45 – Gift
They were occupying one of the tables in the bar, [The Elf’s Resthouse].
Jadokh the Shade, who became Tatsumi’s monster hunter teammate (Temp), was also there.
But Tatsumi, who came face to face with Jadokh’s true personality which could not be any different from his outer appearance, ended up staring at him fixedly for a while.
“Oh my? Maybe, is there something on my face?”
Jadokh showed a coquettish smile towards Tatsumi who was staring hardly at him and asked.
But the next moment his smile turned into a grin like that of a kid who loves to prank.
“….. Or, have you fallen for me on first sight? Oh my oh my, I really can’t be helped. What an honestly sinful person I am.” 
Wink! With a sound effect, only one of Jadokh’s eyes closed skillfully.
Jadokh had four eyes. Two among them were just like a human’s placed horizontally on the from of his face, but the other two were on his forehead in a oblong position. That’s why though Tatsumi was surprised at first, right now he didn’t feel much unpleasantness.
More precisely, every bit of unpleasantness he felt was completely blown away before Jadokh’s strong first impression.
“No no, that’s impossible. I, I don’t have such hobbies.”
Tatsumi made a calm tsukkomi to Jadokh. Seeing him retort in such a calm manner, this time Jadokh was the one who was surprised, as he raised an eyebrow.
“Rather than that, mister Jadokh……”
“Oh gosh, no! Just call me Jadokh. But I’m still calling you Tatsumi boy ‘kay? And no need to use such formal speech.”
Jadokh threw a flying kiss towards Tatsumi in fluid motion.
Tatsumi seemed to see an illusion of a heart shaped something floating towards him, as he slightly squinted his eyebrows.
But, that was all the reaction he showed. Seeing him so calm on the other hand, made Jadokh squint his eyebrows hard.
“Then Jadokh. Just like Miss Eru said for now we’re going to be hunting partners. So won’t you tell me how you fight? And what your speciality is?”
“Humph! My speciality is, thi~s.”
Saying that, what he pushed towards Tatsumi was a huge double handed war-axe and two small one handed battle staves.
The war-axe was 2 meters tall, and it should be quite heavy too. The image of Jadokh standing up while holding the war-axe would emit quite the terrifying pressure indeed.
And although the battle staves were single handed, they too were fearsome weapons with heavy weight.
“A war axe and two battle staves… destruction oriented aren’t you?”
“Obviously. Because no matter what kind of enemy it is. I can blow them away.”
Though slim, Jadokh’s body should be forged well.
In the first place, Jadokh’s from a tribe of warriors. If it’s battle techniques, then he should be very proficient.
In addition, Jadokh was wearing a hardened leather armour on his torso.
But if he was wearing, suppose, a full body metal armour, then he would be perfect as a human tank.
“Then, it’s my turn to ask questions now. Can I?”
“Yeah. I use a one handed sword and shield. Also, I’m being partial here, but I can use magic.”
“My! So Tatsumi boy was a mage? Rather! That’s not what I wanted to ask.”
With a spark.
His four eyes glinted with the light of sincerity as he asked Tatsumi directly.
“From now, I’ll ask everything honestly. Tatsumi boy, I want to ask. Doesn’t Tatsumi boy find me… repulsive?”
The fact that he was different from his surrounding was something he realized when he was a child.
But even if he realized, no matter how he tried to correct himself he was unable to.
Even though his body was gradually growing like a man, his heart was not.
Even in his home village, he never lost to anyone in a battle. But he never got his peers’ recognition.
Isn’t he possessed by a <Devil>?
What a failure!
In a small community such as theirs, he knew what was being said about himself even if he didn’t want to.
But even so, he continued his training.
For Shades, strength was everything. So as long as one had enough strength, one or two personal quirks didn’t matter.
But even in that society Jadokh wasn’t acknowledged.
Even though his body was that of a man’s, the heart was a woman’s.
That’s why, he left the village.
He has heard that within the human community there were people called monster hunters.
If you could hunt a mighty and powerful monster, than that was enough to make people tip their hats off to you.
Then, maybe that was the place where he belonged.
