A False Confession
“Huh? What condition?”
It was a completely unexpected question, so I tilted my head curiously, but Elvin didn’t offer any further explanation.
So I began spitting out any answer I could think of.
Perhaps because we’ve officially received the white flag, I feel more comfortable than before? Less pressured? I can sleep a little more deeply? But no matter what I said, there was no change in Elvin’s stiff expression, so the question felt more and more ambiguous.
“Is there something else that should be different?”
I was waiting for Elvin to clarify what he meant, but I ended up asking myself since he was staying silent, but….his answer left me even more confused.
“……I’m talking about the Priestess’s divine power.”
“Oh? Uh, by any chance… has it not fully recovered since I used it all up before?”
“It’s not that.
Rather, it has far surpassed the point of recovery.”
“Ever since that day, that is, when the ‘miracle’ occurred….
The Priestess’s divine power has become much stronger.
I can’t get a clear estimate like double or triple, so I can’t express it quite accurately, but if my memory is correct……”
Elvin’s voice trailed off, and he looked straight at me.
The sunlight shining down through the leaves made his golden eyes even more dazzling.
He looked down at me with those beautiful, sacred eyes and said:
“…it’s on a similar level as the Cardinal’s.”
Huh? The sound that was about to jump out my throat turned into a cough.
I suddenly felt air go down the wrong side of my throat.
As I was holding onto the tree next to me, coughing like crazy, Elvin became worried and cautiously patted my back, but the more he did, the more I seemed to run out of breath.
But while I was caught in that state of frantic coughing, his unbelievable words lingered in my head.
I was almost to the point of tears, so with a cough still in my throat, I finally asked him.
“The Cardinal of El Nur? …No, you couldn’t possibly mean of Abnel?”
Abnel’s Cardinal would be correct.
Your current level is a little higher than the Archbishop’s right now, but your divinity only seems to be growing stronger and stronger… so I believe it will soon reach the Cardinal’s.”
Despite being the one saying these words, Elvin also appeared embarrassed.
But I’m sure I’m even more shocked.
I could feel my face turn white.
It feels like my blood is disappearing.
I knew that my divine power was similar to that of some of the higher priests of Abnel….
Suddenly, this sounds like a +9 ranking.
No, it’s more like +14 at this point.*
[tl/n:* RPG game reference.
Explaining in detail would take too long, but y’all get the idea, she just leveled up a LOT.]
Since I was unable say anything, Elvin cautiously advised.
“I can only grasp to a certain degree, so how about doing a proper assessment when you return to the Empire?”
“If it’s not absolutely necessary, I’d rather not.”
I felt a strong premonition.
The moment I get my divine power measured properly, my life will be caught in an uncontrollable vortex.
And besides, we’ve completed the campaign now anyway, so there’s really no need….
This is seriously….
Elvin had indeed ordered the camp to be set up shortly thereafter.
If the usual hiking distance was measured as a 10, the difficulty this time would be just a 6, but technically it’s only because the route was shortened.
However, no one said anything about it, since it had spread quickly that we stopped early because of my leg.
Somehow, the act of caring for me naturally drove me into deeper anxiety.
Since all the barracks had been set up already, I’d begun to walk towards the one assigned to me when Elvin caught my steps.
Moving as if to support me, he led me so naturally to his own barracks that I followed him without thinking.
It was such a natural move that I became flustered, but when Elvin instructed me to sit down in the chair in front of him for a while, I found myself obeying without a second thought.
Elvin was searching familiarly through a drawer inside the barracks and brought something out.
It was difficult to see since it was held in his large hand, but it was definitely… a bandage.
Huh? Realization and embarrassment hit me in a flash as Elvin knelt down on one knee in front of me.
I called him with a startled cry, but he just carefully grabbed my ankle and placed it on his lap.
“No, tha—that is, Sir—Sir Knight!”
I was so flustered that my voice trembled; Elvin alone was unperturbed and called me calmly.
After that, Elvin examined my ankle and carefully unwrapped the bandages.
My whole body was quivering from the shock, but he smiled slightly and softly clasped my ankle.
As I was sinking deeper and deeper into shame, Elvin raised his head.
Our eyes intertwined in the air.
“Did I not tell you what to call me?”
“I’ve often wondered why you haven’t called me that, not even once.”
…No, I mean, I can’t just call him ‘Sir Elvin,’ outside in front of everyone, right? I was starting to feel a bit unfair, but my breath suddenly caught in my throat at the sight of those golden eyes staring straight at me.
Somehow, he seemed to be quite enjoying himself during my dilemma.
However, it is true that I’ve gotten used to the nickname ‘Elvin’ by itself…….
Come to think of it, I… Didn’t I receive permission back then from the crown prince himself that I could call him by his nickname?
Suddenly a fever rose to my cheeks.
Meanwhile, Elvin was completely unaffected and began to wrap a bandage around my ankle.
Only then did I realize that I’d been so caught up in this conversation that I’d forgotten the current situation I was in.
I panicked again and told him that I was fine and that I could put the bandage on myself, but Elvin didn’t respond.
