57 – Festival and Scheme
Dazzling ornaments adorned the wide room.
One could instantly tell that the decorations were all expensive.
These furnishings made by the finest of craftsmen with all their effort were carefully placed to be in the best position possible.
In this beautiful room, three people were gathered.
Sitting at a huge round table, they were talking as they pleased and enjoying themselves to tea and cakes.
It was like that when a quiet clap came from outside the sole door.
“The Savaiv Church’s Patriarch, Giuseppe Chrysoprase, has arrived.”
A second after the speaking stopped, the door slowly opened.
And then, the person who spoke before spoke once again, “Sorry! I was late!”
Without bothering to be formal, Giuseppe came in, laughing his usual “hohoho” laugh.
He went through the room as if it was his own and sat down on a seat before anyone could offer him one, wearing clothing decorated with ornaments that wouldn’t lose to the ones in this room and exclusive to the Patriarch, the highest priest.
“Really late. Finally became senile?”
Looking at Giuseppe from the side, a man dressed in beautiful robes asked.
“Heh, I’m still not senile; I’m not you. I actually do things.”
A woman in gorgeous vestments said, “Oh, what was that? I heard that you’ve become attracted to a certain young man and are always together. The Patriarch of the Marriage God gay eloping…truly deplorable.”
After she hit Giuseppe square in the face with a chair, she clasped her hands together and gave a prayer to her God.
“Who’s gay, who? I have a great wife, children, and grandchildren! Well, it’s not wrong to say that there’s a young man who caught my eye.”
The figure of the young man who could be called his pupil popped into his mind.
“Hey, old man. Is the guy who caught your old man eyes the rumored second Heaven user? Is that guy actually a Heaven-system mage?”
The few people in this room were around the same age as Giuseppe.
Except one. A man who was around thirty-five and dressed in clothing of a similar-level to the others pestered Giuseppe with questions, obviously curious.
“Yeah. He definitely has Heaven-type mana. The dazzling gold mana-light that comes from his body… I saw it with my own eyes. And, he’s even come to be able to use the Heaven-system magic《Instant Transition》recently.”
His expression showed the pride of a grandfather for his grandson.
The three people watching each had different reactions.
The man who was similar in age to Giuseppe snorted.
“…Humph. The Holy Maiden and now the Heaven-system mage. Why are all the talented people appearing in your church…f*ck this!!!”
The lone, old woman shrugged in amazement.
“My my. Haven’t you entered the path of gayness?”
The final party, tge man in his thirties, only became more interested.
“Woah, it’s really true! How about it, gramps, want to give that guy to my church? I’ll definitely make him out to be the strongest soldier in this country! If he’d like, he could even have my daughter. In that case, wouldn’t the rumored Heaven-system mage be my son-in-law? This makes me fired up!”
The man was excited at his own words, however, Giuseppe would, of course, deny the request.
“How could I let him into another church? Besides, your daughter just turned ten. Foremost, he already choose my granddaughter! With my witness, they’ve been engaged under Savaiv-sama!”
Like a child boasting about a new toy, Giuseppe contentedly laughed while surveying the three people with him.
“Now, let’s get to the main point. It’s not like we’re here to talk about my granddaughter’s husband.”
“It was you who started talking about him.”
The older man saying that with a sulking expression was the Patriarch of the Church of the Sea God Dalagarvae, Grugnard Armart.
“Even so, I’m also in favor of getting to the main point. Do you think I have endless free time?” the sole woman in the room, Matriarch of the Church of the Moon God, Glavavy Mayalina Kisscalt.
“Tch, the old man won’t just give him to me. But, I want to meet the second Heaven-system mage!”
The eyes of Bugarank Ishukan, the Patriarch of the Church of the Sun God Golaiva, were shining in expectation.
Each of the leaders of the churches of the four great gods in Largofiely had gathered in this room.
“Now, it is time to talk. For this years’ New Year’s Festival, which church will take what.”
That day, when Tatsumi was being taught magic and common sense by Giuseppe.
“Huh? The leaders of each of the great churches are meeting directly with each other…?” asked Tatsumi.
“Yes. Normally, I wouldn’t have to do it, but it’s a tradition for the leaders of the great churches to meet on the New Year.”
Stroking his large, white beard, he answered Tatsumi in a good mood.
“We have to decide how to manage public safety. It’s normally done by the palace guards, but the festival marks a time with more people then normal. And, with more people, there’s more people who may have bad intentions. Besides, there are people who get too caught up in the festival’s mood as well as those who become drunk and violent. So, the churches cooperate to maintain public order. Naturally, that will be the job of the templars, so you’ll have to join in.”
Tatsumi quietly nodded to Giuseppe’s words.
It was a little disappointing to have work in the festival, but it couldn’t be helped now that he had a duty to do.
“Also, it’s part of the church’s job to help the injured and other people in emergencies. Well, it shouldn’t matter much to you aside from Calsey being there.”
In the festival, there would be people who get into the festive mood too much and do things like overeating, getting too drunk, violence, etc.
