Editor: Argenti (ft. Beeberry)
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 3: I Have Met The Priest.
Seiichirou stood up from the sea of files and bowed in greeting. “Sorry for disturbing you. I am Kondou Seiichirou from the Royal Palace Accounting Department.”
The man in front of him blinked his sharp eyes for a moment. “The Royal Palace Accounting Department…? What business does a government official have with the church?”
At his question, Seiichirou’s dull eyes widened a little. A church official the rank of a priest or above is unaware of the inspection from the Royal Palace? Seiichirou pondered, a bit perplexed.
Were only some of them informed, or was this man the only one who was intentionally excluded?
Seiichirou observed the supposed priest anew.
He was taller than Seiichirou. Or rather, like the difference between foreigners and Japanese in his world, the original standards of physique here might differ from there. The man was thinner than Aresh but probably about the same height. His curly chestnut hair was styled back, giving him a clean and serious look – he looked like a real clergyman. He appeared to be in his mid-twenties, so Seiichirou guessed he was one of the fastest rising priests in the capital. Or, perhaps, his elegance and the arrogance that leaked out of him might have come from a noble background.
He seems like a serious guy.
That was the first impression of the supposed priest that came to mind. So, it was highly likely that he was intentionally left out.
“I’ve been ordered to inspect the income and expenditure reports of this branch since they have not been submitted yet, so I took this opportunity to do so.”
“Income and expenditure reports? It can’t be…No, if that’s the case, why is an official from the palace’s accounting department alone in the archives? What about the accountant in charge or the guide?”
“There was someone who greeted me when I first got here, but he told me to do whatever I wanted… so, I started working on the audit.”
“What?” The so-called priest’s eyebrows furrowed nervously.”Who is this guide?”
What should Seiichirou do now?
From the looks of it, it probably was not a very welcome behaviour for a government official to walk around the church without permission. Well, Seiichirou already knew that. He understood that, but Seiichirou roamed around on his own because he took the young boy’s word for it.
Several people will probably be scolded because of that, especially the green-headed boy.
…but there is no merit in covering for him.
It could not be helped that Seiichirou had too little information about the church. He should have asked Kamil or Aresh for more info about the church and its people. All he was thinking about at the time was the accounting data.
“I didn’t get a name, but it was a boy with green hair, fourteen or fifteen years of age.”
“…Serio?” As he muttered this, the supposed priest put his hand into his fluttery clothes and took out a small round metal object like a pocket watch. He held it to his mouth and spoke.
“Serio, come to the archives room immediately.”
In this world, there was magic, and although there had been no development in its sub-science, there was progress in “magicology” itself that combined magic with tools that used magical energy. The structure was simpler than science minus the magical elements of it, and its usefulness was second to none.
Seiichirou, who had zero magical energy, could not use them, though.
“I’m sorry for the late introduction. My name is Siegwold. I am a priest of the Royal City of Romani branch of the Abran Church. I’ve been away for a few days visiting a branch office in another city, so I apologize for not being aware of the situation.”
Seiichirou blinked in astonishment at the man’s polite words and graceful bow, a rare occurrence for him. He thought that people in the church hated him, but it would seem that the man in front of him, Priest Siegwold, was different.
That might be the first time since Seiichirou came to this world that he was treated with such civility upon the first meeting.
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I’m here to retrieve the financial reports for the royal palace and to investigate the management of expenses.”
“No, I apologize for the lack of courtesy on my part. However, this is a valuable room with important church records and documents. Outsiders are not allowed to inspect them without permission.”
Despite Seiichirou being told that, the room itself was not locked, and there was no one around who looked like a manager. But it would be a hassle to mention it, plus it might make it impossible to enter the room in the future, so Seiichirou sincerely apologized.
“I’m terribly sorry. I didn’t know that. Then, once more, I would like to request permission for an audit. To whom and how should I submit this request?”
Being asked this upfront had Siegwald pondering. “…I apologize. I’ll have to check with the official person in charge of this matter.”
Well, that was to be expected. Siegwold, having just returned from a business trip and apparently not being informed of the audit from the royal palace, was still unaware of the situation.
Just then, a beautiful young boy with grass-colored hair arrived with light footsteps, looking flustered, “F-Father Siegwold, you called- Ah! You! What are you doing here?!”
