Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 34.1: I Had Decided
According to the historical records kept by the kingdom, the legend of the Saint dated back 700 years ago.
One day, a woman claiming to be a messenger of God appeared and successfully “purified” the noxious miasma that had been plaguing the country for years. She then became the first Queen of the King ruling at that time, and the people revered her as a “Saint.”
When the miasma returned several decades after the death of this first Saint, a member of the royal family who was of the Saint’s lineage spoke to an oracle. They proclaimed that a woman who had been living as a nun in a remote area of the kingdom was now the new Saint.
Since then, an oracle was always consulted to indicate the whereabouts of the Saint and was utilized repeatedly by those who were descendants from the line of the previous Saint. This cycle repeated about every 100 years or so, following the ebb and flow of the miasma’s resurgence.
It was said that all those who were Saints were pure-hearted and that they devoted all their life to the people they served, especially those who were suffering from the effects of miasma.
And now, the seventh Saint, a high school girl from another world named Yua Shiraishi, was standing on a red carpet with trembling feet in the audience room lined with the most powerful and influential people of the entire kingdom.
“I-I’ll do my best to purify the miasma! But once the purification is done, there’s nothing more for me to do, right? If so, please send me back to my own world!”
At Yua’s words, Seiichirou was the only one amidst the cacophonous crowd who silently brought a hand over his mouth to hide his lips.
“What are you talking about, Yua?” Prince Julius cried out. “You are the one and only honourable Saint. Even after the purification is over, my country will continue to need you. We’ll always serve you with the greatest of care if that’s your concern.”
However, at Julius’s heartfelt smile, Yua’s face turned pale in fear instead of the expected red flush of embarrassment. To tell the truth, Yua herself had begun to feel as if this life would last forever. But it was because of this that she felt like she was living in an imaginary world, like she was living in a dream.
Thus far, she had been living a life without any inconvenience, always being given luxurious or rare things that she had never seen before, having a handsome prince whisper sweet nothings to her, and getting pampered by a collective of knights and maids each day.
However, now that she had gone on the first of many purification expeditions and saw the world for what it really was, Seiichirou’s words had finally brought her back to herself. Now she realized the real dangers of her position in this world.
She had no family here that would love and protect her unconditionally. There were no real friends for her to talk to. She had no idea how far her own common knowledge and thoughts would take her beyond her role as the Saint.
Even if the purification ritual was completed successfully, what then? What would she do, what would she be forced to do, and how would she continue to live her life?
These uncertainties filled her with a great sense of dread.
“What? But why? I was only called here to purify the miasma, right? Once that’s done, you won’t need me anymore, will you?” she asked, sounding somewhat tearful.
“That’s not true,” the Prince explained. “A Saint leads her country towards prosperity by her mere existence within the kingdom.”
Julius and other nobles all spoke kind words to Yua, saying that it would be fine, that her just simply being here was enough, and that they needed her. They did not realize that what they were saying was frightening her because none of those people, not even once since she had arrived, had ever listened to any of Yua’s concerns.
Through a small gap between the crowd, Yua sought Seiichirou’s gaze with an imploring look in her eyes. He was the only person from her own world that truly understood her situation. Although he was a weary corporate employee now bound as one of the kingdom’s own civil servants, he was the only person that Yua felt she could rely on at that moment.
“K-Kondou-san…!” she called out.
In response to Yua’s distressed voice, Seiichirou’s otherwise emotionless eyes narrowed for a split second, and then he smiled.
“As I mentioned earlier, the role of the Saint will no longer be necessary in the future,” he interjected. As Seiichirou bowed his head in assent, Yua’s eyes lit up while Julius’ own distorted in displeasure.
“However,” Seiichirou opened his mouth slowly and said his next words carefully, “as of right now, there is no way for us to return to our original world.”1
“NOOO!!!”2 Yua sobbed suddenly. “Dad! Mom! I want to see them! I want to see my brother! Please send me home! Please let me go home!”
“Y-Yua…” the Prince murmured, now at a loss as to her reaction.
“Your Holiness,” a nearby noble said in an attempt to placate her, “you’re absolutely indispensable to this world!”
The young girl crumpled to the ground in despair and cried as the Prince and the other nobles looked on in bewilderment. While overseeing the situation rapidly spiraling out of control, Seiichirou instructed the next batch of papers to be prepared.
