“Please forgive me for being late!”
Said Calcedonia apologetically while entering the parlor that Tatsumi and Giuseppe were waiting in. She stopped and lowered her head in apology at the very start of her speech.
“What took you so long? Son-in-law was getting tired of waiting for you.”
Laughing gently, Giuseppe chided his granddaughter.
“Ah! N-No, because Giuseppe-san’s conversation was quite entertaining, and it wasn’t like I was tired of waiting or anything…”
“R-Really? Phew, thank god.”
Placing a hand on her abundant chest, Calcedonia let out a sigh of relief.
Watching the exchange between the two young ones, Giuseppe let out a gentle laugh, and asked his granddaughter to sit next to him.
“Well , now that Calsey’s here, let’s explain everything from the beginning.”
Hearing this, Tatsumi sat at attention.
He no longer doubted that he was now in another world, the big question was as to why he was summoned here.
It wouldn’t have anything to do with him being asked to be a hero and save the world from the Demon King, would it? While thinking that deep in his heart, he waited for Giuseppe’s explanation.
“First of all, welcome to the kingdom of Largofiely, Son-in-law. I and my granddaughter, Calsey, we are glad to have you here from the bottom of our hearts.”
“Ah, well, thank you…..?”
Tatsumi was troubled on how to reply, so he ended up politely thanking them. Finding his embarrassed reply to be amusing, Giuseppe and Calcedonia both lightly laughed together.
“And so… we also apologize, Son-in-law, for abruptly bringing you here to this world. Once again, we are really sorry.”
In turn, Giuseppe and Calcedonia greatly lowered their heads to show their abject apologies.
“Um.. that is, please raise your heads, it’s okay, really!”
“No!… We… I mean I summoned Master on my own without thinking of your circumstances. I’ve taken you away from your life without asking your opinion, Master.”
Calcedonia kept her head lowered, and Tatsumi looked at her with a surprised expression.
From what she was saying, though she was able to summon him here, there was probably no way for him to return to his old world.
That’s why Calcedonia went as far as to state ‘taking you away from your life forcibly’.
“I see. But for now, please raise your heads, and tell me …. Tell me the reason why you brought me here. The reason you summoned me to this world.”
She summoned him to this world. All the while feeling guilty and being aware of the fact that she won’t be able to send him back, she still summoned him. And he wanted to know why.
After Tatsumi said that, the two finally raised their heads.
Then, facing the two, Tatsumi calmly stared at them.
For a short while, silence filled the parlor. But then suddenly, a loud noise rang out from outside the window.
The sound was the ringing of a bell from somewhere in the Church of Savaiv for announcing the time. As he listened carefully, he could here more bells ringing in the distance. Probably, the other temples were also doing the same.
Three times the bell rang, and when it ended, Calcedonia began to speak as if she took the ending of the gong as the trigger.
“The…… reason… for my bringing you here , Master…. The biggest reason… it’s because I wanted to see you again just one more time, Master at any cost.”
Her face blushing the color of cherry blossoms, Calcedonia put both her hands on her cheeks and gave her reason shyly.
“Huh….? That’s it….?”
Subconsciously, Tatsumi face turned blank.
Well, anyone would have shown the same reaction if they learnt that they’d been summon to another world because the summoner ‘Wanted to see him again.’
At the same time, Tatsumi was a bit relieved because the reason wasn’t, ‘Become and hero and slay the demon king!’.
Calcedonia looked at Tatsumi with happy upturned eyes. Her expression then turned into a serious one and she continued.
“I was…. worried…. so extremely worried. I was worried, and couldn’t get rid of my uneasy feelings. That day when I died in your arms, the look on your face, it was as if you were despaired with each and every thing in the world. You’re painful expression, I couldn’t forget no matter what. Master…. I couldn’t help but think that…..Master might take his own life……I was concerned…. and regretful.”
At Calcedonia’s words, Tatsumi’s body became paralyzed with shock.
He was reminded of Chiiko’s dying breaths in his arms. When Chiiko finally died, he felt as if the world around him had collapsed.
As Calcedonia had pointed out, after Chiiko died Tatsumi became all alone. Without any family to care for, he tried multiple times to take his own life.
There were many times when he pressed the Cutter Knife on his wrist. But in the end he wasn’t able to proceed, simply because he didn’t have the guts.
“Worrying about how Master was all alone, I committed myself to studying about summoning rituals since the moment I had awareness of my past life. Fortunately Grandfather found me when I was a child at a Savaiv cathedral and brought me here. The church has a lot of materials on magic so it saved me a lot of trouble.”
“Huh? You were brought here?”
“Yes. For a certain reason, I adopted her at an early age.”
Giuseppe had adopted Calcedonia. Their relationship was supposed to be that of an adoptive father and daughter, but turned into that of a grandfather and granddaughter due to the vast difference in age.
Turning away from her grandfather with a thankful smile, Calcedonia turned to face Tatsumi and further continued.
“At first I was planning to cross over to Master’s world, but no matter where I searched I couldn’t find and documents nor materials on any related arts, rituals or ceremony. But what I found was…”
“……Not something that could help you cross over to another world, but to bring someone here…..?”
In confirmation to Tatsumi’s question, Calcedonia gave a small nod.
She didn’t only search in the archives of the Temple.
In fact, with the help of her grandfather in his capacity as the Patriarch of the Doctrine of Savaiv, she searched any source she could think of including various royal archives. Yet, she was only able to find the information for the ceremony to summon Tatsumi to this world.
