21 – A Guidepost That Shows the Way
He woke up.
Tatsumi’s consciousness which had been floating to and fro in a murky darkness slowly started to surface.
The lurking darkness around him slowly started to fade as light permeated through, and his conscious cleared up.
He suddenly felt like his name was being called.
Was it his father? Maybe his mother? Or his younger sister.
Well it should be one of his family members who stayed with him for a long, long time. That voice which had been calling him was also an important factor in him waking up.
Gradually, his consciousness completely returned. In his mind, the image of a girl with platinum blonde hair and ruby red eyes surfaced.
But just as Tatsumi opened his eyes, the rays of light attacked his eyes like thousands of needles and he instinctively closed them.
What he realized in that one moment from the scenery around him, was that currently he was in the guest room he was invited to when he first appeared.
He timidly opened his eyes again, as it was too bright his eyes hurt all over, but he got used to it soon.
It seemed like Tatsumi was sleeping on the bed. Awkward to just lie down like that, he slowly sat up.
Suddenly, he had a washed up feeling like all his bones were made of metal. It seems like he was very, very fatigued.
But he still somehow managed to sit up, and just when he was about to turn his gaze around the room the door opened and the ever so familiar platina blonde haired girl walked in.
When the girl saw Tatsumi sitting up, her eyes opened wide with shock as they reflected naked surprise.
A hoarse voice spilled out of her pink lips.
And then, big beads of tears started to gush out of her ruby red eyes.
Before Tatsumi could even say anything, she hugged him tightly.
Suddenly being hugged by Calcedonia, Tatsumi lost his balance and once again was lying down on the bed.
“….Thank goodness…..R-Really, thank God…Master finally, you finally woke up….”
Calcedonia muttered while crying.
[Wait, didn’t something like this happen before too?] was what Tatsumi was thinking.
Suddenly, a slight pain ran through his chest.
Tatsumi was confused as to why it was like that, but then he remembered what happened.
The life and death battle he had with the <<Freedom Knight>> Morganeich, and Giuseppe’s aide Baldeo who had been possessed by a terrifying monster called the <Devil>.
“Master….? Is something the matter?”
Maybe it was because Tatsumi’s body suddenly froze up. After realizing he was acting weird, Calcedonia who was hugging Tatsumi’s body from above sat up on top of him.
“C-Could it be that the wound on master’s chest hurt? I-I apologise!! B-Because of my foolish actions….”
Calcedonia got down from the bed in a fluster and apologised to Tatsumi.
“It’s okay, Chiiko. Certainly it hurt a bit, but thanks to that my head’s all cleared up now. Rather, I’m glad that you’re safe and sound.”
“T-Thank you very much. But just to be safe, please let me check the wound again.”
And nodding to her, Tatsumi took off his upper clothes.
There was a long straight scar running along his chest. Calcedonia brought her face close to the wound, and examined it while lightly touching it.
“The wound closed up perfectly. But since it was such a grave wound, I think you should rest a bit more…”
“Well….that can’t be helped though. The fact that you’re still living after receiving such a wound should be considered good luck.”
“But….the scar will probably remain.”
While putting on a sad face, Calcedonia lightly traced his wounds with her finger.
“Don’t mind it. Unlike women, it won’t be a problem for a guy to have one or two scars.”
As he was enduring the ticklish feelings on his chest, Tatsumi was reminded of the situation he was in.
He was currently sitting on the bed with no shirt on.
And Calcedonia (though it was to examine his wounds) was currently exceedingly close to his chest with her beautiful face.
Naturally it meant, currently they were very close to each other.
If he moved his line of sight a bit, he could see the wonderful curves of Calcedonia’s huge twin hills were making under her clothes.
Tatsumi felt his heartbeat getting faster and faster.
“Is something wrong? Your pulse suddenly sped up….?’
“N-N-No no no it’s nothing! There’s nothing wrong!! Yeah!!”
He was ashamed of the fact his eyes were glued to her bust, and he was embarrassed because she was way too close to him. He tried to make random excuses as his face dyed deep red.
But no matter how he tried to hide it, the truth wouldn’t stay hidden for too long….in this case at least.
