15. The Fake Saint’s Evolution into a Genuine One
…Hmm, how did this happen?
In the narrow carriage, Farril and Will clung tightly to both my sides.
Sitting across from me, was the smiling priest.
“Farril, Will, why are you here? Shouldn’t you be escorting the carriage outside?”
“It’s precisely because I’m escorting, duh~ Luka is the one who’s strange, staying inside an enclosed space with a woman.”
“We’ll take care of sister from now on. So why doesn’t Luka wait outside?”
The priest and the twins spoke with each other.
By the way, the twins started sneaking into my sleeping compartment. When I woke up in the morning, the twins’ head would appear at both my sides at least once every three days.
Despite the fact that the priest had cast a protection spell on my bedroom and tent, the two were still the kingdom’s best magicians. As such, the knight leader had to physically guard the entrance. Regardless, the twins tried all kinds of techniques, resulting in them being able to break inside multiple times.
But, well, I was the type who could sleep no matter how noisy it was. Therefore, it didn’t matter if the twins were causing a ruckus or not.
Other than that, everyone was kind, and the trip was going well. I wasn’t particularly dissatisfied with the substitute job.
The areas I visited didn’t loathe the saint as much as I expected. It was proceeding smoothly, and my concerns slowly dwindled.
…It reached the extent that I felt guilty for pretending to be a saint.
Thanks to getting enough sleep along with the nutritious, abundant, meals, I felt great. Perhaps because of that, my healing power was exploding.
Even during church prayers, the amount of cleansing aura I had been releasing was larger than before. As such, even the knights’ uniforms and the villagers’ clothes became clean.
Their clothes looked clean enough, I wondered if I should start using the same spell as a substitute for a bath when I returned to my hometown.
“This is the power of the saint…”
“Wow, awesome… it’s like God’s miracle…”
No, it isn’t?
I’m merely a substitute…
Besides, all I did was clean their clothes, as such, it couldn’t be considered the power of God.
Whenever I finished praying, I’d receive an excessive amount of praises, and my heart would be constricted.
Apparently, even with my subpar healing magic, for those who had never beheld it, it was amazing. Unexpectedly, it seemed that healing power in itself was a rare ability.
After praying at the church, I’d heal sick people. Even though it shouldn’t have much effect—
“—I was cured by the power of miracles!”
They were extremely pleased. They’re exaggerated, I began to think that the priest might be pulling some strings.
Of course, there were still some who threw pebbles at me. However, by the time I was about to depart, they would transform into a nice guys.
…No, aren’t you all too easily deceived!?
Well, if I put on a rugged costume and created a solemn atmosphere, it seemed to be effective. Was it like a placebo effect?
…However, if that were to continue, I would gradually felt more remorseful. I couldn’t think of it as a job.
I’m sorry for being a fake saint…
For the purpose of the pilgrimage, that would be a great success, but…
It felt as if I was fooling those who genuinely believed in the saint. I gradually felt sorry for everyone and became depressed.
…Well, I knew that I was going to trick people from the start, but…
…I got a lot of gifts and souvenirs from people.
In front of the delicious-looking presents, I could only sigh.
“Ceylan, are you tired?”
“I, I’m sorry, I’m alright…”
There were only two people in the carriage that day—the priest and I. The twins were now on the alert outside because there were dangerous places on the road ahead.
“This is a sweet made from honey, which is the village’s specialty. They gave it to you as a symbol of gratitude.”
My heart ached.
“…That’s right. The old lady gave me this for curing her back pain… but, this isn’t something that I should have received. She believes in the saint… but a fake is the one who received her sign of gratitude, instead…”
“…Pardon me? What do you mean?”
I honestly told the priest of what I had been felling recently.
From the beginning, I knew that I was to become the saint’s substitute. I never knew it’d be so painful to lie.
I loathed my father, who lied and abandoned his family. I despised that lousy bastard from the bottom of my heart.
However… as of the present, I was tricking the villagers into giving me gifts… I was basically doing the same thing as my father…
When I talked about that, the priest looked stunned.
“Why would you worry about such a silly thing? You’ve misunderstood. I’m the one who made you a saint. You’ve never called yourself a saint. That’s why—you aren’t lying.
Ceylan doesn’t hesitate to heal and touch people no matter how muddy and dirty they are, right? That’s the reason why everyone thanks you. It’s because of your kindness and your healing ability. Those are the qualities of a saint.”
“Eh…? What’s wrong? Why is the priest suddenly being kind to me…? I never expected you to cheer me up like that… Seriously, is something ailing you?”
“…What kind of impression do you have of me? I’m merely appreciating what you’ve done. Ceylan has low self-esteem. However, that the pilgrimage is going well is also because of you. If you were the real saint, a genocide would’ve happened at the first village. So, I’m very grateful, Ceylan. Finding you was the greatest luck in my life.”
How garbage is the saint, for a genocide to be a potential outcome?
However, I was very happy knowing that he depended on me.
I was honestly surprised because I didn’t expect him to appreciate me. The image I had of the priest was of an angry and ill-mannered man.
“Thank you… the priest is really a kind person. At first, I thought that I’d be eliminated by the priest once the job is done. I’m sorry for doubting you.”
When I said that, the priest looked as if he had chewed something bitter. He soon turned serious and said;
“…I’m the one who put you in this role. So, it’s my obligation to protect you. No matter what, I’ll take responsibility and always protect you. Don’t forget that.”
“Oh, okay…? I’m counting on you…?”
Although I had no doubt about it in the first place, I still nodded. But the priest reminded me once again, “Don’t forget?”
I’d learn the true meaning of the priest’s words later.
***T/N: It’s ch. 15 and I’m still not feeling particularly safe with her harem members…