That day was like any other.
After finishing their everyday morning training, Tatsumi and Verse were planning to have their lunch with Calcedonia at their usual place. It happened on their way there.
“E-Excuse me…..A-Are you perhaps Tatsumi Yamagata…?”
Suddenly hearing the restrained voice of a young girl from behind, Tatsumi turned around.
There he saw a young girl, maybe the same age as him, or even a bit younger.
She had fluttering chestnut colored hair and big grey eyes with a tint of blue. Though she could not really be called an unmatched beauty, she had this cute kind of lovable appearance.
“Huh? Oh, yes. That’s me but…?”
From her uniform and design of her crest, she should be a Junior Priestess like Tatsumi and Verse.
But even though she was the one who called out to him, Tatsumi did not recognize her.
“Oh gosh, thank goodness….I heard you had black hair and black eyes…but I was nervous in case I got the wrong person…Really, thank goodness…”
The girl meekly heaved a sigh of relief. Yet as she seemed to recall something, her expression tightened.
“Please excuse my rudeness. I am called Khooli, a Junior Priestess. I have come by the graces of her holiness lady Calcedonia.”
“Chiiko’s….No I mean, Calcedonia’s…..?”
The girl who called herself Khooli energetically nodded.
Today, it seemed like Calcedonia was in a hurry as she left for a certain noble’s mansion.
It seems like an elder woman from that house had received her kindness once in the past.
After receiving a request of medical treatment from that elder’s servant, Calcedonia left to visit her.
That’s why, she sent Khooli with whom she was intimate with to tell Tatsumi that he could not join them for lunch.
“I see, since this side has no cellphones or mails, in case of sudden change in plans you guys have to depend on verbal messages.”
Maybe there were magic for Thought Transmission, but he has yet to hear about those from Calcedonia and Giuseppe.
If it did exist though, knowing Calcedonia, she would have definitely taught it to Tatsumi.
Though it could also be that it did exist but Giuseppe and Calcedonia didn’t know of it.
“And, she told me to give you this…”
After saying that, Khooli handed over the basket Calcedonia always used to bring their lunch.
“Lady Calcedonia told me that she would be having lunch at the elder’s home, so she won’t mind if Lord Tatsumi had this ahead of her.”
“Thanks. And you said you were Miss Khooli right? We’re both Junior Priests so no need to address me with ‘Lord’. Just call me Tatsumi.”
After taking the basket Tatsumi told her so, but she hurriedly waved both her hands in front of her face in denial.
“T-There’s no way I could do that!! Isn’t Lord Tatsumi the future husband of Lady Calcedonia!? And His holiness lord Chrysophrase has been personally tutoring you, everyone knows this!! Even if we’re both Junior Priests now, in the future you would surely become someone of high status in the temple!! Compared to me, the difference is status is way too much!!”
“What!? People see me like that!?”
After Khooli said all that, Tatsumi was the one who was the most surprised. He then suddenly turned around to look at Verse, who in turn shrugged his shoulders and sighed.
“Aren’t you the only one who doesn’t know it? There’s been quite a few rumors going on about the two of you.”
The Supreme pontiff of the temple of Savaiv went out of his way to invite a person from a faraway country to be the groom of his precious granddaughter.
Guided personally by the supreme pontiff, in the future he was sure to attain a leading position in the temple, maybe even become his holiness’s successor.
He had an unimaginable level of mana to use, and in the future he might even become a fabled <<Grand Mage>>.
Not only was he good at magic, he even showed exceptional skills when it came to swordsmanship, and might even become the High Commander for the Clerical knights in the future.
He defeated Morganeich who was once Calcedonia’s lover in a duel, and snatched her away!!
And such and such. Overly exaggerated rumors, completely unfounded rumors, and the lot were all mixed together in a bundle which spread about not only in the temple, but also throughout the whole Levantes.
And also, it seems like there were talk of royalty, and even some of the most prominent noble houses approaching Giuseppe wanting to meet Tatsumi personally.
“Right now it could be said that you’re in the spotlight, in many levels.”
Being teased by Verse who was visibly smirking, Tatsumi felt like cold water was being poured on him.
