12 – A Glimpse
Aiming for the logs that were half the length of his arms, Tatsumi swung down his hatchet.
The hatchet split the log cleanly into two vertically and dug into the ground beneath it.
Tatsumi positioned the split log once again and swung down the hatchet.
Along with a satisfying sound, the semicircle shaped two halves divided perfectly into one quarter fan shaped pieces.
He collected the quarter pieces and flung them to the side before taking another log and starting to chop it.
After confirming that the log beautifully split into 2 parts, Tatsumi wiped the sweat on his forehead with the back of his hand.
Tatsumi is chopping woodright now.
Just like he decided yesterday, he started working as a temple assistant today.
“…I-I have to chop these…? A-All of them…?”
Tatsumi asked in a hoarse voice, as he stood before a mountain of logs.
“Yup, that’s it. There are a lot of people living in the temple. So a large amount of firewood is needed each day for fuel. Therefore newcomer, chopping firewood is a very important job.”
The giant and stern-faced middle aged looking man who guided Tatsumi to the back garden heartily patted Tatsumi’s back while laughing.
Tatsumi stumbled forward after suddenly having his back patted. At that moment, the Holy crest around his neck jingled like a bell.
“…Your name is…Tatsumi right? Well use this. Split all of the logs into four parts with it.”
The thing that the middle aged man handed him was a well-used hatchet.
“It’s break-time after the fourth bell. So work hard till then.”
Saying that, the middle aged man departed with a lumbering stride.
By the way, the ‘fourth bell’ mentioned here was approximately noon time according to his past world’s time.
As Tatsumi measured using his wristwatch, the sun in this world rose at approximately 6AM. After that, each temple rang a bell every 2 hours.
It rang once at 6AM, twice at 8AM, like this the number of rings rose by one every 2 hours and at 6PM when the 7th time the bell rang would be sunset.
And matching the times the bell rang on each occasion, they were called the 1st bell to the 7th bell. They didn’t ring any bells during the night, so apparently they didn’t have any proper term for measuring time at night.
According to Calcedonia, it seemed like the time to ring the bells were calculated using a sundial. And for rainy or cloudy days, they have a magic item that acts as a sort of timer, but due to being a rare and high priced item, it is a treasured item that is never removed from the premises and only the Supreme Pontiff Giuseppe was allowed to touch it. Even Calcedonia hadn’t seen it with her own eyes.
Each day had 24 hours which was the same as Earth, but here the sun rose every day at six and set at six.
Tatsumi wondered if maybe there was no change to the length of the days according to the seasons.
It has only been about 3 days since Tatsumi came here, so he hasn’t have the chance to properly measure each day. However, it could also be possible that this world wasn’t a world where the planet itself moved, but a world that operates under Ptolemaic Theory with the heavenly bodies moving in regulation instead.
This is something that Tatsumi does not know yet, but it is believed in this world that the continent and the ocean are floating in the ‘World of Stars.’
The generally believed view of the world is that at the edge of the ocean to the north and east are giant waterfalls that drop seawater into the ocean from somewhere while to the south and west are giant waterfalls that drop seawater into somewhere else.
According to one sage, the seawater from the west and south waterfalls pass through the world of nothingness and flow back into the north and east waterfalls. However, there hasn’t been even one person who has seen these huge waterfalls at the boundary of the ocean so whether or not this theory was true has yet to be proven.
Furthermore, it was also believed that one the other side of the ‘World of Stars’ existed the ‘World of Celestials’ where the gods live.
Setting that aside, Tatsumi was currently dumbfoundedly looking up towards the mountain load of logs.
But his work wouldn’t get done if he just stared all day. So after preparing himself for the worst, Tatsumi rolled up his sleeves and fired himself up.
Right now, he wasn’t wearing the clothes he had come to this world, but temple clothes Giuseppe had provided him.
When he went to town with Calcedonia yesterday, he had bought a some sets casual clothes and underwear, but there is an obligation to wear priest garments when doing temple work, so Tatsumi was currently in his.
