Around the time when Porti’s incident drew to a close, Lubella and Weig returned to Karuwiman’s headquarters. Acting as the headquarters for a long time, the Great Temple, Yuras, seemed to be always surrounded by Karuna’s blessings.
“It’s been a while!”
The temple was also Lubella’s home. After experiencing so many troubles, Lubella entered the place like a prodigal child who rejoiced at the sight of her home. Weig left Lubella to enjoy her return and dwell in her emotions. She deserved it after having gone through so much.
They both walked up a white staircase and went inside the temple. Priests and Holy Knights nodded as they passed, and the two returned their greetings. They wanted to report to the Pope immediately, but when they heard that the Pope was currently in a meeting with a couple of high priests, they turned around and went back out.
“How long will it take?”
“I don’t think it will take long. Since it’s a periodic meeting, it will end at the usual time.”
“Then, can I go to the courtyard for a bit?”
“Is there a reason not to? I will escort you, Lady.”
Lubella giggled at the sight of Weig reaching out his hand clownishly. Then, she mimicked an aristocratic lady and took his hand.
They headed to an isolated garden in the temple. It wasn’t large, and there weren’t many people. There were colorful flowers planted on the ground, but they didn’t look fancy and felt simple instead. The only noticeable trait in the area was a small fountain in the middle of the garden.
Yet, Lubella liked this garden. Since she was young, whenever she was sad, she soothed her heart at this place. It was a place full of memories.
“Oh my, who is this?”
However, there was a person who dirtied this place full of memories. Lubella sighed, and Weig squinted his eyes.
“It’s been a while, Lubella.”
“…Yes. It’s been a while, Windne.”
Lubella greeted her, but surprisingly, there was a trace of displeasure in her voice. This was shocking considering Lubella’s character.
“It’s been a while, Lady Lubella and Sir Weig.”
The middle-aged man behind Windne greeted them. He wore a white uniform and a sword at his hip, so anyone could tell that he was a Holy Knight.
“Yes, it’s been a while, Sir Dyner.”
Winstin Dyner was a Holy Knight who guarded a Saint Candidate like Weig.
“It’s been a while, Sir Weig.”
Chelsea Windne. She was another candidate who rivaled Lubella for the Saint position. However, Weig didn’t think that she was a viable competitor at all.
‘Both her heart and skills are vulgar.’
Even with violent titles like ‘Assassin’ or ‘Killing Machine’ attached to him, Weig was a devout Karuwiman believer. He was only stern and cruel to evildoers, and his character was ultimately good. Thus, it was rare for him to describe anyone close to an insult. However, he had no intention to amend his judgment.
‘The criteria to be Karuwiman’s Saint Candidate has reached a new low.’
Weig thought Windne didn’t qualify to even be a Saint Candidate.
“Hey, I heard that you went through a lot this time.”
As expected, Windne acted concerned, but both Lubella and Weig knew that she couldn’t have been happier to hear that Lubella had suffered.
“It must have been really hard. I heard that you went around like a homeless person?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Wow, that’s amazing. If it were me, I would have killed myself rather than go through something traumatic like that. That’s some perseverance.”
“You think so?”
“Yes. And more than that, I heard that you were mixed up in a Bellid scheme? I am fine with that, but I just worry about what other people might think. They might wonder how a Saint Candidate could fall for the Bellids’ schemes.”
“Thank you for your concern.”
Lubella continued to respond blandly. As if that irked her more, Windne’s eyebrows rose higher.
“But did you really fail to sense it? Even if those Bellids hid it really well, if you are a Karuwiman member, shouldn’t you be able to realize the gist of it at least?”
Then, Windne suddenly made a surprised face.
“Oh my! I am sorry. I didn’t mean to say that this incident was your fault. I am just concerned. You understand me, right?”
Then, Windne smiled while looking at Weig.
“I also want to apologize to Sir Weig. If someone with bad intentions heard me, they would have thought that I was insulting you both.”
‘But that’s your aim.’
Weig looked at Windne drearily.
Windne was like a crumpled mass of ego with an inferiority complex, so she antagonized Lubella who was the closest to being a Saint. Whenever she met Lubella, she tore Lubella down while pretending to be concerned.
Since she was a Saint Candidate, Weig couldn’t slice her in half like he did to the Bellid guys. There weren’t many who treated the greatest Holy Knight like this.
‘Well, I am also an object of resentment too.’
Many thought Lubella was closest to being a Saint not only because of her skills and character, but because Weig had willingly volunteered to be her bodyguard.
‘So, she must have chosen him to be her Holy Knight.’
Weig’s assessment of Winstin Dyner was simple: Windne’s Holy Knight version.
‘And I’m his object of jealousy.’
It was ridiculous to see someone much younger and lacking in experience than Weig act so jealous. In a way, Dyner was worse than Windne.
‘They really match each other well.’
Usually, Lubella wouldn’t have been able to retort a word. It was Lubella’s delicate nature that frustrated Weig. Widne was also the concern that Lubella had confessed to Zich as the main source of her stress. Thus, Weig would have usually intervened and told them to stop. Then, Dyner would intervene, and a small commotion would erupt. But this time, Weig crossed his arms and stood by.
