The Crime And Punishment Of Summoning A Saint ~A Bouquet of Wishes~ - 1
The kingdom of Arnadia, the place I called home, succeeded in summoning a saint from another world, the news rapidly spread throughout the land that same day.
There were those that innocently rejoice, thinking this would save the kingdom, there were those who frowned when they heard the phrase “another world”.
The reactions of the kingdom’s people varied.
I am of the latter camp. This is a different world for the saint. She was the only one taken from that other world.
How lonely must that feel?
According to the rumors I hear, the saint is lamenting, “I want to go home. I want to see my family.”
I believe she had a good relationship with her family in her homeworld.
And we tore her from them without her consent.
I feel my chest tightening.
A few days after hearing those rumors, there was a report saying the saint wished to leave the kingdom.
At that time, I almost became furious thinking that she was forced out in some way, but the more I thought about it, she was called the saint. I’m sure she knew of our current situation and wanted to help us despite her suffering from loneliness.
A pure and kind being. That was who the saint was. They will save those who are in trouble even if they have to sacrifice themselves in the process.
In the city streets, the people whispered about the saint, it felt like they were worshiping some religious idols.
A person bends at the knee and prays toward the royal castle, where the saint is staying. A person smiles and nods meaningfully. People praise the saint to their friends, family, lovers, and so on.
When I saw it, I felt extremely uncomfortable.
Why didn’t anyone think this is strange?
Even those who frowned upon hearing that the saint was from another world when she first arrived, were now beginning to say that she was a kind person.
Why do they take it for granted that the saint will do these things? It’s strange and can’t be helped.
A few more days pass. The majority of the people went speechless when the saint was finally unveiled and they saw her with their eyes.
She looked like a saint. Her complexion was that of dark tea. This was fine.
The reason people lost their words was because of the saint’s jet-black hair, stretching down to her shoulders.
There was no one in this world with such hair color.
Black is considered ominous. Those who raised their hands to the saint pulled them back.
“Is she really a saint? Isn’t that a messenger of the Evil God?” someone asks.
“I don’t think she came to bring salvation, but our ruin,” someone replies.
It was selfish. Be they forms or ideas, if they were different and outside the scope of the people’s understanding, they were all considered evil.
When I think about it, that was also what happened to me when I first arrived in this country.
And as a result of my always speaking politely and appearing harmless, I am now a full-fledged citizen.
The day of the saint’s departure has arrived.
Her journey will be accompanied by the second prince, several knights, and a maid.
I was also selected as a companion.
Yes, I figured this would happen.
After all, I am called a “sage” in this country.
It’s early in the morning. I head to the designated meeting place.
There are few people to see us off even though it’s the saint leaving on a journey.
Is it possible the only importance given to this is the king’s arrival?
“Well then, saint. It was a pleasure to meet you.”
Eh? That’s it? Isn’t that too short?
The king quickly leaves the saint’s side, leaving her stunned.
I don’t want to get involved.
Their actions speak clearly.
The saint said nothing about it and didn’t let her body language show anything, either.
I think this was how she was treated inside the castle.
It’s clear that the Second Prince and the rest of the entourage accompanying the saint are doing so reluctantly.
I get tired of them and approach the saint.
Is she around 12 years old?
However, I think there was a description in an ancient book I read a long time ago, that the first saint summoned from another world was actually an adult, just young-looking.
This second-generation saint may be an adult who just looks younger than she is.
The saint notices me. Her eyes are trembling in anxiety.
I’m wearing a robe for certain reasons. It was the type that covered my head completely. It’s no wonder the saint is wary of me.
After thinking of how I should react, I decided to reveal my identity as quickly as possible.
I put my hand on the hood of my robes and lower it.
I reveal my flaxen hair and the proof that I’m of a different race than the Huen citizens who live in this kingdom.
The Elfen, a race known for their long, pointy ears and long-lived lifespans, bordering on immortal. I am one of them.
The elfen were once known as “The Forest People” as they were endemic to the forests and lived there their entire lives.
It was my mother who broke that tradition. After becoming the ruler of the forest where she lived, she argued that the elfen should stop being isolationists and see the outside world.
