Chapter 20: Fortune Telling

Translator: Tseirp

 

The day after that, the long-awaited Great Reincarnation Festival was held.

 

The Great Reincarnation Festival is a festival where people offer prayers of gratitude to the Saint and pray for her reincarnation.

 

Its true meaning is ‘to demonstrate the prosperity of humanity to the Saint who watches from the other world’.

The humans the Saint dedicated her life to save, through deep self-reflection, achieved great development and built an advanced civilization.

Her salvation was not meaningless, but had great significance – it is a festival to let the world know that.

 

Therefore, in the Imperial capital, the center of the Empire, lively festival music and traditional dances would happen around the city day and night.

 

It was noon ─ Luna, Rho, Sarco, and Wendy were walking along the main street in the center of the Imperial capital.

 

“Oh, this is the Great Reincarnation Festival! (Festivals in this era are so much more gorgeous than they were 300 years ago!)”

 

Luna’s eyes sparkled,

 

“Hoo, the atmosphere is making me excited.”

 

Rho whistled,

 

“As expected of the Empire… It’s a little frustrating, but no matter what, it’s on a different scale than the Kingdom.”

 

Sarco was concerned about the difference in national power with the Empire,

 

“Everyone, if there is a store you are interested in, please feel free to let me know.”

 

Wendy walked in front of the group and gently called out to everyone.

 

Many people were actively coming and going on the main street, and temporary food stalls were set up on both sides of the road.

 

(Yakisoba, takoyaki, cotton candy, chocolate banana, apple candy… Hehe, with so many shops, it’s hard to decide!)

 

After that, Luna, Rho, Sarco, and Wendy enjoyed the Great Reincarnation Festival to the fullest, shopping at the food stalls, playing ring toss, target shooting, and scooping up goldfish.

 

And now ─ The Saint was licking a large candy apple, smiling with a pleased expression on her face.

 

(Celebrating with everyone… it’s fun. The Albus Empire is a really nice place!)

 

Luna’s image and reputation of the Empire had skyrocketed.

 

“Hmm, hmm, hmm…!”

 

As she was walking along, humming to herself, a woman’s hoarse voice could be heard from the crowd.

 

“─ Hey, young lady over there.”

 

When she suddenly looked to the side, she met a black-robed beastwoman’s eyes.

 

“Um… me…?”

 

“Oh yeah, you have such a soft face.”

 

Looking closely, she was a black wolf beastwoman.

Long snout, a dull black coat, and her high-pitched voice was a little dry, suggesting that she was quite old.

 

“Luna…?”

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

“Did a stall catch your attention?”

 

When Rho, Sarco, and Wendy turned around, Luna quickly pointed toward the beastwoman.

 

“It sounds like that beastwoman is calling me.”

 

When the four people looked at her, the black wolf beastwoman let out a laugh.

 

“The young lady there has such an unusual facial appearance that I’m afraid my fortune-teller’s blood is racing. If you don’t mind, could you just let me tell you a little fortune? Ah, don’t worry about the money. You don’t need to pay. This time it’s my request, so it’s free, and I won’t take up too much of your time.”

 

It was a very questionable request, but…

 

“…Free…”

 

For Luna, who was born into a poor farmer’s home in her previous life, those words were extremely powerful.

 

“Fortune telling, doesn’t it sound a little interesting?”

 

“Free, so generous.”

 

“Since that’s the case, why don’t you give it a try?”

 

Rho and friends, who were in a good mood from the festival, all agreed.

 

“Yeah, I guess I’ll give it a try. ─ Sorry, I’d love to.”

 

At Luna’s age.

She was as interested as most girls in things called ‘fortune telling’, such as horoscopes, blood type, and palm reading.

 

“Hee hee, thank you. Well then, take a seat here.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Urged by the mysterious fortune teller, Luna sat down on a worn wooden chair.

 

“First of all, let me introduce myself ─ I’m Mada Babara. Of course, I can’t tell you my true name.”

 

Mada said and chuckled.

 

The beastmen place particular importance on ‘names’, and their names are split into individual name, true name and family name, a three-stage structure.

 

The individual name is an individual’s name given to them by their parents.

