11 – 《Freedom Knight》
Suddenly, a voice of a young man called out from behind.
From the tone of the voice, Tatsumi could tell that the owner might be a bit older than him….but shouldn’t be too far off from 20.
In response to the voice, Calcedonia, whose name was called out, turned around, followed by Tatsumi.
At that time, Tatsumi noticed the smile on her face.
As if attracted by her actions, Tatsumi turned around. His eyes then landed upon the young man before them.
The youth’s age should be in the early twenties. A height that passed 180cm and a lean yet forged body build. He was wearing a metal plated armor, the so-called plate mail, and had a sword hanging from his waist. His hair was a brilliant red color. The red hair was pruned short which really brought out a cool and styling look to him. His reddish brown pair of eyes were gently gazing upon Calcedonia, who was standing behind Tatsumi.
—Woah, He’s like prince or a hero from a fairy tale! This was Tatsumi’s first impression of him.
“Oh my, Morga. Is the templar training over today?”
“Yeah. I was worked to the bone today too.”
“My! Don’t you mean you’re the one who worked the other knights dry?”
Tatsumi could tell from their conversation, that the both of them were really close to each other. So as not to interfere with the conversation of the two, he moved to the side of the hallway.
While doing so, he finally realized that he had heard the name Morga mention by Calcedonia just now somewhere before.
—-Ah! The noble man we met today mentioned him. If I remember correctly, there’s a rumor going around that he’s Calcedonia’s lover or something…..And he’s got that Freedom Knight nickname too.
As Tatsumi was trying to recall the conversation with Kashin, the youth called Morga finally turned towards him.
“By the way, Calsey. Who might this person be? He is wearing quite the unusual clothing…Is he perhaps someone who came to our church from another country?”
“Oh no! Dear me….I almost forgot!”
As she realized that she was having a conversation while ignoring Tatsumi, she turned towards him and bowed deeply.
“Let me introduce you. This person here is called Morganeich Tychors. He is of the templars attached to our Savaiv Church, and also an exorcist just like myself.”
“Eh? Like Chiiko……?”
“Yes. Me and Morga, whenever we get a request for exorcism we always do it together.”
Calcedonia giggled while looking at Morganeich. Morganeich too had a gentle smile on his handsome face while looking at Calcedonia.
-Holy! They’re just like one of those famous celebrity couples. Was what Tatsumi was rudely thinking. But at the same time, he felt a bit of stinging in the depths of his heart.
While being confused on why he was feeling that way, Morganeich came towards Tatsumi.
“I, Morganeich, hereby accept your introduction. Pleased to make your acquaintance, visitor from a foreign country.”
He held out his right hand as he was stating that.
–So they also do handshakes in this world, huh? While thinking that, Tatsumi grasped his hands and shook it.
“Me too, Please treat me well. I..no, This one is called Yamagata Tatsumi….Well, in this side I should be called Tatsumi Yamagata I guess?”
Before, when Calcedonia introduced Tatsumi to Kashin, she called him Tatsumi Yamagata. It seems like in this country, they state your names just like in western countries back on Earth.
“So, what matters does Lord Tatsumi have in our country? As I see you are with Calsey here, does that mean you are to see His Holiness Chrysoprase?”
Everyone in the church knew that Calcedonia was Giuseppe’s adopted daughter. So usually it was Calcedonia’s job to escort Giuseppe’s personal guests like this.
“Eh? Err….His Holiness Chrysoprase…By that he means Mister Giuseppe right?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Calcedonia answered Tatsumi’s question with a nod. Smiling sweetly as she did.
It was a simple casual exchange, but the shock it gave Morganeich was huge.
Giuseppe Chrysophrase was a person said to be at the very top of all the believers of the Doctrine of Savaiv in the whole Largofiely kingdom, no rather the whole Zoysalight continent. But Tatsumi just uttered his name like he was a simple neighborhood acquaintance.
As he was a patriarch of the Doctrine of Savaiv, his authority was no less than a ruler of a nation.
