It was raining so much that it made me think of the ridicule of the world being eroded by grey.
My mind buzzed like the sound of rain, casting shadows. I felt like the sky and my heart were in sync.
I had to smile like a lady, but my tears just flowed and sobs overflowed from my throat.
I had to accept the one and only choice that was cruel to me.
“Alicia, the time has come for me to assume my royal duties, despite the countless pains I have caused you.”
His voice sounded as if he was about to start crying. That was the only thing that saved me.
“Daryl-sama, I was so happy to be allowed to stand next to you as your betrothed.”
“I’m happy, too. Even if I die, I will always remember you and how I feel about you.”
Slowly, he embraced my limp body. Daryl-sama’s hand on my back was trembling.
“I’ll only love you for the rest of my life, Daryl-sama.”
I met Daryl-sama in a peaceful village surrounded by mountains, forests and wide open skies. He was ten years old at the time and was the third prince of this country, but he was cursed and came to a quiet country villa to spend the rest of his life, which he was told would be short.
I was an apprentice sorceress. Although I had no parents, I was raised by a kind master, and I help him in a small way as a mage who eliminated curses. My days were peaceful.
One day, I was invited to the mansion to speak with Daryl-sama. As a mage who specialized in spell casting, I was unaffected by his curse. In addition, we were the same age.
We were chosen based on a variety of conditions.
The mansion was so silent that I could have sworn it was uninhabited, and Daryl-sama was in a sunless room in the basement. I was terrified.
I was afraid that his short life would be further diminished if he spent it in a place like this.
No reply. He was quiet and always afraid.
He knew that the curse he had on himself would hurt someone else. That’s why he didn’t open his mouth and didn’t make eye contact.
It was fourteen days later that he opened his mouth.
“Why are you not afraid of me?”
“I am a curse-evading mage. So, there’s no reason to be afraid of Daryl-sama.”
“I kept ignoring your voice. But you always came back. Why?”
“Because I want to talk. If you don’t, the curse will only grow more powerful.
As a mage who eliminates curses, I cannot overlook this. Let’s go outside. The light of day will illuminate your mind.”
It was unthinkable to use a casual tone with a nobleman who was now a prince. It was only because of my childish ignorance that I was able to do so.
I thought I saw his stagnant dark eyes shine. I took Daryl-sama’s hand and slipped out of the cellar. The servants kept their distance, fearful of the curse spreading.
As I walked out into the courtyard, I felt pressure in my hands that I had been holding, and when I looked at him he was quietly crying. I hugged him slowly.
I didn’t know what the both of us thought. I just knew at an early age that it would be a turning point in my life.
I was thirteen years old, and it was winter. I was desperate. The curse placed on Daryl-sama was so complicated that even if I gathered all the best curse-evading sorcerers in the continent, they couldn’t lift it.
I was so full of bitterness and resentment.
He was getting weaker by the day, and even getting up from his bed was a struggle.
Three years had passed since I met him, and I had been secretly in love with him. It was an unacceptable feeling for a commoner to have for royalty.
I didn’t know how long I was attracted to him. I found myself wanting to spend more time with him, wanting to see him smile, and wanting him to be happy.
For that, there was only a single option. To free Daryl-sama from his curse.
At that time, I had been appointed as a mage with the royal court and could read forbidden books.
It pained me to leave him, but I had higher priorities. I moved to capital and devoured the knowledge in the forbidden room of the Institute.
I couldn’t even sleep. Even meal times were annoying. As I thought about it, my body gradually began to change.
I no longer needed to sleep or eat.
I could have ceased to become human. I didn’t know why I was trying so hard.
One thing I knew was that Daryl-sama and I were both lonely, almost codependent.
And I found it. The curse placed on Daryl-sama was a so-called divine punishment, a curse that could only be achieved by an inhuman being.
The practitioner was a god. No, he was close to an immoral being, an evil god.
The nameless god was a sign of fertility in ancient times, but time forgot him and he eventually came to hate people.
His hatred took shape and became violent, and a thousand years ago, he made a contract with many people in exchange for their lives.
Every five years, the gods chose a person to dedicate to them, but they would not harm them. The person he chooses would be marked with a symbol.
That was the true nature of the curse casted on Daryl-sama.
“You’ve taken advantage of my good mood by preparing a sacrfice.”
“Alicia, if anyone but me hears you, they’ll jump on your head.”
“That’s embarrassing. I haven’t lifted the spell yet.”
“You’re an idiot. I don’t understand how you can be so desperate for someone else.”
At the institute, I made a friend. Edward, the second son of a Count’s family. He was ostensibly friendly, but he was very cautious.
As the same curse-evading sorcerer, he gradually forgave me as we spent time together as peers. He was a boy whose mood was somewhat similar to Daryl-sama’s.
“What are you going to do now?”
“I’m going to talk to God. In some cases, I could destroy him.”
“You’re gonna be a god murderer.”
“Only if it saves Daryl-sama’s life.”
Edward muttered with annoyance on his face, “I envy you.” Being obsessed is rather depressing, isn’t it?
I wondered, but didn’t listen.
“I’ll follow you, because it’s fun to be around you when you least expect it.”
Contacting God was not easy. Breaking the covenants made by the humans of the past was beyond my power alone.
The assembly was also in a storm of opposition.
However, the king agreed. The king, who stood at the top of the country at a young age and was even called a hero, was famous for his love of war.
“I’m curious to see what the difference is between a struggle with a god and a human. Besides, I have a parental interest in saving my son’s life.”
With that, he overcame the opposition of the council and appointed me as the Saint, and as the one who would be responsible for subduing the evil gods.
“Alicia, you have to leave me.”
Before I started my journey as a Saint, I was visited by Daryl-sama. He was exhausted, fighting pain that felt as if his whole body was being stabbed and burned. The light of life was about to go out.
“You’re gonna die!”
“I won’t die until I lift Daryl-sama’s curse. Don’t worry.”
“No, no, no. I’m only saved if you’re happy. Please, don’t die.”
As he spoke breathlessly, he stared at me with imploring eyes. We didn’t want each other to die.
In the three years since we met, our dependency that had grown out of loneliness had become distorted.
“There’s no point in living in a world without Alicia.”
Gently, I held Daryl-sama’s hand. I was ready to die at this moment. I thought it would be the last time we would see each other, so I held his hand tightly.
I wanted to be alive, and more than that, I wanted him to be alive.