Chapter 188

Chapter 188

Eugene scoffed upon hearing Rodrigo’s question. “You think you can still fix it? If I tell you what’s going on?” She replied coldly, her question not warranting an answer.

“B-but Saintess…” Rodrigo muttered, his voice shaking tremendously as he went on, “Whatever the child did, I am sure that it was done out of loyalty to the Saint—“

“Shut up.” Eugene said sharply, cutting Rodrigo off midsentence. “You disappoint me.”

Rodrigo bit his lips, closing it in a thin line as he bowed low, his chin nearly touching his chest. Based on his experiences, it is best to beg the queen for forgiveness should he fall short of her expectations of him. “Please forgive me, for my efforts failed to meet the Saintesss’ expectations.” Rodrigo said glumly.

A new memory suddenly appeared in front of Eugene’s eyes. It was a scene where Rodrigo was pleading desperately in front of Jin, crouching down on the ground with his head a few inches away from the floor.

“Useless!” Jin screeched venomously.

Rodrigo’s body trembled on the ground, fear-stricken as he begged. [Saint, please wait a little longer. I’m doing the best I can, p-please.”]

“A little more, you say? Did you really think that I came all the way here just to hear something like that? May I remind you that it has been two months already since you told me that you would bring something!” Jin screamed, her voice looming around them.

“Saintess, searching for the source is really difficult—”

“I don’t want to hear your excuses! I’ll give you 10 days and I won’t wait any longer!”

Eugene could hear how furious Jin was with Rodrigo, her shrieks lingered for a moment in her ears, as if echoing from a distance.

What is that object? Is it an old book?

Jin also mentioned his abilities as Cage as an information broker during her first meeting with Rodrigo. Something seemed amiss with the whole situation, and Eugene was ashamed to come up with the wrong speculation.

It seemed like the actual reason why Jin met with Rodrigo was only to have someone collect the old books that she desired. ‘She risked contacting the Mara denomination, gave them money and had them call her Saintess, just for…books?

Eugene pondered long and hard before meeting with Rodrigo. She didn’t know the right questions to ask in order to get the answers she needed. Rodrigo, who was guarded enough to make several identities, kept his mouth shut despite noticing a slight change in the atmosphere.

“I don’t have much time. Tell me why you asked to see me so urgently.” Eugene prodded, intentionally telling Rodrigo that she wouldn’t be staying long as to aggravate him even further. Making Rodrigo feel restless was one of her plans before meeting him.

“Saintess, I prepared a gift for you. It is an item that you will be surely satisfied with, so please take it.”

Eugene lifted one eyebrow, curious as to what the item was. ‘Must be a bribe for an angry person.’  Rodrigo couldn’t bring himself out of this situation he was in, and it must be one of his tactics before that appeased Jin completely.

Rodrigo looked up at Eugene, looking at her as if he’s waiting for her permission. She returned his gaze without saying anything. Rodrigo turned around to retrieve the item, unfolded the leather that was enveloped around the object and placed it on the table facing her.

It was an old leather-bound book adorned with small, colorful gems. The book was unmistakably old.

Eugene stared at the book that lay face down on the table. Rodrigo seemed to have provided books directly to Jin, as well as information about which old, dated books were available. Rodrigo then gauged Eugene’s reaction, his fingers fidgeting as he spoke. “It’s the object the Saintess was looking for all this time. There are quite a few incantations cited there.”


Eugene felt her heart jump slightly at Rodrigo’s words. Trying to contain her expression, she willed herself to stay calm and appear indifferent.

“Good job.” Eugene said flatly to Rodrigo, not showing any ounce of eagerness as she instructed Molly to take the book.

‘Finally. A clue.’ This book alone made her trip worthwhile.

Molly meticulously wrapped the book back in its leather cloak, finishing it off by tying it with a string.

Rodrigo clasped his hands together as he spoke carefully. “Saintess, I was told that there is another valuable item. I have to go through several people to gather more information…”

Eugene sneered at him internally. She knew where Rodrigo was getting at. ‘He was persistent because he ran out of money.’ Kasser and Eugene thought that he was adamant in meeting up so early because of monetary reasons, and it turns out they were right all along.

She thought that Rodrigo was shameless, and she was reminded of Kasser’s words, “For those who want riches, nothing blinds them as effectively as wealth.” Kasser provided Eugene a handful of jewelry, saying that she could give Rodrigo that instead of money, should he ask for some financial aid.

Eugene slipped her hand through the gap in the basket, searching for the jewelry pocket that was placed inside. She held her laughter in as she felt Abu’s fur instead, patting it softly before reaching for the pouch. Eugene pulled her hand out and threw the jewelry harshly over the table.

There were quite a few gems inside the bag, and Eugene knew that it would be enough to bait Rodrigo in. “I won’t be writing notes for the time being.”

“I am grateful that the Saint has given so much to the Church.” Rodrigo said, appreciation evident in his voice.

‘Doesn’t matter what world it is—whether it is this one or that, money still works the best.’ Eugene thought it was funny, how money seemed to be powerful wherever she is.

She got up from her seat abruptly, making Rodrigo look up as he pleaded. “Saintess, please give me a little more time.”

“I can’t stay long, I told you that, didn’t I? ” Eugene said, walking past Rodrigo. “Get to the point. You don’t have much time.”