And for this boy to be able to utter Giuseppe’s name in such a friendly manner, just who the hell was he?!
There was one more thing that weighted on Morganeich’s mind. It was the fact that Calcedonia really treated this boy gently…no rather, it looked more like she was prepared to serve him like a maid.
Even though she was adopted, she was still a relative of the patriarch of the Doctrine of Savaiv.
And in the Largofiely kingdom, she was called the Holy Maiden of the church. That Holy Maiden acted as if she was naturally meant to serve the boy, always taking a submissive stance to him.
And what’s more, she had a delighted expression.
As if, her happiness lied in serving this boy.
Calcedonia’s attitude towards the boy weighed on Morganeich’s mind no matter what.
Certainly, the normal Calcedonia was a person who was kind to anyone. But that was strictly as a priestess serving the church, no more no less.
The real her didn’t want to have much intimacy with even the same sex, much less with someone from the opposite sex.
The only males she had a close relationship with where her grandfather, and a few bishops of the church who spoiled her from childhood.
But considering the age difference, she really didn’t view them as members of the opposite sex.
And Morganeich, who was said to be the closest male to her in her age group was secretly conceited of the fact.
Till now, Morganeich had grouped with Calcedonia in numerous occasion on their exorcising duties.
There were many who already recognized these two as an obvious pair when it came to missions.
There were many cases where the normal demonic beast-hunters and exorcists affiliated with a church would work together on missions.
Sometimes the enemy happened to be strong demonic beasts or demons. In those cases, it was more proper to face them in numbers greater than alone.
Among them were also people who liked to work alone. But they were either people with great strengths, or people who were bad at socializing, or some sort of eccentric type.
It had been a while since Morganeich and Calcedonia became exorcists, but in that time they were always paired together.
At times, they had to travel for days together to reach the destination, at times they had to camp out in the wild under the night sky together in order to track down the vicious demonic beasts and demons.
At first they only had the minimum contact, but as the number of requests they took together piled up, they distance also began to shrink.
As they fought together risking their lives, they gradually opened up to each other. They were a bit awkward with each other at first, but after traversing many battles together they began to grow confident with each other, and began to trust each other.
This fact was certainly something Morganeich took pride in.
Though she was adopted, she was still the daughter of the patriarch of the Doctrine of Savaiv. Every day she got a mountain load of marriage proposals.
Fortunately, Giuseppe had no intentions of using her as a political tool. And, the closest male to Calcedonia was Morganeich.
It was a widespread rumor that they were lovers. And as they took more missions together, that rumor became more solidified.
And as a matter of fact, Morganeich came to think of Calcedonia as something more that just a co-worker.
Even though she was called the Holy Maiden, she wasn’t all that different from just a normal teenage girl.
He fell for her kindness as she would lend out a helping hand whenever someone called out for help. Her innocence, of when she sometimes clicked her tongue in annoyance if she came across failure. And most of all, her beauty when seeing her true radiant smile hidden beneath the fake one.
Morganeich, as a man came to see Calcedonia as a woman.
“I couldn’t talk with you properly yesterday because his holiness called for you but…now that I think about it I haven’t seen you around lately.”
After surpassing the rising doubts in his heart, Moraganeich once again faced toward Calcedonia.
“Yes. I went to meet up with Lord Yamagata here on my grandfather’s orders.”
The only people who knew that Calcedonia had summoned Tatsumi from another world were herself and Giuseppe.
People might know that summoning rituals existed, but it wasn’t something that anyone could use. Rather, it was something of a legend or myth in the current times.
If people knew that Calcedonia had succeeded on performing a summoning ritual, than it’ll definitely cause a huge uproar.
Of course, there was no guarantee that Calcedonia would succeed again if she were to perform the ritual one more time.
Also, Calcedonia had no confidence that she could summon anyone else other than Tatsumi.
It was because the one who summoned was Calcedonia. And the one who was summoned was Tatsumi. It was exactly because these two conditions were met that Calcedonia could succeed.
