translated by: myonnie
(Uh, was it not good...? Felix is the emperor, so he probably only drinks good tea. Maybe my amateur brewing doesn’t suit his taste anymore?)
Thinking that, I panicked and called out to Felix.
"I'm sorry, you can just throw it away."
“...Why would I?”
“I thought you didn’t like it...”
"No. Rather, I was surprised at how good it was. ...No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t recreate this taste.”
And finally did it come to me that Felix missed the tea I brewed. He was just surprised to find that it tasted exactly the same as the one in his memory.
(I didn’t know he likes it that much. I should’ve told him the ratios.)
A mere cup of tea wouldn't reveal my true identity, and his reaction made me feel happy, warming my heart.
“That’s great. If you want, I’ll write down the ratio and the brewing method later.”
When I told him so, Felix smiled slightly as if he was somewhat relieved. It felt like the first time I'd seen his true smile since we met again.
“...I feel like I can sleep well tonight.”
It’s great that I could help Felix, who had a busy life, relax even if a little.
Finally, Felix quietly put the teacup on the saucer and stared at me.
"Have you learned about the 'curse' of this country?"
“Yes. Rufino kindly told me.”
Rufino's explanation was very easy to understand. With this, I successfully avoided the chances of being disgraced by my initial lack of knowledge. When I answered that, for some reason, a color of confusion bleed in Felix's eyes.
"Did he tell you to call him that?”
“? Yes. He did.”
Felix fell into a trance. What?
“It’s a bit surprising. Sir Rufino rarely allows people to call him that.”
Then why me? Was it because I was a ‘saint’?
"Anyhow, what did you think about the curse of the empire?"
“...We shouldn’t let it cause any more damage. I’ll definitely break all the curses.”
(I don’t want to lose anything else.)
Then, at my words, Felix blinked his eyes. When I saw the reaction, I suddenly came to my senses.
"Ah, um, I’m not saying that I’ll be the one to break it. I mean, if there’s anything I can do to help..."
(Why did I say that when I don’t even have much power!? This is so embarrassing...!)
I covered my flushed cheeks with both hands, and found that Felix smiled just a little.
While still feeling the heat on my face, I decided to ask for permission, following the flow of the conversation.
“May I go to the Red Cave with Rufino? I want to see the curse with my own eyes.”
Felix stared at me with his mouth shut, his eyes screaming, What do can you even do?
Even so, I stared at him back to convey my determination, and he eventually nodded.
“That’s fine. However, please change your appearance so that people around you don't recognize you as a saint."
Because it would be a problem if it spread that the saint went to the cursed land but didn’t do anything.
"I’ll do exactly as you say.”
"And I'll go with you."
This time, I blinked my eyes at the unexpected development. Felix was definitely busy. Why...?
“Can we decide the schedule now?”
Felix was still the same. Perhaps, he already planned to go for an inspection.
Anyway, it’s good that I have permission to go there. On top of that, Felix and Rufino would be with me.
“Let’s continue our conversation in the daytime.”
When I was relieved, Felix cut out the main subject.
"I've heard a lot from Byron. Thank you for your concern."
"But I have no intention of marrying anyone other than you. The successor will be chosen among my blood relatives.”
Why was he so sure? However, I could sense pure determination in those serious eyes.
"I have someone I love."
And Felix took a deep breath and said clearly.
"I will spend the rest of my life thinking only of her. My heart won’t be moved by someone else.”
After all, Felix had someone he adored.
From the expression and voice, I could tell how much the woman was important and dear to him.
“In that case, you should marry them instead of me...”
"...She is no longer in this world."
The moment I was told so, I held my breath. With a self-deprecating smile, Felix lowered his eyes.
(Oh no... He found his fated one, yet he lost them...)
Even though he was abandoned by his parents, lost his teacher in front of his eyes, and made bloody efforts to become the emperor...
Just how many tests did Felix have to bear, even losing his beloved he found at last?
My chest hurts so much that I want to cry.
Meanwhile, Felix clutched the necklace as if praying. The moment I finally let go of it, I caught my breath again when I saw the bright red gem through the gap in my shirt.
(That necklace looks familiar...?)
Although it was crooked, it was very similar to the one that I, Else, wore until the end. Felix, who seemed to have noticed my gaze, muttered, "Ah."
"This necklace was also worn by her."
It must be a misunderstanding. But what’s with this strange premonition? I shouldn’t ask about a deceased lover. I know.
Still, I couldn't help it.
"What kind of person was she?"
Felix sent the necklace a calm and loving look that I'd never seen before.
"She was my teacher—the Great Saint of our country."
The moment I was told that, I forgot to breathe and could only stare at Felix in a daze.
(Um, that’s me.)
sorry for the 2-weeks inactivity! just finished moving to japan and things were a lot more hectic than i expected... every day is me passing straight up after work because i was too exhausted ww, woke up at 4AM to upload the chapters...
switching to daily updates for the entire week to make up for the missing chapters; wishing everyone a good year!
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'Hollow Saint' will be updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Check all my releases (and other translations) here! If you find any typos or want to suggest corrections, you can find me on discord myonnie#9948