The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 3
When she opened her eyes, Lily was in the middle of a grim, chaotic scenery.
The sky was of mixed crimson and orange with flames. Collapsed structures and debris of unknown origin were scattered all around her. Broken swords, fallen spears, and torn banners dotted the entire land as far as the eye could see. Lifeless bodies of people lie on the ground, many with their eyes open most horrifically as if the Terror himself was the last thing that they saw in their dying moments.
Lily tried to move and look around, but much to her horror, she found herself unable to move.
It’s as if her feet are plastered on the ground beneath her.
Lily tried to pinch herself to see if she’s dreaming. For all that she remembered, she was sleeping…though she couldn’t bring herself to recall at whose house or room she was staying.
Nevertheless, though it hurt a bit, Lily remained awake in that dreadful landscape. It must be real? Was she transported here? Lily didn’t know. The scene felt so true…
The horrid smell of smoke and blood…
The sickening stench of dead and charred bodies…
The grisly sight of people hung in the air, with their bodies pierced from their buttocks to mouth with a long pole…
It was the first time that Lily had felt such a feeling once again after so long. The hairs on her skin were all standing at their end, and she could feel her heart beat wildly.
In the middle of that dark, hopeless setting, she saw a girl in white. Her flowing silver hair, silvery-blue eyes, and shining white and aquamarine dress immediately gave away her identity to Lily…
“Maddie?” she shouted…or so she tried. Lily was surprised to discover she couldn’t open her mouth for some strange reason. All that she could do was to let out grunts and moans.
But Lily didn’t even need to try. Maddie eventually took notice of her, and much to the former head maid’s shock, her friend had a big wound on her other shoulder.
Who did that to you!? She wanted to ask, but only murmurs got out. Lily tried to rush towards her friend’s side, though her feet remained stuck.
“Lily…” Maddie spoke gently as she approached her.
Maddie! Who did that to you? Is it that Bloody Witch? I’ll kill her!
But Lily’s mouth remained sealed.
Maddie slowly walked towards her with her arms—or at least the functioning one, raised.
Maddie! Tell me!
Lily screamed with all her might inside her chest, for no matter what she did, her lips remained unmoved. A feeling of great, sanguinary anger welled up inside her, and it’s as if she’s ready to explode into a fit of violence and rage as Maddie’s bloody figure was burned into her mind…
“It’s okay Lily. The witch is finally gone. Everything will be alright…” she heard Maddie say. And then Lily felt the gentle caress of her friend’s hand on her head. At that moment, the raging, violent feeling within her slowly subsided. Tears then flowed from her eyes, and though she did not know what was happening, it was then that Lily felt complete peace…
And then she woke up.
It had been a new experience for Lily.
Waking up staring at the bare, wooden ceiling, at first, she was bewildered. And then slowly, she remembered; a kind family took her in after getting injured in that fight with an unknown assailant.
“Hello, Miss Knight! How’s your sleep?” Grandma Margie’s granddaughter, Mariya, greeted Lily. Behind her was the old lady herself.
“Ah, I apologize if she disturbed you, milady,” Grandma followed, “Mariya’s too excited to wait for you to wake up.”
“It’s fine, Mam!” Lily reassured her with a smile.
“Please, call me Margie. I don’t think I’m worthy of such high respect anymore.”
“Oh, don’t say that,” Lily countered, “I’ll call you by your name, only because you requested me to do so. But never say that I don’t respect common folk such as you.”
“Thank you for your graciousness, milady,” Grandma Margie was elated to hear that, half-speaking to herself, “It’s been rare to come across such kind and respectable nobility in these times.”
“Hm? I’m just curious; what made you say that?” Lily asked, wondering.
“Ah! Please don’t mind me.”
But Mariya answered for her old lady, “She means that there were only a few nobles who were good and considerate to us commoners! Especially in these parts, Miss Knight!”
“Mariya!” Grandma Margie was quick to rebuke her granddaughter, “Didn’t I tell you never to say anything unnecessary to others? You’re overstepping your bounds!”
