༺ Apostle of Love (3) ༻
When Theresa entered the conference room she noticed the awkward atmosphere between Renee and Vera.
They were awkwardly staring straight ahead with the same gaze.
Naturally, she asked.
“What are you two doing?”
Both of them turned their gazes towards Theresa in unison. Vera bowed slightly while Renee flinched.
Theresa burst into laughter upon seeing the two contrasting reactions, then slowly moved and sat across from the two of them.
“Apologies. I wasn’t here for a long time, so I had a lot to discuss.”
Renee replied loudly, then shrank back as her shoulders drooped and inwardly uttered, ‘Oops.’
Theresa almost burst into laughter again at that sight. She then looked at the two of them.
She saw Vera looking worriedly at timid Renee, who retreated a little as her cheeks blushed and her eyes shut tight.
In Theresa’s eyes, she could see a pink aura swelling up from Renee.
‘It’s a crush.’
She could tell at a glance.
Theresa’s power was to see emotions in color. The more unrefined the emotion, the clearer it was to her ability.
A girl’s clumsy first love that didn’t know how to hide itself, she could see it at every passing moment.
Theresa, feeling a certain joy within her for some reason, told Renee.
“Saint, I hear that Trevor is teaching you divine art. Am I right?”
“I’ll look after you for the next month. I teach better than Trevor anyway.”
She declared as such out of nowhere. At that, Renee tilted her head and shared one concern about the arrangement.
“Uh… Will it be all right? If Trevor is going to be upset…”
She was worried because Trevor was so friendly to her. Theresa heard her concern and then nodded with a smile.
“Hmm, don’t worry. He’s the kind of guy who would love to have free time.”
Astute judgment. Vera thought so.
In fact, anyone who knew Trevor would immediately know. Those who came in and out of the Grand Hall knew for a fact that the lunatic was engrossed in his research.
However, Renee wasn’t aware of that due to Vera’s ‘education.’
Since then, Trevor had not shown his crazed appearance in front of Renee. Thus, she was not yet aware of his true nature.
Theresa looked at Vera, who nodded his head lightly, and then at Renee, who seemed to be at a loss for what to do. She then added more words in a tone full of laughter.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ve seen Trevor since he was a little pea, so I know him well, and when it comes to teaching, I’m more confident than anyone else. But, ah, what’s the point of saying it? I’ve even taught Vargo.”
Vera opened his eyes wide upon hearing those words.
A person who taught Vargo.
It was only then that he understood. The reason why Vargo was polite to Theresa. Also, the reason why Theresa was so confident.
In addition, greed flared up in Vera’s heart.
“Can I ask you to teach me?”
Theresa turned her attention to Vera, who continued speaking.
“Right now, I feel like I have hit a wall while studying the divine art on my own.”
It wasn’t an empty lie. Self-study had its limits. Some parts couldn’t be filled with just intuition while slowly digging into the theoretical part, but instead taught and passed down.
She came just at the right moment. Vera, who had been waiting for her response, trembled at Theresa’s prompt reply.
A word of refusal.
“May I ask why?”
“Teaching is only for the Saint; in the meantime, you must go elsewhere.”
He couldn’t make sense of her words. While Vera’s expression hardened, panic grew on Renee’s face.
I’ll have to be away from Vera.
That fact confused her. Renee felt anxious for some reason, but she didn’t know why. As a result, Renee was getting more and more restless.
When Theresa saw her expression, she let out a ‘hmm’ sound and continued explaining as if to drive the nail in this matter.
“It interferes with the use of my power.”
Power. She’ll use it to teach. That’s probably what she meant.
Vera wanted to counter back. However, he nodded his head to express his understanding, thinking that there was no point in opposing her in a situation like this when he wasn’t even familiar with her ‘Power of Love.’
“… I see.”
“Well, I heard you’re progressing well on your own even if you did hit a wall, so don’t get so worked up about nothing.”
“I don’t think it warrants apologizing to me.”
Fufu. Theresa laughed.
“Why don’t we start training the day after tomorrow?”
Renee uttered a rushed answer due to the unexpected situation.
Renee nodded, thinking of why things seemed to be going in a strange direction.
Two days later, at the vacant lot in front of the cabin.
Vera wiped the sweat off his face with a towel and looked around.
The source of the groans were the twins and Rohan, who were all lying on the ground.
Those who were called here for the purpose of their usual ‘education’ had all agreed to help Vera train. Since he needed to pass time somehow while he was away from Renee, he decided to call there for ‘education.’
“Please get up now. The duel is not over yet.”
Rohan, who was lying on the floor, stared at Vera while quaking at the words he heard.
‘This is not a duel!’
Isn’t this just an outlet to relieve stress? Rohan saw it plainly. Vera swung his wooden sword at him while smiling! He even whistled while beating up the twins!
It was unfair. Bitter resentment arose in his heart, however…
“Even with three, his strength is so…!”
There was no one here to listen to the resentment of the weak and downtrodden.
Rohan, who quaked in rage, immediately shifted his gaze and squinted his eyes as he looked at Trevor hiding behind a tree in the distance.
“Kid, why isn’t Trevor participating in this ‘duel’?”
“He doesn’t need to.”
Ugh! He said as such while lifting his torso.
Vera continued to ponder for a while as he looked at the situation and gave the answer.
“Nuisan-… No, since even if he competes in the duel it would be practically useless, so I left him out.”
