༺ End of the Midnight Sun (1) ༻
“Then I will take my leave.”
“Yes, have a good night.”
At the end of Vera’s gaze, there was Renee, who bowed her head slightly and entered the house with the red roof.
Vera turned around and left the village after Renee, who opened the door, completely disappeared into the house.
‘… From today.’
The night returns again.
Thus, the long period of the week of midnight sun has finally ended
In addition, it also meant that each group, which had been rifling through the continent, gradually began narrowing down the search radius.
I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t even worried.
They are only going to narrow down the search radius, because a week is not enough time to identify Renee.
They don’t have the power of Guidance.
In other words, there is no way to identify her immediately.
The only way to identify her was to keep an eye on the Holy Kingdom’s movements, but in this case, even that was futile.
‘Because I was the one who moved.’
Since the Saint never left the Holy Kingdom to begin with, no matter how hard they tried to gather information, they won’t be able to find anything because she never existed in their information, not to mention never met her. Therefore, they can’t identify the Saint through those means.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they will never find her.
The continent has magic. If there exists divine power, there also exists magic spells.
If they actively use magic, one day they will be able to identify a saint.
Vera arrived at the entrance of the village while pondering over such thoughts and found Norn standing there waiting for him. Seeing him, he bowed slightly.
“What did you find out?”
“The Empire is still in the middle of their search and are currently at the central part. It seems that they are trying to find the saint in their own country.”
“What about the Magic Tower?”
“Likewise, it seems they have expanded the search range to the central and the southern parts. The Union is moving towards the west. There also seems to be some noise from within.”
Vera nodded when he heard his report.
This was the first thing Vera did when he realized Renee didn’t want to go to the Holy Kingdom.
Having Norn follow him to grasp the movement across the continent.
No matter how much time he has, shouldn’t he be prepared at least?
“What about the other groups?”
“It seems the Dragonians that are moving in large numbers are being captured all over the continent. As for the ‘Followers of the Night’… as you already know, they can’t be mobile during the nights of the midnight sun.”
“I understand for now. Thank you for your hard work.”
“I did what needed to be done.”
Norn bowed his head.
‘Should I be at ease?’
Vera calculated the path they would take in the future by analyzing his previous life’s knowledge and checking if there are any contrasting elements with the current situation.
‘Probably the first ones who will reach us will be the Dragonians.’
Mixed with the blood of dragons —those who seek the saint’s power to transcend their master power
They were the ones who had their own mobility and independent information network, so they are probably the first to identify the Saint.
‘next probably… the Followers of the Night.’
Those who seek the Saint to erase the curse engraved on their blood.
They are immovable during the day, but on the other hand, at night, they are able to move faster than anyone else.
In addition, their bodies instinctively reject divinity, so once they lay their eyes on Renee, they will immediately recognize that Renee is the Saint.
Then, in Vera’s head, the path they had traveled in the previous life came to his mind.
‘The Empire could not identify the Saint until the very end. The Magic Tower headed to the north due to friction with the Dragonian, and the Union is something we don’t have to worry about once we cross the border, so we don’t need to strategize against them.’
It wasn’t just a guess. As the composition of the previous life was exactly like this, the situation will continue unless there is a major change.
Besides, that was the reason why Vera could still be so relaxed.
If it was just ‘Dragonians’ and the ‘Followers of the Night,’ Vera’s power alone is enough to wipe them out.
‘… It’s not bad.’
I can still be at ease for now.
In the worst case, I would have to force her to go to Holy Land, but not yet.
Vera didn’t want to force Renee’s opinion. He wanted her to be able to stand up on her own and make up her own mind by the end.
Why not? Because she was the one who showed him the light in his past life.
She did not force her ideals on him. She did not ignore his will. She moved his heart just by staying by his side, so her opinion also deserves to be respected.
‘… Not yet.’
I wanted to wait a little longer for her.
While Vera was in the midst of thinking, Norn, who was watching him, cautiously took this opportunity to ask a question.
“Uhm… So what happened to the Saint?”
“I don’t think she’s ready yet.”
Norn, who was looking at Vera, who responded in a concerned tone, felt that Vera’s face overlapped with the face he had seen before this investigation.
An indescribably stupid face.
That’s the expression that overlaps with his face.
How surprised I was. Vera, who had always shown the day standing since the first day we met, trudged with a face as stupid as the twins, and I thought of something huge happened.
However, upon hearing his following words, that he wanted to respect Lady Saint’s opinion, he realized that he was fine.
Apart from that, he couldn’t erase the question that still lingered in his mind.
‘Is he in love with the saint?’
Norn’s eyes narrowed.
Isn’t that a plausible reasoning?
Before he left, the Saint, who he saw for a moment, was a beautiful person to the point that he could not help but exclaim.
‘He is in his prime?’
Vera was a young man who had just turned 18. It was the time of his youth.
Norn fully understood his feelings.
I’m now married and have children, but how was I at that time? Whenever I saw a girl wearing a skirt, I would remain distracted and flustered for the entire day.
