It was the last day of the New Years Festival. In that afternoon.
The chapel of the Savaiv Church was overflowing with mothers or fathers holding the children born this year.
In the kingdom of Largofiely, the mortality rate of infants was by no means low. It was different from present age Japan where even premature babies had a high probability of being brought up safely.
For that reason, it was an important act for parents who wished for the safe upbringing of their children to pray daily to Savaiv to ensure their child grows up healthy.
And so, today, the Patriarch of the Savaiv Church was asking Savaiv to give his divine protection for both nobles and the masses alike, without any discrimination; therefore, it was only reasonable for parents to gather there holding their children.
That said, the Patriarch doesn’t actually use any magic. He just prays to the God for the growth of the children, and then one by one gives the God’s blessings to the children. That was the only ritual.
Still, there were no parents who didn’t wish for the blessings of Savaiv for their children; there were lots of parents visiting the Savaiv Church along with their children.
Among them there weren’t only women with babies, but pregnant women with huge bellies were also present. In order for their child to be born in good health, they had come to ask the Patriarch to bestow God’s divine protection on them.
Eventually, the Patriarch of Savaiv Church, Giuseppe Chrysophrase appeared in the chapel.
He was dressed in the ceremonial robe of priests that was decorated extravagantly with gold and silver thread. He was holding a staff in his hand which showed the rank of Patriarch, and was walking in dignity exuding grand majesty.
The gathered people naturally closed their mouths and bowed deeply at the entrance of the Patriarch which cannot be seen normally.
Behind the Patriarch, several other priests, dressed in similar ceremonial robes, were following. Among them, there was also the famed Holy Maiden; the faces of the people gathered in the chapel lit up when they realized they could get greater protection in today’s ritual.
Then, Giuseppe, who had reached the altar of the chapel, announced the commencement of the ritual in a sonorous voice.
While the ritual went on quietly, Calcedonia surveyed the chapel in curiosity.
Armed templars could be seen in various places around the chapel. However, that wasn’t a strange occurrence. In a ceremony like this, other than the Patriarch Giuseppe, it was also natural to see templars stationed around for security.
The reason she was curious was because Tatsumi’s figure was not present among the templars.
When they ate lunch together at noon, he was certainly armed up in the Templar gear. He had been patrolling the town all morning so that was to be expected. Verse, who had been patrolling together with him, was also armed in a similar manner.
Also, Tatsumi had also said that he was asked to help out in this ceremony by Giuseppe. That’s why Calcedonia had thought that Tatsumi would be recruited for the security.
“…Husband, where are you?”
Even though the ritual was going on, her eyes kept darting out to search for Tatsumi’s form.
Calcedonia’s gaze wandered around the chapel.
An older priest standing next to her cleared his throat. Of course, that was to caution Calcedonia who was being restless.
Calcedonia quickly brought her attention back to the ritual.
But, speaking of the result, it did not succeed.
Because, among all people gathered here, she ended up finding the person who was not supposedly not present.
“Ah. Calsey, you seem to have noticed us.”
Jadokh, who had a keen eye, definitely saw Calcedonia’s eyes widen at the altar.
“Ufufu. She’s surprised. She’s surprised. Her face is asking why we’re here.”
“Hey, Jadokh. ‘Why are we here’ is what I’m wondering as well?”
Miloulle looked around with a pout.
There were lots of young couples with babies around them. Clearly, unmarried people without any children were not present as that would be out-of-place.
In fact, they would occasionally get inquisitive glances from the people in the vicinity.
“…Could it be that Calcedonia misunderstood that I’m also pregnant?”
The possibility of that being quite likely, Miloulle grumbled out.
“So? Why did you bring me here? Can’t you tell me the reason now?”
“Actually, I was asked by Tatsumi to do so. He said he’d like me and Miloulle to come to this ceremony.”
“Tatsumi? Why? Did you hear anything, Jadokh?”
“Yeah, I did. But right now it’s a sec-ret. You’ll understand soon enough so wait a bit.”
While the two were busy in this, a familiar voice came from behind them.
“Ah, Jadokh and Miloulle? Why are you two here?”
At their name being called, they turned around and saw Verse and his lover Nanau, who worked at The Elf’s Resthouse.
“Oh, you guys…… the two of you here together, don’t tell me……”
Milolle’s gaze moved to Nanau’s abdomen. There was no need to explain what her gaze was investigating.
“You’re mistaken. We were also called here by Tatsumi.”
“Huh? You guys were called by Tatsumi too?”
Verse and Jadokh who knew the reason for being called nodded with a meaningful smile.
However, Nanau and Miloulle, who didn’t know the reason, just gave a curious look to each other.
While they were absorbed in such feelings, the ceremony for blessing the babies approached the last stage.
Jadokh, Miloulle, Verse and Nanau were talking to each other.
Jolt was in the same chapel as well.