“Well then, moving on… I will be handing out the next document for everyone to review.”
“Huh?!” a voice echoed in the hall.
“You son of a—! What are you talking about?!” another demanded.
“Yes! You’re the reason why the Saint is so agitated!” someone else accused off to the side.
While Seiichirou’s comment may have been the trigger to Yua’s overly emotional response, he did not intend to let those in attendance shift the blame of it onto him. Clearly, they were misunderstanding the most important thing of all. Neither Seiichirou nor Yua had ever been asked if they wanted to be on the receiving end of a divine prophecy, as they might call it here in this world, and they most certainly would not have answered it if they had been given a choice. Seiichirou was simply dragged along by Yua.
He had been brought here without his consent. In their old world, that was referred to as “abduction.”
“As I mentioned earlier, there is no way to return to our world via summoning. However, summoning people from other worlds didn’t even exist in the first place. It was only later developed through the advancement of magical technology.”
“You’re absolutely right!” yelled a voice from the other side of the room.
Then, as Seiichirou’s gaze drifted to the seats of the court mages, East, who had thrown his manners out the window, rushed toward him with sparkles in his eyes. Behind him, Zoltan hastily shouted, “You’re in the presence of the King!” and hurried after the vice-deputy as fast as he could.
Thank you for your efforts, Seiichirou deadpanned in his mind.
“Yes! In regards to the Otherworld Summoning Technique, by utilizing the Saint’s own magical power as we were instructed by the Oracle,3 we were able to connect with another world and almost perfectly summon the Saint here! However, when it comes to sending her back, although we have the coordinates from where she was summoned, there is a possibility that she might be sent to an entirely different world due to dimensional distortion. Furthermore, we can’t use a magic circle to create a reservoir of magical power to receive her there like we did here.”
“East! You should be mindful of your words!” Zoltan shouted.
When he stopped East, who had gradually been running out of breath and talking without any sort of proper honorifics, his face was very pale. Nearly everyone in the room was mentally thinking, That’s not the point!
“Oh, it’s okay, everyone!” Seiichirou turned to reassure them. “I’ll briefly summarize what Mr. East just talked about and present it to you as a document later.”
Again, everyone thought, that’s not the point!4
The hearts of all the nobles in the room were at least united on that front.
“If you look at the document that I just handed out, the Royal Court’s Magic Department has agreed to undertake this research with the aim of returning the Saint and one other person safely to their home world. The preliminary budget for this project has been calculated on the third page of the report. In accordance with this, I’ve proposed an expansion of the magic department to include additional personnel to monitor the miasma.”
The audience room had suddenly turned into a conference room as Seiichirou began his proposal meeting smoothly and efficiently.
In reality, it would have probably been better to just make the proposal first and then hold the meeting at a later date. However, the King, who held the highest authority in the kingdom, and the nobles, who were also major influential figures, were all present today. On top of that, the Saint, Yua, was also here as well. So, taking advantage of the situation as it were, Seiichirou proceeded with his proposition before anyone could stop him.
“You dare to meddle in the affairs of the royal court?” One of the nobles interrupted Seiichirou, but Kamil, the Prime Minister, promptly took care of it.
“Ah, but I have already received and approved this proposal in advance.”
“When it comes to magic, the Third Knight Order is more important than the magic department! How dare you disregard the Third Knight Order with the commander present!” another noble tried to argue.
“The Third Knight Order doesn’t conduct research.” Aresh, the Commander of the Third Knight Order, instantly quashed the voice of the one trying to flatter him. “We only do practical work, such as dealing with magical beasts. We also have to go on expeditions to protect royals and other people of interest, so we can’t devote as many men to monitoring the miasma.”
Whether he did it because Aresh was the Commander or the son of a nobleman, just like them, was undetermined.
However, when Seiichirou chanced a glance at Aresh, he pretended not to notice as his gaze met with a look that said, How was that? I’m much more useful than you thought, aren’t I? On the outside, Aresh may have looked as intimidating as a large feline… but deep inside, he was unexpectedly as praise-seeking as a dog.5
“You’re just a commoner who followed the Saint on your own in the first place! We’ve already provided you with a livelihood, and yet you still want more!?”
