Chapter 105: Temporary Deferment
“…God has chosen us to do good deeds toward powerless people.”
Matia no longer remembered whether it was her parents or the heraldic priest who spoke those words. However, Matia felt that someone had told her these words many times when she was young. But, most of the things related to her childhood were buried at the root of her memory.
The Heraldic religion worshipped knowledge and wisdom. The truth of this world was the ongoing quest, and the coat of arms of the Heraldic Order pointed to this characterization. In order words, the essence of the doctrine taught by the Heraldic Order.
The more one kept that doctrine in mind, the farther away the Heraldic religion was from good or bad intentions. Those belonging to this religion had to forsake their judgmental ideas about whether knowledge was good or bad, or if reason was good or bad. Those of the Heraldic Order had to seek all knowledge and wisdom, regardless of their nature.
However, that did not mean that accumulation was the only thing that mattered. Knowledge was not regarded as something superficial. Such, as it was no different from stacking gold coins without the need for riches.
Matia narrowed her eyes and distorted her lips.
“Accumulation of knowledge, but for the good of the people. Yes, I have been taught that before.” Matia thought.
Accumulation of knowledge in order for people to be better and in order for people to be healthier. That was the origin of the Heraldic religion.
Therefore, Matia believed that it was good to help people and take their hands. To open their hearts and souls. To do good no matter what type of resources or statuses these people had in their lives.
Of course, she also understood there were times when that was not possible. Matia was not someone naive. However, it felt painful to use people indiscriminately. Sometimes it caused her great pains. There were times when the depths of her heart sank in sorrow.
Sometimes, Matia confessed to God the times she trampled on the people’s good will.
Matia believed that these feelings were common to all human beings.
The slaughterers, the thieves, the heretics, the outlaws. Even though these people had no better lives due to unavoidable circumstances, they still trampled on the innocent. Matia questioned whether these people had good intentions or not. Was their root wicked? That’s why Matia felt the need to trample on them too. She felt sorry for the innocent, but not sorry for these unlawful people.
That’s the reason why Matia couldn’t understand the need to help everyone in need, even those whom she trampled on, such as helping Lugis.
She knew that the human being named Lugis was someone whose thoughts were twisted by distortion. The words Lugis mentioned earlier may be his own twist.
Still, those words got stuck somewhere deep in Matia’s heart.
「…Saint Matia. Is something wrong? 」
Matia involuntarily raised her eyelids upon hearing the caring voice of her aide, Largud Ann. A parchment stood in front of Matia. She was apparently writing on it. There was a large amount of ink stains left there. Apparently, she lost consciousness for a while. She stopped writing right at the beginning of the parchment.
Suddenly, Matia spoke, after leaking a sigh in the back of her throat.
「I’m sorry, Ann. It seems that my mind got empty. Can you give me plain hot water?」
Ann went through the door of the office room, showing a worried expression on her face. She was worried about Matia’s health, and Matia knew this too. Therefore, she asked Ann to bring a glass of water to appease her worries.
Matia sighed while holding her finger between her eyebrows. After a while, she breathed deeply again.
The watchtower located inside the Great Walls of Garoua Maria. This watchtower was the main residence of those who now lead the Heraldic Order, the Saint Matia. This place was the easiest location to respond to an emergency. Even if the enemy tried to invade the city, being in this place made it easier to command the soldiers. With that in mind, Matia designated this place strategically as her office.
However, Matia touched her shoulder with her own hand. She felt confused. Perhaps, she even felt that it might have been a mistake.
The interior of this watchtower, which was basically built by stacking stones, got very cold. If someone was not careful, their fingertips would freeze in a blink of an eye. Matia felt cold as iron sometimes.
Especially if she worked late at night, that alone could freeze her entirely.
However, Matia couldn’t take a rest. After all, she was the only person who could be the central figure. Ann or even other personal retainers worked well enough, but they were not the leaders. Therefore, only Matia could do the specific job of a leader.
The city still didn’t have the ability to replenish supplies, nor did it establish a network of contacts with the allied Ghazalia. Other matters had great importance as well, such as responding to emergencies, handle the sick, and deal with merchants. Therefore, all of these matters were sent to the watchtower of the city, under the leadership of Saint Matia.
“My head is hot.” Matia wondered why she felt this way.
Matia knew from her excellence that she could handle everything, including small affairs. Matia even endured the betrayal at the Elf Kingdom, and took part in the rebellion that succeeded in overthrowing the old government.
