The Fake Saint Decided to be Real - Chapter 9
His big hand blocked me from screaming of being surprised at his sudden appearance. A reliable, large index finger came up to his lips.
“Shh, he will hear you outside.”
When I opened my eyes wide and blinked, his hands fell gently. When his warmth fell, I realized.
It didn’t matter if it were a one-sided love. I liked Astein. That’s why I had vowed over and over again not to bother him.1
“Didn’t you go?”
“You didn’t say goodbye and I have something to tell you.”
“What is it?”
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to come for a few days from tomorrow.”
It was unfortunate. The fact that he wouldn’t come. But I couldn’t express myself.
“Yes, I see.”
“If you’re still looking for the remaining two people, put a birch branch at the entrance of the prayer room. I’ll find more.”
I nodded. I hadn’t been able to go out and find her because I didn’t have a lot of luck yet. I had to get his help, and I wanted to see him even with this excuse.
“I’ll see you after the Imperial banquet.”
The time I couldn’t see him was long. I hated it. So the words came out impulsively.
“I might go to the banquet, too.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. Would you, by any chance, be my partner then?”
Astein opened his eyes wide and didn’t answer.
Oh, you don’t like it, do you? It would be difficult to be another woman’s partner in front of a woman you like.
“I don’t think my father will be able to try to assassinate you if we stay together on the move.”
I made excuses. I was a little embarrassed if words of rejection would come back.
“It’s hard to get permission from the Marquis, so I have to sneak it. But would it be okay? The Marquis will hate it.”
“It’s okay with the atmosphere these days.”
“Then I will gladly prepare the day to be Lady Freya’s partner.”
My heartbeat went crazier, even though I knew his words were just courteous. For a moment without a word, we just looked at each other.
After a while, Astein said he really had to go. I prepared to go out to the garden on the pretext of a walk. Then could get out.
“By the way, Lady Freya. I unintentionally heard you talking with your escort.”
He came to me with a bit of a serious face. The eyes were full of worry.
“A saint is human too. So you can be greedy or angry. Don’t put up with it too much.”
Again today, as always, Astein had left me the consolation I needed the most.
All the women Astein sent were not Ellaner. Where on earth did she hide?
I was getting nervous. Time shouldn’t pass like this. I thought I’d go out to the slums again for once, but I couldn’t find a chance.
“Why hasn’t the divine power returned since that day? Is your prayer insufficient?”
The Marquis became sensitive again because it wasn’t long before the Holy Lady’s death. He was ready to put violence back on me at any time.
In the past, I would only have crouched or avoided his punishment.
“If it was such a sacred power to come back so easily, I would’ve come back soon. Don’t be too impatient.”
But I decided not to. I decided to be courageous. With the encouragement of Astein in my heart.
“Don’t you know that it’s over on the day you go to the Imperial banquet in this condition and they find out that you don’t have divine power?
“Is there anything I can do with the divine power at the banquet? If I don’t come and go now, I’ll get even more strange eyes.”
The Marquis’ hand came up to my retort as always. I wasn’t here to cry to make it less painful. I wanted to change a little.
To be more confident when Ellaner returned and I leave.
“If I regain divine power, father might be punished by God instead of touching the body of a Saint.”
His hand stopped.
“Besides, if the Saint’s body or face is hurt, people will find it strange. The body of a person with divine power cannot be hurt or damaged.”
My voice trembled because of the small courage I had. But still, it worked. The Marquis’ hand fell. Instead, he glared at me with terrifying eyes.
I gave strength to my hands, which were cold with tension.
Let’s not back down.
“So cocky. Don’t forget who saved you from dying in the street.”
After he left the room, I sank on the chair. My legs gave out.
“Are you all right, Miss.”
It was hard to do this because I didn’t know my nature would rebel. Every time, I felt my body was energized.
“My Lady, I think you are looking for the dignity of the Saint now.”
Selemion was very pleased with the situation.
“Sir Solar says that the poor and the common people are coming with flowers and fruits for a long day.”
After the visit of people believed to be Ellaner, everyone came to see me. Among them was Lyra, who came back to visit me.
“A slum child who got a job because of your blessing. That’s how they praise you.”
“I don’t do much.”
“I hear your medicine is very popular among the poor and the common people. It’s God’s medicine.”
Thanks to this, I was consolidating my image as a Saint. It wouldn’t help at all because everything would return to Ellaner.
“It’s been a long time since the Young Master came, you’ve had such a good time.”
I narrowed my eyes to the word ‘Young Master’. Euteran, who was training as the successor at the Academy, wasn’t happy about me at all.
It was him who came to Ellaner and pushed her into my sight. He was as abusive as the Marquis to me.
—Come down from the Saint’s seat right now! Before I bring you down.
“When is he coming?”
“On the morning of the banquet.”
It was different from my memory. Before the reversion, Euteran hadn’t returned home even on holiday until graduation.
I didn’t have a good feeling about this. The ominousness came on the day of the banquet.
“Miss! Look at this! Wow, who the hell is that?”
I went to Selemion who was fussing about something.
An elegant beige chiffon dress, elegant accessories to match the dress and white shoes.
“Who sent it?”
“I don’t know. Maybe they thought they could give everything to a prospective saint?”
There was no message in the box. Could I wear this?
Something fell from the dress when Selemion lifted the dress saying it was pretty. It was a birch branch. I realized who sent it.
I shouldn’t show that I liked it, but the corners of my mouth didn’t go down easily. I carefully swept the fine fabric of the dress.
“What? Is there a stupid guy who cares about a fake saint?”
Then a rude voice was heard. There was only one man who spoke such harsh words in this house.
“Hello, fake sister.”
“Have you arrived, Master?”
While Selemion greeted him with fear, I stared at him. Then, a young red-haired man came to me.
