Riley wondered if it was such a difficult question to answer. It wasn’t just Nara who hesitated to respond. Even Rorona, who had a relatively straight-shooter kind of personality, blurred the end of her sentence. She carefully said,
“She can’t have a conversation right now.”
Riley furrowed his eyebrows. As if he was trying to say that they should explain in detail, Riley looked inside the pub.
“She is not in here?”
Riley looked for the presence of Holy Power, the kind that people of holy temple possessed which was different from mana. Riley confirmed that the power could not be felt from the pub.
“… She is not here.”
Riley muttered. Rorona nodded and glanced at others passing by as she said,
“It’s a little uncomfortable to talk about it here, so why don’t we go to a different place?”
Rorona said she didn’t think she could talk about Priesia out in the open because Priesia had a reward on her discovery. Rorona quickly turned to look at the pub that had its door destroyed. She smiled awkwardly.
“It hadn’t been long since we arrived at this oasis. So, we don’t know the way around very well yet. I have something I need to go ask Mr. Reitri real quick, so can you please wait here?”
Riley stopped her and ask her a favor.
“Wait. Do not tell Reitri that I’m here.”
“It’s not that I’m trying to hide something. It’s just that explaining things multiple times would be such a bother. Just think of it that way.”
Rorona tilted her head to the side, wondering what this was about. She nodded as if she understood.
“Okay. I understand.”
* * *
Along with Nara in the front, Rorona led the way to where Priesia was.
“Why is she so far away from everyone? It would be dangerous for her to be by herself. There’s still a reward on her discovery.”
Riley was following Nara and Rorona to where Priesia was when he asked. Nara said,
“That is… Ms. Priesia said she will be all right by herself. We did place guards around, but there probably isn’t anyone right near where she is.”
Riley and Nainiae thought a more detailed explanation was necessary. They tilted their heads to the side.
“You know where she is?”
Nara nodded and also added the supplementary explanation that he didn’t get to give earlier.
“Since the epidemic drenched the Karuta desert, nobody had been setting foot in this place, but… There happens to be an abandoned holy temple nearby.”
“A holy temple?”
“Yes. Ms. Priesia is currently praying there.”
Nainiae had seen a friend sending up prayers at a holy temple a few times during last year spring. So, Nainiae mumbled as if she understood.
“She had said a few times before that she want to be alone. I wondered if there was something difficult going on with her, but… She said it was not like that. She said it because there was a divine message.”
“When you say a divine message, you mean that?”
“Yes, the one she receives from the Goddess.”
Riley remembered that even the priestess from his past life received divine messages sometimes. So, Riley’s face had become complicated.
“You already knew?”
Having heard what Nainiae said, Nara relaxed his face because he realized there was no need for further explanation. He explained one more time briefly about Priesia’s current situation.
“As I explained earlier, I think Ms. Priesia is praying because of a divine message, although we don’t know what the message is about.”
Nara also said he didn’t know how long the prayer would take. He pointed at a ruined building to the front.
“That’s the place.”
The building was made of marble stones, so it appeared to have been a holy temple in the past. Riley nodded as if it was making sense. He walked toward the place.
“Y… Young Master! Wait!”
“I told you. Ms. Priesia is in middle of a prayer?”
Nara and Rorona both extended their hands toward Riley and told him to wait. Riley furrowed his brows lightly and turned to look at the two.
“Come on. It’s not like I said I’m going to go bother her?”
Riley said he will just watch her praying. Nara and Rorona glanced at each other. They looked like they were thinking this could not be helped. They followed Riley.
“Nainiae, go bring Sera. I think she would come find us easily using her sense of smell, but it would be a bother if she ran into Reitri and end up having a long conversation.”
Riley was walking into the ruined building, but he ordered Nainiae who was waiting behind him.
“Yes, I understand.”
Nainiae lowered her head after hearing Riley’s order. She used the teleport to disappear from the spot, and Riley started to move his eyes around as he quietly entered the building.
‘Is it because the building is rundown? Inside is relatively smaller than what I thought from how the building looked from the outside, yet… She is…’
There were rubbles blocking the path like obstacles inside. With his upper body lowered, Riley entered deeper and deeper into the place. Riley momentarily stopped walking after he found light exuding from the inside.
‘… praying here.’
In a building that was on the verge of collapsing, Priesia was there all by herself, on her knees and praying. A steady, warm light was coming from her body.
‘Her prayer pose and the atmosphere are most definitely different from that Helena lass.’
Riley was not sure if it was because Priesia worshipped a different goddess or if it was because Priesia lived in a different world. Priesia was very different from the priestess from Riley’s past life.
Riley sighed all of the sudden.
‘That’s why I should be extra careful. There definitely will be a problem later… I need to think carefully if it is the right choice to pick her or not.’
As the Priestess of this world, Priesia had the eyes that could pierce through to see the truth in the people. She also had the ability to heal the wounded. She definitely was one of the six that Riley needed. However,
‘Um. I was prepared to accept some troubles down the road, but… Now that I’m here to really pick her to be a part of this, I am having a hard time deciding.’
Riley thought about what would happen if he brought her to his past life’s world. He had a rough idea as to what would happen as the result of it. This was why Riley was concerned.
‘To make a rough guess as to what would happen… A collision between her and Helena would be the very first thing that might happen.’
Helena was a priestess just like Priesia. However, Helena had been frequently committing acts that she should not have as a priestess. Considering Priesia’s personality, if Helena and Priesia came to face each other, Riley was certain that Priesia would not just stand still.
‘Also, I am not certain if Priesia can use her Holy Power from this world in the other world. That is a problem as well.’
Priesia was the Priestess who worshipped Goddess Irenetsa. It was not yet known if it was possible for Priesia to use her Holy Power in the world of Riley’s past life. This concern was also worth pondering about.
