Chapter 97 – Turmoil in the holy city – Part seventeen

I can hear people talk as I walk to the church in the center of the city.

Did word get out about the stampede? It’s like it completely replaced all talk about the advent festival.
People talk with anxious expressions, stores are closed as their owners prepare to leave, people stock up on food, and overall there’s a very busy atmosphere around the city.

“Master, it looks like word spread fast.”

Says Sera.

“It can’t be helped, the whole city is in a state of emergency.”

“I don’t think that’s it, master.”

“What do you mean?”

“It spread too fast.
It doesn’t feel normal.”

I don’t really understand what Hikari means, but our top priority is to go to the church.
We can think about the rest later.

As we approach the church, I hear a loud sound, and the impact that follows blows the church’s windows away from the inside.

We all stop and look up at the church with surprise.

Smoke comes out from the windows.
At first I think the church is on fire, but that’s not it.

People come pouring out of the entrance.
What happened?

As we watch the people running out, a man wearing a dazzling robe comes out with firm steps and not a hint of panic.

More than half the people present kneel when they see him.

“My children, I stand before you stricken with grief.
I want you to understand how much it pains me to inform you of this.
I have received a message from our goddess, and its contents shocked me.
But our goddess tells no lies.
And thus, I have no choice but to pass this information to you.”

The commotion is replaced by silence.
That man’s voice is transmitted strangely well, considering he doesn’t have a megaphone or anything.

“The saint Mia is one who invites disaster.
The coming stampede is punishment for her crime of pretending to be a saint and attempting to deceive our goddess.
When I declared this to the saint Mia, she cowardly took her attendants and ran.
My children, please lend me your strength.
Capture Mia, the enemy of our goddess, and bring her to me.”

The head of the church lowers his head deeply, and an angry bellow echoes.
This anger spreads in an instant, and everyone’s faces and voices are painted with fury.

“Find the enemy of our goddess.”

“Capture the enemy of our goddess.”

“Punish the enemy of our goddess.”


Hikari looks up at me, clearly worried about Mia.

People who seem like believers leave, leaving only a few people behind with perplexed looks on their faces.

I can see Mia’s reaction displayed on Map, so I get ready to go after her.
Is she with someone else?

“Follow me.”

I say as I turn around to go back through the road we just came from.

After coming far enough that we don’t see the church, we turn to go through a road with no people.

The head of the church’s words are spreading in the meantime, and like a game of telephone, they’re going to lose their original message and become worse and worse.

“Master, do you have any leads?”

Asks Sera, because I’m moving forward without hesitating, and through an empty road no less.

But then she remembers what I said about my skill, and follows me quietly.

“Yes, I know where she is.”

It’s a house like any other.
A simple house, where it wouldn’t feel at all strange if the door opened and an elderly couple poked their heads out.
It blends into its surroundings perfectly.

I knock on the door, but no one inside moves.

Hn? There’s three people inside all of a sudden.
And they’re reactions I know.

I knock again, this time more strongly.

“This is suspicious.
Should we break the door and go inside?”

I say loudly, so the people inside can hear.

Meanwhile, the stares of the two girls are hurting me.
It almost feels like they’re looking at me with pity.

But then I see movement inside.

Someone’s coming to the door, and I knock again.

I hear the door unlocking, and a face I don’t know peeking through a small opening.

“What do you want?”

Those eyes are staring at me, observing me closely.

“I have business with someone inside.”

“What are you talking about? I live here alone.”

This person is even more alert now.

“Do you want me to yell that name out loud? I’m sure a lot of believers will come running.”

I can see that face becoming flustered.

“If you can’t decide for yourself, call Dan back there.
But I won’t forgive you if you hurt Mia.”

I let my voice ride Wind Magic to make sure it reaches the back of the house.

I see someone moving.
The door to a room in the back slowly opens, and Dan shows his tired face.

“Sigurd, you can let him in.”

The man at the door frowns, but does as Dan says.

The door is locked behind us after we go in, and we’re prompted to keep walking forward.

Is he worried that we’ll attack him from behind? Or is he the one planning to do that?

We keep walking anyway, towards the room where Dan disappeared into.

There we find Mia lying down.
Her face is pale, and contorted with pain.

“How did you know…”

I interrupt that question by raising my hand, before taking two antidotes out of my Item Box.

I hold Mia up, trying to be careful about her posture while making her drink a potion, but it doesn’t really go well.

The liquid goes into her mouth, but she chokes and it spills.

Sigurd tries to say something, but this time it’s Dan who intervenes.

I see, it’s that kind of situation.
I never thought this would happen to me.

Ahh… Calm down.
I’m doing this to save someone.
It doesn’t count.

I pour paralysis antidote in my mouth, and feed it to Mia.
I do it slowly, being careful not to make her choke.

Once that’s done, I grab the poison antidote.
I figured she would be able to drink it on her own now that the paralysis is gone, but apparently not, so I do it again.

The boxes showing poison and paralysis on Appraisal are gone.

I put Mia down, and she now sounds peaceful as she sleeps.
I’m thinking she’s not waking up because she ran out of MP, but at least some color is back on her face.

I would remember a few days later that I could have used Holy Magic, but it was too late by then.
I guess I was even more flustered than I thought.

“I heard most of it from the head of the church, but what exactly happened?”

“Honestly, I’m not sure either.
I received a message from His Holiness last night, to bring Mia back to the church so we could prepare for the advent festival.
But then, all of a sudden after lunch, he proclaimed that she is responsible for this disaster and she was attacked.”

“The church itself is judging her?”


“So why did you save her?”

I peek over at Sigurd.

“He’s all right.
He’s one of the people I can trust, and one of Miss Mia’s guards.
Unfortunately, the other one belongs to the other faction… And this whole thing feels strange to me.
His Holiness never once talked about hearing the voice of the goddess.

“Was it the stampede? Did that danger wake that in him or something?”

“But in that case, Miss Mia and others who receive oracles should have received a message as well.
It’s strange that such a thing didn’t happen.”

Is it a plot in the church? I don’t think we’re going to get anything out of thinking about it here.
We should keep things simple.

“So, what are you planning to do? I’m sorry, but I can’t just leave Mia.
I’m willing to take her and protect her if that’s what it takes.”

I say it bluntly.
My position, and my feelings.

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