Chapter 72:

The Maiden of Pure White

The Consequence of Saving the World

“I’m sorry for receiving you at such an inopportune time. Please, have a seat while I prepare some tea.”

The priestess’ smile easily subtracted the wrinkles on her face and her apparent age, appearing a lot younger than she actually was. Despite the power she held in this community, she immediately offered tea to us. Her humility disarmed me completely, and if it weren’t for the fact that I needed time to think about a story to continue this charade with, I would have declined her offer out of courtesy.

Initially, I wanted to play a different character, but since the sister from earlier went and announced that we found mum’s body, I was at a loss.

Should I continue the lie? How do I dig out more details about mum from her?

The answers feel so close, yet at the same time, so out of reach.

“Evan, see! See!”

To my surprise, Sereya, whom I thought was sitting next to me on the sofa, was calling me from behind. I turned around, only to find her holding out a book from the priestess’ shelf.

“What are you doing?!” I whispered aggressively. As a noble, I thought she’d sit patiently instead of going around snooping someone else’s house.

“It’s a book on Augmentation! This isn’t the only one,” she fiddled around with the other books on the shelf, which were filled to the brim, pointing to the spines of the books seemingly at random, “There’s another one over here, there’s this one in a foreign language, oh what’s this? Soul transfer? This is something Ordis would read!”

I couldn’t help but smirk seeing how excited she was, showing off a collection that wasn’t even hers. However, I understood the reason behind that childlike enthusiasm. After all, Sereya was certain that the priestess’ healing abilities weren’t magic, but of a different discipline altogether. Augmentation appeared to be a likely candidate, given how many texts she had on the topic.

Still, there weren’t any physical enhancements on the priestess that I noticed earlier. Unlike Melyeze, who had transplanted eyes, she didn’t seem to have any standout physical characteristics common to those who were Augmented. Of course, she may have replaced a body part that I couldn’t see, but if that was the case, there was no way to verify it unless she was actually using Augmentation.

Then again, the title of the books seemed to indicate that she was more interested in learning how to Augment others, instead of actually using the unique powers that came with Augmentation herself.

“This isn’t proof that she’s using Augmentation though. It might be a different thing altogether, remember?”

“I know, I know,” Sereya quickly returned the books she touched to their original positions, before sitting next to me once more, “Hey, why don’t you ask her about that?”

“I would, if I wasn’t so concerned about having to cover up the fact that we don’t actually have the body.”

“What’s so hard about that? Just play along, and if she actually wants to see the body, just show her a different one and say that you mistook it for the real deal.”

That…was so dumb, it actually might work.

Here I was, trying to expand the net of lies that was already cast, and Sereya just comes up with a simple “oops, my bad,” that was far more effective.

“But, that still needed a body though.”

“I’ll just get us a body then, problem solved.”

Not from killing, right?


“Sorry to have kept you two waiting.”

Priestess Imelda returned with a tray and tea set on top. As she poured the fragrant orange liquid into our teacups, I felt extremely out of place.

As a peasant, I figured I should imitate how Sereya acted, given her status as a noble. Why, oh why then, were you scratching your butt on the sofa?!

Ah, to hell with etiquette! Whether I was a noble or a commoner had nothing to do with this facade anyway. I’d just drink it as I would any other beverage.

“How does it taste? Is it to your liking?”

“Yes, it tastes wonderful,” I smiled.

No, it was bitter. Why in the world people would enjoy this was beyond me.

“Thank you for the kind words. I haven’t had the chance to brew tea in a while, so I was worried I missing my touch.”

Her politeness was making me feel very stiff and awkward. Maybe it was because of all the weirdos I met like Timon and Phalanx, so meeting an actually pleasant person for once was leaving me stunned.

A maiden of pure white—that was how I’d describe her.

The only part of her that didn’t fit that description was her dark brown hair peeking out of her veil. Besides that, she was immaculate. I found it even more surprising that she wore such a dirt-prone getup the whole time. Either that, or like how she took care of her house, she was extremely good at keeping things neat and tidy.

“So, tell me more about the Holy Corpse you found. Where did you find it?”

I was starting to feel bad for lying. Beneath her prim and proper demeanour, she was really hiding her joy.

“Actually, I was wondering if you could tell us more about the body? I mean, I get it, it’s holy and all, but why?” I countered her question with my own.

“With pleasure. You see, we believe that Lord Evan is the Son of the Goddess. However, this mother and son relationship isn’t a physical one bound by blood, but one bound by soul.

Lord Evan was born of man, but attained divinity through his actions. His human mother, Farhana Constantine, however, is a very peculiar oddity. Unlike her son, Ms. Constantine was a normal individual like you and I, but after her death, her body didn’t decompose.

It is said that if you looked at her, you would’ve thought her sleeping instead of dead.”

Oh…that…that really threw my plans out of the window. How were we going to show her a body that wouldn’t decompose?!

I quickly glanced at Sereya, who was casually sipping her tea, leaving me to do all the heavy lifting. You know, a little bit of backup wouldn’t hurt.

Actually, scratch that. Sereya’s probably more nervous than me in these kinds of situations.

“I already pretty much figured that part out, but what are you going to use the body for? I mean, isn’t better if we leave it buried? I get the creeps looking at her face!”

Sorry, mum, I didn’t mean that. Please forgive me.

“Hmm…you’re a peculiar one, aren’t you? Asking me that question despite already uncovering the body yourself.”

“Well, you know what they say about curiosity, right? Depending on your answer, I might decide whether to hand you the body or not.”

That’s right.

Don’t forget that you had what they wanted, Evan. You had the upper hand in this conversation. Ignoring the lies and trouble that may arise, you had all the tools to dig out the information you needed.

The priestess didn’t even seem the slightest bit unnerved even after my threat—calm and composed, exactly like the exterior that she was displaying. I wondered how much pressure was I really building up inside of her, though.

“I suppose I’ll humour your request, then,” she crossed her legs, appearing even more relaxed than before for some reason, “I can’t provide any exact promises, since the Patriachs and other leaders above me have differing opinions on what to do with the Holy Corpse. The current consensus is that the body should be enshrined in the Mattheld Family Farm. Does that answer satisfy you?”

She was still smiling, but unlike before, when I felt warmth, all I felt now was a piercing cold. Her carefully worded answer led me to believe that she had her own motives.

“And what if we don’t give you the body?”

“Oh well. Too bad then. I’ll just report to the higher ups regarding the situation. Maybe someone else can negotiate with you instead.”

Sipping her tea, she was so indifferent to the whole situation, I was starting to get jealous. Thankfully, this meant that we could just tell her we won’t give her the body and leav—

“Pardon my curiosity, but considering you went through all the trouble of coming here just to lie to me, may I know why you’ve done so?”


Wait, she could tell I was lying? No, this was just a desperate attempt to get me to renegotiate. Calm down.

“Hahahaha! My, my, what a bold accusation. No need to get upset, priestess. I didn’t say we won’t give you the body for certain. I still want the reward, after all.”

I knew for a fact that my acting was perfect. Why then, was she still smiling?

“Unfortunately, Mr. Adventurer, there is no reward for you…

…because unlike you, we already found the body.”

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