Thinking that, he— or maybe it’s better to say she?— left the shade community.
“Before reaching this place… I’ve always been looked at like I was an odd creature by the humans. There were some who even directly scorned me. But of course I forcefully made those guys into my companion after that.”
After smashing their ‘thing’. – Jadokh said with a scary smile.
“But Tatsumi boy you…. You’re different from them. Maybe, Tatsumi boy knew people like me once?”
Certainly, Tatsumi was surprised when he first heard his tone.
But even if there was surprise, there was no revulsion in his eyes like everyone else’s.
“Yeah… well it’s not like I know them directly but… There should be quite a lot of people like Jadokh in my wor-…. Home country.”
By [people like Jadokh], Tatsumi meant people he saw in variety shows, the various ‘Onee-samas’ that come up time to time.
Nowadays, there were even talent shows for Onee-samas as they had a firm standing in modern society. If you turned on the TV, then the probability of you coming across a show with an Onee-sama was quite high.
And among those Onee-samas, there were even those unthinkable crazy types who could not be seen as anything but monsters taking the stage just for the laughs.
Compared to them, the well ordered Jadokh in front of him could by no possible chance make him feel repulsed.
“Of course, I was surprised at first but I don’t think I was disgusted you know? Besides, now that I think about it you should have a case of gender identity disorder.”
“.. Gen—iden…. What? What’s that?”
“Hmm…. how should I explain this?”
In modern Japan the understanding regarding gender identity disorder was deep, but this world shouldn’t even know it exists.
“ Err.. In general, something like a small mistake on god’s part?”
“Yeah. Originally a male soul should go in a male body. But by some mistake a female soul was put in a male body. That’s why the one who is at fault should be the god who made the mistake, not Jadokh.”
“W-Wait Tatsumi boy!!! Is it okay to say god was wrong!? If a priest in some temple hears this then it’s going to end up as big trouble!?”
“No it’s okay. Even though I might not look like it, I myself am a senior priest at the temple of Savaiv.”
Tatsumi showed Jadokh his designated holy crest, and Jadokh kept staring at him blankly.
“T-Tatsumi boy… J-Just who are….you…?”
“No no even if you ask me that… I’m a priest at the temple, and an aspiring monster hunter?”
But well, his position in the temple was something to pity about more likely.
Jadokh was still looking at Tatsumi in shock, but slowly a smile crept into his face.
And that smile, slowly became dazzling.
But Tatsumi, who met Jadokh for the first time today, didn’t notice that much.
Then, Eru interjected.
“Yes, Tatsumi! Good work on the herb gathering mission today. Here’s your reward.”
Saying that, she handed Tatsumi a few tens of silver.
“Because the herbs you gathered were more than enough, and they were very fresh too, I added a little extra!”
“Thank you very much.”
While thanking Eru over and over again, Tatsumi looked at the coins in his hand with a flood of emotions.
It could be said that this was Tatsumi’s first income in this world.
Not like the income he got as a priest, which was on Giuseppe’s recommendation, but money he earned with his power alone.
Actually it might be just a small amount, but for Tatsumi it was worth more than thousands.
“This is the first payment Tatsumi got as a monster hunter right? Why not buy a memento for it?”
He couldn’t buy anything too grand with just some tens of silver, but if it was knives or other daily things for monster hunters, then it was possible.
“Actually, I already decided how I will spend this money.”
Tatsumi replied to Eru while putting the coins in his pouch.
Eru responded to Tatsumi with a smile, and then she looked at Jadokh who had lowered his back after the interview with Tatsumi with a sidelong glance.
Even just a while ago he was surrounded by a menacing aura. But after talking with Tatsumi for just a while, his aura became even somewhat gentle.
(Just like I planned, Tatsumi could do something about it.)
Due to how his appearance and character differs, Jadokh should have been through horrible experiences till now.
But for Eru who lived in Japan like Tatsumi, she felt no repulsiveness from Jadokh.
That’s exactly why Eru wanted to pair Jadokh and Tatsumi as a team.
