Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
It looked like we were safe for now. The priest seemed to have lost interest in cutting me to pieces, and the bandits weren’t really much of a threat. All the more so with knives sticking out of their feet. The last guy that the priest took down only suffered a shallow cut on his foot. In other words, I was the only one that the priest seriously tried to kill.
He showed mercy to the bandit, but actually attempted to kill me, someone who just happened to be present. There were definitely some personal feelings involved there. Perhaps he scorned or hated Beastfallen in general.
I’ll keep my sword out just in case. He might just kill me out of the blue without any reason.
“Mercenary! Are you hurt?!” Zero ran up to me and grabbed my neck. She pulled on my fur, forcing me to look down.
“You idiot! Don’t pull my fur! Ouch!”
“I knew it. You are hurt.”
“You have a cut on your neck.”
That’s ridiculous, I thought as I touched my neck. The scythe came a little too close, but I was certain I held it back.
There was definitely a cut on my neck, however. My fingertips felt sticky from the blood. I failed to stop his weapon completely. Since a scythe was curved, its tip might have grazed me. As soon as I was aware of the injury, it started to sting. Clicking my tongue, I pulled Zero away.
“It’s just a thin layer of skin. It’ll heal in no time,” I said. “Anyway, there are more pressing matters at hand. Hey, violent priest! Don’t you have anything to say to me?!”
I just protected the saint’s chastity. Then he attacked me out of nowhere. Apologize, pretty boy.
On the priest’s face, however, was not remorse, but clear disdain. “For Her Eminence’s sake, I will spare your life,” he said. “Now get your foul, grotesque figure out of her sight.”
Wow. Racist much? It’s been a while since I’ve heard those kinds of words.
This guy actually believed that Beastfallen were born scum. He seemed like a fanatic who would insist that Beastfallen should be killed as soon as they were born. There were many like him among churchmen, but rarely were they ever this blatant.
Fed up with the guy, I went silent. Then Zero, for some reason, took a huge step forward. As she sauntered along, she turned to look at me, flashing a gentle smile.
“Wait there, Mercenary. I will go and murder that man.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! You can’t just say something so shocking with a bright smile! He’s a priest. Calm down!” I hurriedly grabbed Zero by the neck and pulled her back.
“So he can ridicule my mercenary simply because he is a priest? That does not make sense. I am extremely vexed at the moment.”
“That’s just how the world works sometimes! I’m a Beastfallen, you know.”
Suddenly, I smelled something sweet. I looked up and saw the saint standing a bit too close to me.
“Um… are you…”
She probably said “hurt?” at the end, but her voice was too low, I couldn’t quite catch it. Pushing Zero towards the rear, I turned my back to the saint.
“It’s no big deal,” I said. “It doesn’t even count as a scratch.”
“No!” she said firmly.
I turned around, taken aback by her tone. With a somewhat desperate look on her face, the saint took a step closer to me.
“Um… You can get sick from even a small wound… I can… heal you…”
Is she planning to perform a miracle? Rather, use Magic?
Zero and I exchanged glances. The witch looked a little surprised. After all, the saint was in the presence of a priest.
“Your Eminence!” the priest shouted. “You must not use your powers on such filth!”
The saint gave a start. “I-I can’t? But he saved us… He was hurt because of your misunderstanding… Ah, I don’t mean to criticize you! It’s just…” Tears slowly welled up in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m so obtuse… I know it’s all my fault.”
The priest quickly turned pale. “V-Very well! I understand. Just please, do not cry! I was wrong!” He turned to me. “You there, brute! Be grateful for Her Eminence’s compassion and have her heal that scratch!”
“Now I really don’t feel like getting healed.” I muttered.
“I understand how you feel,” Zero agreed.
However, this was a perfect opportunity to see the saint’s miracle up close. I decided to let the situation play itself out.
When she received the priest’s permission and saw me unresisting, the saint’s expression relaxed, and she took a step closer towards me.
The saint reached her hand out and nervously touched my neck. Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath.
Gentle light gathered around and warmed the area around my neck. As soon as the light disappeared, the pain vanished.
The saint pulled her hands away. “All healed,” she said with a smile.
I touched my neck. My wound had indeed disappeared, and she didn’t even mutter an incantation. For a moment, I almost believed it was a miracle.
But Zero’s eyes said she was certain it was Magic. It meant that the saint was so accustomed to casting Magic that she could omit the incantation.
This ditzy woman can use Magic?
“Now to heal the bandits as well!” Clapping her hands, the saint flashed a brilliant smile.
“Y-Your Eminence!” the priest protested. “They’re a bunch of scoundrels who kidnapped you!”
“But they will die if we leave them like this.” The saint’s expression clouded. “We’re in the middle of the forest. No one else can help them.”
The lady attendant, who had been silent until now, finally spoke. “You’re a kind person, my Lady. But performing a miracle puts a toll on your body. Who knows what would happen if you healed five people?”
The attendant lit the lantern hanging from her waist, faintly illuminating the surroundings.
Frowning, the priest turned his back on the attendant and distanced himself from her. The light from the lantern must have been blinding to his night-accustomed eyes.
“But if I don’t heal them, they will surely die. There are wild dogs out here. So please?”
The attendant in charge of the saint’s health gave in. “If you insist,” she said, heaving a sigh.
“No fucking way! I don’t want my wounds healed by that witch’s Sorcery!” The bandit refused. He even called the saint a witch in front of the priest. “Hey, Father. Are you blind or something? That woman is a witch! You should kill—Ugh!”
The priest struck the bandit’s chin with the stick he was holding.
“Watch your mouth. I will be the one to judge whether she is a saint or a witch. Until then, she is under my watch and protection. I will not allow any harm to her, physically or verbally. You’re only breathing now because I honor the law. But the next time you vilify her, your head will roll.”
The saint trembled. “You can’t…” she said weakly. “Please don’t kill anyone, Father!”
“This is the Church’s problem, Your Eminence. You are currently a saint—although we have not verified that yet—and that means your body does not belong to you alone.”
“Please understand, Your Eminence. I am a churchman first, and your guard second.”
The saint went silent.
Glancing at the exchange with disdain, the bandit spat out the blood in his mouth on the ground, then stopped talking.
The saint couldn’t force the issue when the bandits themselves refused to be healed.
We decided to take their weapons, tie them up with ropes, and take them to the main road. Leaving them in the woods with their leg injuries would make them food for the wild dogs. Once out on the road, we’d give them some food and water, tie them to a tree or something, and then report them to the guards in some town. They would receive proper judgement then.
Abducting a saint was a crime that could carry the death penalty, but that was none of my business.
We unexpectedly happened upon the target of our investigation. The question now was what do we do with her?
Staying together until we made it out of the forest was the best option. The priest seemed deeply against the idea, but taking five injured bandits to the main road was too much for him alone.
“We’ve got one companion waiting on the main road,” I said. “I’m sorry, but we’ll have to head there.”
The priest frowned as I decided to lead the party. The saint seemed genuinely happy about having more traveling companions; her face was bright even though she was attacked by bandits just a while ago. Just like a benevolent saint, she showed no contempt or disgust towards me, a Beastfallen, and the bandits.