Chapter 26 – Temples and Divine Blessings – Part 1
I arrived at the Great Temple inside the fortified city of Granden.
The grandeur and sanctity of the building is astounding, but the entrance is the most important part.
There was no time to look at them, because there were so many military personnel posted on the ground to guard them. If I stood still for even a moment, the soldiers would immediately turn their wary eyes toward me.
The inside of a temple is usually built in the same way. But it’s been a long time since I looked around in the imperial temple.
This time, I came to check the contents again. The inside was different then and now.
I wanted to know if they were going to let me in, but the way things were going, I doubted they would even let me in.
I can’t rely on Rena this time.
Aside from General Duras and his daughter Charlotte, the rest of the humans should not be able to detect her at all.
But one more person, or one more figure, or one more pillar. I don’t know who it is, but there is someone who not only see Rena’s appearance, but also reveals her true identity.
He or she probably not very good in terms of combat ability, but the accuracy of stealth ability is terrifyingly high. I wouldn’t be surprised if he or she is still watching me from somewhere.
Afterall…. General Duras and whoever was beside him would also like to find out information about the culprit in the temple attack.
Just like I asked Rena to do in Mildiana, using her stealth technique to find clues to the culprit in the case.
So, I thought that it would be better for me to make a direct move rather than trying to move Rena, but this is difficult. Can I use my status as a special student as an excuse to force my way through this quietly? As I was thinking about this.
It was Clarice, a girl with blond hair tied on the right side and a soldier, who approached me.
Looks like she’s on duty judging by her uniform and epaulets.
Behind Clarice, I could see the soldiers under her command, equipped with magic guns.
“Hey, Clarice. That’s some serious security.”
“Of course. The next time this place is attacked, it could happen at any time…….”
“By the look on your face, it looks like you’re a little more concerned about anything else?”
“So you can see everything, can’t you? …… That’s right. There are six temples in Granden territory, and four of them have already been destroyed. But if we take the culprit’s point of view, it’s more likely that the next target will not be this temple, but another temple outside of Granden.”
“Well, there is such a way of thinking. As long as you don’t know what the they’re aiming for, you can’t make a completely definitive ”
“What brings you here by the way? I mean, if you think about it, you should be in the middle of a class at the school right now, right?”
“I’m not feeling well. I thought a visit to the sacred temple might help me feel a little better.”
That’s a pretty lame excuse, I know.
But well, I don’t think she’s going to chide me for this now. As proof of this, Clarice pointed her finger between her eyebrows as if she had a headache.
She rubbed it with her hands and let out a deep sigh before saying.
“The temple is heavily guarded and is currently off limits to any citizen of the Granden territory…….”
“Does that also apply if you were dealing with a promising, aspiring military student who worked hard to solve the Mildiana case?”
“Mmmm. I’m speechless if you say so…”.
Clarice thought for a moment, then said, “Please wait a moment,” and left, returning soon after.
Next to her stood an old man in a military uniform. Judging from the insignia on his chest, he was a general.
“This is Major General Karsati, who is currently in charge of the temple guard. Sir, this is Theodore, one of the key players who helped solving the case of the Final Droplet of Mildiana.”
“I saw you when Lady Charlotte was in amok, but now that I’ve seen you in person, your blue hair is still a wonder.”
“I get that a lot. So I’m going to get straight to the point, may i have a look inside the temple? I hope I can find some clues to solve this case.”
Clarice said, “If there was such a thing, I would have found it long ago–”
After gently stopping her, Major General Karsati said.
“I agree with Ensign Fourestier. If there was such a thing, I would have found it by now……, but if you’re approved by Lieutenant General Lambert, you might be able to find something. All right, come on in.”
The old Major General turned to Clarice.
“With one condition. Ensign Fourestier, go and accompany him.”
“What, me? But….”
“Unfortunately, I’m not too familiar with the inner workings of the temple. Please guide him, I want him to have someone to talk to at least, and I’d appreciate it if you could do so.”
