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Chapter 4: The Second Day of My Temporary Transfer to The Church
The next day, Seiichirou visited the church before the hour of light again, and what was waiting for him was the young grass-headed boy, Serio, whose eyes were more piercing than yesterday.
“Tsk… you came.” He clicked his tongue in distaste, and without regard to Seiichirou, turned around and continued on his way. Although he had not been permitted to do anything, Seiichirou followed, feeling the dampness of the mana in the air.
He was taken to a place that looked like a large conference room, different from the one he had been taken to yesterday. It was not just him and Serio who were there, but several apprentice priests, all of whom were staring at him. Seiichirou expected to be grilled by them, but the apprentice priest simply walked out of the room without any fuss.
“I told you, everyone is busy. They don’t have the time to deal with you,” Serio said in a ridiculing manner, making Seiichirou wonder if the church was that understaffed.
He had thought that since the royal court was relatively well-staffed, that this was the case for the entire country, but apparently not. As he had suspected yesterday, a congregation of twelve would be a small number for a church this size.
“Is that so? That must be quite tough.”
Although Kamil was the Prime Minister, the highest authority on the personnel affairs of the kingdom, and the church was under the protection of the government, it was an independent organization. He could not interfere with it that easily.
“That’s right! It’s not like with you officials. You’re just adding extra work for us…”
No, that’s all you really.
“If only the income and expenditure reports were submitted, you wouldn’t have been subjected to an audit.”
And Seiichiro would not have had to leave his day job and go to the church, which was a dangerous place for him. Serio, however, was completely indifferent to Seiichirou’s words.
“Isn’t that convenient for you? The church is an autonomous organization, not governed by the country, so why are we required to submit an annual income and expenditure report?”
That was the attitude of a person who was given preferential treatment and donations for being the state religion. Seiichirou had thought that Serio was the guide because he was involved in accounting, but it seemed he was wrong. There were a lot of things he said that would not have come out if he had any knowledge of accounting.
“…I’d like to meet the person in charge of accounting.”
“Mr. Cyprien is not here.”
When Seiichirou tried to repeat the difficult-to-remember name, Celio responded with a snort.
“You’re here without even knowing that?”
It was true that Seiichirou had too little information about the church. He regretted that he had been too interested in the numbers and had totally neglected to learn anything else about it. But be that as it may, an inspection from the royal palace was coming in, but the one in charge wasn’t here?
“When will he be back?”
“He went with Bishop Mathews to attend a meeting in another city, so he won’t be back for a while.”
Bishop Mathews again…?
Without regard to Seiichirou’s pondering, Serio took him on a tour of the church first thing in the morning. Seiichirou was familiar with his workplace in the royal palace, but the church had a different feel to it.
The church must be beautifully maintained since it was in the royal capital. The stained glass windows and the stone interior with decorative arches and carved shapes looked more impressive than the ones in the royal palace. Seiichirou wondered if it was because he was not used to seeing such things.
There was also a statue of what was probably an important religious figure or a god, which was quite impressive. When he approached the statue, he felt slightly dizzy.
The fact that Seiichirou felt sick made him believe that it was a real religious object since it had magical energy, but Serio informed him that it was a sort of warding to prevent any mischief. Was it a magical one?
Thanks to Serio, who was very talkative and boastful when it came to showing Seiichirou around, the bell rang when they were not even halfway through the church. It was the bell that signalled the start of the Fire Hour and indicated lunchtime.
“I really don’t want to serve you lunch, but since you’re a messenger from the royal palace, I have no choice but to.”
Realizing after a moment that he was being invited to lunch, Seiichirou shook his head.
“Oh, there’s no need for that. I’ve brought my own lunch, so you don’t have to trouble yourself.”
At that, Serio turned red and stomped his feet on the floor as he left.
Now then, it’s lunch and…free time at last.
“What are you doing there?”
At the sound of a low, clear voice that he had not heard in a day, Seiichirou looked up from the documents in his hand. As he had expected, a man dressed in all white was looking at him with an intense gaze. Seiichirou carefully placed the documents on the desk, and stood up to greet him properly.
“I apologize for the intrusion, Father Siegwold.”
