Prologue: Eyes
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Year of the Herald 1609

 

Standing in the middle of the fields, the little girl diligently tilled the soil completely oblivious to the halo of light that shone down from the cracks of clouds.

The sombre mood around the territory was temporarily replaced by shouts of distress. Maids inside great house rushed to the window, gazing towards the light pouring down from the heavens.

Soldiers halfway on the 'Hell Course' ceased their daily training and looked up.

Everyone. Except for the girl.

"Why did the Herald come here?"

The head butler whose a sixty-year-old man spoke with his eyes wide.

"D-Does Sir Ahmose know what that is?"

The one who asked was Thais, the current captain of the knight squad left to protect Nachtwald demesne during the lord's absence. Currently, along with everyone else the young man stood mouth agape with head tilted upwards.

"That is the Herald. It comes every century to hallow the next queen."

"Eh….?"

Sounds of disbelief rang in the grounds. Faces mirrored each other's confusion.

The Herald he said. Why such a revered entity appear in the middle of this humble land?

Nachtwald is a long forgotten place within the Kingdom of Aurum. It sits far beyond the capital to the south bordering the vast and perilous Sleeping Forest. There was nothing here except a bountiful array of monsters.

"Milady…." Sir Ahmose murmured suddenly frantic. "Where is that child?"

Right after saying so a maid came running towards them in great speed. Her uniform flying with the wind.    

"Emilia, calm yourself. It's unbecoming for a handmaiden to be running like that."

"S-Sir Ahmose, milady… milady is out in the fields. What should I do? The light, i-it's going to hurt milady. Please help me, call the knights! The Lord will cut me dead if anything happens to milady."

"Calm down!"

"Please!" With her ghostly pale face and tear-soaked eyes, Emilia continues.

He held his hand up in front of the young girl, with a composed expression the old man's put her anxiety to a sudden halt. Emilia tried to swallow her nervousness, surely the head butler knows what is going on but this calmness is quite unnerving.

"No need to fret. The Herald will not harm the young miss. It will pass soon."

Emilia threw her sights to Thais, he nodded in assent.

"Oh, oh… thank goodness."

She trembled with relief after affirming those words.

"Out in the fields, you say?" The old man queried. She nodded. "Good grief that child. I need you to fetch milady immediately and give her a bath."

"Right away."

Emilia quickly vanished like the wind.

The sky gradually darkened back to its original state. The eyes that had been squinting up ahead blinked once and resumed to their daily activities as if nothing happened.

The entity called the Herald of the Gods is worshipped all over the continent. The envoy that delivers miracle and message. Pantheons are built in sanctified places around the kingdom for the people to come and worship. And the organization which upholds its teachings and spreads the faith is solely handled by the Heraldic Order.

People have received the news of an oracle from the Order about the miracle years ago. That is why the panic-stricken citizens gradually relaxed treating it as just a passing thing.

When some prostrated themselves because they needed miracle there are some who simply ignored it choosing practicality.

But this event highly confused everyone inside the manor. Why? It's because the Herald is supposed to show itself in the royal capital Aurea!  

"Sir Ahmose, does that mean that milady is chosen?"

"I wonder about that."

Thais gave a blank look. Even the intellectual Sir Ahmose Vhon cannot give out a single answer.

"The Herald chooses the next queen. But as we know, the capital has already gathered excellent young girls and at this very minute the same light also appeared in there."

Thais nodded following his words.

The Hallowed Ones are queen candidates bestowed with extraordinary blessings, chosen to be peerless among the other but unless they prove themselves worthy they cannot receive the long-coveted crown. Does this mean that their young lady is one of them? He doesn't think so. The butler dare not say. The sigil of the Herald above the clouds is far different from the sigil they used to worship.

Has no one noticed?

The Gods, could it be possible that another Herald has come to bestow blessing? A slow meaningful smile crept up the old man's face.

The young knight sighed. "I did not expect it would happen so soon. This is quite difficult, having to compete with everyone else for the crown. Just how many girls are there?"

Sir Ahmose eyed him, "Who knows…"

Let them misunderstand for now.

***

What was that just now?

A prophecy?

A curse?

What…?

Just as she was picking the dried leaves of crane flower her vision went white. When she came to her surrounding completely changed. First, all she could see was monochrome.

Her heart froze!

(Oh no, am I going to become blind?)

After a while of blinking and rubbing, her vision returned to normal. However, her eyes that are fixed on the crane flower has undergone a shocking change.

Regen Solution

(Crane Flower tincture + Moonshine + Dew Drops)

Words flowed out in her head as though it was natural. But what startled her more was the glowing letters displayed directly on her vision.

(What in the world?)

Confused, the girl tilted her head on the side. Isn't Regen Solution a kind of advance medicine soldiers use?

Regretfully, that medicine is considered impossible to make since it belongs to the mythical Lost Recipe even high ranked mages cannot recreate. The books said so. It was dismissed as a myth because even after faithfully following the procedure of making it, it failed.

But what's this?

She could clearly see words that are undoubtedly a recipe on how to make Regen Solution.

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