her were leading the way out.

 

Sien no longer ran out quickly and didn't even look at me.

 

She just walked out slowly, with cautious steps, surrounded by her escorts.

 

That small action made me uneasy.

 

Soon, she stopped in front of me.

 

 

“…Sien.”

 

“…”

 

I called her name, but she didn't respond.

 

I looked at her pretty face and asked, “…Were you crying?”

 

Her shoulders trembled at those words.

 

Even if she tried to hide it from me, there were things that couldn't be hidden.

 

At my question, Sien's tightly pursed lips began to tremble.

 

Sien, after a while, spoke to me with eyes that were about to burst into tears.

 

“I wasn’t crying.”

 

“…”

 

Even at a glance, I could tell it was a lie.

 

It felt as if she had made up her mind to lie from the moment she stepped out of the church.

 

I was simply confused by all of this.

 

As if stabbing my heart, a discomforting, sticky sensation was pulling me down.

 

I carefully grabbed Sien's shoulder.

 

The paladins around her tried to cling to me like they were rampaging, but this time the bishop stopped them.

 

“It's the last time, let him talk.
That much…
should be fine.”

 

“…Last?”

 

I repeated the bishop's words.

 

My heart was pounding like it would explode.

 

I looked down at Sien.

 

As if Sien was about to give me an answer, took a deep breath and opened her mouth.

 

“…Bell, I am the saintess.”

 

“…”

 

“I tried to deny it too, but now I've accepted it.
The mark on the back of my hand won't disappear, and I can heal people's wounds by extending my hand…
Recently, it's even Godess Hea is appearing in my dreams.”

 

“I don't care about that.
Let's go back, Sien.”

 

Sien shook her head slowly.

 

“…It's not that, Bell.
It seems like it's my destiny to protect people from demons and monsters.”

 

“What bullshit are you talking about! What demons and monsters…!”

 

Unknowingly, harsh words come out of my mouth.

 

At those words, Sien shrunk her body.
With that small gesture, I regretted my words, but what I said couldn't be taken back.

 

Instead, I calmed my breath and spoke.

 

“…There's nothing you hate more than monsters…! You even told me not to do mercenary work…!”

 

Sien took several deep breaths, then took a final big deep breath.

 

With moist eyes, she looked straight at me and spoke.

 


“I am leaving for the capital tomorrow.”

 

“…”

 

Ignoring all my words, Sien only said what she wanted to say.

 

She was clearly trying to convey a message to me.

 

I gritted my teeth and ignored that message.

 

“…I’ll follow you, then.”

 

“…No, don't follow me.”

 

I couldn't believe such cruel words were coming out of Sien's mouth.

 

“If I'm with you…
the power I received from Hea will continue to weaken.”

 

“Then weaken it as much as it wants…!”

 

 

“…No.”

 

“…”

 

While looking at Sien like that, I turned my arrow.

 

I looked at the bishop and the knights behind me and shouted.

 

“What have you done to Sien-“

 

“-They didn't do anything, Bell.”

 

“…”

 

“…It's just a choice I made.”

 

How could I believe that?

 

When the lies were so obvious.

 

I could tell just by seeing her gripping her fingers tightly, that there was something wrong.

 

It was her habit when she lied.

 

I pulled Sien's shoulder and pressed my forehead against hers.

 

To others, it may seem close, but it was a familiar distance for us.

 

I whispered to her, making sure only she could hear me.

 

“…Sien…
why are you doing this…
you said you would come back to me just a few days ago…”

 

“…Bell…
hundreds…
thousands…
millions of lives are in my hands.”

 

“…”

 

“It's too many numbers for me to ignore.
Even for the sake of my parents who were doctors…
I…”

 

She was originally a kind-hearted person.

 

But selfishly, I wished she would choose me.

 

Above millions of people, I wanted her to prioritize me…

 

Because that's what I would do.

 

“If it were you, you would have acted differently from me, right…?”

 

As if reading my mind in an instant, Sien asked.

