DARK MODE 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 @

Volume 2 Extra 2 Aeris Holiday (Part Two)

 "As expected of the 'Saint of Centorea'! You did an amazing job to treat so many injured people by yourself. I am truly impressed!"
 
 Aislot praises Aeris' feat with open arms.
 There are many priests in the church, but no one but Aeris can heal nearly 100 people. Even with the assistance of items, it was still a "feat".
 
 "Ah no... I did what I had to do. It's not something to be praised by Aislot-sama, who became a priest in his twenties."
 
 Aeris is humbled by Aislot's praise with a vague smile.
 She does not like to be praised by others. Although she had done what she was supposed to do as a priest, she did not think he deserved to be revered or respected.
 But... if the man who praised her was the man she loved, she would have begged him for a reward.
 She must have offered a “contradictory request” for a personal service as a reward for her hard work of community service.
 
 "Well then...I'll leave for now. It's getting late and I'm going home."
 
 "Oh! Please wait, Centorea-jou!"
 
 "Yes? Can I help you?"
 
 Just as she was leaving the church, Aeris stopped and tilted her head.
 
 "Would you like to have dinner at the back of the church before you leave? I just got a lamb from a member of the community. I'd like to treat you to it as a thank you for your hospitality today."
 
 "I appreciate your concern... but my family will be worried if I come home late."
 
 "Please forgive me for being rude. All the friars who work for me are out on business today and I'm lonely. Please, just come with me to dinner."
 
 "..."
 
 Aeris raises an eyebrow.
 Aislot is the priest in charge of this church. He lives here with several other friars.
 It's understandable that he feels lonely with the friars under his charge out and about, but... why would he want to bring a young woman into a man's home?
 As a clergyman, or rather, as a man, his ulterior motive is obvious.
 
 "...Please accept my apologies, Priest Aislot-sama. I know you don't have any ill intentions, but I don't wish to give you the wrong impression. I will refrain for now."
 
 Aeris casually raises her left hand to show the ring on it.
 The ring on the ring finger of the left hand is a sign of marriage or engagement. It was insolent to ask out a woman who was already with someone else.
 
 "Well... yes, of course. I'm sure the other person is a legitimate son of the Marquis of Baskerville, isn't he?"
 
 "He's no longer a legitimate son. My fiancée succeeded to the Marquis a while ago."
 
 "...Well, I hate to say this, but he's not the right man for you. You should reconsider the marriage."
 
 "What?"
 
 Aislot said clearly. Aeris raised her eyebrows and stared at the other suspiciously.
 
 "Why do you have to say that to me, Priest Aislot-sama? What right do you, a stranger, have to interfere in my marriage?"
 
 "Please don't be angry with me, Centorea-jou. You may not know it but Baskerville family are a truly rotten family."
 
 "..."
 
 Seeing that Aeris has stopped talking, Aislot continues laconically.
 
 "They have been in the dark ever since the founding of this country. This is not just a rumor. They are really involved in drug and human trafficking, and they are tormenting a lot of people from the shadows. God forbid that a beautiful and pure woman like you should become the wife of such an evil man. I beg you, you must persuade the Cardinal to reconsider your marriage. The right man for you is not an evil fool. He must be a man of faith, a faithful subject of God... like me!"
 
 "..."
 
 "And, do you know it? The other day, the head of the Baskerville family was replaced by a man named Zenon, who is rumored to have murdered his father, you know? How can you, a saint, marry a scumbag who committed a mortal sin like murdering his father?"
 
 "That's enough. I'm going home."
 
 Aeris cut off Aislot's words forcefully and flipped off the hem of her nun's robe.
 
 "Huh?"
 
 "The demon lurks in the hearts of men. You should be careful, priest. You may be possessed by the demon of jealousy and lust without realizing it."
 
 "Wait... Centorea-jou!?"
 
 Aeris says in an unusually irritated tone, and walks towards the entrance of the church.
 It must have been very unpleasant for her to have been criticized by the man she loved. Her face, which was usually as loving as the Virgin's, became expressionless like a mask.
 
 "Wait... wait a minute!"
 
 "Kyaa!?"
 
 Aeris says and turns to leave, but Aislot grabs her arm with all his might.
 Taking advantage of the fact that they are the only ones in the church, he pulls Aeris's arm to him with all his might.
 
 "How can you be so stubborn to such a scoundrel! You're supposed to be God's chosen saint!"
 