When he pushed her to do so, Clarice said with a puzzled look on her face.
“Well, yes, sir. If you say so. I will inform my subordinates first, so please wait a moment.”
“What do you think?”
“……? Are you asking me?”
“Who else is there? How do you feel when you see that cocky little girl?”
The previously mild-mannered Major General turned his sharp eyes on me. After thinking about it for a while, I say what I thought I would say.
“She’s a great talent. She’s very capable, and her subordinates and the people trust her. It’s not a dream of hers to eventually become a general.”
“Hmm. Don’t you think you’re overestimating her? From what I can see, she’s just a brat who’s over confidence in herself.”
“No, not at all. Her combat skills are probably much better than Major General Karsati’s, as for her youthful bloodlust and preoccupation is due to her lack of experience. I think with a little more time, she could become a much better soldier than she is. She’s a little hazy in the presence of General Duras, who is a monster beyond compare, but I still think highly of her.”
From what I could see, the old soldier in front of me did not have God’s blessing.
Still, I can see that he is quite capable of surviving to this age.
But even that is not nearly as good as Clarice, the prophet. The only thing that makes him superior to her is his age, the trust of others, and his battlefield experience.
Even that, perhaps not too long from now, he will be no match for Clarice.
Major General Karsati laughed in amusement when I said it with that in mind.
However, he didn’t seem offended, just amused to see something interesting to look at.
“Honest boy. I feel exactly the same way as you do. She is a great talent. She is not only powerful, but also very trustworthy, and she still has a lot of room to grow. I’d like to give up my token rank as soon as possible.”
“That’s surprising. I would have thought that an old man like Major General Karsati would be jealous of a young man with such outstanding talent.”
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But that feeling will change when you enter the battlefield. War is no longer possible without the power of the prophet. They are the first to go to the front lines of any battlefield and lay waste to the enemy soldiers. They appearance is brave and dependable, and even makes us envy them…”
The old soldier continued to stroke his beard.
“It’s scary, it is ”
“Scary? What’s scary?”
“It is the overwhelming pressure that is borne by those who are called prophets and have absolute power. For the sake of their country, for the sake of their people, and even for the sake of their loved ones, they are willing to die in battle. Defeat is unacceptable, and if you are the first to lose the battle, many soldiers waiting in the rear will be killed. On the battlefield, where the blessings of God clash fiercely, they always fight with all the lives of their comrades on their shoulders. …… I can no longer even imagine the responsibility that presses on them.”
The difference in power between the prophets and the ordinary soldiers is obvious.
There have been several cases where a single prophet has overpowered hundreds of soldiers. Therefore, the role and responsibility of the prophet is not only that of a commander on the battlefield, but also that of a leader.
I wonder if it will be much heavier than that of the general who is in charge.
“Once, I had a good friend who was blessed by God. He took the mighty power into his own hands and fought and won battle after battle. But in one battle, he was severely injured and could not move. He was blown away by an explosion of magic at the bottom of a cliff, and managed to survive without being pursued any further by his opponent. But maybe that wasn’t such a lucky thing.”
“What do you mean?”
“When the prophet finally returned to the battlefield, he saw a pile of corpses of his allies scattered all over the battlefield. There was no one alive, only the traces of the overrun. In the face of that scene, which was probably brought to him by the other party’s prophet, that person’s heart was easily broken.”
The old soldier said, looking up at the sky as if nostalgic for the scene of the past.
“Even though his body had completely recovered, his mind could not be helped. He retired from the military after that defeat, and disappeared from my sight. It was only recently that I heard through rumor that he had committed suicide. He left a note saying he was ashamed of his helplessness and committed suicide.”
“Aha, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to have bothered you with the old man’s digression. What I want to say is this. No matter how powerful you are with the blessings of God, your heart is no different from that of an ordinary human being. I jut want you know that. For Ensign Fourestier and you who will be a promising soldier in the future. ”
When I heard those words, I muttered to myself.
