So instead of focusing on ‘someone intentionally dropped the chandelier to harm the saintess…’
“When I was injured after the chandelier fell, was there anybody else besides you and a few servants who helped?”
Reneben took a breath.
I kept talking, recalling the dangerous incident that just happened. So that it would not happen again, I want to make sure that the temple will not be ignored.
“If the victim was the crown prince instead, how would the nobles react?”
The nobles were simple. I could make random comments and they would believe me. If I pointed to an innocent beast and called it a demon, then that beast would become a demon to them. They firmly believed that I would not harm them.
“None of the nobles rebuked the duke for saving the princess instead of me when the chandelier fell.”
Since the duke was also a knight, he should have protected me since I have a higher status. However, people did not criticize the duke for not doing so.
It was like they took me for granted as they watched me on the floor bleeding.
Reneben’s face turned pale.
“To them, they considered the temple to be at their beck and call, even when they have something simple like a cold.”
As I said it, I became bitter and couldn’t stop myself from laughing.
“So I’m putting restrictions on the temple, so that we can reject their requests.”
“There’s no law that says the temple cannot do that. Right, Reneben?”
Reneben lowered his head again. I grabbed the candy jar and placed another piece of candy in my mouth. The sweetness slowly filled my mouth.
Reneben’s gaze changed slightly as he realized something. He also had a worried look on his face at the same time.
It was getting late so I sent Reneben back to his room. I lie down on the sofa in the drawing room. On days like this, the best thing to do was to watch tv or play on the phone. But there’s nothing like that here.
After eating a few more candies, I picked up the candy jar thinking about eating a few more. Eating a late night dessert was probably bad for my body. I still had some left in the jar so I grabbed one more.
There were requests for help from the nobles but they have been rejected as previously discussed.
They probably thought that in the end, it’s still just a temple.
It is a temple anyway. I made this decision based on a moment’s anger. They judged us as pushovers who would do any favors.
Crackle – the sound of letters burning in a fire.
“There are nobles that are angry for not helping… why?”
I was watching the letters that I just read burned when I heard a knock.
“Saintess, I’m coming in.”
It was Reneben, who had been waiting for me. My body was stiff from sitting on the chair.
I sighed as I saw Reneben’s tired face under the daylight. Looks like I was not the only one who could not sleep.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine… but, Miss Emilone…?”
“I’m fine of course, except for the letters that keep coming.”
As soon as I placed the last letter over the candle, it burned quickly.
“It’s because the damages they are suffering are getting worse,” I muttered as I looked at the pile of burnt letters. I noticed the expression on Reneben.
“Reneben, why do you look so guilty?”
“I have to help those that need help, can I not?”
Reneben closed his mouth and snorted.
“Even Reneben thinks that the nobles are at the center.”
I moved towards Reneben and sat myself on the table in front of him and smiled.
“Now that I reduced the manpower for the nobles, I could increase the manpower for the slums.”
Reneben’s shoulders stiffened.
“I told the nobles who used to rely on us to resolve any demon issues they could do themselves.”
Reneben gently bit his lower lips and swept his hand in his hair.
“Let’s look ahead not just at what’s in front of us. You’re the high priest, right?”
I looked at Reneben’s trembling eyes.
“It’s not the nobles that you should feel guilty about right now.”
“It’s a problem that’s been neglected.”
“It’s not neglected…”
“I made a mistake… It’s not neglect but rather the circumstances.” The more I spoke the more I got choked up and my lashes trembled. “I know. The people do not have a voice. They are under constant pressure from the nobles and cannot complain of their situation.”
Reneben began to shake his shoulders.
In the end, I had no choice but to stop there for now.
“We’re already getting the money from the Emperor. The money that nobles give us as a reward is important, but…”
The temple had a decent amount of money saved up. That money could be a good foundation for what I wanted to do in the future.
I slowly brought up the main point to Reneben.
“In fact, I wanted to create an opportunity.”
I was looking at the floor and then lifted my head up. I felt like the gaze I had was important in a situation like this.
“First of all, look ahead like this. All we have to do is to keep looking forward…”
Maybe he liked what he heard as Reneben did not say anything and kept nodding his head.
“You were saying… an opportunity?”
“An opportunity the nobles cannot refuse.”
Reneben had an uncertain look on his face.
“I think a year after I’ve been here is enough time for me to understand the situation and how things happen.”
I took off my shoes and walked onto the carpet. I loved the feeling of the softness underneath my bare feet.
I took the third and fourth books from the brown bookcase.
“Noblesse oblige. We need to know where everything comes from and how to distribute them properly.”
I held the books by my face and smiled while Reneben had a serious look.
The tea was simply prepared.
Reneben sat across from me. He was the only one that I felt was one of my ‘people’.
“Reneben, how many orphanages are there in the Empire now?”
“What is it…?”
Although it was an expected answer I still felt bitter as I twisted the end of my hair with my finger.
“It’s a place that takes care of abandoned children using funds from the national treasury.”
“If there is… it will be helpful.”
I smiled at those words and thought of the possibilities.
“Reneben, I’m going to do 3 things using my position as a saintess.”
I waited for him to say more before continuing, “I’m going to set up orphanages, medical facilities, and lower taxes.”
“What past saints could not do, right?”
Reneben became quiet.
“The taxes are the same as before but there’s no war currently and there’s no new public construction right now. Isn’t it funny?”
“But the nobles…”
“If they disagree, I can say no to catching demons.” I shrugged my shoulders. “This is a chance to show that I am different from previous saints.”
Those looking at me would have thought of previous saints and would not have cared about such threats. They would have acted arrogantly and ignored it.
Not anymore, the temple will only move on my orders. The nobles probably know that clearly now from the recent situation.
“Even if they buy a new dress they can spend less on jewelry and therefore lower the people’s taxes.”
The reason why previous saints did not establish orphanages or medical facilities was simple. They did not have that knowledge. They could not have thought of an orphanage, even more so with a medical facility. People did not have a proper place to get medical treatment currently.
However, only the nobles can be a member of parliament.
“It seems difficult, right?”
“That’s why I am doing it. I am not trying to just be good, I am going to do something good.”
“How… did you think of this?”
I slowly got off the carpet. I put on my shoes again as well as a shawl over my shoulder.
“Normally… in the temple, the people you meet are all nobles. No matter how much you think of the people, in the end it’s all noble oriented.”
“Stop!” I clapped my hands loudly to interrupt Reneben. “Don’t worry.”
Reneben looked at me and shook his head in hesitation.
“I don’t know what you are thinking, but don’t worry too much.” I thought of the princess who would be a great help in this matter. “Because Princess Ronella will help us.”
“I will make her be on our side.”
Of course, even without her, I will make things go my way. Though, it was clear that things will go smoother with her around.
Dear Princess Ronella… I smiled at the thought of sending her a letter this evening.