 "Ugh... Stop it! Please let me go!"
 
 "You're loved by God and you deserve a man who's loved by God too... which means I'm the only one who's worthy of you! I'm the youngest priest ever chosen. And you're chosen to be the representative of the Great Goddess!"
 
 The man who had been playing the role of a gentleman up until a moment ago, now shouts angrily, showing his emotions.
 He bites his back teeth, his expression is distorted, and he tries to force the woman to do his bidding when it doesn't go his way.
 
 "That's right... I am a special person chosen by God! In order to correct the evil, sometimes I have to break the law. It is my duty as a priest to save you from going astray..."
 
 "Shut your mouth!"
 
 "Gggghhh!?"
 
 Suddenly something smashes into Aislot's nose, sending him flying off his chair with a loud thud. The man on his back is twitching and twitching, his broken nose bleeding.
 
 "You're so... selfish and self-centered. Depressing and persistent. You're the worst kind of man, the kind of man who brings out the worst in women."
 
 "Ruffie-san!"
 
 At the entrance of the church stood a uniquely dressed woman, wearing a monastic dress with a miniskirt and her belly button exposed.
 She is Ruffie Astoglow, a member of Leon Brave's party who serves as a vanguard and a healer called [Monk], a main character of the orthodox school.
 
 "Hmph!"
 
 Now, this tall, gray-haired beauty sniffs and turns her right shoulder.
 Ruffie is skilled at fighting with her fists, and it was with her "Flying Fist" that Aislot was blown away a few minutes ago.
 
 "That was a close call. Really... what a low-life priest trying to touch a sister in a church."
 
 Ruffie steps up with her long, tights-covered legs and crushes Aislot's crotch.
 
 "Gggghh!"
 
 "I heard that castration can make a bad dog more gentle. Maybe I should give it a try?"
 
 "Uoh... Bbububububuuaa.."
 
 "Huh? You can't hear me now. You're so boring."
 
 Ruffie ruffles her gray hair.
 Her expression changes from one of utter contempt for the man. With a flip of a coin, she gives Aeris a friendly look.
 
 "That was a close one... or was it too much to ask?"
 
 Ruffie shakes her shoulders in amusement.
 Aeris, who had almost been the victim of a sexual crime, has a white, translucent shield floating on her right hand.
 It is a barrier magic, a skill that Aeris possesses. If Ruffie had not arrived too late to help her, the shield would have been slammed against Aislot.
 
 Though she is a healer, she has been trained in many dungeons.
 So, it would have been an easy task to defeat Aislot, who is only a priest though he is a man.
 
 "I waited for you in the carriage, but you didn't come, so I came to get you. Are you leaving already?"
 
 "Yes, let's go home. We have no more business here."
 
 Aeris clarified, leaving the injured man alone. It seems that Aislot is already out of the list of people who need to be saved.
 
 "I'm sorry for keeping you waiting. I really appreciate you putting up with my situation today, Ruffie-san."
 
 Aeris and Ruffie had been friends since childhood, but had been estranged for complicated reasons. Recently, they reconciled and became friends again... And when Aeris came to the church, Ruffie came to help her with the outreach work.
 Ruffie is also a healer, but not nearly as good as Aeris. So, she was outside the church, helping to organize the pews and carry the critically ill.
 
 "Don't worry, Leon-kun was out too, and I was bored. It's a good thing Aeris-san called me."
 
 "Is Brave-san going on another adventure today? He seem to be very busy these days."
 
 "Yes, he seems to have found out the whereabouts of the four heavenly kings of the Demon King Army and took Ciel and the others with him. I'm not a good match for him so I'm staying at home. He took the others with him."
 
 Leon was in a party with his childhood friend Ciel Uranus and classmate Melia Sue at the school, but he had other friends outside the school.
 That's not strange. Aeris and Ruffie had no way of knowing this, but it was a common practice in games to change party members as needed to conquer dungeons and bosses.
 To stay with the same party members for a long time is only possible if you have a favorite character, or else it is a kind of "bind-play".
 
 "I see... you are staying at home, aren't you, Ruffie-san?"
 
 "Yes... it's hard for both of us to have an unrestrained husband, isn't it?"
 
 "Husband..."
 
 At Ruffie's words, Aeris puts her hands on her cheeks and turns red. On her left hand, the ring on her ring finger glittered.
 
 "Heheh... You're so cute. Really."
 
 Ruffie let out a small laugh as she looked at her old friend smilingly.

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