62 – Visitor
The New Year festival celebrating the start of the year was approaching. Thus, the city of Levantes, the Kingdom of Largofiely’s Royal Capital, was gradually becoming more vibrant.
Other than peddlers and artisans who were anticipating earnings at the festival, nobles from various parts of the kingdom were also in the process of gradually gathering in the Royal Capital. Due to the crackdown on various crimes, which were becoming more and more active the city became busier , the uneasy and tense atmosphere has also increased each day.
As the number of people increased, the usual soldiers alone could not take rounds and thus, for this time only, the templars of each church were also recruited to maintain public order of the city.
Of course Tatsumi was no exception. It was decided that he would take turns patrolling the city along with his senior warrior priests Verse and Neez.
Wearing a chainmail engraved with the Holy Seal of the Savaiv God and armed with a sword and shield, they patrolled the city. After finishing about half a day’s rounds, they would return to the Savaiv Church and change shifts with other warrior priests.
Tatsumi and the other warrior priests were in charge of patrolling the vicinity of the church they belonged to, while the rest were patrolled by soldiers. While patrolling under the guidance of a senior warrior priest, Tatsumi would occasionally enter alleyways he’d never been to before, and for him it was a fresh experience.
Thus, after finishing, Tatsumi would go back home alone.
Tatsumi and Calcedonia had a strong impression of always being together with each other, but because of the work at the church it was unlikely that they could return together.
Therefore, Tatsumi left the church by himself again today. Calcedonia still had work to do, so he headed to the market to buy food for tonight’s dinner.
And, at that time.
Suddenly, an unfamiliar voice called out his name.
“Hey, are you Tatsumi Yamagata? I heard he has black hair, black eyes and is a foreigner……”
Hearing his name, Tatsumi turned around and saw a boy standing in front of him.
His age looked to be around 15 years. He looked a few years younger than Tatsumi.
In this country, rust coloured hair and dark grey eyes were the norm so his hair and eye color did stand out. What Tatsumi immediately noticed about the stranger was that he was wearing high quality clothes. Tatsumi figured that he was probably the younger brother of a nobleman.
“Yes, that’s right…… you are?”
“Ah, I’m Jolt. Feel free to call me Jolt.”
Saying this, the boy called jolt suddenly gave a friendly smile. He casually approached Tatsumi and held up his right hand.
The boy looked to be nobility so Tatsumi warily grasped the hand that was presented. Jolt’s smile deepened.
“I’ve heard a lot about you from grandpa Giuseppe. I always wanted to meet you.”
“Huh? You know Giuseppe?”
“Yeah. I know Calsey too. My grandfather and grandpa Giuseppe have been friends since their younger days. When I was small, I was also taught by grandpa Giuseppe. Because of this, Calsey and I knew each other.”
If his grandfather and Giuseppe were friends, then it was true that he must be acquainted with Calcedonia as well. Hearing that he was Giuseppe’s acquaintance, Tatsumi slightly reduced his wariness with Jolt.
Seemingly, Jolt also realized that Tatsumi was being cautious with him, but he didn’t seem to mind.
“So… is there something you need from me?”
“Oh, there’s no need to be so formal. Come on, be more at ease, at ease.”
Jolt said without breaking the smile. Apparently, he doesn’t seem to be insincere. Tatsumi doesn’t dislike these types of people, so he gradually began to have a favourable impression of him.
“Okay, Jolt. So, what do you need from me?”
“Oh, good, good. From now on, I’ll talk to you in this manner. So, about this matter… that’s right, let’s not stand here and talk. Why don’t we sit down somewhere more peaceful and talk?”
“I’ll cut to the chase. Will you hand over Calsey to me?”
Tatsumi and Jolt chose a suitable shop and ordered drinks.
Having confirmed that the waitress had left after taking their order, Jolt suddenly broached the subject.
“Huh? An immediate reply? I haven’t even laid out the terms yet?”
Without thinking, Jolt exposed an open mouthed expression. On the other hand, Tatsumi raised his warning against him to the maximum level.
“It’s not too late to decide after listening to my condition, right?”
“That’s not necessary. No matter how good a condition is presented, I will never, under any circumstance, let go of Calsey.”
“Well, actually, if I do say so myself, I’m pretty high-class, you know? It’s not possible yet, but when I hold real power in the future, I’ll have wealth and prestige to my heart’s content, you know? If you’d like, I can even promote you to the highest noble rank in this country. And, I can arrange for you to marry my sister instead of Calsey.”