The pretty young grass-headed boy, who seemed to be called Serio, widened his eyes when he recognized Seiichirou’s figure behind Siegwold. His face scrunched up as much as it could, then he looked at Siegwold again and turned pale.
“I’m not impressed with you recklessly doing whatever you feel like in the church, Serio. And… are you sure that’s him?”
The question was addressed to Seiichirou, so he answered without hesitation.
“Serio, I hadn’t heard about any inspectors coming from the palace. From whom did you receive instructions, and why did you abandon the official? Answer me.”
“W-well…um… Bishop Mathews was the one who informed me that an audit was coming from the palace.”
“And? Why was an official from the royal palace alone in the archives where outsiders are prohibited?
“That’s-! He did it on his own!”
“It’s his first time here, so, understandably, he wouldn’t know which areas are off-limits. Isn’t it your job to inform him, huh?”
“Um…well… I’ve got a lot of work to do, so…”
“I’m sure you do. But was it more important and urgent than guiding the royal palace official?”
“N-No…” Serio, who was a pompous jerk in front of Seiichirou, turned all meek in front of Siegwold. Seiichirou tried not to show any emotion while looking at him, but Serio just glared at him in return.
“Why did you leave the room, huh? I even went to call you for lunch, but you didn’t want any.”
They thought of giving him a meal at least. In any case, Seiichirou, who was allergic to mana, would not have eaten it because he brought his own special mana-resistant lunch box.
“I was told to do as I pleased, so I did just that and did some work.”
“That’s just a figure of speech! The first archive is off-limits to everyone except church officials!”
“I’ve only just now learned that and I didn’t see any mention of it written anywhere.”
Apparently, Serio was a very touchy person who was prone to emotional outbursts and still had the boyishness of his age. Therefore, he did not deny it but still insisted on his innocence.
“I don’t have to tell you that! You should have done your research before coming here!”
“Serio, be quiet. I thought it was your job today to show the official around. However, Mr. Kondoh… There are some valuable things and sacred areas of the church that are off-limits. You must understand that.”
“I understand.” As he nodded, Seiichirou thought about how he had not been given a specific place to go to as of yet.
They sure are lax…
“It is already the second Earth hour. Please return for the day.”
“Okay. Then I will see you tomorrow.” Seiichirou thanked him and left the room as it was since he was stopped from tidying up the files earlier.
This time, Serio was the one following Seiichirou. He probably wanted to see to it that Seiichirou made it to the gate.
“And I thought you had gone home because you weren’t there when I checked on you for lunch…” Seiichirou heard Serio muttering to himself, but he just kept on walking with an indifferent expression on his face.
“Now then, if you’ll excuse me.” Seiichirou turned at the gate and thanked him, but Serio had reverted to his arrogant attitude. He looked down at Seiichirou as best as he could, pouting and turning his chin up.
“You don’t have to come back, but if you do, then you’ll be under surveillance from tomorrow onwards. Don’t even think of doing as you please.”
With that, the door was slammed shut roughly.
I think he just skipped the fact that he is the one who is supposed to be supervising me from tomorrow, or rather from today. Seiichirou thought as he took out the paper that he had scribbled some notes on and started on his way home.
For Bishop Mathews, Priest Siegwold…
“…You’re back early, Sir Aresh.” When Seiichirou returned home, he was greeted by his landlord standing before him in an imposing stance.
Seiichirou had promised to stay at the church for the same number of hours as his normal duties, but today he was so absorbed in his work that he had returned late. If Siegwold had not found him there, he might have spent the night.
But even so, Aresh held a managerial position as the Commander of the prestigious Third Knights Order. So, for him to seem interested in working and to even return home on time every day was unthinkable in modern-day Japanese standards…
“It’s your job to get it done in time.”
Seiichirou felt like he was cut in two.
“How are you feeling?”
“I feel fine.”
“And your mood?”
And so it began, the physical checkup at the entrance. The butler, Valtom, and the maid, Milan, did not approach as their master had instructed.
“Are you hungry?”
“Hungry? No, not really…”
Seiichirou wondered why Aresh would ask such a question to him, he had little interest in food to begin with, but the mystery was soon solved.
“We’re going to take a bath, and then I’m going to re-establish the warding there while we’re at it.”
And so Seiichirou was dragged to the bath by Aresh and ended the first day of work with a solid night’s sleep.
Seiichirou: “Are there only weirdos here?”
Aresh: “You’re one to talk.”
Norbert: “Look who’s talking!”