Chapter 06 – Dig A Hole!
Around the time of the sun setting, Liz is digging up a hole with a large shovel used for farm-work, continuously digging non-stop.
Lloyd, by her side with his hands folded then asked.
“Are you digging up something?”
“I’m not sure, but it’s something good. A very important thing, I think.”
Says Liz’s ‘intuition’.
Just as her anger towards Keeva filled her head, the image popped out. That there is something buried within, and that something is very important. The view was pointing towards somewhere within the altar, on the southern part between a smaller altar and the surrounding walls. As she confirms with Lloyd about the matter of digging, he nonchalantly replied “No worries, no worries.” And guided me towards the location, which I don’t feel at ease about.
“Here right?”, as he says so Liz was surprised. The said smaller altar was far wider than its name, thus the land between it and the wall was actually quite wide in area.
(Where do I start digging from?)
As she tries to close her eyes to view the image, the matter with Keeva made her unable to concentrate. It felt as if the image dissipates whenever she starts to catch a glimpse of it.
(…It’s not working. I don’t know where.)
To start with, the ‘intuition’ is not omnipotent, and there are times when it misses but never this bad. As expected, the matter with Keeva is causing it and the truth is making her even more irritated.
Thus Liz put strength onto both of her hands to start shoveling an area nearby whilst not minding her one-piece getting dirtied.
“Found it?” as Lloyd asked full of excitement while just looking, which was irritable.
“If you’re curious then help me out.”
“Eeh. I don’t want my hands to get dirty.”
What an irritable envoy. Not just Lloyd, but Keeva too, they are not decent people.
Converting her anger into strength, Liz shoveled continuously.
“The head envoy has something he wants to say to the priestess candidates when he returns. …So, you found anything?”
“I will finish this by then. …Not yet.”
The said soil is bathed in sunlight all year round, which made it hard. Even if the thing was not buried deep, it does not make the digging any much easier.
Since there was nothing, Liz moved onto the next patch of soil.
“Not yet I said. And by the looks of the other busy envoys, shouldn’t Lloyd-san help out?”
“Nope, no worries.”
I think I understood why the other envoys don’t trust this person.
“Liz, are you acquainted with His Highness Keeva?”
“But atmosphere between you two just now says otherwise? When you both went out from the hall”
“…But even the Prince did not know my name, right?”
“Speaking of which”, Lloyd leaning against the wall and nodded while in a more doubting face.
Liz kept digging as she hope to ease her wavering heart while continuously repeat that simple work.
As she lifted her head in response to hearing a footstep, a female servant doing the envoy’s menial work stood hesitantly with a blank face.
“Lloyd-sama? Priestess candidate-sama too, what are you doing over here?”
Of course she would feel hesitant, seeing an albino digging a hole while the envoy just sits back and look beside her.
Lloyd then answered with a smile, “We’re looking for something. And you, what do you need here?”
“I came here to take this.”, the servant then moved a bundle of straws along the ground by the walls, and from beneath, removed the lid of a jar. The jar was buried within the ground and the only visible part was its lid.
The servant was shocked from Liz’s and Lloyd’s sudden loud voice, but then started laughing.
“My, were you looking for this? If so, I would have assisted in taking it out.”
She then handily took out the heavy-looking jar from within the ground, the vase was a size just enough to be hugged by one’s arm.
“What’s in it?”, as Lloyd braced himself to the answer, the servant happily opened the vase. The content was none other than fermented eggplants.
“It tastes better when buried in the ground. And the sunshine here is perfect, please keep this a secret, it’s the current Priestess-sama’s favorite. If by chance the Head Envoy knows of this…”
Liz and Lloyd looked towards each other. ‘All in vain’ can be read from both their faces.
(No wait, to start with, the one digging was all me. Lloyd did not lift a finger)
“Well, it is something unexpectedly ‘good’.” as Liz thought while Lloyd was muttering by the side.
Liz tilted her head. She still have not comprehend the situation.