Nuisance. He was just trying to say it’s obviously a nuisance.
Rohan glanced at Trevor at the words he had just heard.
It seemed unfair to Rohan, but it was indeed fair from Vera’s point of view. There was nothing to gain from beating Trevor. Not only did he lack the physical ability for fighting, but he also had no fear of getting hit.
Only madness dwelled within him, trash with no physical ability, or dread from being beaten up.
For Vera, that was the sort of existence Trevor was.
Vera glanced at Trevor, smiling behind a tree far away, who immediately cowered when their gazes. He then opened his mouth.
“Now that you’ve had enough rest, let’s go again. Twins, you both should get up, too.”
Flinched. The twins trembled.
They stood still, pretending to be dead, but Vera was relentless.
The twins, Krek and Karek, pursed their lips and grumbled.
“You’re only kind to Saint, Vera, this is gender discrimination.”
“As Rohan said. Vera is head over heels for her.”
When Rohan yelled in panic as his whole body broke out in a cold sweat upon hearing Karek’s words. He then glanced at Vera’s face.
His dismal eyes sank deeper, as if he was looking at a dead man. His eyebrows lifted slightly upwards, and a smirk came out of his mouth.
“Did Rohan say that?”
Vera questioned the twins. The twins nodded while adding.
“Rohan said that. Whenever that woman is around, Vera’s eyes stay glued to her.”
“Right. That woman is going to ruin Vera. That’s what Rohan said.”
“No! No! No! No! I didn’t say that!”
Rohan tried to make excuses, but instead, he fell into despair.
There was no way out.
Vera’s footsteps echoed in Rohan’s ears.
Schwiiing. The wooden sword soared high into the sky and filled Rohan’s entire vision as he looked up.
Rohan closed his eyes and prayed that he could at least regain consciousness today. He wanted to at least go out for a nice drink tonight.
A sound of a hard hit.
While Vera was fighting against other Apostles.
Renee smiled awkwardly while she was sitting across Theresa, who had come to her accommodation.
“Uh… Well, shall we start?”
“Alright, first of all, will Lady Saint show me how much she has learned?”
Renee nodded loudly upon hearing Theresa’s words, then put her hands in front of her chest to demonstrate the elementary art she had practiced so far.
That was her first time demonstrating like this, so she wasn’t at her peak confidence.
Above Renee’s hand, a bonfire was conjured up.
But ensuing worries arose in her heart as well.
‘… Did it turn out well?’
She was worried because she couldn’t see the results with her own eyes.
Usually, Vera looked at her results and gave various evaluations, so she wasn’t anxious, but now that Vera was not by her side, her anxiety soared.
Perhaps I’ve messed it up.
Renee was becoming increasingly anxious, suddenly recalling the praise Vera would usually say to ease her concerns. Her cheeks turned bright red as memories of the incident from two days earlier flooded her mind.
Her composure began to sway naturally. The bonfire she made, crisp-! was extinguished, and that sound shook Renee’s body.
Theresa looked at Renee’s flustered and bewildered state, then shook her head.
‘… It’s serious.’
Well, she doesn’t understand that feeling. However, isn’t she too immersed in those emotions at that age?
That sweetness of first love is something that doesn’t fade even after so many years.
“I’m sorry, I lost my concentration…”
“You have nothing to be sorry about. It would be strange to be good at something after only learning a month or two now.”
“You are doing well, Saint. Well, did I tell you? Do you know where I was dispatched to?”
Renee tilted her head upon hearing those words, then shook her head and replied.
“Oh, no. I don’t know.”
“The Academy. That’s the Tellon Academy in the northeast.”
“Oh! I know that place!”
Tellon Academy. It was a place Renee knew of.
No, she couldn’t help but know. The most famous academy on the continent, where talent from all across the world tends to gather, so even Renee, who lived in a rural village, knew its name.
Renee went on, feeling startled at the new realization that dawned on her.
“That’s great, isn’t it? I’ve heard that professors there are also outstanding.”
“Those who awakened divine power are everywhere. So there was a request for support from the Holy Kingdom. Oh, of course, I didn’t go as an Apostle. I merely entered as a simple priest.”
“As for why I’m saying this, I did it because I wanted to say that the Saint learns rather quickly. The students there can’t even reach your level even if they redo a semester.”
She answered with a smile. Renee, feeling embarrassed, lowered her head while scratching her cheek.
“Aah, I don’t think it’s that amazing….”
“Be confident. The Saint is quite talented.”
Theresa smiled again at Renee, who answered with an unmistakable shy smile, and then reached out and held Renee’s hand.
Renee, whose hands trembled, soon realized that the overlapping hands belonged to Theresa. She then relaxed.
“Now, the education I will be providing is through power.”
“If it’s power, then…”
“The Power of Love. The power to connect each other.”
A month was a short time. So Theresa intended to teach Renee in the most efficient way possible so that she could grow leaps and bounds during this short time.
“I use my power to connect the divinity with one another, and if I use my divine art in that state, the Saint will also feel the movement. You can remember that feeling and then follow it after the demonstration. Do you understand?”
“Don’t worry that the demonstration will fail by any chance. If something is wrong, I will correct it..”
She said so in a comforting tone.
Renee nodded, feeling somewhat relieved by the words she just heard.
“Come on, let’s get started.”
With a slight tremble, Rene felt something ticklish penetrating.
A feeling of warmth penetrated her.
Then Theresa’s divine art came into play.
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