Under the teachings of Odin, the days of running, building up muscle and strength using various physical exercises continued.
That day was the same too. But after the severe drill, Odin, who was their instructor Clerical Knight brought them to a certain place.
What was unusual for Odin, who usually had a scary face, was that he was somewhat putting up airs today as he stood in front of a certain door and turned around towards the new recruits.
“Gentlemen of the Clerical Knight Cadets! You have done a splendid job keeping up with my training till date! So from today on we will finally start training on how to handle weapons! But remember they will still be simple training use weapons!”
As Odin said with a grin, the recruits all exclaimed out loudly in joy.
Right now, excluding Tatsumi and Verse, there were only 3 more recruits. In other words, a total of 5 people. Comparing to the initial number of thirty heads, only one sixth remained. A sad number indeed.
It’s been a total of 60 days till they have started their foundation training. And the new recruits had to repeat those monotonous movements day after day. Among them, there were many who got fed up with it and approached Odin to start handling weapons.
But Odin, completely ignoring whatever they had to say, continued on with the basic course. So those who were dissatisfied with Odin, and those who could not endure the training, they all finally dropped out one after another leaving only these 5.
“This is a storehouse for the Clerical Knight Order’s weapon reserve. You gentlemen are to select one article that you think will fit you well and use it. After using it, if you think it doesn’t click with you then you can keep switching till you find one suitable. But remember, even though I said they were for training use they are basically no different from real ones. So use with due caution. Am I clear!?”
After hearing the loud affirmation from the cadets, Odin opened the doors. From within, a stink of rust, iron and sweat tickled their noses, but the cadets didn’t mind that at all. On the contrary they stepped in with visible excitement.
Of course, Tatsumi wasn’t an exception either as he stepped into the storehouse with delight.
There was truly a wide variety of weapons in the storehouse.
There were spears leaning on the walls, axes lying on the mats, and a wide variety of swords piled up in one corner.
Tatsumi picked one of the swords from the pile that looked appropriate and tried swinging it a few times.
Tatsumi’s body almost slipped because of the weight of the sword, but the 2 months of repeated foundation training he did wasn’t for show. He immediately put strength in his arms and lower body, so he promptly restrained his body which seemed to swim off.
These 2 months of training were by no means useless. Realizing that once again, he became happy.
That happiness showed in his face, as he unintentionally let out a smile. From behind him, Odin’s low voice which he was completely used to hearing sounded out.
“Ooh? So you want to use a sword? In this country there ain’t many who uses swords as their main weapon, but is that the case in your country?”
Black hair and eyes was pretty rare in the kingdom of Largofiely. So it turned out that people thought Tatsumi was a foreigner. Because of that, maybe Odin thought the people from Tatsumi’s homeland mainly used swords as their weapons.
“Certainly in my country, there was an era in the past where people mainly used swords…a kind of sword called Katana.”
Tatsumi looked at the sword in his hand. It had a single edge true, but the was broad and straight. The only point it had common with a Japanese sword was that it had one edge.
But still, Tatsumi himself had that image in his mind ,”If it’s a fantasy word then it’s gotta be a sword!”, and as a young boy of the 21st century, he had a longing for swords.
“…..For now I guess, I should go down the Orthodox Style.”
Tatsumi pulled out a few more single handed sword swords from the pile, and swung them to try out. They had their edges dulled so it was okay.
He wielded a sword in his right hand, and with his left hand he picked up a small round shield. Just as he said earlier, if it’s a fantasy world, then this would be the most orthodox style.
“I never said there’s a need to stick to only one weapon. After getting used to the sword, you can switch to another. But, sticking only to the sword is fine as well.”
Learning how to use multiple sorts of weapons, or sticking to just one trying to master it. Both have their pros and cons.
If one learnt how to properly use various kinds of weapons, then they could adapt to situations well enough, and their usability would broaden as well. Like, if there was a foe who was tough to beat with a sword, use a staff. Rather, if one could simply match his own weapon to be a counter of his foe’s, than that by itself would be a huge plus.
And the demerit here would be that he would not be able to master each and every weapon deeply.
The art of weapons is very deep. There are even various secret techniques and mysteries one could master. And if one wishes to do so, rather than fooling around left and right, sticking to just one goes without saying.
Should he choose flexibility depending on the situation? Or should he throw out the rest and walk only one path? It’s a question with two completely polar opposite answers, and Tatsumi couldn’t really give a clear reply to it this instant.
First, the sword. He could think about other stuff later.
Thinking that, he left the storehouse while holding the weapons he selected.
After selecting their respecting weapons, the recruits returned to the training ground.
Till now, there were obviously some senior knights using the training grounds along with them. So as not to disturb their training, Tatsumi and co always did their fundamental training in one corner.
But today was different.
While it might not be the same as the senior knights, they too starting from today would boldly swing their weapons in the training grounds.
But of course, they won’t be suddenly exchanging blows with each other. First they’ll collect their leather armor, then they’ll practice on scarecrows to get a basic hold on their weapons.
