she was determined to be a saintess at the age of seven. Being born with a golden spoon and growing up to be a saintess, she seemed to have accumulated many virtues in her previous life.
“Her ability…to make flowers bloom?”
What, flowers? I tilted my head. That’s a bit simple for an ability.
The question was resolved after a while. It was written that drinking the flowers bloomed by Cordelia in a decoction as a tea would have a great energizing effect.
“Wow… that’s amazing.”
That was a very useful ability.
Laurel Lai, a saintess who was called by god before Cordelia, also had outstanding abilities. The ability to heal!
Although there was a time limit, she had to treat the wound within ten minutes. It was still an amazing ability.
“They’re all… worthy of the name of a saintess.”
I broke out in a cold sweat a little.
Saintess Irene must also have great abilities to match with them.
I’m really good at catching bugs…..but, actually I…
I was a Computer Science Major student until I opened my eyes in this strange world today.
I didn’t have much talent for coding, I was only motivated to find where the bug occurred.
‘But, how do you use that power here?’
I buried my head in the pillow and groaned.
It’s good that I saved my life by pretending to be a saintess, but there was still a problem.
“I was able to pass on the knowledge I had read from the original when I spoke to Ian.”
Will I be able to keep up this scam for a whole year?