“So, what is it that you want to ask, Winny?”
Winny takes a moment to take a deep breath and ready herself for something before turning herself to fully face me. Her expression is calm, but one can feel how tense and serious the air around her is right now.
“Master Jinma, keep in mind that whatever happens in this room stays in this room. With the Immortals as my witnesses, I swear to you that it is my duty as a Holy Bishop to aid you in your time of need while keeping your discretion in mind. We are in a confessionary, a place where you bare your heart and soul to the Immortals who watch over us, as well as to any one of us Holy Bishops willing to lend an ear to the troubled. I swear to you that I will not tell a soul of what I’ve seen and heard in this room, not even the other Holy Bishops, not even my only immediate family that is my older twin brother, or may the Immortals strike down on me for not properly playing my role. I just want you to be honest with me when I ask this: are you a Champion, and can you show me proof if you are so?”
I’m left speechless by such weight behind Winny’s words before she even brought up the question. Normally, I’d get a little awkward if I was speaking to a religious person, so I tried to avoid them as much as possible.
This case is different because not only am I speaking to a young and cute Priestess, but she’s a freaking demon, helping to look after a ‘church’ that’s on a turf owned by demons. It’s not just such a high contrast between ideas, but I really feel like I can trust Winny’s words. It didn’t look like she had told any lies since our meeting, and if she is capable of lying, they’d probably be white lies. Unless it’s something bad enough to possibly kill me, I’d be more than likely to forgive Winny for committing a wrong towards me.
<“Well, we can ask Goddess Obina if what Winny said is the truth later, but fuck it. Let’s tell her.”> So Nyra says in my mind.
Deciding it’d be quicker to show her, I take my MIB and pull out the IEB that emanates a divine glow upon contact. Winny gasps and covers her mouth in surprise.
“I-Is that really …”
“See for yourself, if you’d like,” I say while holding the bracelet out to her.
Winny tentatively takes it in her hands before the bracelet’s glow diminishes, now looking like a regular gold bracelet that one would see in a jewelry store. She thoroughly inspects the IEB with great concentration.
“The divine aura that emanates from this bracelet is the same as I see in the monument. Master Jinma really is one …” Winny mumbles to herself before handing the IEB back to me. While I put it back in my MIB, she takes a moment to breathe again and straighten her posture on the cushion. She dabs away any sign of sweat from her face with the sleeve of her robe.
“P-Please forgive me if I was pushing you to a corner, Master Jinma, I was required to ask that of you if we suspect anything, a-and you’re so … powerful beyond imagination that I had a feeling—”
“It’s fine, Winny,” I interrupt as I see the panic starting to rise from her eyes. “Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Eugus suspects me as one at this point, but I’m sure he can’t reveal something that big without any proof, right?”
“Y-Yes, of course. Anyway, as I’ve mentioned earlier, we who manage the churches that house the monuments in Padimon are required to assist Champions exclusively for anything they need with almost no questions asked. That goes with sending them to the Sacred Realm to speak with the Immortals, answer any questions they may have about Padimon to the best of our knowledge, and hearing their concerns among other things. Am I the first Holy Bishop since you’ve arrived? We’ve been told Champions traveled from faraway lands that work very differently from ours.”
“You’ve heard right on that, and yes, you’re the first Holy Bishop I ran into.”
“Then please allow me to be your go-to Holy Bishop for any matters you may need in your lifelong journey, Master Jinma. While I’m mainly here in Dondegarm, my brother and I go back and forth between here and Alluga in the Human-Kin’s Territory for quests and other businesses. I help out at the church in Alluga, too. O-Of course, if I’m not around when you need me, you are welcome to ask any Holy Bishop nearby for assistance. You just show them the IEB like you did with me, and they’ll give you their full attention while not speaking a word about anything that was spoken between you and them.”
“What if I refer you to another Holy Bishop who’s helping me at the time?”
“Even if our name is mentioned, we are not allowed to mention anything in our talks with Champions between us. Unless it’s an extremely dire matter like one of us abusing our powers for the wrong gains, we cannot involve and investigate each other’s content shared with the Champions. We cannot mention anything about meeting a Champion, even if we void out their names.”
Man, that’s really strict. “Well, even if I’m somewhere else at the time, I can use [Portal], so I can come to you at any time if I need something, right?”
“Yes! Anything you need from me, and I will do everything in my power to assist you!” Winny exclaims while pumping her fists. Her eyes practically sparkle with determination.
Sheesh, Ren and Erizora were like this, too. Do they even know what they’re saying?
