Chapter 18 – Helos, The City of Sun (3)
“Phew, it’s hot.”
I didn’t realize it when we were roaming around at night, but during the day, the city was very hot, as its name suggested. If I could, I would have jumped into the ocean beyond the castle walls.
“It’s because this is the city of the Sun. Helos is a city built on high altitudes.”
On top of that, the way to the temple was uphill, and since nothing provided shade on the way, we had no choice but to face the sun without any protection.
“Arje, aren’t you hot? You are wearing the same thing that I am wearing.”
Currently, I was wearing the white robe that I borrowed from Arje, to pretend to be human while entering the colosseum, not the outfit I was wearing during graduation. Because the elf was making that tantrum, I did not have a chance to change back into my clothes, and since this robe did not have any exposure and was with thick materials, it felt as if I was wearing a winter coat.
“I am fine; I can endure heat pretty well.”
Although she was wearing a mask on top of it, Arje seemed to be comfortable. Does she even sweat?
“I’m jealous. I’m soaked in sweat.”
I was soaked before in sweat in the colosseum, but again being soaked in sweat, the thick robe felt like a wet cotton blanket.
“Let’s buy new clothes. New ones.”
I wanted to change into different clothes as soon as possible.
“I am sorry, but please hold on a little longer.”
But my request was turned down by Banu.
“Why? Is it because I’m a dual specimen?”
When I glared at him while tapping on my feet angrily, Banu made his annoying smile again.
“Haha! Don’t blame me so much. There’s a reason for it.”
There better be one. If not, I will roll him down the hill.
“So many people even in the day?”
Ever since we headed to the temple, there were lots of people going in the same direction, but it turned out that everyone was headed towards the temple.
“It is the most famous place in Helos. Not only the locals, but there are many outsiders visiting the place.”
While looking at the temple, Arje introduced me to the place, as if a tour guide would.
“I see. So, the sword that Banu mentioned is in a place like that?”
Then, Banu nodded.
“Yes, so we must meet the priests who are inside the temple.”
“Meet the priests?”
“Yes. The sword is hidden deep inside the temple. If they are easy to talk with, they should guide us. If not,”
Banu revealed a part of his sword on his waist.
“Are you mad? You are planning to fight the priests?”
Arje flipped out, as if she was surprised.
“I’m just saying that it could happen. Still, to get that sword, we have to either convince the priests or overpower them.”
From what he was saying, it must not be some ordinary sword.
“Banu, what exactly is this sword? Please tell us now, since we got this far?”
Arje asked as if she was anxious, but Banu made that signature annoying grin of his.
“It’s not something that we should speak here, so we should head on inside. When you meet the priests inside, you will see.”
Banu was still hiding, although it was about time.
“Okay. Let’s head inside.”
I pierced through the crowd and headed towards the entrance, and Arje and Banu also followed me inside.
“It says something here.”
There was a warning written inside the temple. [The temple of Sun forbids the entry of dual specimens. Especially if you see one with a large pair of ears, alert the priests immediately.]
They must be talking about me when they talk about dual specimens, right? But the specific mention of ‘one with a large pair of ears’ was added. I thought that it was telling me, specifically, to not enter.
“This is why I said that we should buy the clothes later.”
Banu tapped on my shoulder and headed inside. But why would they forbid dual specimens from entering here?
“Arje, what is the meaning of this?”
“I’m not sure. Maybe common racial discrimination?”
Arje didn’t seem to have an idea, either. But as long as they didn’t find out that I am of a different race, I thought it wouldn’t be a problem, so I pushed the hood forward and entered the temple.
There were as many people inside as there were outside.
“These are people who came to see the statue and give their prayer.”
Banu, who was ahead of us, couldn’t get in deeper, and joined us.
“Wouldn’t Banu be able to take out all these people?”
I wanted Banu to kick out everyone, as if was able to get the soldiers out of the way.
“Haha! I am only the imperial swordsman; I don’t have power to get rid of all these people in here.”
And as he said this, he looked over Arje.
“Instead, we have someone who can just take off their mask.”
True, if Arje were to take off her mask and reveal her identity as royalty, the crowd would split in front of us and we would enter comfortably.
“I think that it’s a great idea.”
I looked over Arje, smiling brightly, but
“Stop the nonsense, you two.”
Arje did not have any intention to do so.
“Then, we just have to figure out a way to get through all these people?”
That was the only viable solution.
“No, there is one more way.”
“What is it?”
As soon as I turned my head towards him, my hood was flipped down.
“Then, you can reveal yourself.”
It did not take long for my ears to be discovered.
“It’s the dual specimen with large ears!”
“The dual specimen with large ears got in!”
