The deeper we went into the forest, the stronger the aura of the curse emanated.
“Ralph-chan! Over there!”
“Leave it to me!”
I gave instructions to Ralph, and we headed straight for Alberto.
Such a strong curse…
How much of a grudge did the cursed person hold?
Just by imagining it, goose bumps started to erupt.
Eventually, when I reached an open area in the forest…
Ralph suddenly jumped.
Due to that, we lost our balance and were separated from Ralph.
However, just before colliding with the ground, Nigel jumped off Ralph’s back and landed with me in his arms.
“Are you okay, Eliane?”
“Y, yes, thank you…”
I released myself from Nigel and stood firmly on the ground.
“W, what is this!?”
Ralph, who had gotten up, had a black aura attached to him.
Was that… a curse?
“Ralph-chan! I will help you right away!”
I held my hand to dispel the curse on Ralph.
Ralph slowly lowered himself to the ground.
“It seems that the leader has arrived.”
On the other hand, Nigel looked straight ahead while holding his sword ready.
“E, liane… kill, k… ill…”
In front of Nigel, there was a man carrying a blood-stained, bright red, sword.
The man, who seemed to be suffering from something, was clutching his head.
I called his name.
Apparently, the curse was attached to the sword.
However, the powerful curse had eroded the owner, Alberto, causing him to exude a black aura.
“Alberto, what the hell are you thinking!? What is your aim—…”
“Nigel, it’s useless. He has gone completely insane.”
Nigel was demanding an answer from Alberto.
Regardless, the curse latched on him was too strong and evil.
Moreover, the curse hadn’t only eroded Alberto, but also the monsters in his surrounding vicinity.
The monsters had probably become violent due to that curse.
“My head… is throbbing.”
As Nigel grew dizzy, his gait became uncertain.
It couldn’t be helped. We didn’t know when we’d be victims of the curse.
It didn’t happen because of a barrier I had prepared. Another reason was his strong will.
“Ralph-chan, are you alright?”
“Yes, of course. However, for a sacred beast like Ralph, it’ll be difficult. I’m unsuited for long-term battles.”
Ralph seemed to be suffering, too.
“It’s said that curses are more easily applied to people with darkness in their hearts. He probably succumbed thoroughly to the curse because his heart was already black from the start.”
Even if I gave the explanation in a relaxed manner, the same couldn’t be said about the actual situation.
It seemed impossible to talk reason into him who had lost his sanity.
For starters, the red sword and the curse possessing him should be purified.
Alberto roared like a beast.
Then, he swung his sword, trying to attack me.
However, Nigel jumped in front of me.
“Your opponent is me. I won’t let you lay a finger on her.”
He sparred with Alberto.
A fluttering occurred.
However, Nigel was being pushed back.
Alberto’s ominous red sword approached his face.
Alberto repeated that word while he attempted to slay Nigel.
I put my hand on his back.
“Starting from now, I’ll give you the blessing of the goddess.”
Nigel didn’t turn around as he ask me that question. He kept his gaze focused on Alberto.
“However, receiving the blessing of the goddess may be a little painful depending on the person’s abilities and character. But I’m sure you can wield this power, so…”
“I understand, no matter what the consequences are, I shall endure them to protect Eliane. I can’t defeat this guy as it is—Eliane, will you?”
Nigel’s body was enshrouded in light coming from my hand.
The holy light cut through the surrounding darkness and permeated into the sky.
Nigel uttered out and pushed Alberto back.
Alberto, who couldn’t withstand the force, steadily retreated from us.
“Is this… the blessing of the goddess?”
Nigel seemed baffled by his sudden burst of power.
—The gGoddess’ blessing and conformity.
As I had explained to Nigel, the blessing of the goddess hadn’t yet been given to anyone but him.
Those with wicked hearts wouldn’t be able accept the holy power and would only suffer.
However, because Nigel had a strong heart, the blessing of the goddess suited him.
I was the true saint.
I wasn’t a fake one like Leticia.
Therefore, I was bestowed the blessing of the goddess.
With that power, I had mastered powerful healing and barrier magic, and had protected that kingdom—the Kingdom of Verclaim.
The purpose of my power was to protect people.
I myself couldn’t fight, but I could temporarily strengthen the power of others by giving blessings.
Thus, the saint had another title—
—the agent of the goddess.
Nigel called out to him.
Holy light radiated from Nigel on to his surroundings.
To be honest, I hadn’t expected that.
For him to be able to wield it to such an extent…
No matter how many times I give the goddess’ blessing, it’d be meaningless if the other party didn’t meet the requirements.
I heard that the stronger the will to protect people, the more powerful the goddess’ blessing.
He was someone who’d reach out to people in need—such as Douglas and I, without hesitation.
As the prince of Lynchgiham, he had protected the fate of thousands—no, tens of thousands of people. So far, only he was able to master the blessing of the goddess.
“I’m not going to forgive the enemy of my kingdom, or my precious someone!”
“You’re alone, while I’m supported by the saint, and also ten thousands of people—I, the sword which protects them, won’t lose to you!”
Nigel’s words probably couldn’t reach him anymore.
Alberto began to lost control and attacked Nigel.
“You drowned in power. Eliane is different from you. She has great power, but she uses it for others—the difference is too big.”
However, no matter how much Alberto attacked him, it was useless.
Because he no longer had any chance of winning.
Nigel swung his sword faster than Alberto’s sword could arrive.
It cut through the space.
A wave appeared and wrapped Alberto’s body in a flash of light.
Eventually, his scream stopped and he fell to the ground.
“Did we win…?”
Nigel warily approached the fallen Alberto.
The curse had vanished.
Alberto’s eyes were closed—he showed no signs of waking up.
“Yes, it’s over. With this, Alberto, and the curse on his sword have been dispelled.”
“Then, the monsters in the forest…”
“Because the cause is gone, soon enough, they’ll regain their sanity.”
After I explained that, Nigel sat down, exhausted.
“I, I see… I’m glad you’re safe.”
“From the beginning, I knew you’d win.”
Somehow, I still found the ability to laugh.
“Muu, Nigel, you did your best. Ralph will praise you.”
Ralph approached Nigel and licked his face with his tongue.
I also patted Nigel’s head, because he had done his best.
***T/N: S-so even during battle, Nigel can’t avoid coming off too strong, huh?
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