“Yes, surely. How could I think that you said that to insult me?”
Windne blinked her eyes in surprise, seeing Lubella respond when she had always listened to her silently before. However, Lubella wasn’t finished.
“If you had the intention to insult me, anyone watching would think this.” Lubella continued calmly, “They will say that you are just jealous of me who is closest to becoming the Saint.”
Windne’s face grew stiff. Dyner had been wary about Weig’s untroubled behavior, and he looked at Lubella in surprise.
“But you aren’t so vulgar to feel satisfaction by tearing others down like that, right? Like someone suffering from an inferiority complex. I heard that there are people like that even in Karuwiman. Those people take down others while acting like they aren’t doing anything wrong. I’m so sorry to hear that there are people in Karuwiman who do things that I would only expect a Bellid to do.”
Windne’s face was red; as Lubella continued, more blood rose to Windne’s face. It seemed like her face would blow up at any moment, but Lubella didn’t stop.
“But you aren’t like that, right Windne? You aren’t someone who’d insult other people while acting otherwise. I am so grateful to have a friend like you.”
‘This is beyond my expectations.’
This was completely different from how she usually acted. Because of everything that Lubella had gone through recently, Weig thought she would respond to the situation well, but he didn’t know that she could talk like this.
The effect was outstanding. The sound of Windne’s heavy breathing rang across their surroundings, and Windne seemed like she didn’t know what to do with herself in rage.
Windne glared at Lubella. Before, Lubella would have been afraid, but to her surprise, she didn’t feel anything. Compared to Sude’s poisonous glares and Grotim’s murderous curses, this was nothing.
“…Yeah. Thank you for thinking that.”
Windne finally opened her mouth. Her dry tone hinted at her true feelings. Windne’s punching bag had always hung her head at Windne’s words, and she just resisted. Windne’s head was filled with rage, and she wanted to do anything to mess up Lubella's face.
“By the way, I feel like you changed a bit. Did you gain something from this trip? Can you teach me?” Windne smiled slyly and meanly. “I think you learned it while watching your Holy Knights die. In their sacrifice, you must have learned something truly valuable, right?”
Windne pretended to be impressed.
Weig gripped his fist. Windne had even brought up the dead Holy Knights to insult Lubella. This was going overboard, and even Dyner looked a bit surprised.
Weig couldn’t remain silent. He opened his mouth to say something when—
It was a clean sound that seemed to clear up Weig’s heart.
Windne raged while grasping onto her reddened cheeks. However, Lubella wasn’t afraid and coldly glared at Winde.
“What did you—!”
Dyner wanted to get angry at Lubella, but an arm blocked his path.
It was Weig.
“Stay still? How could you say that, seeing—!”
“—An argument between the Saint Candidates should be resolved between them. Isn’t that what you used to always tell me?”
Dyner gritted his teeth as he glared at Weig, but Weig didn’t care whatever Dyner did. Truthfully, Dyner was no less than an ant on a road to Weig. And while these two confronted each other, the two Saint Candidates moved.
Windne’s hand flew, but Lubella grabbed it.
“Eiih! Let go!”
Windne tried to free her hands, but it wasn’t easy. Unlike Lubella who persistently trained her physique, Windne didn’t do any training.
“Apologize to those who died.”
Her stern and cold voice showed how furious Lubella was.
“Stop joking! Why would I do such a—!”
A refreshing sound rang out again.
It was the other cheek this time. Windne didn’t expect another slap at all.
“They are not someone the likes of you can insult. I give up. I am the fool who expects an apology from you.”
Lubella said an insult. In addition to her violent action, this made people surprised for the second time.
“Sir Weig. Let’s go. There’s no need for us to waste our time with them.”
Lubella roughly dropped her grip on Windne’s hand and turned her back. While clutching her sore cheeks, Windne shouted out to Lubella’s back.
“Y-You! Do you think I won’t do anything?”
“Then, what are you going to do?” Lubella snorted, “How? Are you going to tell everyone what happened here? Adding the fact that you insulted the dead?”
Windne closed her mouth. Lubella didn’t respond like her usual self, so Windne had blabbered whatever she could; even she knew that she crossed the line with that comment. And she was aware of how other people would respond if they heard about this fight.
“Or are you going to gossip behind my back? Don’t you know my image? Between you and me, who do you think people will believe?”
“Still, I won’t stop you if you want to. I can just pull out everything that happened in the past. Since I am timid, I remember everything you said to me.”
Windne no longer said anything. If they really battled for the truth like Lubella said, she knew that she had no chance of winning. She was behind Lubella in faith, status, skills, and everything else.
“I don’t think you have anything left to say.”
Lubella turned around fast enough to make a ‘swish!’ sound and disappeared. Weig followed behind her with his shoulders stretched out pridefully. The only ones left in the garden were pitiful souls who trembled in humiliation and outrage like abandoned losers in the rain.Previous Chapter Next Chapter