Author: Ichii Akira
RAW Link: CLICK HERE FOR THE RAW
Synopsis: A short fairytale-like story surrounding a tragic saint in another world.
Genre: Issekai (Romance)
“Because they said they didn’t need me.”
They say that god doesn’t discriminate…
True enough, a commoner of low status was favored by the gods and taken in by the church, eventually attaining the position of the saint and became a fiancée to the prince.
However, the prince did not take kindly to the commoner-born saint.
And one day, at last――he broke off their engagement.
Anna became a saint at the tender age of eight and has been working as a saint for ten years. Every single day, without exception, she worked diligently.
As a saint, she had the power to heal.
And day in and day out, she would tend to the injured and the sick, and she would even be summoned to heal the shoulder and back pains of the nobles.
She would rise at dawn, have a bath fitting for a saint, offer prayers to her god, then have breakfast. Afterward, she would provide healing to those that come to church until lunch.
After lunch, she would go to the noble houses from the royal castle to answer to their calls. Today, she was to heal the back pain of the queen. ‘Wouldn’t it be better to stop wearing this corset? Perhaps ab exercises would work?’ She would think to herself.
Then she would drop by a certain young noble lady’s estate. ‘Pimple? Well, that’s certainly something to be worried about. But if you don’t touch it, it will eventually fix itself. Perhaps, start eating your vegetables without complaining.’
In that way, Anna would heal the nobles while throwing all sorts of jabs to herself.
Anna would return to the church around dusk after a hard day’s work, then she would take another bath to cleanse herself, offer her prayers to the shrine in the evening, and then have her dinner. Afterwards, she would go to bed. She didn’t want to waste oil, so she would always go to sleep early.
Her days followed this routine, and she would repeat it day after day.
Incidentally, she had once gone on a strike when she had caught a cold from taking cold baths. She insisted that she couldn’t use her powers without warm water. She even put on a show of her failing to use her healing while coughing violently. The nobles did not like that, but the church took her strike seriously.
If not for the church’s intervention, Anna’s strike alone might not have been enough to fix her water. She could have healed herself, but in a slip of judgment, she failed to do so, and fortunately, that turned out for the better.
A ‘lucky break’, or perhaps, ‘the ways of heaven are inscrutable’ would be more apt. Wasn’t that how that bothersome old man from her village used those expressions? No?
She had also gone on strike when she was given only hard black bread for her meal. That was a grave issue.
“I’m too hungry to heal people… Please give me food…”
The believers had come to church for healing, only to be greeted by the sight of a young girl even worse off than them, begging for food as she trembled.
The believers looked at the church officials then in disbelief. Just where has their donations – that were supposed be for the healing – been going to?
Thus, the church was reminded that where there was no healing, there would be no donations.
And Anna’s diet underwent a dramatic change. She became able to eat meat, vegetables, eggs, and even the occasional fruits.
Though she remained oppressed in some ways, and though the changes were mostly meant to optimize her ability to heal others, her living conditions had nonetheless been improved.
In this regard, it was a good thing that she had been an eight-year-old girl from the hicks.
Were she a weak noble child, the sheer embarrassment would have prevented her from admitting to others that she was starving.
Though such courage wouldn’t last, she was still glad that she had spoken out in those years.
Unfortunately, while her living conditions may have improved, the church could not help but look down on a saint that came from the hicks.
After all, a saint had to be divine, compassionate, and above all, beautiful.
It was just too hard for the nobles of the church in the capital to accept a saint that not only grew up in the countryside but was also a freckled red-headed midget.
As the years passed, her freckles faded, and she also grew in stature. It was truly fortunate that her diet had improved.
――So Anna was treated like that, huh.
Apparently, a king had married a saint in the past, giving rise to a tradition wherein the saint would become the queen of the royal family every time one was found.
The current queen wasn’t a saint, but regardless, it was believe that the saint would marry into the royal family, so she was made the prince’s fiancee without her consent.
It was convenient for the royal family to have someone nearby who could heal them should they fall sick.
Unfortunately for Anna, she just had to be engaged to this prince.
He was the youngest of his brothers, and as a result, ended up spoiled. His only redeeming factor was his face. Yes, his face.
