My Family in the Novel?

Chapter 27: Foolish Saintess 2
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Chapter 27: Foolish Saintess 2

The weight of their collective gaze felt like an oppressive force, and I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. It was none of my business how they treated me, but the intensity of their stares was unnerving. Each set of eyes on me felt like a sharp, piercing judgment.

As I tried to navigate through the sea of scrutiny, even the saintess, whom I had observed from a distance, turned her attention toward me. I couldn't help but hope for some assistance in this situation.

I wished she wouldn't just stand there, blatantly staring like the others. Thankfully, it seemed she had noticed my predicament and quickly moved in my direction.

Now that I had a clear look at her through the opening of her hood, I couldn't deny that she was indeed strikingly beautiful. Her captivating sky-blue eyes were complemented by her long, flowing white hair, and the white veil covering half of her face only added to her allure.

Her figure was equally captivating; her ample bosom seemed almost ready to burst out of her robes, even though her attire was quite loose.

It was hard to believe that the enchanting woman before me was also a student here at Estelle Academy, enrolled in the general subject's department.

She even went to great lengths to disguise herself as a humble nun to assist those in need, an admirable endeavor that revealed her selflessness and dedication.

"Hello, brother, are you perhaps lost?" the saintess questioned, her voice carrying a gentle and caring tone, it wasn't uncommon for members of the church to address others as "brother" or "sister," as it was a reflection of their doctrine.

According to their beliefs, every person was considered a child of the goddess, emphasizing the importance of unity and mutual support, treating each other as one big family. However, it was apparent that not everyone within the church truly embraced this doctrine, and only a few, like the saintess before me, genuinely lived by its principles.

"Ah, no, I'm not lost," I replied, feeling a slight blush creeping up my cheeks. "I just came here to meet up with an acquaintance, and, well, though it's embarrassing to say, I wanted to do a bit of exploring as well, haha." The saintess smiled gently at my response.

"How about you, sister? Why are you here?"

"Sister?" she murmmured, feeling a bit puzzled.

"Oh, my, you must also be a follower of the goddess, dear brother" her voice brimming with happiness

"As you can see, I'm offering free healing and providing some rations to the people here" the saintess explained. It seemed she was quite pleased to meet someone who seemed to share her faith.

Although I wasn't truly following her doctrine, I decided to play along for now. After all, calling her sister was a small price to pay to avoid causing any offense.

The saintess touched her cheek and continued in a saddened tone.

"It's worrying me that the people outside of this area are ignoring the sick and poor here, even though all of us are equal in the end. Though I'm glad another soul has entered this place to help out the people here." She said with a small smile while looking at me.

I sighed internally. It appeared she had misunderstood my intentions once again.

"Ah, no, I'm not really here to help out," I clarified. "I'm just here to meet someone as well as explore the place."

The saintess made a shocked face and realize what she had done she looked genuinely apologetic.

"Oh, my, I'm so sorry. It seems I was too excited to see someone else not from this place, and my mind jumped to the wrong conclusion," she said, bowing her head slightly.

I couldn't help but smile at her sincerity.

"No need to apologize, sister. I appreciate your kindness and dedication to helping those in need here" I replied politely, deciding to go along with the "sister" term for the moment.

It seemed that a slight smile would grace the saintess's lips whenever I addressed her as "sister." Perhaps the constant formality of being referred to as "saintess" every time she met someone had grown burdensome. I could only imagine the weight that came with being the most revered woman in the church. Even the most benevolent individuals would find the expectations and responsibilities tiresome.

As we continued our conversation, I couldn't help but notice how genuine and compassionate she was. She genuinely cared for the people in this impoverished area of the academy and was doing her best to provide them with some relief, both through healing and offering food. It was a stark contrast to the attitude of many others who simply ignored the plight of those less fortunate.

I couldn't help but wonder if the saintess remembered our brief encounter yesterday. Did she recognize me, the young man who had accidentally bumped into her on the street? Or had she simply forgotten about it in the midst of her work in the slums?

I decided to test the waters and asked, "Sister, do you often come to the slums to help the people here?"

She nodded with a warm smile. "Yes, I try to visit as often as I can. These people need all the support they can get, and it's my duty to provide it."

I pressed a bit further, hoping to jog her memory. "I actually saw you rushing here yesterday, Sister. I was the one who accidentally bumped into you near the commercial district."

Her eyes widened with realization, and she nodded. "Oh, I remember now. You were the kind young man who helped me up after the collision. I'm truly sorry for that."

I quickly waved off her apology with a small chuckle "Please, there's no need to apologize. It was my fault for not watching where I was going"

We walked around a bit more, and once again, a crowd gathered around the saintess, completely ignoring my presence once again.

Children and adults alike swarmed her like moths to a flame, begging for food, and some even argued and shouted at her for not giving them more.

The kids pleaded with her to heal their sick parents, and I noticed a few sneaking food from one another. It was a stark display of selfishness that made my blood boil. fr(e)ewebnov(e)

I couldn't hold back my frustration any longer, and the word "TRASH" slipped from my lips. The saintess turned to me, shock and anger in her eyes.

"I don't know what you meant by that, brother, but I think it would be best for you to apologize," she urged.

"Ye-yes, that's right. Apologize" chimed in the people surrounding her, hoping to garner some sympathy from the saintess.

I couldn't help but let out a bitter laugh. "Hahaha"

"B-brother?" the saintess looked concerned.