“Please forgive me child. I know it wasn’t really a big matter but I still sent a servant to call you…”
The old woman lying on top of the bed said that to Calcedonia with a gentle smile.
“No, I don’t mind. Mistress has taken care of me since I was a child. If something comes up then please do inform me. I’ll try my hardest to help.”
After being cast an <<Illness Cure>> spell, the old woman sat up on the bed after feeling a little better.
The old woman’s name was Eleesha Coulotte. She’s the former mistress of the house of Coulotte, and wife of the late duke Coulotte who has already left for his journey to god. After her son inherited the title of the Duke, she retired. Now a days she has been enjoying the remaining days of her life here.
But even though she has retired, she still has tremendous influence on the noble circles of the Largofiely Kingdom. Especially within the female circle like the various daughters and mistresses of aristocratic houses.
Her influence is so big that it was said, ‘If the former mistress of the house of Coulotte ever wishes so, then even the queen’s head will be offed.’ She has forever been respected, and at the same time feared within the female aristocratic circle of the kingdom.
But as for Calcedonia, she was nothing more than a ‘kind grandmother who has always been doting and spoiling her since she was little.’ She viewed her as an old friend of her grandfather (or foster father) who was very sociable.
“Your magic is as effective as ever. By the way…”
Eleesha’s smile turned from gentle to teasing as she said to Calcedonia,
“I’ve heard you know? You have finally decided to settle down?”
“Oh my, has it already reached even your ears?”
Calcedonia was surprised. But even so her eyes and smiling lips showed clear signs of happiness, and Eleesha noticed it.
“Yes… And it seems like you’ve met a good companion. Truthfully speaking, I wanted you to marry my grandchild or one of those boys’ but…”
Till now, Eleesha had brought up that marriage proposal to her multiple times.
Starting from her grandchildren, she tried to get Calcedonia to tie the knot with those sons from noble household that were sure to have a bright future.
This wasn’t because she wanted Calcedonia, the <<Holy Maiden>> of the temple of Savaiv to be tied by blood with the nobles, but simple because she was worried about Calcedonia who was almost leaving behind the age bracket suitable for marriage.
Because they understood this, Both Calcedonia and Giuseppe always felt sorry when they had to refuse the marriage proposals brought by Eleesha, unlike the other cases.
“But, seeing your expression, I don’t think he’s an uncouth man. My child, won’t you tell me about him? Just what kind of wonderful gentleman is he, the lord you’ve chosen?”
And then, Calcedonia with feelings brimming with joy spoke to Eleesha about the person who would be her husband.
At first after listening to Calcedonia speaking, she herself had a happy expression. But as Calcedonia continued talking forever and ever, her smile soon cramped, and then in the end her face was full of dark lines as it turned more dejected. That was how long it took Calcedonia to finish speaking about her partner.
Tatsumi and Verse left after thanking Khooli.
Right now, they weren’t headed for their original destination which was the courtyard, but for the mess hall.
Because Calcedonia wasn’t with them, they thought that once in a while they should eat in the mess hall like the rest.
The 2 walked towards the mess hall while carrying the lunch basket prepared by Calcedonia which Khooli delivered to them.
Because it was just about lunch time, the mess hall was almost completely packed. But it was not like there weren’t any vacant seats at all.
Well, now just where should they sit down? Just as the 2 were thinking that, a certain person noticed their existence.
“Huh? Isn’t it Tatsumi and Verse? Aren’t you 2 going to have lunch with Lady Calcedonia as always?”
As they looked towards the direction the voice came from, they saw 3 familiar faces.
“Niez, Sargo and Schero? So you folks were here.”
They could be said to be graduates of the same class as Tatsumi and Verse. The only people who managed to complete the fundamental training with Tatsumi and Verse, their fellow Cadets.
By the way, these three had completely identical faces but they weren’t triplets. They were siblings born within 1 year of each other.
These three who had the same dark brown coloured hair and bright brown colour eyes were from eldest to youngest, Niez who was 17, Sargo who was 16 and Schero who was 15.
