Other than its walls, one couldn’t see anything else of the Atrowan Convent from outside, maybe it was to minimize the chances of the nuns living there being seen.
I couldn’t even see how the interior was set up. All of it could simply be the convent, but there might be something like a garden in the middle.
When I arrived at the front door and said that I was there looking for someone, instead of opening it for me, they just slid open a small slit. only exposing their eyes, and simply told me that it was an area forbidden for men.
I’d gone there as quickly as possible, so I had expected some twists and turns.
While I was pretty certain that it would take some time to get back and such, I never expected that I would never even be able to enter the convent.
“Hey! I won’t enter, but could you please call Adriana for me!? If you tell her that I’m her junior from Temple and that I want to talk for a bit, I’m sure she’ll come out! “
-…Sister Adriana said that she isn’t willing to meet anyone from Temple. Go back.
I couldn’t believe that she didn’t want to see anyone from Temple.
What the hell happened?
“Whatever, just tell her what I said. Are all nuns of Towan so unfriendly?”
I didn’t hear any more words from beyond the door for a while.
…Did I cross the line by referring to all of the nuns of Towan?
-What is your name?
-Don’t hope for a positive answer.
“Anyway, thank you. “
It seemed like the nun left. I leaned my back against the massive, tall walls of the convent as I blankly stared at the moonlit sky.
What should I do…?
There was the thing with Adriana as well.
I felt like I’d made a big mistake again.
I had been in a hurry, so I wasn’t really able to tell anyone where I had gone.
What if they already found out that I suddenly disappeared again? If Temple got thrown into chaos again… I seriously risked getting beaten up by Ellen… I should have said something.
Did I actually lose my mind when I heard that Adriana dropped out from school?
I just up and left without a trace.
What should I tell them when I get back?
No, I should have just gone back as soon as possible. Just how long would I have to queue up for the warp gate? Being a Temple student didn’t help in the least.
After some time, a smaller gate beside the main gate slowly opened.
From there, Adriana, wearing a miserable expression, stepped out.
Adriana was dressed in a neat, black and white, monastic outfit that suited her quite well.
She also looked good in her Temple uniform, though.
The time I’d first met her, I’d thought she was quite the modern beauty, but looking at her at the convent…
Should I have called the style clean or neat?
It did seem like a very good fit for Adriana, who was always proper.
Adriana, who said that she wouldn’t meet anyone from Temple, came out when she heard that it was me.
“I didn’t actually want to come out, but I didn’t know… what you might’ve ended up doing otherwise, junior… “
I didn’t expect that my reputation of doing crazy things outside of anyone’s expectations would help me there.
Adriana showed various facial expressions, perhaps because she was having a hard time.
“What about Temple?”
In the midst of that, she voiced her concerns.
“That’s not important right now.”
While I was worried about that as well, she was more important to me for the moment. The grass around the monetary on the hillside, turning brown, swayed in the wind.
“let’s walk for a bit.”
Adriana slowly took the lead, and I walked beside her.
She, who was always so enthusiastic about training, looked nothing like that in her monastic attire. She had an atmosphere around her that told the world that she didn’t know how to fight and that she would go her whole life without knowing.
“Well, I thought you might come here, Junior.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah, you’re just too nosy after all, Junior.”
I had stuck my nose into the business of others more than just once or twice, after all.
That was probably why she thought in a corner of her mind that I would go to see her, even in that situation.
“That’s not a very nice way to put it.”
“I didn’t intend it to be nice after all.”
Adriana smiled widely.
“So, why would you drop out of Temple?”
“It’s just the result of something I’ve been thinking about for some time.”
“Didn’t something happen during the group mission?”
” …It did, but I kind of expected something like that to happen. Of course, it felt a lot different when it actually happened.”
Adriana seemed to be burdened with a lot of troubles.
During our summer vacation, she seemed to have been struggling with something that she ended up making her mind up about during the mission.
It looked like there was someone among her classmates who liked her, but she suffered because of it, as she couldn’t reciprocate their feelings.
“Art told me that he liked me.”