Because if it was Tatsumi— if it was Tatsumi who just like her, lived in Japan, and came into contact with many cultures there, he would accept Jadokh as he was. Not judging him as an oddity, but as a person.
And certainly, right now Jadokh was in a cheerful mood.
She didn’t know exactly what happened, but it seemed like Tatsumi was better than she expected.
(Maybe, Tatsumi just might have some great achievements as a priest)
Eru thought while looking at Tatsumi, who in just moments blew away all of Jadokh’s displeasure.
Tatsumi walked along the road of Levantes after leaving the [The Elf’s Resthouse].
Jadokh rented a room at the [The Elf’s Resthouse] after that and said that he would call it a day.
After leaving his home village, he has been journeying all along. Now that he finally realized his goal of being a monster hunter, he decided give his body a good rest.
After peeping along a number of stalls along the road Tatsumi finally saw something he was satisfied with.
He then bought it with almost all of the cash he earned today, and left for his home sweet home, where Calcedonia was waiting with a content face.
Tatsumi entered the house after opening the door lock with the magic pass.
Right now there was a red firing burning in the fireplace, which warmed up the house plenty.
“Welcome back, dear. How was the day?”
“Yeah, it went well.”
Tatsumi showed her a thumbs up.
“Is that so? As expected of my husband.”
Calcedonia grabbed Tatsumi hand and led him to the warm fireplace.
After making Tatsumi sit on top of the fur carpet, she hugged him from behind— but was for some reason obstructed by Tatsumi.
A-Are you displeased with me?
That’s what her face was saying, and her expression was vivid. But Tatsumi then gently stroked her head.
Calcedonia felt something out of place where Tatsumi stroked her hair, so she put her hand there and….
She felt something hard there.
Then with great care, as if she was handling a treasure, Calcedonia brought that object in front of her eyes.
Right now, there was something in her hand.
It was a single piece of hair ornament.
It was made of wood. It’s surface was curved with some simple designs. She could tell at a glance that it wasn’t something expensive, but a rather cheap ornament.
“D-Dear… this is…?”
“Yeah, I bought it with the remuneration I got today. Well even if I said that, I didn’t have much money so I couldn’t buy anything expensive. So I searched for something that would match Calsey within my budget and bought this.”
Tatsumi said shyly with a smile. And Calcedonia was listening to him with her eyes slowly clouding over.
“Really, thank you for everything until now. Calsey has been taking care of me all this time. That’s why…… I wanted to use the first money I earned to gift something to you, as my thanks.”
Calcedonia was still looking at Tatsumi, even forgetting to wipe the tears off her face.
“But with a cheap thing like this, it’s nothing compared to what Calsey has done for me so far. It doesn’t balance out at all… So, will you still accept it?”
“Yes!!… It’s a hair ornament I received from my husband… I’ll treasure it til I die…!!”
Calcedonia grasped the object in her hand tightly, and embraced it in her heart.
Certainly, this was a cheap object. Cheap enough that even a kid might be able to buy it if he tried.
But for Calcedonia, this was far more precious than even the most valuable gold and silver treasure.
After finally managing to stop herself from crying, Calcedonia threw herself into Tatsumi’s embrace.
“I’m sorry, dear…. C-Can you please… put this ornament on my hair…one more time?”
While her cheeks were buried in his chest, Calcedonia looked up at Tatsumi with her upturned eyes.
When she first summoned Tatsumi here, Tatsumi was only a bit taller than her.
But now Tatsumi’s height had grown, and he was almost a head taller than her.
After receiving the ornament from her, Tatsumi once again gently put on the ornament of her hair.
Today, there was a rumour that the <<Holy Maiden>> of the temple of Savaiv was wearing a strangely cheap looking hair ornament.
A high priest who was working with her actually saw her wearing it, and asked her why she would wear such a cheap thing.
“Certainly it is cheap. But to me it’s more precious than any treasure in the world.”
Is how she replied haughtily.
[TLN : He says’ Tsu.Mi.Tsu.Ku.Ri. with gaps. Imagine an Onee-san saying ‘Hi.Mi.Tsu~’ with a wink. Like that. You get it right? No? Whatever…]