The family name is passed down from generation to generation and is the family name.

The true name is an important name given to a beastman by their ancestral spirit when they are born into this world, and it is not something that can be casually revealed to someone.

There is only one person in the world to whom you can tell your true name ─ the lord to whom you have decided to pledge your loyalty for the rest of your life.

 

“Girl, what is your name?”

 

“I’m Luna Spedio.”

 

“Huh… Luna Spedio, you received a rather strange name.”

 

“Oh, really?”

 

“Yeah, that’s a name you don’t often see among beastmen.”

 

“We-well, I’m human…”

 

Luna gave a wry smile.

 

“Well then, let’s get started right away. Luna, tell me what you want me to divine.”

 

“Hmm… let me see…”

 

She thought for a while as she put her chin on her hand, and a good question suddenly popped into her head.

 

“… Actually, I lost a certain ‘thing’ quite a while ago. I’m currently trying desperately to collect it but do you know where it is?”

 

To find out whether the fortune teller Mada’s ability was real or not, she intentionally withheld the details of what she was searching for.

 

“Lost belongings huh, wait a moment.”

 

She placed her hands over the crystal ball and peered into it.

 

“…Hoo, hoohoo, I can see it, I can see it, I can see it now. Hmm… is this a book? No, it’s a notebook.”

 

“Y-yes, that’s right! (Amazing…! This fortune teller is real!)”

 

“But, that’s strange. It’s just a notebook but it’s stored very carefully.”

 

“Do you know where that notebook is… at least in which country?”

 

Luna asked, leaning forward.

One of her top priorities was recovering the original texts (her dark history), so she was naturally eager.

 

“Hee hee, I can’t pinpoint ‘Here!’ but I can tell you the general location. Judging from this reaction, it seems far south of the Empire… Judging from the architectural style of the house, it’s the Grandise Divine Kingdom.”

 

“Grandise Divine Kingdom…! (My dark history is there…!)”

 

With that unexpected piece of good luck, Luna carefully wrote down the information on the memo pad in her head.

 

On the other hand,

 

“Notebook…?”

 

“A lost item in the Divine Kingdom?”

 

“Isn’t there quite a distance from the Kingdom to the Divine Kingdom…?”

 

Rho, Sarco, and Wendy, who didn’t know about the existence of her dark history, tilted their heads in confusion.

 

“We-well… it just kind of happened…”

 

As Luna smiled and replied vaguely, a purple cloth was used to cover the crystal ball.

 

“─ Well, I’m sorry I took up your time. Thanks to you, I had fun.”

 

“Eh, are you sure?”

 

“Yeah, I’ve already divined enough, thank you.”

 

“…?”

 

After that, Luna expressed her gratitude for the free fortune-telling and disappeared into the crowd of the Great Reincarnation Festival.

 

As soon as Luna and the others were gone, Mada took off the cloth covering the crystal and peered inside.

 

(…It’s strange, why can’t I see it like this either… This is the first time something like this has happened in my 100 years of fortune telling.)

 

Since a while ago, Mada had been divining Luna’s past while searching for her lost item at the same time…

No matter what she tried, she couldn’t see it.

 

And now, she tried fortune-telling again in the same way, but… the result didn’t change at all.

 

“Hmm… am I turning senile? Am I getting rusty again? Or is it about time? Time to replace my crystal ball?”

 

Three years, five years, ten years ─ she searched for Luna’s past but the crystal ball showed no reaction.

It was as if she didn’t exist in the world during that period.

 

“Huh… I wonder what’s wrong?”

 

Mada sighed and randomly divined to the distant past. Then, in a certain era, the crystal ball showed a reaction for the first time.

 

“Oh… oh…!?”

 

The image that emerged was extremely blurry and difficult to discern.

However, she could still read some fragments of scenes and emotions.

 

“ ‘Betrayal’, ‘Cross’, ‘Nothingness’…? Could this be… that child is the Sa─”

 

Thinking up to that point, she laughed self-mockingly.

 

“Hee hee hee, no, no, no. That goofy face, the reincarnation of the Saint?… Even if heaven and earth were turned upside down, there was no way that could happen. Sigh… it seems like I’m exhausted today. Sheesh, I don’t want to grow old.”

