“Erzen, do you like Priestess Yulina?”


Herace, who saw Yulina off, asked Erzen as she sat at the table.
The lunch couldn’t be better with the bread Yulina brought along with a moderately cold soup.
Erzen whined and nodded as he tried to scoop up the soup with a wooden spoon.


She’s the second best I like after Mom and Anna.”




At Erzen’s answer, Herace wrapped a cloth around the child’s neck with a bit of a bitter face.
Yulina was one of the few adults liked by Erzen, who was much more shy than his peers.
But when this winter passes and spring comes, Erzen will no longer see Yulina.


Herace asked again, with an immature gesture to Erzen, who was eating soup.


“Then will Erzen be sad if he doesn’t see Priestess Yulina?”


Erzen stopped spooning and stared at Herace.
The little head slowly went up and repeated going down.


“Yes, but Erzen is fine as long as he has Mom.
Then he’s not sad.”


Tears rolled up.
Herace couldn’t resist and hugged Erzen tightly.
The child was hugged by his mother as usual, so he wasn’t surprised.
Herace said, patting Erzen on the head.


“Mom will always be with you.
I also don’t feel sad if I have Erzen.”




There was a loud voice in the drawing room of the temple.
Standing next to Dianna, Yulina looked at Count Ford in front of her eyes with astonishment.


“He tried to do something terrible and capture a woman with a child in a sacred place.
It’s natural to kick them out.”


“What? So you blocked my son’s prayer only because of a commoner? Is the Priestess out of her mind!”


The Count’s words made Yulina laugh. Oh, my God, I can’t believe you’re talking like this.
She was beyond disbelief.


‘Did he say, I, Priestess Yulina is crazy? And here I always tell the other priestesses for his service to the Goddess.’


Previously, Count Ford, whom Yulina had seen, was a rare believer.


Every year, he invited priestesses to his castle and stayed up all night to beg the Goddess for forgiveness.
The sight of him with gray hair praying without opening his eyes, reflecting on the crimes he had committed over the past years, drew admiration from the priestesses.


“It’s donation.
Please give this money to the orphans in the village on my behalf.”


Besides, even though he was a noble, he wasn’t very detached.
Although the taxes collected from the territory was small, he always stayed frugal and did not neglect to show mercy to the people of his territory.


In particular, his donations to the poor or the temples in the territory was so large that the religious people cherished their Lord deeply.
And Yulina, who had seen it for years, believed that he was truly the right person.


“William, if the child misses the time to pray and is not forgiven by the Goddess! Then the Priestess will be responsible!”


But that was also an old saying.
There was no proper appearance of him who prayed all night.
He was expressing his anger at the work of the priestess as if they had done a sin.
The Count was only worried that William would not be forgiven by the Goddess, and did not think a word about  Herace, who was almost in big trouble because of his son.


“I keep telling you, Count, the responsibility for this is to William…….”


“Don’t keep blaming William! I’m sure it’s the commoner’s fault.
She’s a woman who wanders around without a husband.
Isn’t it obvious that all the commoner women are like that? She must have seduced William, my child with her body.” [T/N: As father as son.
I’m not even surprised.]


“What kind of nonsense is that?”


Eventually, Dianna’s mouth burst into shouts.
When the Head Priestess stared at the Count with an angry expression, the Count clenched his lips and looked embarrassed.
However, he soon put the blame back on Herace and took his son’s side.
He could not let her son lose the opportunity to beg mercy to the Goddess because of a commoner, who was not even an aristocratic woman or had a husband.


“Hmph! She’s not a widow without a reason.
This must be the anger of the Goddess for losing her husband so early.
So don’t try to chase away my innocent child, just chase the unclean woman.
Or I’ll throw you out of the fief and from the temple as a Lord.”


Yulina, who couldn’t resist the Count’s threatening appearance, tried to step forward, but Dianna raised her hand to block her.
The Head Priestess straightened her back and shouted in a cold voice.


“The temple is beyond the reach of secular power.
If you do so, I have no choice but to tell the Bishop that the Lord kicked out the servants of the Goddess to embrace the sins of the blood vessels.”




The word Bishop gave the Count an unanswered impression.
It was a great insult to him who believed himself to be a faithful believer.
Eventually, the Count took a step back.


“All right, I won’t tell you about her again.
But be prepared for William to pray here as soon as possible.
Or I’ll cut off the donation to the temple right away!”


Bang! The sound of the door closing violently represented the Count’s mood.
Yulina helped Dianna, who was reeling as soon as the Count disappeared, and sat her in a nearby chair.


“Priestess Dianna…….”