Eugene tried to make her encounter with Rodrigo as brief as possible, since prolonging it might cause her to slip up, which might make him suspicious.

“The day of the next ritual has been set already, Saintess.”

Eugene stopped in her tracks. Taking a deep breath, she looked back at Rodrigo who was still facing down. She bit her lips as Rodrigo continued, “Saintess, we wish to have you on the day of rituals and announce your divine status within the denomination during the next dry season, and the subsequent active period. And the High Priest said that he would see you whenever you please.”


When Eugene and Molly left the square and reached deep into the busy street, soldiers began to flock the square in huge numbers, all of them driving the people away from the plaza.

“We are keeping the people at bay for an oil tank inspection.”

“We have to empty the square, everyone please leave the area.”

Under the direct order of the person in command, soldiers scoured around the perimeter and went to their designated posts, sending the people back inside their homes as per protocol. During the active period, the square was crowded with people from sunset to midnight, and people frolicking the area complained as they were suddenly driven out.

“Why are they keeping us away?”

“They are checking the oil container.”

“Isn’t the oil tank inspection done after the dry season starts?”

“Well, the dry season starts after tomorrow anyway, maybe they decided to do it early.”

People whispered and talked among themselves, following the soldiers’ orders as they left the town square.

Oil containers were buried around the edge of the square for Lark hunting. Checking the sump in preparation for the active period was a procedure that was never to be neglected at any cost, and it is conducted before and immediately after the active period.

Those who knew the importance of the inspection abided with the soldiers’ orders dutifully, walking out of the plaza and even urging other people to do the same. Some got into their carriages and evacuated the premises, and the large plaza that was swarming with people eventually became deserted.

Most of the carriages already took off, leaving only a few carriages that have yet to leave the plaza. One of which was the carriage Eugene and Molly had been riding going here from the royal palace.

‘What should I do?’ The coachman handling the carriage fell into deep thought, his head looking to both sides as he contemplated on his options. After a short while, he decided that he would go pick up his passengers from the place they departed from earlier. He promised that he wouldn’t get stuck in this place until he came back from his errands. In addition to that, he also received a generous amount of wage, and he planned to get much more after he picked them up later.

The coachman stayed on his spot, and he would move his carriage to a nearby area should a soldier chase him away. However, no soldier came to his direction, only focusing on driving out people off the square. ‘Is it ok to stay here, given that this is a corner?’

Even the soldiers passing by gave no attention to the carriage and the coachman sitting on it, as if they didn’t see him at all. The coachman grew tense, seeing the soldiers go past him. He wanted to stay and wait for his passengers here, since other customers would demand him to stay put and wait at a particular location, and they would sometimes pay less if he didn’t follow through with the instructions.

The coachman went down from his carriage and sat on the perch, watching the workers going about their business.

The workers were formed in a circle, standing at the sides of the plaza as they formed themselves into three. Each group opened the lid of the wooden box that was buried in the ground, and pulled out a cylindrical glass bottle from the pit.

‘So that’s how an oil can look like.’ The coachman stared intently at the sight before him. His attention focused solely on the container, not noticing the slight movement surrounding the carriage.

Tap. Tap.

Hearing the small sound of tapping beside him, the coachman turned his head. “What—“ his screams abruptly cut off by a thick cloth covering his mouth. His eyes widened in fear upon seeing the man move in front of him, tying the coachman’s hands with a rope as he was overpowered completely. He was roughly dragged down from the perch to the ground, and the warriors surrounding the area stood by watching at the helpless man in front of them.

‘Save me! Please!’ The coachman was begging with his eyes, but the workers and soldiers nearby both turned a blind eye as they went on with their affairs.

The coachman wiggled frantically to no avail, his body tied tight and he was forced into his knees on the ground.

‘What? Why are you doing this to me?’

He tried to lift his head, but the hand holding his nape pressed his head back down. The coachman turned his gaze sideways and saw the man’s hand, his pupils dilated at the sight. ‘A warrior?’

A beaded leather bracelet was wrapped around the man’s sleeve— the emblem of the warriors.

Why is a warrior doing this?’ He was both relieved and afraid at the same time, pondering deeply what his sins were to be treated with such, harsh treatment. He saw a pair of feet slowly approaching his direction, his head still bent low on the ground.

“Your Majesty.” The warrior behind him spoke, putting more pressure on the coachman’s neck.

The coachman felt his soul leave his body. He wouldn’t dare to call the person standing in front of him. His whole body quivered in fear, cold sweat dripping down his back.

“Take him.”

It was probably the first and last thing he would hear from the King himself.

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

The warrior roughly dragged the struggling coachman to his feet. The warrior would be conducting a brief interrogation, and if the coachman were found to be an ordinary person that has nothing to do with the Mara Church, he would be released immediately without any repercussions.

Kasser glanced at the back of the coachman for a short moment, before entering the carriage and closing the door. The warriors dispersed in select areas, hiding themselves into corners, while still having a clear view of the carriage. And a man disguised as a coachman sat on the perch.

Kasser sat in the dark carriage and waited for Eugene’s return patiently. But as time passed, wrinkles started to crease on his forehead as his eyebrows furrowed, his bluish eyes glowing a little more brightly than it already is. He could feel his patience hanging thinly by a thread, nearly breaking when a tapping sound snapped him out of his trance. The tapping motion went on three times, indicating that Eugene was already coming.



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