 

Luna’s goofy face, which seems like she isn’t thinking about anything, miraculously prevented her Saint identity from being discovered.

 

 

After parting ways with the fortune teller Mada, Luna and her friends walked straight down the main road for a while and came to a wide-open plaza.

 

“Phew… maybe I’m a little tired.”

 

Luna said and let out a small sigh.

Of course, she wasn’t physically tired.

She is generally an indoor person, so she felt mentally exhausted from walking among the crowd, which was unusual for her.

 

“Well, it’s hard to walk when there are so many people.”

 

“There’s just the right amount of space, so let’s take a short break here.”

 

“Yes, I agree.”

 

Luna, Rho, Sarco, and Wendy moved to a corner of the plaza.

 

“Well, anyway, the Empire is really fun and a nice place.”

 

Luna mumbled, and everyone else agreed.

 

“Maybe it’s because of the festival atmosphere, but… I feel like there’s a strong sense of freedom here. Maybe it’s because the buildings are constructed in such a nice spread-out manner.”

 

“For the past ten years, the Empire, especially the central part of the Imperial Capital, there has been redevelopment under the guidance of His Majesty the Emperor. By limiting the height, reducing the density of the buildings, and creating green space, they achieved the spacious and open feeling that Rho described.”

 

“S-Sarco is very knowledgeable about the affairs of the Empire. You may know more about it than me, having lived here for a long time…”

 

While everyone was having fun chatting… Luna saw a group of about ten people wearing white robes at the edge of her vision.

 

(…who are those people…?)

 

The mysterious group looked at each other and took a deep breath.

 

And ─.

 

“─ One fine day, when I returned from working in the fields, a letter had arrived at my home.’’

 

“─ To my surprise, it was a love letter. The sender was His Royal Highness the Third Prince, Bath Century. To my surprise, the royal family was approaching me for marriage.”

 

“─ Ah, what should I do? I was very worried. After all, there is a huge difference in status between me and His Highness.”

 

They began reciting the world-famous ‘A Certain Tale’ in loud, clear voices.

 

The next moment,

(Adka jfk sajflkd sajfdj…!?)

 

Luna’s language function collapsed.

 

“Ko, ko, ko, koko… (That shoddy writing is definitely my dark history novel ─ it’s the ‘Red Book’…)”

 

“Luna, are you… imitating a chicken?”

 

“Oh, you’re quite good.”

 

“Are you okay? What happened all of a sudden…?”

 

Luna, whose behavior was visibly suspicious, turned to Wendy, who had lived in the Empire for a long time, and grabbed the sleeve of her clothes tightly.

 

“W-Wendy-san… What on earth are those people doing…!?”

 

“Those people…? Oh, you mean the ‘Wheel Recital’?”

 

“Wheel, recital…? What, is this a gathering of people who have a strong grudge against the Saint?”

 

“No no, that’s not true. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s a gathering of devout people who idolize the Saint.”

 

“…Eh…?”

 

If they truly loved her, she wanted them to erase their memories of the Red Book right away ─ that was the Saint’s earnest wish.

 

“As you know, Luna-san, due to the Saint Elimination Crusade, most of the relics related to the Saint were destroyed. Humans are foolish creatures, and they may end up making the same mistake again. That is meant to prevent that.”

 

Wendy pointed with her index finger and continued her explanation.

 

“The members of the Wheel Recital have memorized the Red Book and sing it at events like this. Even if the original copy of the Red Book was stolen by someone, even if all the copies were destroyed, from parent to child, from child to grandchild, from grandchild to great-grandchild, the prophecies left by the Saint will be conveyed orally.”

 

(What is that, bullying?)

 

That was Luna’s honest opinion.

 

(Sigh, this is the worst…)

 

She held her head in her trembling hands and rolled her eyes.

 

(Even if I recover the original text, there are still many copies left. Even if I were able to dispose of all the copies in the world, my dark history would still be handed down to future generations as a song story… I guess I have no choice but to destroy humanity itself…!?)

 

The Saint, cornered by her past, was tainted with dangerous thoughts similar to those of the Demon King.

