Chapter 8: The New Vow and the Unexpected Reunion
「The Cathedral…? 」
My eyes became wide open as my chewing tobacco fell on the floor from my mouth.
Cathedral. In this country, Gharast is the religious organization under the direct control of the King; most people belong to the Gharast Church. The Cathedral once belonged to the previous dominant religion based on Confucianism, but has since been repurposed to the new faith.
If I think about it, I never thought of asking God’s help. However, I do remember hearing that they are a double-faced organization, going to night taverns to collect money by imposing their power as the King’s protégées.
「So, it’s the Cathedral. I didn’t know they “relocated” women. But, it might be a good choice after all. Yes, good. At least it is much better than being bought by some rich man in the red-light districts. 」
After Ariene finished rolling the bandages around my shoulder, I took another bite from the chewing tobacco. This helped me relieve some anxiety.
My head still thinks about the relocation. The Cathedral. It is a better destination than many others are, that’s for sure. Instead of other types of labor, I am sure they won’t overuse the body and spirit of the people working for them.
Yet, it feels strange. In the Cathedral only people from aristocracy or an equivalent status would be allowed to attend the place. It seems suspicious that an organization with such high standards would want a child from an orphanage.
「…people say that Ariene’s magic powers are very special. I think the High Priest has great expectations of her. I am not aware of what happens inside, but this doesn’t seem like a bad opportunity. 」
Ms. Ninz spoke while looking at Ariene, who slightly lowered her eyes in return.
My face hardened when Ariene stared at me. Yet…
「Listen, I couldn’t be happier. My childhood friend is going to the Cathedral. I don’t mind letting you go if it’s that place. 」
「…well, if it’s a normal job, then I will be pleased. It’s just…I still don’t understand why Ms. Ninz insisted so much on sending me there. 」
Her voice and her eyes kept giving me signals. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but this just gets more and more suspicious.
Ms. Ninz started laughing.
「Come on, sounds like you are doubting my intentions. Of course, I’m not a great person, but I’m also not a bad person who would trap cute children like you. 」
Ms. Ninz blinked her eyes constantly and ended up sitting on a chair. Her expression was normal and I couldn’t grasp any abnormal signs. That’s right, this is what it used to be. When she joked, I could never guess if she was indeed joking or if she was sarcastic. That’s why I couldn’t fully trust a person like her. There was always something odd. Something that I could not guess. This person was surrounded in mysteries. This woman was named Ninz.
「Ah, that’s correct. It is just as you are thinking Lugis. It was me who went to speak with the church’s authorities. But…I didn’t know she would be relocated to the Cathedral itself. This is what really happened. 」
I nodded and agreed to what she said.
This church usually divides in two different categories; the first one is the religion itself and the belief propaganda. The second one is the headquarters located in the Cathedral’s direct jurisdiction. People often comment that the location where the religious organization gathers is inside there. They usually make decisions about the church itself from all areas across the Kingdom.
「About the Cathedral, you know. Is Ariene going to stay in the north jurisdiction? 」
「You are exaggerating about the north if you speak that negatively. Just think of me going for a “bride in training”. I actually wouldn’t mind that to happen though! 」
Ariene spoke before Ms. Ninz could answer my question.
My fingertips started trembling as I tried to pick up the dropped tobacco. When I realized, my mind was unknowingly upset.
What is this uneasy situation? If she goes to the north jurisdiction, it will be extremely far away from here. Besides that, she will be in the Cathedral, so it will be difficult to meet her in person in the first place. In the end, the best viable way to talk with her is through correspondent letters. If that happens, then I won’t be able to meet up with her until we both join the Rescue Party.
That’s not good. I can’t let that happen. Because if we only end up meeting afterwards, it means that it’s a repeat of the same events that happened in the future. That man. A man claiming to be a carrier made me give up from my life and sent me here. So this course is not acceptable. In order to change my life and in order to not repeat the same mistakes, I was given this chance.
I was pressing my lips tight. I strengthened my eyes. My body was stiff; the head was exploring ways to find solutions.
「…that’s surprising. I can’t believe that Lugis is making a very serious face. Could you please relax for a moment? 」
Ariene could see through my sad feelings that we won’t be able to see each other for a while, and she responded to Ms. Ninz.
