I wasn’t expecting it at all, but the reward was so huge that I was left wondering just what kind of situation I was in. Although it was only limited to mental interference, it was still a tremendous anti-magic skill that one could only receive after rigorous training.
Olivia Lanze returned safely, so there seemed to be a brief uproar among the seniors. As the incident didn’t escalate, the details weren’t spread among the students. The members of Grace didn’t spread around anything about Olivia Lanze getting tortured either—probably because the teachers told them not to. Nothing got leaked.
The Imperial Family wanted to deal with this case quietly.
Adriana and the other members of Grace seemed to be crying out of joy and rejoicing about Olivia’s safe return. I already confirmed that she was safe, so I didn’t join that tear-filled reception.
I just took classes, ate dinner, and trained as usual.
However, Olivia Lanze came down to the first-year dormitory to meet me.
“Can I talk to you for a moment?”
Her expression was slightly gloomy but not as disastrous as the one I had seen her having in that potential future.
* * *
She suddenly came to me in the middle of the night and took me outside of Temple’s dormitory. It was quiet around the Royal Class at night.
“I heard you played a huge part in my rescue.”
“…What? Actually, wasn’t it Ibia who did everything?”
“Yeah, I thanked that child as well. You have my thanks, Reinhardt.”
Adriana and I had come up with the plan, but in the end, Ibia’s telepathic ability played the most crucial part.
Olivia walked beside me without saying a word for quite some time. It felt more like we were taking a walk, as we weren’t going that fast.
“I thought it would be enough to quit Temple and abandon my faith. I wanted to live a quiet life without hurting anyone…”
Riverrier Lanze couldn’t give up on Olivia Lanze. It was why he tried to manipulate her to the point of completely destroying her, but when he discovered that mind interference magic and brainwashing didn’t work on her, he saw no other choice but to kill her. Her strong mind would have been her downfall.
“I guess I was just too naive.”
She thought he would let her go, but he didn’t. He locked her up and threatened her, and tried to make Olivia live like he wanted through torture and brainwashing.
Just what did she have to endure during her days of captivity? After only a few days, Olivia—who first seemed so gentle and friendly—exuded a lonely atmosphere.
“What are you going to do now in Temple?”
Olivia had been about to quit Temple. However, she was rescued from the Knights Templar because she was a Temple student.
“…Quitting Temple would be rather dangerous at the moment.”
“…Is that so?”
“Yes, I know too many things that I shouldn’t know.”
Olivia had discovered the secrets of the Knights Templar, the corruption within their group, and just how horrifying they could be. She was rescued before they could harm her, but she saw too many things.
Without the protection of Temple, she would get taken away by them again—not to brainwash her, but to silence her.
In the end, she decided that she would remain in Temple, even if it was just to protect herself.
“Could we sit down for a moment?”
After walking for a while, Olivia sat down on a bench, and I placed myself next to her.
A relaxing scent wafted over from both her body and hair.
“Are you… going to abandon your faith?”
“You don’t have to be part of a group to have faith, right?”
Olivia Lanze didn’t say that she would simply give up on wanting to join the Knights Templar, but instead, she said she would abandon her faith itself. It wasn’t entirely impossible to believe in God all on your own. I wondered why she was trying to abandon her entire faith.
“I know what you’re trying to say.”
Olivia nodded and smiled slightly.
“Do you want me to show you something?”
“Show me what?”
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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A group of bright, white lights danced in her right hand—it was the manifestation of her divine power.
“This is the power of Towan, the God of Purity.”
“Wes… Well. I guessed as much.”
“Why can such corrupt, impure people use this power?”
Olivia looked at me with sad eyes.
“Why can so many priests and paladins who act in violation of their faith and its doctrine use such strong sacred power?”
The Knights Templar was filled with priests and paladins that directly went against their doctrine and committed countless horrible crimes. However, their divine powers were still strong. They didn’t get judged or punished by the heavens.
“And why can I, after deciding to not serve Towan anymore, still wield this power?”
Although she rejected her faith, her divine powers still remained.
Oliva seemed to have too many questions.
“Divine power isn’t proportional to one’s faith, and one could still use it even if one didn’t live strictly by the doctrine.”
She was calmly saying things that could immediately earn her a visit from the inquisitors. It seemed that—as she saw those corrupt priests and the power they had—she began to question the Five Major Churches themselves.
“The Gods lend us power, but they don’t really seem to care what we do with it. That’s probably the reason why the Knights Templar that should have been smote down still exist.”
The Gods aren’t watching over us. They just lend us their power, but they don’t seem to care what we do with it.
“Then what use do all these prayers and hymns have if they aren’t even there to perceive them?”
After experiencing such helplessness and disappointment, Olivia eventually came to the conclusion that faith itself served no purpose. Those numerous sermons and teachings had nothing to do with the Gods whatsoever.
