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“Sir Akkard will enter first, Lady, please wait for a moment.”
Magda arrived in front of the audience hall entrance and asked for her understanding. Heinrich wanted to meet his retainer, Akkard, alone first.
“Yes, I will wait.”
Damia understood the situation and sat down on the sofa in the audience waiting room. And while waiting, she casually looked at the greenery through the window, just to have a look.
But Magda interpreted this a little differently.
“I heard this was your first time visiting the Royal Palace, Lady Damia.”
Unfriendly only to Akkard, Magda smiled kindly. And she encouraged Damia with the responsibility of being the chief of the palace.
“If the Lady would like, we can take a walk around the gardens while waiting.”
The words were exhortations, but Magda’s eyes were shining with some unknown anticipation. She seemed to want the first visitors to the royal palace to admire the beautiful garden and say, ‘Oh my!’
Damia stood up with an awkward smile. She didn’t want to turn down Magda’s thoughtful invitation; she had nothing to do while waiting anyway.
The gardens of the royal palace were truly extraordinary. Everything she could see was well trimmed and maintained without any lacking.
The lush trees were perfectly angled, and the white marble sculptures placed at regular intervals added to the artistry and grandeur.
The beautiful rose bushes were planted on both sides of the path to soften the atmosphere. If the overly-green garden was a stage, the large, exotic roses dazzled like gorgeous actresses.
‘It’s something to take pride in.’
Even the mere garden of the audience hall is so beautiful. How great would the gardens of the main palace be? In admiration, she walked along the well-maintained thoroughfare.
At the intersection of the path there was a round arch, wrapped in colorful roses. The elegant bench beneath it looked like a place for a princess from a fairy tale.
Damia, who was a little weary, willingly sat down on the bench. And to wipe off the sweat that might have leaked, she looked for a handkerchief. However, what caught her fingertips unexpectedly was the rustling texture of paper.
“Ah, this is… … .”
The moment she realized what it was, Damia’s face darkened. This was a letter from Kael.
‘Why did I bring this?’
Damia sighed. She was very nervous that she would stop by the palace as soon as she came to the capital. Because of this, she brought along all of her quirky clutter that she didn’t need, thinking that she might need it. [t1v: relatable]
This letter, too, she probably brought to read when she was bored in the carriage. She thought that if she read it while outside, she could read it and regard it more casually without straining her feelings.
‘Ugh, it was a stupid hope.’
Damia mocked herself self-disparagingly. And after making up her mind, she finally opened her letter.
Hi, Dami. Summer hydrangeas must be blooming outside your window by now.
Kael’s letter began with a delicate greeting. The content was unexpectedly full of the day-to-day tasks of a paladin in the Great Hall of the High Temple, full of his sense of worthwhile fulfillment every day.
It was like a diary. A letter that feels overly bright, sincere and a little exaggerated. Uncomfortable, Damia felt a sense of incongruity.
‘… … It’s as if nothing had happened.’
The letter even asked after Cesare’s well-being. Not only did Kael not know his true nature, but he regarded him as his ‘next-door brother’ who advised him to become a paladin.
However, there was no mention of Damia’s confession. It was as if Kael was squirming invisibly from behind the white letterhead.
It was as if he were trying to cover up the entire incident hoping to go back to being ‘good friends.’
Damia’s expression, who could not be unaware of this, grew even more bitter. Kael’s letter was so ordinary it overshadowed what she had been afraid of. If she read she probably won’t even remember the contents.
If there were any passages that made the slightest impression on her, it was Kael’s emotions of seeing the saint up close.
Callistea is a very respectful person. Her powers are great enough to make her a saint, yet she is compassionate enough to humble herself and volunteer herself in the South.
When I followed my father to the High Temple, I witnessed a scene where Callistea was healing the sick.
Ever since then, I have admired her. But I didn’t know that I would really become a paladin and be able to take care of Callistea-sama.
I’m really lucky, Damia. I’m so happy now that I can’t ask for anything more.
Damia couldn’t read anymore and folded the letter. A weak laugh escaped from between her lips.
“Haa… … .”
A boyish innocence was Kael’s strength, but at this very moment, she was very resentful of it. His awe and kindness toward her saint overflowed hotly, and it burned Damia’s chest.
Saint Callistea. She had never seen her before, but she must be something special. After all saints were appointed by God.
Perhaps that’s why saints usually live twice as long as the average person. So, even though Callistea would be middle-aged, she would look like she was in her early twenties.
Was that why? She knew it was disrespectful to think like this toward a saint, but… … perhaps to Kael, who stood next to her, she seemed very pretty.