“Well, I think we should enjoy ourselves for now. How does a trip to the temple sound to you all?”
Aurora’s companions looked worried and suspicious at her words. But it did not take long for Astoria to catch on to what Aurora did not speak about.
“The temple? I almost forgot that the Eastern Continent has a religion.”
The influence of the Eastern Continent’s religion was not as widespread as the Southern Continent or even the tower. But there were still a significant number of believers that looked after the temple and its donation.
For foreigners, religion was not a big concern so the temple was not counted as a tourist spot on the Continent. And for a good reason as well.
It was a well-known fact that the temple was not on good terms with Lady Mei and Lady Mei also tended to ignore the temple. It was a cause of long-lasting friction between the Eastern Continent but no one knew where that agitation had stemmed from.
Well, no one in this timeline knew this secret.
In Aurora’s previous life this event of the confrontation between lady Mei and the temple had become big news. It was also something that had caused the long-lasting Eastern religion to fall.
And it had all been because the head priest had tried to wake up the guardian deity of their temple, the great dragon lord.
It was a well-known taboo to bring back dead people. Even a kid knew better than to try something like that.
But the temple had tried to bring back their draconic lord and let rid of Lady Mei. It had almost come to a full-blown war in the end.
But Lady Mei had ended that war single-landly by killing the draconic lord. No one had been able to dispute her powers afterward.
The royal family had become mere puppets as well after that since they were such big devotees of the dragon lord.
So really, if someone wanted to visit the temple, this was the best chance to do so. It was before the dissertation and its demise.
“I see. The temple is not a place Lady Mei will step in at any cost. We should visit it soon.”
Astoria caught on to Aurora’s meaning and so did Rita. Mary looked confused but ready to take on any action that was needed.
“We can also ask them to hide Ur for now. Knowing the temple, they might do this willingly.”
Aurora did not doubt it but it was also a point of worry for Aurora. Ur was a good bargaining chip but Aurora did not feel comfortable sending him in there knowing what was going on down there.
“Astoria, you should stay with Ur in the temple. We will reveal his true origin but don’t leave him alone with any priest. Also, bug his skin so that we can find him at any time.”
Aurora was being paranoid but it was better to be safe than to be sorry in this situation. Ur was too big of a bargaining chip to be lost just like that.
“I will keep an eye on him and Mary. You both do what is needed in there.”
Astoria was a smart lady. She caught on to the fact that Aurora had more than one objective behind sneaking into the temple.
But the second objective was more personal than the first one. It deals with Aurora’s corruption and the way to cure it.
You see, Lord Noctus had kept his words of finding the Nymph for Aurora’s sake. But the only known one was in the temple perimeters.
And Aurora would need to sneak around to find that Nymph.
“Got it. Now, let’s get this show started.”
The temple was as luxurious and grand as one could expect to see in the central city of a continent. It was not only huge in volume but also in the area it covered. Most of it was open ground surrounded by water channels.
It was a refreshing and lovely place to be and it also gave off a holy feeling I am standing a few meters away but I can still feel the magic aura gathering inside the perimeters.”
Aurora could feel that magical aura as well. It was easy to tell that something was going on here.
‘It must be because the only people who come here are humans that this place has not been caught yet. There is no way the temple will be able to hide for much longer like this.’
Aurora felt sorry for the poor priests who were just humans but trying their best. They had no idea how to take care of their spells.
In simpler terms, those priests were the sacrifice that was taken advantage of by the temple.
“Oh, are you people new here? You just missed the ceremony by a few minutes. But if you hurry then you can still make it in time for the blessings.”
Just as Aurora was about to make a plan in her mind, a priest walked over to their group. He looked relatively young and healthy but there was a lack of magic inside him.
If Aurora concentrated, she could feel the core resonating inside the man but the presence of magic was just lacking around him.
“I see. Then we shall head toward the blessing room as well.”
Aurora gave a small bow to the man and gestured for the other two to follow. She could see the surprise flashing inside their eyes as well.
‘So I am not the only one who felt that man’s oddity.’
“You felt that as well, right? That man felt like he was a sealed human but without any outlet.”
“He did feel like me but I don’t know. There was something odd about him as well.”
As Rita was a sealed human as well, her feeling on this matter was important. If even she felt like something was wrong then it was worth considering over.
“Usually, the seal causes my magic to become inbound and unusable but its presence is all there inside me. But that man felt more like a hollow shell than a person. It made me want to keep my distance from him.”
It was weird that Aurora had not felt like that when she faced the man. And from Astoria’s face, it seemed like she had not felt that feeling as well.
Then, did it only happen to Rita?
“It was creepy. That man felt wrong to me as well. It was like something inside me was being dragged out toward him and I could not resist him.”
It was a shock to realize that it was Mary who said those words. Mary was a magic-less person so she should not have felt anything here.
Normal people who were ‘magicless’ could not feel the presence of magic and that was why they could not perform magic.
Mary should not have been able to detect anything on her own. It meant that the man had tried touching Mary with his magic as well.
“Maybe it was not voluntary? You said that the man felt empty to you, right? Magic tends to fill a space if it’s not being used.”
Astoria’s words caused something to almost trigger in Aurora’s mind but then it slipped away. It had felt so important at that moment as well but Aurora could not recall what she had been thinking about.
‘Let’s forget it for now. It will come back to me if it’s that important to remember.’
Since it was like this, Aurora just decided to go with the flow. There was too much to worry about as it was. There was no reason for Aurora to put any more pressure on her mind like this.
“For now let’s head to the blessing room and then decide what to do next. I am sure that the head priest would be in there as well. Astoria, keep an eye on Ur-“
Aurora looked around for the dragon but the dog-shaped dragon was nowhere to be found. Sometime between their conversation, the dragon child had gotten bored and decided to walk off.
That made their problems suddenly double in size. The dragon could be anywhere in this huge complex and they would have to spend time on him to find him.
“Astoria, you bugged him so you go after him with Mary. I and Rita will head to the blessing hall to check things out.”
Astoria looked like she wanted to complain about her task but she stopped herself.
Ur was important but it was an easier task to find him. And that was likely why Astoria decided to take it so easily.
“What a drag this is turning out to be. If I knew this was going to happen then I would have chanced being found out by Lady Mei.”
Aurora huffed those words out but she felt Rita tense behind her. For a second, Aurora almost thought it was because of what she had said but then Rita hissed out some unfortunate words.
“Aurora, maybe you should not wish for such things. Who knows when they might come true.”
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