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The northern plains were wide, steep, and vast. There were powerful gusts of wind sweeping the wildflower fields, but since it was summer, for the north, these gales were comparatively mild.
Damia sat on the floor, brushing her frizzy hair behind her ears. The carpet and cushion laid out by the coachman were so thick that she sat on the ground with comfort.
It was thirty minutes passed the agreed-upon appointment time, but the person she was waiting for did not come easily.
However, Damia was not impatient or angry; because he was such an important person.
Finally, the man she had been desperately waiting for had arrived.
Damia’s breathing quickened, and her heart pounded.
She licked her parched lips, stood up and greeted him:
The young man in white looked just like a forest fairy. His long blonde hair fluttered in the wind as he approached and bowed his hair, as if highlighting his delicate beauty.
“Forgive me for being late. It took longer than I thought to make an antidote.”
At the same time his pleasant voice rang out, Lessid took out the antidote out of his chest pocket and held it out.
Damia’s eyes shook as if she was on the verge of crying.
“… Thank you so much. Thank you.”
With both hands gingerly accepting the antidote, she hugged it tightly to her chest. It was the precious medicine that could save her drug-addicted father.
Naturally, her eyes gazing at Lessid, who made it, were full of sincere gratitude.
“Oh, no need for thanks, of course—I just did what I had to do.”
Unhonest, Lessid laid his eyes down and waved his hands.
However, his body was very honest, so when he was thanked by Damia, his ears slightly turned red.
Since becoming a priest, Lessid developed a distaste for humans. People often judged each other by their profession and asked for something in their self-interest. For example, to the baker, ‘How can I bake some snacks?’ Or, to the doctor, ‘I have a headache today, please look after me.’
It didn’t matter if they were close. Yet, it was natural for people who only recognized their faces. To Lessid it was disgusting to ask for such services only by looking at their livelihood.
Even if he refused to do such things, he was cursed, people saying he didn’t even know the ‘duty of the god’ and predictably he earned the ire of his fellow humans.
In particular, Lessid, who was sensitive and fussy naturally, did not deal with criticism well. Thanks to this, even though he was born with great holy healing powers he seriously contemplated resigning from his priesthood but….
‘If it wasn’t for Lady Damia I would have quit right away.’
It had been Damia who had saved his devastated and withering heart.
Before, Lessid had no interest in her.
Of course, Damia was as pretty as a doll when he was young, but so was Louise, his younger sister.
Lessid disdained the selfish Louise that was only revealed to him. He assumed all young girls thought the world revolved around them.
So, he had not bothered to get closer to Damia who was of a similar age. In turn, Lessid was always cold to her while they took a painting class together.
Even if Damia spoke to him, he often responded with a short answer or ignored her all together.
Then one day, Damia, while painting on an easel across from him, kept coughing.
“Cough, cough,······ ha*.” [*laboured breathing]
It was a pitiful and painful noise, like a young puppy vomiting up its mother’s milk. Intent on ignoring her, Lessid’s eyebrows furrowed and tried to focus on his painting.
At the time, he was already a new priestly disciple. Although he had not officially been inaugurated yet, he already knew how to handle his powers to some extent. He would be able to deal with a cold like that.
‘Probably you’re coughing in front of me for that.’
Wait and see. Damia would soon shamelessly ask him for a favor, too: ‘Please cure my cold.’
Lessid waited silently, absentmindedly moving his brush irrelevantly on his nearly finished canvas.
Yet, Damia had been quiet the entire three-hour painting class. Rather, even her usual light chatter was conspicuously absent, making Lessid even more uncomfortable.
As Damia coughed loudly and painfully, her voice broke and she met his eyes.
She looked reddish and flushed, perhaps with fever, and her eyes teared up and the tip of her nose was red and swollen.
Taking in the sight Lessid frowned. Damia lowered her eyes and quietly apologized:
“I’m sorry. My coughing was loud, wasn’t it?”
Speechless, Lessid looked at her in astonishment.
Her apologetic face seemed sincere, as she mumbled she would be better by the next class.
Was it because of that?
Lessid felt like he could faithfully fulfill his ‘priestly duties’ for the first time in a long time.
“Do you have a cold? Let’s see,”
Lessid narrowed his forehead, stood up from his seat and approached her.
Damia shook her head and stepped back. Then, her voice cracked from her illness as she said something extraordinary:
“Don’t come too close. You could get sick.”
Lessid was truly at a loss for words. He was familiar with humans asking to treat their dirty, bloody wounds and taking him for granted.
But she was worried that he would get a measly cold!
What a foolish and lovely girl she was.
Perhaps that’s why his heart suddenly began to beat loudly. To hide this, Lessid spoke out, flustered,
“Did you forget that I’m going to be a priest soon? I’ll do this for you today, so come here.”
Only then did Damia’s face flicker with a realization. It was a great honor in the North to work for the High Temple. Therefore, she was also aware that Lessid Ferra was training to become a priest. Nevertheless,·····.
“Regardless, it’s okay. Don’t worry, I’ll get better after a few days of rest.”
Lessid stared blankly at Damia’s smile. He couldn’t hold back all the questions flooding his head, so he ended up spitting them out:
“Why are you doing this?”