Chapter 17: Discovery and Exploration Pt.2 (The Chronicles of Time)
Natsumi stood there, jaw dropped and her eyes about to fall out of their sockets.
The resemblance was uncanny. It could be that there was another person who just had the same face, the same walking style, and the same hint of derision on his curved lips. But the longer her eyes remained on him, the harder it was to not be convinced—it was Yuu! No doubt! But what was he doing here?
Shouldn’t he be in class?!
Why was he not looking at her? How could he not recognize her? It was strange how none of the people she met so far didn’t acknowledge her presence. At first, that strangeness was helpful. Not only did people not see her there, she didn’t have to talk with anyone. An unknown land, unfamiliar language, foerign people; if forced to interact, how could she manage to talk without being arrested and treated like some shady character? However, now that she saw Yuu, why didn’t he even spare her a glance?
He walked past Natsumi and replied, “Well, it was quite boring just staying in the room. What did you want me to do? Search for you?”
“I’m pretty sure that you weren’t alone in the room,” the saintess addressed the first part of his comment, and patted him on the shoulder. “And if you did search for me, you would be perfectly fine. Sure, the temple hates you and even a strand of your hair is not accepted here, but you could still enter without them noticing. Those old fools won’t even know you’re strolling around the holy territory; they’re too busy grinding their teeth, sharpening their claws for the day they can tear you apart.”
“That’s very reassuring,” he laughed.
“Well, where is he?” Besides him, there was no one else there that was visible to her eye. She approached the table with the flimsy castle leaving him behind. With every step she took it was on the verge of collapsing, shaking, as if she was an earthquake heading its way. With a flick of a finger, its structure caved in. “If you’re here, no doubt he has come as well.”
“I’m right here.” At that moment, she could see a towering shadow cover her. Large hands wrapped themselves around her waist and her feet lifted off the ground. “Did you miss me, saintess?”
“Don’t call me that and put me down.” She said, paying no mind to his words filled with affection. “Aren’t you two getting too tall? What if you end up like a beanstalk?”
“‘End up as a beanstalk’ as in being chopped down?” Cassius replied.
“I’m sure that won’t ever happen to you two, but no, that’s not what I meant.” She slapped his hand and was released. “I meant as tall as one. It would be nice to see you get chopped down, though.”
“And I’m sure you’ll be the one holding the ax.” He said with a smirk. She returned the smirk and then turned back to face the other person behind her. If Cassius was the moon, then that person was the sun. Brilliant rich blonde hair, and pale blue-ish gray eyes. His physique was about the same as the other with a sword attached to his hip side. His short hair fell to his eyes as he leaned down. Looking at all three of them almost blinded Natsumi’s eyes. Compared to their looks, although she didn’t fall short, she still felt that she was rather lacking in some areas. Perhaps it was the divine glow that they all emit?
Judging by the lax manner they talked to each other in, it was easy to guess that they were close. The saintess’s gentle manner was thrown away, like a cloth covering a jewel. But in this case the word ‘jewel’ wasn’t appropriate. Instead of a jewel she was more of a rock.
Strong, and rough.
“Well, why did you both come anyways?”
“The knights were too annoying.”
“The old geezers were too annoying.”
Both the saintess and Natsumi almost toppled over at their almost identical response. “...hahh…really! Is the holy temple some sort of playground to you both? You can’t always come and go as you please!”
“I thought that you enjoyed our company?” Cassius said, tilting his head.
“Of course I do! Do you know how stiff I always am, trapped in this place?! It’s always ‘saintess this’ or, ‘saintess that’, and then I have to smile and be some sort of ethereal angel. Truly aggravating!” The three listened to her rant relentlessly with aversion. The life of a saintess, turns out, was more difficult than Natsumi imagined. Seeming unsightly, the saintess took a deep breath and coughed once, schooling her expression. “Anyways, just because I’m cooped up in here, doesn’t mean that you two can just barge in here at your own leisure!”
