The state of being unable to walk without passing out was more embarrassing than fainting.
After being carried like a princess, I was cared for by a beautiful knight. I became resolute in withstanding the humiliation of experiencing this while conscious.
Now that it had happened twice already, I didn’t push the purification beyond my limits anymore.
I will leave enough energy to walk out by myself.
I will definitely do that.
After pretending to be passed out, I had fallen asleep without realizing it, and when I woke up, it was already the morning of the next day.
Considering I stayed unconscious for 5 days the last time, this was quite an improvement.
In the next purification, I might be able to grasp the sensation even better.
As soon as I sat up in bed, Wieland approached me.
…Because of what happened yesterday, I felt strangely awkward.
I couldn’t meet Wieland’s eyes.
Pressing his lips together, Wieland knelt down in front of me and bowed his head. His wheat-colored hair was smooth and he showed a whorl of hair on the back of his head that I didn’t often get to see.
…Uh, what was he doing?
Why was he bowing his head?
“I am truly sorry for yesterday. I intend to accept any punishment you exact on me.”
“Huh? For what?”
“I disobeyed your order and touched your body without permission.”
Wieland’s direct words reminded me of our conversation yesterday.
I had definitely asked him to lend me his shoulder, been rejected, then princess carried.
It was true he had disobeyed my orders and touched me without permission, but I didn’t think it was to the extent of receiving punishment for it.
Wieland was probably worried about me who couldn’t stand straight and acted forcefully because of that.
Although I was reluctant about the way he carried me, it was the truth that he had helped me.
Still, I couldn’t help but feel disheartened about a beautiful knight carrying an old man in a princess carry.
“No, well, you saved me…Though I want you to avoid carrying me like that again.”
“Did you find it unpleasant?”
“Unplea—I mean… There are other ways of carrying me like over your shoulder or on your back, right?”
“Carrying you over my shoulder would put pressure on your abdomen, which is not good for your body. Also, carrying you on my back would leave your back defenseless.”
No the pressure on my abdomen didn’t matter, and even if my back became defenseless, it didn’t matter since this was a safe place inside the temple.
The White Room, where only the saintess and her direct subordinates could enter, and the rear shrine where the saintess lived. I think these two places were the safest in the country.
I had a vague feeling that Wieland was being overprotective of me.
“No way… Each time I passed out until now… you didn’t…”
“Yes. I carried you the same way as now.”
As I thought.
I hadn’t known he carried me like that.
I wish I had never found out.
A knight with a sparkling appearance kneeled next to my bed.
There wasn’t even the slightest wrinkle in his navy blue uniform, and his blonde hair had been trimmed neatly.
This guy had carried me like a princess three times already. This was a very depressing fact.
Since he was thinking of me, I couldn’t be angry with him.
I couldn’t be angry, but I was upset.
His nonchalant face irritated me, so I ruffled his hair in retaliation.
I might be a bit rough, but I was only stroking his hair forcefully.
I wasn’t thinking of messing his hair up or anything, not at all.
It wasn’t like I was taking out my frustration by enacting revenge like this.
Wieland stiffened in surprise, and I tousled his hair to my heart’s content.
His hair reminded me of the soft fur of the dogs in the village, and I found myself smiling at it.
Purifying, waiting for the holy power to recover, then purifying again. After doing this every day for several months, I gradually got the hang of it.
Since then, I didn’t pass out again and managed to return to my room on my own.
As soon as I laid down on the bed, I fell asleep, but that’s another matter. Now, I no longer sleep for days at a time, so I could probably say I’ve made a lot of progress.
Because of the enormous amount of holy power and blood I generously used for the purification, the pollution had improved immensely.
Although I didn’t really feel it in the church, I had heard that the damage from monsters was steadily decreasing in various places. The visible effect on everyone had them praise the unprecedented Saint like never before.
Even now, I was revered like a god, what would happen if anything more happened?
It was too scary.
—I’m glad Emilia was here.
With the debut of the Saint happening in two weeks, a lot of people seemed to be flocking to the royal capital.
The Saint who held the strongest power of all saints so far that they had been searching for for over 20 years.
The popularity of the Saint could be seen in how ot only the inns in the royal capital, but even the inns in neighboring towns were all occupied for the chance of catching a glimpse of this person.
It wasn’t just metaphorically speaking to say that people from all over the country were coming here.
The people coming this far were all looking up at the podium with anticipation.
And then a 42-year-old man in pure white clothing appeared.
…It was heartbreaking.
I could almost feel the atmosphere freeze below the freezing point. Just thinking about it made my stomach hurt.
So I was really really glad Emilia was here.
“So she will go around the city in a luxurious open-roof carriage, then pray in the square and bless the people who gather there…”
“Yes. Meanwhile, could you please disguise yourself as Lady Emilia’s knight and wait nearby?”
“She needs to give prayers and blessings, too, huh…”
Apparently, when a saint said a prayer, the surroundings around her would shine.
According to Wieland, there was a radius of 5 meters around me that would shine. A soft white light unlike light magic would shine as if it was dancing.
A glittering light surrounding an old man instead of the Saintess Emilia.
…It was too surreal no matter how I thought about it.
So, in order to make people think it was Emilia who was the source of the light, I had to stick to her the entire time on the day of the event.
“From the point of view of security, it would be most helpful if the two of you would stay close to one another.”
“Oh, right. There’s no need to split up.”
A saint who purified pollution and brought peace to the land.
As long as the saint was there, the damage from demonic beasts would lessen, and the country would prosper with God’s blessing.
Only the saint could use the holy healing power that could miraculously heal even a severely wounded person on the verge of death.
Because the saint was like this, many desired that power.
Even if they used force, as long as they could obtain the saint, the power was all theirs—there were plenty of people with this way of thinking.
In order to protect me and Emilia who acted as my substitute, it would be convenient if the two of us stayed together.
—However, no matter how I thought about it, it was a conspicuous position…
It was right next to Emilia who was the center of everyone’s attention.
I didn’t know how many people would gather, but I would definitely not be able to stay calm.
It wasn’t like I would be the one attracting the attention, but I didn’t think there was any place for me to be there.
Emilia was checking on the procedures of that day next to me as I let out a sigh.
She was wearing the pure white expensive-looking uniform of the saints that she was going to wear. Her long black hair Gold hair ornaments adorned her long black hair, giving her a divine beauty.
Yet, her face had turned visibly pale, and I felt guilty to make her look like this.
It looked like it was going to be a tough day for both me and Emilia.