Chapter 5: Childhood (5)


Some time passed, and I was alone in front of Sien's orphanage.


The crowds that had gathered, apostles of Hea, the god of purity, and even Sien were nowhere to be seen.


Yet, the image of her being led away as the saint lingered in my mind.


I tried swinging my fists to stop them, but what came back was a barrage of punches from several holy knights or so-called paladins.


Seeing me fighting so fiercely, Sien decided to follow them first.


She stopped me, saying that even if I defeated all the knights in front of me, they would keep coming.


Consequently, I have arrived at this point.


“Ptui…” I spat out the blood that remained in my cracked mouth.


The wounds all over my body were sore and throbbing.


However, none of it was compared to the anguish I felt in my heart about Sien's disappearance.


As if a hole had been pierced in my chest, a heavy, empty pressure continued to torment me.


'What is happening?'


'Was yesterday's pillar of light selected the heroes?'


'Will Sien be able to come back to me?'


With no one saying a word, my anxious imagination grew larger and larger.







It wasn't until the afternoon that Sien was finally able to return to the orphanage.




However, her attire was very different.


She was wearing classy clothes.
The pattern of 'Hea', the god of purity, was embedded in a large golden color on her clothes.


It was a sight that instantly evoked the image of a saint, leaving anyone in awe.


And around her, several paladins were escorting her.


I always complimented her when she wore new clothes, but this time, even empty words of praise didn't come out of my mouth.


It was to the point where I wanted to see her in simple clothes rather than those fancy clothes.


Sien walked towards me with an expression that seemed like she was about to cry.






I naturally stood up from my seat and tried to hold her hand.




But at that moment, a paladin standing beside her forcefully knocked my hand away and blocked me.


“To the saintess—”




In an instant surge of anger, I swung my fist at the paladin.


And a fight began.


The paladin I hit took a step back and attempted to draw his sword from his waist.


“Please stop it….!”


At that moment, Sien stopped the paladin from pulling out his sword with an urgent voice.


The paladin obediently followed Sien's words with a bewildered expression.




The paladin who sheathed his sword issued a warning.


“From now on, do not dare place your hands on the saintess' jade body recklessly.”


“Who do you think you are? Sien is—”


“Don't even address her so casually.
The saintess is not the person you knew yesterday.
She is now a hero chosen by Hea, the god of purity.
And for the sake of all races in this world, the saint must maintain purity in her body.”


I couldn't stand the paladin speaking about Sien in such a manner.
I knew Sien the best.
Just as I belonged to her, Sien belonged to me.
There was no room for others to intervene.
Even my friends, Max and Flint, couldn't intervene.



It was natural that I wouldn't be threatened just because he knew how to wield a sword.


I felt the strongest anger I had ever experienced, and I approached the paladin once again.




But Sien stopped me once more.


My attention shifted to her.


And when I looked at her, in an instant all my anger washed away.


This absurd and nonsense situation was just starting to feel unfair.


what is this…”


“It’s a saintess.”


Once again, the paladin intervened.


Sien also seemed to be irritated by his presence, so she raised her voice without displaying any anger.


“It's okay if Bell used my name…! Please don't say anything more…”




Soon, we made eye contact again and talked.


What happened? What did you discuss there?”




For some reason, Sien remained silent.


It seemed like she had a lot to say but couldn't express it yet, as if her lips were sealed shut.


I found her actions incredibly frustrating.


I wanted to trust her, but the fact that she was keeping things from me bothered me immensely.


Sien tightly closed her eyes and looked at me with a forced smile.


“…Does it hurt?”


She spoke while looking at my wounds.


I pondered for a long time before answering.


“…It hurts.”


Sien suppressed her tears and reached out her hand toward my wounds.


She didn't touch them, and just placed her hand in front of the injuries.


Soon, her hand began to emit a bright light, and my wounds started healing at a rapid pace.






For some reason, that miracle only brought me great despair.


“…It doesn't make sense, Sien.”




“…How did this happen?”




why are these changes happening to us?”


I tried to hold her hand as they stopped in front of my face.


However, Sien hurriedly lowered her head and hid her hand.


My hand sliced through the empty air.


And looking at me, she spoke.


“…I don't think I'll be living at the orphanage anymore.
I've decided to go to the large church up there…
Please visit me there from now on.”





“-I'll resolve everything, Bell.”


She made a determination in her words.


Her shoulders were shaking, but she said as if she wanted it more than anyone else.


“There must have been a misunderstanding.
after resolving everything, I'll come back to you.”


The paladins rolled their eyes and looked at Sien.


Ignoring their gazes, Sien continued her words.


can you wait for me safely until then?”


There was only one answer I could give to her.


I nodded silently and had to let her go.


We, who would become a couple in the future, had to trust each other.




I always waited for Sien outside the church.


She always came out to see me like that.


It was uncomfortable with several paladins and priests following her, but it was far better than not being able to see her.


At first, just seeing each other's faces was enough to satisfy me, but as time went on, I felt a growing thirst.


It had been a long time since I held her hand.


It had been a long time since we embraced each other.


I had never felt lonely before, but now, for the first time, I felt lonely.


Changes had occurred between us.


They were significant enough for us to notice.


Sien's face grew darker and darker, while I became more withdrawn.


We didn't talk about it, but we could vividly feel each other's pain.


Every time this happened, I recalled the words Sien had said to me.


She asked me to wait, promising to resolve everything and come back to me.


I was certain that Sien was fiercely fighting from within.
Despite being gentle and timid, she had an unwavering resolve.


But as time passed, the number of times she came to see me decreased.


From several times a day to four, then two, and eventually just once.


Gradually, it decreased even more until there were days when she didn't come to see me at all.


Then I had no choice but to wait outside all night for her without any commitment.


Even though I was hanging out outside the church like this, the rumors floating around in the world entered my ears one by one.


The voices of people coming to the church to pray echoed around me.


There were rumors that the birth of the Demon King was true, and that several heroes had emerged.


They said the Pillar of Light was the revelation, the heroes would protect the safety of the world.
And in our city, they said a holy saint was born.


I forcibly rejected those rumors.


I didn't want to believe that Sien was one of the heroes who had to fight the Demon King.


After all, she had promised to come back to me.


I was eagerly clinging to Sien's promise.


If my friends in the slums saw me like this, they would surely ridicule me.


But I had no other choice.
I just couldn't imagine a life without Sien anymore.







It had been three days since I couldn't meet Sien and waited.


Finally, as the doors of the church opened, I realized that the time to meet Sien had come again.




However, there was a small change.


Previously, Sien had led the way out of the church, but now the knights escorting 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.







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.”




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…!”







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.


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


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…


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.


“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?



then I'll wait until you come back…”


“I won't come back.”




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.




“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…!”



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.”






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…
I have to say it.”




“Don't forget me, Bell.”


That was how Sien left me.

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