Chapter 21: Visionary wizard Pauline’s pride
In a room within the royal castle, the visionary wizard Pauline Lane was deeply troubled.
Having been recognized for her exceptional talent in divination magic, she had served in the royal castle for nearly twenty years. Until her thirties, she had never experienced such anguish in her divination work.
Previously, she had been able to rely on divination to predict things like crop yields, the extent of seasonal colds, or the amount of summer rainfall.
While those were important matters, this time was different. She had foreseen a catastrophic disaster that threatened the very existence of the kingdom.
At first, she thought it might be a mistake and repeated the divination multiple times, but each time the result was the same: “A great disaster will occur.” Unable to keep it to herself, she reported it to Brent Baynes, the captain of the wizard corps. And from there, Pauline’s life underwent a drastic change.
“Provide more detailed divinations.”
“Foresee a solution.”
“When will it happen exactly?”
“Is there any way to prevent the great disaster?”
The male wizards, skilled in offensive magic, bombarded her with various demands. Although they addressed her as “divination master” out of traditional respect, she knew they looked down on divination wizards as mere observers who ultimately relied on them for action.
(These guys may be skilled in offensive magic, but they don’t understand divination at all), Pauline became angry. However, as a timid person, she couldn’t voice her complaints. Behind her thick-lensed glasses, she blinked and looked down, barely managing to respond, “I will try divining again.”
Tying back her tightly curled red hair and adjusting her glasses that had slipped down, Pauline repeated her divinations every day.
The future she divined was interconnected with various events, much like a knitting pattern spread across a long corridor.
If she knew the specific time and place, divination was relatively easy. By specifying the number of stitches, she could accurately predict the pattern and colors of the knitting at that point.
However, half a year ago, when she divined without specifying a time, she saw that the “future of the kingdom” on the carpet-like knitting had become tattered and interrupted.
How far into the future it extended was not something she could grasp overnight. She had to diligently count the stitches. Yet, the male wizards, who prioritized offensive magic, would demand, “It’s more than a year away.” And when she asked for the exact date, they would snap, “Pinpoint it!”
While engaged in the painstaking task of counting stitches, they would ask about solutions. When she inquired which divination should take priority, they would say, “Do both, and do it quickly.”
(How can I do both at once? Idiots! I asked them to hire a divination wizard to succeed me, but they prioritized hiring their fellow offensive magic users. Thanks to them, I have to do everything alone!)
While cursing inwardly, Pauline continued her divinations diligently. Although she couldn’t predict the specific disaster that would occur, she deduced that summoning a person who could save them was the key.
However, here’s the thing.
Victor, who had been hailed as the greatest summoner in the past few decades, had summoned a woman without any magical power.
Woodywa-sama, the kingdom’s top appraiser, had asserted this, so there was no doubt that she had no magical power. The disappointment of the important men was immense, but Pauline’s divination results were different.
Although it was supposed to be a failed summoning of a saint, from that day on, two futures were born in this country: the prosperous Kingdom of Kholdar and the devastated Kingdom of Kholdar, where people suffered.
Unable to comprehend what was happening, Pauline hesitated to immediately inform the Prime Minister.
While she was lost in her thoughts, she heard that “the young woman who was summoned was kicked out of the castle while still in her rags.” The one who informed her was Sandy, a girl who worked directly under Pauline. She was close to Sherry, who took care of the saint.
“W-What? They kicked her out? Even though Victor summoned her with all his magical power?”
“Yes. While Victor-sama was unconscious and bedridden. Moreover, Victor-sama has been forced to retire. Officially, it’s said that he fell ill, but everyone says he was held responsible for the failed summoning. Now, another summoner is attempting the summoning, but it doesn’t seem to be going well.”
Pauline was impressed by Sandy’s ability to gather information.
“Why did they rush things like that? Those fools!”
Considering the information she had just heard, if she performed divination again, one of the two futures—the devastated and tragic one—became slightly clearer, while the prosperous future appeared somewhat hazy.
“This can’t go on like this. The summoning was indeed a success. They shouldn’t have kicked her out!”
Pauline rushed to Captain Brent Baynes and reported about the two futures, but it seemed that Brent considered her divination to be incomplete.
“Until it becomes clear which one is correct, you must not speak to anyone about the two futures. We cannot further confuse the higher-ups.”
Her plea that it was an unstable future where it was unclear which path it would take was rejected. Brent had a very tired expression on his face.
Pauline Lane was perplexed.
“What should I do? If things continue like this, the country will be devastated by a great disaster.”
If she went against her superior Brent’s judgment, she might lose her position. However, Pauline had lived her life faithfully, relying on her divination abilities. The fact that she had never been wrong in her divinations since childhood supported her spirit.
Now, if she pretended not to have seen the future that only she knew, she felt it would trample on her own pride.
“Even if I’m ridiculed and looked down upon, I have lived with pride in my divination.”
After thinking for a while, Pauline resolved to find a way to locate the woman who had been summoned and abandoned, Haru Ayukawa.