“I see. That’s what humans are like.”
“No, it’s nothing. It was just an interesting conversation.”
“I see. I thought you’d just let it go as a trivial conversation with an old man.”
At that moment, a voice called out from behind Clarice as she hurried toward us.
“Ensign Fourestier! When guiding the temple, be sure to take Theodor’s arm and press it tightly against your chest!”
“Shut up! I’ve already told you it’s not like that!”
After being teased by the older female soldier in the example, Clarice loudly objected.
She comes to her senses and turns to me, and our gazes meet. Her face flushes instantly.
But that was short-lived. Clarice quickly shook her head and coughed, then saluted.
“Well then, Major General Karsati. I’m ready to go now.”
“Yes. I’m counting on you.”
Clarice strolled over and grabbed my hand firmly. It hurts.
“I’ll show you around. The inside of the temple is surprisingly large, so be careful.”
“Yes, ma’am. I’ll be in your care.”
Even as we entered the temple, Clarice tightened her grip on my arm.
“Hey, Clarice. It hurts.”
“This is how reining in a rampaging horse.”
“So you did what Private Illaria told you to do? Something about pressing my arm tightly againts your chest.”
“Forget about it!”
She did it to me, but it was more like she was the one who feel ashamed.
The nuns in the temple were looking at me quizzically, wondering what was going on.
Clarice looks uncomfortable, silently grabbing my arm and tugging at it.
I guess that means come quickly.
Although she seems to be an uptight person, Clarice seems to have a surprisingly expressive side to her. That may be one of her charms.
She pushed her way quickly through the interior of the temple. I didn’t see any changes compared to the past.
Other than the large number of military personnel stationed for security, there was nothing special about the place that caught my attention.
At that time, Clarice unexpectedly spoke to me.
“Theodore. By what god do you receive your blessings?”
When I was taken aback by the unexpected question, Clarice said with a slightly amazed face.
“You’re a prophet, aren’t you? You should at least know the name of the deity who gave you the blessing.”
Clarice’s complexion turned subtle there.
“…. It’s probably not surprising that you don’t know. It’s possible you’re not even interested.
“Oh, yeah, yeah, that’s right.”
My powers aren’t given to me by any particular god.
It was there from the very beginning when I manifested into the world as a majin.
And demons, unlike other races, are blessed by the gods to be prophets of the gods.
There is no such thing. There are times when a majin can give you power and strengthen you, but that’s a completely different thing than a divine blessing.
“A temple is a place where God is worshipped and where His voice may be heard.”
“Voice of the God?”
“Yes. I don’t have any experience with this, but I’ve seen prophets heard the voice of God who gave himself blessings in the temple.”
The most revered goddess on this continent is Orfelia, the Great Goddess of Creation.
But there are many gods in this world. I’ve actually seen them a few times, and I’ve even talked to a few of them.
Although some of them,……, have a vague notion of gender, the ones who are called gods are very capricious and do not or cannot communicate with each other at all.
They are fundamentally different from us majin, who usually speak and express our emotions. So, I can say that I know very little about gods.
I don’t even know why God would share his power to ‘create’ those who are called prophets.
“Do you have any memory of God giving you a blessing?”
“‘…… No, I don’t. Does Clarice have one?”
“Yes. It was when I was still a child, not in a solemn place like a temple, but on a rare shopping trip with my parents to the town square.”
When Clarice was away from her parents, she was looking at the fountain in the square with great interest.
It said suddenly, the sounds around her disappeared.
“I was surprised. I was surprised to see that all the people in the city had stopped moving and were frozen in place. Moreover, the colorful streets were dyed dark blue, and I thought I had wandered into a place that was not of this world.”
As Clarice was puzzled, she suddenly saw a lightning flash in the sky. And then.