Calcedonia noticed the place where his stare was fixed on, and was reminded about their current situation. She blushed.
She sent a slight pouting look towards Tatsumi while hiding her breasts. But still, there was a trace of undisguised happiness in her red face as she said that.
“M-Master…I-If…If you want to….I-I don’t….particularly….mind….you know….”
While blushing red, both of their faces started to get close to each other.
And then, when the distance between their lips was just a few centimetres
A totally unnatural coughing sound could be heard. Tatsumi and Calcedonia hurriedly separated as if they were snapped apart.
“It’s a good thing that the distance between you young ones had gotten closer, I myself am quite happy but….at least, you should do it after closing the doors and windows. On the other hand, this is the dealing place of god….a temple…yes?”
Giuseppe was standing near the open doors with an amazed face as he said all that.
It seems like after Calcedonia entered the room, because she was too shocked at Tatsumi’s sudden awakening that she’d forgotten to close the door.
Calcedonia moved a chair in the living room near the Bed Tatsumi was on for Giuseppe to sit.
And Calcedonia herself remained standing behind Giuseppe.
“First of all, I’m happy to see son-in-law awake again.”
From the way Giuseppe said it, and from Calcedonia’s reaction a while ago, Tatsumi finally asked the question that was on his mind.
“Could it be….I was asleep for quite a while?”
“That’s correct. It’s been about 3 days, 3 days since the incident at the garden. You have been asleep for 3 whole days.”
“T-Three days…? Whoa….?”
Tatsumi was surprised after hearing he’d been out cold for 3 days. To him, it felt like he was fighting with the <Devil> just a while ago.
“Son-in-law is also one of the involved parties, so I will explain what happened from then to you. But before that, how much do you remember?”
Being asked by Giuseppe, Tatsumi tried to remember the order of things.
He heard that Giuseppe’s trusted aide Baldeo was taken over by a <Devil> and attacked Calcedonia in the courtyard.
At that time, together with Morganeich he headed for the courtyard to save Calcedonia.
And with Morganeich and Calcedonia working together, they were able to successfully purge the devil from Baldeo.
But then that devil once again possessed Morganeich as a host, and attacked Calcedonia.
And in order to save Calcedonia, he subconsciously jumped in front of the drawn blade and took a hit in place of her.
This was about everything he could clearly remember. After that he could vaguely remember he challenged Morganeich frantically in order to save Calcedonia, but nothing concrete.
“….Then, you do not remember that you’ve used magic?”
“I-I used…magic? But, I don’t have any Mana right?”
“Exactly. During the period you were asleep, we haven’t been able to find a trace of mana in you. However….”
“But, I clearly saw it! Master was using Magic, not only that but it was the legendary <Sky> attributed magic.”
Calcedonia and Giuseppe explained to Tatsumi what the <Sky> attributed magic trully is.
In history, only one person was able to utilise it….it was a illusionary…no, a legendary attributed Magic system. And Tatsumi was able to use that <Sky> attributed magic subconsciously.
It was hard to believe all that because it was so sudden, but Giuseppe and Calcedonia had no reason to lie.
Then that would mean he really used a legendary magic. Honestly, it was hard to believe.
And Tatsumi wasn’t the only one who was bewildered. Giuseppe and Calcedonia were also at a loss before a fact they didn’t understand.
It was without a doubt that Tatsumi had used the <Sky> magic, <<Instant Transition>>. It was none other than Calcedonia herself who’d witnessed it.
But now, she couldn’t feel a speck of mana from Tatsumi. It shouldn’t be possible for someone to use magic when he doesn’t have any mana.
Calcedonia and Giuseppe who had been sending gazes filled with bewilderment light gasped.
Right now, Tatsumi wasn’t minding them, but was closing and opening his fists in order to ascertain something. And they felt just a small trace of mana from Tatsumi.
It was a small trace, like a thin strand, which couldn’t even produce a light. But Giuseppe and Calcedonia certainly felt a small trace of mana from Tatsumi who was supposed to be manaless.
“..G-Grandfather….W-What, is this…?”
“Honestly……I don’t understand myself. But though it was small, I certainly felt mana in son-in-law.”
