Tatsumi made several round trips between the backyard and kitchen carrying bundles of firewood using the wooden rack that was in the firewood storage shed.
Because there was a limit to the amount of firewood he could carry with the wooden rack, and because he had chopped a large amount of wood this morning, it was impossible to carry all of it in just 2 or 3 rounds.
However, Tatsumi had made round trips from the back garden to the kitchen over ten times already, yet he didn’t feel very tired at all.
And though the wooden rack was loaded to its limit, he didn’t feel it was heavy at all.
He had a faint feeling when he chopping the firewood in the morning, but now he was sure that his physical strength and stamina had risen.
“This… Could this be that? I mean…it has to be that, right?”
He read about it a number of times in various light novels, the so called ‘other world ability correction.’ That thing where when you get ported to another world, your physical ability and various other things increase a few folds.
Giuseppe and Calcedonia said that he didn’t have any magic at all. And that shouldn’t be a lie either. Thus, his ability correction might be something different from magic.
A physical power up that has nothing to do with magic or mana, in which case, it would be no wonder that Giuseppe and Calcedonia couldn’t tell the difference.
‘Yeah! Now this is more like the parallel world I know!’ Tatsumi thought to himself cheerfully. Naturally, his work speed increased too.
The various Junior Priests working in the kitchen and the Priests who happened to pass by who saw Tatsumi walking with light footsteps make several round trips from the back garden to the kitchen with that mountain load of firewood stared at him like he was some kind of strange animal.
“…You, that’s amazing ya know? Ain’t that heavy?”
A priest with brown hair and eyes who was working in the kitchen said that to Tatsumi, who had a huge amount of firewood on the rack on his back.
“Well, it’s not like I don’t feel any weight at all but…it’s lighter than I thought.”
“Hmmm…. Hey, let me have a go too, yeah?”
Maybe since he was a bit interested in Tatsumi, he stopped his work and reached out to the wooden rack Tatsumi put on the floor.
He squatted down to strap the rack on his back, but when he tried the stand up he felt more weight than he expected and lost his balance, almost falling over.
Tatsumi hurriedly supported him so that he didn’t crash into the floor, but the priest immediately unstrapped the rack and collapsed on the floor just like that.
“Hey!! Ain’t that crazy heavy!! Just how the hell ain’t this heavy!?”
The priest grumbled at Tatsumi while sitting on the floor.
Tatsumi laughed wryly while lending him a hand to stand up.
“Even if you say so… I really can’t feel much weight.”
Tatsumi strapped the rack on his back again and lightly stood up. Then he hopped a few times, displaying that it wasn’t that heavy for him.
“Wait, are you a magician? You’re using magic to make it lighter right?”
“Nope, I’m not a magician. Rather, it seems I don’t have any mana at all.”
“Hmmm? I don’t really get it, but no way in hell are you an ordinary dude. Oh, right! The name’s Verse. Haven’t seen ya before but you’re a junior priest like me right? Nice to meet ya.”
The priest called Verse extended his hand for a shake while looking at Tatsumi’s uniform and crest. Tatsumi introduced himself as well while shaking Verse’s hand.
“I’m Tatsumi Yamagata. I just arrived in this country yesterday.”
“Ah, so you really are a foreigner. Thought so with those black hair and eyes.”
Verse showed a friendly smile. He shouldn’t be that far off in terms of age, so Tatsumi thought that they might become good friends.
Originally, Tatsumi was the sociable type who could quickly make friends with anyone.
The reason why he was isolated in high school was almost certainly largely because he had lost his family all at once.
The pressure of having to live from now on by himself (with only Chiiko to be precise) and uncertainty over whether he could live depending only on himself made his originally sociable personality turn into its polar opposite.
Also, none of his close friends from middle school were admitted into the high school he went to. Though there were a few people from his middle school, he had next to no interaction with them.
If some of his friends from middle school had been in his high school, he might not have dropped out.
After Tatsumi came to this world and reunited with Chiiko, he gradually returned to his old personality. Even today, due to meeting some nice people like Bogart and Verse, this would become more obvious from now on.
“Oops, can’t slack off forever now, can we? Lord Acolyte or the High Priests might get mad. Let’s chat while eating together sometime when we’re free Tatsumi.”
“Yea, got it. Later then, Verse.”
After lightly waving his hand, Tatsumi began to unstack the firewood from the rack.
He delivered the amount necessary to the kitchen, and then carried the rest to the storeroom Bogart showed him.
Though he felt fatigue it was paltry in comparison to the amount of firewood he had carried. Just when he was thinking it was the ‘parallel world ability correction’ at work here, a huge wave of exhaustion suddenly hit him.
It was so sudden that Tatsumi fell on his rear on the spot. Though he tried to stand up, he couldn’t muster the energy to do so.
“W-What’s going on….?”
He sat down for a while and after some deep breaths, he could somehow manage to move a bit again.
He staggered up, and slowly started to walk along the outer wall of the temple.
“I-I don’t know what just happened but…it’s a blessing this didn’t happen while I was on duty…”
If this sudden exhaustion had hit him while he was working, he might’ve been crushed to death under the firewood he was carrying. Well, crushed to death might be an exaggeration, but there was a large probability that he might’ve been injured somewhere.
According to Bogart, he didn’t have any more jobs to do today. He promised to meet up with Calcedonia after he finished his work, so he slowly headed towards the rendezvous point that was the main entrance.
