Chapter 69: The Saint Woman’s Anguish
Matia’s eyebrows wrinkled slightly and her lips quivered.
In the darkness, Matia gently suppressed her emotions. She didn’t want others to notice her unsettling feelings. Therefore, she tried her hardest not to lose her dignified expression. She felt burning feelings, such as shame, which furiously burnt her heart.
She felt embarrassed with herself. Why would she think about her emotions like a fool, rather than think with a coherent mind? She felt that this degree of stupidity was too much for her.
Matia understood that her strength resided within her reason and calculation.
She believed that she had to always show a sanctified expression on her face, while burying a poisonous scorpion in her chest. She was required to behave as a Saint since childhood. She swallowed that fact for many times. So many times, that she began to believe on her own facade. Rather, she felt that emotions were useless things. There was no way that she would expose her own emotions because she had none.
Yet, her white cheeks were fiery red. Why was she upset?
“…don’t feel the need to thank you, nor do I appreciate that gesture…No, in fact, I resent you for what happened.”
The swinging carriage gave a strange sensation to her knees. Matia’s cheeks were desperate to prevent highlighting of her unwanted feelings. She tried to tighten her cheeks.
Ah, so angry. She felt so angry. The hatred that had been sitting on her shoulders could slip away at any moment. She was a woman who lost everything, and at the same time, she got her own salvation to live and die as a Saint.
Even if the result was the eventual collapse of Heraldic Order. It didn’t matter to her how much this awfulness was inflicted on her soul as their Saint. Rather than lamenting, she would rather feel satisfied because she had a moment of pleasure. Yes, a moment of glory.
But, that was one possible outcome, and nothing more. Matia had no choice but to focus on her own actions. Even if she felt an increasing hatred boiling in her chest, she believed that she had to forsake these thoughts in order to move forward.
She firmly believed that her body, which was no longer “alive”, must fulfill its obligations as a Saint until the very end.
At the very least, she’d like to thank the plain blessings that came with the help of the adventurer named Lugis. If possible, to continue to use him for her great purpose. Matia understood this coherent thought very well. That was the best path and the best decision. Indeed, to have him by her side would be the best course of action to take.
However, the burning feelings swirling in her chest simply didn’t allow her to behave that way.
That was one thing. While this was the other thing. In order words, all of this confusion was because he was Lugis after all.
Pathetic. One who had been trained as a Saint mustn’t have such an upsetting mind. She knew that she wasn’t alone. The Heraldic escorts were following the carriage. Afterwards, Matia bit her lips again, unnoticed to others.
In fact, Lugis saved Matia. In that part, she felt no problem in giving him thanks. Nonetheless, she could never forget that time. The words that scratched through Matia’s chest were still alive in her head.
“…Nope, this isn’t the time to face the Saint woman. At least, not yet.”
Matia thought the following, “I am a Saint forever. Yes, no matter what happens.” Matia was always a Saint. Nevertheless, that man tried to deny her authenticity as a holy woman.
No, it wasn’t the only thing in her heart. After all, she had gratitude towards him for saving her life, but at the same time, she felt a huge grudge because he deprived her of dying as a holy person. To be a martyr. To be released of all responsibilities through the form of death. Ah no, she didn’t know why she was behaving like this. It was the first time she felt this way.
In her head, these two perceptions were making different claims. Matia involuntarily blinked her eyes and tilted her head because of the continuous whirling of emotions.
It was as if she was back into her childhood where she couldn’t control her emotions. Before wearing the mask of heavenly reason, she was just a human being. Yes, herself and not just a Saint.
Still, she couldn’t accept this fact. Matia tightened her expression once again.
She had undoubtedly lived as a Saint since the very beginning until the present days. That won’t change until she dies. Regardless of that resolution, Matia didn’t know why her emotions were disturbed so much by such a man.
In any case, she mustn’t expose the uneasiness of her feelings. Matia sighed lightly and moved her lips in order to adjust her breathing.
