The sun was already high in the sky and a monster had been prepared in an underground stadium – away from the sunlight. The stadium was made by a wizard that was handsomely paid by Belmont. Despite the big stadium that can seat a hundred spectators, there was only one observer from the exam which was the owner itself, Belmont.
In the middle of the stadium, there was a single monster that is almost human-like, the strange greenish skin and short pointed ears gave it a vicious aura that can be felt just by looking at it. At first glance, someone might mistake the monster as a troll or a goblin from its deep growling voice, however, this monster was as big as a horse – and every time it moves the ground shook.
The monster was an ogre, one out of the three monsters that Belmont had. This monster was more violent and sensitive than the ogres in the wild because it had not eaten humans for weeks.
“We’re ready,” The blonde knight whispered to Belmont.
However, before Belmont could say anything the knight continued, “Can we trust that stranger?”
“Is there anything to worry about? I was only tasked to kill a puny man in a test.”
“It bothers me that he is with the saint, but…”
“Ha, we have nothing to lose. I was bored because we lack courageous and talented people for quite a while.”
“….If you say so.”
“Right, let’s start the test now.”
The knight nodded and waved his hand. The waiting servant blew a small horn – a strong sound came out that echoed throughout the underground stadium.
Belmont was all excited that he could finally see a worthy fight after a long time. His whole body was almost trembling as the iron door opens, revealing the fighters covered with a white hood and made their way to the center of the stadium.
The monster roared viciously – excited to finally found its prey. As soon as the iron door was closed, the chain around the monster’s neck was released and it started to advance toward its destined target.
However, the knight notices something unusual as the fight started while Belmont was too excited for the fight.
“The daylight that embraces all things will appear upon the earth and thy eyes will illuminate the unclean soul and judge its sins. The purification of the sun god will be salvation.”
A white, thin arm came out of the cloak and pointed toward the ogre.
“A thousand punishment.”
A ray of light penetrated the underground and hit the ogre’s body. The dark basement was covered in brilliant light as the god’s power punishes the monster without harming the building, people, and the ground.
It was a divine punishment that no magic can imitate.
Once the light subsided, a small gust of wind entered the stadium causing the white hood to uncover the tresses of silver hair that might rival the snow.
Senia, who was looking at the ogre with a calm first, smiled faintly when the green monster fell to the floor resulting in a thundering sound.
“Sorry for the loud noise.”
Belmont, who was shaking in fear and turning blue, turned to the person next to him, Tess, who had joined to watch the test, didn’t able to hide his surprise. He couldn’t figure out what was happening that he was at a loss for words.
“What is this…?! Why is the Saint there?!” Belmont’s voice was shaking as he looked at his now dead ogre.
“I registered myself as Sir Carr’s mercenary and participated…”
“Huh, but the divine… you should not be able to do that….”
“Yes, divine power is unable to be used for gambling, betting, or to satisfy someone’s desire. However, this is a different case. There’s nothing I gain from winning.” Senia looked up after patting her crumpled dress from the gust of wind.
The sight of a girl standing proudly in front of the monster’s body was unrealistic in the sense that it almost looks like a sight from a fairy tale.
Carr, who watched over her from behind the iron gate, was as shocked as the other three spectators. He knew that Senia has a stronger faith than anyone else and her divinity was powerful enough that she could overcome the monster. She didn’t even flinch when she saw the size of the monsters.
In short, Carr couldn’t help but admire her.
“As far as I know, in return for passing the test, all the medicines you have will be distributed free of charge. Is there anything wrong with that condition?” Senia addresses the lord calmly.
Belmont clenched his fist tightly, biting the inside of his cheek. He had agreed to increase the difficulty of the exam and use the medicines he had at his disposal as a bet. However, he didn’t expect someone to pass the exam. He wanted to crush them just as if Tess had deceived him, but all that change the moment Senia displays her prowess and justify her actions within the rules he sets.
