༺ Awakening (1) ༻
Two weeks later, at the flower bed in front of the accommodations.
Vera was sitting on a bench next to Renee, and while spending time with her, he suddenly spat out a question.
“So how was the lesson?”
He inquired as such, since he didn’t hear anything about how lessons were proceeding for a while.
Renee jumped in surprise at his sudden question. After a moment, upon realizing that Vera had asked her a question, she quickly replied to him.
“Oh, good! Lady Theresa is teaching me really well.”
Badump. Badump. Even as she spoke, her heart was beating erratically.
It was because of the thought that Vera, who had never taken the lead in a conversation, spoke first.
Renee judged the feeling as pleasure, but if Theresa had seen it, she would have called it excitement.
Renee continued to talk as her face became more like a rose. She wanted to talk longer about the topic that Vera brought up first.
She spoke in a vivid, blooming tone.
“Lady Theresa’s powers were very helpful.”
“It’s the power to connect each other, right?”
“Yes! It connects me and Lady Theresa, and in that state, when Lady Theresa uses divine art, I can feel the flow of her divinity. Well…. So, it felt like I was using that divine art.”
“That’s a little strange.”
“Is that right? Oh, can I show you? What I’ve been learning.”
“It would be an honor.”
“What an honor that is.”
Pfft. Renee let out a laugh.
She laughed at Vera’s formal response, then stretched out her hand and released her divinity.
“It’s a healing art. She said it would be good for me to learn this first”
“Yes, it’s probably the best way to utilize the vitality generated from the divine power itself.”
Vera responded to Renee’s words and watched her manipulate the pure white divinity.
The divinity, which had spread like a fog, condensed into a circle at the tip of Renee’s fingers. A halo began floating at the tip of her fingers.
Vera exclaimed as his eyes widened.
“That’s amazing. The level of completion is quite high, considering you just started learning two weeks ago.”
“Well, it was all thanks to Lady Theresa.”
Hehe, she answered with a smile.
Vera, who heard the answer, thought that the power of love was an excellent power for teaching.
‘There was a reason why His Holiness showed her that much respect.’
Seeing it in person, Vera intuitively realized.
‘Perhaps it’s a technique for teachers to share the experience they have accumulated with an individual.’
Sharing the senses is equivalent to imposing the skills that the teacher has honed throughout their life directly into the body of their student.
In other words, it was possible to pass on a full experience in a short span of time.
The versatility of the ability was amazing. It was worthy of being a power of stigma.
‘… It’s an ability that can’t be used in war.’
In his last life, the reason why Theresa didn’t go to the front line after the Demon King’s awakening was due to this ability.
It was an ability that could be used on a person and quickly raise them to a higher level in terms of strength, but it was also an ability that couldn’t be used effectively on the battlefield where people were dying if they made just a slight error.
No matter how much she nurtured a person to a higher level, if they went to the battlefield and died, she would have to raise other personnel from the beginning all over again.
‘The efficiency of it is low.’
It was an ability that was good to have on the battlefield, but that was by no means a necessity. There was no benefit in trying to obstinately use it.
One mistake is all it will take. As Vera closed his mouth, silence descended upon the space.
Renee, who was in the midst of demonstrating her divine art, felt awkward at the sudden quiet atmosphere and said words that came into her mind.
“Ummm… Well, that’s all that I can do!”
“Oh, that was great.”
She always heard compliments from him, but she never felt bored by it for some reason.
Renee fidgeted with her hands that were resting on her thighs. Renee hated the silence that had once again fallen and thought of a topic for conversation in her head.
‘What should I say? What topic should I bring up for a long conversation?’
Nothing came to Renee’s mind as she kept pondering over this. So, she continued thinking deeply to the point where her head turned hot. She then blurted the words that first came to her mind.
“Oh right! Sir Knight.”
“Yes, what is it?”
“What does Sir Knight do during my lesson?”
Vera’s gaze turned to Renee.
He gently lowered his head and clasped his hands, trying to come up with an answer.
‘What am I doing?’
Vera honestly couldn’t come up with an answer.
Naturally, he couldn’t say out loud that every day he called the other Apostles to ‘educate’ them.
Vera contemplated for a while as he weaved an answer. He then licked his lips and spoke.
“I’m doing some personal training.”
What he said wasn’t technically wrong, he just twisted the meaning a bit.
Since the beating occurred in the form of a ‘duel’, it could be seen as part of swordsmanship training.
Renee nodded upon hearing his answer.
“Sir Knight is quite diligent.”
“In order to become a person worthy of standing next to the Saint, I’ll have to at least do this much.”
Startle, Renee’s shoulders shook.
He says it this way again. Speaking in such a vague manner can make people misunderstand this situation.
Of course, although she knew that it wasn’t meant to be weird, what if other people heard this? They could possibly misunderstand the relationship between them.
Renee’s cheeks reddened at the thought that occurred.
Thoughts came to her mind unconsciously, and as a result, she couldn’t think too deeply about them.
All Renee could do was blush with the rush of those emotions that accompanied her thoughts.
She answered while shaking her head.
She stuttered as her voice quivered.
