I was once a hollow saint – chapter 9
The royal palace I saw for the first time was pretty ancient, yet it was meticulously maintained. The people working here clearly put their heart and soul into it.
(Still, it’s difficult to envision royalty living here.)
The number of servants was minimal, and the interior was simple. My unease grew as I followed the maid to the prince’s room.
「…This is the third prince, Prince Felix.」
And the moment I saw the prince lying on the bed, I involuntarily gasped and covered my mouth with my hand.
His small body, moaning in agony, was covered with bright red, scorched bruises.
As I stood there speechless, the maid explained.
「Prince Felix is under the Flame Dragon’s Curse.」
“The Flame Dragon’s Curse” was said to be a powerful curse brought on by the flame dragon, which was slain long ago by the Reavis royal line.
I’d only heard that it happened very rarely in royal bloodlines. Burnt bruises spread all over their bodies, eroding their lives.
But I thought that was only a myth. Even the Great Sage, like me, had no idea it existed.
(I’m sure the imperial family has been hiding him like this to avoid scandals. Not just the third prince, but the previous ones too.)
It had no cure, which was probably why the prince was sent away to a remote palace and left to rot there.
(He’s still eight years old… How can they do this…)
It broke my heart to think that he had spent his entire life imprisoned in this place, living with the pain.
I softly caressed his bright red cheek, which was hot from the high fever. His burning heat left me speechless once again.
It seems like this has been happening for a few days. His physical strength should’ve already reached its limit. If things continue as they are, then we’re basically only waiting for his death.
I tried casting the highest recovery magic again and again, but nothing changed, and I found myself getting more frustrated.
In the midst of it, the prince suddenly opened his eyes. I couldn’t look away from his beautiful, clear, ice blue eyes.
「Nice to meet you, Your Highness. My name is Else Reese, the Great Saint of this country.」
Right now, I was keenly aware of my own powerlessness, to the point that introducing myself as the Great Saint was painful.
(What’s the point of being a Great Saint if I can’t even save someone who’s suffering in front of me?)
My hand, which was stroking his cheeks, was grabbed by a little bony hand. It was frail enough that it might break any time soon, and it was also terribly hot.
「..Great… Saint… Help, me…」
And the hoarse, pleading voice ripped my heart to pieces.
The Great Sage was a national treasure. I knew I couldn’t use my power beyond what was allowed, and I couldn’t do anything that would hurt this body.
My body was no longer solely mine. I must choose to save the many over a single individual.
Still, I didn’t think I’d be able to shake off this small hand and forsake the life in front of me.
(After all, I became the Great Saint to save those who are suffering.)
Anxiety and guilt came crashing into me like a storm, but I took several deep breaths and made up my mind.
Kneeling in front of the bed, I took the prince’s hand in mine and placed it on my forehead as if in prayer.
Each saint possessed unique abilities. Normally, it was only ‘healing’ and ‘purification,’ but as the Great Saint, I had other talents.
「Great Saint-sama?! Are you okay!?」
「Yes… I’m fine…」
My stomach began to take in the burning heat. Sweat poured down my back as a result of the agonizing pain.
Before long, the maid who had been witnessing the situation next to me raised her voice.
「N-No way… Felix-sama’s bruises… they’re gone! Thank you, Great Saint-sama…! This is a miracle….!」
The bright red bruises that had spread over the prince’s face and limbs gradually faded, and his skin returned to its original pale color.
His pained expression also started to calm down.
The prince muttered and gave me a small smile. I desperately forced myself to smile and replied, 」You’re welcome.」
I patted my chest in relief as I heard his usual sleeping breath a few moments later.
(Thank God. This should calm him down a bit.)
As soon as I felt relieved and relaxed, the terrible pain hit me again. If I collapsed here, it might be revealed that I had used my power without permission.
Before hurrying out from the detached palace as fast as I could, I told the maid, who was shedding tears of joy, that she should never tell anyone about what had just transpired. And since it was special magic, I might not be able to use it again.
(If I get caught, I won’t be the only one facing punishment.)
I managed to get back to my room, dragging my tired legs. I collapsed and threw myself onto the bed.
The ability I used earlier is called “Magic absorption,” the power to absorb someone else’s magic power and make it my own.
With this ability, I was able to absorb magical power from those who possessed an abundance of it and continue to apply healing magic, saving countless people in the process.
There were many people with great magical power, but only saints could use healing magic. Of course there’s a limit to my physical strength, and it’s impossible to use it indefinitely.
Curses also contained magic power. And because of this, I took the curse and magical power into my body in order to save the prince.
「I knew it. I went a little too far.」
I adjusted the amount, so that it wouldn’t be life-threatening. Still, the intense pain and heat began to distort my sight. And I found myself clutching the sheets tightly, trying to endure the pain.
(However, this is nothing compared to what the prince had to go through.)
I hope that the little prince can keep smiling, even if just a little. Praying so, I let go of my consciousness.
This was the day Felix and I met – and the day I transferred part of his curse into my own body for “the first time.”
I Was Once a Hollow Saint
Speed up schedule by 10 hours