Belmont had allowed mercenaries to participate in the test instead of the clients themselves. After all, no one has ever thought of using magic when they take the test and there was no limit to who could take the test.
Belmont slowly took a deep breath, knowing that opposing the test would only result in undisputable harm, all he could do was gulp hard and antagonize the saint internally at the same time. All the medicine that he had to procure was included and those were specially created by magic – which was a big loss for him. However, if he waited for a bit more, the situation would turn to be favourable for him.
“….Just like you said. I will have my servants hand them out to each hospital by tomorrow,” Belmont answered after gaining his composure back.
“Thank you and I’d like to request another test tomorrow.”
“Tsk. I’ll just lend you a boat.”
“No, it’s not about the boat,” Senia replied before hesitating for a moment, “All I am asking is an exam to gain a permanent residency in Serendipirel.”
“What?!” Belmont’s voice startled everyone in the room.
Senia, who fully understood his reaction, didn’t back down. “I don’t think there is anything in the rule that prevents such request. It only stated that ‘The Lord must pay whatever requested in exchange for the exam’. That will include a request for permanent residency. As I cannot seek private interest, I am planning to nominate someone for permanent residency. Is that a problem?”
It was a problem because there was ‘no’ problem in the first place. This was the worst request Belmont has ever encountered. If an extremely powerful person requested a permanent residency or Serendipirel itself then the test would be undoubtedly had the highest difficulty.
In that kind of case, a drake was prepared to be part of the test. However, he never imagined that his opponent would be a saint. A miracle might happen, and so Belmont didn’t want to risk his monster to be slaughtered.
“C-Can you please reconsider? I don’t know why travelling saint as you are asking for that.”
“If you are looking for a reason… well it’s because the citizens here are suffering,” Senia answered easily before she put on her hood again and left the stadium – leaving the three men still in shock.
Of course, Carr followed suit Senia out of the basement while Tess just clicked his tongue, not happy that his plan had been ruined and soon walked out. Only the lord and his loyal knight stay still in the cold underground stadium and antagonizing in the darkness of the unfortunate fate befall them.
“We better start looking for shops to replenish our travel packages. Shall we head out to the main street?” Senia smiled bashfully the moment they were back in the street.
She had such an innocent face that for a moment Carr wondered if everything happens back there was just a figment of his imagination. In his eyes, Senia was more suited to stand underneath the sun than the underground arena. She looked more beautiful than anything that he had ever seen.
However, while he was admiring her beauty his mind couldn’t help but think about the test, she is going to take tomorrow. If she showed the same strength as earlier, she would even be able to handle a drake if it came out. It was clear that any monster that will be touched by her divinity would cease to exist in this world.
“Sir Carr? Is everything all right?” Senia pulled Carr’s sleeve gently to stir him from his troubled thoughts.
It only took a few seconds before he turns to look at Senia’s eyes and nodded calmly.
‘Even if don’t ask, I’d just follow her.’
Senia blushed slightly as she naturally wrapped her hand around Carr’s arm and didn’t let go as they made their wait out to the main street.
They spotted Moz, who was shopping in front of a vegetable store, and unlike the first day they met – she was talking to the merchant with a bright cheerful countenance. Judging from what they could overhear, she seemed to be celebrating Feber’s condition.
“Oh my god. Lady saint, are you taking a walk?” Moz who noticed the pair quickly turned her head. Her gaze instantly went down to where the two were connected.
“You two really close to each other.”
“Ah.” Senia, who was embarrassed, untangled her hand from Carr while Moz pretended not to see the act.
“I was buying ingredients for dinner; do you have anything you would like to eat?”
“Anything is fine. I admire Moz’s cooking skills.”
“I don’t have any preference.”
“Oh, that means I have to show my skills today too,” Moz laughed before she turned to the shop owner, “Everything that I just ordered, please send everything before dinner time.”
Moz quickly paid for everything and turned to Senia again, “Where are you two going?”