“Even if it’s wealth, prestige, or social status, it would never be enough to exchange with Calsey.”
“Hey, now. You’re saying you prefer one woman over wealth, prestige and social class?”
“Wow, an immediate reply again…”
Jolt said with an amazed expression. With regard to Jolt, Tatsumi was clearly angry at him.
“Leaving that aside, were you waiting for me to come out of the church just to say something worthless like this?”
“Hey, waiting for you here bears no merit for me too. Actually, my grandfather said he would call for you, so I thought of meeting you then. But my grandfather told me that if I wanted to meet you this badly, then it would only be polite to go to you myself. That’s why, I came here to see you.”
“The reason you went so far to see me is because you want Calsey? I know it’s bad, but I’m not going to listen to your (Jolt’s) story anymore than this.”
Tatsumi placed a few silver coins on the table and stood up.
Tatsumi was obviously angry. However, for some reason, Jolt made a laughing sound.
“Hahahaha. I see. You are certainly like what I heard from grandpa Giuseppe.”
After laughing for a while, Jolt changed his expression, and bowed deeply towards Tatsumi.
“I beg your pardon, but that was just an act to test Tatsumi. I, Joltreon Rezo Largofiely, sincerely apologize.”
Listening to Jolt’s official full name, Tatsumi’s body unintentionally stiffened.
His name was composed of three sections, and had Largofiely in it. What kind of status did that represent in this country? Tatsumi was also taught this by Giuseppe.
“R, royal…… ty……?”
“Oh, I’m genuine royalty, you know? Did I say that? My status is quite high. My grandfather is the current, and my father is the next-in-line king. So, since I’m the eldest son of my father, going straight from here, I’m the next-next-in-line king.”
This wasn’t just a small matter. In this country, saying you stand at the top was also an extremely good position.
This time, it was Tatsumi’s turn to expose a dumbfounded expression. Looking at Tatsumi, Jolt once again broke into laughter without a care.
“Nah, I’m really sorry. I wanted to check whether or not Tatsumi was like the guy I’d heard from grandpa Giuseppe.”
Tatsumi and Jolt settled down once again. Drinking the tea that was brought over, the two continued their conversation.
“What do you mean by that…… Your Highness?” (TN: Tatsumi reverted to using formal speech here)
“Ah, speak comfortably. Certainly, I’m royalty but this isn’t a public place. Just speak the way you’ve been speaking so far.”
As usual, Jolt had a charming smile on his face; Tatsumi decided to accept his proposal with a bitter smile.
“Ok then, allow me to do so… So, what did you mean earlier?”
“Alright then, I’ll get straight to the point. What I wanted was not Calsey, Tatsumi. It’s you.”
“M-me? By that, do you mean making me your subordinate?”
“Wrong, wrong. I do want a capable man or a rare talent at hand, however that’s not why I wanted to meet you, Tatsumi. The reason I’m looking for you is… I want you to be my friend. Furthermore, a close friend I can put my absolute trust in.”
Tatsumi blinked in amazement at Jolt who had shamelessly asked him to be his friend.
“Don’t you want to? I stand at a high position, you know? That’s why there are lots of people trying to get close to me. But, I can’t just trust those people. Of course, within them, there are some who can be trusted, but those guys also have good families and other various things. Thus, if I get friendly with those people beyond necessity, then that alone would subject them to jealousy… that’s what would most likely be the case.”
Tatsumi could understand what Jolt said. If you look at it reasonably, people holding various ulterior motives would gather around Jolt, the successor to the next generation’s king. Not being able to trust those people readily was only natural.
Also, if you became close with the future king, there would be people who would get jealous of you.
“However, if it’s Tatsumi, then I won’t have any doubts. I’ve been convinced by how you acted earlier. That’s why even if you gave me immediate answers one after another earlier, I can trust that those were your real frelings on the matter, right?”
The condition Jolt had presented to Tatsumi for breaking up with Calcedonia was marriage to his younger sister. That was, marriage to the future king’s sister.
Getting married to the king’s sister, there is no way someone with ambition wouldn’t hold on to this. However, Tatsumi turned down that condition splendidly. It’s true he didn’t know that Jolt was the future king when he turned down the ‘marriage with my younger sister’ proposal, but he could guess that Jolt must be a high standing aristocrat.
Refusing such a marriage proposal from Jolt was proof that Tatsumi has no political ambition.
“To begin with, why does Jolt want to become ‘close friends’ with me? You can’t be best friends just by saying ‘please become,’ can you? Moreover, there should be some nice guys around Jolt.”