If she couldn’t handle everything with her cold mind, then everything would have been lost. All she had to do was do her best to keep everything in order. Of course, she had feelings. Sometimes paperwork was too much for her. If she wanted, she could give some of this work to her retainers. However, as the Saint and as someone proud, she could not afford to do that. Matia had to endure the dissatisfaction sometimes, and she had to surpass obstacles sometimes. She knew that perfectly well. Therefore, she had to continue to abuse her body and soul for the sake of her religion. For the sake of being the Saint. Negligence was not allowed.
For this reason, every minute was precious to Matia. She could not miss any hour, minute or second on trivial things. How many issues did she have to fix? Many of them.
Matia forgot the heat in her brain. Overwork was something that became part of her. However, even hotter than that, was the burning in her chest.
“Why do I have to worry about that man? This is not the time for foolish feelings. How idiotic am I.” Matia thought deeply in her heart.
Her emotions were shaken, and she felt deeply humiliated about this fact. But the more she tried to forget everything and keep her emotions inside her chest, the more frustrated she became.
A Saint must not have the emotions shaken. By anything. This resolution was what Matia believed in order to become the Saint.
Her emotions could burst out and change her facial expressions, but she tried everything she could to wrap them all in a cloth. Matia knew that she had to proceed within reason and calculation. She had to bear this mask and endure. This was what a Saint should be as a leader.
Yet, these unwanted emotions were stronger than she thought they would be. Matia instinctively bit her lips and squeezed the pen with a strong grip. “So, am I now off the road as a Saint?”
“No, that’s wrong. I am not the one who’s the bad here. That man named Lugis is the evil one.”
“First, I went to see him as one of my allies even though I am extremely busy. But, what was that attitude? What is wrong with him?”
“As always, he jokes around and has that frivolous attitude. It’s hard to see what he has in mind. But, that attitude was disrespectable. He is far from being a gentleman.”
“Yes, that’s right. Most probably because of that attitude. I cannot control my emotions because of his spitting poison. That’s why my cheeks got red. But then, for some reason, I accepted his words obediently. Why?”
Matia felt as if a large number of emotions fought inside her own mouth. Confusion, irritation, hatred. Every single emotion swirled inside of her wide opened mouth.
Matia’s blood circulation increased and the palpitations of her heart accelerated. Her insides were full of fire and haste, and yet, she was not even moving her body.
“…I’m so busy that I can’t even see him properly. And when I finally saw him, those were the words he spoke to me? Where are the words of kindness?”
Yes, the moment these thoughts came into her head, Matia’s big eyes quivered.
“What was I thinking about now? Why am I letting anger and disappointment sparkle the insides of my chest?”
“No, that’s wrong. It can’t be. I am just resentful because I didn’t receive a normal greeting from that man. He is no longer a guest or a captive. He is now a formal ally. Therefore, he needs to behave with respect and honor. That’s why I felt indignation in my heart. Yes, that’s it.”
“Otherwise. Yes, if that wasn’t the case, then it would seem to others that I was expecting that man’s recognition. As if I wanted to be praised by that man.”
Matia didn’t know what was happening with her. She gently touched her cheeks. Up until now, her brain seemed to boil with too much work and responsibility, but this time, her cheeks were the ones being hot. She felt that she was not feeling well.
At that time, a light noise echoed in Matia’s ears. Ann appeared with a glass of water. Matia coughed to clear her throat, straightened her face and smiled at Ann.
「Thank you, Ann. You should go and sleep. I will rest after I finish this paperwork.」
Ann nodded upon hearing Matia’s words, but then, she anxiously distorted her lips.
「…I understand, Lady Saint. But, you see… 」
Matia rounded her eyes in a quiet manner. Ann was a clever girl. She knew that this was not the moment for more words.
After a short moment, Ann opened her mouth again, as she glanced at her surroundings timidly.
「No, it’s nothing…Tomorrow, we will have a meeting with the messengers from Ghazalia, so please go rest early today.」
With that said, Ann quickly left the office room with an uneasy feeling. However, she could not talk about it, and tried to cover it up.
Matia mysteriously touched her lips as if her mind were about to wander again. However, she held the pen once more to clear up the impeding work.
Occasionally, the movement of the pen would stop. Matia couldn’t figure out whether the pen stopped moving because of fatigue or because of the emotional fluctuations that made her chest burn.
EN: What are you doing to these girls Lugis…
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!