Intermission: Hime Miko
Voice of a young girl echoes in the spacious private room.
A girl is slapping the cushion she's carrying to the sofa as if she's spitting out her black emotion inside.
"Riin, graaan, de!"
With the strength of a powerless girl, she only makes light sounds, "poof", and the waterfowl feathers don't even fly out.
She probably doesn't normally exercise, the girl runs out of breath after only swinging the cushion for a few minutes.
A muffled laugh leaked out of a boy then.
The girl's anger is revived along with the settling of her rough breath. That is because she had ordered the maids in this room to clear out of this room before she began acting violently.
"You're in a bad mood huh, Sera."
The one who comes out of the shadow while smiling is the girl's (Sera's) older brother, Tisrad Oyugock. The name of the one whom Sera was screaming about since earlier is of the two's older sister.
"Tisrad-niisama! Entering without making a sound is rude."
The boy who is smiling kindly eludes the threatening attitude of Sera like a willow tree. He seems a bit mature for his 10 years old age.
"You were calling Rin-anesama, what's happened? Did you hear some backbiting from gossiping maids again?"
He seems to have hit the nail on the head, Sera puffs her reddening cheeks, and turns away. She normally seldom shows such childish actions, but it's not that rare in front of her brother, Tisrad.
"Humph, it's just like usual--
『Hey, hey, did you hear? Ringrande-sama has restored the lost magic they said!』
『You've just heard that old story now? This time she led the holy knights and exterminated the floor master of the labyrinth under the labyrinth city! The proof is with the lightning magic sword she's obtained you know?』
『Oh my, I wonder just how many hundreds of gold coins is a magic sword from a labyrinth? She's really amazing~』
--they said. Furthermore, in the end they said, 『Compared to her, Sera-sama is normal isn't she』. Don't you think that it's none of their business? I know that myself already! Only the younger sister of a genius older sister knows the hardship of having a genius as an older sister!"
The boy smiles bitterly while listening to his little sister who mimics the maids voices. That is because he has just heard similar talks with the position of his sister replaced with himself from the butlers and the maids. Therefore he purposely came here to cheer his sister up who must be in the same circumstance.
He's really just cheering for his little sister. He's not a wimp who licks each other's wounds. If he is like that, in the future he won't be able to unite the foolish, sly old nobles who are spanning over this vast territory passed down from his grandfather and father.
"Sera, stop comparing yourself with nee-san. That person is special. She's a great woman who will stand alongside people who leave their marks in history like ancient king Yamato, and the wise of restoration, Ozara-sama. If you compare yourself to a huge tree, you'll only lament your shortcomings."
"Uu~, I know that, but! It's not about the theory!"
They're not words that should have been said by a mere 7 years old, but Sera, who is far smarter than other children of her age, understands what her brother is saying. Yet, her child heart cannot admit that it's right.
"If you're always angry, wrinkles will appear on your forehead you know? Don't complain to me if a boy you like in the future dislikes you for that."
"H, humph. I'll have ani-sama make me your bride if that happen, so it's fine!"
Sera rubs her forehead even while saying abusive words--although it's slightly cute--to her elder brother. Her young girl's mind seems to be growing quickly.
"Yeah, the head miko of Yu Tenion will do it personally."
"Hee, that's amazing. I'm glad for you, Sera. To be baptized by the Saintess of Salvation-sama, isn't it due to father's request?"
The [Saintess of Salvation] is the second name of Yu Tenion head miko which she's gained from her role as the follower of hero, and her [Saintess] title. She rarely ever do baptism due to her old age. In fact, the one who baptized the heir of this dukedom, the boy Tisrad, and lady Ringrande, wasn't her, but the head priest. Although, since the head priest is technically higher ranked than her, it is unreasonable to complain about it.
Sera is having a smile on her whole face while being hugged by her father and older brother.
She likes being special.
Since her older sister is too excellent, most special things went to her sister after all.
After three weeks of preparation, Sera proceeds toward the Tenion temple accompanied by her older brother. Normally the rite is held in the worship room inside the castle, but in order not to be discourteous to the head miko, the baptism rite is to be held in the sanctuary inside the Tenion temple.
"You are Sera right."
"Y, yes. Head miko-sama."
Sera is ashamed for being unladylike by using loud voice since she's too nervous. The head miko gently brush Sera's head and whispers "Raise your head, being cheerful is a wonderful thing you know?" close to her ear. It's unimaginable how that gentle-looking figure fought the demon lord together with the hero.
Head miko hugs Sera on her lap until she calms down while gently brushing her hair. After confirming that Sera isn't nervous anymore, she takes her hand and leads her to the rite magic circle.
"Listen, think about your favorite person during the rite."
