When Adelia opened her eyes, an unfamiliar ceiling filled her view.
I’m sure I was in a carriage heading to the Holy Land…….
Adelia jumped to her feet. Then, at the right time, Ivan came into the room.
“You’re up. Did you sleep well?”
Adelia sighed at Ivan’s clear voice.
“You should’ve woken me up when we arrived. Did you move me yourself?”
Ivan’s brow creased at Adelia’s question. Adelia’s eyes turned round at Ivan’s reaction, which seemed to be somewhat angry.
“Who else is going to move you when I’m here?”
“…a servant or something?”
Adelia immediately noticed that her answer was wrong. Somehow, Ivan’s gaze looked fierce so Adelia gently avoided looking at him.
“Well, I’m a little hungry.”
Anyone could tell that she was changing the subject. Ivan just smiled and shook his head.
“I thought so, so I brought a quick bite to eat.”
Only then did Adelia find the tray next to Ivan. Various foods were placed on a large three-tier tray. It was never a simple level.
Adelia came out of bed with a small smile. Ivan waited for Adelia, putting the food on the table by himself.
“Now that I see it, it’s for 2 people, have you not eaten yet?”
“I waited for you to wake up so we could eat together.”
“…you should have eaten first.”
Adelia felt sorry and her heart tickled at the same time.
I understand why Ivan suffered in the noble society. Looking at his appearance, you can’t help but fall for him.
Adelia realized again what kind of person she was dating. She felt like her hungry stomach was full with this fact alone.
The two continued to eat while sitting face to face. Ivan, who was quietly moving the tableware, said as if he had suddenly thought of it.
“This will be your last supper.”
“Oh, yes, that’s right. I have to eat only the food from the temple starting tomorrow..”
During Selcred, everyone who enters the Holy Land must fast. Meat and seafood are prohibited. In particular, the guardian of the torch has a strict diet for purification, only porridge boiled with oats is allowed.
Ivan looked at Adelia, who suddenly became sullen. He spoke in a worried voice.
“If you want, I’ll bring your meal personally.”
He meant that he would secretly bring a decent meal. Adelia could not help but be bewildered for a moment. But she shook her head firmly.
“Thank you for your concern, but I think it would be better to minimize the possibility of getting caught in the future.”
“…are you sure you don’t mind?”
“…it should be okay.”
A heavy sigh came from Adelia’s mouth.
“First of all, I need to see Cardinal Eustaf. The reason I participated in Selcred is to get information about the relics.”
“He already came but you were sleeping soundly, so he went back, but he wants to talk to you tomorrow about the relics.”
At Ivan’s words, Adelia rubbed her forehead. Eustaf came while she was in deep sleep.
No, I don’t have to rush. I’m stuck in the Holy Land until the end of the Selcred anyway.
There is a saying that rushing things will only delay you. For now, she decided to focus on stabilizing before the purification ceremony.
Then, there was a knock.
“Come on in.”
“Excuse me for a moment.”
It was a man dressed in dark brown and modest priestly clothing. It was a probationary priest who knocked on the door.
“Adelia-nim. A visitor has arrived.”
At the unscheduled visitor, Adelia looked at Ivan in wonder. Ivan also shrugged, not knowing the visitor’s identity.
“Who is it?”
“He says… He cannot reveal his identity.”
“What do you mean….”
At that moment, a face flashed through Adelia’s head. After all, there are only a few people who would find her in the holy land. One of them is Eustaf and the other is…
Adelia, who easily deduced the identity of the visitor, expressed her intention to meet at the probationary priest.
“I’ll see him.”
“I will guide you.”
The priest led Adelia to a small drawing room next to her room.
“Well done. You can leave now.”
“Yes, if you need anything, please feel free to call me.”
Adelia told the priest to leave his position and went straight into the drawing room. In the drawing room, there was a man sitting like a stone statue with a robe over his philtrum.
At Adelia’s call, the man raised his head. Soon the man took off his robe and his blue hair flowed like a wave.
“I haven’t seen you in a long time. Saint.”
Bishop Berg bowed down on one knee and greeted her as if he was praying. Adelia quickly looked around, confirmed that no one was there, and breathed a sigh of relief.
“Please be careful what you call me here in the holy land, there might be some ears listening to us.”
