My Pet Is a Holy Maiden 69 – Side Story: Supporting You
This is at the time when Tatsumi and Calcedonia’s engagement became official.
“Are you… Tatsumi Yamagata?”
When he was walking in the church’s corridor, his name was called from behind, causing Tatsumi to stop and look behind him.
Verse, walking next to Tatsumi, also looked back at the same time.
There were at least a dozen, stern-looking priests standing behind him
The all unanimously looked at Tatsumi with a very serious expression. No, they were staring directly at him.
“Yes, I am indeed Tatsumi…?”
The priest in the front was wearing the Sacred Symbol and priestly clothes, so one could tell that he was a senior priest.
The rank of the other priests behind him were disordered, but no one among them seemed to have a higher rank than him.
This was two ranks higher than Tatsumi and Verse. Besides, Tatsumi wasn’t acquainted with him.
While Tatsumi was tilting his head as to question why he was called out, Verse, beside him, squeezed his arm.
“… Those guys are Miss Calcedonia’s most fervent followers. You better be careful of them.”
Recently in the Savaiv Church, rumours that the Holy Maiden had finally been engaged have been circulating here and there.
Naturally, the rumors also fell into these followers of Calcedonia. Those who listened to the rumors probably came to Tatsumi, the Holy Maiden’s partner from the rumor.
“There is something that I want to ask.”
The strict-faced man came forward towards him.
Not only his face, but even his body was stern-looking, and Tatsumi felt the pressure on him increased considerably when the man came forward.
“Is it true that you’re engaged with the Holy Maiden… no, with Lady Calcedonia…?”
So it has come, Tatsumi sighed as he was thinking that.
But, he couldn’t refute that. It was based on the consent of both sides that he and Calcedonia got engaged and it was Calcedonia’s foster father, Giuseppe, the patriarch of Savaiv Church, who gave the approval.
That’s why Tatsumi, with confidence, answered clearly while facing the man in front.
“Yes. Calcedonia and I were with Giuseppe… no, we were officially engaged with the Patriarch as the witness.”
When Tatsumi answered, all of Calcedonia’s followers behind the strict-faced man reacted.
Some crumbled down to their knees and had stunned expressions, while others punched the floor while shedding tears.
“Then… the rumours… were true…?”
The strict-faced man acting as the leader muttered with a somewhat empty expression.
However, the man soon came back to looking as stern as ever, and once again challenged Tatsumi. To this, Tatsumi puffed up his chest.
He, a head larger than Tatsumi, looked down.
The two of them entered a staring contest of sorts. And then, after a short while, the man suddenly clasped Tatsumi’s shoulders heartily and said,
“…We, the ‘Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club,’ give you…no, we give our best friend Tatsumi Yamagata our full support!”
─Umm…what did this guy say just now?
Unable to comprehend what exactly the priest was going on about, Tatsumi stood there, involuntarily looking like an idiot.
Presumably to clear things up to Tatsumi, Verse turned to face him. But, Verse only stared at Tatsumi, gaping all the while.
Only when the man in front of them, most likely the leader of the “Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club,” continued to say, “As your esteemed self is the partner of the Holy Maiden, we will absolutely help you in any ways possible!” did Tatsumi finally understand. Since there was a pattern to all this.
But, it couldn’t be that these followers of Calcedonia were giving me “full support”?
Tatsumi didn’t dare to think that.
To tell the truth, Tatsumi knew that people were saying strange things on how Calcedonia was engaged.
Some among these people obviously were spreading malicious rumors about him.
Until now, there were many nobles and royals who have send marriage offers to Calcedonia. And now this girl didn’t choose any of the high-ranking potential marriage partners to engage with but suddenly engaged with a foreign man without any warning. The strangeness of this event gave plenty of people plenty of things to think about.
Of course, when they decided to engage with each other, they were prepared for these kinds of things.
This situation was, as one would think, way beyond expectation.
To Tatsumi, still not understanding if this was a good thing, the leader-like man─for now, let’s call him the (probable) leader─continued speaking.
“We of the ‘Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club’ have always been watching over her…Calcedonia. So we understand. Recently…ever since you came, she has been looking happy and blissful.”
The (probable) leader’s stern face paradoxically looked gentle as he was speaking.
Seeing this, Tatsumi realized that these men were speaking out their true feelings.
For other people to understand his and Calsey’s feelings for each other would be on the verge of impossible. But, these people came close. They didn’t know of the time the two spent together in their previous world, but that really couldn’t be helped.
It seemed that the (probable) leader was the type of person with a mean outside and a kind inside.
And just when Tatsumi smiled and was just about to thank the (probable) leader.
Suddenly, Verse, filled with curiousity, asked, “You guys are…umm, the ‘Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club’…was it?”
“Indeed. We are the ‘Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club.’”
As the (probable) leader answered, the club members of the ‘Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club’ puffed out their chest and nodded.
“And, sirs of the ‘Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club,’ may I ask on what group you sirs are specifically in?”
