“How did I know what?”

“That the temple’s pillar had such a motif.”

They happened to be passing by the entrance at this moment. Sidrion glanced at the pillar on the right. Upon inspection, the motif was hardly noticeable. It would be difficult to see it if one wasn’t already looking for it.

“I saw it in a book,” Yelena replied nonchalantly.

“A book?”

“Ordinary people like us would have no reason to look at what kind of motif is engraved on the temple pillars, but artists are different.”

The temple was built 200 years ago. Numerous painters, sculptors, and other artists had already studied every nook and cranny of the temple. Yelena simply looked for a book by someone among those artists who focused on the temple’s exterior decor.

“Then… how did you know that that motif was similar to the motif used when making sacrifices to the devil?”

“It wasn’t really something I always knew. I just dug through the library until I found a similar motif.”

After all, in perspective, motifs were all created by the minds of people. If one was to compile several different motifs, some of them would inevitably be similar in design.

Last night, Yelena had set out to stumble upon the perfect reason to decry the temple. It took her quite a long time to dig through dozens—no, hundreds of books. She ended up staying up all night.

Yelena let out a small yawn. It was like she was belatedly experiencing the effects of the all-nighter she had pulled.

Sidrion made a face like he finally understood everything after hearing Yelena’s explanation. Then, he suddenly asked, “What are you going to do with that money?”

“This?”

Yelena had been clutching the money pouch with both arms. She moved it onto one hand and let it swing.

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“Not sure. Should I give it to you, Black Tower Owner? Do you want it?”

“No, thank you.”

“Why not? Are you uncomfortable with taking money that came from the temple?”

“Yes.”

“Well, at least you’re honest.”

They reached the horse carriage that was parked in front of the temple while they were chatting. Yelena had ordered the three knights to wait by the carriage. When they saw the pouch in Yelena’s hand, they grew curious.

“Madam, what is that pouch?”

There was a playful glint in Yelena’s eye. She offered the pouch to the three knights and secretly exchanged glances with Sidrion.

“Take it.”

Thomas stepped forward first. The moment he took the pouch, Sidrion, who had caught on to Yelena’s antics, immediately lifted the magic that was making the pouch lightweight.

“Oof!”

“What is it?”

“N-nothing. This is really heavy…”

Thomas had almost dropped the pouch onto the ground. Barely able to hold it up, Thomas stared at Yelena with a confused look. Yelena grinned and got on the carriage.

“Let’s go.”

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“…?”

Thomas still looked extremely confused. Max and Colin tried carrying the pouch after him and soon, they were making similar faces. Yelena held back her laughter.

‘Ah, that’s right. Should I use the money for the castle knights’ armor?’

Or she could stock up on expendable equipment like wooden swords or straw dummies…

‘That’s a good idea.’

“Giddyup!”

The coachman took off while Yelena was appreciating her own idea.

“…Please!”

There was a small commotion outside the carriage.

Without thinking, Yelena leaned her head out the window towards where the commotion was coming from. She furrowed her brow. An old priest with graying hair was running towards the carriage with an urgent look.

Of course, the distance between them was widening. It was difficult for a young person to catch up to a moving carriage, and of course, impossible for an old person to.

‘Who is that?’

Yelena hadn’t seen the man in the reception hall.

“Should I tell the coachman to stop?” Sidrion asked Yelena after watching her look outside.

Yelena sat back and answered, “No.”

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Yelena didn’t particularly care to learn who that man was and what he was doing. She no longer wanted anything to do with the temple, thank you very much.

Yelena closed the carriage window and pulled the curtain. The carriage sped up.

***

Slam!

After the hefty transaction with Yelena, Bekah hurled the ledger and book to the ground in a fit of rage.

“…Take it and burn it.”

“Y-yes.”

Carefully reading the room, the young priest hastily picked the documents up off the ground and made himself scarce.

“Priest Bekah,” a middle-aged priest who was also there with the extremely agitated Bekah said cautiously.

“Let’s just regard this as an unfortunate event. We encountered something dirty.”

“Priest Dele.”

“Does the saying ‘birds of feather flock together’ exist in vain? Truth be told, that woman would not have married that monster if she was normal.”

The middle-aged priest looked at where Yelena had been standing and clicked his tongue dramatically.

“The temple was unfortunate enough to encounter filth not once, but twice.”

Bekah sighed heavily and sank down on his chair. The middle-aged priest spoke busily as he approached Bekah, as if trying to placate the latter.

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“Not only was her insistence about that crude motif preposterous, but she even mentioned an incident from 7 years ago. I’m absolutely dumbfounded.”

“My thoughts exactly.”

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