The Saintess’ Strides
Leddorio walks onwards within the darkness of the cave fully relying on a lantern for illumination. He wanted to use an illumination spell but he want to conserve magical power to use for marking magic for tracking of those who followed suit, as well for attack spells of later use.
He was using a magic item, ‘Child Dragon’s Eyes’, in order to track Momo through her magical power. It was an extremely rare item that he got from the kingdom’s treasury, which eclipses the detection of a normal magic stone by a remarkable margin. It was also because of this item that Citrin hated him.
Although Momo’s sacred mana was said to be on the decline, her magical power is unmistakably increasing. It was to the point that she might as well name herself as a magician rather than a priestess. Even so, the powers that Momo had regained were still different from that of common magic. Sacred magic is just a generic term for the blessings gained from a supernatural being such as a god.
(So the question lies in who’s blessing it was but—)
‘Still, there’s hardly any presence of monsters at all.’
As he followed Momo’s footsteps, the prince wandered from a cave of mud walls to a hall of checkered patterned walls. Opening a door leads to a room that looked exactly the same and if he wasn’t following Momo’s magical powers, he would’ve unmistakably lost himself within the dungeon and never be able to leave. He thought that Locke’s description of being inside the belly of a monster was an apt description for the place.
Still, the prince hasn’t encountered a single monster thus far. He considered that perhaps it was because Momo was purifying them on the way. They had a difficult time in the intermediate dungeons so he couldn’t make sense as to why Momo was suddenly capable on her own within an advanced one. He could chalk it up as her having awakened as the real saintess but, remembering her facial expression dismisses that idea for him. On the contrary, the way she looked and the expressions on her face was just like—
“She’s like a witch.”
‘What the hell am I thinking!? That can’t be possible!”
Leddorio desperately shook the words of his younger brother from his head. There’s no way the same lady, who embraced him upon realizing his burden and solitude, would be a witch. As the prince told himself that, Leddorio remembered Momo during his first meeting with her.
It was the day of the school entrance ceremony. He saw a lady sprawled under the shade of the tree, barefooted, and decided to approach her to call her out on it. That was how it all started.
“I’m sorry, I was lost so I was waiting for someone to pass by but, it felt so great so I ended up falling asleep.”
Chloe knit her eyebrows saying that she was disgraceful, but Leddorio felt envious of her uninhibited behavior. From then on, the lady started greeting Leddorio whenever they meet without any concern. At first, he was merely replying to her apathetically but before he even knew it, he began to greet her himself. After revealing to her the depths of his heart that he kept from everyone else, Leddorio began to realize that he had already given her his heart.
“Sir must have been alone pouring all his effort all this time. Your efforts shouldn’t be disregarded as ‘something to be expected’, sir! Having no one to understand you like that; normally, you would’ve been lonely and in pain. That’s just unbearable!”
“Sir must have truly wanted to get along with his younger brother, doesn’t he? After all, he’s such a smart and gentle younger brother who thought of his brother well. If I am sir, I would’ve been proud of him.”
“I was just thinking that being a prince was actually far more serious than everyone else think. You’re not even allowed to be with the one you love… But sir said that we’re all equals while we are still at the academy before, right? Right now, I feel… the same way too.”
(Momo… You are not a witch at all. Just like this lantern that illuminates the caverns of this cave, you gave light to my heart. You have given me salvation.)
The magical power detected by the magic tool was getting closer and closer. Leddorio noticed the miasma growing thicker as he advanced and somehow managed to fight the dizziness caused by it. He stopped at the place that indicated Momo’s location. Now at the final door, what lay behind was what seemed like a limestone cavern. The prince could see magic crystals from one place to another. He figured that perhaps this was the place that Locke and his party arrived at.
He can hear Momo’s voice coming from deep within. As he ran in the direction of the source, he saw Momo alone in a place surrounded by even more magic crystal, seemingly speaking to something else.
He called out to her but there was no response. Getting closer, he was finally able to see what lay in front of the lady.
It was a large crystal– and a lady was encased, trapped within.
Thank you, Tiffanny!