3. The Fake Saint’s Evolution Into a Genuine One
“I shall be responsible for the safety of your family and yours. There is a possibility that the length pilgrimage will be extended. Should that happen, compensation shall be added.”
“Thank you. From now on, I will be in your care.”
The dazzling priest shook hands with me. I was sold by his perfect smile. However, my finger, which had suffered from a cut, hurt due to his tight grip.
I told my family that I was leaving for work and gave them the payment I had received in advanced.
I was worried about my mother who would be left to care for the little ones alone. However, the priest said, “Don’t worry, I will hire a nanny.” Thus, my family didn’t hesitate to say goodbye to me. I was sent out with great support.
I wondered if I’d start working as the saint’s body double in the holy capital. Usually, before a great departure, there’s a parade, right? Not to mention, this was the saint we were talking about…
…But it turned out, the real saint had taken care of that.
I didn’t know how many times I had repeated the same question that day—
—is she stupid!?
Because the real saint loved spectacular events, she made sure to attend the departure parade right before she escaped. She rode around in an extravagant clothing all throughout the royal capital.
…The more I heard about the real saint, the more my agitation towards her increased.
After a generous send-out, the saint seems to have boarded her honeymoon ship.
Anyway, I was told we needed hurry because it’d be unnatural if I didn’t appear at the first pilgrimage destination right away. The priest and I took off with a horse to reach the site. My ass hurt.
“I haven’t told the other companions who will be accompanying you over the pilgrim that you’re a replacement. This was planned by only a few church officials—myself included. So, please be careful as to not reveal your identity. Please wear this veil all the times working. I will be by your side in case anything happens.”
“Is it alright for me to stay silent all the time? I don’t know how to behave like a saint. But maybe, I should talk a little…”
“That’s alright. The real saint has a bad mouth. No one will be suspicious even if you were to be a little uncouth.”
“I, I see, is that so…? I mean, as a saint, how do you grow up with a bad mouth? Was she thrown into the downtown…?”
“No, she just inherently has a bad personality and mouth. Anyway, it will be fine.”
I hate that saint…
“Ah, look, you can join the main party.”
Before I knew it, we seemed to have reached our destination. The entire way, I had been listening to how crappy the saint was. In the distance, I saw a group of people raising the national flag.
There were about ten knights in armor, the red haired leader was the sturdiest of all. He had the most prominent crest. To his left, two boys in magician’s robes stood with moody expressions. They seemed to be twins.
T-that’s the main corps? How… few? As far as I can see, there are no women. There should be a maid, right? To attend the saint? It’s not like I want to be taken care of, but isn’t that how it usually is?
I asked the priest. “Is this everybody?” I proceeded to become stunned when he told me that indeed, those were all the members of the pilgrim.
The saint was a girl, wasn’t she? Shouldn’t a nanny or a maid come to accompany her? There were only men. I didn’t know whether or not they were elite, but what was with the overwhelmingly low number? I didn’t think we’d even be able to pass as a monster subjugation party at that rate.
While I was in shock, the priest suddenly explained.
“All of the saint’s favorite people have been taken on the honeymoon. As such, no maids remained for the pilgrim.”
Oh, I see.
Which meant—the members of that group were people who didn’t get along with the saint?
“So, the saint has finally decided to come. You’re late, Lord Luka. Don’t tell me, it was because of the honeymoon? Since it’s being covered by the nation’s taxes, that’s all the more reason to prioritize work, don’t you think?”
“What? It’s only the saint? Where are the other incompetent fellows? Well, they’re noisy and useless anyway, it’s better that they didn’t come. Hey, do you want me to put a collar on you? After all, we can’t have you escape again.”
I thought the twins were cute. The moment they started talking, though.
As I thought, they didn’t get along with the saint.
The red-haired knight was staring at me in silence… and with murderous intent. It felt extremely disturbing.
“I’m sorry, it took a long time to fetch her back. However, the saint has promised to change and work for the public order. There’s no need to worry. Faril, Will, don’t be too profane. We don’t know who is listening.”
Ah, they responded nicely to the priest.
…Well, not like it mattered. The priest’s name was Luka, while the twins were Faril and Will. I should remember that.
Then, the priest said, “Let’s head out right away.” I was urged to ride in the parked carriage.
The carriage—or rather, the box—looked like a special prison. Moreover, the lock was on the outside.
Oi, isn’t this strange?
Was it the type of carriage commonly used to transfer sinners? For real? Did they really intend for me to ride that? Wasn’t I going to journey around various places as part of the pilgrimage? Wouldn’t that be strange?
If I were to ride in such a carriage, I was worried I’d be taken to a decapitation platform. When I hesitated, the red-haired knight suddenly said.
“If we cut the tendon of her leg, she won’t be able to escape anymore…”
Because he uttered some extremely disturbing words, I jumped on the carriage at the speed of light.
The priest only entered a moment later, of course, with grace. I begrudgingly stared at him, waiting for an explanation that would shed light to everything. However, my trail of thought was ended by his outstandingly, destructive, brilliant smile.
“Knight leader, please be careful with your words.”
The priest was warning him for the wrong reason.
Was that person the knight leader?
He seemed tough, but as a person, he was too… unstable.
The clear locking sound of ‘gachan’ rang out, and the carriage started to move with a light noise.
***T/N: Holy fuck, the author ain’t gonna let her suffer in the real saint’s stead, right?! Back off, back off from mah girl Ceylan!!!