To help these people, healing magic specialists will be assigned to go, so it’s impossible for Calcedonia to not be there.
“There’s also the church-sponsored events.”
“What kinds of things will you be doing?”
“Every year, the Church of the Sun God organizes the athletic meet for the commoners. It’s not aristocratic-style swordplay tournament or a jousting tournament, but a bare-handed fighting tournament.”
According to Giuseppe, this was a unique game called “Gissh.” Apparently, it was a game similar to wrestling; opponents grapple each other and try to knock the other person down.
However, during this, direct hits such as punching and kicking your opponent were allowed, so it could be said that this game was more extreme than wrestling.
It looked like the Church of the Sun God hosted this Gissh tournament every year.
“The Church of the Moon God is going to try doing a treasure hunt in the outskirts forest. They prepare small traps and other things like that, and you need to pass through those to look for treasures. If you find a treasure, then it will be yours to keep.”
With that being said, even if it’s called a treasure it’s not that valuable; in Tatsumi’s opinion, it seemed like the prizes in a shopping mall’s lottery.
Nevertheless, it is said that a treasure of a slightly higher worth is hidden, and every year a lot of participants gather for its sake, so it’s usually a big success.
Once again, Tatsumi felt like this was like the 5-day-4-night trip to Hawaii prize of a shopping mall lottery.
However, since the forest in the outskirts is quite large, finding the hidden treasures is rather difficult. Particularly, because the special prize was hidden so carefully, only a few people have been able to find it in the past.
Moreover, because the location of the treasure hunt is the forest, even if guards were placed in various locations for security, there have been cases where participants sometimes got injured after running into a dangerous beast, or, in rare cases, even lost their lives.
Despite this, it looked like a lot of participants gather every year for this event.
“The Church of the Ocean God doesn’t have a competitive event, instead, they offer free drinks and food every year. Even though the festival is only held once a year, the residents of the city aren’t just wealthy people. They also have a good reputation among the masses.”
Even if all the people living in the kingdom and its surroundings were put together, they would never be able to afford this in their life.
Among them there are also people struggling to stay alive. So, for such people, the festival where the Church of the Ocean God gives out free drinks and food is quite remarkable.
“Then, what does the Savaiv Church do?”
“Mhm, in our church we are holding the ceremony where I personally bestow the god’s blessing unto the babies that were born throughout the year. Of course, we plan to do it this year too, but I’ve been thinking of doing something else alongside it.”
Giuseppe said, grinning widely.
──Ah, he’s plotting something. And a pretty disturbing idea at that.
Instinctively, such thoughts passed through Tatsumi’s head. His relationship with Giuseppe had been deepening enough to understand something like that.
“For this, your cooperation is absolutely necessary.”
Giuseppe’s smile grew even more. Even so, at this point there was no way that Tatsumi could refuse.
Despite having a bad feeling about it, Tatsumi listened to what Giuseppe was saying.
While listening, shock and confusion materialized on his face; in the end, for some reason, his face turned flaming red.
“Wa-wait a minute, Giuseppe!! D-do I really have to do that!?”
“Yes. If possible, I would like you to do it. So far, our church’s event is quite simple compared to the other three. I can’t accept that; I have really wanted to do something more flashy. However, the obstinate bishops have been bugging me to do something traditional or doctrinal. From the Patriarch’s standpoint, I cannot break down the Church’s traditions and doctrines as the Church has always maintained them till now. But─”
Giuseppe, who was talking while looking into the distance, turned to Tatsumi with a beaming smile.
“─This year we have you. Thanks to you, we can have a flashy event without breaking the traditions and doctrines of the Church.”
“B-but… if this is the plan… e-even if it’s not us…”
“No, as expected, it has to be done by well-known people. That would make it more flashy. Fortunately, you guys are fairly well-known, and you are also my family. If we use family members to perform this for the first time then those thick headed guys from the Church will also be convinced, right? And then, if this event concludes successfully… afterwards, it will be rooted in this Church as a new tradition. Say, son-in-law. Do you agree with me here?”
Giuseppe turned to Tatsumi and lowered his head.
With Giuseppe, who could also be called a benefactor, having spoken to this extent; on top of that, having the Patriarch of the Savaiv Church lower himself towards Tatsumi, Tatsumi could find no way to refuse.
Nevertheless, instead of replying immediately, Tatsumi’s gaze wandered here and there around the room – the room where Giuseppe always gave his lectures – while he said stuff like “Aaa…” and “Uuu…”
However, Tatsumi understood himself.
He already couldn’t do anything other than to accept Giuseppe’s request. Also, at the same time, he decided to firmly draw the line.
“…O-Okay… W-What…about the other person…?”
Tatsumi, completely blushed, finally said that.
“You don’t need to worry about it. Everything will be done by us secretly beforehand. If I remember correctly, this is called a ‘suprize’ in your world? Yes, yes, I can’t help but be excited for the festival, even if I am this old.”
Saying that, his face looked like a child before a festival.