Olivia gave up her faith not only because of emotional reasons but because of logical ones as well. Anyway, I learned that one’s divine powers would continue to be strong regardless of their faith.
“But who knows. Maybe it’s just those Gods.”
“Hm? I-it’s nothing.”
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Olivia seemed to have said something rather strange, as if it was a slip of the tongue.
The Gods weren’t interested in this world.
If so, the existence opposed to them, the Demon God, might be different, right?
That was probably what she meant. Why did she suddenly say something so dangerous? Olivia chuckled and shook her head as if to gloss it over so I couldn’t ask her about it anymore.
It can’t be.
Did she go over to the dark side?
“By the way, Reinhardt, why did you help me?”
Olivia asked me that as if she wanted to change the subject.
“I know that it was you and Adriana who wrote that letter.”
“Ah… So you knew, huh?”
Everything went well, so all was good, but everyone seemed to have realized that it was us by the time I left the meeting. It seemed like Adriana confessed to everything.
That being said, Olivia came to know that the key people behind her rescue were Adriana and me.
“Was it because Adriana asked you to?”
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Olivia looked at me with a smile on her face.
It felt like my heart was about to explode. She was such a dazzlingly pretty person that I felt like my brain had stopped functioning. What was this? Was that really happening to me?
Olivia looked at me, smiled mischievously, and whispered.
“Have you fallen in love with me at first sight?”
No, what was that? Why did she ask that so suddenly?!
Honestly, I hadn’t fallen in love with her, but I felt like I was going to go crazy!
If I lowered my guard for even a second, I felt like my soul might get sucked out!
“Just kidding. Why are you so surprised?”
Olivia laughed while covering her mouth.
What’s that? After letting go of everything, you have also become able to say such weird things, yeah?
Olivia narrowed her eyes and suddenly brought her face closer to me.
She got closer to my ear, actually.
Then she whispered to me in a very soft voice.
“I told you I wouldn’t serve Towan anymore, you know?”
Priests of Towan weren’t able to get married. However, since she gave up on that faith, she was free to do whatever she wanted. Did she mean that?
Olivia continued to whisper in a strange voice.
“Of course, you’re still too young, Reinhardt. Maybe… When you’re in your fourth year?”
“Wh-what’s wrong with you!?”
Olivia looked back at me making a fuss.
“You see, I heard that it’s bad to be modest in such matters, so I think it’s better to be more honest with these things.”
Olivia smiled at me again while fiddling with her hair.
“Aren’t I pretty?”
Yeah, I did have to admit that. Honestly, I’d even call her the school’s greatest beauty. I mean, she wasn’t a child anymore, so that was fine; compared to her, my appearance was just too ordinary—it was more like I looked 1000 times uglier.
But her calling herself pretty… felt a little strange.
“W-well, yeah, but isn’t calling yourself pretty with your own mouth a little…?”
Her personality had blackened.
Her mindset also seemed to have blackened in various ways. Seeing that I disliked this, Olivia raised her lips up into a seductive smile.
She wasn’t that kind of person originally, but now this saint that had her sensual sides locked away for many years had her seal lifted.
Wasn’t that a disaster in its own right?
Olivia pulled at me slightly.
“Anyway, thank you, Reinhardt.”
She kissed my cheek, making a wet noise.
“Let’s do even more things when you’re more grown-up, okay?”
I was frozen in position for about ten seconds.
It was really like my brain froze over.
The corrupted and blackened saint became a vixen that flirted with a little first-year kid.
* * *
“…So, this is probably kind of a big problem.”
The next day, when I came out to do my morning training, I explained to Adriana what Olivia did last night. Her complexion turned completely white.
It seemed like her idol and role model’s personality suddenly made a 180-degree turn going far beyond just having forsaken her faith. Her behavior was more like she was saying: “I gave my f*cking life to that doctrine of purity, so now I’m going to do everything I want!”
It was scary because she was pretty much a late bloomer with such things, and she was the most beautiful woman found in the Capital, so no one would reject her.
“Uhmm… although it’s a bit embarrassing… Shouldn’t you like that, junior?”
Adriana was shocked, but she said that I should have liked it if someone like Olivia—who was even called the Saint of the Eredian district—kissed me.
“I know she’s just teasing me, but because I know she is doing that, I don’t know how to deal with it when I’m right in front of her.”
I was sure she enjoyed watching me writhe in embarrassment. In fact, she probably thought of me as just a child. However, when she did those things, I didn’t know what to do, leading to my brain to freeze.
The person that gave me resistance against mental attacks was attacking my mind!
“Well… What can you do? S-still, isn’t it a good thing…?”
It seemed like Adriana was of the opinion that I should think of it more like a compliment if I couldn’t handle it.
How was I supposed to do that?
This was just too much for my poor heart. After running for some time, Adriana spoke up as if she had just remembered something.
“Erm… Senior said just now that she wanted to eat with you and me, junior… She seemed so happy.”
“Ccan I not go…?”
Adriana was adamant.