The vicious black mist that was creeping up from him began to dissipate.
However, his body had already been eroded by miasma so strong that it could not be completely purified at once.

Spark! Buzz!

The purification happened like lightning flashes, but the miasma crackled around them.
Fortunately, those around Jiwoo and Helka quickly avoided it.

Instead, the ground was hollowed out because it splattered to the ground.
The grass nearby got charred.

Helka hugged Jiwoo tighter as if holding onto a lifeline.

“Haa… Ugh…”

It seemed that his rationality had not yet returned.
Jiwoo gulped.
And as she watched this, she looked up at the blond man in cold sweat.

“Um, does he look alright?”

“…My name is Callandein.
You may call me Callan.”

‘Callan? I think that’s the name I heard earlier today.’

As Jiwoo thought his name was familiar, he continued.

“It certainly seems to work.
But did you take the damage?”


Callandein’s gaze was on Jiwoo’s hand.
The palm that Helka had just licked the blood from was stained black.
It looked just like a wound that was being eroded by miasma.
But because Jiwoo was the Akarna, she did not feel any pain.

In fact, she was just a little surprised.
It was the first time something like this had happened.

While doing her duty as the Akarna, she only healed the contaminated ground or the wounds of the sick.
She had never dealt with a beast… or an individual who was in a similar state.

Jiwoo’s expression sank low.
She has seen a lot of people die with their bodies turned black like this.

When she first saw it, it was hard to not even vomit, but now her body has become like this, it didn’t matter.
Had her emotions dried up that much? As Jiwoo was thinking dark thoughts, Callandein said.

“…Do you want a reward?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You are an outsider.
Someone that has nothing to do with us.”

The moment she heard those words, she felt a line snap somewhere in her head.


Jiwoo laughed.

A reward… It’s been a while since she heard the word reward.

The Akarna was merely someone who performed the duties of the temple.
Dispatched at the request of the people of the empire, she was respected and revered, yet easily resented.

Whenever the Akarna arrived on time and would solve the problem every time she was asked to give a helping hand in an area damaged by beasts, everyone would instead praise the temple and revere the imperial family.

If she arrived a little late, people would cry out, saying, ‘Why didn’t you come earlier?’

Jiwoo’s work was neither a philanthropist nor a welfare worker.
She was acting only on the duty she was mandated to follow.
Literally, it was the God-given ‘duty of the Akarna’.
She lived such a brainwashed life, she never even thought of being rewarded.

But, as they said, Jiwoo was an outsider.
She had nothing to do with the empire now, nothing to do with the temple, nothing to do with the god of this damn world.

Maybe she had nothing to do with this world at all.
The empire was not her country, and Jiwoo was an atheist.

The empire worshiped, supported, and praised the Akarna as God’s great emissary, and yet they did not give Jiwoo a fair reward.

Reward? What kind of reward would ever be given to someone who’s taken for granted?

The temple had not fully accepted Jiwoo as someone who’s one of them.
They drilled it into Jiwoo that she needed to do the Akarna’s duty while emphasizing how her loyalties should lie with them, but in reality, they all treated her as nothing but an outsider.

From the moment she realized again just how much she was not someone who the crown prince would marry proudly.
Jiwoo kept engraving into the deepest part of her heart that, at the end of it all, she was just an outsider.

Blood and lineage was important to nobles, and because Jiwoo suddenly fell from the sky, she would never have been able to obtain the position to marry the crown prince proudly.

On the other hand, in this place, they were clearly rejecting her and calling her an outsider, yet they’re offering to reward her because of that very reason.
So, it’s only obvious that she’d laugh.

She had lived like a fool in order to be recognized as a member of this world, but, after all that, it turned out that it’s better to be treated like an outsider.

As she tried to hold back the laughter bubbling up inside her, tears came out.
Wiping away the tears that leaked out, she said with a slightly trembling voice.

“A reward.
It would be nice to have one…”

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