Chapter 1 - Prologue
As Abigail meekly retreated, the area became rather quiet. No matter how much they struggled and swung their swords, no one could stop Abigail, but with one word from Seria, everything was settled. So the ladies and knights seemed to suffer a strange sense of defeat.
‘Not that it was any of my business.’
“Go out and get some snow.”
At Seria’s command, the knights guarding the entrance to the tent scurried to bring in the snow. It didn’t take them long because the snow was piled up to the brim outside.
Seria lifted the heavy bucket with all her strength and dumped it over Eloise’s head.
That was when Eloise, who was like a snowman, swallowed her scream and shook her hands. The other ladies did the same. They couldn’t say anything except to open their rabbit eyes and cover their mouths with their hands.
Seria threw the bucket on the floor and said,
“Where did you learn to talk behind the back of a benefactor who came to rescue you? If it wasn’t for the Berg Knights, you’d all be buried alive here in the snow.”
Of course, the Berg Knights belonged to Lesche. But the knight’s commander, Alliot, had knelt before Seria and even cried. So it wouldn’t matter if she called them her own.
Seria said, looking at the ladies with venomous eyes, who could not say anything.
“No, you could have died from the demons. If you want to get out of this barracks and leave now, I won’t stop you.”
Seria looked at Eloise, who did not respond. Her platinum blonde hair, which was wrapped neatly and beautifully, was now dripping with melted snow. Seria said without taking her eyes off Eloise.
“We’re facing an emergency, so you all think I’d let it slide?”
Seria pretended that she was not going easy on them.
As she slowly stretched out the words, she could feel that Lady Eloise and the other ladies flinched.
Seria turned her gaze away from the ladies.
“Let’s go, Bibi.”
The barracks were quiet as if they had been hit by a bomb, which was very satisfying. Seria didn’t hide her satisfied expression as she left the dilapidated barracks behind with Abigail escorting her.
The barracks of the priests had a nice atmosphere. It was because the Knights of Berg, one of the greatest forces, accompanied Seria Stern.
“Stern, indeed. How happy we have been to see your constellation gold armor shining so brightly.”
“My eyes were teary for no reason.”
‘Why are they so sensitive?’
There were dozens of Imperial nobles in this isolated place as their paths had accidentally met. How did they see the Berg Knights in their constellation gold armor and also Seria Stern coming together before them?
In their eyes, they looked like angels.
Since they clearly saw that the infamous Seria Stern came to help them, wouldn’t their attitude toward God be more polite again?
“By the way, where is the Saintess?”
“She was in great pain because her divine power hasn’t stabilized…..”
“You don’t think she’s out, do you?”
The priests’ faces were hardened with wonders. They hurriedly ran out of the barracks and began searching for the missing Lina.
Seria turned around at the voice calling her. Immediately Seria’s eyes widened in surprise.
It was Lina.
“You’re here to help me, aren’t you? I’ve hurt your feelings so much…”
Lina suddenly burst into tears. Her rich sensitivity was a part of the original story that had come up many times. What would have happened before? If Seria could be friends with the heroine, the chances of her being able to survive would be much higher. She would have seized the opportunity.
Seria avoided Lina’s hand, which was trying to grab hers.
“Lina. I’ve been asked to come to your rescue because I’m Stern.”
“There are priests here, too.”
“…… Yes, I understand…”
Lina quickly became sullen. It wasn’t very comfortable being near Lina, so Seria quickly tried to step away, but she missed her steps.
It was Abigail who caught her as she was about to fall.
“Seria? That necklace …”
Lina’s gaze was fixed on the necklace that appeared outside Seria’s clothes.
Lina couldn’t continue to the end of her sentence.
A voice that sounded like a shout was calling for her. It was High Priest Amos from the Great Temple. Lina immediately flinched.
It looked like Lina had been scolded by Amos. Seria used to be scolded a lot by him too.
“It’s been a while. Seria Stern.”
“High Priest Amos.”
