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Chapter 97 – Critical Hit
“God created the mother to love her child, and the child to feel safe in her arms…”
The saint’s soothing voice echoed dignifiedly through the cathedral. This cathedral is huge and spacious. It’s not as if she’s shouting, but why does her voice carry so well? Is she using some kind of magic tool, or is it a structural feature of the cathedral, or is it just that her voice is so good?
Eh? The content of the sermon? To be honest, I’m not really interested in that. There are many quotations from the Bible and other scriptures, and as I don’t know the original source, it’s kind of hard to get into my head. However, from the story’s content, I think that Adel is a being with advanced genetic engineering technology.
In particular, the process that explains the creation of subhumans and monsters, or their development, seems to be just the same.
For example, subhumans are originally sinners. The Lord God Adel apparently branded the sinners as beasts and ordered them to serve humans and work hard. When the sinner has paid for their sins sufficiently, the brand of the beast disappears, and they are allowed to become human again.
Paradoxically, subhumans who still retain their beastly characteristics are sinners who have not been forgiven by Adel and must work hard to serve humans. Also, among the subhumans, the ones who are farther away from humans in terms of appearance are the ones who carry the most serious sins.
The words “criminal,” “experimental,” and “mutant” flashed through my mind. I don’t know if Adel actually told the sinners that he would bring them back after they paid for their sins, and I don’t know if he actually had the technique to remove the brand of the beast. But the way things are going, I think he was a real fraud.
I can’t believe that all subhumans are born sinners. I don’t think they’re any different from humans except for a slight difference in their appearance. There may be some differences in their natural abilities due to their appearance, but it’s the same for humans.
Some people are blessed with good physiques and are strong, some people are fast, some people have good noses and eyes, and some are smart… There are so many differences in natural abilities. Even the appearance of the person is different.
“This is the end of my sermon.”
It seems that the sermon ended while I was absorbed in the sermon’s content, or rather in my thoughts about Adel.
I thought that this would be the end of the sermon, but the people who had been listening to the sermon in the cathedral began to line up in order of their seats. Apparently, the saint was going to give some kind of blessing to everyone present.
To be honest, I don’t want to get too close to the saint, but… it looks like everyone is going, so if I’m the only one sneaking out, I’ll probably stand out. It seems that the church knights are keeping a close eye on the cathedral as well, so it would be best to refrain from any conspicuous actions.
“Please forgive me… forgive me…”
The next guy next to me is still… or the guy behind me in line. He’s still mumbling, and it’s scary. What kind of sin did he commit, you ask?
Well, it seems that the saint will soon be bestowing her blessings on him, so he can do his confession or whatever he wants. Yeah.
Little by little, the line moved forward, and eventually, I could see the head of the line. Apparently, the saint would say something to the believers, and the believers would bow their heads and accept the call, then put some copper coins in a box as they left.
There’s money here too! I checked the weight of the wallet on my chest, thinking uselessly, “Living in a city costs money, doesn’t it…? Well, a few copper coins are fine. You can listen to the saint directly and receive a blessing. A few copper coins might be a small price to pay for that.
The saint is like the top idol of the Adel religion, I guess. If you think that the cost of attending a live solo performance and handshake session by the saint is roughly equivalent to one meal, isn’t it cheap?
While I was thinking about that, it seemed that my turn had come. Eh? You want me to stop thinking about things that don’t matter and start thinking about what to do in case of an emergency? You could say that, Colonel*. Since I can’t predict what will happen at all, don’t you think it is a waste of brain resources to think and worry about it?
[T/n: Sorry again, I don’t know about the reference.]
The only thing I can do is to maintain a high degree of flexibility and respond flexibly. In other words, just go with the flow.
Don’t worry; I’m confident in my ability to improvise.
The saint’s beautiful face and crimson eyes remained motionless as she stared at me.
No, I said I was confident in my improvisation, but how should I react to this?
I looked at the priestesses at her side to see what to do, but they too had a puzzled look on their faces. I can’t seem to rely on them for this.
When the saint was about to say something, that was the moment.
A strange sound like a monster bird came from behind me. I tried to turn around to see what was going on a moment later, but the mumbler behind me almost pushed me away.
So what can I say…? I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular when I acted. It was more like a reflex. I’ll admit I was a little annoyed with the guy.
I just elbowed him as hard as I could where his head was probably. It was just a coincidence that I hit him right in the middle of his face, right under his nose ― in other words, in his middle. It was a heartfelt blow for me and a painful one for him.
But it wasn’t enough to mow down his consciousness with a single blow, and he waved whatever was in his hand around aimlessly in extreme pain and confusion. It was a shocking blow to me, just like the elbow strike that I had delivered to him.
I felt a tremendous impact on my side. I looked over and saw that the man was holding something that looked like a knife in his hand, and it was sticking out of my side.
I was pulled down and pinned down by something.
No, no, not me, I’m the victim. It hurts, it hurts.
It’s not the wound on my side that hurts; it’s the feeling of being held down. What, it’s not a big wound? No, I don’t think so. It was a deep stab, and that spot might have been in my liver. If so, it’s a fatal wound.
Rather, not being able to feel the pain of the stab wound, isn’t this a bad thing? Could it have been poisoned or something? That thin knife is unlikely to be lethal unless it sticks very well, and it’s been poisoned, hasn’t it?
Assassination with a poisoned knife, the target of this assassination must be the saint. That means that this grumbling bastard is the white pig guy… Oh no, I’m getting sleepy.
You’re kidding, right? In a place like this…? It’s not like I’m being hunted down by a bunch of people from the Holy Kingdom who know who I am; it’s just an accident.
I don’t think I’m going to be able to stay conscious. Hang in there. Hang in there, me. Me, or rather, my skills!
Hang in there, my skills! I mean, Iron Skin-san, do your job! It’s stuck right in there! Oh no, I should have taken the survivalist route… Is this the end of my adventure?
That was my last thought.
It was a white ceiling. It had some kind of intricate and prestigious carvings on it. It’s a rare experience to feel like you’re in an expensive place just by looking at the ceiling.
“An unknown ceiling.”
Apparently, I am still alive, so I spit out the typical line. It’s one of the lines I’d like to say at least once in my life.
So, what the hell is going on?
That mumbling bastard stabbed me with a knife and knocked me out. And now I’m lying in a room with a very high ceiling. The bed was fine, the covers were fine too, and it smelled like the herbs I used to smell when I made potions with Isla.
It seemed that I had been treated well. Considering the situation, I should assume that I was taken to either an Adel church facility or the royal castle for protection.
I see, so it was by chance that I saved the saint from the murderous blade of an unscrupulous person. It’s a little surprising that I wasn’t abandoned and treated well.
No, even if it’s just for the sake of protecting the saint, the church couldn’t just abandon me even if it is a suspicious rootless mercenary.
I writhe in my bed, puzzling over how I should behave. I touched my hand to the area where I had been stabbed but felt no pain or discomfort. The bandage seems to be wrapped around it, but I think the wound has already healed.
As I sat up and tried to look around the room, my eyes met with crimson eyes.
There was the saint.
Her hair shines like gold thread, her skin is as white as white porcelain, and her eyes are as crimson as red jade. Even when wearing a thick, pure white holy robe, it is still possible to see her slender body.
She is a beautiful woman with a character that is the complete opposite of Sylphy’s.
The saint is just staring at me as if she were a doll or something, not even a flinch. In other words, she’s staring at me intently.
“You will make a hole in me if you stare at me like――”
A voice that sounded like a bell interrupted my words.
“Are you a god or an apostle?”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
The saint asked me with a straight face, and I had to reply with a straight face as well.