“….Still, it was my dearest wish. So at that time I decided to perform the ceremony to bring you here. Because I was going to become the main culprit who would make you give up everything you had, I was prepared to be hated, to be detested by Master. Nevertheless, I still wanted to meet Master once again….”
And that she was worried about her Master, said Calcedonia in a small voice.
With that, Calcedonia’s explanation had ended. But after it a silent atmosphere remained between them.
In order to break the ice that had settled over the conversation, this time Giuseppe was the one who turned his attention to Tatsumi.
“Might I ask a question of you?”
“Ah, yes, if I am able to answer.”
“You seem to be handling this quite well, lad. I must say that you don’t seem to be too confused or shocked by any of this.”
Said Tatsumi, with a look of confusion. It was then that he felt the gaze from the old man that was filled with a sharpness and dignity, rather than the usual easygoing one.
“It seems to me, that if one is typically brought suddenly to a new whole different world, there would be some distress or disorder, yes? Yet, you, on the other hand, do not seem that way. You are certainly a bit confused by all of this, but you don’t seem to be specially distressed or anything. On the contrary…. It seems that you are strangely calm and composed about this.”
“That is, well…”
His face turning red, Tatsumi’s gaze loitered around a bit. Then it stopped on Calcedonia before continuing to Giuseppe.
“It was… coming to world, to see a beautiful girl…… and then suddenly be embraced by her….. that is to say…that time..”
Tatsumi’s gaze met Calcedonia’s again.
“….She…. Because she reminded me so much of Chiiko… even if the reincarnation thing is hard to believe… Her behavior really matched Chiiko’s style. If it’s really true that she’s Chiiko reborn, rather than harboring any hate against her, I should be thanking her. To be honest, I’m glad to have met her again… even if her appearance has changed…..”
That Calcedonia was Chiko reborn, was something that Tatsumi could now almost completely believe. Calcedonia’s presence really felt familiar to that of Chiiko’s. And she knew a few things that only Chiiko should know. Most of all, she really reminded him of Chiiko.
Tatsumi sat motionlessly and stared straight at Calcedonia. And Clacedonia who was being stared at became overcome with emotions as clear teardrops started to fall from her ruby eyes.
Giuseppe watched the two’s gaze with gratitude, and feeling relieved, let out a bellow of cheerful laughter.
“Son-in-law, I think I now understand your thoughts. But, do you not have any lingering feelings towards your original world?”
“Mm-hmm. I really don’t have any regrets about my old world.”
Everything that would have tied him down to his original world– his beloved family and his close friends, most of all his dearest Chiiko– were all gone.
So in response to Giuseppe’s question, Tatsumi nodded his head with resolve.
From outside of the parlor, someone knocked at the door.
In response, Giuseppe inquired, and a youthful young woman’s voice could be heard.
“Your Grace, I apologize for interrupting your conversation with your guest. But is Lady Calcedonia present here?”
“Yes, I’m here but.”
“It will be the time of your sermon soon. The believers are already gathering at the chapel presently.”
“Ah, now that I think about it the bell had just rung three didn’t it? I understand. I’ll come immediately.”
Calcedonia replied to the woman on the other side of the door.
Then Calcedonia stood and and bowed towards Giuseppe and Tatsumi.
“Well then, Grandfather, Master. Because of my duties, I shall take my leave now.”
“Yes, to perform god’s work is also important. I hope you’ll not slack of in that”
“Well then Chiiko…No I guess it isn’t Chiiko now…Err.”
“No, Chiiko is fine, Master. I wish for you to continue calling me by that name.”
Once again, Calcedonia quickly bowed and quietly left the parlor.
While leaving, her cheeks were flushed red which her grandfather noticed, but as always he simply flashed a quick smile but didn’t say anything.
And so Calcedonia left the parlor, followed by the the priestess on their way to the chapel to give the sermon.
Along the way,
“U—um Lady Calcedonia…..? “
“Yes, Wha~at is it?”
With a cheerful expression and a bright smile, Calcedonia turned around with a spin.
“Today, umm…I am sorry for being blunt but…. did something good happen?”
The priestess was mystified.
Typically Calcedonia had a reticent expression, but now her beautiful face had undergone an unusual metamorphosis. Now she was constantly smiling, and answering people in a friendly manner.
She normally treated everyone the same, with a cold smile on her face. Even when she performed her sermons, she always had a severely stern and cold attitude as she preached about God.
And that cold Calcedonia who always resembled an unsheathed blade was also a subject of aspiration for the many believers. But today’s Calcedonia was different.
She was unusually cheerful today. And the way she was walking, it was practically skipping.
Calcedonia and the priestess, while not that close, had a friendship of sorts, where they would have a short chat now and then.
Looking at Calcedonia, even for the priestess it was easy to tell that she was merry and happy. Rather, she was way too giddy.
That was why she had asked that question earlier.
Yet now, the usually cold and stern Calcedonia, as if she was a maiden in love, showing an extremely shy expression answered the priestess. It was something unbelievably unthinkable to people who knew her.
Her eyes had signs of tears of joy but had a hot feverish light in them, and her cheeks were blushed pink. She placed her palms on her cheeks as if to hide them. Yet her gaze had drifted off to a faraway direction.
“Because…… he accepted me. A-And also he…. he said..that I was pretty…”
Calcedonia writhed in in happiness, with a pink aura scattering from her.
Seeing the Calcedonia before her eyes, the priestess was taken aback and thought
—Oh no! If Lady Calcedonia were to speak before the believers in this state, it’s going to turn into a messy situation. Because… the believer’s expectations would be totally shattered to dust.