Her eyes opened wider, but her mouth was clamped shut.
She seemed to be pondering something for a bit, before finally opening her mouth again. "If you dont have any promises made for dinner, would you like to stop by at our church later?"
"I-I mean, you are my lifes saviour but I havent even repaid you properly yet, so E-even if my cooking isnt good enough to serve a noble like yourself, Sir Paladin"
Oh, shes inviting me to dinner?
I thought about her offer for a moment there, and then I suddenly recalled Adolfs face once more.
The people I had healed could use divinity to some degree now. That fact was still bugging me even as we stood here.
"Alright, I will. I have plenty of time to kill, after all."
"Well, Ill see you later in the"
I looked up at the sky.
The sun was still up there, shining brightly. I figured that itd be around a good four to five hours before it got dark enough to say that evening had come.
Well, it wasnt like I had any other business to take care of.
"Were you in the middle of running errands?"
When I asked her that, Yuria flinched a little and hurriedly nodded.
"This is good. I shall accompany you."
Yurias eyes went round from surprise, resembling a rabbits.
"I was planning to purchase items for travelling. Also, I have some things to ask you."
She nodded with a slightly dazed face, but soon trotted ahead of me with cheery steps as if she felt happy about something.
I followed after her, but also didnt forget to sneak a glance behind me.
For some reason, Ive been picking up this strange sense of presence. But I couldnt be sure whether it was just my current mood acting up or someone was really tailing me right now.
Well, the truth should come out sooner or later.
While walking along the way, I took a good look at our surroundings.
The marketplace was quite lively. The shopkeepers were selling all sorts of items, and even some performing troupes were putting up stage plays or other types of entertainment to distract the shoppers.
I stopped walking for a bit and stared at one of the streetside performances. Yuria also stopped next to me and stared at the actors staging a play.
I asked her, "What are they re-enacting?"
"I think its about Lord Saint from the Theocratic Empire. You know, the most famous person right now, the Seventh Imperial Prince."
I was surprised by her answer and paid closer attention to the play.
The actor who seemed to be playing me recited some lines that contained way too many cringe-worthy nonsense, then began swinging around a spear to cut down another actor playing the part of a Vampire.
"I heard that Lord Saint uses a spear and a magic staff to hunt down the Vampires."
I ended up chuckling wryly after feeling a bit hollow inside.
My mains were a shovel and a bunch of muskets, though
Well, the rumours seemed to have mutated somewhat before reaching this place, which was unsurprising, really. Not only was Aihrance some distance away from the Theocratic Empire, but to these people, a musket still remained a decorative ornament while a shovel was a simple tool meant to dig up the earth. This sort of dramatic licence-taking was inevitable.
And not to forget, this was the kingdom of magic, so people here probably determined that the muskets internal structure made it impossible to hunt down a Vampire.
The people here mustve chosen to go with the most plausible-sounding weapons that resembled a shovel and a musket, which would be a spear and a magic staff.
As I thought, one shouldnt readily trust rumours.
The play was certainly thrilling to watch. It told the tales of me hunting down the Vampires, saving an Imperial Princes life, and even rescuing the princess of an enemy nation.
The me in the play was easily the most righteous, honourable warrior in the whole world with boundless hopes for the future.
"Hes so cool, isnt he?"
I glanced at Yuria next to me.
She was clapping her hands in appreciation.
"Without a doubt, he must be a benevolent prince who loves and deeply cares for his countless subjects."
"You might be wrong on that one."
I immediately denied the possibility.
It seemed that the rumours of me being a mangnani had long stopped circulating by now.
Yuria looked up at me and smiled awkwardly. Her expression said that she didnt expect me to refute her so quickly.
Judging from her demeanour, it seemed that the orphanages director, Sister Evelyn, hadnt told her the truth about me.
I decided to not mind that and we walked away from there.
"Young miss over there, why dont you have a go at this game to win some prizes? First two tries are for free!"
A stall keeper called out to Yuria as we walked through the market and she turned her head.
I looked as well. It seemed that this world also had those games where one could win dolls as prizes. You know, the one where you throw something at the doll, a toy dagger in this case, and if you manage to hit one, then you get that doll.
Yuria cautiously sneaked a glance at me, and I nodded to say, go ahead.