“…Why does he have a complaining expression on his face? He should be grateful enough to get even my recognition. He is just a mere hero after all.”
She closed her lips without saying any words. Her eyelids closed as well. Her cheeks stopped getting fiery red.
How odd. The words of defiance and the words of malice were wrapped together in a piece of cloth. A piece that swirled in both her mind and heart. Why is it that the only thing that crossed her mind at this time was the combination of reasoning and viciousness? Why did it feel like a mixture of poison? She never had the chance to ask her parents when she was young about what to do in moments of great turmoil.
She breathed again. This time in her head, she slowly composed the following words.
“…I’ll tell you boy. I don’t sleep. I won’t know what you’ll do if I’m sleeping.”
Matia didn’t speak until the dawn came.
It was almost time for the sun to open its eyes. Suddenly, the carriage stopped moving. I had just dumped the piece of chewing tobacco that no longer tasted good.
After all, I could hardly sleep at night. When I thought about the impeding attack from the Saint woman that stood close to me, I didn’t feel like falling asleep at all. Besides, the Saint woman looked somewhat different from normal. In the end, her strange behavior was like a distraction, and I ended up vigilant of my surroundings.
「Lady Saint…There’s a shadow of a beast in front of the carriage. 」
Said the escort while holding the reins of the horses.
At this moment, I looked ahead after hearing those words. I could see that the land was now mostly covered with vegetation. The terrain was inaccessible, and untouched by humans. It was undoubtedly the Elves’ territory. The carriage was also stuck in the pure terrain of nature. It was as if the wheels were broken. In fact, we might have naturally entered the realm of wild beasts and monsters.
Ahead of the carriage horses. There was a giant monkey sitting there.
It was much larger than a horse. In addition, it was not just big. Its eyes were eerie and brilliantly shining an ominously red hue. Its mouth was practically on its belly, although it was hidden in its fur. The muscles of its arms and legs were rough and bursting. It was as if each part of its body was made of steel. In fact, if one punched it, I was sure that one’s fingers would break immediately.
「Hmm… I’ve never seen anything like it before. I heard that a few types of monsters were on the rise, so perhaps, is that thing one of them?」
Caria appeared from the side of the carriage to see the supposed beast. Apparently, the shaking of the carriage awakened her eyes. Alternatively, did she wake up when she leaned her head to the side? Her silvery hair swung right next to her leaning face.
「Choose another detour. If we don’t have that option, then…we’ll have to push through.」
After hearing those words, the escort knights immediately searched for the surroundings. That was probably useless. The Elves’ territory was largely covered with trees, and they didn’t like humans destroying them down just to make passage way. This uneven and old path was created when this part of the territory belonged to the humans. But, that was a long time ago.
Matia stared slightly at me. Summing up, one had to resort to brute force in the event of an emergency, was that what she tried to say?
Let’s be honest. That thing was not a beast that an ordinary person like me could fight evenly and win. There was no doubt that a fully armed knight would confront this beast regardless of its threat. At first glance, it didn’t look like a threat, but this assumption was deadly wrong.
「Speaking of which, I remember that you are deeply knowledgeable about the new types of beasts and monsters. So, how about that thing? Or is your brain good at hiding things?」
Ah, Caria’s finger touched her head lightly. She seemed to be wondering if I was still hiding something. It was true that I hid things. Still, that wasn’t a sin, because every human had a secret of their own.
「Well. It would be better not touch it with your bare hands. It’s not good for us to step into the Elves’ territory with such a demon beast as an opponent.」
However, I stroke my chin with my fingers when I described that beast. Well, speaking of which, weren’t they rampant around the Elves’ territory by this time? It wasn’t that unexpected, but it was rather surprising.
Of course, it was just a matter of time. Inevitable. The world seemed unprepared for the upcoming catastrophe.
While I was immersed in my thoughts a strangely heavy air stroked the back of my lungs.
Hide your secrets better Lugis…
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!