While stroking his long, white beard, Giuseppe started to speculate on Tatsumi’s strange mana.
From Tatsumi’s former world, there was a proverb [The older, the wise], and Giuseppe himself didn’t spend all those years in vain.
The huge amount of knowledge and experience he’d pilled up in his years were still inside his memories. Right now, Giuseppe was searching his memories for something similar to what Tatsumi was experiencing.
And before long, he remembered a phenomenon similar to what Tatsumi just produced.
“Maybe…..Son-in-law isn’t manipulating the mana in him, the [Inner Origin]….but [Outer Origin]……?”
Calcedonia’s eyes opened wide after hearing Giuseppe’s mutter.
And Tatusmi who was the person in question was wondering why Calcedonia, rather that he himself was surprised and put on a blank face.
“H-Hey Chiiko? what’s the Inner and Outer thing Mister Giuseppe just mentioned?”
“Ah! Y-Yes. Inner and Outer Origin, right—”
This world was a world overflowing with mana. It existed everywhere, from the lush green the herbivores ate, to the high peaks where even birds couldn’t reach. The paradise of fish, the deep ocean to the human habitats and cities.
That overflowing mana was called [Outer Origin] while the mana inside a living being was called the [Inner Origin].
And the amount of mana present in the environment, in the atmosphere was far greater than what a single living being could produce.
For example, the amount of mana Calcedonia had inside herself was considered to be top rated compared to the amount a normal person had, but compared to the amount in the environment it was like a drop of water in the ocean.
And Giuseppe wondered, if that mana, the Outer Origin was exactly what Tatsumi controlled.
“Then that would mean, son-in-law didn’t have his own mana. So it wouldn’t be a surprise that we couldn’t feel a trace of mana before. You have been taking in only the amount of mana necessary when the time is right from the surrounding. Well, it’s not like I have any proof, but it would all make sense if this was the case, rather other than this I can’t think of anything.”
Was he surprised, or was he impressed? Whatever the case, from his tone this was Giuseppe’s theory.
“T-Then Chiiko….That, manipulating Outer Origin mana, is it that unusual?”
“No, it isn’t just unusual. Normally, people can’t even deal with outer origin mana you know?”
In cases of rituals and stuff, people can draw in outer origin mana by using magic circles but to personally control it is unfathomable.
It could be possible in the past some people could do it, but at the least none were mentioned in history or texts handed down since ancient times. In other words, if what Giuseppe said was true than that would make Tatsumi the first [Outer Origin User] in the history of mankind.
“If what Grandfather said is true than that would mean Master can’t truly utilise magic from within, but take in the mana from around to utilize it.”
“But you shouldn’t overestimate your ability because of this you know? Just like there are places like the underground holy land where the concentration of magic is really high, there are also places where the mana is overwhelmingly thin. In places like those, even you would have trouble gathering mana.”
In essence, for Tatsumi who seemed to have an endless supply of mana, it could be also said that he didn’t have a fixed pool of mana like others and could only depend on the location.
And that was one of his disadvantages over a normal magician.
Tatsumi who was silently listening to Calcedonia and Giuseppe nodded in reply to Giuseppe’s advice, but his face showed a glimmer of expectations.
Magic, a mystical power which he already gave up on once. And now that he knew he could use that power, he couldn’t help but be expectant.
“But…now that I think about it, son-in-law really is an uncommon existence. A <Sky> attribute magic user, and on top of that can manipulate Outer Origin mana. And from what I’ve heard from Calcedonia, you’re also a perceiver.”
It goes to say, are all people form Tatsumi’s world like him, or is Tatsumi alone a special case. Giuseppe didn’t know that.
If he wanted to confirm that, he’d to summon hundreds of more humans from Tatsumi’s world. But that was practically impossible.
Giuseppe was staring at Tatsumi. His expression which was calm till then suddenly turned stern. And as if being lured in by that, Tatsumi and Calcedonia also tightened their expressions.
With an aura like and unsheathed blade, Giuseppe carefully proposed something.
“How about it, son-in-law? You, why don’t you become an Exorcist like Calsey?”