They were respective the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sons of a small merchant house and weren’t stay in priests of the temple. They were people who came from outside the temple every day in order to train to become clerical knights.
In this age which was far dangerous than modern day Japan, even those among ordinary citizen wanted to grasp ways so that they could protect themselves.
The temple taught the art of combat to folks like them.
But of course, the number of people who came from outside the temple to learn combat was not much was Savaiv was the god of Marriage and good harvest.
People who wanted to learn how to fight to protect themselves would almost all go to the temple of the God of the sun and light, the guardian of Law and order, and is also shown to be a Wargod, Golaiva.
So folks like Niez who purposely came to the temple of Savaiv in order to train as a Clerical Knight are very rare.
Because the one who will succeed their business was the eldest son, they thought that they would either make a living in the future as a Clerical knight, or if it was impossible then they’ll become monster hunters. That’s why they were taking up the training.
And why did they come to the temple of Savaiv and not the temple of Golaiva? Well one reason was that it was close to their home. And the other one is that they had hopes to get close to the fabled ‘<<Holy Maiden>> of the temple of Savaiv’. Well yes, just like any teen in adolescence, they had their own [Impure] motives.
But well, that [Impure] motif of theirs succeeded better than it should have thanks to becoming friends with Tatsumi.
After being beckoned by Niez, Tatsumi and Verse sat down next to them as the seats were conveniently free.
“So, what happened? Why aren’t you with lady Calcedonia?”
“Well seems like Chiiko left in a hurry after receiving a treatment request. That’s why we came over here.”
Tatsumi explained to them as he took out the lunch made my Calcedonia from the basket.
But of course, the 3 siblings completely ignored Tatsumi’s explanation and were silently staring at the lunch Tatsumi placed on top of the table.
The lunch placed on top of the table. In other words, it was the lunch, in todays’ case Sandwiches, made personally by Calcedonia. There were also sliced pieces of fruit that had taste and texture similar to apple pears/
It was a simple sandwich. The bread was long and narrow looking similar to French bread, and it had simple smoked meat and vegetables in between. But since Calcedonia was a rather good cook, both Tatsumi and Verse loved it.
“As always, thank you for the delicious meal, Lady Calcedonia. I promise to never raise my head in thy presence.”
Clasping his hands, Verse started to pray. But the one he was giving his thanks to wasn’t the God but the <<Holy Maiden>>.
And after then, he took a piece of the sandwich and began stuffing his cheeks with it.
The three brothers also silently watched all that happen. Their mouths? Already drooling like a flood.
“Ah…….If you’d like, would you guys like to have a……bite?”
As Tatsumi held out few of the sandwiches towards them, their faces immediately started to sparkle.
Their voices beautifully overlapped, as the three brothers swarmed towards the sandwiches like a mob of hungry beasts.
“T-This is!! Lady Calcedonia’s handmade…”
“Delicious!! Thinking that her holiness made this, it tastes even more delicious!!”
“Thanks Tatsumi!!! No, LORD Tatsumi!! If I’m able to eat tasty meals like this every day, I wouldn’t mind even if I had to become your slave!!….No rather, I want to become Lady Calcedonia’s slave!!”
“No, neither me nor Chiiko needs any slaves at the moment so…”
After Tatsumi immediate straight man response, Verse and the other 3 started to laugh out loud. Tatsumi too, joined their merry laughing with a smile after a while.
Certainly, living together with Calcedonia was something blissful for Tatsumi.
No doubt that Tatsumi’s home in this world with Chiiko was something very cozy and comfortable for him. It calms him down.
But like this, having friends like Verse and the 3 brothers, talking about stupid things and getting excited over nothing had a different kind of happiness compared to having fun with Calcedonia.
Right, it was as if he was back in the Classroom at school, having a fun conversation with his classmates with no worries at all.
Come to think of it, the 5 boys here all had similar ages. In, Japan that would be just right for High School.
And if they were high schoolers, then having fun conversations like this in the classroom was an everyday thing.
“Hey, did ya know some kid in this class recently got a girlfriend?”
“The Idol in the Gravure Magazine is damn hot!! I wanna touch the raw thing, Raw!!”