Giuseppe had also formally granted Tatsumi a rank as a priest. Though it was only the lowest rank of Junior Priest, but this would establish his social status in this world for the time being.
As temples are independent from any country, just being affiliated with a temple endows one with a certain level of status, such as having access to the same level of knowledge as a sage.
Of course, not anyone can join the temple. Originally, one would need to go through a certain amount screening before being allowed to join. The reason why Tatsumi was able to acquire the position of a Junior priest without all that was definitely because the supreme pontiff Giuseppe used his authority.
Well then, after staring at the mountain of logs for a while, Tatsumi looked down towards the white temple clothes he was wearing.
Because Tatsumi wondered if it was alright to get the white temple clothes dirty even if it was while on the job.
The clothes that Tatsumi was currently wearing were the uniform for Junior Priests which were also recognized as work clothes in the temple. That’s why he wouldn’t be blamed no matter how dirty it got. Though, he had to wash it himself in the event it did get dirty.
The design of the temple clothes and holy crest a priest wears differs depending on their status.
Incidentally, the middle aged man that guided Tatsumi to the back garden was a Senior Priest called Bogarde who was in charge of the temple assistant Junior Priests, like Tatsumi.
Realizing that standing around wouldn’t make his workload any smaller, Tatsumi started to swing the hatchet he got from Bogarde a few times. After getting used to the sensation, Tatsumi took a log and put it vertically on the ground.
And he lightly swung down the hatchet. The moment the blade of the hatchet wedged into the log, it split cleanly into 2 parts.
“Huh…? I didn’t put that much strength into it though…?”
Tatsumi tilted his head in confusion because the log split far more easier than he expected.
“Well, whatever. Nothing wrong with it being easy to split.”
After that, Tatsumi steadily continued to chop the logs.
Normally when chopping wood, the logs would be placed on top of a stone or tree being used as a stand. This was because when attempting to chop wood on the ground, the soft earth would make it difficult to chop properly.
Tatsumi who had never chopped wood before was of course was not aware of that and continued chopping on the ground. While not realizing how unusual it was.
The 2nd and 3rd bell had rang in the middle of this, but Tatsumi who was concentrating on his work didn’t notice.
A little bit after the 4th bell signalling noon rang, Bogarde returned to the backyard.
“Hey, newbie. How’s the wor-…What!?”
After seeing the mountain of firewood stacked before his eyes, Bogarde shouted in surprise.
The huge quantity of firewood prepared today had all been neatly cut into 4 and stacked. It couldn’t be helped that he was surprised.
“Oh, Mister Bogarde. As you ordered, I’ve already finished chopping them all.”
Tatsumi, who was sitting on the ground after he stacked all the kindle, nonchalantly called out to the bewildered Bogarde.
“N-No wait, a-all of them you say… You mean you chopped all of them in half a day…? That huge amount…?”
Bogarde moved his gaze between Tatsumi and the mountain of firewood a few times.
A young lad had suddenly appeared before him early this morning. A boy with an unusual black eyes and hair that was normally not seen in the Largofiely Kingdom, and he said that from today he would be working as a temple assistant.
It seems like the boy came looking for Bogarde after getting instructions from someone of higher status than Bogarde.
So Bogarde carefully scrutinised the black haired boy with a rude gazefor a bit while folding his burly arms.
He wasn’t very tall being more than a head shorter than the largely built Bogarde.
He was skinny, and the thickness of his arms were less than half of Bogarde’s. Thinking to himself that his arms were like that of a girls, Bogarde judged that heavy lifting was impossible so he decided on wood chopping.
Chopping firewood also required considerable strength, but he figured it was better compared to heavy labor such as transporting buckets full of water from the watering well or carrying in the almost daily shipments of food used for the priests’ meals.
Despite his appearance, Bogarde was unexpectedly someone who took good care of his subordinates. Though he looked scary because of his large build and stern face, he was someone who rewarded those who did their jobs well.