Adriana looked at me as she spoke.
Art de Gartis… The second-year who’d challenged me to a duel.
So it was that guy who liked Adriana, huh?
“I said I couldn’t accept his feelings.”
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“…What did that guy do to you?”
Adriana shook her head sadly at my words.
“He didn’t do anything. Art isn’t that violent, Junior.”
“I just thought that I shouldn’t be in Temple any more after that. That’s it.”
“That was enough for you to decide to leave Temple?”
Adriana paused for a moment and looked at me.
She looked quite depressed.
“This happened more than once.”
Adriana told me that she had gone through something similar to the Orbis Class.
Art wasn’t the only problem, she had been through those things too often.
Was she just tired of it? Adriana silently looked at the monastery.
“Junior, I’ve grown up and lived here all my life.”
And then we started talking about something completely different.
The Artowan Convent…
An area that was off-limits for men.
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
“Some of the people who live in the monastery, that is, the Artowan Convent, live their whole lives there. Those people never even see a man until the day they die. When orphans are entrusted to the convent at a very young age, it’s not all that impossible.”
It seemed like there were actually some people who had never seen someone of the opposite sex in their whole life in the monastery.
Assuming that they wouldn’t go outside for the rest of their life…
Wouldn’t that mean that they would lock themselves in that prison for their whole life?
I couldn’t understand why one would live like that. Adriana shook her head, seeming to understand my doubts.
“There are simply people who are more than satisfied with this way of life. Rather than being filled by worldly desires, a life dedicated to their faith and self-cultivation is a lot more satisfying for them.”
It was possible for some people to happily live in that huge but narrow prison for their whole lives, abandoning many of their human desires.
Why did Adriana tell me something like that?
“Junior, I left the monastery for the first time last year.”
Adriana hadn’t gone to Temple’s elementary school section, but she had entered the Royal Class straight away. That meant that she’d lived in the monastery for 17 years and left it for the first time the year before.
“It was the first time I saw a man after living in a world filled with religious doctrine, interpretations, and prayer. I met people who had completely different opinions from me and held completely different values.”
Adriana walked quietly through the brown, moonlit meadow.
Her walk seemed soft.
Adriana was like a wanderer.
She didn’t know what her destination was, but she kept walking, trying to find something.
“I learned a lot of things… That there are so many different people in the world, that there are so many silly things in the world, that there is so much delicious food in the world, and that there are so many interesting and fun things in the world. The world is filled with so much joy and misfortune. The world… “
“The world is so beautiful.”
Adriana looked up at the sky.
“Indeed. I also learned that there were many sad things in this world I had never experienced before, but I found a lot more fun and happy things filling it.”
She seemed delighted that the world she’d found outside of the confines of the convent was so beautiful.
“I wanted to get along with everyone, so I tried to be kind to everyone. However, there were a few people who misunderstood my intentions. No, it couldn’t even be called a misunderstanding. I didn’t know when treating someone as a friend ended and when acting like I was interested in someone started.”
Adriana, in her early days after her admission, seemed to have been similar to Ellen and yet different.
Ellen didn’t know how to act around people, so she avoided them.
Adriana didn’t know how to act around people, so she was simply nice and kind to everyone.
She might have overdone it a little.
“So things like that happened a few times. If someone confessed to me, I would refuse them and tell them something like, “Don’t you know that I can’t do these things because I’m a priest of Towan?” which always made them hate me. They would ask me why I had treated them so well and led them on.”
What she did just to get close to the people around her made some people misunderstand her intentions, so it seemed like Adriana had her fair share of troubles, even outside of Royal Class, during her first year.
Although she seemed to have gotten hurt in those situations, Adriana had tried to draw a clear line between her and others.
However, even so, there was nothing one could do about the heart’s desires.
Art liked Adriana.
He confessed, and in the end, tired of repeating that endless circle, Adriana had decided to drop out of Temple.
“That’s not the end of it. There are even people who like the people who confess to me, and those people grow to hate me and become jealous with me, striking out by plaguing me with terrible gossip.”
Adriana’s eyes were shaking.
