Chapter 17: Wrath of the Spirit
The villagers welcomed Marianne and took good care of her when she showed up late at night dressed in tattered clothes.
They believed that she had fled for her life after being chased by a bad man, because her dress, even though it was soiled and torn to the ground, was high enough.
The next morning, Marianne did not thank the old man who took care of her or the woman who prepared the meal, but they did not care.
They were shocked, but they did anyway.
“I’m sorry for what you are going through.
I hope you have a good night’s rest in this empty village.”
“This is the Maldec village?”
The name sounds familiar.
It was the name of the village of the young man who had come to the plaza to ask for the blessings of the Saint.
He went to the temple with Marianne and spent the night there feasting.
So he had not yet returned to the village.
Marianne’s face lit up at her luck.
(I can convince them that I am Saint here…)
“So you are the ones who want my help.
Actually, I am the saint.
“So you are Sylphia-sama?”
At the mention of Sylphia’s name, her eyebrows raised for a moment, but Marianne put on an auspicious expression and shook her head.
No, Sylphia is a false Saint, I am the true Saint, Marianne.
I heard that this village needed help.
But Sylphia interfered with me and tried to keep me from going to the village.”
“How can that be…?!”
“Didn’t Sylphia-sama perform a miracle?”
“But Marianne-sama, you look like this …”
If you see Marianne’s exhausted and scarred appearance, one could say that you were more fake.
The villagers were puzzled by this unexpected information.
“Then what in the world are we going to do?”
The fields in our village are also becoming thin.
We can’t even produce enough food for our livestock.
“It will be fine.”
Marianne took their hands in hers and smiled.
“I told you that I am the true saint.
I will pray for you and make the fields grow.
Come on, let’s go.”
Some of them had met and talked with Sylphia in person.
The story brought by Marianne that Sylphia was a false saint was hard to believe.
But Marianne, dressed in tattered clothes, offered to pray for them.
There was no way they could stop her.
Marianne gets up, and the villagers follow her with worried faces.
Eventually, they came to the edge of the village.
Just like the village Sylphia had visited before, there were fields all around, and huts for storing tools and other things had been built here and there.
Although Marianne could not see it, these fields were also covered with a layer of miasma.
Many of the lords with estates around the capital had offered gifts to Marianne in the hope that they would eventually receive some kind of benefit in return.
They went to the temple, but did not believe in the spirits, seeing them as tools for profit, and so the miasma was created.
Looking around the fields, Marianne nodded her head.
“It’s sprouting, isn’t it?”
“Yes, they are, but they are few and not vigorous.
If we don’t do something, they will wither soon.”
That’s too much trouble.”
The villagers’ faces become a little puzzled by her slovenly attitude, but Marianne doesn’t notice.
(If I can revive this field, I can make them recognize my power.
Then I can go back to the temple.
Sylphia will still be there, but if I marry Antonio-sama and I become a queen then—)
Marianne held up her hand, stifling a crooked smile that threatened to leak out.
She said the words of a prayer she had remembered from last night.
“O protectors, my guides, my spirits, I humbly beg you to fulfill my request.
I am your beloved daughter.
Fulfill the oath you swore to me, and give me strength…?!”
With a thud, Marianne’s heart leapt.
Something boiled up inside her.
A power that fills her internal organs, fills her blood vessels, makes her bones creak….
(Is this the power of the spirit?!)
Unable to bear it any longer, tears spilled from Marianne’s eyes.
“Ah… Aaaaah! Ouch, ouch! Somebody help me!!!”
“Saint-sama, what’s wrong?!”
(I haven’t heard of this! Sylphia’s whole body glowed and the wind blew! Is that a myth too?! Or is it…)”
Marianne’s back arched in agony as she let out a throat-splitting scream.
A gurgling stream of miasma leaks from her wide-open mouth.
The villagers can’t see it, but a terrible shiver surrounds them.
“Hey! Get someone to the Capital—send someone to the temple! The Saint is suffering!
“What the hell is going on?! Saint-sama! Are you all right!?”
The miasma flooded out of Marianne’s mouth, but it is trying to get back to her.
It also clung to her limbs, trying to get back into her body through her skin.
Marianne’s skin began to show scorch marks as her entire body writhed in pain.
“What the … fuge did we invite into our village?!”
“Don’t tell me this guy is a fake Saint? This is the wrath of the spirits!”
“But she said she could help us! She’s in pain, we have to do something…”
A young man reaches out to touch Marianne, but as soon as his hand touches her, he feels a searing pain.
The young man’s hand is also covered in scorch marks.
“!! Don’t touch her, it’s a curse!”
“Noooo! Help me, help me!”
The villagers gradually moved away from Marilianne and stood and watched this horrific scene.
Soon the miasma began to overflow from Marianne’s body, so much so that they could see it.
“Aah… This is the end, this village…”
It was when the old man hung his head.
A girl appeared with a piercing scream.
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