17-5. To Realm of Gods
Satou here. When I hear the word higher dimensional worlds, my limited knowledge only gets me to think about interstellar jump cruises (warps) at most. An SF-mania friend told me all kinds of things back in the days, but I couldn't understand one bit about what he said.
"Master, may fortunes be with you so I say."
Nana struck the shupin pose while saying that and then she got out of the duchy capital's villa carrying a huge bag on her back.
She's probably visiting the duchy capital's orphanages and sealkin kids.
"Let's go as well."
Sera who's embracing my arm heads toward the front gate.
Tenion Temple is located right behind this villa that I have just bought.
As such it would have been faster to go through the back, but Sera told me that my outward appearances as a noble was more important than doing things faster, thus we got to the temple with a carriage through the front gate.
"Your excellency Pendragon, if you'd please come over here."
After a commotion at the entrance of Tenion Temple, the present head miko-san led us to the room where the previous head miko, little girl Lily was waiting.
We parted ways with the present miko-san at the passageway toward the sanctuary, then us two, Sera and I went inside the room.
"Please come in, Nanashi-san. Or perhaps, I should call you Satou-san?"
"Please go with Satou when I'm in this form."
Even after she's turned into a little girl, the head miko-san--Lily still retains her atmosphere.
I smiled back at Lily who smiled at me.
I feel relaxed whenever I'm around her, maybe it's due to her holy mother-like aura.
"Satou-sama! How long are you going to stare at each other!"
Sera thrust herself between me and previous head miko-san, reproving me, "Have you forgotten why we're here?"
She murmured sulkily, "Talking with eyes is unfair", before she cut in but I should pretend not to hear that here.
"Ufufu, oh Sera, is that jealousy?"
"N-no it's not."
Teased by Lily, Sera turned her pouting face away like a child.
Lily is probably like a mother to Sera as she grew up under her care.
"Bridal Knights was it? Sera informed me that you have formed private knights."
"Yes, since there had been a sharp increase of people who were trying to forcefully solicit the girls."
"Oh my? I heard that the knights consist of candidates of people that will be your wives--"
"That's a misunderstanding."
Gotta correct what's wrong.
"So it is. I'd love to join the group if you're all right with a miko apprentice."
"We'd be very happy to have Lily-sama."
"Truly? I'm so glad."
Lily clapped her hands, elated like a child.
Attentive Ears skill picked up her saying in a low voice, "Too bad about the wives part not being true though."
Her eyes met mine, and then she stuck out her tongue and laughed shyly. Looks like she was just joking.
"My what a convenient magic. But I guess that's too bad for Sera?"
"N-no, not at all!"
Hearing the mind magic I developed to avoid the naked body-to-body contact ceremony, [Mind Connection Advance], Lily seemed amazed before proceeding to tease Sera.
The denying red-faced Sera looked a bit disappo--"It's really really not like that at all, okay!"--not.
"Really? Okay then let's perform the ceremony with our clothes on."
A part of miko-san encircling us seem disappointed like Sera as well, but I must be just imagining things.
I changed into the ceremonial holy vest, received the holy crest transcription and performed the slightly simplified ceremony.
Telepathy skill transmitted Sera's inner voice to me.
This part got said out loud in other temples, hence the calling with inner voices is probably exclusive to Tenion Temple.
『Great God who watches over us.』
Responding to Sera's call, a tranquil light falls down from heavens.
Back then it looked like a mere white light, perhaps because I hadn't got used to godly powers, but now it looks like a faint green light is mixed in the white light. This must be God's Tenion intrinsic color.
Sera's face comes off ecstasy.
She's entered the trance state.
A torrent of words and images list was transmitted to me all at once through Sera.
My view was filled with noise before turning white and cleared up.
『Well done collecting all gods' marks, Satou Pendragon. As promised, I will invite you who have splendidly cleared all the trials to the Garden of Gods.』
An image of Sera standing in the center of the white light conveyed God Tenion's words.
『Go through the door of light while holding steadfast to your heart.』
At the direction Sera pointed her finger to, a door of light with a green outline showed up.
The instant I turned my attention to the door, I realized that I was already standing in front of it.
『Hold your heart steadfast. That will protect you.』
I nod at God Tenion who repeated the condition and go pass the door.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"A temple overflowing with green lights?"
Torrents of undulating waves of white and green colored lights are wrapping the temple like a cocoon around it.
"This is the 『World of Rift』. Tenion-sama's sanctuary."
As I looked around the area, I turned my gaze toward the owner of that voice.
A woman wearing green colored miko uniform was standing there.
No, she's not.
Her face looks exactly the same, but she's got a different hair color.
According to AR reading, apparently she's a high elf of Bareonan Clan.
"What's the matter? Child of man."
"Please excuse me, it's just that you look like someone I know."
"You're acquainted with a high elf?"