I heard that there was plenty of resistance at first.
I wasn’t born then, so I don’t know the details first-hand, but there seemed to be fierce criticism, from the elfen elders especially.
My mother used to live a primitive existence with trees as her home, boring holes in the trunks to make space, but like the huen, she used wood and stone to create a “town” in the woods. It seems that the elders were silenced after they were allowed to live in the new buildings.
Once they settled in and got comfortable, they didn’t want to leave.
Eventually, the other elfen came to support my mother.
I’ve heard praise about my mother starting to do as she pleases.
Speaking of being an elfen, compared to the huen we are a race skilled with bows and magic, but have some difficulty in raw strength and are weak in constitution.
But the elfen who live in our forest settlement, that was no longer the case.
Under the guidance of Mother, the elfen males became martial arts masters that can match 100 huen troops, and elfen females can destroy the same number with magic. We’ve become monsters among the races.
In this world, the men were physically superior and the women were magically superior.
However, my mother considered this a terrible truth.
What kind of person are you, Mother…?
On a related note, I grew up with such a mother, and on the day I reached 15 years of age, I was pushed out of the forest where I was born and raised to “Go see the outside world.” as my Mother put it.
The saint looks at me, her eyes widen.
What happened? Is she alright?
After a while, I heard the saint mutter, “You’re an elf…”
This country has no other elfen than me so far.
I’m a rarity. But I was misunderstanding something. There were no elfen in the world the saint came from. That’s why she was surprised to see me. I learned of all this later.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Saint,” I said. “I am Elysia Lucuel, the elfen sage. Please, just call me Ely. May I ask for your name?”
The saint stiffens at my words.
Again? Why is this happening?
After a while, tears begin to spill down the saint’s eyes.
Did I say something wrong?
The saint smiles at my bothered self.
“This is the first time someone’s asked for my name,” she said.
“Eh?” I asked.
“Because everyone just called me the saint,” she replied.
Is that what happened…? They didn’t even need her name.
What they needed was the existence of a saint. That was all.
They didn’t need to know anything about what shaped the saint’s will or her name.
All they needed was a “vessel”.
I’m angry and amazed at how the people of this castle have treated her.
I clench my fist unconsciously as the saint tells me her name.
“I’m Amane Riko. Though I suppose it’s Riko Amane here.”
“Lady Riko Amane,” I repeated.
“Yes,” Lady Riko said.
“Then may I call you Lady Riko?” I said.
“You may,” Lady Riko said.
Just hearing someone call her by her name. The saint smiles happily at such a small thing.
The moment I saw that face, something mysterious bloomed in my heart.
Even if the world declares the saint their enemy, I will be her ally. I will walk with her.
I will be the saint and Lady Riko’s only confidant.
I decided I needed to know her and this feeling better.
Thus the saint’s journey began.
The journey was not a straightforward trip.
The goal of the saint’s journey was to head to places brimming with miasma and pray to the Goddess to purify them.
Miasma is a magical element that is the original source of magical power.
It floats in the air as Ether. If it enters our bodies, it becomes mana and through that, we can use magic.
Miasma is what happens when ether stagnates.
It’s not clear why that happens.
The oldest incident happened 1,000 years ago and the most recent was 400 years ago, but it seems that ether has gradually become corrupted miasma once more.
The more the miasma is left alone, the greater of a threat it becomes to the living beings of this world.
Because areas with miasma is where monsters are born.
They have little in the way of rational thought and move by instinct.
I wish they were intelligent, but unfortunately, they are ones who wish to overrun the world.
They were indiscriminate killers, wanting to destroy anything and everything in the land.
However, the huens were not just waiting to die and biding their time.
There were people called Hunters who specialized in exterminating monsters.
However, even those hunters can’t deal with monsters that continue to spring up indefinitely unless the miasma is purified.
Only the saint can stop this infinite loop.
“Frozen Thousand Lances!”
Thousands of ice spears fly off. The ambush was a success.
Now then, our opponent this time was a Minotaur, a monster with a muscular body and a cow’s head.
If you measured their height against huens, there was no comparison.