“Yes, ma’am.” They both said together. Cassius rolled his eyes and Mikhael nodded. Their attitudes contrasted greatly.
Natsumi continued to listen in as the saintess reprimanded the two with constant warnings while stuffing in complaints about how boring her life was at the temple. Looking at the three now, they looked like three teenagers chatting away. No matter how noble their status was, at the present they were just themselves with no formal atmosphere restricting them. Well, it wasn’t as if Cassius would face any restrictions. He was just like Yuu, saying whatever he wanted, doing whatever he wanted. If one were to displease him or restrain him, they would be blasted into pieces.
Their mindset is exactly the same!!
His bold hectic stories of his life at the magic tower made his two companions shake their heads at him and sigh. Even Natsumi (who they couldn’t see) did the same. The person called Mikhael, on the other hand, seemed to be more tame and obedient. He wasn’t as unruly or as unreasonable as Cassius. He was the captain of the knights of the first division—the strongest knight unit in the entire kingdom! To see such impressive figures lounging before her, Natsumi was truly stunned. Beneath the responsibilities they carried, they were just normal teens who wanted to laze around and live freely! Before, they had all seemed to be like huge unshakeable pillars built up with imposing titles and a majestic air, now they had none of that.
There were times where she would laugh at the jokes they made or try to poke them as they discussed serious subjects and made satires out of them. It was mostly just Cassius turning them into mockery. For example, one of them would bring up the emperor and nitpick everything that he’s done wrong and Cassius would say: “Emperor? More like a dumbass. The guy thought he was doing everyone a favor by conquering the Kingdom of Liona, but really he’s just a dumb old geezer waiting to die and have his name ingrained in history. He can’t even run his own ‘empire’ properly. Just wait till he fucks up not one—but two kingdoms. Ha!”
The other two couldn’t argue with him; every word he said hit right on point. It was too true to be called lies. The Trucia empire was once an empire filled with glory. But over the years, it couldn’t even be called an empire anymore! Almost all the countries it once ruled over revolted and separated from the empire, therefore its size diminished. The once mighty empire that made kingdoms tremble now crumbled down to the point when king’s mention the name they would be filled with laughs right after. Even the emperor was no longer called the emperor, but instead, debased to a king!
However, the saintess was changed, and legendary heroes and figures arose over a short period of time in the ‘empire’. Truly a change for the better.
‘The Legendary Knight who Rained Flowers’, ‘The Almighty Magician Covered in Flames But as Cold as Ice’, and last, but not least–‘The Breathtaking Saintess who Could Revive the Dead’.
Having three powerful people alive at the same time, the same age, and residing in that very same empire that was declining, it was a once in a millenia opportunity for the empire to rise again from its ashes! They were to be feared, revered, and admired. But such people with tremendous power weren’t easily manipulated. The emperor couldn’t even control their actions. To think that such young people had more influence than the emperor himself, he had no choice but to cower at the sight of them and bow his head in fear for the possibility that they might be offended and choose to destroy the empire themselves.
Fortunately, as long as the three were unbothered and no troubles came their way, they were content and carried out their duties. Because of this, the people thought that the emperor had power over them and they extolled him with great fervor. But of course, there are those who didn’t like the thought of a scummy emperor ‘controlling’ the three. Even with such tremendous power, they were still, nonetheless, children who hadn’t even come of age yet. In reality, they were only seventeen.
“Sometimes, I just wish we could blow up this kingdom.” Cassius leaned back.
The saintess smiled. “You mean ‘empire’?”
They erupted into laughter fraught with ridicule.
In the empire, when the three were mentioned, people would say, “the saintess is the most angelic out of the three”. Given her position as “saintess”, they were plausible words. Out of the three, she was the only female, and the only one who didn’t wield her powers as a weapon. But to think that her personality was so similar to the others!
Natsumi was going to listen in more but suddenly a clear voice rang in her head.
She stopped giggling.