Chapter 6: The Power of Saint
The next day, Lute and Sylphia, along with some guards, visited a village.
It was Sylphia’s first trip in three years. At the temple, sunlight streamed through the windows and the wind rustled through the trees, but the feeling of stepping on the earth and basking in the sunlight of the trees was exceptional.
Surprisingly, she wasn’t afraid to go back on her words, perhaps because Lute was standing next to her.
It was Sylphia who offered to visit the village.
She remembered that an old man who had visited the temple in the past had worriedly told her that something was wrong with the fields. Once a month, when he came to the capital to sell his crops, the old man always visited the temple to pray. In her concern for the old man, Sylphia also prayed to the spirits to make the fields better.
Now that she has the power of the spirits, she should be able to help them.
“I am so glad you came. Thank you very much.”
Sylphia was welcomed by the villagers.
The old man’s hut was decorated with roses that Sylphia had given away in a handmade bowl, which he must have gotten from somewhere. They may have been given to him by someone else who had come to the Royal Capital.
“Are you Sylphia-sama’s bodyguard? You are indeed a gallant figure, aren’t you?
“Please, keep Sylphia-sama safe, she is the Saint.
“The villagers seem to think that Lute is one of the guards, and they talk to him smilingly. Lute also joined in the conversation and responded, “Yes, I will protect Sylphia-sama.”
(He is much higher in rank than me!)
Sylphia’s back was sweating, but she couldn’t reveal Lute’s identity.
“C-Can you show me the fields right now?!”
“Of course. This way.”
She said in a panic, but Lute noticed her intention and let out a wry smile.
“You don’t have to be so careful with me, you know.”
Of course, she doesn’t think Lute would be offended by that. But the thought of having to deal with him makes her feel guilty.
Under the old man’s guidance, Lute and Sylphia walk deeper into the village. Not far from the place where the huts are gathered, there is a cultivated area with fields.
But the fields were lifeless. The planted seeds were sprouting, but they were somewhat limp and shriveled as if they were hunched over, lacking the vigor to grow in the future.
“The crop has been bad for some time, but this year it is especially bad. It will die without blooming.”
Sylphia looked closely.
There was a kind of black haze over the entire field. It was a sickening haze.
“Lute-sama… Do you see anything like a black haze?”
“No, I don’t…”
She asked only Lute secretly so as not to frighten the villagers, and he shook his head.
Then the haze is only visible to Sylphia.
The further you go across the field, the denser the haze becomes. Ahead of them was a magnificent mansion surrounded on all sides by walls.
“What is that building?”
“It’s the house of the Lord. I think… His name was Barak.”
Sylphia murmurs a familiar name in return and immediately remembers the sender of the bouquet of roses Sylphia grew, Curtis Barak.
The lord must be Curtis’ father or a relative.
(I feel a black haze seeping out from the mansion…)
If it is the lord’s house, they can’t go near it easily.
Rather than that, Sylphia needs to help the fields now.
She had never prayed outside the temple. She doesn’t know if she’ll have the same strength away from the temple as she did yesterday. But Sylphia felt the presence of the spirits, just as she had in the temple.
(Lute-sama believed in me.)
Sylphia closes her eyes and prays that the mist will be cleared away and the fields will be restored to their original state.
(May they receive the blessings of the spirits and become better.)
Gradually, a warm power flows from within her.
Sylphia reached out her hand.
At that moment, light flooded from her whole body, shining brightly.
Sylphia, with her eyes closed, does not notice the change in her, but the people around her gasp.
“Give me blessing, O Spirit—”
A gust of wind blows from behind her. The wind dances happily across the field, dispersing the black haze. After the haze disappeared, the buds, which had seemed to be crushed, sprouted new leaves.
It’s not just that. Seeds sprout here and there in the field, buds grow and grow quickly, as if to make up for the delays they’ve made.
The villagers cheer.
“Thank you, Sylphia-sama!”
“Sylphia-sama is the Saint, and has performed a miracle!”
“Yes. I saw it clearly. We will follow Sylphia-sama’s example and pray to the spirits!”
“It is the power of the spirits. I am glad that I could be of help to you all.”
Sylphia smiled with relief at having fulfilled her first major role. Though, the praise heaped upon her is humorous.
For Sylphia, this is not her own power, but the power of the spirits.
(I was able to take the first step toward becoming a bridge between spirits and people.)
If more people believe in spirits and pray in this way, it will be a better place for Valtis and Titia to materialize in the world.
Sylphia looked out over the fields with one uneasy feeling in her heart.
The black haze was blown away by the wind with the blessing of the spirits, but it still lingered around the house that belonged to Barak.
(I wonder what this black haze is…)
Sylphia clenched her fists, feeling uneasy.
Lute looks at her with concern.
“Lute-sama… I have a favor to ask you. Can you take me to another village? Maybe the same thing is happening in other places…”
“Yes, I understand.”
Lute nods and Sylphia finally smiles.
“Thank you, Lute-sama.”
The black haze was terrifying, but there was one good thing: Sylphia’s power could dispel it. Then she would be able to help people in need.
And if Sylphia used her power, the presence of the spirits would become known to all. Then there will be more prayers for the spirits.
“Lute-sama. when Marianne-sama returns to the temple and I am no longer needed.”
No, I believe you. The temple will need their real saint—”
“Saint can be either. Rather, I believe that I and Marianne-sama can be both.”
Sylphia looked at Lute.
It was a gaze with a strong will that showed what she had to do and the path she had to take.
“Not as a Saint, but as a commoner. I would like to go around the country and tell people about the spirits so that I can be of service to them.”
“…I see. It’s just like you.”
Lute, who was trying to persuade her to stay in the temple, suddenly loosened his mouth and relaxed his shoulders.
Sylphia gazes dazzlingly at Lute.
(When Marianne-sama returns, my role as a decorative Saint will end. Once I leave the temple, I will have to say goodbye to Lute-sama… But if my actions will be of any use to the country then…)
Sylphia believed that this would be a way to repay the debt to Lute, the second prince.