They were even bigger than them. This giant wields a two-handed ax and swings it down on us.
Oh, that’s right. Is it frightening to hear that the ax is as large as an adult male huen is tall?
If such a thing were to hit us, we wouldn’t have a chance of survival.
We desperately fight for our lives as we protect the saint.
It takes time for her purification magic to activate.
Until it does, our duty is to protect her.
The second prince, Cain, rushes to the minotaur, currently immobilized by my magic.
Although he was a prince, his sword arm is unquestionably keen.
“Uoooohhhhhh…!!” Prince Cain roars.
“NnhmmoooOOOoooohh…!!!!” the minotaur wails.
“Zahn…!”, Prince Cain’s sword sliced off the minotaur’s right arm.
As expected, his title “The Golden Lion” wasn’t just for show.
Keith, the captain of the knights, saw that and he plus his subordinates rushed to Prince Cain’s side.
The knights’ role is to act as shields. Hence, it was their duty to protect Prince Cain.
Prince Cain was a member of the royal family. It was only natural that he must be defended.
However, shouldn’t Sir Keith himself be beside the saint, and leave that duty to his subordinates?
What does it mean that Prince Cain’s protection is stronger than that of the saint’s?
I cease these thoughts and immediately rush to the saint.
“Mooooouuuhhhhhh…!!!!” the minotaur roars.
It turns red in anger.
Its body was white till then, it now glows crimson as if to reflect its emotions.
It lifts its ax with its remaining left arm and brings it down on Prince Cain.
The minotaur goes berserk. The knights desperately defend against it with their shields.
Prince Cain seems to be waiting for assistance, but it doesn’t seem to be coming.
Frustrated, he cries out to the saint: “Hey! Are you done yet, Saint?! Hurry up, you’re so slow!”
“So-Sorry…” Lady Riko replies, faltering.
It wasn’t her fault at all.
It’s only natural that miasma purification magic takes time.
I’ve talked about it several times over the course of our journey, haven’t I…?
(That you don’t get it is because you’re an idiot…) I thought.
I considered getting involved with my magic, pretend it was a misfire.
… No, it probably won’t be that bad, would it?
Let’s do this. The corners of my mouth turn up as I prepare a spell in my mind.
Perhaps it only looks terrible from an outsider’s perspective.
First, I surround us all with a magical barrier so that we and the saint won’t be damaged by the spell I’m about to unleash.
The spell activates. I aimed it at the minotaur’s legs.
However, it seems that my target was a little too low.
The spell hit the instep of the minotaur’s right foot.
This place was a wasteland. Hence, the spell’s impact destroys the rock underneath and gravel flies everywhere.
It also rains down on the minotaur and Prince Cain’s group nearby.
Oh dear, oh my. Well, it’s an accident, so it can’t be helped.
Prince Cain and his companions go flying but are unharmed because of the barriers.
I’m glad I took measures in advance, considering this might happen.
Yes, it was just an accident that happened to get Prince Cain and his companions caught in the crossfire. It was an accident.
“Bitch!” Sir Keith yelled. “Did you just do that on purpose?!”
“What are you talking about?” I replied. “That was just an accident.”
“Kuh,” he spits.
Sir Keith. Please forgive me.
It was an accident. Sometimes it happens.
Then, the dust, flames, and smoke of my Explode spell disappear.
The minotaur seems to have used Erase Magic.
I thought it was just a meathead, but I’m surprised it also knows spells.
“Gumooooooohhhh…!” the minotaur roars as it charges, more intense than before.
I am its target. I seem to have angered it by firing that Explode spell.
“Guh,” I grunt. “I refuse to let it end like this.”
“Fuck…” Prince Cain whispers. “Hey! Saint. This thing is going to kill us if you don’t hurry up!”
Prince Cain is just too cruel, isn’t he?
However, will his words become reality soon?
“Ice Cutter!” I cried.
As the spell fired, the saint’s dignified voice echoes:
“Sorry for the wait.”
The saint unleashes her spell by posing like she was praying.
As a result, the stagnation is cured.
The barrens around us become a green flowering field and the minotaur born from the miasma is also purified and disappears.