“I was pierced by lightning. In a space where all sound had disappeared, only the roar of the thunder pierced my ears. But there was no pain, no wound. There was no trace of a lightning strike, and I thought I was dreaming or something…”
She heard a cute laugh that sounded like a woman’s and a child’s.
It lasted for a little while, and then–the next thing she knows, the colors around her were back to normal.
The people who had stopped moving seemed to have started walking as if nothing had happened.
“You mean that day you awakened to your power as a prophet?”
“Yes. I later found out that it seemed to be Metio Rolosii, the goddess of the weather. But….After that, no matter how many times I went to the temple, I could not hear God’s voice.”
There are several gods who control the weather, but her name is not often heard.
She is one of the most unidentifiable of the fickle gods.
“Why did she choose someone like me? And why has she not responded to my repeated requests for help? I understand that you have a fickle nature, but sometimes I feel uneasy.”
“I wonder if this blessing will really protect me. And by extension, it makes me wonder if I’m really qualified to be a prophet. If she shared her power on a whim, it could also be taken away on a whim.”
“Like the Count Lermit who lost the blessing of the Holy Flame?”
“Yes. I understand that this is a rare occurrence, but there have been cases like that.”
Divine blessings shared by the whims of the gods.
But in the case of the Count Lermit, I felt that the situation was a little different.
I don’t know what the reason for the Holy Flame is, but it has been empowering only that family for a long time. Isn’t it premature to conclude this as a whim?
What a thought, but no matter how much I thought about it, I couldn’t figure out why.
The fickleness and unreasonableness of the gods of this world is worse than that of the majins. And maybe that’s just the way it is.
With these thoughts in mind, Clarice led me deeper into the temple.
As the couple of choachman slept in the carriage with blankets over their heads, the dragon boy looked at the materials he had taken from the church.
He closed it and let out a sigh.
“…… You’re looking up stupid shit. I’m surprised they didn’t kill you before now, old man.”
Julian stoked a bundle of materials on the firewood.
The special students who had gone out ahead of him would have made it to Granden long ago.
There was nothing to think about even though he was left alone. Rather, it was good to say that it was a harvest just to stop by the church.
Old documents and other scripts that would be hard to find no matter how hard he searched. The only thing is that many of them were written in ancient script. It’s annoying, but it can’t be helped. There are many parts that cannot be read in a minute.
The first person who was familiar with the ancient script was Ludio in Mildiana, but there were many things that he was afraid to show him.
In the end, he had to rely on that cheerful-looking but somewhat elusive blue-haired boy.
He would be able to teach him the contents of ancient writings without any strings attached.
He’s sure he’ll be able to help him, and he’s sure he won’t tell anyone about it. In one sense, he is the most untrustworthy.
“…… And yet, the temple attack. Do they have a grudge against the gods?”
Julian selected one of the bundles of documents and picked it up. On the cover of the much-troubled document was written.
“Regarding the Great Famine of the Zenan Dragon Kingdom that occurred in the year 798 of the Empire. The record was a simple account of how the Dragon Kingdom had once been hit by a terrible famine. Many people died of starvation, and it is even said that without the aid of other countries, the Zenan Dragon Kingdom would not exist today. There were a few words in the document that caught my interest.”
“Belief in ‘fertility god’: …… No one believes in that nowadays. It is said that the people who suffered from starvation wished for relief from the god of fertility. However, such a thing never happened in reality, and the famine gradually recovered as time went on.”
“This is ridiculous. If there was such a god, no one would starve to death……”
He couldn’t understand the meaning of this document that that eccentric old priest had taken the trouble to write down. The documents only mention a famine and a belief in a fertility god.
The reason is that there was very little that had been written that should be the subject of current research.
It seemed to be less important than the other materials, but he doesn’t even know why he was told to burn this material.
“……. In the end, I’ll have to ask him again to find out.”
Remembering the aloof, blue-haired boy, Julian turned his eyes in the direction of his destination, Granden.