"Is it alright for me not to pray to the god?"
"Yes, calm your heart and think about your favorite person, that warm feeling will reach the god."
This is the head miko's method, it is not the official teaching of Tenion temple. Normally, you only have to make her stand on the magic circle, chant the baptism spell, and it's over.
"Have you imagined your favorite person?"
"Yes, head miko-sama."
"Ufufu, I wonder who's on your mind. Is it your future husband?"
"I, it's not. Sera won't be getting married."
"Ara ara, do you want to become a miko?"
"Yup, Sera, will become a miko!"
Sera speaks like a child as head miko teases her to lure it out. Of course, she doesn't notice it herself. It's as if memories of her playing around with her older sister when they were children went adrift.
"Ufufu, ■■ ■■■ ■■ Baptism (Initiation)"
As if responding to head miko's spell, the magic circle releases warm blue light. Little blue lights that rise from the magic circle happily dance around Sera as if blessing her. Lightly, as if a little fairies coming out of the fairytale.
One light among them disappears as if inhaled to Sera's chest, and the rite is over.
"Open your eyes. Miko of Oracle, Sera."
The head miko suddenly changes to dignified tone unlike the kind old woman before, and Sera replies to that with slightly transparent voice. The head miko can see the [Oracle] gift, and the [Tenion Miko] title on her.
People who receive gift from the baptism rite are extremely rare, but they do exist. However, there is no precedent of someone receiving oracle gift (from the rite) even in the long history of Tenion Temple at the duchy capital.
As a proof, everyone on the surrounding beside the head miko and Sera are hardened in their initial postures from when the rite begins as if they can't follow the situation. They need quite a bit of time before they can move again.
"Sera Oyugock, will you leave the house of Oyugock and serve on Tenion's side?"
"Yes, head miko-sama."
"Then, from now on, you are just Sera. Now, stand up Sera. Tenion temple welcomes you."
After the formality dialogs are over, the girl throws away the wealth and social position of the daughter of Oyugock's house, and enters into miko apprenticeship of Tenion temple.
There was no one who objected, including the girl herself. Among the people in this duchy capital--the 200.000 of them, there are only seven, and among the more-than 700.000 people in the whole duchy, there are only nine people who have [Oracle] gifts, and in order for those gifts to be nurtured with the techniques owned by the temples in certainty, there is no choice for them but to live in.
Although it has some limit, this [Gift] has power to ask a question directly to the god. This is the only mean to receive divination about great disasters from the god.
Therefore, the training of miko of oracle are fierce.
"Sera, Relena, Roza, line up here. Listen, you're safe as long as you are inside that magic circle. Do not lose your composure."
The three girls are clad in different kinds of miko clothes. Each have symbols that signify Tenion, Parion, and Garleon sewed on the clothes.
Relena, and Rouza are nine years old, one year younger than Sera. They're girls who became miko one year after Sera. The two are Sera's blood relatives, they are [Special] girls who have [Oracle] gifts since birth.
This place is a secret graveyard that's shared by the joint of seven temples in the duchy capital.
It's a secret place that only extremely few people know even among the temples.
On the other side of the magic circle, several undeads are creeping out from the depth of a wide wide passage blocked with iron bars.
It's a nightmarish scene as if the door to the afterlife has opened.
"Calm down, miko apprentices"
"Now then, put these vengeful ghosts to sleep peacefully."
"Chant it, the edict of blessing!"
The girls strengthen their backs, and wipe their fear with the words of the guarding priests.
However, these young girls fail the most basic magic due to their extreme mental strains. Beside Sera, the two have failed their impatient chanting.
"Calm down. Relena, and Roza, you two chant again. Sera, stand by."
After several failings and rebukes from the instructor priest, they finally succeed the chanting. As if ridiculing the girls who feel relieved, the undeads from the other side of the iron bars are throwing their detached arms and feelers noisily. Bless only gives minimal damage to the undeads.
However, that's quite enough.
"■■ Purification (Turn Undead)"
After several purification magic from the high priest who is waiting nearby, the undeads finally stop moving and go back to just being corpses.
Enormous experiences from defeating countless undeads flow to the three girls and the high priest. The pain from the rapid growth assaults their bodies as if tearing it. The girls hug their bodies who's having rapid growth (level up), and writhe in agony on the floor. That pain is the proof of growth, they cannot use healing magic as it will disturb the growth.
Those girls don't know.
The priests have used forbidden spell to produce these undeads in order to quicken their growths.
From now on, they have to undergo this secret ritual for many times.
And then, the girls who have grown up receive the oracle.
The future is harsh.
I pray that the future of humanity and the girls, the unfortunate event--
<TLN: Phew, third person POV is tiring to tl...>