(This is weird. Well, it was not clear, but it didn’t felt to be food but something very important)
Well, though it is something very important to the current Priestess, her favorite food even.
But Liz still could not consent to the result.
“The Head Envoy had returned! Please assemble by the hall!”
As one of the envoys came for us, we had no choice but to give up.
“I will go return this shovel”
Leaving behind Lloyd, Liz left for the Second Altar’s hall.
Lloyd who was left with the shovel then let out a sigh.
“To think that it was eggplants, that was truly unexpected”
And here to think I could see something interesting. After the servant took away the jar, he then stabbed the now empty ground space.
There was a small shining thing.
“What is this?” as he rolled up his sleeves and took it up
A quite old one, it had already rusted and looked cheap. Without hesitation, he wiped it with his shirt’s cuff. It was a silver ring withholding a blue stone.
“Don’t tell me, this is what Liz ‘good’ thing about?”
Lloyd made a frown, this is quite a weird one. At that time,
One of the envoys attending to the Head Envoy which came from the direction of the First Gate‘s corridor called out to Lloyd.
“Hey Lloyd! What are you doing there, come over quick!”
“I’m coming over right now”, while temporarily laying down the shovel then headed towards the other envoys.
“I dare say, what are you doing instead of working properly.”
As the attendant envoy became angered, the Head Envoy who’s full of wrinkles looked toward Lloyd.
“Did you perhaps find something?”
“Well, somehow, though it’s not anything important.” As he said so and showed the ring, the Head Envoy narrowed his eyes.
“Oh? This is nostalgic. It belongs to Prince Keeva.”
“The Prince’s?” Lloyd as his eyes wide open whilst the Head Envoy nodded in response.
“Yes, I have remembrance of this. Prince Keeva was holding it dear during his childhood, a very important thing to him.”
Lloyd then fixed his gaze onto the ring in his hand. What did Liz say about this? Something ‘good’, as well as “’Something very important’, now I see…”
Within the hall of the Second Altar, the priestess candidates have all gathered together. In all, about thirty and all of them are black-haired black-eyed females, ranging in age with the youngest of them below ten while the oldest looked as if she already has grandchildren. Based on their clothing, some are commoners like Liz while the others at a glance is known to be nobles from their lavish dresses.
Amidst them, Liz sticks out like a sore thumb.
“Then, that gal is also one of the candidates? Isn’t there some kind of mistake?”
“Truthfully, can she really see the key?”
The murmuring too was somewhat within expectations. A young lady then hesitantly tried to start up a conversation with that ‘gal’ the others are talking about. As Liz faced towards her, the lady had long black hair tied up in a ponytail wearing a modest skirt and looked similar of age to Liz. The lady’s face turned red, hesitant to start up the conversation.
“Uhm! I think you hair and eyes look beautiful!”
Liz was astonished, then whispered a small ‘thank you’, which made the lady smiled. With her reserved smile, that action made Liz’s heart felt lighter.
“Actually, this is my first time seeing an albino. As expected since there was none nearby me.”
“I’m the only one in my village too, and there was none in the neighboring villages.”
“I guess it really is a rare case. I come from the Yordi area at the outskirt of the capital, and was surprised to hear that I’m one of the priestess candidates while not having much magical powers. Oh, my name is Claire, Claire Haward. Please to meet you.”
Her memories from the past life rushed to her head. Haward is the house where her past lover, Eugene had succeeded.
But, this might just be a coincidence, there are plenty other ‘Hawards’, and based on Claire’s commoner’s clothings, she is not of noble. But…
As Liz swallowed down her sigh, she then started asking.
“This might be a weird question but, did perhaps your Haward house happen to be related to nobles around 500 years ago?”
Claire’s eyes widened in astonishment.
“How did you know about that? It was true that my ancestors were previously nobles, but we fell from grace around 200 years ago and are commoners now.”
Liz then abruptly covered her mouth with her hands in fear of making out a weird voice. Then fixed her gaze towards Claire and looked immensely at her.
(This girl… She’s Eugene’s descendant..)