Back in her novel, Jin had eventually discovered a way to gain Mara’s power for herself, which paved the way to her summoning the heretic god towards the end of the story. This made Jin more than just the villainess of the story, she was an integral part of it.
This was also why she couldn’t just ignore the sudden changes in one of the most important characters.
This isn’t part of what I wrote for her, Eugene thought in panic. She was certain this wasn’t part of her plotline, not even for the character. Jin, being a saintess would mean she now had successfully gained the power of Mara.
It could be possible that her novel was used to make it easier for her to transition into the story itself but that didn’t mean she would know now how the new version of the story would end.
Yet still, Eugene clung onto the hope that she did know the story, how it would end. She believed that with this knowledge, she could change everything, change the course of the story from within.
Despite her initial complaints on why she was made into the queen, who just happened to be the villainess, she had been confident she could do it with Jin’s wealth and power…
But now, she was nothing more than just a foreigner visiting, with little to no knowledge of what was happening around her. She couldn’t even rely on her own knowledge of her story anymore. It was like this world was rigged against her.
This brought her to her first and foremost fact: Rodrigo.
She repressed the fear and panic she was currently feeling and glared at him with a smug expression. She needed to know as much as she could from him.
“You disappoint me with your imprudence,” she said to him in a condescending way, “Pray tell, what shall I punish you with?”
She used to think only people in dramas or historical plays could ever pull off such a tone, but the way she said it was rather smooth in execution as well. It seemed like presuming to be the queen did have its uses after all.
Rodrigo was still on his knees as he sank deeper to the ground, forehead touching the floor with a thump as he did so in a panic.
“Forgive me, Saintess! Please forgive me!” He begged as Eugene tried to keep a cool and calm voice as she spoke in a threatening manner…
“All right,” she said, “… if you have a good reason for it.” She added.
Rodrigo flinched before he answered her.
“Truly, Saintess, your humble servant would never dare presume your plans.” He began. “Yesterday, I spotted a group of men nearing the sanctum. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were warriors. So, I thought it was you who sent them.”
Eugene’s eyes widened fractionally in surprise. Someone else was watching the inn.
Sanctum, he called it sanctum. It was odd he’d call that old, rundown inn a sanctum which would mean the location itself was important to these people. I thought it was because he recognized me. She thought in relief before going back to the matter at hand.
“Which ones are you talking about?” she asked with a frown.
“Of course, Saintess.” He cleared his throat as he began to retell the tale of last night…
“I received a report, detailing suspicious men lurking about the sanctum. They weren’t trying to break in, nor were they doing anything strange. But they weren’t passing by either.” He pointed out. “I’d been discreet in my observations, especially since Tanya’s incident, wondering whether they had a message from you. That was when I knew they were warriors, and they left after a moment sooner.” He finished.
Tanya. He’d mentioned the name a while ago too. It would be best if she remembered it for later.
“And then?” She prodded.
“It didn’t look like they knew what was happening. I stayed longer than intended after they left, but no one else tried to go near the sanctum.”
“Can you identify them?”
“I counted five knights, but someone else was with them. A woman, I think, but I did not see her properly.”
Eugene mentally sighed in relief at the information.
So, he really didn’t recognize me. She had been worried he had recognized her, especially since the heretic priests had a method of identifying one another through their mana, it was a certain skill they possessed.
Just as I thought, Jin’s only a saintess in name.
Had Jin truly been a saintess because she had gained mana, that would’ve meant her levels were the closest to Mara. However, Rodrigo hadn’t recognized her. Thus, Jin didn’t possess any mana. What’s more, she couldn’t even sense his power in return.
In the end, he only came because of the warriors.
Starting from the rank of priest, the heretics were granted with something called ‘Divine Power’ from Mara. This Divine Power had the ability to detect special energies, which meant priests and those with higher ranks could use it to distinguish between ally and foe.
But that wasn’t all. With the Divine Power, they could also detect the energies of each king, along with their warriors. That’s why it didn’t matter if the best of warriors were to hunt them down. They could escape easily before they’d even arrive.
Even if everyone else was caught, even if only a single priest could escape, it was still possible for them to go to the farthest states and spread their beliefs and gather followers.
It also made confidentiality much easier for them. Not even a spy could go by undetected within their church. Thus, there were no information leaks because there was no way to trick the hierarchy into revealing their beloved secrets.
It was also the main reason why they lasted so long despite the long and arduous persecution for them.
“You’ve been foolish,” she finally said, trying to hide the growing nervousness in her voice. It was a relief that it appeared Jin had not yet gained the Divine Power, but it could also mean that being Saintess was a temporary rank for her. If Rodrigo were to catch even the tiniest whiff of her betraying them, he wouldn’t hesitate to act accordingly.
“Are you incapable of thinking for yourself? Why would I even send warriors near the sanctum?!” She continued to berate him.
Rodrigo tried to explain himself…