“With all due respect, even though I was brought here without my consent, I’m not asking you to return me home safely by using a enormous amount of government funds. What I am proposing is the establishment of a new system that will eliminate the need to summon saints in the future, and we are promoting new magic research within the budget made available by this initiative. In addition, there are aspects of this research that can be effectively used for other things as a by-product, so there will be no loss whatsoever. Isn’t that right… Director of the Royal Court’s Magic Department, Sir Zoltan?”
“Uh, yes,” Zoltan fumbled, caught only a little off guard. “If we can establish a safe and secure landing at the coordinates, we should be able to make great progress in the study of transfer magic.”
“Yes! That’s right, I forgot to mention transfer magic!” East interjected. “So far, the destination has had to be prepared with a magic circle and a mage. However, it can’t be used to transfer living beings, but if we could somehow use the summoning return technique, we’ll be able to do it effortlessly!”
“Director Zoltan,” Seiichrirou said to the head of the magic department with a look, “would you mind pulling Mr. East aside for a moment?”
It took wrapping a cloth around East’s mouth as he opened it to speak before Zoltan could drag him back to his seat.
“In other words… what you’re proposing is that our country will be able to gain higher magic technology in exchange for losing our legendary Saint?”
The King, who had been sitting quietly up until now spoke directly to Seiichirou, and although he was surprised internally, Seiichirou straightened up his posture and knelt.
“It is as you say, Your Majesty. The innovation and leap in technology, and the accompanying development of human resources, will advance this kingdom. Furthermore, the cost of this project will be covered by the existing miasma control budget, so I believe there will be no incurred damages to your country.”
“Hmm…” the King narrowed his eyes in consideration.
“Um, Kondou-san! I… until then, what should I do…?”
Only the Saint was permitted to speak without waiting for the King’s approval, and Yua, who seemed to have finally stopped crying now, rushed over from her place on the podium.
Until the whole process of transfer magic to return to another world was finally perfected… though it wasn’t a given that it could even be done at all based on what East had said… Yua could at least tell that it would not be finished anytime soon and wanted to know what she could do in the meantime.
“I think it would be best for Lady Shiraishi to stay at the royal palace until the purification ritual is complete.”
Considering the necessary preparations for the expedition, her current physical condition, and the exhaustion caused by the purification process, that would probably be for the best.
“And then… what should I do after that’s all over?”
Seiichirou knew that she did not want to stay in the palace, but he had no right to decide what she should or should not do.
“What do you want to do, Shiraishi-san…?” he asked and waited for her answer.
“I want to leave the royal palace,” she said instantly, “but I don’t want to just get paid for doing nothing… if possible, I want to work in the same place as you, Kondou-san!”
“Please give me a break,” Seiichirou sighed heavily.7
“No, I really think it’d be better for you to work in a place where you can utilize your power as the Saint. In other words, your special skills. Perhaps maybe a clinic or a church…” he suggested, looking away from Yua.
Seiichirou really did not want to work in the same place as an overindulged high school girl who had never had to truly work a day in her life. On top of that, if she were to work in the royal palace, there would be many people who would only see her as the Saint and disrupt the flow of order all around. The future Seiichirou saw was one where his work would be perpetually delayed, so he politely attempted to direct her towards a different path.
“Y-Yua… Why do you want to leave the palace? You’re the Holy Saint.” Both Yua and Seiichirou turned to look at the prince as he approached. “If you choose to stay after the ritual, you’ll still accomplish many great deeds as the Saint! It’s vital that our kingdom protect and care for our Saint, so why can’t you just stay in the palace?”
The look in Prince Julius’ eyes8 as he stared at the Saint was that of an abandoned puppy. It made Seiichirou wonder if Julius looked at her not only with faith in a divine figure and her possible political use, but also with faint affection. Still, he would have personally preferred that this kind of drama happen somewhere else.
“Sir Julius…” Yua began, “I would like to leave the royal palace after the purification ritual is complete so that I can think seriously about other things… Thank you for always being so kind to me. I’ll be sure to return all of the beautiful accessories and dresses that you gave me.”
Why don’t you just sell them off and use them to cover your living expenses or send them back to the treasury who paid for them in the first place? Seiichirou thought. Perhaps this was just her way of expressing her resolve. There was something more meaningful about the atmosphere surrounding her now, so he held his tongue, sensing the mood.
However, some bit of his true emotions must have shown on his face because Seiichirou caught Kamil chuckling at him out of the corner of his eye.
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