”Priestess, this way, please! ”

Mayas cry sounded so distant, even though he was running right in front of her. The sound of peoples frightened screams and buildings collapsing drowned her voice. It filled her head with terror.

Never in her life did she imagine that the village where she lived would end up like this. She was afraid to look back, but the urge was too strong. Eventually, she turned her head, only to find a path of blood, with red color as the prominent background.

Lost was the forests lustful green or the wheat fields golden. The only thing that remained was the bright red of flame as it engulfed everything on its way. People, buildings, and everything they had painstakingly built until this time.

She felt like crying when she looked at that devastating sight.

”Help! ” Please help me! ”

The scream of a woman made her instantly turn her head.

Not far behind them was a woman carrying a child in her arms. Her clothes were burned, and an arrow was buried in her back. She held her child in one arm while the other one reached out desperately for something, for someone.

”Maya, there is a mother and child there! We have to help them! ”

”Priestess! Now its not the time for that! We have to ensure your safety first, ” Maya responded without even sparing a glance at the mother and child pair. She pursed her lips with a pained expression as though she couldn bear to look at them.

The Priestess knew that Maya was bound by her duty, but she couldn sit still, knowing she could help a person in front of her. Her conscience wouldn allow it.

”Just a moment! Please give me just a moment! After this, I won complain anymore. I beg you, Maya! ”

The female guard bit her lips like she wanted to say something. Blood trickled from one of her arms to the ground, but the pain couldn be compared to the dilemma she was facing right now.

”Alright, Priestess. But this is probably dangerous, so make sure to stick close to me. Allow me to guard you. ”

”Maya, thank you so much! ”

They made a U-turn and quickly approached the woman who was already on the verge of passing out.

When they reached her, she was Ying down on the ground, soaking in a pool of blood. It was a miracle she could stay awake with so much blood loss.

Maya instinctively knew this woman wouldn hold on much longer, but she didn have the heart to tell the Priestess that.

The Priestess crouched on the ground, without caring how the blood dirtied her white praying attire.

”Madam, please hang in there! Can you hear me?! ” She urgently called out to her, hesitating whether she should shake her. That arrow pierced her flesh deeply; it looked excruciating.

”M-My baby… Please…. ” The woman said in between her labored breath. ”S-save him, I beg you. ”

Maya wasted no time and snatched the boy from her embrace. The boy was small and light. He looked around 3 years old and unconscious.

Maybe that was a blessing for him in a way. This way, he wouldn have to witness how her mother met her end tragically.

”Priestess, we got the boy. Those men would be here anytime now. We should go now. ”

”Madam, can you stand? Let me help you! ”

”P-Priestess? Are you really the Priestess from the Holy Shrine? ” The woman looked up at her with unfocused eyes.

”Yes, I am. Please hang on. We will bring you out of here. ”

The woman pushed her hand away. ”No need. Its already too late for me. Please just let my baby out of here. This is my only wish. ”

Maya grabbed the Priestesss shoulders urgently, ”Priestess, we don have much time. ”

Looking at the womans sad face, the Priestess felt helpless and angry. Just what do they do to deserve this?

This morning, everything was still as peaceful as always. Those people with uniforms suddenly came and attacked them out of nowhere. There was no room for negotiation whatsoever.

However, there was no time to get angry. Maya and that boy would be in danger, too, if she dilly-dallied any longer.

The Priestess clasped the womans hand in hers before solemnly praying, ”May your beautiful soul be forever by your childs side to protect him. I sincerely pray for you two to meet again in the next life. ”

The dying woman didn shed any tears until then, but after hearing the Priestesss heartfelt prayer, she couldn hold back her feelings anymore.

”My baby… Ah, my baby, you have to live. Please forgive this Mother of yours. Im sorry for leaving you alone! ”

Maya looked away, her lips trembling ever so slightly.

The Priestess slowly put down the womans hand. The ripple in her eyes disappeared as she stood up.

”I promise I will get your boy out of this safely. ”

”T-thank you very much…. ”

”Maya, lets go. ”

The female guard hesitated for a moment before following the Priestess steps, leaving the dying woman weeping by herself behind.

Every step she took felt heavy, but how could she be considered a guard if she wasn as strong as the Priestess?

Suppressing the guilt and sadness in her, she cradled the boy more carefully in her arm.

They ran through the mountain without stopping. Usually, people wouldn choose this route to get out of the island. However, the forest was burned to ash, while the main road was filled with the enemys soldiers. They had no other choice.

The Priestess suddenly stumbled and fell, but she instinctively protected the boy in her arms.

”Priestess! Are you alright? This road is a bit steep. Please watch your footing! ”

”Im alright, Maya. ” She smiled as she stood up slowly. ”And the baby seemed fine too. Thank goodness. ”

How could a sheltered woman like her have the strength to go through a difficult path? Even a trained guard would have difficulty, let alone her.

”Priestess, let me hold the boy. ”

”No, I just tripped on the rock. Besides, you are hurt while Im perfectly fine. Let me do this, at least. ”

Maya could see her legs shaking as she put on a strong facade. It made her heart ache in pain. She didn understand why a person as kind as her would be labeled a monster.

”Please hold on just a bit more. After this hill, we should be able to see the sea. A small boat is prepared on the back of the shore behind this mountain. We can escape using that. ”

”I see. But are we really going to escape alone? ”

”Priestess, there is a high possibility that these people are coming for you. Once you flee from the island, they will naturally leave the villagers alone. ”

The Priestess l

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