“Venerable Saint, it’s this way.”
The Saintess, constantly maintaining a faint smile on her face, erotically swayed her celestial peach-shaped buttocks left and right as she took the lead. It seemed that she was made to match the tastes of Earthlings: a nun’s garb that combined the immoral and pure which all men would favor, a hairstyle that would have taken at least 3 hours at a beauty salon, clean makeup, fine skin… It was the perfect harmony of clothing and wearer.
Her Status was also insane.
Hahah! Immortal at SSS-rank?
She appeared to be a delicate woman on the outside, but the Saintess’ Level and Skill set made her no different from a living fortress. To what extent? Even if this Saintess was thrown nude into the very heart of a fierce battlefield, she would be just fine without a single scratch.
Of course, while the men on that battlefield, who would no doubt be stirred up into fiery passions, wouldn’t leave her buttocks be, there would absolutely be no physical harm. What would be a good way to call her? Ah!
I observed the surroundings as I followed behind Saintess H, as if the situation called for the need to escape, then I needed to input the environment, defenses and such into my mind.
But perhaps she had noticed my line of sight?
“Venerable Saint, a truly beautiful garden, isn’t it? It helps in settling down the weariness and confusion of the mind and body. I wish to open it to the public, but I only feel regret as entry is strictly prohibited.”
Saintess H slowed her pace as she talked.
I played along to her tune.
“Yes, a wonderful farm as you say.”
Nothing needed be said further from the moment I saw the mermaids lounging in the pond here. There would be no garden more tempting than this one in all of Fantasia and Earth; however, I couldn’t afford to do nothing but laugh to myself, and that was because of the stone statues placed in various spots of the garden.
Nude statues of men with bulging muscles like that of bodybuilders were placed throughout the garden like boulders. They followed my movements with only their eyes rolling about in their sockets.
Golems, soulless masses of magical earth. The way to subjugate them depended on the way they were created, but in general, destroying their core which was the equivalent of a living creature’s heart would stop their movements. Put differently, this meant they would revive over and over so long as their core remained intact. Each golem possessed infinitely varied levels of intelligence and performance.
These entities could be easily encountered as watchmen in the temples, sanctuaries, ruins and such that were scattered across Fantasia’s continents. The use of a golem wasn’t limited to combat, however; construction, cleaning, labor, experiments, escort… they were used in myriad ways depending on their size and form.
‘Miss Trainee Teacher, listen well. Common sense exists to be broken. (Grin).’
At any rate… I would have really ended up dead had I snuck in while only believing in my luck as a Thief. It was the golems’ Skill, Detect Foe(SSS)—the ability to search out enemies. No matter how outrageous the effects of Fortune was, amplified by the Job Thief and Holy Sword 2, it was only A-rank; it was only inevitable to end up noticed if the opponent had an SSS-rank Skill. That being the case, would I be able to win against them in a fight?
“Venerable Saint, are the golems to your liking?”
Saintess H, who possessed an unusual sensitivity, asked me this as she approached my side in a friendly manner.
“It’s my first time seeing such powerful golems.”
“Huhu! No doubt about that. These golems are dolls made by the very god who built this great temple, after all. A total of 3,141 golems are keeping up perfect defenses of the great temple’s interiors.”
Mhm. Nope. Definitely nope.
I wouldn’t be able to even cross the threshold of the great temple’s treasure storehouse’s doors at this rate. I had to find another way through that didn’t involve force, and for that the most urgent business was to find out the reason for my being invited to this great temple, as well as to determine the limits of my capability.
A beautiful set of Skills specialized for combat!
And that was the problem, because when confronted with a situation that couldn’t be solved with force like now, the number of things I could do would drastically be reduced. The utility of my non-combat Skills was extremely low. A non-violent way of doing things like that of supreme leader, Gandhi, wasn’t suitable for me. Then what was I to do?
“I have something I must urgently tell you, Venerable Saint.”
The event content was finally going to be revealed.
Truthfully, this was the biggest question. Saintess H’s Status was very much on the excellent side, amazing to the point of being able to heal all the patients of a city by herself. I didn’t think that an individual such as Saintess H would have something to request of a greenhorn who’d just opened his eyes to ‘healing magic’.
But of course…
“I’m all ears, Venerable Saintess.”
It was possible in a role-playing game. Some Knight Captain Q who had four intact limbs, and ability to boot, might entrust an important secret to or ask help of a fledgling player. Well, it wasn’t like I couldn’t understand at all; if there had to be a rather acceptable reason for every mission, then game developers would find themselves collapsing with a cramp in their heads.
Here was reality, however. While it was excessively fantastical to be called reality, at least the people of this world wouldn’t deliberately entrust contrived missions like in a game. This being the case, what was it that Saintess H wasn’t capable of doing?
I decided to hear about it from now.
Saintess H began to speak her part in a lamenting manner.
“We have imprisoned a large number of demon worshipers within the great temple; however, we are placed in a helpless situation as those individuals are heroes, the loss of whom would be too great to simply execute. Great Venerable Saint, I ask that you persuade those heroes to once again take the side of humanity. Please.”
A very interesting mission was offered my way.
Demon worshipers—weren’t they right up my alley? Like eating a dragon lying down.