Even though there was no need for her to seek my permission, she still asked me. She then cheerily headed to the stall.
"The kids back in the church love dolls like those." Yuria picked up a toy dagger. "Zenis likes teddy bears, while Berin prefers wooden figurines."
While saying that, Yuria loosened her wrist muscles. And with a smooth, practised movement, she got into a throwing position and threw the wooden dagger. The toy blade accurately struck the doll, but the power behind the throw seemed to be somewhat lacking as the toy didnt fall off the shelf.
Yuria made a disappointed face at that.
"Do you, by any chance, know how to wield divinity?"
When I asked her that question, Yuria looked stunned for a moment and quickly looked back at me. "D-divinity, you say?"
I crossed my arms in front of my chest and nodded silently.
Yuria was healed by me. That was why I couldnt help but wonder what if, but she shook her head to say no. "Im sorry, but I dont know how to."
Hmm, was I wrong, then?
No, hang on. This should be how it was.
It had been just over a month after I healed her. So itd be way too over the top if she managed to awaken the ability to wield divinity and start using it already.
Adolf said it took him one whole year before that happened, so maybe I was asking for too much from her so soon.
"But Im studying right now to wield it in the future, sir. Theres a textbook to become a trainee Priest back in the church. Sister Evelyn really treasures that book, saying that its really expensive. Ive been studying a lot by using that book for the past two years."
Yuria gripped the second toy dagger tightly.
"Im still not sure how, but Mm Like this"
She held the dagger with both hands and closed her eyes.
"The textbook said I must pray with all my heart first."
I observed Yuria closely as she began offering a prayer.
"Oh, dear goddess of love and mercy, Gaia"
Although it was really faint, pure-white aura started leaking out from her..
My brows shot up under my helm when I noticed that.
I began rubbing my chin and studied the phenomenon taking place.
There wasnt a lot of pure-white aura leaking out of her, and not too long afterwards, it scattered away and dissipated from existence.
Judging from her bitter, disappointed expression, it seemed that Yuria herself failed to detect the aura due to how faint it was.
"The book said that Id get to sense a really sacred aura soon, so I must keep exalting Gaia, but it doesnt seem to work for me."
"Who was the author of that textbook?"
Yuria tilted her head this way and that. "It was a person named Raphael Astoria."
Well, damn. That geezer being the top dog in magic within the Theocratic Empire must be true all along
"Go ahead and try again," I said.
Yuria tilted her head some more, but she eventually nodded and began offering another prayer. She brought her hands together and the toy dagger remained in her grip.
I silently placed my hand on her shoulder. She flinched a little, but her focus didnt waver.
I began adjusting the divinity oozing out from Yurias body through my hand. The faint aura of divinity that had been trembling weakly began to slowly and steadily find its equilibrium.
Her divinity, which was pretty much the same as mine, resonated and responded to my control.
Sweat drops formed on Yurias forehead. She was clearly having a tough time.
However, this was still not enough.
The amount of divinity permeating in her could only be described as pitiful. So, I decided to inject more divinity through my hand gripping her shoulder.
Yurias eyes opened wider at that.
More aura of divinity gushed out of her body as the divine energy spread out to the rest of her body. A portion of the energy enveloped the toy dagger.
She stared at the dagger before sucking in a large breath. With a stunned look on her face, she alternated her gaze between me and the toy in her hand. "E-excuse me, but what is going on?"
I simply urged her on. "Throw it now."
"Y-you mean, this thing?"
Yuria stared at the toy dagger now containing divinity with amazed eyes, then assumed a position, loosened her wrist, and threw it at the doll before her eyes.
The air in front of her exploded, and
The doll was cleanly pierced through before blowing up into bits. The dolls stuffing rained down everywhere and the shelf collapsed noisily from the impact.
The doll shop owner stared at this spectacle in unbridled shock. Yuria remained frozen in a throwing posture, her eyes nearly popping out of their sockets.
On the other hand, I couldnt help but grin broadly.
With this, I became certain.
I could spread my divinity to other people and grow the number of clerics that way.
Almost similar to how the undead would increase their numbers, in other words.
Yuria stared at me in a silent daze, but I simply patted her head and said the following words to her.
"Congratulations on becoming a cleric, Yuria."
< 115. A minor connection -2 (Part One and Two) > Fin.