And he assigned tasks to people who were most suitable to do them. Because that too was part of Bogarde’s work.
And according to that Bogarde, Tatsumi who had arms like a girl’s (limited to Bogarde’s own standards) would have done enough if he could chop even a quarter of the total firewood by the 4th bell.
But in reality, rather than a quarter, Tatsumi finished the whole task. Even for Bogarde himself, it was nigh impossible to finish all that in half a day.
At first he simply dumbfoundedly looked between Tatsumi and the firewood, but before long his face broke into a manly smile.
“HAHAHAHAHAHA! I didn’t think you had it in you newbie…no, Tatsumi! Good job!”
Bogarde strongly patted Tatsumi’s shoulders with all his strength and urged Tatsumi sit back down again.
“You’ve done this much work already. You must be starving right? Let’s have our meal together.”
Bogarde took out something like a sandwich from the cloth package he had with him.
He glanced at Tatsumi while stuffing his cheeks with a happy expression, but for some reason he saw Tatsumi standing stock still in a bit of a daze.
“What’s the matter? Sit down and eat. Our break time isn’t that long ya know?”
“Ah….well…the truth is…”
Tatsumi scratched the back of his head while trying to say something. Just until now, Tatsumi had completely forgotten that he could only have lunch during his break.
It seems like the Largofiely kingdom had the custom of having three meals a day. Once between the 1st and the 2nd bell (between 6AM and 8AM), once around the 4th bell (Around noon) and finally once after the 7th bell (after 6PM).
Some people also had a light snack between the 5th and 6th bell (Between 2PM and 4 PM).
Tatsumi already heard all these from Calcedonia yesterday, but he had completely forgotten. And obviously, he didn’t prepare anything for lunch.
Bogarde looked up at the stock still Tatsumi with an amazed gaze.
“What? You didn’t prepare your lunch? …Then I guess you’ll have to go to the mess hall.”
There was a mess hall in a section of the temple which provided meals for the priests. But of course, Tatsumi still hadn’t used it yet. Even since he came to this world, all his meals were prepared by Calcedonia.
As a part of their training, Junior Priests work in the mess hall on rotation, but that mess hall was a bit of a distance from the backyard Tatsumi and Bogarde were currently located.
“Well since you’ve already finished up all the work I gave you, it won’t be a problem if you took a while with lunch but….If you’re okay with it…you alright with having some of mine? No guarantees on the taste though since it’s made by my wife!”
“GAHAHAHA” laughing, Bogarde once again told Tatsumi to sit down.
“No, I can’t just take something that your wife made for you. I’ll just go to the cafeteria.”
“Is that so? Then no need to hurry. Take your time and eat.”
After giving Bogarde a roger, he started for the mess hall.
No, he was about to start.
Just as he was about to open the door leading into the temple from the back garden, the door opened by itself. Of course, it didn’t actually open by itself. Someone opened it from the other side.
And that someone peeked her head out from the gap and looked around restlessly. With her head, the ahoge atop her head also swayed unsteadily.
When she spotted Tatsumi, she smiled like a blooming flower.
“Master! I’ve brought your meal!”
“Chiiko. Did you bring it all this way?”
“Yes! I didn’t where Master was working so it took me a while searching for you. My apologies.”
As she came close to him she quickly did a bow and held out to him the parcel she had brought with her.
“Thanks, Chiiko. By the way, did you have lunch already?”
“N-No…That’s..I-I was hoping that…I could have it together with Master…and..”
Calcedonia blushed while bashfully trying to state her wish. Of course, Tatsumi had no reason the refuse her.
“Okay. Then let’s eat together. Ah, that’s right.”
Tatsumi finally remember that Bogarde was also there. He wanted to ask him if it was okay to have their lunch together but…
“Mister Bogarde? …Huh?”
That Bogarde was completely still, without moving as muscle as he was staring at them, as if he was petrified.