‘Of course it is, Miss Trainee Teacher. I’m extremely confident, you see! Just trust in me!’
I was greatly satisfied with the Hero Festival system. As the festival was focused around the graduates who lacked for nothing, the concept of free service didn’t work like it did in Fantasia’s continents.
Give and take—an absolute reward would be given upon completing the event. And so…
Having passed by the garden and entered the inner area of the great temple, we entered earnest negotiations. From here on it would business talks of a labor relations through and through.
“The demon worshipers number 514 in total.”
Saintess H spoke while pointing to the single cells lined up like a maze on the other side.
“Over 500? There’s more than I thought.”
“Indeed. It’s because a Saint has never appeared even a single time over a long time, while only the demon worshipers continued to increase. That’s why, Venerable Saint, please reform as many of the demon worshipers as you can.”
As Saintess H earnestly requested this of me, she also mentioned ‘points’.
1 point per demon worshiper. It was a reward system of diligently gathering points and exchanging them for a desired treasure. I thought that it was highly reasonable.
Of course, it was no easy event.
“Hey! Hero-exclusive hole, why don’t you sing a little song for me.”
“I’ll tear your crotch first thing after getting released, bitch!”
“Little Saintess, c’mere. This big brother over here’ll open you a new one. Kikik!”
“Reform me? Pft! I think you getting pregnant will be faster?”
All sorts of obscene harassment and profanities spat by the imprisoned demon worshipers came pouring down over Saintess H.
Although she was a Saintess, a peerless Job in terms of healing and resurrection, she was very poor when it came to persuading others; Saintess H’s face turned pale-white, unable to bear the onslaught of abusive and foul words from all directions.
A great temple overflowing with malice… perhaps this was the true Demon King’s castle?
“I, I entrust this to you! Venerable Saint!”
Saintess H broke down in tears in the end as she pleaded me.
“Before that, Venerable Saintess, may I see the list of treasures that can be exchanged for with points? I feel that only after doing so will I become motivated to work.”
“Ah! Of course. Come this way!”
We entered further deeper into the great temple.
Coming across golems at every turn of a path was a given. The Demon King’s castle was a playground for kids compared to here. I wondered: what nerve did I have to try and break through all this? The saying, the ignorant are brave, automatically popped into my mind.
The locks on the huge sliding door at the end of the corridor were opened in succession, and two golems pushed opened those thick doors from both sides.
Her complexion having recovered its color, Saintess H said, “It’s here. Almost all of the large event rewards of the Hero Festival are stored in this place.”
“Even the reward of the main event?”
‘The exciting event where I kill all the Heroes aside from me, that is. Just the mere thought of it is thrilling!’
‘Miss Trainee Teacher’s asking a deep question, huh. A festival’s just a festival, isn’t it?’
“Unfortunately, the main event reward is stored in another location. Be that as it may, the rewards piled up in this treasure storehouse can be considered outstanding as well, and since the better a reward the more points it requires, it does not matter much. Venerable Saint, will you take a look at this sword?”
Saintess H pointed towards a certain sword on display.
“Holy Demon Sword, Swordmaster…?”
“Yes, you saw correctly. It’s the replica of a sword that was favored by the man called Sword God. While its power amounts to half of the original, that alone makes it adequately valuable. Please look at the price tag hung on its hilt.”
“yes. If Venerable Saint succeeds in reforming 15 demon worshipers in the great temple, you will be able to possess this sword.”
I understood the principle.
I swiftly scanned through the rewards inside the treasure storehouse. I was seeing the majority of these items for the first time, but there were also some I found familiar, having seen them somewhere, scattered about here and there.
After circling the inside of the treasure storehouse 3 times, I licked my lips.
“There’s nothing to my liking.”
Apart from the consumable potions that raised Skill proficiency, nothing caught my fancy. The equipments were all replicas, and there was no weapon comparable with Holy Sword 2. But if there was something that relatively stood a chance?
It was the replica of Holy Sword 1. However, as I had passed the period of playing with a beginner-use automatic training tool, it was no more than an utterly useless hunk of metal to me.
Saintess H made a troubled face at my discontent.
“I’m sorry, Venerable Saint. Even if there’s nothing you are drawn to, please make a choice among the treasures currently in this storehouse.”
My interest was piqued by her words—choose among the treasures currently in this storehouse?
“How much are you, Venerable Saintess?”
“What? Huhu! You sure know how to joke. I’m not a reward.”
“But you’re currently inside the treasure storehouse, aren’t you?”
I decided to force reason all the way.
“Even though you hope for the demon worshipers to be reformed, you actually leave yourself out of it? Don’t you disqualify as a Saintess who must devote herself for the peace of humanity?”
“Are my words wrong?”
“No. What you have pointed out is correct, Venerable Saint.”
Saintess H became enlightened.
‘Miss Trainee Teacher, don’t get agitated. I’ll fight fair and square as a Saint.’
“So how much are you, Venerable Saintess?”
From this day onwards, Saintess H went around hanging a price tag by her neck.
And as for me?
“You’re S-rank? I’m SSS-rank.”
This was the difference in Dark Energy between the demon worshipers and me.