As the other party looked to be his superior, Verse switched to using a formal speech, but for some reason, his eyes contained a hint of suspiciousness.
But, the (probable) leader didn’t seem to notice it as he proudly gave his answer.
“We are exactly what our name implies. Every day, we watch Lady Calcedonia the Holy Maiden’s shadow. Our history goes way back, even before Lady Calcedonia was called the Holy Maiden. From around the time when she was adopted by Lord Chrysophrase. We were entrusted to protect a child with an exceedingly high amount of talent in magic, and that child was Lady Calcedonia. Those days were pure and beautiful…”
The (probable) leader had reminiscing eyes as he was extolling about the former Calcedonia.
He looked to be in the late thirties or the early forties. If he was the type of person who looked older than his real age, it still wouldn’t be in the twenties.
That old man was talking about the loli Calcedonia in such a passionate way.
With that thought, the class of the (possible) group leader and the members behind him went from “priests” to “pedophiles” in Tatsumi’s mind.
“As a result of the esteemed patriarch’s guidance, Lady Calcedonia’s innate magic talent bloomed and she became to be called the ‘Holy Maiden.’ But, if you as us, something like ‘Holy Maiden’ is just too little! She… no, Lady Calcedonia is an emissary of Lord Savaiv from Heaven! What ‘Holy Maiden.’ She’s obviously a ‘Celestial Maiden’!”
He continued to preach about the greatness of Calcedonia while flourishing his clenched hands.
But, he needed to remember.
That, right now, he was in a church corridor with Tatsumi and Verse.
Naturally, in this hall, there were other priests. The group members were standing right in the middle of the hallway, and everyone else—Tatsumi and Verse included—were giving strange looks to them.
The other members of the Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club were going along with the (possible) leader’s preaching: they were saying things like “Yep! Yep!” and “That’s right!” in accordance to the main talker’s words.
On the other hand, Tatsumi and Verse were completely dejected.
If you didn’t know the context, it’d look like the two of them were a part of this strange group.
Thought about that way, it’s completely understandable why they were feeling like that.
Even so, he continued, “—And so, we stare at Lady Calcedonia’s shadow, and we vowed to always protect her! From that day on, we have been fulfilling our duties staring at her! No, our duties in protecting her! One time, we did it even while performing official church duties! Another time, we did it even while we were preaching the words of Savaiv to the followers! Yet another time, we did it even while we were purifying unholy bodies in a bathroom! And yet another time, we did it even while we were sent into toilets in order to avoid being suddenly attacked by insolent fellows! There has never been a time when we haven’t watched over her!”
Worried about what the man was going to say next, Tatsumi unintentionaly yelled.
However, for the (possible) leader, something as insignificant as Tatsumi’s words could not stop him.
“Recently, Lady Calcedonia has been looking livelier when with you. We’ve been at your house… ‘s general vicinity and have been watching over her. Please don’t worry! We haven’t stolen her underwear or anything. Just, her underwear needed a little protection!”
“Isn’t that the very definition of a stalker!!!”
If this happened in modern day Japan, there’s no doubt that the police would be involved.
But, in this world, the general idea of sexual harassment or stalkers doesn’t exist, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, it didn’t seem like the Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club, or at the very least the (possible) group leader, had any true malicious intent.
“…That’s too much…”
“Or rather, you didn’t know that these people existed?”
At the worn-out Verse’s question, Tatsumi silently shook his head.
Just like the priest said, the club was (usually) only in the general vicinity of Tatsumi and Calcedonia’s house. Besides, it was the time when the two of them were alone together, so they didn’t really pay attention to the surroundings.
Tatsumi secretly decided to warn the females in the neighborhood when he got home today.
“By the way, Tatsumi? What in the world is a ‘stalker’?”
Guessing that it was a word from Tatsumi’s hometown, the (possible) group leader tilted his head in confusion.
“…It describes people like you…”
It was only a murmur that Tatsumi spoke. And yet, his mutterings reached ears of the (possible) group leader right in front of him.
“Hmm, a word that describes distinguished shadow-watchers… And, for some reason, it’s very powerful… Good, I like it! From now on, we shall not be called the ‘Forever Staring at the Holy Maiden’s Shadow Club’ but the ‘Holy Maiden Stalker Club’! What about it gentlemen!?”
From behind the (possible) group leader, there was a resounding cry of “Yes!”
A stalker group that advertised itself as a stalker group was born.
“By the way, I just want to hear if this is true…”
After the excitement over the new name died down, the (possible) group leader closed in his huge frame onto Tatsumi once more.
“…I heard from somebody t-that…if somebody got close to you, they’d also get close to Calcedonia… is that true?”
It seems that this is the true reason why they approached Tatsumi.
In the future, the Holy Maiden Stalker Club was disbanded.
The reason was not known, but a group member had this to say about it: “…O-Only seeing such sweet scenes…… I couldn’t take it anymore…”