Intermission: Tenion Head Miko [First Part]
"Head miko-sama! It's terrible!"
Mou, what a hopeless child. To lack composure when he's going to be 40 like that, I think it's a bit problematic. Maybe I should better give him some stern advice now?
<TLN: The head miko talks like a playful woman in Japanese.>
"What's wrong, head priest. You are higher than me in the temple, so you shouldn't use 'sama' to call me."
"I'm sorry, head miko-sama. No, this isn't the time to talk about that!"
"Calm down. What's happened?"
"Miko-dono of Parion temple, and even of Garleon temple have been kidnapped by someone."
My, such thing.
Kidnapping the miko of oracle in the middle of demon lord season like this.
There are seven miko who have received oracles in this duchy capital. They are Sera and me, head miko of Urion temple and Zaikuon temple, the apprentice miko of Heraluon temple, and the two kidnapped miko.
Normally, one would have sufficed, but last month, by duke-sama's order, every temple was to undertake an oracle for hints of the demon lord revival. Yet, instead of narrowing down the possible revival location, each temple received different response. Although it's normal for the details to be different between people who receive oracles depending on their gods, this is the first time the difference is this much.
My oracle points toward the duchy capital. If possible I want it to be a miss, but it's the same place as the prediction of the location of the demon lord revival 66 years ago. There is no mistake that the demon lord will be revived here. Before, there was a hero near me, but that person has left us, and gone back to the original world. No good aren't I, wishing for something that doesn't exist.
The oracle that Sera's received points to another continent. Even though our oracles are from the same god, I wonder why do we receive different ones. For me to try guessing what the god is thinking, it's really not clergy-like at all isn't it.
Oh right, Sera!
This isn't the time to get lost in thoughts.
"Head priest, check the place where Sera is."
"Yes, head miko-sama!"
I admonish the head priest who have begun to run in a hurry to make him order other people for it. Mou, what are you doing being the gofer yourself. I ask the head priest to contact his excellency the duke if sera's whereabouts can't be confirmed. Since this child is flustered like this, he looks like he'll just collapse.
Even though the priests have looked everywhere, Sera's whereabout is still unknown.
The matter about the three kidnapped miko have reached his excellency the duke too, and his knight and guard subordinates are searching the duchy capital even now. Although I haven't got the report from the bell tower, since I can see that the lights from the ships outside the harbor aren't moving, the harbor is probably blockaded. That's relieving.
However, since the opponents have defended against our detection magic, it looks like they have a powerful magician that can use advanced level magic, or a person who holds powerful artifacts. I wonder if it's that group who were spreading rumors about the end, [Wings of Liberty], that the priests had been talking about.
Sera, please come back safely.
I take the resurrection artifact that's hanging on my neck on my palm, and pour mana into it, even though I know that this is for nothing but a peace of my mind.
Not good, it's impossible to pour mana into the artifact when my heart is disarranged.
This isn't because I'm bad at using magic tools at all, but one needs delicate mana control to pour mana into an artifact. Like putting a thread to the pinhole of a needle on the ground from the top of a tower, that is how precise yet with a far off mind the work is. Having a disturbed mind is like sending wind to the hanging thread. There's no way the thread can get through the pinhole.
I'll use the forbidden mind magic to put my mind back at ease.
Tenion-sama, please give your protection to your believer.
I woke up in my room that's begun sinking into darkness.
Looks like I've fainted.
It can't be helped with my age right. To faint while I was pouring mana into the resurrection artifact like this.
Losing consciousness in this consecration?
I can't believe it.
This place is near the sanctuary where ritual magic is held, and is filled with divinity. Even for an old woman like me, I'm just like a young woman--that's too exaggerated isn't it. Although I can move as well as a youngster, fainting in such place like this, maybe I don't have much time left.
I'm already 80 years old after all. It might be a good time to soon go on a journey to where my friends who had died earlier went.
I didn't notice it before when I was lost in such thought, but there's no shaking today is it. I'm glad that the tremors that had been assaulting the duchy capital for the past several days is gone. It was troubling to deal with nobles who came almost everyday while asking "Is it going to be alright?" you know. Though since they're donating, the head priest doesn't seem like he has any complaint. I'd like to entrust the admonishment job to the high priest soon.
I wonder if I'm really going senile.
There were many assassins who had intruded upon this sanctuary before, but this is the first time one has gotten so close. Wonder if my crisis perception skill is getting rusty?
While feeling dubious with the lack of thirst of blood from the intruder, I take the initiative to greet him.
"Ara, the assassin tonight is quite excellent."
