675 – A Certain Girl and the Past Saint (side: Miria)
“W-what is that person doing? I’d heard that it wasn’t a statue that you could just walk up and touch…”
Meltia-san looks up at the figure atop the Angel Lumira statue’s head, and utters worryingly.
“Don’t mess around, get down here!”
“Who the hell do you think you are, stepping on Lumira-sama’s head!?”
“Catch that woman and bring her to the warrior priests!”
The furious masses look up at the statue and hurl abuse. As I thought, it isn’t some sort of ritual.
“Everyone is seething with anger… I don’t know what she’s planning, but if she comes down, she could be beaten to death.”
Meltia-san speaks with a bitter expression.
“B-but, Meltia-san, for her to climb all the way to the top of that gigantic statue without even being noticed by anyone… that woman isn’t an ordinary person. She might be a famed martial artist or mage.”
“What could someone like that possibly hope to achieve by climbing the Angel Lumira statue? It’s practically the symbol of the Holy City, so climbing it is rash, even with the Holy Knights out of the city at the moment.”
I look up at the person standing atop the statue’s head. Then, concealed by her hood, her lips move slightly.
The statue’s head bursts in a shower of prismatic light. Together with a thunderous roar, the giant stone head is blasted clean off.
After the smoke clears, the angel’s head is gone. The mysterious person is floating above the neck of the statue. Wings made of white light have appeared on her back.
“T-that light just now… I saw it at the royal capital…”
That prismatic light… It was the magic that destroyed part of Alban in a mere flash, used by the dragon of light that appeared following the destruction of the castle. I could never forget that sight. The destruction from back then is etched into the back of my eyes.
The people gathered shriek and flee from the angel statue. In a daze, I stare blankly up at the figure floating high in the air, not knowing what I should do.
The violent winds of the explosion have lifted her hood, revealing her long flowing aqua-coloured hair, and a thin high nose. Her features are in good order, but I can’t feel a shred of emotion from her expression.
“I’ve never heard of such a mage…”
The scale of her magic alone places her leagues above every mage I’ve seen up till now. I can’t believe what I just saw – she destroyed a mass of stone over three metres wide in an instant, without leaving so much as a trace. I’ve never heard even a single rumour of someone so powerful existing.
“S-some country’s mage is attacking! Liarm is said to be reckless in its diplomacy! It probably incurred hatred from somewhere! Now that Lilixira and the Holy Knights aren’t here, they’ve sent in their vanguard! We need to run, Miria!”
“Please wait, Meltia-san! T-there’s no way adventurers like us can run away first! We need to help people evacuate…!”
“Haven’t you seen the scale of that magic!? It’s not a level we can do anything against!”
And then, contrary to the fleeing masses, I see an old woman staring at the angel statue.
“W-what are you doing! If you don’t run…!”
Collapsing in tears, she falls to her knees.
“Ohh, ohh… I thought it could be, but there’s no doubt now… That figure, those white wings, and that rainbow magic…! There’s no mistake that this is Jornes-sama, the Saint of legend and the strongest in all history…!”
I’ve heard that name before. It’s said that every five hundred years, the Saint will appear in order to protect the world from the king of monsters. Like this era’s Saint Lilixira and the previous generation’s Saint Lumira, there have been countless Saints throughout history.
However, it’s not proven whether Jornes ever actually existed, and she’s someone from ages past. There’s no way she could appear now.
“Obaa-san, please get a hold of yourself! There’s no possible reason that would be Saint Jornes! If she was, why did she have to destroy the angel statue!”
I dash over to the old woman and forcibly pull her up.
Then, the mysterious floating woman raises her arms.
An enormous magic circle unfolds from her. The Holy City is encompassed by a bluish-white light. No… that’s wrong. A bluish-white wall of light has appeared around the city, as if to fence it in.
I open my mouth in surprise as I look around. The Holy City is completely encircled by the wall of light. I’m unable to believe that this is borne of her magic.
Am I dreaming right now…? Or, is this an illusion? That line of thinking seems much more reasonable. There’s no other way to explain a magic spell so far removed from common sense.
“Witness this! As I thought, this is Jornes-sama! Jornes-sama gave her own life at the young age of thirty for the sake of Holy God-sama… However, her soul did not die, and ascended to Holy God-sama’s side as an angel! She’s returned to our age to lead the world to salvation!”
The old woman speaks excitedly to me.
Even as I deny her words, I’m starting to believe that this woman is the Saint of legend. After all, unbelievable happenings are already occurring in front of my eyes. I can only conclude that things are being moved according to principles outside of my own common sense. In addition, many people besides the old woman are starting to name her as Jornes and lower their heads to her.
She erased the gigantic statue’s head in an instant, and covered the vast Holy City of Ridom in its entirety with a wall of light… Magic of such an absurd scale… Indeed, it could only be explained away if something extraordinary happened, such as a Saint of ages past who became an angel descending back to the earth.
“[Spirit Rain of the Evil God].”
The woman who seems to be Jornes raises her left arm towards the air. In an instant, black mist spreads out in the sky, and dark clouds begin to cover Ridom.
The sunlight blocked, the bright streets of the city are plunged into darkness. I’m already no longer very surprised at seeing the entire sky over the Holy City being covered by dark clouds.
“O-obaa-san, let’s run away.”
“Why must I run away from Jornes-sama, though?”
“Because it’s strange! No matter how much you think about it! Even if that is Saint Jornes, it’s strange! There, please look! There’s way more people running away than staying!”
“But, running away… Young lady, where do you plan on running to?”
The old woman looks around at the surroundings.
My words catch in my throat. The Holy City itself has been covered by a wall made from Jornes’ magic. Where exactly can we run to?
“B-but, anyway, we need to get away…”
It happened just as I tried to convince the old woman.
“In accordance with the pledge of Holy God-sama and the current Saint Lilixira… Divine punishment for my motherland.”
Jornes clasps her fingers together as if in prayer. Black rain descends incessantly towards the Holy City from the dark clouds blanketing the sky.