When all is said and done, all that remains are the monster’s heart, its magic stone, and the proof that it had existed at all, the black crystal on its forehead.
“Fuuh,” Lady Riko said. “That was tiring, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, but on the other hand…” Prince Cain mutters, grinning as he picks up the remnants.
These were full of power and at the core of many technologies, like magical lights.
The monsters are a threat to our lives but they were also a rich resource.
Prince Cain puts them both in the tool bag hanging off his waist.
After that, he put on an unpleasant face and marched up to the saint.
He raised his hand. He’s about to slap her.
…. I can’t let him. I grab his hand before he swings.
“What are you trying to do?” I snap.
I wasn’t as strong as a male elfen, but I also had physical strength.
If I combine it with a body enhancement spell, at the very least I will not lag behind the huens.
“Guri…”, I put all my strength into that hand and squeeze Prince Cain’s arm.
“Ouch…” he grunts. “Bitch, who do you think you are? You’re being disrespectful.
“Who am I?” I snap back. “You’re a fool. It’s outrageous to raise your hand against the saint.”
“Because of her, we were almost wiped out,” Prince Cain snaps back.
“Haven’t I explained the saint’s magic to you over and over again?” I ask. “Are you a birdbrain?”
“A birdbrain?” Prince Cain asked.
“It means you’re stupid.”
“Bitch!!” Prince Cain yells as reached for the sword on his waist.
I kneed him in the stomach before he could pull it out.
“Guboh!” he grunts as he falls.
“Hey…!” Sir Keith yelled as he tries to storm up to me.
I snap my gaze to him then spit these words: “Stop. This person tried to raise a hand against the Goddess’ beloved saint, so I stopped him. If the Goddess is upset, won’t disaster befall us? Are you confident you can accept responsibility for that? How are you going to explain it to the people all over the land?
“If you still don’t understand…”
Because of this threat, the mana inside my body radiates around me.
Part of it separates from me, creating the phantom beast Fenrir.
Phantom beasts were said to be a messenger of the Goddess.
And Fenrir is the guardian of our Forest.
It’s far from its true power, but it can still slaughter all the huens here.
They are aware of that. Sir Keith retreats as cold sweat pours down his head. “When we return to the royal capital, then…” he muttered, trailing off.
He walks up to Prince Cain, he remains wary as he picks up Prince Cain from off the ground.
I believe they were staring at me but I ignored them.
Night had fallen.
At the inn we were staying at, the saint and I are in the same room.
Immediately after the journey began, the saint’s maid had spent time with her, but then she complained that the saint’s black hair was too ominous and scary, so now I and that maid were rooming together. So now the rooms were divided with one for the saint, one for the maid and I, one for Prince Cain and Sir Keith, and one room for the rest of the knights.
What is that maid even for now? Can she even be called a maid at this point?
I’ve only just arrived in the saint’s room.
I was the one who took care of her now.
“I’m sorry for troubling you,” Riko said.
The saint sits on a wooden bed and speaks weakly.
In response, I sit beside her.
Looking at her profile, the saint is full of sadness.
She looks so weak it’s almost as if she could crumble at any moment, I get angry at the way everyone around us is acting toward the saint.
What did she ever do to these people?
The saint has done nothing to make them uncomfortable.
Rather, she’s continued to work hard on this journey no matter how much she hates it.
Why don’t her actions reach these people?
I’m seriously angry. My gut is boiling and I’m about to turn into a monster.
“Lady Riko,” I said, reaching out to her, even though I believe it’s a bit rude.
The saint doesn’t show any signs of resistance, she continues looking strong.
As I pulled the saint’s head into my chest, I cast a spell on her.
No, it’s not that kind of magic from before.
It’s the power of words. I chose this magic because I believe it’s what the saint needs the most right now.
“Lady Rico, I don’t think you’re a nuisance,” I said. “Rather, I’m the one who has to apologize… no, everyone has to apologize to you. For summoning you into this world, everyone needs to ask for your forgiveness.
“You’re all by yourself. How lonely that must be. And because of that… Lady Rico, I’m so sorry.