“Yeah. There are certainly guys who would serve me wholeheartedly. But, you know, I’m not looking for something like that. Look at my grandpa and grandpa Giuseppe, and then Sea God Dalagarvae sect’s Patriarch, grandpa Gulgunard too…… they’ve been best friends since old times. Even now they’re on good terms, casually hitting each other with abusive language.”
Looking at this situation of those grandfathers from an early age, it seems Jolt too started wanting a friendship like them.
“Even now I have ‘friends’. But, no matter what the master-slave relationship doesn’t go away.”
Jolt made a slightly sad expression.
“I guess it can’t be helped since I’m royalty… but, after all, I still want a ‘bestfriend’ like my grandpa’s. Sometimes fighting, sometimes supporting… saying trivial stuff like it’s nothing to each other. Those type of ‘friends’ are what I want. Grandpa has best friends whom he can trust from his heart. Can I not have such a person as well?”
Spilling out of his mouth was Jolt’s earnest wish. Knowing he was serious, Tatsumi also listened to his story quietly.
“In that respect, Tatsumi is a Priest dispatched from the organization of this country, so it won’t be a master-slave relationship with me. And even, if you get close to me, the surrounding noble guys won’t say this or that, right? Also, you have grandpa Giuseppe at your back. I don’t think there is anyone in the nobility that would dare to turn grandpa Giuseppe into an enemy.”
Having also just confirmed that Tatsumi didn’t have any personal ambition, Jolt continued.
“I’m extremely loved by Calsey as well. I also wanted to tell her about the earlier exchange between us. That calm person, what kind of face would she make after listening to Tatsumi’s passionate words… I want to see that.”
“Really? I think Calsey’s face changes a lot based on what you say.”
Jolt’s was only acquainted with the Calcedonia before she met Tatsumi.
The Calcedonia from before kept her interaction with priests to the bare minimum, hardly ever socialised with other people, and always had a forced smile on her face; an unsociable person no matter what. Not letting other people get close to her was one of the reasons that she came to be called the Holy Maiden.
However, since reuniting with Tatsumi, Calcedonia’s expressions were reputed to have become bright and tender.
But, Jolt didn’t know the Calcedonia that had changed after meeting Tatsumi.
In recent years, Calcedonia had been busy making preparations for summoning Tatsumi while simultaneously working as a Priest. And then, after summoning Tatsumi she was always with Tatsumi doing almost everything together, so she had no chance to meet Jolt.
“Huh? Calsey’s face changes a lot? Wow, I can’t believe that. What are you saying?”
Once again, Jolt exposed a stunned, foolish face. Looking at that face, it was now Tatsumi’s turn to laugh.
Tatsumi no longer was not cautious with him anymore. And after listening to his feelings, whether or not they could be best friends was yet to be determined. But, he was starting to think positively about establishing a friendship with him.
“You can’t believe that? Then, come to our house next time. Wait a minute, is it okay for a royal to wander around the city by himself?”
This thought suddenly came to Tatsumi. It shouldn’t be alright for a future king to walk about nonchalantly all by himself.
“Ah, that’s fine. I got permission form grandfather. The fact that grandpa has given permission, there’s probably three to four guards present in the vicinity without us noticing. Besides, right now I’m together with Tatsumi. If it’s Tatsumi, no matter what happens you can take me and escape from here, right?”
“Well, if it’s just escaping then I do have confidence but……”
“Right? I’ve also heard about Tatsumi’s ability. Oh, by the way, I used a secret passage when I left the castle.”
“S-secret passage ? Ce-certainly there would be secret passages in the castle……”
“That’s the case. Right, should I show you a couple of the secret passages? As long as it’s Tatsum7qi it’s fine; it’s ok if you use them to come visit me. Of course, Calsey can come as well.”
“………… those passageways of the castle …… isn’t that the country’s highly classified information…… ?”
In spite of himself, Tatsumi felt a headache come on.
But then, if Tatsumi felt that way, even if he didn’t using secret passages sneaking into the royal palace isn’t very difficult.
“Leaving aside secret passages, you’re welcome to come visit our house. Provided that you let me know in advance, though. If you come suddenly, we might not necessarily be at home.”
“That’s right, I want to meet Calsey after such a long time, I’ll come over to your house again next time. Of course, I’ll inform you in advance.”
Tatsumi and Jolt smile casually at each other. Then, they firmly grasped each other’s hands.
This was the encounter between King Joltreon who would later be praised as a wise ruler, and the Exorcist who would be called by the two names Tenshou, and was the beginning of their friendship.