Eventually, my ankle was completely wrapped up.
By this time my face was burning bright red.
I thought he’d finally release my ankle now, but he still didn’t let me go.
On the contrary, even his other hand, which had been back for a while, was brought close to my ankle again.
I was shocked and asked him to let go, but he didn’t answer again.
“Sir Knight! Ah, no, Sir Elvin! Now that the bandage is all finished, I can go…”
I did feel a bit guilty that I’d never called him by name as he’d asked, but it was such an intimate act that I felt like I’d be punished.
So I hurriedly called his name and was about to leave, but in that moment, the scene in front of my eyes was so shocking that I was left gaping.
A white light was spreading under Elvin’s hand.
“Actually, this is a secret, but…”
The moment I’d called his name, he’d smiled slightly, then raised his head to meet my gaze.
The light was still pouring from under his hand and was directed towards my ankle.
“I can use divine power to some extent.
It’s nothing remarkable, but I can do about as much as regular priests.”
I knew of the possibility of holy knights using divine power.
However, it was a type of sanctity derived from faithfully serving the gods, and didn’t have the power to heal.
The divinity around Elviniraz’s sword was that kind of holy power.
But Elvin even has the ability to heal on top of his other divinity? He’s both a dealer and a healer.
I can’t help but think this is a bit of a scam.
But, in fact, even such a thought was a deliberate attempt on my part to avoid the current shame, but after witnessing Elvin pour divine power into my ankle, it became impossible for me to continue this trivial train of thought.
I just felt so ashamed that I wanted to die.
But, why is he revealing this secret ability in front of me?
The ankle caught in his hand felt hot.
Elviniraz, who healed my ankle with great care amidst the strange silence, finally got up.
Since the bandage could keep my ankle from spraining again in the future, he calmly suggested that it would be better to keep it wrapped until we reach the empire.
“If it’s uncomfortable, you can remove it before then, but for now please leave it on since everyone else is still expecting you to be hurt.”
Even after Elvin let me go, my ankle still felt feverish.
It was too hot to say it was because of divine power.
I looked down at my ankle with an unfamiliar and bewildered face, then slowly raised my head to look at Elvin in front of me.
As I watched him sitting down, he was so big that I had to tilt my head back.
“…you said it was a secret.”
It’s a bit annoying when it’s known.”
“…But why did you tell me?”
To Elvin, who didn’t mind being bothered, I posed my question first rather than reacting to him.
In response, Elvin looked down at me in a strange way for a while.
He hesitated for a moment as if he was about to say something, but then went silent.
He stared quietly for a while….
Eventually, he tilted his head slightly and smiled.
“I do not know.”
His eyes folded gently and a beautiful smile broke over his face.
“What do you think is the reason, Priestess?”
* * * * * * *
If I were to list the most unforgettable moments of my life, I would put it in the top five without hesitation.
The moment when Elvin bandaged my ankle.
I was very seriously worried that my heart was going to burst then.
This piercing feeling in my chest made me want to vomit.
It was a moment where I couldn’t even breathe.
I stuttered in embarrassment, feeling a fever rise in my cheeks.
When it became so hot that I felt like I was going to explode, I ran out of the barracks.
I still couldn’t come to my senses even after the cold outside air blew over me.
Since I’d yet to return to the barracks, Lily came to pick me up.
Lily, what should I do? My heart is beating so fast I feel like I’m going to die now.
“I guess I like the holy knight commander.”
As soon as it came out of my mouth, my face burned even more fiercely.
It was red enough to even make Lily uncomfortable, and she asked me if I needed to wash my face with cold water.
It’s no secret that I like his face very much, to the point where just looking at it makes me feel good.
So I guess I ended up watching him a lot……
“Isn’t his face the only reason why my heart is beating so crazy like this?”
I was sniffling, lying with my head buried in bed, when I looked at Lily awkwardly, but she was listening to me calmly.
So, all night long, I confessed to Lily about everything that had happened.
I didn’t go into detail about the conversation I had with Elvin, only revealing that he originally cared for my divine power and was good to me because of it.
And I knew this fact, so we had a strange contract relationship.
So I loved looking at Elvin’s face, and he was satisfied when my divine power was working its best…… I was left groaning at the thought, saying that Elvin must really not care about me.
At this point, Lily had to cover my mouth, asking where my sudden agitation came from.
But as I reflected on everything at the moment, I couldn’t stand it all without crying out.
Although Lily hated my occasional screaming and pillow slamming, she listened to my story with interest.
She asked if such things really happened, commenting that I did seem to be very close with the paladin commander.
She responded animatedly to my stories, sometimes making a strange expression and asking, “He took care of you that much?”
Lily’s reaction like that ignited my delusion.
He seems to really be taking care of me.
He even comforted me when I was having a hard time.
And as soon as I brought the story up to this point, it all came together……the story of the ‘hug’ at that time suddenly came to mind and made my heart stop.
It seemed like nothing at the time, but now that I think about it, it really was a significant moment.
Oh my God……
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