“If you’re having a difficult time, we can stop this journey now. Even if the whole world turns against you, I will be with you, Lady Riko.”
“Ely… Ms. Ely…” Lady Riko whispers.
“… I cast a soundproofing spell on this room,” I said. “Lady Riko, it’s okay to cry.”
“Uuuh… Ms. Ely, Ms. Ely. I, I…” Lady Riko started.
Then the tears continued flowing, she cried, and she revealed her true feelings:
“Ugh, I hate it… I hate this world. Why? Tell me, why am I the only one who has to deal with this? I hate all of it. Don’t push everything on me!! I hope this world is destroyed. Those who make me feel terrible, those who try to use me, and the Goddess!!
“Everyone… everyone… you too, Ms. Ely…”
“Yes…” I muttered.
Isn’t that how it was? Everyone in this world is an enemy to the saint.
When I thought that, the saint put her arms around my neck and hugged me tightly.
“That’s why, Ms. Ely, don’t leave me,” Riko said. “Please, stay with me.”
“But I’m also ‘one of the people’ from this world, aren’t I?” I asked.
“You’re the only one, Ely,” Riko said. “You’re the only one who saw me as a ‘person’ before a saint. You asked me for my name. You helped me. Only you, Ms. Ely…”
“Lady Riko,” I said as I stroke her head.
The saint is still a young girl, after all.
How hard it must be for her to keep giving this her all.
… Is she really a young girl?
I decided to ask the saint this question I’ve been holding in my heart for so long.
“Um… Riko… My Lady…”
“Hikuh… hmm?” Riko asked.
“Forgive me for asking such a rude question, but how old are you, Lady Riko?”
“How old… am I…?” Riko replied. “I’m… 16. Why do you ask? … Gusuh…” she sniffled.
“Eh?” I went.
“Eh?” Riko also went.
So she’s an adult? The people from different worlds look younger than they are, after all.
I was surprised. I pull the saint from my body and stare at her face.
“I thought you were around 12 years old,” I said.
“I may look like that from a stranger’s perspective, don’t I?” Riko said.
“I’m surprised to hear that,” I said. “I didn’t think you were already an adult…”
“An adult?” Riko asked. “I see… if you’re 15 you’re considered an adult in this world.”
“That’s right,” I said.
“Ms. Ely…” Riko started, “how old are you? Because you’re an elf are you actually… much, much older?”
“No, I’m a year younger than you, Lady Riko,” I said.
“Eh?!” Riko gasps.
“Forgive me,” I said. “I must look older than you, Lady Riko.”
“Yeah, you certainly do. I thought you were around my age but I didn’t think you were a year younger.”
“Eh?” I asked.
“Eh?” Riko goes.
Our mouths hang open as we stare at each other in a daze.
It seems the saint’s tears have stopped, her expression is…
“Fufuh,” we both go.
Which one of us started laughing first?
We laugh with smiles on our faces, we fall onto the bed and stare at each other again.
“Ms. Ely,” Riko said.
“Yes, Lady Riko?”
“Just call me Riko,” Riko said.
“I want to call you just Ely, too,” Lady Riko said. “That’s why…”
I’m going to call the saint by her name without a title. Is that going to be okay?
I was worried but I remembered the first decision I made about the saint, so I decided to honor her request.
“Understood,” I said. “Now then, Ri… Riko… My Lady.”
“Why’d you suddenly add the ‘My Lady?”
“Uuh…” I groan. “It was habit… forgive me, please give me a bit more time.”
“Ely… no, El? It’s cute.” 1
“E-El?” I stammer. “Please stop with the affectionate nickname.”
“Ahahahaa…” Riko laughs. “Ely, it’s really cute.”
“Geeze, Ri-Riko… My…”
I hug the saint. It’s shameful. But this way she won’t be able to see my face.
The saint is suffering but I don’t know what to do. I’m so embarrassed.
“Ely, I can’t breathe…” Riko gasps.
“I don’t know what came over me! Let’s go to bed soon,” I said. “Tomorrow again… oh!!”
“Hmm?” Riko asked.
