Chapter 126: The Promised Day
Her field of vision was blurred. Ariene moved her eyelashes consecutively to disguise the heat that had accumulated in her eyes.
This was exactly the view she got when she opened her eyes in the water. The moisture in her eyes made the whole world oscillate. The surroundings were all shaking without stopping. This blurry scenery made her feel as if this world was not the real world.
Ariene remembered looking into the water many times when she was a child. She felt as if the water was the entrance to another world.
It was still the same now. The view that oscillated in her eyes and the view she had through the window of the carriage felt like very different world.
Ariene’s big golden eyes were as hot as her eyelashes. This heat created a dull pain that crawled from the core of her head. This pain consumed her entire brain.
He was within Ariene’s reach. Lugis, the childhood friend whom Ariene grew up with, lived with, and promised to meet again. He was now within her reach, closer than she may have thought. Her emotions ran through her spine as the carriage swung by the road.
However, Ariene’s legs did not move as if they were iron rods. Her throat was stagnant and hindered her from speaking.
The mercenary city of Belfein. The place where she was destined to be according to the revelation of the great sacred god Altius.
The great sinner Lugis may have set foot in this city. When Ariene first heard this story, her heart jumped tremendously in two very different ways.
One was the joy that overflowed in her heart. She could finally meet her childhood friend Lugis again. The other one was the upsetting feelings that pierced her heart. Ariene wondered what she should do if her childhood friend was now under the command of the Heraldic religion.
“If Lugis is the enemy of the Great Holy Church, how should I act as a candidate for the Great Holy Church’s Saint? Should he be my enemy or my childhood friend? Should I ask why he is working with the Heraldic religion?”
“I don’t understand. There are so many things that I don’t understand.”
Perhaps, Ariene’s anxieties were just the melancholy of her heart. It was highly possible that Lugis was still in the orphanage back in the Gharast Kingdom.
Therefore, Ariene decided to go see the person who closely resembled the great sinner. If the person was Lugis himself, no matter what kind of position she held and no matter what kind of feelings she had, Ariene intended to tell Mordeaux the truth, the Lord of Belfein.
“…Everything must be a misunderstanding. He is not the great sinner.”
Indeed, if Lugis were the great sinner, then his actions would be considered an act of treason against the Great Holy Church. It would be dangerous for Ariene to associate with the great sinner. She was the candidate to be the Saint of the Great Holy Church after all.
However. If by any chance her childhood friend belonged to the Heraldic religion, then there was no doubt that he did it for some reason.
At the very least, Ariene knew the man named Lugis, did not have it in his the nature to commit such deadly crimes himself. He never showed such signs before.
He once said to Ariene that he would become an adventurer and come get her.
Therefore, Ariene thought that if the great sinner and his childhood friend were the same person, then that meant that somebody else’s malice corrupted him.
If so, then Ariene believed that she had to save Lugis from that malice. Aside from the old days, Ariene was not a little girl anymore. As the candidate to be the Saint of the Great Holy Church, she was destined to accomplish great things. If all went well, she could even save lives.
Ariene thought deeply about Lugis while the carriage went along the way. Then, suddenly, Ariene saw Lugis’ silhouette from her carriage. The sensation in her eyes began to quiver, and her cheeks distorted.
She finally saw her childhood friend. Lugis was walking through the street of the red-light district.
Nostalgic. Ariene felt relieved upon seeing Lugis from the distance. This nostalgia made her heart burst. When she looked at his eyes, a deep sigh engulfed her chest.
Ariene saw Lugis’ face for the first time in a long time. He looked somewhat more fearless. Ariene felt joy to see that he grew up splendidly, but at the same time, she felt loneliness. These emotions clashed with one another in her mind.
On this very moment, Lugis hugged an unknown woman in the middle of the street.
Ariene’s eyelids became hot. Her lungs shrank and became heavy as if someone grabbed her throat forcibly.
“Who is that woman? Why is Lugis hugging her? Why is he in Belfein?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know anything at all. And I don’t want to understand what is going on.”
Ariene’s feet began to wobble. A crawling tremor came from her legs down to her feet.
Numerous thoughts melted in Ariene’s head. Dark emotions shook in her brain without stopping, forcing her to stop thinking with reason.
Amidst this ongoing confusion, one suspicion slowly sprouted from the dark emotions that filled her heart. “I don’t like it. I don’t want to think about it.”
“…Maybe it is true that my childhood friend is Lugis, is the great sinner of the Heraldic religion.”
There was no confirmation. However, he happened to be here in Belfein. Of course, there could be other possibilities to explain his presence here. Ariene wanted to believe that it was just a mere coincidence.
“…But, even so. Probably the reason why he is with that woman is because she is probably a member of the Heraldic religion.”
However, the appearance of Lugis hugging a stranger turned Ariene’s speculation into suspicion. It was as if the devil put his finger in the mud and turned her thoughts into chaos. Ariene’s small golden eyes blinked strongly.
“I know that I shouldn’t have these feelings. Apart from being friends, Lugis and I were neither lovers nor an engaged couple. I might have thought that we had something special when we were children. To put it another way, Lugis and I were more than just childhood friends… However, perhaps I was the only one to feel this way. Lugis probably felt nothing more than just friendship. Therefore, no matter what kind of woman Lugis met, and no matter what kind of relationship he had with her, his heart was probably free.”
Ariene’s jaw hurt. Then she realized that she was clenching her teeth unknowingly.
Ariene suddenly felt the awful taste of pastry in her mouth. The pastry she was obliged to eat during her training at the Cathedral. Lugis gave her a gift before parting ways. It was something ordinary and not that expensive, but it seemed to be a mean-spirited gift.
Nonetheless. It was a symbol of salvation for Ariene.
The everyday life in the Cathedral was hard for Ariene. She felt constant loneliness and pain. She had to endure this suffering every single day. A suffering that felt like a piercing blade. Ariene wanted to abandon everything for countless of times. The memories she had of Lugis saved her from those hurtful days.
Ariene tried to endure the hardships because of the promise Lugis made to her. That was why she had no choice but to become a candidate to become a Saint. If it were not for the hopes of meeting Lugis again, Ariene would not be able to stand the harsh days. She wanted to throw everything away and run away. She endured everything because of Lugis.
“That’s right. Because of that day, I endured my unforgiving life so that I could see Lugis again. I left everything in his hands.” Nevertheless, Ariene knew that something was about to change in her heart.
…We are going to meet again, Ariene. And watch me. Maybe I will become a knight.
…Yes, I can rest assured. I will be waiting for you, Lugis.
In Ariene’s brain, she remembered that last day repeatedly. “Mrs. Ninz, Lugis and I. That day, the three of us had a good time and promised to meet again.”
Ariene put both hands on the window frame of the carriage while on her knees. Her unstable emotions pierced her chest and her memories of the good old days became pitch black.
“No, I decided. Yes, I swore. I swore that I would be a strong person in order to survive the harsh days in the Cathedral.”
Ariene stared down at the carriage’s floor. It got wet. The carriage did not seem to stop. In fact, it gained momentum.
“…God, why did you lead me to this land? I don’t know why you are making me suffer this much.”
Whether it was a prayer to god or even a grudge against god, Ariene didn’t even know. However, the memories of those days were revived in her mouth.
“Ahh, that awful pastry was actually delicious.”
Ohhh!!! Things are heating up!!! I wonder if Ariene will be Lugis’ enemy in the end!!! What do you guys think, dear readers? …BTW, if Lugis knew that Ariene thought of him more than just a childhood friend, he would jump with joy!
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