“In the name of this Kingdom’s King, Baride Rezo Largofiely, and with the arrival of the new year, I hereby announce the commencement of the New Year’s Festival!”
The balcony faced the courtyard of the Royal Palace.
Standing there, Largofiely Kingdom’s King, facing the courtyard filled with nobles and commoners alike, proclaimed grandly.
With this, the King’s words marked the beginning of both the new year and the New Year’s Festival.
Along with the King’s declaration, food and drinks began flowing through the Royal Palace courtyard.
During the festival, a part of the Royal Palace was opened to the public; in the Palace where they’ve never walked in, the common people were looking around curiously.
Of course, the critical places were sealed off; knights and soldiers adorned in ceremonial weapons and armor were stationed around those places.
But, the knights’ ostentatious outfits were also very popular among the little children. The children, particularly young boys, were gazing at the imposing figures of the knights that they couldn’t normally look at so closely with sparkling eyes.
Also, the knights who were getting these glances of admiration from the children responded a bit awkwardly to the children’s expectations by proudly puffing out their chests.
Among the crowd there were also some who were drunkards who, after trying to enter the prohibited areas, were being sent back by the knights; this too was also one of the customary practices of the New Years Festival.
Naturally, not just the Royal Palace, but all the streets of Levantes were filled with the festive spirit. The sounds of clanking wine glasses reverberated all over the streets, and musicians and acrobats competed over their skills.
In the marketplace, merchants had proudly displayed their wares and were busy calling out customers.
Just for this day, nobles who normally didn’t go out to the city to shop – they normally made servants buy things for them or called merchants to their homes – were also busy browsing the displayed wares mixed with the common people.
However, when the streets are engulfed in such an atmosphere, then naturally crimes such as pickpocketing or purse-snatching would also increase.
Thus, among the people who were enjoying the festival, figures of soldiers in majestic armor and templars were scattered all over the city.
“…so this is the festival of this country…”
Tatsumi, who was walking around the city as a warrior priest, muttered as he looked at the joyous atmosphere of the people.
In a town overflowing with the stir of excited voices along with various music, it was easy to tell that everyone was really enjoying the festival.
It seems like the lively atmosphere of festivals was common everywhere. Even in a different dimension it didn’t change. Tatsumi came to realize while patrolling the city.
At the same time, he kept a vigilant gaze on his surroundings.
Right now he was in the middle of maintaining the public order as a warrior priest. He couldn’t afford to become absorbed in the festival atmosphere and overlook crimes.
However, it was still the height of the festival. Even Tatsumi couldn’t hold back his excitement.
Then, over there.
“… but, Lord Giuseppe also asked for an unexpectedly unreasonable thing.”
The one who said this in a disgruntled tone was Verse who was Tatsumi’s patrol partner. Naturally, he was also walking through the festive town in full warrior priest uniform.
“So, did Tatsumi agree to Lord Giuseppe’s plan?”
“Well… it’s more like I had no choice but to agree…”
As his former teacher, and now someone who already considers him family, if Giuseppe asked for something, as long as it’s nothing excessive, Tatsumi would not refuse.
It certainly wasn’t something easy to agree to, but Giuseppe’s plan was also the road Tatsumi had to take.
That being the case, it would be good to take up this opportunity.
“… It certainly is an unreasonable request but… I don’t dislike the content itself…“
“Hehe. So lovey-dovey.”
Verse said teasingly. Of course, he didn’t forget to nudge Tatsumi with his elbow.
“T-That’s, what I said earlier…”
“Yeah, I know. I wanted to go see the jousting tournament finals, but this seems more interesting. But how should I explain this to Nanau?”
“As I thought, should I not tell Nanau?”
“That would be better. She has a pretty loose mouth. Besides, information is information. Women can get excited and unintentionally blurt something out… that is also possible.”
“Then, is it okay to not tell Miloulle as well……?”
Tatsumi drew the figures of the girls of the demon beast hunting group in his mind.
“Hmm, what should we do? After all I’m not that close with her. I can only say to leave it to Tatsumi’s judgement.”
Verse and Miloulle had often met each other through Tatsumi, and also through Verse’s Lover Nanau, an employee at The Elf’s Resthouse.
However, they weren’t acquainted to that extent.
“But, is there a possibility that the story would leak from Miloulle to Nanau…”
“That’s true, the female group would be excited over a story. If you consider the possibility of the information leaking out, it would be best not to let them know.”
Tatsumi himself didn’t think Miloulle was such a talkative person, but as Verse said information was information. Again, it would be better if only a few people knew the secret.
“… It can’t be helped. I feel bad for Miloulle but I’ll keep silent. Will she ask Jadokh to attend the assembly hall on that day?”
Tatsumi decided apologizing to Miloulle in his heart.
“After that… as a precaution, perhaps it would be better to keep quiet in front of Neez and the other as well? Sargo has an unexpectedly hardened mouth, but Silo is really simple, isn’t he?”
“Yeah, I also agree with that.”
Tatsumi decided without hesitating over Miloulle.
A Relief Center had been established in the courtyard of each Church. During the New Year Festival, the Relief Center was one of the busiest departments.