“Oh, I’m here. It’s annoying, but I’m told to be a partner with the fake sister at the banquet. To act as your watchdog.”
The corners of his mouth rose thickly and chillingly. It was unpleasant all over.
Euteran laughed at my question. His dirty hands touched the clean dress.
I hated it terribly.
He beckoned Selemion. Selemion was so wary that she was forced to leave.
“It’s hard to find a partner for something fake, right?”
Euteran came to the fore. His breath touched my forehead. The hot thing was so disgusting.
“I already have a partner.”
“Who will it be? Did father allow you?”
There had been no separate contact from Astein yet. But I never thought he wouldn’t keep his promise. I’m sure he would come to me.
“Do you think father will allow Euteran to be my partner?”
Before the reversion, the Marquis tried to attach a woman from the royal family or the Duke family to Euteran. That’s how much he cared about his son.
Perhaps because of that, when Euteran tried to take me to official events, he always opposed it. Maybe he didn’t even want me to stand by his noble son because I was from the slum?
“What are you talking about? It’s my father’s order.”
It was unexpected. Perhaps the Marquis worried that I might have caused any accident in the Imperial Palace.
Euteran, who twirled his lips, came one step closer to me. I backed away from him. Then, he came again. It was repeated three or four times. Eventually, until I had to stick to the wall.
Euteran’s hand touched the wall and gave me a strange smile. It was uncomfortable as I felt he had a rash within his gaze.
“You’ve grown up a lot. Fake sister? You talk back to me now?”
I looked at him without answering. Then, he pushed my chin up with his index finger.
“You’re fake, but why are you being so cocky?”
His big hand pushed my face. It didn’t hurt, but it was enough for me to lose my focus. My hands were thrown to the floor and so my body was. Fortunately, it wasn’t fair, but it looked like it would bruise.
“Don’t forget. You are the one who has to give everything for the family without being caught until I take over the Marquis.”
My fingers on the floor clenched. I had repeatedly vowed not to shed tears over the familiar abuse. I didn’t want to do that again.
Astein told me not to put up with it and not to be patient.
“I guess you know there’s a lot I can do for the Marquis.”
“I am the future Saint. Isn’t it scary to bother a Saint so much?”
Euteran’s mouth was raised sharply in my rebellion. It was obvious ridicule.
“Well, if there’s really a God and I’m scared of it, you wouldn’t live like this now.”
He reached out his hand to me. Like a courteous person. But I rejected it and stood up on my own. Euteran looked at me as if he didn’t like it.
With his arms crossed, he pulled the strings in my room. Then the maids came in with boxes. When the lid was opened, there was a black dress embroidered with gold and silver threads.
“Get ready with this. You’re my partner, so you have to dress accordingly. Understand?”
I refused to answer and looked at it. He went out with a smirked smile as if he didn’t need an answer.
After Selemion entered the room again, she looked at me anxiously.
“Miss, are you all right?”
“Yes. It’s all right. Nothing happened.”
“Then, do you want to get ready now?”
Preparations for the banquet took a long time. I had to take a bath and get my hair done.
I took out the silver thread bracelet that Astein gave me before I went to take a bath. It had washed clean, but the traces of his blood remained lightly. When I looked at it, my head was a little calm.
I couldn’t see him for a few days, so I felt sick. On the other hand, there was great concern.
“It was today…?”
The day the Marquis said he would assassinate Astein.
There were no clues yet except the gunpowder and yellow carnations. Astein seemed to recognized and prepare, but he wasn’t relieved. That’s why I said I’d be his partner.
The fact that there was no news but certain gifts he had sent fuelled my anxiety.
“Your bath is ready.”
“Yes, I’ll get out.”
I wrapped the silver bracelet in a handkerchief and put it in a drawer.
The maids clung to me as I followed Selemion. I rarely received such treatments from the Marquis. This was the first time since the coronation of the Saint. It was a little too much.
“It’s too fancy.”
All the decorations for the head were taken out of the box brought by Euteran. I raised my hands and refused it.
I chose to wear the elegant pieces from the box sent by Astein. The things he sent were elegant. Unlike the splendid frivolity sent by Euteran.
“What about the dress, Miss?”
“Please give me the beige dress that was given as a present earlier in the morning.”
“The Young Master would be angry…”
“I don’t care. No, don’t mind it. I will take care of it.”
I didn’t want to go with him as his partner at all. I didn’t want to be swayed.
Selemion looked at me with a worried face. After confirming my firm will, she eventually nodded and brought in the dress.
I stoked the skirt of the fine dress. I liked the feeling of the fabric after I touched it. And there was a familiar lilac scent.
When I dressed with the help of Selemion, the maids brought me a full-length mirror in front of me.
“Wow, you look like a goddess, Miss!”
The naturally flowing Empire-style dress was neither too much nor less. The embroidery, which seemed to be unadorned, also added to the calmness.
A dress as if it was made for a person.
I turned around without realizing it. The spread of the dress looked like a flower.
“Do I look good?”
“Yes, you look very good! I’m sure there’s no one more elegant and beautiful than you at today’s banquet.”
A slight blush came over my face at Selemion’s praise.
I looked at the mirror again. The bruises the Marquis had left on my neck were now almost gone.
A calm smile came over my face, wearing the prettiest dress of my life, rather than a white Saint’s dress.
I couldn’t wait to show this to Astein.
“Thank you all. I’ll be back.”
I opened the door and went out. Then, someone narrowed the middle of his forehead came to my sight.
“What is this? Why you don’t wear the clothes I gave you?”
There was Euteran waiting in black tailcoat embroidered with gold and silver was waiting. He raised his red hair nicely, glared at the maids in my room.
“I chose my own clothes.”