“No please!” Lily insisted, “I think this is my concern as well. What’s happening here?”
Grandma Margie cast a doubtful stare at Lily. Mariya was oblivious to the tense atmosphere.
“Ah, don’t worry too much, Grandma!” she chirped, “Miss Knight can be trusted; I’m telling you!”
Realizing the feelings of her gracious host, Lily took out her dagger, “You may not believe me, but if you would just look at the crest of my blade, I think you’ll immediately cast off your uncertainties.”
“!!!” The old lady’s surprise was apparent upon gazing at the coat-of-arms on Lily’s weapon. She quickly removed her robes and also pulled her grandchild down with her for them to kneel before the esteemed guest they have.
“Grandma?” a bewildered Mariya protested.
“Hush now, you foolish child! That person before you is a servant of The Most Holy Saint of Chersea!”
“Wha—” Mariya then further lowered her head, to the point of kowtowing, “You’re late for telling me that, Grandma!”
“Err…please raise your heads, I beg you!” Lily repeatedly insisted for them to desist their gestures, “Though I carry this crest, I am not that closely affiliated to Her Holiness anymore. I just showed it to you as proof that you can trust me. I swear that on Her Holiness’ name.”
“Besides, I’m not the Saint herself, so you can be at ease.”
“Right…” Mariya then switched from her ‘formal’ face back to her usual carefree attitude, “Anyway, Miss Knight, if you’re her former servant, then it must’ve meant that you’ve seen the face of the Great Saint herself?”
Lily only gave a smile for an affirmative answer. She was about to say, “She’s my friend,” but held back in the end.
After all, what happened between them is still too painful for her to remember.
“Cooooooooooooollllllllllll!!!” Mariya cried out in excitement as she rushed out of the room, shouting, “Anton! Anton! Check out Miss Knight! She’d seen the Saint!”
However, Grandma Margie remained with Lily, and gently tapped on her shoulders, “Ah, I could tell that we’re not the only ones who were suffering. How about we forget these bad things for a while and enjoy the food? It is good while it’s still warm.”
“Ah, thank you, Grandma!” sensing the gentle spirit of her host, Lily took up on the offer, “By the way, my name’s Lily…”
Back at Calabria’s capital city of Sekhtem, a lone figure slipped past the patrols of the local militia and entered a rather old and run-down building at the street parallel to the main square of the town. The crowds of festival-goers and people with other businesses in the city made it possible for him to make his way into his hideout without detection from the soldiers.
“Stop it, Benoit!” the man told the doorkeeper, “We’re not doing anything illegal—at least, on the surface, so we have no password.”
“Right,” the one behind the door, Benoit, unlocked the entrance for the man, “Hey, I’m just playing around.”
“Well, you’ll get more of it once we finish our job here,” the Traveler removed his cloak, “Anyway, how are the slaves?”
“We just fed them earlier,” Benoit reported. “And the imperial cargo ship would arrive soon. Hopefully, they’d bring in more supplies for us.”
“I’m sure they would,” the Traveler replied, “Though I wish they’d stay much longer. I think His Imperial Majesty would be interested in what I just found out.”
“Hm? What, you got our emperor more women?”
“Well, it’s indeed a woman, but not the kind that you’re thinking of.”
“Ooh…and who is it you’re speaking of?”
“The Iron Princess.”
“…” It took a while for that to sink into Benoit’s mind. He just stared at his companion with an uninterested look at first, and then slowly, the reality set in, “Surely, you jest.”
“Nope. I just fought with her here at the alleyway opposite our headquarters some time ago, when you and the other guys were busy searching for slaves. She almost killed me, but I used the demon’s weapon against her. It’s a good thing I watched that tournament in Fen; the demon weapon works wonders!”
“Man, you’re joking! No man would ever escape the Iron Princess once she sets her eyes on her target.”
“Well, you’re looking at the one who did. Check this out,” the Traveler then showed to him the part of his scarf that was cut cleanly by his opponent, “Anyway, I’m not here to brag about my encounter; it’s up to you to believe me or not. But I swear, on Her Holiness’ name—on pain of death, that it happened.”