“Didn’t you want to stop traveling?” I asked. “Then it doesn’t matter if you stay up late.”
“Yeah, I think I’ll keep going,” Riko said. “I don’t care about everyone else, but I want to protect the world you live in, Ely.”
“Riko…” I muttered.
I was so happy to hear that, I kissed her forehead.
“E… Ely…” Riko stammered, “just now…”
“Uuh…” I choke. “Forgive me. I’ll cast a cleaning spell right away…”
“Wait,” Riko said. “Stop. I, I’m happy about it.”
“Eh…?” I asked.
“Tha-That’s why I want you to do it again…”
“Uuh…” I choke.
The saint is looking up at me from my cleavage.
Isn’t this foul play? No, I was the one who made things like this in the first place.
“Ely…” Riko started.
“I, I understand…” I replied. “I understand, so please stop making that face.”
It was like an abandoned puppy. I kissed the saint’s forehead again, enduring the heat in my cheeks and the pounding in my heart.
“Thank you,” Riko said.
“It-It was nothing,” I stammer.
“Now, me too,” Riko said.
“Eh?” I asked.
The saint puts her lips to my neck, makes like she’s biting, and sucks on my skin.
I hadn’t realized she would leave a mark.
“Ri… Riko…?” I asked.
“Good night,” Riko said.
This is so embarrassing.
The saint turns her back to me and falls asleep.
I’ve been hung out to dry…
(I can’t sleep…) I thought.
I thought about the kisses all night and stayed up till dawn.
And why does the saint, who should have slept well, also have dark circles under her eyes?
We just claim that the journey the previous day was terrible.
Then, a few months pass. Finally, the saint’s journey is over.
After returning to the royal capital of Arnadia and reporting the completion of our journey to the king, we receive thanks for our hard work.
“Saint,” the King said, “I’m glad we could meet again like this.”
“Yes, I am glad as well,” Riko said.
“Umu,” the King hums. “All this time, you have worked for our benefit. Now then, for your reward…”
I see the ministers lined up beside the King and his throne.
I don’t think it’s likely, but does he mean to marry the saint to one of them?
That’s stupid, isn’t it? Isn’t it, Your Majesty?
The king is not a foolish ruler, but I hope in my heart that his wish does not reach the Goddess and is not honored.
“Count Botame Rick Syndrom, please come here,” the King said.
“Sire!” Count Botame replied.
He appears before the King.
Is he a troll? All in all, he’s rotund, his skin is greasy, and he’s got a slightly foul odor radiating from him.
The bulge of his belly is incredible. His neck is buried so far in his flesh folds I can’t see it.
His clothes probably aren’t the right size for him. It looks like they’re about to tear and fall apart at any moment.
Ham… he looks like ham tied up with twine. I’ve seen it at the butcher’s shop.
“Saint, with Count Botame’s blessing, you now have the right to become a citizen of our country,” the King said.
The saint frowns at his word.
In a low voice I’ve never heard during our journey, the saint asks him:
“With all due respect, may I ask something?”
“You have my permission,” the King said.
“You promised to return me to Japan when my journey was over, so what happened to that?”
“Umu,” the King hums as he touches his beard. His gaze shifts to the right as he speaks of the saint’s betrayal: “Forgive me. Summoning is a one-way process, there is no means for you to return home.”
“In other words…” Riko starts, “in other words, you were lying from the beginning?”
Until that point, the saint was kneeling with her head down before the King, now she’s standing up.
There’s only contempt in her eyes.
The guards and the ministers whisper, “How rude.” but the saint doesn’t care.
At the insult to the king’s face, the guards, Prince Cain, and Sir Keith all draw their swords.
The saint does not move in the slightest. She just has just one word to say to these fools:
A magic square appears below the saint’s feet, it glows crimson.
During purification, the magic square emits a pale, white light.
It was red this time. The reason being…
The saint’s beautiful, silk-like hair flutters gently in the air.
The next moment, a powerful miasma erupts from the saint’s body.
It was all the miasma she’s purified so far.
Light and darkness are two sides of the same coin. By purifying the miasma, the saint returned it and the monsters to their basic energies but also absorbed the corruption into her body.