“I found a new Ramen shop on the way home the other day, and the stuff they make is damn good. Want to check out after school?”
“Hey Hey, aren’t you going to confess to that girl soon? You should hurry up man!”
For high schoolers, these kind of conversations were just normal little things.
But Tatsumi didn’t have that experience. For Tatsumi who had a rather faint existence in school, he didn’t have any intimate friends.
However now, even though the world he lived in was different, he had company who he could talk fun with.
— Verse, and the Niez brothers, this was all thanks to Chiiko calling him over from that world.
Friends he could not have in his former world.
Tatsumi thanked Calcedonia over and over again for giving him the opportunity to meet them, as he continued with the foolish but enjoyable moment he was spending with his new mates.
“….Thanks. I think I have fully understood what kind of man your partner is…”
Eleesha said without even hiding her tired expression.
“I-I’m really sorry….How stupid of me, I kind of went overboard….….Talking about master Tatsumi like this…….completely neglecting your health…”
Dropping her shoulders, Calcedonia felt really ashamed.
“You don’t have to mind it dear. And besides, I have certainly, fully understood just how much you like the lad. Humph, thanks for the treat.”
Eleesha showed a slightly prankish, yet slightly happy smile as she saw Calcedonia, completely red, squirming with both her flushed cheeks on her palms.
After that, Calcedonia had a meal with Eleesha while talking and chatting about this and that. After the meal, she bade Eleesha goodbye and left the mansion.
While seeing off the carriage from the Temple getting further and further from the window of her room, Eleesha began to wonder about Tatsumi who Calcedonia was completely smitten with.
Eleesha herself knew Calcedonia from when she was a child. So she was well aware of the “Boy from her dream” Calcedonia always talked about.
And Calcedonia said she succeeded in summoning that “Boy from her dreams”. Eleesha knew Calcedonia was researching summoning magic, but to think she actually succeeded!
Even someone like Eleesha almost dropped her jaws on the floor when she heard it.
Of course, Eleesha herself had no intention of telling others that Tatsumi was summoned.
It doesn’t even need to be said but, if the people knew Calcedonia had succeeded in performing the Legendary Summoning Magic, then she’d attract even more attention than she did now, amongst other things.
But no matter how she put it, she became more and more interested on that ‘summoned’ Tatsumi.
From what she knew, Calcedonia never had any real experience with love before. For a man with even a little experience with women, they would be easily able to lead the Current love smitten Calcedonia by the nose.
Eleesha was painfully aware just how much Calcedonia was obsessed with the “Boy from her dreams” since she was young.
But that “Boy from her dreams” might not actually be the kind of person Calcedonia always thought him to be.
“….It seems like there is a need to test this boy called Tatsumi a bit….Is anyone there?”
As Eleesha lightly clapped her hands, a middle aged butler showed himself.
For a public standpoint he was Eleesha’s personal butler, but he was also the person Eleesha trusted the most.
He was a ‘Loyal Subject’ who would do anything Eleesha ordered, no matter ‘What’ it was.
“Find out the character and temperament of the junior priest called Tatsumi Yamagata of the temple of Savaiv as soon as possible. I don’t care what means you use, do it.”
Without even looking at the butler, Eleesha calmly gave her orders.
And the butler who was ordered, after slightly bowing and replying with a sigle ‘Understood’, left the room.
While sensing the butler’s presence becoming fainter and fainter —as the butler purposely left a presence for his master to sense— Eleesha quietly muttered.
“Tatsumi Yamagata….was it? While I do not think this boy who was even acknowledged by Giuseppe is up to no good but….That Giuseppe, when it comes to Calcedonia he spoils her too much… If…If by chance this Tatsumi Yamagata is tricking Calcedonia then…”
Calcedonia was someone she adored just like a granddaughter. And if by chance that Calcedonia was decieved by someone she loved then…
No matter how much Calcedonia would come to resend her, she will tear them apart!
And of course, Eleesha would never ever forgive a man who tricked Calcedonia.
“…At that time prepare yourself. I will use everything at my disposal to erase your very existence from this kingdom.”