 

Even as she was about to fall into darkness, the Wheel Recital continued to its climax.

 

“─ Ah, no, Your Highness… You and I have only just met, haven’t we?”

 

“─ Time doesn’t matter when it comes to love. I felt it the moment I laid eyes on you. Destiny…”

 

“─ Your Highness is such a romantic person, my heart flutters with excitement.’’

 

A fictional story written by her in which she is the main character wooed by a fictitious prince.

To have such a cringy scene read aloud to a large group of people under the blue sky was ‘hell’ to say the least.

 

(Haa, haa… no, no… If I stay here any longer, I’ll go crazy…)

 

Luna was so distressed that she was about to hyperventilate.

 

“H-hey, this place is that! It’s kind of like that, so… let’s go over there!”

 

Same as before, with her limited vocabulary, she took Rho, Sarco, and Wendy’s hands and started running.

 

“Eh, wait, Luna!?”

 

“What happened all of a sudden…?”

 

“Luna-san, where are we going!?”

 

Luna ran, ignoring everyone’s calls to stop her.

 

She ran as fast as she could until she couldn’t hear her dark history being read aloud.

 

“Fufuuu… if we’re this far. It’s okay… Ha!?”

 

When she looked up, there was a group of people clutching holy crosses, with a sense of deja vu.

 

“─ Everyone, today is the auspicious Great Reincarnation Festival! Let’s be more enthusiastic than usual and pray to the Saint!”

 

As soon as the man who seemed to be the leader said that, all the people gathered there let out loud screams.

 

“Saint-sama…! Saint-sama…! Saint-sama…!”

 

Luna knew about that group of abnormal people with strong ideologies.

 

“I-I didn’t expect these people…”

 

“Ah… it’s the Saint Church.”

 

Wendy answered with a troubled look on her face.

 

“I think we saw them at the Kingdom’s museum too…?”

 

“The Saint Church has activity bases all over the world, so they are literally everywhere. The connection between them is so strong that it is said, ‘If you see one, there are 100 others’ …Honestly, that place is famous for its forceful missionary work, so I think it’s best not to get involved too much.’’

 

She said and kindly advised them.

 

(Ugh… we’re sandwiched…)

 

Passionate calls for the Saint from the front.

The Red Book recital from behind

 

(I withdraw my previous statement, the Empire is… the worst country…)

 

Luna’s evaluation of the Empire had fallen to the bottom.

 

(If I stayed in a place like this, I would die of embarrassment…)

 

Luna took everyone’s hands again and started running ─ deviating from the main road in the center of the Imperial capital and walking through the miscellaneous streets. She stopped after a distance from the hustle and bustle.

 

“Fufuuu… I’m sorry. My head and chest were starting to hurt, so I ran to a place where there aren’t many people…”

 

When Luna apologized, looking very apologetic, Rho and the others smiled as if it was not a problem.

 

“Did you feel uncomfortable? Well, Luna prefers staying indoors after all.”

 

“But it’s nice to be in a place like this that’s off the beaten path, as it gives you a more ‘local feel’!”

 

“This is a back road that is not well known by tourists and is often used by locals, so perhaps you can get a better taste of the Imperial atmosphere in places like this.”

 

“Rho, Sarco-san, Wendy-san…”

 

Luna felt like crying a little when she was touched by everyone’s kindness and care.

 

Afterward, Luna and her friends walked down the back roads with fewer people, perusing the famous Saint Goods of the Great Reincarnation Festival, the popular sweets at Imperial Saint Academy, and the general store for locals. Enjoying the Great Reincarnation Festival to the fullest.

 

And then time passed ─ ‘Fifteen o’clock’.

 

“Kuku… Now, how will you move, Silver (Representative of the Saint)?”

 

Emperor Adrinus’ malice was spread throughout the Imperial capital.

 

“─Uwaaaaa!?”

 

A man’s terrified scream echoed, drowning out the joyful festival music.

 

The people around him stiffened for a moment ─ and then their eyes widened in shock.

 

“Gyarororororo…!”

 

“Gwo gwo gwo…!”

 

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh…!”