At Adelia’s words, Bishop Berg lowered his head with an expression of irony. He quickly recognized that he had made a mistake.
“I didn’t think that much. Please forgive me. Sai… No, Viscount Yurpheon.”
“Get up. You don’t have to bend your knees in the future.”
Berg must’ve been moved by what she said. His eyes sparkled. An awkward smile formed around Adelia’s mouth as she felt like a mother bird.
“…so, what brings you here in secret?”
The look on the face of Bishop Berg became serious.
“I have something to report to you, so I came here urgently. I’m sorry to drop by without contacting you.”
“You’ve got something.”
Adelia saw through Bishop Berg, who had come with results after waiting, and thought that her choice was not wrong.
A strange tension filled the gap between the two.
“Do you know a priest in black?”
“No, I’ve never heard of it.”
“I see. Actually, I haven’t had a direct encounter with them yet, but one thing I’m sure about is that they’re deeply connected to the Valkyr family.”
Priests in black
Vishnaism was wary of black. To be more precise, they rejected the color black because the color contrasted with pure white, which symbolizes the goddess Vishna.
Then, it is clear that the priests in black were not priests of Vishna.
You mean they colluded with pagans?
Vishnaism was the most important religion that spread throughout the continent, that does not mean that there are no other religions, so it is not impossible.
“And in this Selcred, the Saint…, No, Lady Valkyr will attend.”
“I’m sorry. I wanted to stop it, but if I stop it, I might leave some room for doubt….”
Surely it could have seemed strange if only Bishop Berg raised his disagreement.
“Maybe after Miss Adelia puts the torch on the altar, the congratulatory speech of Lady Valkyr will follow.”
“They’re not going to let me end it.”
“…yes. And one of the priests in black will come in as Lady Valkyr’s assistant priest.”
For a moment, Adelia’s eyes grew bigger. They’re in the holy land and Selcred is a festival for Vishna. Furthermore, being Hestine’s assistant priest meant the same thing as becoming a servant of Vishna. What are they up to?
A priest who serves another god becomes a priest of the Vishna religion. Then maybe it might not be unrelated to Vishna religion at all.
My mind has become complicated. But this was not the end. Bishop Berg’s subsequent words led to greater confusion for Adelia.
“One of the mysterious priests seemed to want to see you.”
“It’s certainly strange. Why me? If they have anything to do with Vishna, they should be interested in Hestine, not me.”
She was worried that they might know her true identity. But even Cardinal Eustaf didn’t realize Adelia was a saint until she proved herself powerful.
Yeah, I don’t think they’ve ever seen me before.
Then there is only one possibility left. To directly confirm the existence of a prophet threatening the status of a saint.
If a group of priests in black really colluded with Hestine, it is clear that the existence of a prophet is a thorn in the eye.
Maybe something troublesome will happen.
And at the same time, an opportunity.
A mysterious group of priests and the decorated saint. If these two are involved, they could find a clue to overthrowing the Duke of Valkyr.
“It would be better to strengthen your escort.”
Bishop Berg looked at Adelia who was in deep thought and spoke with concern for her safety. Adelia finally slipped out of her thoughts and smiled.
“Thank you for your concern but suddenly strengthening my escort would only create awkwardness and unnaturalness.”
Adelia said quite calmly, but Berg’s expression was not very good. The ominous foreboding from earlier made Berg’s nerves stand on edge.
“…I see. But if you need any help, feel free to let me know.”
“Thank you. Oh, and do you know anything about the holy relics that the Duke of Valkyr collects?”
“A relic… Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Holy relics, so I don’t think I will help.”
An exclamation of regret flowed through Adelia’s lips. She asked just in case, but it seemed that Berg was not aware of this either. At Adelia’s actions, Berg desperately rolled his head.
Come up with something! Be of help to the saint.
After constant self-flogging, Bishop Berg came up with some information.
“Oh! Come to think of it, one of the relics that Duke Valkyr recently collected was in the shape of a pocket watch!”
This was useful information. Knowing the shape of a relic will make it easier to determine its ability.
Adelia opened her mouth with a hearty smile.
“Thank you. I think it’s going to be a little easier because of Bishop Berg. I look forward to your continued support.”
Despite the trivial compliment, Berg smiled brightly as if he had the whole world.
“Yes……! Just leave it to me!”
That’s how her first night in holy land passed.