“Don’t worry, I will not let William enter this temple.
What prayer.”


Yulina also thought Dianna’s decision was right.
However, the donation made by the Count was an amount that was hard to ignore.
She blurted out the words before ending with a blur and looked worried.


“But then the donation…….”


“This temple has endured even when there was no donation.
More than that, I know you’re worried about Herace’s party.
The moment he will come there, I know the wicked him will run more wild.”


Dianna, who touched her forehead as if she had a headache, sighed for a long time and looked outside.
Dark clouds were filling the whole sky as if it were going to snow again.




It seemed like it was snowing heavily last night, but it was sunny the next morning.
Anna also went outside in the bright sun, saying she had business to do.
Herace was going to have a walk after a long time with Erzen, who had been whining about wanting to build a snowman.


“I’m going to make a big snowman!”


“Yes, Erzen.
Let’s go out and make a snowman.”


Looking at Erzen, who was happy, it was worthwhile to sleep less throughout the snowy night and finish the work.
Herace thickened her son’s clothes, thinking that she would play with Erzen as much as she could today when the weather was good.


“It’s uncomfortable, Mom.”


“It’s cold outside.
You can’t go out if you don’t dress like this.”


Erzen, who wore more than two layers of clothes and a scarf, whined that he was uncomfortable, but jumped well in the room at the thought of making a snowman.
After arranging Erzen’s clothes once more, Herace searched the drawer to put on a shawl to keep from the cold herself.


“Mom! I want to go out first.”


“No, Erzen.
You have to go with mom.


Herace tried to catch Erzen, but Erzen quickly went out of the room.
Soon after, there was a giggling sound, and she heard the door that connected to the outside opening.
Herace hurried to find the shawl, wrap it around, and followed him out.
The snow piled up through the slightly open gap of the door was reflected by the light and could be seen shining.


“Erzen, you must go with Mom…… What?”


Herace opened the door with an angry voice.
But she couldn’t see the child who was supposed to be outside the door.
Herace called Erzen with a pale face.




It was only a few minutes.
No, it wasn’t even a few minutes.
But why…….
Erzen was a small child.
She was sure he didn’t go far.
Herace tried to suppress her anxiety and looked everywhere.
And soon a small child’s footprints came into her eyes.




As if to prove that he stepped there, the remaining footprints continued around the corner of the building.
Herace, relieved, quickly turned the corner following the child’s trail.




Then Erzen was seen. When did he get there with such small steps? The child was sitting right in front of the shrub at the end of the wall, clumping his eyes.
When Herace saw the child’s face behind the scarf turning red, she approached her son with a smile, forgetting her anxiety and nervousness.
Her heart, which was trembling as if it would sink immediately, had regained stability when she saw the child’s face.


“Erzen, I said you have to go with me.”


Erzen’s expression, who found Herace, also brightened.
But in an instant, Erzen’s eyes grew round.
The child opened his mouth and shook his head at Herace with a scared expression.
And in a quivering voice, he called out Herace.


“Mom, Mom….”


“Erzen, what’s wrong with you…… Oh, my!”


Herace did not see the shrub she had passed by walking, nor did a large shadow covering her own shadow, because she was busy looking at the child.
As she reached for the child, a large body overtook her and covered her mouth.


“Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!”


Herace struggled to escape.
Another man was seen approaching the frightened Erzen and covering the child’s mouth with a white cloth.
Erzen struggled with his thin limbs and soon drooped his limbs.
Herace’s eyes grew bigger and her defiance intensified.


“Ugh! Ugh!”


However, Herace’s vision also gradually faded.
The unpleasant and strange scent gnawed the mind from the cloth to the nose.
In the end, Herace couldn’t overcome the cold snow and called her son’s name inside.






“Woowu, I really don’t know anything.
I don’t know!”


Rizbelle burst into tears and shook her head violently.
However, Dianna and Yulina’s faces, who brought her to question, were only strict.
Dianna said in a cold voice, gazing fiercely at Rizbelle, who was kneeling.


“Rizbelle, there are more than one or two priestesses who have seen you hanging around the annex for a few days.
So tell me the truth.
What do you know about the disappearance of Herace and Erzen?”


“How can you doubt me, Priestess? Maybe she took the kid and ran away.
She was a wanderer in the first place.
I mean….”


Rizbelle was not cut out for lying.
Shaking pupils and hand clasping away from Dianna’s eyes, it was visible she wasn’t telling the truth.
But Anna, who had been biting her lips so far, popped out with an unstable appearance.






“Tell me! If you don’t tell me, I’ll tear your mouth apart!”

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