When they finally return to the inn, Lu was already long gone. The note she left with the owner stated how she was going to organize her thoughts before she would be back tomorrow morning.
“Was it too much for her…”
Senia mumbled quietly after reading the note. She let out another sigh before she apologized to the owner for the commotion earlier, paid for the broken glass and bottles of wine, then changed her dirty clothes. Only then, she nagged Carr as she treated his wounds.
“And! Please don’t do this again Sir Carr! You can’t get yourself hurt like this under any circumstances! You’re still covered in so many wounds and you always make me worried if you get hurt like this!”
‘How did I end up being nagged like this?’
Even though he found it odd that Senia nagged him, he didn’t dislike it. He stayed still and let Senia fussed and treat his wound. He watched her soft dainty fingers take care of his calloused and wounded hand.
“You’re not going around alone anymore right….? Even if you don’t trust me, you can rely on me a little bit more,” Senia said almost in tears.
It was something that Carr never did before – to rely on and trust someone else. Carr contemplates her request a bit and nodded which earned a relieved smile from Senia. She let out a light chuckle and smiled at Carr before a merchant approached their table.
“Excuse me, priest. If you don’t mind, could you give me a quick blessing? I’m out of town for business, but I’m worried about my wife and child.”
“Right, of course.”
Senia easily accepted the request and did a quick prayer for the moment. Carr knew that she would never deny people who were in need – just like how she stayed with him earlier. It was truly an admirable character of her, and Carr couldn’t help but want to do right by her.
Once she was done and the merchant left, the two made their way upstairs, finally ready to end the day.
“Good night, Carr.”
It was a simple greeting and yet, Carr felt that the sweet words had saved him after the terrible night that he had gone through.
When morning came, as they were finished with all their preparation for the next leg of their journey, they had spotted Lu outside their inn. Her black hair still shone like silk spilled on a canvas and she still preferred to wear a provocative dress that shows off her pale collarbone and voluptuous figure. No one would think of her as a priest, let alone a saint – it was a perfect disguise for her.
“Good morning. Did you sleep well last night?”
Senia greeted her on behalf of Carr who didn’t try to stand too close to the other saint.
“More or less. I had a lot of thoughts.”
“Um… are you not staying for another day, catching up on sleep?”
Senia glanced at the leather bag strap hanging over Lu’s left shoulder. The moon’s saint even wears a long cape, she seemed to be leaving the village too.
“It’s okay. There is a carriage that heading up to the moon temple, so I decided to take it. I can rest my eyes there.”
“Ah, that’s a good thing.”
“….Actually, I wanted to give up on the revival of the Holy Lady but seeing you changed my mind. Even if I die, I won’t ever be like you or her, so I just wanted to finish my duty as quickly as possible… then rest.”
Senia chuckled at her remark and smiled at Lu,
“No one is the same and I’ve always admired Lady Lu’s determination and free-spirited character.”
“Aren’t there many bad rumours surrounding me?”
“Well, I’ve quite envied how you never have second thoughts despite everything, unlike me.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Lu gave a faint smile before her gaze turned toward Carr and cleared her throat.
“….I apologize for my behaviour yesterday. Thank you for accompanying me for the past few nights.”
“You managed to change your mind.”
“It can’t be helped. I heard the explanation directly so there’s nothing I can do.”
Carr did not know the conversation between the two and turned to Senia with a puzzled expression, but she averted her eyes and avoid the questioning gaze of Carr’s.
“Well, I still don’t like men, so don’t hope that we will be friends in the future.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“I hope that you two at least try to get along in the future.”
Senia requested seeing the two staring at each other. Lu ignored her while Carr turned pale, almost turning sick at the thought of getting along with the moon’s saint.
Lu sighed seeing the hopeful smile on Senia’s and slightly relaxed as her eyes continued to fix on Carr. She had met many men that always so full of themselves. She was always able to tell the arrogance through their eyes, but she could tell that Carr really wouldn’t harm Senia. Perhaps he is an exception.
“…Then I should go.”
“Right. Please take care, I pray for a smooth journey.”
Just when they turned around and started walking, Lu grabbed Carr’s hand and quickly lean to his ears.
“I know that saint Senia is special to you.”
She whispered so that Senia could not hear her,
“I don’t know how you help her to recover, but it means a lot to her. You will be the first person to make her feel like that.”
Carr’s heart almost stopped when Lu brought up Senia’s recovery. He was about to open his mouth to give his rebuttal when Lu continued.