Darker than jet black, the color is the same as the summoned saint’s hair.
No one except me noticed the change in the saint’s body.
She’s reversing the flow of magic. Darkness floats between the throne and the saint.
It’s like smoke. Spreading dark smoke.
Monsters spill out of the darkness, going “jururi, botari”, drooling and slurping back their saliva.
“Hii…!” those gathered her scream.
“Fufuu…” the saint laughs quietly as she’s surrounded by monsters.
I sensed it before I witnessed it. I figured it would happen.
Sir Keith bares his sword at the saint. “Are you possessed by the monsters?” he said. “You poor soul. At least I’ll give you a merciful death with my blade.”
Sir Keith brings his sword down on the saint.
However, it doesn’t reach her.
The darkness clings to the sword, it turns black and erodes into nothing, Sir Keith’s sword arm follows suit.
“Hiiii….” he cries as he quickly lets go of his sword, but it’s already too late.
His arm ceases to exist.
The part swallowed up by the darkness disappears but the pain remains.
Keith rolls around the floor in severe agony.
The darkness continues to devour Sir Keith.
“Ah… aaah… forgive… me…” he begs as he turns his anguished face to the saint, but she just stares back at him.
Eventually, Sir Keith was completely consumed by the darkness and completely ceased to exist.
A heavy silence falls over the throne room, where you could hear a book falling to the floor. Prince Cain was the first to break it.
“The Demon King…” he whispers, “you weren’t a saint. This black-haired woman. You were a minion, a witch!”
This time, Prince Cain brings his sword down on the saint.
Birdbrains and idiots are truly hopeless.
Has he forgotten what just happened to Sir Keith?
“You bitch,” Prince Cain said. “We shouldn’t have summoned you. Die, witch.”
It’s all self-justification. He just wants to kill her.
The saint looks at Prince Cain. This time, all the expression leaves her face, she looks like a Noh theater mask.
“You summoned me on a whim…” Riko said. “You took my life away… now you… now you all will…”
The darkness explodes from the saint and into a part of Prince Cain’s body.
It stabs into his right eye and starts to travel inside his body.
“Iih… gyaaaaahhh….” he groans.
Prince Cain is being eaten alive from the inside.
In a sense, it’s a far more horrifying and awful fate than being devoured from outside.
Sir Keith may have suffered a merciful death.
Even as that’s happening, the darkness spreads more and more, overflowing through the gaps of the windows and going even further beyond.
I hear the screams of the citizens of this country.
After sparing him a glance, the saint walks up to the King, his lower body is damp from fear.
“Hi, hii…!” he squeals.
“For deceiving me, I will make you immortal,” Riko starts. “You will never die no matter what you do. Even if you are tortured to death, your mind and body will recover to the point just before you perished.
“But, I won’t give you eternal youth. Do you understand what this means?”
The saint grabs the King’s head. Some of the darkness radiates from that arm.
The King despairs. He will forever be in this body, constantly being eaten alive.
“Now then, the monsters will do the rest,” Riko said. “Sorry to make you wait, Ely.”
“Did this make you feel a little better, Riko?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Riko replied. “A little.”
“Fufu,” I chuckle. “Just a little?”
“It’s just this, isn’t it?”
“It is,” I reply.
“Hey, Ely,” Riko said as she offered her hand.
“Yes, Riko” I replied, smiling as I took it.
“Shall we go?” Riko asked.
“Yes!” I replied.
The two of us run to the window and jump through it.
We’re several tens of meters above the ground.
No matter how powerful of a body enhancement spell you cast, if we fall from this height, we’ll suffer some serious injury.
“Sorry to make you wait, Little Ones.”
A being catches from mid-air.
She was a phantom beast, an Enchanted White Dragon that we met during our journey.
Speaking of her being a dragon, you’d think she’d be covered with scales but she’s not.
Make a large dog gigantic, attach a unicorn horn to its forehead, plus four angelic wings on its back, and you’ve got her.
“Is everything settled?” the Dragon asked.
“Yes, please go ahead,” Riko said.
The Enchanted White Dragon flaps her wings and rises to the sky.