Riley vacantly rolled his brain as he watched Priesia praying. He suddenly furrowed his brows.
‘What the? Why is she crying all of the sudden?’
Priesia was praying while exuding light from her body, and she was receiving the divine message from the Goddess. However, Priesia suddenly had tears flowing.
<… My child, this will be my very last message to you.>
<Last message… How could it be…>
<Do not be sad. The path you have walked, and the path you will walk… I’ll be blessing all of those moments.>
Priesia was unaware of who was watching. She was pouring out tears from hearing that this will be the last divine message from the Goddess Irenetsa.
<I’m still lacking in so many ways. Instead of blessings, it would be better if you gave me teachings. Please do not go… I… I…>
Priesia was born as a priestess. She had never even seen the faces of her parents. So, Priesia had been following the Goddess as if she was her mother. What the Goddess said was like saying that this will be the last time they will be seeing each other. So, Priesia was shedding tears, unable to stop.
<When you open your eyes, follow the boy who is watching you from your behind. Also… you only need to light the path he walks with bright light. My child, do not forget. I’ll always be standing behind and blessing you.>
<Goddess, wait… Please wait a little bit. Just a little longer… Please allow the prayer to continue for just a little bit longer. Your voice… just a little longer…>
The bright light from Priesia’s body was slowly subsiding.
It seemed something sad had happened. With her eyes tightly shut, she was shedding tears of sorrow. Also, she started to tighten her two hands.
She quietly started to cry. Wondering if she was all right, Nara and Rorona were about to walk over to her. However, they were blocked by Riley’s arm. They broke cold sweats.
“Young Master, why…”
“Just let her be.”
It was because Riley noticed that the sound of her moaning was similar to when someone lost a precious family.
She had her hands gathered together and her fingers locked for prayer. Her hands were shaking.
‘Her energy… became bigger.’
From the back, Riley was watching Priesia in secret. He also noticed that the energy that Priesia possessed had become significantly more powerful in comparison to just before the prayer ended.
‘Did something happen?’
Priesia moaned like that for a long time before getting a grip. With swelled up and reddened eyes, she looked behind her.
“… There, you are there, aren’t you?”
With choked up voice, she asked. Nara and Rorona, who had been waiting for Priesia’s tears to stop, got up.
“… Are you all right?”
Priesia nodded lightly as the response. She then locked her gaze with Riley who was standing behind them. She lowered her head and greeted him.
Riley lifted his right hand to greet her back. He glanced at Nara and then said,
“I have something to tell you, so…”
It looked like Priesia already anticipated this. She kept her mouth closed and waited to show that she was ready.
“This involves me, doesn’t it?”
Rorona, who was standing next to Nara, was not a part of the six parts. However, Riley decided it would be necessary to explain this to her as well. So, Riley had the three sit there and started to explain.
* * *
“… So, I’ll need you to come with me.”
Similar to how he did it with Sera, he mentioned the ‘world below’ and explained the situation. Riley waited for the two people’s responses.
“As for me…”
As if he was having a hard time understanding this, Nara had been tilting his head to the side. However, he was the one who responded first.
“As for me, if you need my help, I could go to even more dangerous places for you.”
Shrugging his shoulders, Nara quickly said he would go. Riley asked in a tone that questioned if Nara would regret it.
“Will you be all right?”
Nara nodded responded.
“You helped me handle what happened after my father’s death. You even enabled me to meet Mr. Ian who I had been idolizing. So… I should repay you for your kindness. Honestly, I don’t have a good head on my shoulder like Mr. Reitri, so I had been pondering about how to repay you…”
Although Nara said he would go without hesitation, it seemed there was something that bothered him. He glanced at Rorona who was sitting next to him. Nara said,
“It is just that I have the contract that I signed with Mr. Reitri. Also… leaving Rorona behind is…”
Nara was blurring the end of his sentence. Rorona sighed all of the sudden instead.
“Ugh. Commander. Just go and come back.”
“From Young Master’s explanation, although it would be a long trip for you… the time frame is different, so it would be no different from being gone for a bathroom break in our time, right?”
It seemed Rorona understood Riley’s explanation completely in a single breath. She flickered with her index finger as she spoke. She poked Nara’s forehead with the index finger and cheered for him.
“Please go to the trip. Just don’t die like Isen.”
Nara vacantly stared at Rorona who was his fellow mercenary. Nara broke into a suppressed laughter.
“Kuk… All right. I got it.”
With confident look on his face, Nara asked,
“You gave me the permission, right?”
“I didn’t give you the permission to die.”
Now, it became certain that Nara was going to join the group. Riley’s gaze was directed at Priesia who was sitting next to Nara and Rorona.
“What about you?”
“I’ll go too.”
She was crying her eyes out only until a moment ago, so her eyes were swelled up. Still, she looked determined.
“There was the last divine message from Goddess Irenetsa. If I complete this… This world will become peaceful enough that there would be no need for more divine messages.”
Priesia tightly grabbed onto her skirt. She looked directly at Riley’s face and said once again,
“So… I’ll go. Please allow me to go with you.”
Riley nodded. He looked like he had something he needed to check. Riley asked Priesia,
“Before we go, we need to confirm if you can use your power in the other world.”
Priesia nodded. Instead of a verbal response, she raised her right hand.
“Do not be concerned about that.”
From her right hand, a steady light started to exude.
“It’s already ready.”
Thanks to the divine message she received earlier, Priesia explained that she would be able to use her power in the other world. She lightly made a fist with her hand.
“… All right.”
While looking into Priesia’s eyes, Riley nodded. He brought out the paper that had the ‘Six Parts’ written.
‘… The last.’
Of the six people, five spots were filled. The remaining one was…