YCKTML Chapter 63
When the carriage reached the vicinity of the capital, I said to Enoch, “I would like to go to the temple first.”
“The temple?” Enoch asked, his expression serious.
I nodded. “I think it’s time to go. I now know that I have a special ability. But Your Highness doesn’t tell me anything, do you?”
Enoch sat gracefully across from me, his legs crossed, and muttered awkwardly, “It’s not that I kept it from you on purpose. Sometimes it’s easier to live in the world not knowing some things.”
“… It’s up to me to decide.”
Despite my blunt reply, Enoch continued to look at me with his signature gentle smile. Flustered, I looked out the window.
“When you know you have the power, you are often forced to do things you don’t want to happen. Those are difficult and dangerous things that ordinary people can’t do. Sometimes, you will have to risk your life.”
There was a faint hint of concern in the way he spoke. It was easy to understand that Enoch was also talking about himself.
I turned my gaze back to Enoch.
Enoch Dwell Rikephorus, a direct descendant of the Archmage. He’s a noble crown prince who took on so many things himself, but because of that, he’s more exposed to danger, yet he never carried an escort with him.
I asked him once about it, and he said it’s harder not to get caught up in magic.
“I’m going to go though. Don’t stop me.”
It didn’t make sense that I didn’t know about it myself. Of course, I thought about the possibility that while I was learning about this power, people might find out that I came from the outside world.
‘I’m still curious.’
At my firm resolve, Enoch nodded in defeat. “Then I will guide you to a place other than the temple in the capital.”
“The temple has a lot of visitors.”
“Ah, right. Then.”
More people meant more risk for annoying things to happen.
Enoch stopped the carriage, talked to the coachman about the destination change, then we went off again. The carriage exited by the right side road behind the city gate leading to the capital.
Enoch wasn’t in a particularly social mood today. He closed his eyes, looked out the window, but would look at me sometimes. Still, thanks to the ambient noise from the carriage, the silence wasn’t awkward.
The carriage made its way through the well-maintained road towards a quiet trail.
A cool breeze came through the window. At first glance, the color of the leaves looked faded. The seasons have passed here, too.
After going a little further, a small temple appeared. I got off the carriage and looked around the place.
Contrary to the grandeur of the temple in the capital, there was only one small and simple building made of white marble.
Although it had a garden, it must not have been maintained as vines crept through everything, and the weeds were overgrown. However, those things didn’t matter.
I didn’t come to the temple just to pray. Could I find a clue about my abilities in a place like this?
Enoch walked ahead of me. Because the temple was small, there was a door similar to any other house.
Before entering, Enoch turned to me and smiled.
My eyes widened when his hand came to my head, but he only took off my hat.
One mustn’t wear a hat in the temple.
I smiled back and followed him inside. But as soon as we entered, I came across something unexpected.
Obviously, the structure inside looked like a small chapel, but there were thick books and other things on the chairs, and it was full of dust as if it had not been cleaned for a long time.
“Your Highness, are we in a temple? It’s a bit…”
“That’s right. Since we don’t have visitors, we stayed casual here. Anyway, I had no idea you would come so suddenly.”
A familiar man approached from the inside, carrying a torch.
Enoch stepped aside to let me and Father Antonio face each other.
“Your Highness, why didn’t you tell me you were coming? And leave the temple at the capital and go to a place where everything is collapsing…”
“The Count wants to know about it.”
Father Antonio nodded knowingly and scratched his chin. He had a thick beard on his face as if he hadn’t shaved in days. It was a stark contrast to the clean look I had seen before.
“That’s… Please follow me. There’s no place to sit here.” Father Antonio picked up the limp and walked towards the hallway deep inside.
Enoch motioned for me to walk first, and I looked back at him before walking ahead.
The temple was much deeper and wider than it looked. It looked like a small building from the outside, but inside, a series of winding corridors continued. One could easily get lost without guidance.
Upon entering one of the rooms, another chapel appeared. It was smaller than the first space I saw, but it had a more refined and sacred atmosphere.
There was a small statue of a goddess in front of the altar in front, and light poured from the small window behind.
Small flowers were also decorated around the altar. And what was unusual was that there was a large table and a chair in the middle.
“Please sit here. And I’m sorry, but the tea…”
At Enoch’s words, Father Antonio nodded and approached the altar to pull something out of it.
He showed me what he got, and it had the same shape and color as the one I knew.
When I hesitated, Father Antonio spoke in a tone with conviction. “This is the brooch.”
I picked it up and lifted it to reflect against the sunlight. Light entered the transparent and clear gem, scattering and spreading.
“What happened? The jewel was originally black.”
“I soaked it in holy water for a long time, so it purified the monster’s blood inside. In fact, before you came, it was almost fully purified.”
I nodded and placed the brooch on the table. I asked, “But why are you showing this to me?”
Father Antonio sat opposite me and Enoch. After taking a deep breath, he said to Enoch, “Whatever it is, there must be a reason you didn’t go to the temple at the capital and went to me.”
Enoch did not answer right away, but looked at me. “How was it when you saw it from the side?”
“It was beautiful… Oh, that’s right.”
I think I heard something.
Enoch coughed and Father Antonio before speaking confidently, “I’m sure.”
“Of what?” I couldn’t stand it, so I stepped in, but Father Antonio went somewhere again and returned carrying a lot of things.
He placed a washbasin full of water on the table. Then he opened a small, tightly sealed bottle and poured the liquid it contained into a basin.
As soon as the dark red liquid touched the water, it wriggled like a living creature before slowly mixing into the water. Even though I frowned at the disgusting sight, I watched it to the end.
“What is this?”
“It’s the blood of a monster.”
I remembered the monster I saw in the magic stone mine in the past. Was this the blood of such a monster?
The dark red liquid continued to wriggle, creating random shapes, and it made me imagine a new baby monster being born inside.
So, looking at the priest with a questioning look, he smiled and said simply, “Put your hand here.”
“Excuse me? No, wait!” I jumped and stepped back.
What did he mean, put my hand in it! Even from a distance, the blood of the disgusting monster smelled pungent.
“She hates it,” the priest said.
Enoch turned to me. “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to. But this is to test the Count’s abilities properly. Would you prefer to skip it?”
“…” I widened my eyes at Enoch. He merely shrugged and glanced back at the basin.
I took a half step forward and looked into the water. Obviously, Father Antonio hadn’t added more blood, but the water in the basin had turned dark.
“Is it bad for my body or not?”
“It’s not good for the average person. You’re not going to die right away.”
I wasn’t a fool, so I have a rough idea of what kind of abilities I have.
I rolled up my sleeves and walked closer. “Can I just put my hand in?”
Father Antonio held up a small hourglass and said, “Yes. You don’t have to take it out until I tell you.”
I closed my eyes tightly and reached into the basin.
The water I thought was cold was rather warm, and I hated it even more. I couldn’t help but groan.
As the hourglass stood upright, the sand inside began to fall.
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