That’s why when they first met, and he saw Anna’s freckled face, the first thing he said was, “I don’t want to marry that.”
If someone was to stand next to him, then it only stood to reason that it had to also be someone beautiful.
It has been 10 years since they last met.
The only times the prince would call for her was when he had a pimple or a scratch from falling, and each time he would do so while yelling.
With such a poor first impression and treatment, it was only natural that Anna didn’t have the slightest interest in this prince. Every time she was summoned, she would ask herself, “Is it the nose this time? Perhaps, the forehead?”
The days passed like that until 10 years had gone.
One day, the prince announced.
“I am not going to marry Anna!”
Above all, he just had to do so on a sacred day dedicated to extolling praises to their god.
As one might expect, Anna didn’t have to heal anyone today and was dressed in a beautiful vestment worthy of a saint as she stood alongside the church officials.
As the rites continued, the prince made a blunder.
He appeared with a beautiful girl and said.
“If I’m going to marry someone, then it’s going to be Eliade! She’s beautiful, has the proper standing, and is well educated too!”
She was the daughter of a marquis, and Anna knew her because she had treated her pimples for her many times.
Lady Eliade gazed dreamily at the prince. He truly had a wonderful face. Yes, his face.
“I too yearn for Prince Rood.”
With blue hair and blonde eyes, they made for a beautiful couple indeed. Flowers seemed to bloom around them.
Meanwhile, Anna was just wondering to herself if they would get mad upon confessing that she learned the prince’s name only just now.
“I don’t need an ugly woman like Anna whose only redeeming feature is her power as a saint!”
The prince and the beautiful young lady triumphantly looked at Anna.
When everyone in the church saw how beautiful the couple was then saw Anna, they all made a face that seemed to say ‘Ah.’
They couldn’t say anything else.
Anna was by no means ugly. Her freckles had faded away with time, yet she could not rid herself of the unrefined air about her. When lined up, there was certainly a difference between them.
The king was surprised to see his son call off his engagement here of all places, but just like everyone else, he too could only wryly smile. That was true for the princess and the other princes too.
Speaking of which, the other princes had already been wedded for political reasons to a princess of another nation and to an influential noble woman of the kingdom. The third prince too was supposed to be married off politically to the saint, but alas.
It should be noted that the prince only disliked the saint for her appearance. Were she to dress up better, care for herself better, and become a little more beautiful then he wouldn’t actually mind marrying her.
After all, her powers as a saint were truly useful. That power has saved this country many times.
Even his treasured face.
That’s why he didn’t try to chase her out of the country under some false accusation. After all, he knew that she worked tirelessly day in day out to heal people.
Alas, there was no denying the beauty of the girl that now stood beside him. If someone was going to stand next to him, then it should be something on this level.
That’s why he had been worrying this whole time, and upon seeing the saint dressed in a vestment yet with no effort put to doll up, he gave up and decided to break off their engagement.
The prince thought that he was the one enduring it this whole time.
That’s why he never even considered to talk it out peacefully with her. That’s why he did it at a place and occasion like this.
But as a result, it was too late for anyone to say anything.
Too late for them to scold their son or their younger brother.
Too late to console the saint.
And the saint too thought that it was only natural for her to be dumped given the way she looked.
“My lord, apparently, I’m not needed,”
Thus, the saint readily said that to the divine idol, and in the next moment, she vanished.
While everyone blinked in disbelief, it began.
The prince found that his face had suddenly began to sting, so he touched it by reflex, only to make the part he touched tingle with pain. On his finger could be seen blood and something that resembled pus.
The prince screamed from fright, but even louder screams rose up from around.
“Arrgh! My leg!”
That was none other than the crown prince, the oldest of the princes. He was sat on his tushy and was unable to stand for his legs were bent in the wrong direction.
Next to him, his mother clutched her waist, hunched over in pain, unable to so much as mutter a word. In fact, even his father, the king, was in a similar state.
Prince Rood turned to his side at the sound of a cry, and there he saw the beautiful Eliade, only…
“Eek! Who are you!?”
What was there was no longer the beautiful Eliade but a woman with swarthy face covered in pimples.
“That goes for you too…”
While everyone was in a panic, the unaffected second prince sighed.