Renee closed her eyes tightly as she resented herself for appearing like a fool again.
“I’m wondering if you have a sore throat…”
Suddenly, those words came out of his mouth.
The same night, at Renee’s accommodation.
Renee heaved a deep sigh, leaning her back against the bedside.
It was because her body didn’t listen when she was with Vera.
She couldn’t figure out why she was acting so selfishly, no matter how much she thought about it. Because of that, her frustration grew each passing day.
Tuk. Tuk. Her clenched fist pounded on the blanket.
Hela, who was in the middle of looking at Renee’s bed, tilted her head and asked a question about Renee’s action.
“Lady Saint, what’s wrong with you?”
“Yes? Oh, I feel like my thighs are cramped.”
She lied without even batting an eye.
Immediately after giving that answer, Renee started feeling frustrated again, thinking about why she was so comfortable when dealing with Hela, and why she would always rush when she was with Vera.
Hela placed her hands on her thighs upon hearing Renee’s response. She then straightened her back and continued speaking.
“Can I give you a massage?”
“A massage. Even if I look like this, I’m very good at giving others a massage.”
A serious answer to a roughly made-up statement.
Hela’s answer pricked Renee’s conscience. She nodded and took off the blanket that was covering her.
“Hmm, please be gentle.”
“Yes, pardon my intrusion.”
Hela climbed onto the bed, placed her hand on Renee’s thigh, and began to move carefully.
“My father said that, If I were to become a masseuse, I might have become the best masseuse on the continent.”
Press. As Renee felt the pressure on her thigh, she answered the question with an awkward smile.
“Yes, that’s right. You’re definitely good.”
She uttered a compliment in bewilderment amidst a guilty conscience. Soon after, Hela continued speaking.
“Since Lady Saint is still young, she needs to take good care of her body. If she overdoes it from now on, she will not be able to develop properly.”
Words that could be interpreted as nagging. However, this was Hela’s own way of showing affection.
Renee, who smirked upon hearing Hela’s words, soon blurted out a question. Hela saying ‘Lady Saint is still young’ and ‘growth’ made her feel nervous for some reason.
“Ugh… Do I look that young?”
Badump. Badump. Her heart pounded in anticipation of her answer.
She was afraid that the word ‘yes’ would come out of Hela’s mouth. For some reason, Renee didn’t seem to like it.
Responding to the question that was handed to her, Hela checked Renee out from top to bottom and pondered for a while. She let out a ‘Hmm’ and answered.
“I would say you look fresh.”
Tilt. Renee tilted her head.
‘Does that mean I look young? Or does it mean I look mature?’
It was an ambiguous answer rather than a straightforward answer.
Renee frowned and tried to ask the question again, but recalling the thought that it might seem suspicious to ask that question persistently, she nodded instead.
Unanswered questions were making Renee even more distressed.
The next day, in the outdoor garden.
Renee was waiting for Theresa while sitting absent-mindedly with her eyes closed.
‘… It’s been a long time.’
How long has it been since she could be completely alone?
Since she came to the Holy Kingdom, she had always been with someone, so the quiet atmosphere felt awkward for some reason.
Renee smiled as she passed the time basking under the warm sun, feeling the cool breeze, and hearing the rustling of the grass.
A sudden thought flashed across her mind.
In the short time she had been there, she had grown so accustomed to the Holy Kingdom that she was now able to enjoy her time alone.
A place that once was unfamiliar to her had now become ever so familiar.
A little over two months.
Renee had now grown accustomed to walking around the dormitory alone and could distinguish people she met often just by the sound of their footsteps.
Renee, who ‘smiled’ at the thought that occurred to her, felt a sense of pride well up within herself.
And before she knew it, she had become accustomed to being referred to as the ‘Saint.’
She still thought that she wasn’t good enough to be called that, but she didn’t feel any objection when people referred to her that way.
It was a significant development.
Renee thought as such.
‘The reason I was able to do it…’
It was possible because of Vera’s help.
Of course, everyone in the Holy Kingdom cared for her and helped her, but Renee would choose Vera as the person who helped her the most.
Isn’t it natural?
Vera always treated her with the utmost respect and always stood by her side firmly, so that in itself became her strength.
Suddenly, the memories of what she went through with Vera flashed across Renee’s mind.
From the moment they first met at Remeo, the attack that took place on their way to the Holy Kingdom, his hand that held her palm and guided her since she arrived at the Holy Kingdom, to the voice that dug into her ears.
On the day Theresa returned to the Holy Kingdom, she touched his lips with her thumb while touching his face in the conference room.
As she reminisced about that scene in the middle of the day, she could still feel that touch vividly.
Renee felt her head explode.
She fidgeted with her fingers.
For some reason, she had trouble breathing.
Badump. Badump. Her whole body could feel her heartbeat.
Her insides seemed like a mess, and due to increasing heat, Renee’s skin gradually turned red.
After a while, Theresa, who was approaching Renee from afar, let out an ‘Ah’ as she smirked upon seeing that sight.
Her eyes narrowed.
At the end of her gaze, she saw Renee wrapped in an aura with a pink hue.
‘… It won’t be easy.’
Theresa shook her head.
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