“I see you’ve learned to be sensible. I thought you would never change.”
‘What did I just hear?’
Amos was a very strict man. That was a compliment. A very…. a very big compliment for him. Without saying a word, Seria stared at him blankly. Amos smiled faintly.
“Let’s go, Saintess.”
And Amos left, taking Lina with him. Of course, at that moment, he was back again with his usual stern impression.
The priests were relieved as soon as they saw Lina.
“Oh, thank God.”
“I thought you might have gotten curious and gone outside.”
“I’m not that stupid!”
Lina raised her voice, and Amos hurried to silence her. This was exactly the kind of stern impression Amos had made.
“Saintess, can I have a word with you?”
Lina bit her lip and followed Amos. The priests gazed at each other nervously.
“Saintess, stop bothering Stern.”
If there was one thing Lina had learned while accompanying Amos, it was that the priests of the Great Temple did not dare to call Stern by their name. This was because the number of Stern itself was too small to be used like a proper noun.
But when there were two or more Sterns together, the words changed. And Lina was also a Stern. Of course, Amos should have referred to Seria as Seria Stern, but as a matter of habit, he just said Stern.
It was as if Lina did not yet qualify as a Stern.
But Amos just looked at Lina with a serious expression, as if he didn’t realize his mistake.
Lina wasn’t in the mood to show her disappointment at such talk as usual either. Because what she just heard was quite shocking.
“Who… is bothering Seria Stern?”
Amos sighed slowly.
“Love is the most beautiful emotion God has given us. But because of Saintess’s mistake, Stern was not able to marry her beloved fiancée.”
“….. I told you I was divorcing Kalis.”
Of course, it would take a whole year. Nevertheless, Lina told Kalis that she would divorce him and that Kalis should return to his beloved Seria.
“Saintess, that is a matter for a later date. You have a tendency to try to make light of the sinful deeds that you have committed.”
“Sin? I didn’t commit any sin….”
Tears trickled down from Lina’s eyes.
“If I hadn’t been there, Kalis would have died on the spot. You are saying this because you weren’t there…..!”
“That would have been a karma that Marquis Haneton had to atone for himself.”
Lina exclaimed with a shocked expression on her face.
“Kalis is my most precious friend. You want me to give up my friend’s life for Seria’s sake?”
“You know that’s not what I meant, Saintess.”
Amos’s expression stiffened.
“You must promise me that you will not go to see Stern again.”
“If you’re the High Priest, shouldn’t you praise me for a job well done? I saved Kalis’s life by showing resourcefulness, but… you’re always praising Seria. Always.”
Muttering sadly, Lina lowered her head and began to sob. Although he spoke in a stiff manner, Amos was actually feeling complicated. The situation was, of course, more complex.
Lina literally descended into this world. Perhaps she didn’t know much since she had only been here for a short time, but Amos was very familiar with Seria Stern’s personality.
Seria Stern had a low ignition point for anger. Very low. He was not interested in the notoriety she developed in the social world, but others were.
Amos had no choice but to be aware of what was rumored about her in the world because of his frequent outside activities. Still, Seria was an important Stern to the Temple, so he could tolerate that much.
‘I saw earlier that she was unusually sensible.’
Would Lina still look pretty in Seria’s eyes? She was a woman who stole Seria’s fiancé from the perspective of a secular and innocent heart. Lina was a saint, but Seria was not. What if Seria Stern couldn’t hold it in?
This place included a large number of Imperial nobles. It was a cringe-worthy incident to imagine Stern and the God-given Saintess feuding in their common space. A scandal of this magnitude had to be avoided.
Moreover, considering Seria’s past personality, once she exploded, it was bound to cause a commotion not only in the social world but also in the entire continent.
This was essentially the reason why Amos was trying to keep Lina and Seria apart as much as possible.
But Lina was crying uncontrollably….
Still, he had to be strict about it. Amos took Lina to her private barracks and left, telling the knights to keep her safe.