She used wind spells to reduce the air resistance and so on.
“Ely,” Riko said as she puts her head on my shoulder. “They were lying to me after all.”
Unsurprisingly, her voice is devoid of energy.
“I… was all that work useless in the end?” I asked, putting my hand on the saint.
I was wondering if this would happen.
I wish I hadn’t predicted it, but that’s the reality.
The saint can no longer return to her world.
The saint must be so lonely. I want to be by her side, supporting her.
“Ely…” Riko says as she looks up at me.
I also turn my head to the side and stare at her.
She’s… cute. The moist eyes, the cheeks dyed red, and the rich red lips that purse together when she says something.
“Riko…” I whisper back.
What do I want to do? My body is hot. My heart is pounding and it’s unbearable.
But it’s quiet. I can only hear the saint’s breathing.
“My, my heart feels like it’s about to burst,” Riko said.
“Yeah, me too, Riko,” I said.
“Honest?” Riko asked.
“Yes…” I replied.
“Is it okay if I… touch it?” Riko asked.
“Yes… it’s okay….?” I said. “But I want to do it, too…”
“Ye-Yeah,” Riko said. “That… that’s okay, too.”
We reach for each other’s chests.
The saint’s chest is soft. And her heartbeat is surprisingly fast.
“Is your heart okay, Ely?” Riko asked.
“Are you alright, Riko?” I asked.
“I, I am, I guess,” Riko said.
She wraps her arms around my neck and hugs me.
As we stare at each other, the saint whispers, “I like you, Ely.” before closing her eyes.
This is too cute, isn’t it?! I can’t stop grinning.
“I like you too, Riko…” I mutter.
I keep on grinning as I bring my lips to the saint’s.
The kiss was just a brief touch.
I was impressed that her lips were so soft.
This is… it feels like this is going to become a habit.
I regret we have to pull away, but we have to leave quickly.
“I’ve done it now… haven’t I?” Riko asked.
Saint, please stop looking up at me.
Is it a natural reflex? Or are you aiming for something?
Either way, I…
“It seems like I’ll stop being your superior now, right?” Riko said.
“Eh?” I asked.
“No, it’s nothing,” Riko said.
“Is it?” I asked.
“It is,” Riko said. “Or do we have something better than that?”
“We do…” I said.
She’s really cute. My feelings are intensifying.
I love her, and she loves me–
In that half-hour, the miasma spread throughout the world and destroyed several more countries.
These were the countries that treated the saint poorly. The tragedy of a thousand years ago was repeated.
After the miasma cleared, all that was left behind were the buildings.
No one knows where the residents went.
The survivors were afraid of Riko as the Cursed saint.
But at the same time, I also thought those fallen countries got their rewards.
Somewhere in a fallen kingdom. It was said that two women in robes were sometimes seen holding hands at the site of the ruins.
They seemed to be mourning as they were holding a bouquet of flowers.
No one was sure why the women were doing that.
“It’s kind of you to be doing this,” I said.
“It’s for my benefit,” Riko said.
“Do you regret it?” I asked.
“I don’t, but I would like it if this doesn’t happen again next time,” Riko said. “This is a bouquet of wishes.”
“Is that so?” I said. “… I’d like one, too.”
“Did you say something?” Riko asked.
“No, nothing,” I replied. “By the way, is this alright? I think you’re doing more for the ones who’ve died than the ones still alive.”
“Maybe you’re jealous?” Riko asked.
“… That’s not true!” I said. “I, I’ll just go on ahead.”
“Oh…!” Riko cried. “Ho, Hold up a minute. I’m coming with you!”
“Please hurry up, otherwise I’ll leave you behind~!” I said.
“It’s crazy to use magic for this,” Riko said. “Just you wait~!”
The chase started suddenly.
It continued until I tripped on a rock and was caught in grand fashion.
T/N: Nothing quite like bonding over destroying all the people and countries who’ve done nothing but treat you like crap, abuse you, and lie to you, right?
I realize this story is not the best, in plot, avoiding ass-pulls, and exploring interesting concepts and characters, but I enjoyed it.