༺ Aftermath (1) ༻
Gradually, like something emerging from underwater, she regained consciousness.
She experienced a strange sensation of floating aimlessly through the air, followed by a comfortable feeling enveloping her body.
Renee realized she had awoken and was lying on top of a bed. Her hand flinched out of surprise before she slowly opened her eyelids.
And then she heard Vera’s voice.
Renee felt her body tremble at her reflexive response.
It was because she had a dry and cracked voice.
Apparently, she had been asleep for a long time.
She recalled the last thing she had done before collapsing. After pulling out all of her divinity and weaving it into her power, she forcibly opened the gateway to the Heavenly Realm that Rohan had tried to open. And on top of that, she had woven a wide area healing spell with her divine arts.
“Are you awake?”
“How many days have passed?”
“A week has passed.”
A look of surprise appeared on Renee’s face.
“Is that so?”
“…Yes. A lot of people are worried about you. How are you feeling?”
Renee checked her body’s condition upon hearing that. Perhaps because she had been lying down for too long, she felt weak and her mind was still groggy, but there wasn’t anything else out of the ordinary.
“I’m fine. I feel full of life.”
She replied with a gentle smile. Renee took a long, ragged breath and then asked a question.
“What became of those terrorists? And the people in the Imperial Palace?”
“Everything has been resolved. The divinity that poured out of the Heavenly Realm’s gateway that the Saint quickly opened treated the wounded, so there weren’t many casualties. Likewise, I’ve also heard that the Crown Prince’s health has been recovering well.”
“That’s a relief.”
Everything had been resolved. She felt much more at ease now.
“Did you catch the Tower Master and her accomplice?”
“…I cut off the Tower Master’s throat, so she must have definitely died. As for her accomplice… I couldn’t catch them. I apologize.”
“It’s okay, you don’t have to apologize. I’m glad the Tower Master was caught at least.”
Laughter escaped her lips.
Renee lowered her eyelids again and exhaled a deep sigh of relief, checking her own condition once more.
She had a feeling as if something had changed. She didn’t mean physically or ability-wise.
It was about her mindset.
All the trivial concerns that had made her second guess herself were fading away, leaving behind a strange sense of relief. She felt slightly detached from reality, but at the same time, her thoughts were flowing much more clearly.
In the midst of that strange sensation, she felt a little happy.
“You pushed yourself too far this time.”
Vera’s rebuke washed over Renee.
Renee let out a small laugh at the worry and bitterness in his words.
“Now, do you understand how I feel?”
The thought of Vera emerged – all alone, always pushing himself too far and getting injured. Then, she remembered the response she had given him.
The sound of Vera’s stressed out voice rang in her ears.
“Ah, don’t apologize. I just meant that don’t even think about lecturing me.”
Vera’s voice was trembling.
Renee didn’t know why, but she was in a pleasant mood. Her shoulders moved up and down with excitement as she laughed, and then she held out one hand.
Vera’s hand came down on Renee’s hand. Renee gently stroked his large, rough, and cracked hands, then said.
“Was Vera injured, too?”
“Only slightly. It’s only divinity exhaustion from drawing out too much.”
“Either way, you’re hurt, aren’t you?”
“You know that you’re in no position to scold anyone, right?”
Once again, Vera’s distressed voice leaked out, and Renee burst into laughter.
Something had changed.
It wasn’t something she could accurately describe with words. It was just a feeling.
However, she did gain some sort of realization that allowed her to act boldly.
“There’s something I want to do.”
A surprised expression emerged on Vera’s face, which Renee was unable to see.
“Is that so?”
“Yes, I want to help those people. More than ever before. As best as I can.”
What I have to do. It was burned into her mind.
She wanted to become the brightest light in the world so that this humble man she loved could finally reach the light, and to fulfill the dream she had wished for.
This was probably why she felt so relieved and relaxed, as she could clearly see her goal.
Renee smiled brightly.
Renee spent time lying on her bed, lost in thought.
She didn’t feel anything wrong with her body, but the diagnosis stated that she should avoid moving for now because she had been lying down for a week.
It was a boring time.
Considering she was blind, there wasn’t much she could do while lying down.
She spent most of her time talking with the four apprentice priests attending to her or Vera, but they each had their own work to do, so they couldn’t be by her side all day.
‘Aisha said she’s coming tomorrow.’
Perhaps because her pride was hurt by only running away during the terrorist attack, Aisha had been helping alongside Dovan to help clean up the streets and clear away the mess.
The Apostles were the same.
Despite being outsiders, holding the position of an Apostle meant that they couldn’t sit still.
And because of those reasons, Renee had plenty of time to organize her thoughts. In the midst of her boredom, what she thought about the most was… Orgus, who she had met in the slums.
The strange time period at some unknown point that she had been shown.
That was what kept bothering her.
Renee pondered, racking her brain as best as she could.
‘It’s not the past.’
She was certain.
There were too many pieces that didn’t fit together to assume that the time period that Orgus had shown her was the past.
Even the tone of Vera’s voice made that clear.
‘It was much lower than it is now.’
His voice already had a hint of age to call it the past.
Vera’s voice, which was clear and authoritative as he snapped someone’s neck, was without a doubt an adult’s voice.
‘That doesn’t mean it’s the future.’
Rohan, and the person Rohan was with.
There were too many uncertain parts to call that time period that reflected those two people the future.
The voice and name of that unknown person were hidden behind ‘—–’.
It was also true for the person Vera had met in the unknown time period.
Renee began to extract and piece together the information she had on the unknown person.