 

“Of course.
I-“

 

“If I were included among those millions of people?”

 

“…”

 

Sien's remark momentarily left me speechless.

 

I opened my mouth, but no words came out.

 

I imagined myself in her situation once again.

 

If I had received the prophecy.
If I had known that being together could mean Sien's death.

 

Did I ignore that small possibility?

 

 

“…Sien…
then…
then I'll wait until you come back…”

 

“I won't come back.”

 

“…What?”

 

Sien wiped her tears away quickly.

 

“When the job is done, I will become a hero.
Why would I have a reason to return to your side?”

 

“…”

 

“I'll wear clean clothes and eat delicious food.
There's no reason for me to come back to you.”

 

She was the one who said she would not care even if we were poor.

 

She was the one who said all she needed was me.

 

So, these words of hers must be clearly lies, but why was I not convinced?

 

I knew that her words were not true, but those words were deeply embedded in my heart.

 

Perhaps it was because I was so poor and insignificant that I couldn't argue back.

 

Perhaps it was because I was troubled by the fact that I persuaded her to give up her parents' wealth.

 

Sien released her grip on my hand, which was holding onto her shoulder.

 


From that moment on, she became cold-hearted, as if firming her resolve.

 

“…Our close friendship ends here.”

 

“…”

 

Since when did she prepare for this parting?

 

'How long have you been preparing for it, so that you can continue to say such cruel things?'

 

How much pain was she pouring into these words?

 

I tried to understand her heart.

 

“I will live as a saint from now on.
I can't even get married anymore.”

 

However, every time Sien personally broke our plans-

 

“I don’t have any more plans to travel the world.
Let's give up on that dream.”

 

-The dirty personalities I had learned from the slums wriggled.

 

“…Sien.”

 

“You can hate me.
You can resent me.
You don't have to keep our promise.
You too…live happily.”

 

“…Are you going to abandon me?”

 

I knew that my words would only make our parting more difficult.

 

“Is this…the end?”

 

“…”

 

“You won't let me follow you, and you won't come back…?”

 

But even like this, I wanted to hold onto her.

 

I harbored a desperate desire for the torment I inflicted to be excruciating, praying it would compel her to return to me.

 

 

“Don't do this, Sien.”

 

“……Let’s leave the memories we’ve accumulated so far as mere reminiscence.”

 

“…If you leave…I will resent you.”

 

For the first time, I said harsh words to her.

 

At those words, Sien covered her ears with both hands.

 

“As time passes, you'll be able to brush off those foolish memories.”

 

She closed her eyes, covered her ears, and just said what she had to say, just like spitting out the words she had memorized.

 

“How can those become foolish memories?!”

 

The more she did that, the louder my voice became, piercing through those small hands.

 

“Is it okay for me to forget you? Is it okay for me to fall in love with someone else?!”

 

“…………..”

 

“Answer me, Sien…!”

 

 

“Goodbye…
Thank you for everything until now.”

 

Soon, she opened her eyes again and gazed at me for a long time,

 

As if engraving me into her memory.

 

Then, she turned her body.

 

I wasn't prepared in the slightest, but she was leaving me.

 

When she was getting farther away…

 

Finally, I spit out the hardest and cruelest words.

 

“…Don't go.”

 

“…”

 

“…Please.”

 

The voice came out trembling and for the first time, I begged her.

 

“Please… please, please.
I beg you.
I don't want it to end like this.”

 

I threw away all my pride.
That was how much I needed her.

 

I uttered words that made it impossible for her to leave.

 

And at those words, Sien stood upright.

 

And my final words seemed to shake her.

 

Her fragile shoulders began to tremble.

 

I couldn't see her face, so I didn't know what expression she had.

 

She stood like that for a while.

 

And this time, she turned her back to me and cruelly spoke.

 

“…We probably won't meet again…”

 

“…”

 

“…And as selfish as this may sound…
sniff…
I have to say it.”

 

“…”

 

“Don't forget me, Bell.”

 

That was how Sien left me.

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