<“Well, if your ‘Charm’ level with the Demon-Kin is accurate, you’ll probably be expecting a lot of this attention when you do good things for them. Hell, if they’re cute enough, I’d jump at the chance of them offering their bodies.”>
That’s what worries me the most. “Winny, I appreciate you being supportive and helping me, but you should be careful of who you’re saying that stuff to,” I warn her.
“… I’m sorry, I don’t quite follow.” Winny tilts her head in confusion.
Oh god, she’s purer than I thought. “I mean, there are people out there who can either misinterpret or even take advantage of some statements, and … I’d just feel really shitty knowing a kind, diligent, and cute girl like you is getting hurt over some dumb misunderstanding.”
Winny widens her eyes while her lilac cheeks redden a little. “Y-You think I’m … cute, Master Jinma? And you’d feel sad if I get hurt?”
“Well, yeah. I’m not saying you should stop helping people out of your own safety, just … be careful of what you say to them. Like instead of ‘I’ll do anything to help you,’ it’d be something like ‘how may I help you,’ or ‘what would you like me to do for you.’ Something more specific like a question and not so open-ended to interpretation that goes outside of your comfort zone, like having a stranger in your home. You get me?”
“Ah! That reminds me, maybe it would be more convenient and private if we have our talks at my house. Then you can use your [Portal] to visit me at any time. I would be more than happy to spare some time for you. I will prepare a card with my address before we leave.”
“O … kay?”
<“Niiiiiice, she’s given you free entry to her home, dude! You know what that means?”>
Yeah. Not abusing my role as a Champion and taking advantage of Winny’s pure heart.
I won’t deny that I’m curious to what her place is like, but there’s no way I’ll force myself on her just because she’s ‘helping a Champion in need of support.’
<“That’s not even what I was … ugh. Never mind.”>
“Still, be careful of what I say to others. I see, yes, I think I understand,” Winny says before bringing her hands together to prayer while closing her eyes and smiles contently with her cheeks still reddened. “I will take your words of wisdom to heart. I thank you for your consideration, Master Jinma, and I’m grateful to the Immortals for bringing a man of such great compassion to this world.”
Oh, god, stop. I don’t deserve that. My insides are burning from the purity. “W-Well then, we should get going and see if your brother’s ready to take on Ms. Umeiyon for her own ranking, right?” I ask while standing up and offering a hand to Winny.
“Why yes, indee-EED?!”
I don’t know what happened, but I think I pulled Winny too hard from the floor to where she practically flies into my chest. Before either of us knew it, I’m embracing her in a way that might be too close for a pair of dancers’ comforts. My arm wraps around her waist that unintentionally constricts her bat-like wings in place, while shockingly realizing how big Winny’s 85E jugs are as they’re pressing against my front. Her Priestess robes hid the contours of her curvy and stacked figure better than I thought.
<“Daaaaamn, Jinma. This is quite bold of you, isn’t it?”>
I didn’t mean to do that! Winny was much lighter than she appeared!
<“Or, it could be that ‘Weight Defiance’ skill being put to good use here, along with your ridiculous Strength.”>
“U-Um … Master Jinma?”
“Oh! Excuse me!” I exclaim while jumping back and letting her go. “I’m sorry, I don’t know where that came from—”
“It’s okay! Let us rejoin with the others and make our return to the guild! Oh! I still need to make that card! Wait here one moment!” Winny exclaims before quickly moving on ahead.
“Right …” Crap. Why do I even keep doing this to myself? Now things will get awkward between us.
<“I don’t know. If you’re planning on doing anything with her later, you may be going in the right direction.”>
I’m not, and she’s a Holy Bishop. I’m sure there are some rules about not having such … intimate relationships in her line of work for some reason. I’ll just try and pretend nothing happened.
<“If you say so …”>
Meanwhile, outside of the confessionary, Winny desperately tries to collect herself with deep breaths. Her face is flushed, and her bat-like wings and tail are flinching here and there as she tries to keep them from getting too excited, but the way she squirms in place while doing so seems to have made things worse for herself.
Oh, dear … it was bad enough of him to call me cute and be concerned for me, then he pulls that from who knows where? I was so on edge when he touched my wings, too, I really hope I don’t make some kind of accident. Dear Immortals, why won’t my heart calm down? Just remembering his scent and hard body … I don’t know how I managed to control myself back there.
What’s really bad about all this is that I kind of knew what I was getting out there when I said I’d do anything for him, and now that we touched each other … I can’t even imagine how things might be if we’re alone in my own home now. O, Immortals, please forgive me for having these feelings towards one of your Champions.
I’ll have to really take care of myself tonight. Geez, why did I pick today of all days to have that up inside me?
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Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.
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