“He went to have lunch.”
“And, what are you doing here?”
Next to Seiichirou’s hands were papers, a pen, and documents.
Siegwold’s eyebrow twitched.
“…Where did you get these files?”
“Uh, it wasn’t from the archive room that you told me not to go into yesterday. It’s the visitor log from the assembly room.”
“You have to ask permission before you take anything out.”
“I did inform those who were in the assembly room, but from now on, I will make sure to ask for permission properly.”
He looked a bit doubtful at Seiichirou’s nonchalant reply, but Siegwold did not press the matter any further.
“So, Mr. Official, have you had lunch yet?
When Siegwold asked that, Seiichirou finally noticed the time.
“Oh… now that you mention it, I haven’t eaten yet.”
“It couldn’t be that Serio left you like that…”
As Siegwold furrowed his brows in concern, Seiichirou interrupted him, not wanting to cause any unnecessary misunderstanding.
“Ah, no. It’s not like that. He asked me to come, but I declined since I brought my own lunch with me.”
“I see. Well then, if you don’t mind, you can’t eat here. This is a no-eating area.”
With that, he led Seiichirou to a courtyard with a small flower garden.
“…This place is?”
“This is the flower garden created by one of the previous saints. She believed that flowers could heal people’s hearts, so she used to take care of them herself when she was in the church.”
“A previous saint…”
One of the earlier saints, as Seiichirou recalled, had been a nun who lived in a rural area. Did she settle down in the royal capital’s church after fulfilling her duties as a saint?
Spread out in front of him were sprouting grasses, an arch of colourful flowers, and a white stone statue of a saint at the centre. Alas, Seiichirou was not really enjoying the flowers, as his mind was occupied with the maintenance costs. At any rate, he sat down on one of the benches placed around the area and ate his meal.
There was no indication that Siegwold was going to leave. Seiichirou wondered if he was being monitored, but he decided to focus on eating Pavel’s homemade lunch.
“I heard that you are an otherworlder who was summoned together with the current saint.”
Seiichirou nodded after firmly swallowing a slice of Tsuhashi meat mixed in with vegetables.
“Yes, that’s right.”
“I see…I actually took part in that summoning ceremony.”
And yet, the fact that he greeted Seiichirou for the first time yesterday and just now confirmed it meant that he too was one of those who did not regard anyone other than Yua. After being told that, it struck Seiichirou that yes indeed, there were people from the church if he remembered correctly.
However, Siegwold seemed to be different. He silently stood up in front of Seiichirou, took a step back and bowed with his hand on his chest. That was the respectful salute of this country.
“Thank you for answering the call of our god Abran and for devoting yourself to save our country along with the Holy Saint. My sincerest apologies for being late in greeting you.”
Seiichirou almost dropped his fork when he heard the handsome-looking priest speak with such great manners. It looked like something out of a movie.
Seiichirou hurriedly put his lunch box aside and stood up.
“No, I’m just an ordinary person with no power who got caught up in Shiraishi-san’s- the saint summoning ritual and just happened to get dragged along. Hence, there is no need to thank me.”
“No. The summoning ceremony was ordained by the oracle of our god, Abran. You coming here must have meaning.”
If that were the case, I would have expected them to take good care of me right afterwards.
In addition to not being able to adapt to the magical environment of this world, Seiichirou was also initially treated by those around him as a mere cripple who simply tagged along on his own.
He was tempted to complain to the god of this world, but he held his tongue under Siegwold’s honest gaze.
“You may not be a saint, but you are still an apostle sent by God.”
“That’s a bit of an exaggeration…”
“No. It’s God’s will.”
Seiichirou had not been so favourably received since he came to this world, but this was indescribably uncomfortable. Was this what it felt like to have a mission unconditionally imposed on you and to have high expectations placed on you? Seiichirou decided to ask Yua about it the next time he saw her.
In the end, Seiichirou could not find the energy to finish his lunch, and upon returning home, Pavel gave him a sad look while Aresh chastised and lectured him.
Hasr: Vol 2 of the manga is now out, don’t forget to support the mangaka and but it if you can! Click here for the link to buy~