Tatsumi used a sword, and including Verse the other four used long spears to attack the scarecrows.
First, Odin explained how to handle the long spear. Even Tatsumi who didn’t choose it attentively listened as something might come in handy from it.
It was then.
The senior knights who were training and sparring, suddenly made a huge commotion.
Wondering what happened Tatsumi and the rest turned around, only to see a pure white maiden with strikingly beautiful silver coloured long hair, gracefully walking over.
“H-Hey, Tatsumi. Ain’t that…”
“R-Right, It’s Chiiko alright…”
While calmly being watched by all the Clerical knights in the training grounds, Calcedonia walked over and Stood next to Odin.
After Calcedonia gave Odin a bow, Odin too silently returned it.
“Okay, listen up newbies!”
Odin informed the cadets with a loud voice and turning towards them.
“Today you lot will be moving onto weapons training. But! Since you are still unaccustomed to weapons, there might be unexpected injuries. In those cases, priestess Chrysophrase here, the famous <<Holy Maiden>> of our Savaiv temple has volunteered to act as today’s training inspector. Of course, if you get hurt during training, she’ll take care of the wounds. Okay bastards! Show her some gratitude!!”
Other than Tatsumi and Verse, the other three recruits were brimming with happiness as the said ,Thank you very much!!” in unison to Calcedonia.
Not only were they getting a chance to see the fabled Calcedonia from up close, they would even get personally healed by her magic in case of injuries! Their tension immediately hit the level cap.
Of course, Tatsumi and Verse also bowed to her. Verse obviously could accurately grasp her real objective for coming.
The reason why she came to inspect was definitely because Tatsumi. It’s Calcedonia we’re talking about here, if Tatsumi were to get hurt then she’d probably leave everything behind to rush here.
—-Well, that said. In the end we’re nothing but Extras here.
Even though he was amazed inwardly, he still showed a polite smile to her.
“Instructor Odin! If today we also get injured, would Lady Calcedonia heal us?”
After seeing the cadets clamoring about, one of the senior knights raised his hand and asked enthusiastically.
“Ya fool! You guys wipe your own asses!”
The Senior Knights just laughed it off at Odin’s angry shout.
“Okay gentlemen! Ignore the idiots and start your training!”
At Odin’s shout, the cadets once again began to handle their weapons.
“Err….*cough!* Junior Knight Yamagata. Are you perhaps feeling unwell today?”
After finishing practicing with the scarecrow as Odin instructed and switching places with Verse who was waiting his turn, Tatsumi was resting when Calcedonia approached him with a composed smile.
“Eh..Eh?….Chr-…Honored Priestess Chrysophrase…? N-No there’s nothing really wrong but…?”
It was no good to mingle public policy with personal interest!!
Thinking that Tatsumi responded to Calcedonia while ever so unnaturally replying to her politely. Suddenly addressing someone you knew in an unfamiliar way would obviously come with it’s due amount of embarrassment and ticklishness.
“Oh ho, please, no need to put up a tough front okay? You must be feeling unwell somewhere. Now now, tell me where it hurts without holding back. I’ll treat it immediately.”
“I-I’m telling you I’m fine!!”
“Come on, don’t be shy!!”
A sudden dispute broke out! Other than the two who knew about them (Verse and Odin), the others stopped what they were doing and looked at them in confusion.
Face red and preparing to flee was Tatsumi, and with a creepy and delighted smile on her face was Calcedonia who was drawing near him.
For people who didn’t know this side of her, all they could do was to stare at her with eyes wide open.
“As I Said!! I’m not really injured or anything!!”
“Then, Theeen at least let me massage your stiff muscles!! After swinging your sword for such a long time there has to be some places that are stiff!! Let me do a massage!! Now now, Please, don’t, hold, yourself, back!!”
“Of course I’ll hold myself back damnit!!”
Their squabble further escalates. They didn’t even notice that they were attracting everyone’s attention.
A large silhouette approached those two from behind, and then, it suddenly hit their heads with its battle staff like hands.
Tatsumi and Calcedonia simultaneously crouched down at the sudden and unexpected pain on their head.
“….Tsk, stupid couple…”
Trying to steady their senses after witnessing a galaxy of stars spinning around their heads, both Tatsumi and Calcedonia turned around, only to find a somewhat angry yet somewhat confused Odin standing there with his arms folded.
“Do that stuff when you’re at home, I say!! If you do it at home I won’t mind no matter how much ya flirt, and I won’t have to see it either!”
Odin himself was a Cleric of the Temple of Savaiv. And because the God he served was the guardian of marriage, he himself had no qualms when couples got along.
The problem was, one had to mind the time and place.
Odin took Tatsumi and Calcedonia and preached to them about that point for a while, and after judging that they have reflected he released them in an appropriate manner.
And then he turned towards the newbies.
But what he saw was not only the new ones, but even the seniors —except Verse— staring at him as if they were gasping for air.
No, they weren’t looking at Odin, but Tatsumi and Calcedonia who both turned meek and obedient.
“The hell’s wrong with you lot? Putting one stupid faces like that, each and every one of ya.”