Gyle was also present, standing beside Jolt in plain clothes with only a sword strapped by his hip.
He kept repeatedly scratching his face as if itching the gauze attached to his face with ointment.
“Are you okay, Gyle? It was a pretty awful injury, wasn’t it?”
“Your Highn…… No, Lord Jolt. My injury was treated by the priest stationed at the field of the match so I’m feeling better now.”
“When why are you being so restless like this?”
It was nothing big. Yesterday, Gyle who had declared boastfully to Tatsumi that he would win the jousting championship, was easily defeated in the first match; that was why it was difficult to face Tatsumi now.
“Putting that aside, I wonder what will happen now…… You heard, right?”
“Ah… I already heard from Captain Taülorde……”
“If so, you have to witness your friend’s crucial gamble with your own eyes.”
“T-That’s right. The fact that I lost in the jousting tournament has nothing to do with Tatsumi’s upcoming gamble.”
“Well, it certainly is a gamble, but we can already see the end result can’t we.”
The two of them laughed in enjoyment.
But, they failed to notice one thing this time.
In this chapel where there were only young couples with children or pregnant women, what kind of impression did the pair of young men smiling happily give off?
The mothers standing near them whispered suspiciously about the two’s relationship.
Let’s say it was fortunate that the two of them were blissfully ignorant to this.
“──with the blessings of Savaiv God, may the futures of this person be brightly illuminated.”
While muttering the prayer, Giuseppe granted the God’s blessings by placing his fingertip, dipped in the holy water, on the forehead of the child being carried by its mother.
This was the last baby of today; the parents whose children had gotten the blessings from the Patriarch got ready to leave the Chapel.
However, after the ceremony finished, the Patriarch suddenly started speaking. The people crowding the chapel halted their steps.
“Today’s ceremony has now come to an end, but, actually we have another event. If possible, I’d like those who have time to stay here for a while.”
They couldn’t ignore the words of the Patriarch of the Savaiv group; the halted people began talking noisily with those nearby.
It wasn’t just the parents who had gathered here that were doing so, the priests waiting behind Giuseppe were also in a similar state.
“Oi, did you hear of this plan from His Grace?”
“No, I didn’t heard anything about it…”
“Lady Calcedonia. Did you hear about this from His Grace?”
“N-no, I also didn’t hear anything from grandfather…”
Calcedonia, who was holding the small metal pot containing the Holy Water that had been used during the ceremony, was asked by the nearby High Priests, but she just shook her head.
Actually, that was only natural since she hadn’t heard anything about it.
Giuseppe continued speaking while Calcedonia and the priests were left bewildered.
“As you all know, our Savaiv God is the God of fertility, children and, at the same time, the Protector God of marriages. This time we got a request from a certain young man. This young man has a precious woman, and today, at this place, he wants to convey something important to this precious woman.”
Giuseppe’s voice reached every nook and cranny of the chapel. One of the priests standing behind him was using wind magic to spread the voice to the distance.
“As the Patriarch of the Savaiv Church… no, as one of the servants of the Savaiv God, I have decided to support the back of this young man. Calcedonia Chrysophrase.”
Calcedonia startled in surprise when her name was suddenly called.
“Come over here.”
Beckoned by her grandfather, the Patriarch, she walked to Giuseppe’s side without really understanding.
The fact that she was still holding the pot that contained the Holy Water was proof that she too was feeling confused.
“Now…… then, shall I call the young man here now?”
When Giuseppe sent a signal, the Templars waiting by the entrance of the chapel opened up the doors.
The people present in the chapel, parents and their children, officials of the Savaiv Church, and a few people who knew what was going on, all turned their gaze towards the opened doors.
A lone young man was standing behind the doors.
The young man was wearing white clothes of a design that had never been seen before, but his face was, in contrast, bright red.
“Huh? Huh? H-Husba…nd?”
Calcedonia figured out it was Tatsumi and reflexively looked at him in surprise.
Tatsumi, wearing clothes ─ a white tuxedoー that had never been seen before, stepped towards the altar where Giuseppe and Calcedonia were standing.
As he advanced, the people crowding the chapel parted to make way as if to guide him to his destination.
On the way, people he knew stuck out their thumbs and cheered, while others looked at him dumbfoundedly; Tatsumi nodded towards them showing his resolution.
Tatsumi was guided to the altar by Giuseppe and he stood there in front of a certain person with a blushing red face.
This was of course.
“Uh, umm…Husband? W-What are you…”
He was standing if front of a flustered Calcedonia who still didn’t know what was going on.
“C-Calsey…N-No… Calcedonia Chrysophrase!”
His face was still flaming red. But, his sight shot directly towards Calcedonia’s.
While all the people have quieted down, Tatsumi uttered the words that would settle his destiny.
“Will you…………………………………right now, right here…marry me!?”
A small sound resounded around the chapel.
That was the sound of the pot that Calcedonia was holding falling down and hitting the floor.