Benoit then took a deep breath and closed his eyes. And then said, “Wow. Just plain wow. Now that you, who doesn’t take the Saint’s name seriously, would say that…unbelievable.”
“So anyway, Benoit, since we got a valuable target in sight, call the boys. We change priorities for a bit.”
“I could tell you’re planning something stupid.”
“Well, if it looks stupid yet it worked, it’s not stupid.”
Benoit then sighed in resignation, “Oh dear, I guess we’re indeed expendable.”
“Well, that’s what we are,” the Traveler said nonchalantly, “We’re helping our cause if we reined in that princess.”
“Of course,” Benoit sarcastically quipped, “If it’s for His Imperial Majesty, why shouldn’t I lay down my life?”
“Don’t worry. Our sacrifices will not be in vain. But try to stay alive.”
“Alright. Whatever you say, man!” Benoit then followed up with a question, “Though, how are we going to find her in this place? Calabria’s relatively big!”
“Don’t worry. Remember, I used the demon’s weapon against her, right?” the Traveler explained, “She’s injured, and she could’ve never walked that far from here. Plus, we got the support of the king of Calabria himself; we can use him and his men to look for her whereabouts.”
“Hopefully this works before the Imperial Army moves.”
“It sure will. That’s why we have to double on our efforts,” the Traveler brought out his matchlock gun and began loading it, “We have the resources and we got her on a corner. What’s even better is that she doesn’t even know about us. We could exploit that…”
Hagena was a small village on the north coast of the northern half of the land of Chersea. It consisted of several worn-out wooden cottages, though one could tell that it had been a bigger place in the older times. To its west—when facing the sea—lies a majestic chalk cliff, reminiscent of ‘Dover cliffs’ of England, while the eastern and southern sceneries were those of a lush temperate forest, where the villagers often get their sustenance once the fishing season was off.
Now that Lily had settled down for a bit, it was the first time she noticed a thin veil of fog covering the place. According to Grandma Margie, the light fog was surrounding the land and had been a permanent feature of the region. And dominating the village skyline was an imposing castle constructed at the top of the cliff to the west, quite far from the edge, and yet still had a commanding view of the entire village.
“Ah, our lord lives there,” Grandma Margie explained when she noticed their guest was looking in the castle’s direction. The breakfast that they had—the usual bacon, eggs, and bread fare, paired with a piping hot kettle of brewed coffee—was held outside, giving Lily a good eyeful of Hagena.
“What a beautiful place…” Lily couldn’t help but admire what she saw. At the Holy Palatial Gardens, which were built in a wide valley surrounded by rolling hills and towering mountains, the nearest forest in their area would be the ones to the north, on the way to Nerfes. There were trees inside its walls, but those were intentionally planted there and were arranged neatly—giving an air of magnificent artificiality.
However, here at Hagena was of a different matter. It’s like Lily returned to raw nature and she felt relaxed more than ever…
“It’s true, eh?” it was Mariya; her eyes sparkled with delight as she proudly showed everything as if she owned it, “Even though I and Anton grew up here, we still find this place lovely from time to time. And, if I may add, you can’t find any kinder local folk than our neighbors. Right, Anton?”
Anton was the big guy, eating silently with them at the table. He just nodded in agreement with Mariya’s statement and went back to what he was doing. Well, the fellow was Mariya’s little brother, and yet, every time Lily looked at him…
…she couldn’t help but wonder if Mariya said it the wrong way. The ‘little brother’ was anything but little; if she could say it, Anton looked like a man with almost the same number of seasons behind him as her dead brother…
But well, Lily knew that she’s just a stranger in this place, so she preferred to keep her mouth shut.
“Why…hello, Anton…” Lily awkwardly greeted the big fellow.
Anton gave her a shy, yet gentle, smile.
“Oh! I think Anton likes you!” Mariya laughed, “He rarely does that to strangers…well, not that we don’t get a lot of guests, anyway. But yes, I think he likes you, right, Anton?”