“Ah, no, Instructor Odin…Right now, if I may be so rude to ask but…did you just call those 2 a married couple…?”
“Ah, these two? Well yeah, they haven’t officially been married yet but basically they’re the same. It’s something acknowledged by even his holiness Supreme Pontiff Chrysophrase.
After Odin finished, the training ground sank into a strange silence.
And then, after a few silent beats.
The new cadets, the seniors, and basically everyone there burst out screaming and shouting.
The combined noise was so large that even Odin, who was the nearest had to block his ears with his hands.
“N-No way!! Now that Morganeich’s gone I finally thought I had a chance to approach Lady Calcedonia!?”
“I-I heard that Lord Morganeich was dumped by Lady Calcedonia, and he left the order to heal his heart…could it be the rumors are true…?”
“I-It’s a lie…right? I-I mean, t-that Tasumi..? A mere cadet, nothing but a junior Knight apprentice, he, with the <<Holy Maiden>>…?”
“Nnoo wait a minute guys! Calmly, we have to think it through calmly! Calmly! If Tatsumi’s okay, doesn’t that mean we’re okay too…?”
“Ou? Ooooh!? N-Now that you mention it!? You, are you a freaking genius!?”
“No-, That’s impossible come on guys…”
The one that made the final comment was none other than Verse was was still silently practicing with the spear.
“I mean, it was Calcedonia who was approaching Tatsumi yanno? Frankly, I don’t think she has interest in anyone other than Tatsumi.”
Verse has been hanging out with Tatsumi and Calcedonia for quite some time now. He knew better than anyone that there’s no gap for anyone to exploit between them.
And also, the amount of affection Tatsumi shows for Calcedonia in the surface is far lower then the amount Calcedonia was over-spilling with at any given moment.
The amount of love, it was enough for either the man to be completely squashed by it, or make him decide to leave everything and run away. Well putting other men aside, Verse thought that if it was Tatsumi he would be able to accept all of her love.
“So, you see guys? If you end up doing something strange to Tatsumi because of your stupid jealousy, it’s gonna end up ugly. If Tatsumi ends up suffering, the <<Holy Maiden>> is going to turn into a <<Demon Queen>>.”
“W-Why are you talking like you understand?”
“Well I’ve been friends with Lady Calcedonia long enough to understand that.”
With a grin, Verse did thumbs up.
“I’ll tell you guys something good. You see, if you become friends with Tatsumi, you can also interact with Lady Calcedonia to a certain extent. Well becoming lovers is out of the question as long as Tatsumi’s here, be you can definitely become friends. Just like the great me!!”
Left hanging, he then pointed his thumb at himself, albeit dramatically.
Verse himself, a few months ago longed for the <<Holy Maiden>> of the Temple of Savaiv. But of course, that was limited to admiration, by no means was he in love.
And then, by means of his friend Tatsumi, he got to become friends with the fabled <<Holy Maiden>>.
After getting to know the real her, he understood that she wasn’t much different from a normal maiden of her age. From that moment, his admiration turned into familiarity.
Right now to Verse, Calcedonia wasn’t the <<Holy Maiden>> of the temple of Savaiv, but rather[His friend’s wife].
“Listen up! The important point is to not have any ulterior motives. That person, because of the sequence of events till now, is seriously sensitive to ulterior motives. You have to see Lady Calcedonia as nothing more than a ‘Colleague’s wife’. If you can do that, then you’ll certainly get along with her.”
The other cadets earnestly listened to Verse’s advice.
Is what he thought but,
“I understand!! Then after getting close enough, we can finally snatch away lady Calcedonia from him after choosing a suitable time right?!”
“No! As I said, you can’t have any ulterior motives!!”
Verse’s fist which suddenly punched out, beautifully landed on the cadet’s face who said that.
After that, a certain rumor started to rapidly spring up around the Savaiv temple.
The contents were that the <<Holy Maiden>> of their temple had finally found a partner for herself.
Further more, she was already living together with the said partner, and the marriage ceremony was just a matter of time.
It was that day, that the people who had faith in the <<Holy Maiden>> cried tears of blood. And the believers schemed this and that to offer up the blood of that man as sacrifice.
But there was another rumor that helped to keep all of them in check.
That is, “Those who sought to bring harm upon her holiness, lady <<Holy Maiden>>’s partner would suffer and writhe in hell’s playing field by the <<Holy Maiden>> who will transform into the <<Demon Queen>>, consumed by infinite anger. Also they will be forever hated by the <<Holy Maiden>>.”
Of course they hated the guy who stole the <<Holy Maiden>>’s heart, but they would also hate to be disliked by her.
Thinking that, the believers of her holiness all continued to shed tears, as they watched over the couple from afar.
A portion of the rather fanatic followers sought for opportunities to drive that hateful man away, but after witnessing the ever so harmonious relationship between the two, they had to scrap the thought.
This is how,
The <<Holy Maiden>> of the Temple of Savaiv, and the black haired black eyed foreigner couple slowly started to be acknowledged by others around them.