They had a position in the Holy Kingdom that even Rohan respected.
They seemed to have had a very close relationship with Vera.
In the last moments of the time period she had been shown, this person had deeply shaken Vera’s emotions.
‘It doesn’t make sense…’
Renee’s expression became gloomy.
It was difficult to extract something useful from the jumbled up information.
The only thing that could be considered a clue was that Orgus had hidden everything about that person while showing a different timeline.
‘It’s saying I’m not supposed to see that person.’
She wasn’t sure what the purpose was, but Orgus was preventing her from seeing the person in that timeline.
It was the question she wanted to ask, but she knew she wouldn’t get an answer.
All she could vaguely think of was that the person was an important figure.
Renee let out a deep sigh.
‘What could it be…’
Renee kept pondering repeatedly about something she had heard regarding Orgus in the past.
‘Orgus never acts without a purpose.’
Every action has a series of objectives. The time I was shown, whether the past or the future, are all ‘events I need to know’.
A groan escaped her lips following her deep contemplation.
She wanted to ask Vera who that person was… but the answer was obvious.
There was no way Vera could know.
The timeline shown by Orgus was something that had yet to happen, and was uncertain to happen.
Was it a warning that such a thing could happen?
As Renee’s thoughts became more and more tangled, another groan emerged from her lips.
Vera entered the room.
“Are you feeling better?”
Renee made an awkward smile.
Physically, she was fine, but mentally, she felt uneasy.
“How about Vera? Is work going well?”
“Yes, I’ve been asked to assist in the redevelopment of the districts.”
“Ah, right, I heard that the Magic Tower was destroyed.”
It seemed the Tower Master was a rather toxic person.
‘Destroying the Magic Tower just because she was about to lose…’
That was extreme dedication. Her attempt to kill the Crown Prince, the human experimentation, and even blowing up the Magic Tower.
Renee wondered what she was doing all of this for.
“Yes, but I’m certain she’s dead since I cut her head off.”
It sounded awkward to hear him say that he cut a human’s neck off with such a casual tone.
“I-Is that so?”
Renee laughed awkwardly while fiddling with her fingers, and then let out a small sigh before asking her question.
“Vera. Were you alone before coming to the Holy Kingdom? I mean… was there no one you cared about, or was there anyone on your mind who you left behind?”
They were words alluding to what she wanted to know.
Even though the time period Orgus showed hadn’t happened yet, Renee thought that there was a possibility that Vera and this unknown person were already acquainted.
Vera shook his head at those words.
It was because he didn’t understand the intention behind those unexpected words.
Vera thought for a moment and then realized there wasn’t anything he had to hide, so he nodded his head and replied.
“There was someone. I’m human as well, so it’s not as if I had never formed any kind of relationship.”
“Ah! What kind of person are they? I want to meet them too.”
“Hm, that seems difficult. That person is someone I can’t meet anymore.”
Vera meant that he couldn’t introduce Renee to herself, but Renee looked confused because she didn’t understand what he meant.
“Is that so…?”
Renee’s body flinched back.
‘Are they dead?’
No, that’s not it.
There was a more logical explanation.
‘…They haven’t met yet.’
That would be more accurate.
The person Vera was talking about was separate from that ‘unknown person’.
Renee continued thinking. At the same time, Vera felt nostalgic at the thought that came to mind and mumbled while making a slightly amused, yet sad smile.
“She was a strange woman. I’m not sure I’ll ever meet anyone like her again in my life.”
A strange woman.
Renee’s body stiffened. It was a natural reaction to the words she just heard. Her thoughts quickly pieced together the words.
If the person Vera was currently talking about wasn’t the ‘unknown person’ and was already dead…
‘Is it his first love?’
“Ah, it’s nothing! My back’s been bothering me for a while.”
Renee’s forehead broke out in a cold sweat.
Renee swallowed her rising panic and then tried to calm herself down.
‘No, it’s just a woman! What am I overreacting for?!’
I have to graduate from these things, I can’t keep being so nervous all the time.
Excessive delusions! Even suspicions! It’s time to get rid of them! Didn’t I promise myself a few days ago that I would mature a little?!
Renee nodded her head, raising the corners of her lips.
An awkward silence filled the room.
It was a silence naturally created by Renee. She couldn’t get her words out because she was trying to suppress her rising panic.
Even if she made up her mind, it was just human nature that things wouldn’t go the way she wished.
Could someone truly change in an instant just by making a promise to themselves?
Renee suddenly felt the uncomfortable atmosphere and closed her eyes tightly.
‘Why did I say such pointless words?!’
Why did I bring up a dead person?!
Regret filled her mind. She wished someone would come to break this atmosphere.
The moment she prayed with all her heart, for some reason, the heavens answered her prayers.
Aisha’s excited scream rang throughout the room.
“No way~ I don’t wanna~”
There was a brief confrontation between Aisha and Vera. A smile as bright as the sunlight spread across Renee’s face while she watched Aisha being sarcastic and sticking her tongue out.
Across from Renee, Aisha raised both arms towards the sky and shouted. A white light exploded in the room.
“I can do this now!”
Her voice was full of excitement. Vera’s body jerked and his eyes widened, his mouth dropping open.
Renee was no different. Just moments ago, she had been wearing a bright expression but was now shocked by the sudden light that descended upon her body.
It was divinity.
The exploding light that Aisha had released was divinity.
A strange silence filled the room.
In the midst of that silence, Aisha’s eyes sparkled as she blurted out a question.
“Can I become a priestess now?”
No one answered her question.
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