 

Suddenly, a large number of demonic beasts appeared in the center of the Imperial capital.

 

Moreover, it was more than just ten or twenty.

Even as a light estimate, there were probably more than a hundred.

 

“W-why are there demonic beasts in a place like this…!?”

 

“His Majesty the Emperor… contact the Royal Guards and Holy Knights…!”

 

The next moment,

 

“Guruaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…!”

 

As if they had received a signal, the demonic beasts all started rampaging all at once.

 

They ate the people passing by, destroyed the buildings they saw, and rampaged in the Imperial capital based on their instincts.

 

“Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…!?”

 

The Great Reincarnation Festival was met with unprecedented panic.

 

“Luna-sama… she’s gone!?”

 

Rho turned around in a panic and tried to ensure Luna’s safety, but…

Her master, who was following her just a moment ago, suddenly disappeared like fog.

 

(Damn, why is that girl always missing at times like this…?)

 

Rho clenched her back teeth and, dashed out to search for Luna.

 

(… She started moving on her own. As expected from His Majesty, Rho Steinclaw is the reincarnation of the Saint… I’ll continue to monitor her.)

 

Just as Wendy was about to start following her,

 

“Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…!?”

 

A small child’s scream could be heard from far behind.

 

When she turned her gaze for just a moment, she saw the figures of a mother and child getting attacked by a giant Cyclops.

 

“M-mom…”

 

“Run away quickly…!”

 

“B-but…”

 

The mother, shielding her child behind her, stood in front of the Cyclops while clutching something that looked like a stick.

Her stance was terribly amateur ─ it was clear what would happen to her.

 

(…The mission takes priority)

 

In this war-torn world, such tragedies are not uncommon.

 

Wendy killed her emotions and cut her gaze to follow Rho.

 

At that moment, what flashed through her mind was her trauma from ten years ago.

 

[M-mom…]

 

[Wendy, just run away!]

 

[B-but…]

 

[I will be okay, go quickly…! ]

 

By the time she realized it, she was already running.

 

Her body was moving on its own against her will.

 

(What on earth am I doing…?)

 

Most likely, this commotion was created by the Emperor.

What needed to be done was to keep an eye on Rho Steinclaw, not to rescue the mother and child.

 

That was a clear violation of her order.

She knew it in her head.

But her body didn’t listen to her.

 

The image of a mother and child being attacked by a demonic beast overlapped with the image of her younger self and her mother that day.

 

Wendy was now acting with her heart instead of her reason.

 

(Slay that Cyclops as quickly as possible and search for Rho Steinclaw…!)

 

She chose the ‘best’ option she could do now, when she took out her special concealed weapon ‘Senbon’ and set her sights on the target, she realized something out of the ordinary.

 

(Those red-black eyes, could it be… a ‘mutant species’!?)

 

Although the regular Cyclops is extremely weak, the mutant species boasts amazing strength, agility, and regenerative power, and it is said that subjugation requires the strength of a Holy Knight battalion commander.

 

(I will never be able to defeat such a monster by myself… I can at least use <Shadow Stitch> so that mother and child will have time to escape…! )

 

Wendy wielded her magically strengthened right arm and threw Senbon at the Cyclops’ shadow with great force.

 

But at the same time,

 

“Wooooooooooooooooo…!”

 

Cyclops mutant species started running toward the mother and child at preposterous speed.

 

(I-It’s fast!? How can that huge body be that fast…?)

 

Wendy immediately swung her left hand and threw an additional Senbon with all her might.

 

(Damn, no, I won’t make it in time…)

 

The next moment ─ the flower of flesh and blood bloomed in full bloom.

 

Wendy’s <Shadow Stitch> didn’t make it in time.

 

Blood, bones, and organs were scattered all over the place, resulting in a tragic scene that makes you want to turn away.

 

But there were no screams.

 

There was… confusion.

 

“…Hah?”

 

The body that was disintegrated pitifully was ─ the Cyclops mutant species.

 

Both mother and child were completely unharmed.

 

“Phew… that was close… Ahhh!?”

 

“…L-Luna-san…?”

 

Standing there… was the figure of her great benefactor (Luna) who had blown away a mutant species in one blow.

 

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