She didn’t know whether that might be true for Art as well.
She couldn’t accept Art’s feelings, but someone else might like him, then that person would definitely hate Adriana.
What were those terrible rumors that she was talking about though?
She didn’t even bother to tell me what they were, but just even mentioning the fact that they existed was hard for her. It looked like the rumors must have been dirty.
Adriana was struggling.
I wasn’t aware of any of that.
“There were a lot of things I wasn’t aware of, and there are still many more. I was trying to do better, but it just wasn’t going well.”
Adriana, who seemed to be good at everything and got along with everyone, was actually unhappy.
I was actually older than her, but I still was wrong about her.
She was a senior to me, so I just thought Adriana was the type of person who was good at everything as if she was actually my senior…
She was a good person, so I believed that she would be able to take care of herself well, too.
However, she was actually having such a hard time dealing with people without my knowledge. Thinking about how to get along with others, acting the best she could, and sometimes failing.
She was hurting.
“When I lived in the convent, I was satisfied with just that because it was my whole world. I didn’t know anything but that world.”
However, Adriana had to have changed after she’d found out about the outside world and all the things she had no idea about before.
“There’s so much going on in the world. There are things that need someone to step in, and I thought that I might be the one to do so. If I was told to go back to living the rest of my life in the convent, I probably wouldn’t be able to. That’s what I’m thinking, at least. Of course, I don’t have to, either. The director also wants me to see even more of the world.”
Adriana wasn’t actually forced to be a nun either.
“At first, I was able to endure because my goal was to join the Knights Templar. I planned on simply enduring through those problems that arose from interhuman relations and graduate from Temple. I believed the reason for my life to be to join the Knights Templar and fight for the greater good.”
Adriana had wanted to join the Knights Templar. She’d admired them so much that she’d gone to see them in-person when they’d returned from the Darklands.
“However, I don’t know anymore. Olivia gave up her faith, and the commander of the Knights Templar even tried to torture his own daughter. When I learned of these things… I wasn’t so sure anymore if that was really the right path…”
That was also the result of the butterfly effect caused by my actions.
Adriana, who was enduring all those problems caused by human relations and had the goal of joining the Knights Templar, had found out that the Knights Templar weren’t actually as ideal as she thought they were.
Olivia had given up on her faith, and while Adriana had not, she was still in agony.
She had been suffering all that time because of it.
Since her life goal was gone, did she believe that there was no reason for her to endure her life at Temple that was wrought with trouble?
“So I just decided to stay in this convent for the rest of my life.”
She was tired of trying to maintain all those relationships with the people around her.
Amidst all the interest she was subject of and the malice and hatred resulting from it, she eventually tried to return to where she’d started.
“I don’t want to know anymore things unknown to me, so I just want to go back to where I came from and to the life I lived before.”
There was no reason for her to stay in Temple, where she had to suffer from misunderstanding and miscommunication, after her goal had disappeared.
She saw Olivia abandoning her faith…
She learned a lot of things she didn’t want to know…
Did she choose to go back to the convent before she learned even more she didn’t want to know?
Adriana looked at me.
“I told Art that I couldn’t and shouldn’t like him, that I couldn’t do it, and that I felt really sorry, but I couldn’t accept his feelings. I used the same excuse I always used. I always say those words when I reject someone.”
Her eyes seemed sad.
“It’s not Art’s fault. It’s not the fault of the people who fell for me, either. It’s probably my fault. I wasn’t able to put the right distance between us, so people misunderstood… All lf it was probably my fault for acting in such a manner.”
It wasn’t her fault, either.
I wanted to tell her that, but I couldn’t open my mouth.
After running away, she was deprecating herself.
She didn’t hate anyone, but she hated herself.
She quietly looked at me.
“You can’t be friends with everyone.”
That sounded like a warning from someone who had already failed.
Don’t do it.
Don’t even dream about it.
Something like that.
—That was the kind of warning it was, and words were filled with her own regrets.
Adriana, who suffered so much just by being in Temple…
I couldn’t possibly ask her to return to Temple.