“Come to think of it, big brother, you once fell off a horse and broke your leg, didn’t you?”
The crown prince was somehow able to sit himself onto a nearby chair by borrowing the shoulders of his younger brother.
“It would be better to have a proper doctor look at it rather than have me try to clumsily treat it.”
“Right. Sorry about this…”
The two older brothers seemed to have recovered from their panic and seemed to have come to a realization all on their own.
Their father couldn’t say anything from the pain of his waist. It would be too dangerous to move him themselves as well, so the older princes instructed the unaffected individuals to call over a doctor.
“Big brother… What’s happening?”
When the older princes heard the pathetic sound of their younger brother’s voice, they turned to him and sighed.
“Did you get the saint to treat yourself over something so trivial?”
“…You should look into a mirror later.”
The second prince comforted the eldest prince, saying that the broken bone couldn’t be helped. It was different from their younger brother’s problem, however.
By this point, everyone already understood.
That all those who have been miraculously saved by the saint’s healing have had such privileges undone.
With the king incapacitated from his back that started aching again, the crown prince quickly took command, while the second prince also moved to compensate for his immobility. The second prince was a responsible member of the royal family who did not want to trouble the busy saint with just any trivial trouble. The older brother had a big injury, so his case was different.
Regardless, both princes were still members of the royal family, so they failed to understand
How the saint ought to be treated and her way of life.
Though they might have occasionally shown concern regarding some of the policies in the church, the ingrained perception of ‘that’s just how it is’ after so many years was just too terrifying.
Even the church did not understand.
Anna was an existence loved by god. That’s why she came to be called a saint.
No saint had ever come from the countryside, and they were also from proper noble families.
Most likely, it was also the first time that a commoner had been named saint.
In fact, most of the upper brass of the church came from the nobility.
They should have just given her the respect she was owed as a saint, as they have done so until now.
But precisely because they looked down on her, they failed to notice it. They had forgotten that Anna was this sort of person.
That she had an innate disposition to try and improve her situation.
That she had no attachment to her position.
But the biggest mistake was the third prince.
It was a mistake for them to have chosen him just because he was close to her in age. The other princes were just too old for her, and they were also already engaged; hence, why they thought they could placate her by giving her the third prince that was at least good looking.
But they had spoiled the third prince too much, and the result was this.
Truly, regret was a word that came too late.
A certain young face that could have recovered from its pimples and acne without a trace fairly quickly had to be treated with the power of the saint, and now, all of that had been returned all at once.
Each time the slightest blemish appeared on that face, its owner would summon the busy saint and pester her for her help.
It was enough to leave the older princes in disbelief.
But rather than trouble themselves with the estranged younger brother, the people were more important.
For they too had had their privileges undone.
Though the critically ill had been prioritized, there were still too many that had pestered the saint for the slightest fever. And what an unfortunate sight it was to see children that once overcame difficult illnesses be stricken by them once more.
Everyone, without discrimination, had their privileges undone.
Be they adult or child. Good or bad.
“For that is how god works…”
That was a child loved by god.
The crown prince dragged himself to his throne with his aching leg and thought to himself.
The king had to retire to take responsibility for this mess. His mother too had to retire for her back ached too much to sit for too long, taking with her his useless younger brother, whose only redeeming feature was his face.
He should be glad that he wasn’t being executed, but seeing how he kept mumbling to himself while looking at a mirror he himself broke, perhaps it would have been mercy to execute him instead.
Fortunately, his other younger brother was a good man. The oldest of the princes resolved himself not to make the same mistake when raising his child.
But he was not blameless in this mess either. For had he acted right away instead of collectively sighing at the saint, then perhaps things might have gone differently.
‘Apparently, I’m not needed.’
It was as though the saint said that, and god simply nodded.
Of all times, this just had to happen while they in the middle of a sacred ceremony. No wonder god heard her voice.
And in response, god seemed to say, “if you don’t need the saint, then give all of her back.”
And from that day on, a saint was never again born to that country.
The saint is safe. She was brought to a region where she would be treated better. She got along well with god because she prayed to him day-in-day-out.
I think freckles are cute.
Had she never spoken out and was treated even worse with no food, then she would have been spirited away sooner, and the country would have been destroyed.