Opposite to when he was carrying the mountain load of firewood, he slowly walked towards the gate and somehow managed reach to where he could see the main entrance.
It seemed like Calcedonia was waiting for him. When she was about to smile after seeing his figure, she immediately realized that something was amiss so she hurriedly rushed to him.
“Master!? What happened!?”
“Well…I don’t know… Right after I finished my work, I suddenly felt very tired and…”
Calcedonia immediately inspected Tatsumi, and checked that he wasn’t hurt anywhere.
“It seems to be extreme fatigue but…”
Sudden wounded or ill people were brought to each temple on a daily basis. Temples were places where the people prayed to god, and at the same time, it was a place of medical treatment for the wounded and ill.
Because of that, a part of the duties of a priest was to treat the various patients in the medical department. Calcedonia, who had ample experience in that, could precisely diagnose Tatsumi.
“Please wait a moment. I’ll treat you right away.”
After putting her right hand in front of Tatsumi’s face, she resonantly chanted the aria.
A silver light wrapped around her right hand along with the aria and was gradually transmitted to Tatsumi’s body before permeating into it.
Tatsumi’s body quickly became better as the silver light was completely absorbed into his body.
“Thanks, Chiiko. Was that Healing magic just now?”
“Yes. It’s a spell called <<Stamina Invigoration>> of the <Light> and <Holy> attribute that can reduce fatigue. But it’s only a temporary measure for the duration of the effect.”
“That still helps. Thanks. My stamina should return with time.”
“So how in the world did you get so fatigued Master? Did you perhaps push yourself too hard while working?”
After standing up with Calcedonia’s help, he told her about what happened to his body.
“Hmm… As far as I can tell, it sounds like a simple case of fatigue. But looking at the symptoms, it’s almost like you’re a beginner magician who didn’t know his limit and over-exerted their power.”
According to Calcedonia, it seemed like stamina consumed along with mana when using magic. However, the usage of stamina can be reduced with experience. In other words, one can gradually get used to it.
So when a beginner magician uses his magic to the limit, he falls into a state of exhaustion, just like the the current Tatsumi.
“But I don’t have any mana right? And I don’t remember using magic either… Rather, I can’t even use it in the first place.”
“It is as you say….”
Calcedonia pondered it while putting her outstretched index finger on her chin.
What bothered her was the fact that she could feel just a little mana within Tatsumi during their lunch break. At that time she thought it was her imagination, but what if it wasn’t?
Once again, Calcedonia thoroughly observed Tatsumi. She tried to feel the mana a magician usually had, but as expected, she could feel nothing.
“As I thought, Master really has no mana at all…”
“Well, it’s no use just standing around here. Should we go shopping as planned?”
Tatsumi promised Calcedonia that today he’d go around town to buy the furniture, tableware and other daily necessities for their house.
“There’s no need for Master to push yourself when you’re tired you know? There is still some leeway until the house is prepared after all.”
Calcedonia was informed by Kashin that it would take around 3 days for the maintenance to be finished. They still had some time to finish the shopping for furniture, so it wasn’t like they had to do all of it today.
“But, it’s not like I have anything else to do today. If possible I want to visit the town a bit-”
-and most importantly, I want to be together with Chiiko.
Tatsumi momentarily swallowed those last words. It was somewhat embarrassing to say that out loud. No, it was really, really embarrassing.
Calcedonia’s ruby eyes looked at Tatsumi’s face that had suddenly turned red for some reason in wonder.
Feeling as if Calcedonia was gazing into his mind, Tatsumi began quickly walking with his face still red.
Just who the hell that man?
He glared at the back of the man who was so joyously heading out to the town with the <<Holy Maiden>> with with a piercing gaze.
The foreign boy with black hair and black eyes who was personally invited by the Supreme Pontiff of the doctrine of Savaiv himself.
The boy’s special features would only be the color of his hair, eyes, and skin which are unusual in this country. He didn’t excel in physical strength, nor was he an exceptional magician.
When he had heard that the boy was personally invited by the Supreme Pontiff himself, he thought that the boy was of high social status. But for some reason, the boy was wearing the uniform of a Junior priest and was going around doing chores diligently. He couldn’t really believe that it was something a person of high status would do.
Then why exactly did His Holiness Lord Chrysoprase go out of his way to call upon this person from another country? And why exactly did Calcedonia serve that boy with such a joyful expression?
Numerous doubts and questions were rising up in his heart. However, he couldn’t find a single answer to all those doubts.
Those things accelerated his irritation.
Just then, the possibility that he had purposely avoided all along came to mind.
Perhaps His Holiness Lord Chrysoprase is planning to marry that boy to Calcedonia.
But, he told himself that if that was so, then something was definitely weird.
Calcedonia was someone who didn’t even accept marriage proposals from royalty. So he couldn’t imagine Calcedonia would go and marry a mere Junior Priest.
He simply just couldn’t grasp the true nature of that boy. His feelings were driven to further irritation.
At the same time, the fear that that boy might snatch away his Calcedonia from him tightly grasped his heart.
The <<Holy Maiden>> that clung on to that boy’s arm frivolously like a harlot from the outskirts of town. He didn’t want to watch that figure of her any longer. But he couldn’t take her eyes off her.
It was then.
While he was watching the figure of the two gradually going away, an inhuman voice whispered in his ear.
-If he’s going to steal her away, then all you have to do is steal her first right?