While Calix pretended to be a saint, his sister was being tortured mentally. Although their bodies were separate entities, he could vaguely feel it because they were twins with connected souls.
Because of this, there were days when he felt on the verge of madness—additionally, bidding farewell to loved ones and pretending to be a female saint with the mind and body of a healthy male.
If he didn’t want to get caught, he had to keep pulling divine powers from his sister, Callistea. Calix cursed his plight, not able even to free himself through suicide.
Because he never knew what would happen to his loved ones.
“Oh, my goddess.”
Damia was appalled at the terrible truth. She remembered the list of supplies she had brought from his father’s library as she listened to him.
A few years ago, the High Temple had ordered large amounts of narcotic herbs and sedatives. Now that she thought about it, it must have been about the same time.
In order to forcefully hold Callistea with her mighty holy powers, they would have to administer at least that much. So, after drugging her into a terrifying stupor and imprisoning her as a half-corpse, they drew and used her powers at will.
It was a genuinely horrifying plan.
‘But why did Calix join and comply this plan?’
Common sense meant he must have refused. However, Calix’s behavior, which replaced his younger sister at the temple’s command, was overly desperate.
Why did he strive to impersonate the Saint so desperately? Of course, Damia wasn’t an idiot either, so she quickly realized the reason.
“Calix-nim, are you being threatened right now?”
At those words, Calix slumped with helplessness.
His twin sister was already detained. And if you threaten to take the existence of your loved ones, Noela and Cesare, hostage… … Calix could not refuse the command of the temple.
Unlike his sister, he wasn’t tough. He also loved Noela so much that he shuddered in fear that he would not be able to carry out orders well, nevermind retaliate.
‘Just in case they harm Noela.’
Calix, with all his secrets revealed, bowed his head. Shaking, he was thin like a scarecrow, and it seemed that he could never harm anyone.
She didn’t want to bother him anymore but had one last thing to check. Damia sighed and asked,
“Noela, I don’t know what her real name is… … Anyway, did my stepmother know about this?”
As the successor of the Primula family, this was a crucial issue. Did Noela deceive everyone maliciously, know everything, and join this conspiracy? Or… … .
“She knows nothing,”
Calix responded with a tone of resignation.
“When Nora first reported me missing, she probably thought I was already dead. Therefore she married your father.”
Apparently, Noela’s real name was Nora. It was difficult to see the bearings of an aristocratic woman, so she must be a commoner.
“The temple prevented me from contacting Nora. It was a measure they took because they were afraid that the fact that I was a substitute for a saint would leak out. He threatened to do her harm to Callistea if I got in touch with Nora or met her secretly.”
Between the woman he loved and his twin sister, which one should he choose? The weak-hearted Calix could not choose just one.
“They promised that even if I couldn’t meet Nora and if I cooperated with them …… they promised to have her settle in a very good place with a very good man. Someone who would never belittle her, and would treat Cesare as if he were his own child.”
Calix, who had already lost one of his children due to his weakness, could not refuse the offer. Damia, unaware of this, asked while clasping her forehead,
“You mean that good man… … .”
“Yes, it was your father.”
Damia felt offended by Calix’s answer. Her father, Owen, was a good man with sincere sympathy for Noela, who had nowhere to go and welcomed her as his second wife.
She was dissatisfied with the mindset of the temple and Calix, who used her father’s good intentions like an object to manipulate and peddle.
‘But my stepmother doesn’t seem to have met Calix after remarriage. Then Leon must be my father’s child.’
It was a relief. If Noela went to and fro to the temple and had an affair with Calix… … Just thinking about it was terrifying.
Damia felt confused as she recalled her younger brother’s face with his wide-eyed grin. In the meantime, Calix’s confession continued:
“If I did the job well as the high priest told me, they would occasionally deliver the news of Nora as if they were throwing food. That alone was enough to satisfy me.”
Of course, he would be lying if he said his heart didn’t hurt. But Nora, who went through all sorts of hardships because she loved a man like him, was doing well as a lady.
On top of that, Cesare, who was treated like a temple orphan became the adopted son of a wealthy nobleman. So Calix had no choice but to clench his teeth and endure the pain alone.
It was the best and last consideration for the family he had failed to protect and provide for.
“… … But news about Nora and Cesare was cut off a few months ago.”
“Because Prince Heinrich was starting to suspect that the ‘pollution’ and the Holy War against it was artificially manipulated.”
Naturally, the surveillance network in the palace became much stricter than before. Because of this, Calix, who was staying at the royal palace, no different from any enemy, could barely breathe, nevermind move.
All letters from the High Temple were secretly being censored and under strict surveillance by the Crown Prince. So they delivered only concise notes in all sorts of secret ways.
Meanwhile, there was no news about Nora or Cesare. Thanks to this, Calix, who had survived only on affection for his family, was half-crazy with anxiety.
To the point of embarking on a reckless adventure that was out of character.