“But it’s better if you’re not too attached to her. You’ll regret it later.”
“What does that mean?”
“It’s my advice.”
There was no malice in her words, rather she sounds apologetic and almost kind with her words. Before Carr could ask for her to explain, Lu already turned and walked away leaving the mercenary to stare at her retreating back.
From meeting to parting, Lu was a woman who really suited the moon in the sky. You could never predict how she was going to be.
On a clear day, when the cool autumn wind is warm by the sun, the two left the city after saying goodbye to everyone.
Bishop Hales, who had the mask of indifference manage to give him a quick blessing, the captain of the guard smiled at them both, and lastly, Dan – who accompany them until the city gate to bid his goodbye promised to meet them again in the future. It was odd for Carr to receive such a warm goodbye without being discriminated against by everyone. He still wasn’t used to it.
“Did we stay too long?”
Senia asked starting a conversation between them, as they continued their journey. Carr gave her a slight nod which made her chuckle.
“Still, I’m glad that we stayed. Although I am worried that there will be a second attack, it is fortunate that didn’t happen. They just need some time to recover their mana after that big army, right?”
Carr nodded to the question. He had been worrying about the same thing but came to the same conclusion as Senia. The culprit must have taken the time to recover after such loss.
“I think it will be fine. The Holy Lady will protect everyone once she is resurrected.”
Senia smiled as she glanced at Carr.
Carr raised his brow, wondering if Senia had read his mind but the saint just chuckled seeing his confused expression. It was fun for her that she can be able to read Carr’s expression which was quite honest when he had his defences down.
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about arriving late to the temple either. The ceremony will be held on the Day of Creation, which is much later than expected.”
It is the day when the sun, moon and stars rise in the sky as the fire, water, earth, and wind gather on the ground. It only happened once a year. It was also the day, which was believed when all the seven gods came together and created the world.
“The church suggested that we should head to the temple before that day just so there won’t be any mistake during the ritual, but I would like to look around a little more. Is this something that I should not have done as a saint?”
Instead of shaking his head ‘no’, Carr gently patted her head. Even though the resurrection of the Holy Lady was a top priority, Senia’s desire to look around the world was not wrong. After all, during the trip, Senia could cure and save many people which was something that always satisfied her curiosity.
Senia blushed and hid her face underneath the hood. It was quite adorable and for a moment Carr felt bad for making her feel embarrassed.
“Well, have you ever thought about what you’re going to do after this journey end?”
‘After the journey?’
Carr never really thought about it, but his duty would end the moment he escorted Senia to the temple safely. After that, he just needed to make Arte fulfill the end of the bargain – turning him into a human. Of course, the archbishop doesn’t have the power, but with the Holy Lady’s power, it is plausible.
Although realistically, Carr knew that he couldn’t put all his hope on that, he just vaguely hoping that he would be able to be ‘normal’ by the end of this journey. He had no intention to harm Senia in the first place, so Arte’s offer was a bonus for Carr.
Carr shook his head mulling the question at hand – ‘what shall he do after the resurrection of the Holy Lady?’
He didn’t have any other plan. He doesn’t have a hometown, without a place to return to nor someone precious he wanted to meet, the fact wouldn’t change even when he turns into an ordinary human.
His gaze turned towards Senia wondering if the Holy Lady could cure her of the curse. After all, if the Holy Lady was as powerful as the story, she could cure Senia which erases the only reason Carr was staying by her side.
Senia tilted her head, noticing Carr wasn’t responding to her question. In the end, Carr shook his head to her answer after contemplating it a bit more.
“I see. Well, after this journey, the Sun Church will give you a big reward. If you have anything you want to, I will give you my full support, so think about it carefully.”
It seemed that Senia had this mind that other people would willingly help him just like what she had been doing. She truly thought that even though he was a devil, he deserved to be treated with kindness just like everyone else.
“Ah right, that means you can only accompany me until this journey end.”
Carr smiled awkwardly as she reminded them of the situation. Senia who was watching him blushed slightly at the rare smile before her and quickly hid her face again.
The air around them was getting colder as winter was slowly approaching, but strangely enough, spring seemed to bloom inside Carr as he watched over Senia. He couldn’t do anything about his heart pounding loudly against his chest with just the thought of walking beside her. As he was listening to her melodic voice, Carr enjoyed the simple companionship he formed with Senia. He wishes this journey will last a little bit longer.