"I'm sorry," I said, still chuckling. "I just find it funny how these people try to cling to you. Can't you see they're just lazy and selfish, willing to do anything for a free handout? They don't contribute to anything at all and simply accept what others give them."

"W-what? Take that back, brother. You know that's not true" the saintess protested, her voice trembling.

"I won't take it back," I replied firmly.

"Excuse me?" the saintess said, her shock evident. ๐™›๐™ง๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐™ฌ๐“ฎ๐’ƒ๐’๐“ธ๐’—๐“ฎ๐™ก.๐“ฌ๐“ธ๐“ถ

"Trust me, sister" I continued, "the moment you leave this place is the moment they return to their lazy and toxic lives. They might say thank you now and promise to change for the future, but let's be honest, even you know they won't"

The saintess's expression turned stern. "There are things you should and shouldn't say, brother. You don't know about this place or the circumstances of these people. Just because you have food under your table and dress nicer than them doesn't give you the right to criticize them."

I fell silent for a moment, appearing to ponder her words. It seemed she believed she had made an impact with her response, as she continued with a proud voice

"No one here is here because they like it. They all have their own circumstances. Some came here by accident, some due to poverty, others due to past wars that ravaged the continent. Some were even innocently born here. Of course, a special person like you, born with talent and luck, wouldn't understand them. But that doesn't mean you have the right to judge them just because of that."

"Haha, that's funny" I replied.

"Sorry?" the saintess looked perplexed.

"You say that we all have our own circumstances, but aren't you just blatantly ignoring mine?" I said to her.

"Who cares if I've lived a better life than them? Who cares if I have more talent or luck? What matters is who worked for it. You don't know me, sister. You don't know my circumstances. I worked hard to get into the position I have right now. Talent? I don't have that. Caring parents? Trust me, the moment I was born, I was probably thrown out in the gutter. I was just lucky to be saved by a loving family." That goes for both me and Adiran.

I scanned the faces of the people surrounding the saintess, and they immediately avoided my gaze, with a smirk I said

"All I see here are people trying to survive that's it, these guys are nothing more than just people who don't want to work their entire lives. You could probably say the children here are innocent, but you of all people should already see that in the future, they won't be any different from the lazy bums here, I mean look at them clinging on to you crying and begging with their fake ass tears"

"That's not true. They just..." the saintess couldn't finish her sentence

"Look at the people outside of this place, sister," I continued. "They're all working hard to have something to eat and provide for their families. Now, look at these lazy bums who don't know what to do with their lives. Can't get a job? That's just an excuse. Anyone can make that excuse; even the most ordinary person out there has that problem. What they lack is the effort to actually try. Nobody supports them? Tell me what happened years ago when the academy accepted these people with open arms. What did they do when the school provided them with labor jobs for the progress of the city? That's right, nothing. They just lazily accepted the money and food the academy provided them. Then, when it was all gone, they turned into these lazy bums who couldn't keep up with society"

"N-no that's because"

"Now that I think about it, aren't you the one who made them more into failures, sister?" I challenged her further.

The saintess's glare became incredulous, clearly thinking I was spouting bullshit. However, upon deeper reflection, it was evident that there was some truth to my words.

"You're the one who gave them food and even free healing," I continued. "Do you know how expensive a simple healing from a clergyman can be? How lucky of them, I can even see that some houses are newly built. Did you sponsor this for them? Oh, my, you even provided them with roofs over their heads. I don't know how long you've been visiting these people, but you've turned them into failures who keep relying on you."

"You-you're wrong," the saintess said with slight tears in her eyes.

"How can you say that when you don't know anything? It's because of people like you that these poor people exist. If we just work and help each other, I'm sure things will change."

"Do you truly believe that, sister?" I questioned.

"Yes," she replied firmly.

"Is that so?" I glanced a couple of meters away and finally saw the man I had been searching for. I thought inwardly and sent a small magical charge at him. He made eye contact with me before nodding and disappearing into the slum alleyways. I turned my attention back to the saintess.

"Sister, instead of giving these guys fish, you should teach them how to fish," I suggested. The people surrounding the saintess quickly lowered their heads, realizing what I meant.

"Teach them how to fish?" she echoed.

"Yes, exactly. Offer them a job, make them work for their food," I continued. "Why don't we have a bet, dear sister? I'll give them a week at most, maybe even just a day, before they give up working."

"You said it yourself, right? All they need is people who actually understand and help them to change. If I lose this bet, I'll give everything I have to help them myself, I swear." I showed her my student card, with the number 1 indicating I was the top student in my department. Being the number 1 student at the academy had its benefits, one of which was almost unlimited funding provided by the academy itself.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, the saintess quickly accepted and shook my hand.

"No going back now, okay?" she warned.

"Of course" I agreed.

I looked to the side and acted as if I had spotted the person I had been looking for.

"Well then, goodbye for now, sister"

"Yes, goodbye" the saintess replied with an unknown emotion etched on her face. It was likely the first time someone had brought her face to face with reality. While ideals were good, without actual action, they were just empty words.

"Poor girl" Meralda commented next to me.

"Oh, that's unexpected of you," I remarked.

"Yes, poor her for being in the palm of your hands. I can't believe you're about to do that to her" Meralda replied.

"Well, it was bound to happen to her sooner or later, and I don't know if our dear Tristan would be there to save the day now that I messed up big time with the main story timeline, so it's inevitable."

"If you say so" Meralda commented, seemingly uninterested.

I looked back at the saintess, who was already struggling to argue with the people.

"These people really are just TRASH" I commented aloud.

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