For that reason, even though she was actually secluding herself in the basement for the ritual, on the surface it was told that she had gone out to welcome Giuseppe’s guest.
But then again, this reason wasn’t completely untrue. It was exactly because Calcedonia welcomed him here that Tatsumi could come to this world.
“Is that so? Ah, Sorry. So you were in the middle of guiding the guest to his holiness’s office. Sorry for stopping you here, Lord Yamagata.”
“No, don’t mind it. And, you can address me as Tatsumi if you like.”
“I understand, Lord Tatsumi. Then, you can call me Morga.”
Morganeich said with a smile. But Tatsumi noticed, that in those reddish brown eyes were an intense light of emotion.
After a bow, Morga turned around and left.
Tatsumi watched this back with a slightly tilted head. He was thinking of the strangely intense glare Morga just gave him. Tatsumi couldn’t understand the meaning behind it.
“Is something the matter, Master?”
“Huh? Oh, no never mind. Rather, that Morga just now, isn’t he the one who’s called the Freedom Knight? Why Freedom Knight?”
“I’m surprised Master knows of his title…Ah now that I think about it, Lord Sankeeray mentioned him.”
Taking some quick sidelong glances at Tatsumi while pondering something, Calcedonia explained what a Freedom Knight was.
Originally, Knights were people who served the king and the country, with their nobles. They swore loyalty to their masters, and literally, they became the sword and shield of their master.
They had to possess a pure mind and a steel body, so they always continued to forge themselves. And because of their valiant, brave, and dazzling nature, they were immensely popular with women and children.
Of course not all Knights matched all these criteria perfectly, but if one asked what a knight was they would probably receive an answer somewhere along these lines.
But freedom knights had no lords they served.
While they didn’t serve a lord, they served the troubled and ailing people of the nation. These people were called freedom knights in the Largofiely Kingdom.
But of course not everyone could become a freedom knight.
As mentioned before, a knight usually served a lord. And in return they received a salary to maintain their living.
So a knight without a master had no stable income. One had to have some kind of income in order to live in society. That’s why freedom knights usually faced financial crisis.
As knights were usually dazzling and valiant figures, freedom knights failed to be like that. So no matter what, the title gave a plain impression to most.
Because of these reasons there were few people who called themselves freedom knights nowadays. Though, it’s also a fact that not many aim to be a freedom knight in the first place.
After hearing the description of a freedom knight, Tatsumi thought they were closer to the typical hero than knights.
“Up until now, Morga had defeated a number of demonic beasts and demons for the sake of the weak. And he never asks for anything as compensation. The only reason he needed to act was the presence of people in grief. Of course if it’s an official request then he’ll receive payment from the church. But he will definitely act for the sake of the weak even if a request doesn’t arrive at the church. It was due to that fact that he came to be called the Freedom Knight in the truest of meaning.”
“……And, whenever he fought for the sake of the weak, Chiiko was also always with him right?”
“…That’s right….I, as a priestess of the church…and his friend…I always helped him but..But!!!”
Calcedonia suddenly turned around and vigorously looked at Tatsumi.
“I-I only helped him out as a friend, definitely just a friend!!…N-Never once have I thought of him like…like those..rumors…they definitely aren’t true! The one I like is….”
Her face flushed red. And she had a desperate expression. Tatsumi could understand what Calcedonia was trying to say.
The rumors about the Holy Maiden and Freedom Knight that Kashin mentioned before might’ve really hit Calcedonia’s sour spot. So Tatsumi just smiled and said,
“Okay, got it. Rumors and nothing more than rumors, right?”
“Y-Yes…!! Master, you believe me…….?”
“Of course, I trust you.”
As he understood what the current Calcedonia with her cute upturned eyes was thinking, he patted her head.
“R-Rather than than, we should hurry up and report to Mister Giuseppe already.”
Just like when they went out to the city, Calcedonia happily linked her arms with Tatsumi and walked forward.
Tatsumi at that moment, could no longer feel the stinging sensation he felt in his heart a little while ago.