There were those who carelessly lost themselves to the festive atmosphere and drank too much, those who broke into fistfights over trivial things, and those who got injured in the jousting match or the Gissh tournament.
In addition to the people suffering various injuries, even lost children were brought to the Relief Centers.
For the Priests accompanying these people, this place was like a battlefield.
In one corner of this battlefield, Calcedonia was administering healing energy to the injured.
“… It’s alright, I understand. But don’t the excuse that “it’s a festival” and start fighting like this again, okay?”
The middle aged man who was brought to the Savaiv Church’s Relief Center after getting into a fistfight was smiling embarrassingly while he directly received treatment from the Holy Maiden.
“…… weell, I might have gotten carried away in the moment. But, if I can receive treatment from the famous Holy Maiden then I don’t care how many brawls I get into.”
The man laughed. Calcedonia sighed and slightly increased the pressure of her treatment on the place of injury – he had been beaten on his left cheek, so she was applying painkiller ointment.
“Don’t get carried away in moment.”
“Y, yeah. No, Holy Maiden is also pretty tough, huh. Well then, aren’t you disliked by that rumored fiance of yours?”
The rumor that Holy Maiden Calcedonia had gotten engaged to a man from a foreign country with black hair and black eyes, had recently spread all over the Kingdom. It seemed like even this middle aged man had heard this rumor.
“Don’t worry. My husband and I are on very friendly terms.”
Calcedonia smiled. The man, fascinated with that smiling face, muttered thoughtlessly.
“No, I’ll give up, huh. No way, when she’s smitten to this extent.”
The middle aged man said goodbye to Calcedonia and left the Relief Center.
Seeing him walk out steadily, Calcedonia made sure he won’t have any problems and reached out to the next injured person.
An older female priest came approaching and called out to Calcedonia.
“Lady Calcedonia, please take a break now. I’ll substitute for you here.”
“Is that so? Then, I will take a break.”
Calcedonia switched places with the older priest and returned to the Relief Centre waiting room.
“Oh, Calsey. You’re on a break too?”
“Ah, Lady Calcedonia. You’ve worked hard-”
When Calcedonia entered the waiting room, the voice that called out came from a girl with fluffy chestnut colored hair and bluish gray eyes, and a female priest with ash blonde hair and brown eyes who looked to be a bit older than Calcedonia.
The chestnut haired girl was a Junior Priest; meanwhile, the ash blonde haired woman had the holy symbol hanging from her neck showing the status of Acolyte.
“Kuri and Laraina? You guys are also on a break?”
Having found familiar faces, Calcedonia approached the two with a smiling face.
Even if you say waiting room, this place was just a tent mounted in the corner of the Church’s courtyard. Therefore, even though it’s considerably wide, there weren’t a lot of chairs or tables.
Instead of a chair, Kuri and Laraina were sitting on a rug placed on the ground, so Calcedonia also sat down on the rug next to them.
In a familiar manner, Kuri got up and prepared a cup of tea, offering the warm and fragrant cup to Calcedonia.
“But was it good, Lady Calcedonia? Lady Calcedonia’s shift wasn’t supposed to be today……”
“We are truly grateful for your help. But, aren’t you going to see the festival with your rumored fiance?”
Kuri and Laraina were one of the few friends Calcedonia had.
Particularly, Laraina was in the same year as Calcedonia; she came to care about Calcedonia, who didn’t have many friends, like an older sister, and their relationship has been continuing since then.
On the other hand, Kuri was like Calcedonia’s subordinate, and in the past she had also been entrusted with sending a message to Tatsumi.
“I’m fine. Because my husband is working this afternoon, even if I stay alone at home, it can’t be helped. Besides, after my husband gets off work, we plan to watch a little bit of the night festival and then return home together.”
Calcedonia smiled happily. Laraina and Kuri spontaneously glanced at each other after seeing her smiling face.
“…Recently, Lady Calcedonia has changed, huh.”
“That’s true. Before, she never smiled naturally like this. But, I feel a bit bitter that she can speak so fondly. I never thought a day would come when Calsey would speak fondly of a loved one.”
Both Laraina and Kuri had talked to Tatsumi before but they weren’t that close to him.
However, they were well aware of Calcedonia’s feelings, and they also knew that Calcedonia really cherished her fiance, Tatsumi.
Especially, even when Laraina was cracking jokes her expression would be gentle. Because she knew this, Calcedonia would also not take her words to heart.
“Ufufu. I heard the same thing from those who were injured earlier.”
“Ah, is that so.”
Laraina shrugged at her amazement.
“If you’re that in love, why not get married quickly without being hindered by engagement?”
Without thinking, the fantasy of being married to Tatsumi floated in her head, and Calcedonia immediately turned bright red.
“You’ve already lived together for one year now, why are you being shy now…?”
Looking at the blushing Calcedonia, Laraina sighed instinctively.
“B-Because…!! O-Once again, getting married…t-that is…”
“Then, you don’t want to officially get married to that fiance?”
“W-Want to get married!! Geez, that’s enough!!”
Calcedonia replied immediately with her fists clenched and her face blushing bright red.