The one who appears from the shadow as if gliding on the ground is a young boy wearing a white mask. There are two wrapped clothes in his shoulder--are those people? Is he an assassin who also happens to be a kidnapper I wonder?
I could see with [Status Check], but I couldn't see his name. Since I could see the name of the two people on his shoulder, it wasn't like the skill wasn't invoked. The two are the miko of Parion and Garleon who have been kidnapped together with Sera.
His level is 70 like the hero of Saga empire, but his title is [Saint]. He can't be called anything but abnormal to have such level at his age even though he's not the summoned hero of Saga empire.
Moreover, that [Saint] title. Although there are other people who have [Saintess] title like me, there shouldn't have been anyone with [Saint] title for the last 100 years here. I wonder who. I'd have consented if he had the title of hero instead.
"Nice to meet you, Yu Tenion Head Miko-dono. I am Nanashi."
"Hey, Nanashi-san. Won't you show your face. It's hard to talk with that mask."
I endure hard not to let my voice trembles.
Hey, what about Sera?
I want to ask that.
However, my intuition as a miko has told me. That child is already no more.
"Hey, Nanashi-san. Don't you know the whereabout of our kidnapped miko, Sera."
Ah, as I've thought.
That child has died isn't she. I can't, it's still to early to cry, for that child's sake. As a miko, I have to ask him now.
"Was the one who deprived Sera's life the humans of 『Wings of Liberty』? or-- the demon lord. That's right isn't it, Sera has been sacrificed for the demon lord."
Ah, I can't hold back my tears.
Even though I have to ask for the deployment of the saga empire hero, and even though I'm not sinking in sorrow, I can't stop my tears.
"Is that so, that child wasn't able to go against her fate."
Nanashi-san takes out a handkerchief out of somewhere and wipes my tears with it. Although he's wearing a strange mask, he's a gentleman isn't he.
I talked to him about the catastrophe that would befall this land while crying. In order to pull him as a war potential before the hero arrives here. He gave indifferent replies when he heard the story about the demon lord revival. Does it not feel real to him? Or perhaps--he has already exterminated it?--That can't be right.
"Yu Tenion head miko-dono, are you able to use resurrection magic?"
"Yes, I'm able to."
I answer Nanashi-san's sudden question.
He probably wants to bring me to where the Sera's body is, and use resurrection magic, but that's impossible. This resurrection artifact hasn't been filled with enough mana to be usable.
"What, that sort of things huh."
Nanashi-san took the resurrection artifact from my chest, and began to dazzlingly pour mana into it.
It's an unbelievable sight.
Doing the precise mana filling just like that. Normally you'd need one hour just to adjust the mana before you even begin to fill it.
However, he still has the body of human after all.
The amount of mana isn't something that can be filled by a person alone. While this is happening, the 30 minutes after-death condition becomes the shackles and resurrection will be impossible.
"Excuse me for a bit."
Nanashi-san takes out a holy sword just like when he took the handkerchief earlier. It's accompanied by brilliant holy light that brighten this room as if it's daylight. Even though it's this bright, it a gentle light that doesn't hurt my eyes. I've never seen a holy sword with this much overflowing power. I can feel an order magnitude different in strength compared to the holy sword that my hero-sama wielded, Joyeuse.
But, what is it for?
I don't think that it's to hurt me. Just what on earth--
"I'll fill it up right away, so please excuse my discourtesy."
--Nanashi-san is absorbing the holy light from the holy sword as if pulsing. And then Nanashi-san pours mana into the artifact without looking agitated, like he's just breathing. Don't tell me, he's using his own body as an intermediary to transfer mana from the holy sword to the artifact?
Such absurd method doesn't exist even in fairy tales you know?
While I was taken aback by that absurdity, the mana filling on the artifact was over. Completing a process that'd have taken several years in just 10 minutes, I am speechless.
He's done so much already, I'll show him that I'll run fast to where Sera's body even if I have to whip out this old body.
As if ridiculing that determination, Nanashi-san summoned Sera's body right in front of me. He doesn't have summoning skill though? Did he summon without the skill I wonder. Maybe he used the infinite stowing (Inventory) like the hero.
No, he said that it's only been a few seconds since the death of Sera's body. Time passes even for the hero's Inventory. Perhaps it's fixation magic? No, that shouldn't be able to be used on living things or corpses.
Don't tell me, time magic? Even though it's a magic that only appear in fairy tales, it's mysterious that I feel that Nanashi-san could possibly use it.
The body of Sera which has appeared in front of me is beautiful without a single wound.
Nanashi-san who has noticed that the body is naked puts a cloth on it.
Rather than that, I have to concentrate now.
It'd be a disgrace as a woman if I wasted the miracles that Nanashi-san had created.