Survive in the parallel world, please! -
Chapter 231 - 231 Don’t waste time, please! part 5
231 Don’t waste time, please! part The city of Bet-el was greatly damaged, its gates were nothing but wooden planks and there were traces of destruction all over. Streets covered in debris, some houses were even razed to the ground and there were traces of blood everywhere.
The church, though, being the sturdiest, most secure location in the whole city was almost unscathed, allowing the grieving citizens to take refuge there. Most of the population would go to church for the weekly mass, but after such chaos and destruction caused by the rampant beasts, most of them would go on a daily basis to either pray or just to feel safe.
Ever since its foundation, the city of Bet-el had served the purpose of restocking travelers and adventurer parties that seek to profit in the woods. Its main source of income had traditionally been pelts, but after the holy crusade for the obelisk in the north it shifted towards a different direction.
The sacred empire not only allowed slavery, it also encouraged the capture and training of wild beasts, magical beasts and demi human races. Creatures like pseudo dragons were bred almost everywhere, but others like lynxes whose purpose was only to provide pelts and couldn’t be trained were too expensive and dangerous to breed making hunting them a profitable business too.
Although the sacred empire was indeed a theocracy, beliefs among their citizens varied according to the god they served. The most common deities were Utu, the god of sun, Nanna goddess of the moon, Ishtar goddess of love and Enlil god of air, but those were only the most known ones.
Cults were as wide as they were different, having a different set of rules and benefits for the followers of each, but they all agreed on one thing.
Humans were the pinnacle of existence, born to rule over all the living creatures, and the other races had to either submit or perish.
Being a human herself, Helena was quite content with this arrangement. Especially when they presented her a dozen demi human slaves, all of them handsome and obedient.
During her period of training, Helena often dreamed of the day where she would finally be free from the shackles of the strict rule that prohibited members of the clergy to engage in any sexual activity, but after spending almost a year inside the sacred empire her desires had been mostly under control.
It wasn’t long after she initiated her arch priestess apprenticeship that her personal friend and fellow arch priestess, Vika Denario, had asked her to help the city of Bet-el. Helena herself wasn’t sure that she would be able to be of any help, but her friend reassured her that she could make a huge difference.
Vika was more than helpful towards Helena, even when she had yet to become a high priest. After Anne left for the kingdom of Loudeac, Helena found comfort in her new friend which made it even more difficult for her to refuse.
Stefan was assigned to her as her escort and he let slip about his previous encounter with Anne, Ryu and the rest of her friends, pretending not to know she knew them from before. This only got Helena’s hopes high and she came to the city in hopes of bringing her friends along with her to the sacred empire where their skills would be greatly appreciated, just like hers.
Now Helena looked at the already devastated city from her balcony with a sour expression on her face. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong and it was ultimately her own fault.
She had been too weak to prevent the beast outbreak that occurred in the city, almost every captured beast managed to escape, even demi humans. The city guards fought to either kill or recapture them, at the cost of many lives, but it was to no avail. The worst part for Helena wasn’t only that she failed to help in such task, but she also failed when it came to healing the injured. The improvised hospital was filled with people that needed healing, but she just didn’t have the mental strength to even set foot inside.
It wasn’t that she was scared of the side effects that healing could have, even when she used heal for the first time on Bob when he was hurt by a wild board, before they even met Ryu, she barely felt a thing thanks to her high wisdom stat. What she feared was the gory part, being able to see the suffering in the faces of people made it impossible for her to focus on her mana properly, making her fail repeatedly.
The same people that cried in joy when they found out that an arch priestess was coming towards their city to help, now turned their back on her, and Helena knew it wasn’t without reason.
“What good is it being third class and having so many different skills, if I’m unable to use them when they’re needed the most?”
She sighed as she leaned on the marbled fence that prevented her from falling from three stories high. Being alone, she wasn’t really expecting an answer, but she got one anyways.
Having her eyes completely blindfolded, she got lost in her memories. All the times the weakest native she had ever met saved her and her friends, but particularly the time when Ayumi lost her confidence after failing many times when attempting to mold the stone.
He had said something in the lines of ‘it’s not power, it’s your will’. The will to survive, the will to help the others. She had seen him do that many times over, always falling due to his own weakness, but never complaining.
It was her will indeed what prevented her to even use the most basic healing skill when needed. The first time she tried to heal someone in Bet-el she was really confident in her powerful healing skills, yet she was unable to heal them. It was only when she met her own friends in the woods that her healing skill triggered normally.
She felt lonely.
These people were strangers for her, that’s why her skill would be inefficient. She lacked the extensive training most people in the clergy had, and being taught like them with discipline instead of honest care didn’t nurture her skills properly.
Just as she was about to shed a restrained tear through her blindfold, the most curious creature appeared within her mana sense range.
It climbed the wall with difficulty and after reaching the top, had trouble pulling its own weight.
Mochi, the cat, used his hind legs kicking the wall repeatedly as he clung to the border with its front paws. Seeing him struggle so much, Helena picked him up out of pity, only to notice that the reason why the cat couldn’t climb up had little to do with its weight and more with it’s big round belly.
“Just what are they feeding you? you’re so chubby.”
Helena giggled, but the cat didn’t like being embarrassed by her words and wiggled until the priestess let him go on the floor.
Being a cat, Mochi had little care for whatever important mission Ryu had sent him. Nothing in the world could ever be as important as the enormous, luxurious and beautiful soft bed in the middle of the room. With shimmering eyes, Mochi jumped on top of the bed and started purring as he circled around trying to soften up a little nest for himself in the middle of the bed.
It didn’t matter if Mochi wasn’t human, he was the next best thing. They always had a connection that went beyond what Ryu could have ever achieved. Something like that couldn’t be explained by the system, nor it could be put into words. It was an odd relationship in which both enjoyed each other’s company, but also they didn’t care much for the other.
Or at least that was what they thought. Helena never liked pets much, she never had one back on her previous life and Mochi held little love for humans, except for those who feed him. But if Helena had asked any of her friends, they would immediately say how similar they both were. Helena loved to sleep late and she found every possible excuse to remain in bed as much time as she could, just like Mochi did.
Helena enjoyed the touch of Mochi’s fur, the warmth he exuded and his soothing purr, while Mochi enjoyed Helena’s caresses, the tenderness on her chest and her usually cool temperature. They were simply comfortable with each other.
Helena followed the cat and sat next to him in the bed, his fur was fluffier and softer than ever, bringing a joyful smile on her face. Much to her surprise, Mochi was still wearing the same lace she made for him to keep his twin tails together to prevent people from thinking it was a strange creature.
It was so dirty the blue color had almost disappeared, but that was nothing she couldn’t fix, she could even make a new one. After taking it out she was taken aback, Mochi didn’t have two tails anymore but three and there was something stuck in there.
Helena took the small paper that was rolled and tied with the help of a thin thread and proceeded to read it in silence, her mouth agape and her eyes wide.
She had to escape.
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