The sandwich he was eating fell from his hand. And as if that was the trigger, Bogarde rebooted.
“La! La-La-La-La-Lady Calcedonia!!? W-Why is the <<Holy Maiden>> d-delivering food for Tatsumi…!?”
Bogarde, whose eyes were totally round in surprise, switched his gaze between Tatsumi and Calcedonia a few times.
On the other hand, Calcedonia who was being watched tilted her head in confusion questioned Tatsumi.
“Master? This person is…?”
It wasn’t as if Calcedonia knew the names and faces of everyone related to the temple. Rather, her acquaintances were those of high status even within the temple, so Bogarde whose status wasn’t that high was not someone she would know.
“Ah, he’s Mister Bogarde. He’s in charge of assigning my work today.”
“I see, so it’s him. Sir Borgarde, thank you for watching over my master.”
Calcedonia bowed to Bogarde, while he on the other hand replied in a disarrayed tone. Because he misunderstood Calcedonia’s ‘Master’ as ‘Husband.’
Calcedonia meant as in her ‘Master’ (her owner to be exact) but anyone would misunderstand it as husband if they were in Bogarde’s shoes.
“T-Then Tatsumi is…I mean Lord Tatsumi is…”
Tatsumi quickly waved his hand as he sat down together with Calcedonia close to Bogarde who changed had his way of addressing Tatsumi due to the misunderstanding.
“Mister Borgarde, please. Don’t suddenly start referring to me so formally”
“N-No, but you see….”
“I don’t mind. I’m simply a newbie Junior Priest. I and Chiiko…Calcedonia are different people.”
“I-If you say so… B-But what about lady Calcedonia?”
“Yes. If Master is okay with it I have nothing to say. I will simply respect his will.”
“Haah… But for Lady <<Holy Maiden>> to say that much…”
Bogarde once again glanced at Tatsumi and Calcedonia while scratching his chin with his finger.
On one side there was Calcedonia, who unlike her usual dignified expression, was currently the manifestation of a maiden in love, and on the other side was Tatsumi who was being taken care of by Calcedonia as if it was the most natural thing in the world to him.
The figure of these 2 were like a couple that had been married for many years. At least, that’s how they were reflected in Bogarde’s eyes.
After that, the three happily had their meals.
At first, he almost curled himself up at the <<Holy Maiden>>’s presence, but he originally had a personality that didn’t sweat the small stuff, so he opened up to her in no time.
Although since she was after all the granddaughter of the Supreme Pontiff and the rumoured <<Holy Maiden>>, he was polite to her compared to how he normally treated those around him.
Before long, their happy meal came to an end and got up after tidying everything up.
“Now then, Tatsumi. Speaking truthfully, all your assigned duties for today have been completed. What are you planning to do now?”
“I’ll help out with anything that I help with though?”
“Is that so? Then sorry, but deliver about a quarter of the total kindle to the gallery. The rest goes to the storage shed. I’ll show you the way to the storage shed now. Your work for today will be done after that.”
Tatsumi and Bogarde who stood up to discussed what Tatsumi would do for the afternoon.
And Calcedonia happily watched over the figure of Tatsumi who spoke intimately with Bogarde with a smile.
“Alright! Then I guess I’ll work hard this afternoon too!”
“Okay, please do your bes-…?”
Tatsumi slapped both cheeks with his hands to fire himself up. And Calcedonia who was about encourage Tatsumi suddenly stopped her words mid-sentence.
“Hmm? Something wrong Chiiko?”
“Oh! N-No, it’s nothing….”
Tatsumi tilted his head towards Calcedonia who was obviously stuttering her way out, but without inquiring anymore he started to walk after Bogarde who wanted to show him the way to the storerooms.
While carefully watching the back of Tatsumi who walked off, Calcedonia quietly muttered to herself.
“Just now, for a second…just split second, I thought I sensed mana from Master… I wonder if it’s just my imagination?”