“…” the big ‘little brother’ fiercely shook his head while he began blushing terribly.
“Ah!” there was a meaning to Mariya’s smirk when she saw her brother act that way; however, she just kept it to herself. She’d like to observe for a little while longer.
Lily laughed silently.
“Hagena’s pretty big and bustling in the old times,” Grandma reminisced, “The previous king of Calabria permitted us to settle here, after running away from Nerfes. Most of my acquaintances eventually raised families here and then moved to other places when their finances allowed it.”
“Oh…but isn’t Her Holiness fought and destroyed that witch? What happened after that?”
“Well, once the news that the Bloody Witch’s reign of terror was over, some of us found the courage to return to their lands. Most vowed never to return; some decided to move away forever from their painful memories. And there were a few like us, who fell in love with the place they settled in for long and adopted it as their home as well.”
“I see…” Lily felt a surge of sadness overwhelm her heart, but she tried her best not to show it. Looked like Her Holiness’ efforts to defeat the Bloody Witch went in vain…
“Ah, don’t take it to heart, Miss Knight!” it was Mariya, as positive as ever, “We’re thankful for what Her Holiness did!”
“Yes,” Grandma Margie backed her up, “You see Her Holiness avenged the families and loved ones we lost to that mad she-devil. So, deep in our hearts, we are grateful to the Saint.”
Lily had doubts whether if those words that they were saying were indeed true, or just lip-service to keep her spirits up. Whatever it was, she took a deep bow and said, “As the representative of Her Holiness, I’d like to offer my sincere apologies for what happened to you and to those other people that were victims of the Bloody Witch.”
“I told you it’s fine, m-milady!” Grandma Margie was panicking, “Please raise your head, or at least, do it in a private place. What would the others say if they saw you bowing your head to an insignificant old woman like me?”
Not wishing to cause any further inconvenience to them, Lily did what Grandma Margie wished—though she thought these folks deserved more than just an apology…
“Ah, you are something!” the old lady laughed nervously, “Anyway, don’t worry too much about what has been done already in the past, milady. We common folk can understand that our beloved Saint has her limitations, thus she can’t always be coming to rescue us.”
Lily was left unable to say anything. For such a tragedy, these people with her gave a lot of leeway to Maddie…
“We are strong and resilient enough to make do until help—if any, comes. That’s why, we’re more than thankful to Her Holiness that she had done what she did, even though we lost our loved ones.”
“Yes!” Mariya seconded, “If you ever come back to Her Holiness, please tell her, thanks a lot! Anton, Grandma, and I are still alive because of her! Right, Anton?”
The big fellow smiled and nodded in agreement.
A gentle, warm feeling slowly welled up within Lily’s chest as she watched this family of three talked and laughed together. Even though Maddie could’ve saved more people—and possibly their loved ones as well, had she hastened her arrival, they never blamed her.
And yet, if it came to herself, who was supposed to be Maddie’s greatest support and friend…
Come to think of it, when was the last time she told Maddie that she did an outstanding job in dealing with those pesky human kings? Those royal brats were a pain to deal with, and Maddie did her best to keep up with the pressure, but…
Didn’t she just force her friend to do her duty, even though it’s clear that Maddie’s already tired and suffering?
Isn’t it she only pushed her friend to the limit because she is afraid of what others might say to them?
Lily felt much even worse when she realized those things.
Mariya’s voice brought Lily back to her senses.
“Are you alright?” it was Grandma Margie, “You’re getting pale once again! Here, drink this water if you don’t feel good.”
“Ah, thank you, Grandma.”
“Whatever bothers your heart and mind, don’t think of it too much milady,” the old lady suggested, “Those won’t easily go away, but you’re already here, so try to forget those for a while.”
Lily sheepishly nodded as she sipped on the water Grandma gave her. Deep inside, however, she was regretting the words she said to her friend when they fought. Maddie has had her share of difficulties, and in fact, they both caused trouble to each other, so she had no right to demand anything from her friend.
After all, the Human Saint sacrificed a lot of things humanly possible to improve the lives of the people she is entrusted with. And her job as her maid is to support Her Holiness, not to argue and then abandon her.