He secretly nodded his head and couldn’t help but smile like a father when realized that.
‘I’m rooting for you.’
Of course, love is an emotion that cannot be achieved only through one-sided love, but Norn believed in Vera, the hard worker he had seen.
He was a person who was serious about everything, so his sincerity will surely reach her.
“… Why are you looking at me like that?”
Vera frowned. Norn looked at him and smiled.
Even though they were acting together on this escort quest they had different trail of thoughts in their minds.
The next day, Vera followed Renee and matched her footsteps.
He silently kept following as if he was her shadow
There were occasional chatting moments, but most of the time they ended up walking while being silent.
It was a situation that might feel uncomfortable at first glance, but it was still a satisfactory situation for Vera.
Just by following her, he can confirm that she is all right.
The embers he is chasing continued to burn.
Just by being able to see her with his own eyes, Vera could feel a sense of calmness settle deep within him.
He kept following her. The landscape, which had retained its visage for the whole week of midnight sun, gradually changed its color over time.
As the midday sun illuminated the ground, the shadows that had previously waned gradually lengthened over time. Meanwhile, the sky gradually took on a reddish color as the setting sun added a reddish shade to the greenery.
It was only after that time had come that Renee uttered a question.
“… The knight doesn’t ask anything.”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t you think it’s funny? A blind girl who is blind is walking all day like this. She can’t judge the dangers since she can’t see them.”
Vera’s eyes looked at Renee upon hearing her words. The answer was, as always, a disrespectful remark.
“It’s not funny at all.”
“Really? You’re an exception.”
What followed was silence again. Behind the ‘Tap’ sound of her cane, followed the ‘stomp’ sound of his footsteps.
Renee continued speaking after walking for a while.
“I’m trying to learn the way. Since I can’t see, if there is an occasion when I have fetch something I need from outside, I can find the way easily.”
Renee’s steps halted. As a result, Vera’s footsteps also stopped.
At the end of Vera’s gaze, Renee stared blankly into the air and continued muttering.
A helpless laugh escaped Renee’s lips.
“Actually, I know. That I wouldn’t have to go outside the village by myself. If something big happened to the village, then there really wouldn’t be anything I could do.”
Grief blended with a tinge of rage and helplessness.
Those are the feelings that lingered in Renee’s words.
“Even if the Saint the knight seeks is me, I will not be the person the Knight expects. I can’t do anything alone… I am blind, unable to see.”
She was dejected. She was in despair.
It was only then did Vera think that 14-year-old Renee seemed a bit clearer.
In addition, He could clearly understand where those feelings were coming from.
Helplessness. The thing that persistently tormented Vera in his younger days was haunting Renee when she was fourteen.
He still doesn’t know what it feels like to be blind. However, Vera could sympathize with what such a sense of helplessness was.
Fear of being unable to do anything. Fear of living like this and eventually dying. A parasitic feeling that gnaws away at your heart and corrodes your life.
That is the feeling of helplessness.
What should I say? Can I comfort her by telling her how to tackle it?
As Vera continued to think, he recalled the words she had said to him in his previous life on a daily basis, and spat them out.
“You never know.”
It was something she always said, so he would hold on to his life. So he could stand back up on his feet.
What he heard in reply were words brimming with deep scorn.
“What? I might be able to see through my eyes again. Is that what you want to say?”
Renee turned around and faced Vera. Vera opened his mouth once more after taking a glance at Renee’s frowning expression.
“You never know. Even the Gods in the Heavens probably do not know whether the Saint is truly a woman who cannot do anything, or whether she will become truly Great.”
“It’s not funny. And I am not the Saint.”
Renee pursed her lips. Her brows furrowed.
Renee, who lowered her head with such an expression, then continued with a deep breath.
“I’m sorry. I was too frustrated. It’s not the knight’s fault… .”
Having said that, Renee turned around and began walking again.
Just as the cane touched the ground.
Vera looked at her back and uttered the following words with utmost sincerity.
“A lot of people fall. Even at this very moment, there are many who are trembling in fear.”
Renee stopped walking. Her gaze was still directed forward, so Vera could not see her expression.
“However, I only know a few who didn’t give up in such a situation.”
Vera looked at Renee’s back and continued speaking.
He recalled the words she said to him that day, and he uttered similar words along those lines.
“Saint…you are dejected, yet you haven’t stopped walking.”
She was different from him.
She was still walking, unlike himself, who kept falling deeper into the slums while blaming the world.
“You are working hard today for a tomorrow you don’t even know whether it exists or not.”
Thus, in the end, she became the light that subdued even this evil being.
“So, no one knows what the future Renee will be like.”
She isn’t helpless at all.
Vera said so with all his heart and bowed his head.
The next moment, silence descended upon that place. The wind blew. Her shadow, which grew longer with the gradually setting sun, fell in front of Vera, who kept his head bowed.
The sound of cane tapping the ground resounded.
She moved on without saying anything in reply.
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