Translator: Latte Proofreader: Adulldoll
‘Finally,’ Aria thought as she nodded her head.
She finally had the chance to prove her worth.
“I need to leave the palace for a while.”
* * *
Aria managed to get a scroll from Carl.
The scroll contained magic that enabled Aria to teleport wherever she wanted.
Carl glanced at the scroll in Aria’s hand, his eyes filled with regret.
“You’ll make a clone that can replace me while I’m away, right?”
Carl nodded in response.
This was why she chose to expose her identity to Carl.
Now, Aria could freely roam outside the palace without anyone knowing.
“You may be able to deceive the eyes of normal people, but His Majesty and His Highness will know right away.”
“I’ll be back before anyone finds me.”
“Ha, I’m not so sure about that. I’ve given you that scroll. So if you are in danger, just come back right away.”
She was in the middle of tearing the teleportation scroll when suddenly…
Silver, who was quietly waiting, suddenly ran towards her with tremendous speed.
The scroll was already ripped in half, so there was no way of stopping the magic.
Thus, Silver got warped into the teleportation magic together with Aria.
There was a tugging sensation, like a brief but intense period of disorientation.
Aria’s view of the world faded as the scenery around her dematerialized.
The lighting changed softly, but abruptly in only a few moments…
Then, as her vision cleared up, she found herself standing at her destination.
There she stood, on the grounds of the Holy Empire.
“Silver… How many times have I told you not to run into me like that?” Aria scolded.
“Aung…” Silver whined.
Silver just wanted to help.
The wolf was Aria’s driver. He always picked Aria from her chambers and helped her travel back and forth inside the palace. He was honestly quite proud of his work.
However, Silver was insecure. He saw how quickly the Jaguars befriended Aria, so he didn’t want to lose to them.
He wanted to be her method of transportation again. Plus, there was nothing in the world that could run as fast as him.
At least, that’s what he said.
‘Still, it’s impossible for a wolf to run faster than a jaguar…’ Aria thought.
Aria actually planned to walk around without any means of transportation, so considering the fact that she was running out of time, Silver could be of great help to her.
The coordinates of the scroll were set back to the palace.
“Follow the direction where the sun rises.”
As Aria climbed onto Silver’s back, she began to recall the things she had heard in her previous life.
Wherever there was light in the world, darkness also coexisted.
There was no exception.
‘Despite being called as the land chosen by God, even the Holy Empire has darkness within it.’
Even if the temple tried to relieve the poor, people would still starve.
‘The village at the end of the East.’
In the Holy Empire, that place was known as ‘the slums.’
The village used to be an abandoned land filled with ruins. However, many vagrants and criminals began to settle down there as they had nowhere else to go.
In short, it was a run-down, uncivilized area inhabited primarily by impoverished people.
As Aria was about to get off Silver’s back and enter the village…
“Don’t mess around here and get lost, kid!” Shouted a homeless man that bumped into her.
The man seemed to be drunk as he was holding a bottle of wine.
“Huh, what’s this? Your hair color is peculiar. You’ll sell pretty well if you have a nice face,” he said while stretching out his hand to take off Aria’s hood.
At that moment, Silver lowered his body and began to growl. He was ready to attack him and bite his throat.
The wolf was baring his teeth while giving him a menacing glare.
As soon as the drunken hooligan saw the wolf, he became frightened and ran away.
Aria was petrified.
She thought to herself, ‘I was almost kidnapped when I haven’t even entered the village yet.’
Had she been an ordinary child, she would have already been sold as a slave.
Aria was appalled.
She could now understand why the priests had given up on this place.
“Silver. You wait here, okay?”
“Woof!” Silver protested.
But Aria just stroked the wolf’s head.
She spoke, “You stand out too much. It’ll be dangerous if I bring you with me. We might get kidnapped and criminals might try to sell us to the black market.”
No matter how great Silver was, if a professional hunter, smuggler, or slave trader decided to attack them, they would get caught no matter what.
Aria proceeded to hide Silver inside a bush. Then, she tightened the hood on her head.
She had to visit the village as quietly as possible.
As the sun began to set, darkness came.
“You’ve been sold as a slave! So don’t be lazy and get to work!”
“I’ll kill you!”
“Hahaha, do you think you can run away?!”
“Die! Just die!”
As the night came, all sorts of ugly sounds could be heard.
Aria continued to walk while holding her breath.
There used to be a temple here.
Aria wondered if anyone here still remembered that.
This land had completely lost its former glory.
No one could guess that there were hidden relics here.
“Who would have imagined that there would be a relic asleep in the ruins of an abandoned temple.”
“Surely, no one would have found it except for the saintess. She even searched for it in the slums.”
Saintess Veronica was the first person to have found and retrieved the relics of this temple.
‘At least, she was able to in the past.’
When Aria arrived, she took about five steps from the walls of the temple, and then she knocked on the floor.
Afterward, she circled the place and repeated the same behavior over and over again.
At one point, she knocked on the ground and heard a hollow sound.
Aria swept the dirt with her hands and soon enough, she found a wooden plank.
There it was… the entrance to the secret passage.
Aria grunted as she lifted the wooden plank.
“…Ugh. So noisy…”
She heard a human voice.
She slowly shifted her gaze.
There was a vagrant who had slept like a dead man on the floor. He suddenly turned his body in another direction.
Before long, he fell asleep again.
Aria, who was silently relieved, lifted the plank again.
Then she climbed the ladder and carefully descended to the ground below.
Although the place was dark, Aria was able to walk around with ease thanks to her good senses.
‘There are only dust and spider webs.’
Not long after, she found a black box.
She opened the lid of the box.
The temple had also written about the relic.
To punish those who tried to challenge the authority of God, a thunderbolt would strike down the earth, and those that got hit would bear the powers given by God.
‘I found it.’
Aria closed the lid after checking its contents.
Now, the only thing she had to do was to leave this place.
As she was about to stand up…
‘What? Something just… ‘
She felt something the moment she touched the wall to support her body.
‘It’s just a regular wall.’
Aria tapped the wall.
Was there something beyond the wall?
‘I can’t just knock down the wall.’
Aria started examining the walls.
Then, she found a brick that could be removed.
Aria grabbed the rattled bricks and carefully pulled them out.
There was a hole that was only big enough to fit in Aria’s hand.
She hesitated for a moment but decided to put her hand through the wall.
And as she was rummaging around the hole, she could feel something touching her fingertips.
A velvet box about the size of a palm.
She opened the luxurious box that didn’t match the place at all.
Inside was a beautiful necklace crafted like the shape of a water droplet.
‘The necklace that saints always wore.’
Why was this here?
She wondered if it was a sacred object, but it didn’t seem like it was. She could hardly even feel the divine power.
Rather, there were only traces of it that remained in the necklace.
‘What is this for?’
She didn’t think that the saints would just mindlessly leave these here.
‘Whatever. I’m out of ideas.’
Aria rose from her seat and wore the necklace around her neck.
She could think about it later. Her priority was to get out of this place.
Aria climbed back unto the ladder and lifted the wooden plank.
But when she got out…
“You’re finally back.”
Aria found herself surrounded by a bunch of ruffians…