「Naturally, if not, he wouldn’t make a face like that. 」
She spoke while holding her head down.
I was surprised to see Ariene smiling with both loneliness and joy. I can’t believe she still finds some joy during a situation like this.
Her white cheeks turned slightly red.
「…don’t worry about me and take care of yourself Lugis. Just focus on becoming a great adventurer. 」
「She’s right. That’s the most important thing now. 」
Ms. Ninz added some more words.
「This country has awarded countless adventurers for their achievements. I remember an adventurer called Permilis who was given permission to be baptized in the Cathedral after his innumerous feats. It was honorable. The more experienced and capable adventurer you become, the easier it will be for you to meet Ariene. 」
That’s very easy to say. The world of adventurers is not that simple. It is like trying to grasp stars in the sky. Many adventurers despair while others lose their lives. In order to succeed, talent alone is not enough; one must have luck from the Goddess of Fate, and mostly be at the right time and moment.
I stood up and tried moving my shoulder lightly. I could no longer feel pain.
「Thank you for your help, Ariene. 」
From my bag, I took a pastry and gave it to Ariene. She was feeling a little down, but she accepted my gift happily and responded.
「You like these sweets as well. I am surprised to get this reward from you when I clearly remember that these would disappeared instantly because you would eat them all. 」
I laughed with my mouth wide open, making the chewing tobacco on my mouth visible to all. Ariene looked at my silly face and laughed as well.
「You’re the same fool as you always have been. Thank you, I will definitely eat it. Are you going to stay here today? 」
It seems that Ms.Ninz also wants me to stay as she points to the vacant room at the end of the hallway. However, I can’t accept their offer. Yes, I ended up coming here and hear their stories, but I can’t let myself be immersed in the memories of the past.
「I can’t. I need to get back…You know. I’m going to become a successful adventurer. Just wait until you see me again, I’ll prove it to you. Who knows if by then I’ve become a great Knight or something. 」
I managed to say that but I laughed as if I was throbbing.
Ariene looked closely at me, she felt a bit hesitant at first but finally spoke as if she was somewhat relieved.
「If you say so, then please be safe. I’ll be waiting for you Lugis. I’ll give this present to you, our future Knight. 」
She grabbed my hand and gave me a pale red handkerchief. This always been Ariene’s favorite piece. I remember that she cherished this handkerchief like a treasure from a very young age.
Ariene nodded positively as she closed my hand with her precious handkerchief.
「It’s okay. I might not be able to take my personal belongings to the Cathedral. 」
She continued talking.
「*laughs nervously* A lady lends her handkerchief to a Knight; the Knight wears it and fights his own battles; he finally comes back and returns the handkerchief back to the lady. Sounds like chivalrous romance, doesn’t it? So, I don’t mind if you take this piece on your journey as an adventurer. 」
「Oh my, I ended up bringing it with me. 」
I was walking on the main road with the handkerchief on my wrist; as I looked at it I started smiling involuntarily. It was a silly story but I felt Ariene’s genuine feelings.
Apart from the fact that I returned to the past, I had no real ambition to be a great adventurer. After all, there is no way I can substitute my real self no matter what timeline I live in. It’s impossible for ordinarily people to suddenly become geniuses just because they have more knowledge about how the world functions. Rats don’t become beautiful cats after all.
However, this might not be case any longer. I can’t let the same cycle duplicate itself. In order to meet Ariene again, I must avoid repeating the same future.
While I was set my mind to this new vow, I went to a tavern on my way back.
「Hey, Lugis… 」
Who called my name, I don’t see my master around here, and the owner is standing there attending other customers; as he looked at me, he said to other employees.
「We have a new customer… 」
As I stepped inside, the owner pointed his finger to a table occupied by someone.
It was a fine looking table at the back of the tavern. The person who sat there was no other than Caria Burdnick, showing me an intimidating smile from afar.
I just made a new resolution in my life but it seems my downfall might be right here.
In the next episode of dragon ball z, will Lugis finally get over his complex over Caria, or will Caria dominate Lugis with her tsundere powers?
Find out next time on dragon ball z.