“What have I done?” Lily carelessly muttered.
“Hm? What is it you’ve done, Miss Knight?” Mariya curiously asked.
“Oh, it’s nothing!” Lily answered her, but with a resolute heart and mind, she decided. She knew she couldn’t turn back the words she had already uttered, but at least, she could opt to do right this time, “Okay, Grandma, I’ve decided. Aside from fishing and wood trade, what else is available as work in this place?”
“Oh? Don’t tell me…”
“Yep!” Lily’s face was suddenly full of energy, “I’ll be settling here for now. So please, make use of me as you see fit!”
***Meanwhile, at the Holy Palatial Gardens***
Maddie stared blankly at the white ceiling of her room the moment she opened her eyes. It’s been a while since she woke up on her own. When Lily was there, she would rouse her up, prepare her wardrobe for the occasion, and would always make sure that her breakfast was sent to her quarters in time.
But well, as long as her friend was missing, Maddie had to make do with the current situation. There were still the maids other than Lily who were faithfully serving her, though, without the head, their direction was a bit off. Not that they could help it; it’s the consequence of what happened.
Maddie requested her remaining servants to let her do some things on her own from now on. She couldn’t rely on her friends forever; she had to be up to the task if she wanted to be successful in her reign as the Human Saint.
Maddie won’t let the faithful service of her maids and friends be taken for granted, unlike before. She’d be the greatest saint the humans would ever have!
Still, Maddie felt that sharp pain in her heart every time she remembered her friend. Lily was like a sister to her, since her little sister was way much younger than her. She confided her secrets to her: her frustrations, her dreams, and even her inner feelings. She was more than a supporter and a fan…
Lily knew everything about her, and she knew everything about Lily.
“I accomplished nothing good in my life, anyway.”
Those words kept on haunting Maddie again and again. Lily rarely talked about herself, focusing instead on giving her best to enable Maddie—as the Saint—to be as successful as possible. But she didn’t even consider those things that she did as ‘good’; she only treated it as something that she should do because of her love for her friend.
“My poor Lily…” tears fell from her eyes, as Maddie realized she had once again acted foolishly. She was well-aware of Lily’s feelings towards Kuro, and she went forward and ‘snatched’ him from her.
However, Maddie had also grown to love that ‘otherworld boy’. Just like Lily, he had been her support, and he would put his life on the line for her.
His efforts to cheer her up when she tried killing herself…
His patience and will to keep up with her selfish whims…
His advice to her whenever she needs wisdom…
And that moment when he lifted his fist to defend her honor from the Imperial Prince…
Wasn’t it that’s what her mother always told her? That the person who loved her truly would give his all to her. And it’s not like she fell in love with him at the first sight. He may be physically unremarkable as a man, but Kuro proved time and time again that he deserved her feelings. Kuro slowly inched his way into her heart that she realized she couldn’t live without him by her side anymore!
The conflict in her mind gradually grew stronger as Maddie pondered on her next step. A significant part of her wanted Lily back, and yet, she didn’t like the idea of letting go of Kuro, either. But Maddie knew that if she tried to keep both of them, she’s bound to lose them both…
Her thought process was suddenly interrupted when she heard three knocks on the door. Then, from the other side, Ruro spoke.
“Maddie, the send-off for the dignitaries and delegates of the Congress is about to start. Come eat your breakfast before you go to the chamber.”
Maddie never replied. She just sat up and gave a long sigh. And then, choosing her wardrobe, Maddie quickly put it on herself before heading out.
At that moment, she smiled. Maddie had finally reached a decision.
“I’ll be settling in here. So please, make use of me as you see fit!”
And with that declaration, Lily became a citizen of Hagena.
Though the injury on her leg hadn’t fully healed yet, even if several ‘sleeps’ had already passed, the former head maid of the Holy Palatial Gardens decided that it’s already way past her time allowance to be a freeloader.
Lily’s already itching to be back working once again.