Surprisingly, all the people who swarmed the place started to run outside screaming. All because a dual specimen with large ears entered?
“Am I that monstrous?”
I was speechless at the reaction of the crowd, and my ears sagged down from my hurt feelings.
“Of course not! There is no such thing as a cute monster! They are the weird ones!”
Arje took my side. I felt a little better.
“Anyways, Banu! What the heck was that for?”
I stormed over Banu, the culprit, but he dodged slightly while smiling.
“Still, now we have enough room, right?”
That was true. It was also easier to breathe as well.
“You should at least warn me next time!”
I looked around while complaining.
“But how did they all run because of a single bunny? Does it have to do with the anti-dual specimen sign out there?”
People were terrified. If I were a real monster, I would understand. Why would they run after seeing a bunny like me?
“You are smarter than I thought!”
Banu made a truly surprised face. I wanted to stab him to death. As soon as I get the sword, I will.
“Banu, did you just put Aris in danger?”
I could feel the anger in Arje’s voice.
“No, of course not. It’s just…”
“What is this fuss!”
From afar, there was a group of men wearing something like ancient Greek outfits marching towards us. The leader of them was an old man with an angry face and white beard.
“Priest Becks, look at that dual specimen. Isn’t that the dual specimen from the prophecy?”
“Yes, it is. I think that it’s the dual specimen that God talked about!”
The young priests who followed the old man started to murmur when they saw me.
The old priest called Becks silenced the other priests, then looked at me.
“Yes. The large-eared dual specimen from the prophecy. She fits all the conditions.”
What prophecy were they talking about?
“Get out of here this instant! If you don’t I will have to use force!”
He screamed at us, and his voice was so loud that it rang throughout the temple.
As I frowned while covering my ears, the eyes of the old man got even bigger.
“Get out this instant! This is no place for a dual specimen like you!”
As if he really had a thing against bunnies, he screamed at me to get out.
“Look here! Why do you hate dual specimens so much?”
Arje, who was holding her anger, finally spoke up and stood in front of me, as if she was going to protect me.
“A familiar voice?”
But the old priest recognized Arje from hearing her voice just once.
“Aren’t you lady Arberaj?”
This flustered Arje.
“You have mistaken me for the wrong person.”
Arje pretended to not be Arberaj, but the old man made a warm smile unlike the one he showed me.
“Huh-huh. How could I forget the voice of one of the royal ladies of the Elan empire, Lady Arberaj?”
“This mask is so that no one recognizes me.”
“Royal Lady, I am sorry to say this, but that dual specimen cannot be here. Please get her outside.”
It seemed that the prophecy was the reason that prevented my race from entering.
“You are so mean, Aris hasn’t even done anything yet!”
From the complaint of Arje, Priest Becks made an obfuscated face.
Then Banu, who was keeping quiet, walked over to the old priest.
“Long time no see, priest Becks.”
Priest Becks, after confirming Banu’s face, looked as if he was saved.
“Ah, aren’t you Sir Banu? I am honored, for you to have visited along with Lady Arberaj.”
The old priests with the name Becks looked at me again.
“I cannot understand why you have brought a dual specimen here, from my perspective.”
Then, Banu laughed.
“Isn’t it obvious? I brought her to complete the prophecy, which states ‘the moment that the dual specimen with large ears enters this temple, the path to the Sun inside the temple will open.’”
The prophecy that Banu hid from Arje and I seemed to be that one.
“You didn’t know this, Arje?”
As I looked at Arje, who seemed to have visited the place before but seemed lost, she nodded.
“I don’t really have interest in prophecies and such.”
“It’s true. I really didn’t know.”
Arje really didn’t seem to know. Didn’t that mean that it’s a big deal now that I am inside this temple?
“You know well. I am assuming that you understand what it means that the path to the Sun will open?”
Priest Becks smiled, but one that was too cold. Shouldn’t the priest of the temple of the Sun should be a little bit warmer? I would believe it if someone said that he was a priest of the temple of the Ice. But Banu laughed out loud at that smile.
“Yes, it must be that of the legendary sword asleep in this temple.”
Then priest Becks shook his head.
“That is all a lie that people made up. Before we understand the true meaning of the path to the Sun, we will forbid the entrance of dual specimens into the temple.”
All the priests lined up in order and blocked us.
“Banu, it seems that you have made things worse.”
Arje was absurd at the hostile appearance of the priests.
Banu laughed it off and then placed his hand on the sword. But did we really have to fight the priests? Didn’t we have one other option?
“Ohhhh! That! Why don’t any of you guys know this? I know what the path to the sun is, don’t you all?”
It was time for my bluffing to be put to use.
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