“We haven’t seen the whole city yet, so we plan to look around. There are many places that we like to stop before we continue our journey.”
They had to buy food, medical supplies, repair her robe and stop by the blacksmith’s shop.
Moz, who understood the situation, offered herself to act as their guide around. And because of her, Senia was less worried about getting lost in the big city but on the other hand, Carr was a bit disappointed.
As they started making their way, Moz tilted her head and told them about something strange that she saw earlier. There was a pillar of light that fell above the lord’s mansion. Carr remained silent about the topic while Senia told Moz about the test as there was nothing to hide. She even talked about the reward which surprised Moz.
It was fortunate that Senia able to finish the test without getting hurt but to know that the medicine would be also released was like another miracle.
Senia only smiled at Moz as the woman was so grateful to the saint that had come to their city. However, Senia didn’t share about the test that she was going to take tomorrow.
“If you need to repair your robe, you can do it here. This is the largest clothing store line in Serendipirel. They handle all kinds of fabrics from cheap cotton to noble silk.”
“Then hhmm….” Senia leaned to Moz’s side and whispered something to her. Moz too answered her in a whisper while Carr just stood awkwardly, scratching his cheek.
It was also during that time that a person who was looking around caught his attention.
“Ah, there should be one. Shall we check it now?”
“Yes, I’d like to get it as soon as possible.”
“Then, Sir Carr. I’ll go inside with the Saint lady. Could you wait here for a moment?”
He could have asked why the two wanted to go inside alone, but Carr decided to stay outside. Not long after the two women entered – Tess came out from his hiding spot and approached Carr.
“What? Why did the two leave you alone?” Tess asked as he turned to look at the store, “Clothing store….? Ah did they go in to buy underwear?”
“You’re approaching me calmly.”
“Hahaha. Are you worried about the result from earlier? You didn’t do anything wrong, right?” Tess leaned his back against the wall while crossing his hands in front of his chest.
“I never expected for Senia to come out.” He sighed dramatically, kicking the ground lightly, “But that was my fault for not calculating the destructive power of her divinity.”
“Is that why you didn’t release the drake?”
“Right. You know what? As soon as I noticed that you broke your promise, I tried to protest but before I can do that, the ogre had already collapsed first. Isn’t she a scam? Why would a woman like that need an escort?”
Carr couldn’t deny anything that Tess was refuting, after all, he was right. Senia was strong. However, he knew Senia’s weakness last night and he didn’t intend to tell Tess about it.
“Ha, the drake probably going to be on the test tomorrow even if I don’t do anything about it. I guess the rumours are true that three years ago, all but the Great Devil was taken care of.”
“All the monster’s army and the undead that the demons manipulated. It’s not like she didn’t know any divine punishment prayer or have the courage to do it, so why did she keep the demons alive? I don’t understand.”
“….She doesn’t like committing murder.”
Tess opened his eyes wide at the answer before he burst into laughter. Carr, who did not say anything just glared at him.
“What’s so funny?”
“No, but isn’t that funny? We are not human. I don’t think you know that…. Hahahaha!” Tess continued to laugh.
“The gods’ divine punishments are used to eradicate monsters which won’t hurt humans, but it will affect demons. Those miracle prayers? Those only apply to humans, not demons. Don’t you understand? We’re something that the Gods rejected and despises. Do you think people who believe in God would think of it as murder when they kill us?”
Carr knew that Tess wasn’t lying, after all, he had heard from Senia herself that her power wouldn’t be able to treat demons. But….
“I don’t care – the fact that she treats me like a human being.”
“Have you ever thought it might be an act?”
Tess’s smile seemed like he was looking down at him, but Carr held back his simmering anger. Although it was only two months, he had spent more time with Senia than Tess. He didn’t need to hear this from Tess who didn’t know nor see about her grievances or tears.