"Yes, I'm a close friend of Boruenan Forest Sacred Tree, Aialize-sama."
I had wanted to say she was my lover, but since I shouldn't tell lies here, I held myself back.
The woman nodded indifferently.
Looks like she's not interested in Boruenan Forest.
"I have also received magic educations from Ruuze-sama of Bareonan Clan."
Just for a bit though.
"Really--was she doing all right?"
"Yes, she was full of energy."
The expressionless high elf's mouth slightly loosened up.
"Come over here, child of man."
High elf-san leads the way into the temple.
"My name is Satou Pendragon. Would you mind if I have your name?"
"I'm Sillmufuze. A high elf serving under Tenion-sama."
Since I was able to establish a conversation, I asked her more things like, "Since when have you been here?", or "Would you like me to pass a message to your clan?", but she responded to none of it.
I walk in a long passage, following after Sillmufuze-san.
Map was, as expected, [Area without Map], it was blank.
After quite a long trek, Sillmufuze-san halted.
"Purify yourself here."
I scoop light water from what looks like a temizu and wash my hand with it. <TLN: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C5%8Dzuya>
The light water I used to wash my hand spread out and surrounded my whole body as if combing it down.
Sillmufuze-san also scooped the water with the her hands and washed the top of her shoulder like you'd do in a bath, and then she urged me to follow her deeper into the temple.
It's probably due to the light water earlier, I feel weirdly buoyant whenever I take a step.
According to AR reading, my state is [Uplifted].
The inner part of the temple is cylindrical shaped with glittering lights falling down the ceiling.
I noticed the oddity when I got to the end of the passage.
It's the scale.
I had wrongly guessed since there was nothing to compare, but this hall is quite enormous.
The scale of flowing water is even larger than even the Niagara Falls, I'm sure of it.
"Satou of man, over here."
There's a stairway at the end of the passage, and there's an altar with a magic circle at the brim of a slightly lower ground area.
"It's an artifact to separate your astral body from your physical body."
AR reading displays an information that affirms her explanation.
Apparently it's called Soul Parting Altar.
"You cannot enter the Garden of Gods while you possess your physical body. If you force your way in, your physical body will get dispersed by the Dimensional Gulf. I don't particularly mind myself, but then you'd lose your physical body when you get back from the Realm of Gods, you know?"
Does the Realm of Gods exist in a higher dimension or something?
Since it seems like I have to get back here later anyway, let's just follow her instruction.
Looking at the AR reading, doesn't seem like it's a trap.
I stand at the center of the magic circle, and then rainbow colored lights overflow out of the magic circle.
The buoyant feeling earlier got stronger, and I had separated into an astral body before I realized.
It feels subtly different than when I separate my astral body with Soul Magic.
There's no cord that connects my astral body to my physical body.
"Do not worry, you can get back to your physical body when you return here. Of course, your physical body won't deteriorate either."
Sillmufuze-san laid my body on a bed next to the magic circle.
She got back to the magic circle and separated her astral body as well.
Sillmufuze-san carries her own physical body with force magic, either [Magic Hand] or [Magic Arm].
Looks like the separated astral body can still use magic.
"We will now proceed to climb up the waterfall."
Sillmufuze-san pointed at the waterfall in the central hole of the hall before flying up from the brink of the lower ground.
Peeking down, what lies on the bottom of the lower ground was not darkness but a white light that covers my view.
"Satou of man?"
"I'm sorry, I'll be there right away."
I fly up into the sky as well.
--Do not leave behind your own body at the dimensional rift.
Those words flashed in my mind.
--Make sure to carry it with you noja.
I recalled I got that warning.
I stretched out my [Magic Hand], touched my physical body and put it away in Storage.
Looks like I can use Storage no problem even in astral body.
I chase after Sillmufuze who has gone ahead.
Her skirt is fluttering in front of me, I'm not sure where to look.
But that's only until we touch the waterfall.
Light scatters away along with the smooth sand-like feeling.
Surrendering my body to the flow that's not as fast as it look feels good somehow.
"Hurry it up, Satou of man."
Sillmufuze-san who had stood still against the flowing lights called me.
While enjoying a sensation that feels like beach sand on the sole of my feet, I go up against the flow.
"We will hasten the pace from here on."
Are the gods waiting for us?
"Getting washed by the 『Waterfall of Ablution』 will not only erase the world of men's impurities, but eventually also all kinds of desires that branches out to dynamism and even your memories."
Whoops, I wouldn't want that.
I fire myself up and go after Sillmufuze-san.
The outer part was gentle, but when we got to the center of the light waterfall, the torrent of light became so intense to the point of being painful, thus the climb was quite a difficult ride.
I climb up the waterfall while feeling like a Koi Carp going upstream.
After what felt like an eternity of waterfall climbing, I arrived at a world filled with lights.
※ Next update is planned for 3/10