“I think I can already walk with little help from the crutches,” Lily tried showing it before Grandma Margie, though she had a noticeable limp as she walked, “Do you have any work for me?”
“Err…milady, I don’t think a person of such status such as you, should do any village work.”
“But Grandma, you’ve been a squire once, and you know we knights don’t want to impose on the kindness of our hosts,” Lily insisted, “Just as the same, I don’t plan to live relying on the generosity of others. I need to earn my share properly!”
“You’re different from most nobles we know,” Grandma Margie quipped, “But even so, can you shift your weight on that injured leg without crutches?”
Lily did what the old lady asked of her, and almost immediately, pain shot through her thigh, causing her to lose balance. Fortunately, Grandma Margie hadn’t lost her agility just yet and was quick to support her.
“I don’t think you can carry stuff with an injury like that unless it fully heals,” the old lady assessed, “I guess it would still take several more sleeps before you can truly move around.”
“Aww…” Lily couldn’t help but sulk in the corner. As someone who was used to do something for most of the time she was awake, it’s torture that she couldn’t do anything as of the moment. Not only did it feel like she’s a deadweight to her gracious hosts, but Lily also wanted to avoid getting used to inactivity and end up lazy.
“Hmm…well, you may work, but it has to be relatively light for now. Let’s see…Vallete has a medicine store on the other edge of the village, though, as you can see, we’re only a handful of families living here, so it’s not that lucrative. I doubt the old crone would hire you when she can’t even make the ends meet herself!”
“Err…is there anything else?”
“The merchant Lavoir has a caravan business here and drops by from time to time. Maybe he’ll need a guard for his carts, though I don’t know when he’ll be back. If he does indeed appear, your injury should’ve fully healed and you’re already walking without a limp for him to employ you.”
“Uh…I don’t think it’s possible for now…”
“Yes, I think so as well…”
Silence then ruled between the two. Lily was desperate about her circumstances, while Grandma Margie kept on thinking for alternatives.
And it was in this situation that Mariya and Anton found them.
“Uh…what are you guys doing?” she asked.
“Oh! Lady Lily was thinking of getting a job,” Grandma explained, “But with her injury not fully healed just yet, I’m afraid she’ll have to stay put for a few more sleeps.”
Anton then whispered something to Mariya. The big sister nodded a few times, and turned to Lily, “Ah, Miss Knight, Anton just told me that if you want to work, why don’t you try to be a shore-watcher?”
“A what?” Lily asked, confused at the suggestion.
“Ah yes! A shore-watcher!” Grandma Margie’s face lightened up when she heard that. And then, “Wait, what’s that?”
“Well, it’s a made-up job by Anton,” Mariya laughed, “But well, I think we need someone like that though. And, just like what I always say, our neighbors here are kind. I’m sure they’ll be more than glad to help someone like you, Miss Knight!”
“Err…Mariya, what does a ‘shore-watcher’ even do?”
“Someone who watches the shores?”
“Of course, it’s a given,” Grandma Margie asked further, “But aside from that?”
“And why do I even have to watch the shores?” Lily followed-up.
“Well, you know, pirate attacks?”
“Mariya, you’re being a fool!” Grandma Margie chuckled, “There have been no pirate attacks in this region ever since we settled here. We’re a poor village; I don’t think they’d be raiding a place full of empty houses and penniless people.”
“And it’s like you’re wishing for something like that to happen, Mariya!” Lily jested.
“I don’t!” Mariya was getting annoyed with all the jeers aimed at her. She was already red in embarrassment, and she was inflating her cheeks.
“Besides, our lord has posted some of his guards to watch the beaches already,” Grandma Margie commented.
“Well, those tin heads are just for enforcing the ridiculous taxes on us, Grandma! They don’t even care about the villagers. I bet they’d run once they saw the pirates’ ships coming from afar.”
“Mariya, stop that!” Grandma angrily blurted out, “Anyway, this is nonsense! If you have plenty of time, then why don’t you take Lady Lily around the village and help her find work that fits her?”
“It’s Anton who suggested that!” Mariya countered, “Hey! Don’t leave me here, you big little bro!”