“You followed me all the way here just to act all high and mighty and being sarcastic. I take that your association with the lord was already broken, huh?”
“Yeah, just like you said. The valuable ogre is dead after just one encounter, so his household would be in chaos. I decided to wash my hands off the problem.”
“I can’t believe it.”
Tess laughed out loud and, at that moment, Senia and Moz walked out of the shop.
In Senia’s hand, there was a small paper bag that she didn’t hold before. She was surprised to see Tess standing next to Carr and smiled brightly.
“Ah, Tess, where have you been?”
I have been wandering, you know I’m always busy moving around. More importantly, Senia! Carr was teasing me!” Tess screamed like a child and clung to Senia.
Senia just patted Tess on his arm awkwardly while the man hugged her neck tightly, “What? Sir Carr?”
“Yes! Do you know what he called me? He calls me unreliable! He is giving me a hard time.”
“Oi, what nonsense are you—-!”
“Sir Carr, you no need to argue. We should get going.”
Carr shut his mouth when he heard Senia’s tone. She wasn’t angry but it was clear that she was a bit disgruntled about the accusation which made her looked quite adorable in his eyes. He just sighed and turned his head away from Tess.
In the end, it was Moz who naturally intervened and restrained Tess. The other man was still whining and started to attract attention.
“Come on, that’s enough. Would you like to join us, Tess?”
“Oh, that would be great. I need to get a sleeping bag.”
Carr didn’t like the sound of it, but he didn’t have the right to object. And so, they continued with their shopping and Senia reminded Tess that she wouldn’t sleep with him even if he bought a sleeping bag. Carr thought that it would be safer to put the problematic person in places he can see.
As they walked along the street, no one looked at Senia anymore with a wary gaze as the rumours about her had spread far and wide in the city. It was fortunate that the suspicion was easily got rid of because the lord didn’t try to intervene with the treatment. Now many people recognized and greet her.
“Oh! It’s the saint!”
It was a young family, a couple, and a young son of about five years old. The toddler that was holding his mother’s hand, ran toward Senia when he spotted her. Senia easily remembered them as one of the families that she treated the night before.
“Do you have a boyfriend? You’re very pretty. Will you marry me?” The son said eagerly, catching Senia off guard.
Everyone, including the child’s parent, was embarrassed by the bold and yet innocent question. The mother easily clipped the back of the child’s head while excusing his rude behaviour.
“This child! Seriously—”
The child held the slight bump at the back of his head and started to weep. Senia smiled, covering her mouth a bit, and lowered herself and patted the boy’s small head.
“Thank you for the offer. However, a saint can’t get married, so you can save your offer for someone else that you will love in the future.”
The child was still crying and more after hearing the discouraging answer from the woman he adores. As he continues to weep his father was forced to drag him away. Still, the child looked around and then wave at Senia despite being reprimanded by his father. Senia could tell that it’s a good family.
Rather than the child, it was Senia that couldn’t take her eyes away from them until they completely walked out of her sight, eyes focused on the sunset. Carr approached her and tapped on her shoulder.
“….Oh, I’m sorry. I’m lost in my thoughts.”
Her smile had become weaker than before and Carr could not do anything but wonder, although he knew that he couldn’t ask a question.
“You were looking at them with envious eyes. Do you miss your family?”
“Umm…. A little bit. We are staying apart for personal reasons, but only for a little.”
Only Carr knew what the personal situation was but before Moz or Tess inquired for more, Senia quickly changed her tone.
“The sun is about to fall. We should get back before it’s too late.”
After that as if nothing happened and they continued to shop just like before the little child interrupted them. Senia went to the bookstore to buy her favourite books after finishing all the necessary shopping, then they walked around the city a bit more before heading back home.
Moz was able to show off her culinary skills with the delivered ingredients she bought earlier, so a luxury dinner like the ones made in a fine dining restaurant was served. It was no exaggeration to say that it was the happiest time since they arrived in Serendipirel.