T/n: I will change marebito/marejin (稀人) to rare person from now on.
Chapter 207 – Archbishop
“Nice to meet you. I have heard of you for some time. A rare person from another world, the witch’s collaborator, the dragon’s companion, and the saint of history for all of us. My name is Deckard. I have been given the grand title of archbishop, but I am just an ordinary old man.”
He was an old man with a soft face. His hair was completely white, and his beard was equally white. He had a sturdy-looking body, with no excess flesh to be seen anywhere. There was no sign of a bent back, and he was the picture of a hale and hearty old man. Perhaps he used to be a temple knight or something.
“Thank you very much for your kindness. I’m Kosuke.”
“Hohoho, there is no need to be so formal with an old man like me.”
The old man dressed in a white robe laughed pleasantly. The white robe had no extra decoration at all, only a minimal pattern and a glowing cross to indicate that he was a priesthood holder.
“But I never feel comfortable in brand-new priest’s robes. I think old men like me would be fine in the usual old clothes.”
“Father. Even if it is good for you, it would be disrespectful to the other party.”
“Hohoho, you’re right.”
The red-eyed saint seated next to the old man who called himself Deckard let out a small sigh of resignation, and the old man smiled with amusement, perhaps loving even the sigh of resignation from the saint.
“Sylphy, this is not what I imagined.”
I had always thought that the archbishops of the Adol religion were just foul-smelling monks who were all about alcohol, money, and women behind their pontificating. But this archbishop does not look like that kind of a monk. To put it better, he looks like a well-rounded, good-natured old man. He doesn’t look like the kind of person who would be able to wield his wits in a power struggle within the Holy Kingdom or the Adol religion.
“I was also taken aback when I first met him. But, well, I guess this is the kind of man he is.”
After saying this, Sylphy glanced at the sharp-eyed female priest seated next to Archbishop Deckard.
She was also looking this way ── or rather, she was looking at me completely. It’s hard to say how friendly the look is, but I feel like I’m being evaluated by some kind of predator.
The age of the female priestess is… probably around the age of 70 or 80. I’m not sure if she’s younger than my mother, but maybe a bit closer. She has tight chestnut-colored hair with a lot of gray in it, sharp, upturned eyes, and thin lips that look as if to say that there is nothing fun in this world. And she wears the same plain priest’s robe as Archbishop Deckard. She was probably the archbishop’s right-hand person.
Perhaps noticing my gaze, Ellen introduces her to me.
“This is High Priestess Katerina. She is the right hand of Archbishop Deckard.”
“I am Katerina. I hope you are having a good day, Rare person-sama. I am a woman of lowly birth, but I beg you to make my acquaintance.”
Where was the predator’s stare from earlier? When Ellen introduced me to her, she flashed me a perfect smile. I don’t quite understand the meaning of mending things now while giving her such a gaze, but perhaps both the archbishop and the high priestess want to play the role of a kind father and close associate in front of Ellen? Thinking that way, I may also have to be wary of Archbishop Deckard’s good-naturedness.
“Let me skip the introductions that have already been made during the day. First of all, seated over there are my mother and sisters, the queen and princesses of the old Merinard kingdom.”
“Seraphita Danal Merinard, wife of King Ixwil Danal Merinard.”
“The eldest daughter, Driada Danal Merinard.”
“The second daughter, Ifrita Danal Merinard.”
“The third daughter, Aquawill Danal Merinard.”
“And I am Sylphielle Danal Merinard, the leader of the Liberation Army and the youngest sister. Well, I guess it’s too late to tell you about me.”
Following the greetings of the queen and her sisters, Sylphy shrugged her shoulders in greeting, then turned her gaze to Isla.”
“Isla. Former court mage of the former Merinard Kingdom. Now I am the leader of the Liberation Army’s mage corps. And one of Kosuke’s partners.”
Isla, with her eye fixed on me, introduces herself in a small but clear voice. Was the last word necessary?
The last person Sylphy looked at was a girl who was devouring the food with an attitude that said she didn’t care about the manners of the dinner party. She was a girl with twisted horns like a demon on her head and dirty hands with tough and vicious claws.
“Hmm? What is it?”
“Grande, introduce yourself.”
“It’s troublesome… I’m the grand dragon, Grande. Just to be clear, I do not belong to the Liberation Army. I’m just following my mating partner Kosuke. Well, if Kosuke wants, I will lend him my strength, but basically, I have no intention of intervening in a stupid fight between the human races. And Kosuke, I want some cheeseburgers.”
I took out a large wooden plate from my inventory, put a pile of cheeseburgers on it, and handed it to the maid who was serving me to bring it to Grande.
Incidentally, those who skipped the introduction by Sylphy were Melty and Sir Leonard. Ms. Zamir is guarding the door of this dining room where the dinner is being held with a short spear made of mithril alloy, which I made for previous dungeon exploration.
“I was sent to the Black Forest before I received my education as a princess, so I don’t know the proper dinner arrangements or etiquette. Therefore, I will welcome you with a banquet in the Black Forest Elven style. Yes, the name of the toast should be to the meeting and to the future. Well then.”
Sylphy raised a cup filled with honey wine, and Melty, Sir Leonard, and Isla raised their cups in the same manner. I raised my cup as well, and the queen and Archbishop Deckard followed suit.
“To the meeting and the future.”
“””To the meeting and the future.”””
The participants followed Sylphy’s lead and tipped their cups in the air. The sweet aroma of honey wine that tantalizes the nostrils is pleasant. The drink is strong but easy to drink, so if you get carried away and open a cup, you’ll fall over quickly.
“Hoho, so this is elvish honey wine, isn’t it? Sweet, sweet.”
“I know. Excessive luxury leads to corruption, does it not? But it is also against the doctrine to ignore what is offered as a favor. Is that not so?”
Archbishop Deckard is listening to High Priestess Katerina’s complaints as if they are nothing to him and is having the serving sisters who are standing by pouring him another drink. The maids of the royal castle were in charge of the Merinard Kingdom and the Liberation Army side, while the Adol religion sisters were in charge of the Adol religion side.
The seats were also divided between the two camps across a long table, with the neutral Grande taking the so-called birthday seat. Well, she was eating and drinking without any regard for us, so that part of the table was a different space from the rest. It’s a bit of a pity that only the maid who takes care of Grande is busy moving around.
“I wonder if this unseen dish made with ingredients I’ve never seen before is a dish from Kosuke-sama’s hometown?”
Archbishop Deckard asked me, staining his white beard with pizza sauce. He is quite a powerful old man to reach for the pizza first. Well, there is almost no such thing as a mature dish because all of them are like junk food.
Whether it is because most of the survival games that are the basis of my abilities or because they are made in foreign countries, the dishes I can make with my abilities are all junk food-like foods. If there was rice, I might be able to make onigiri (rice balls) and other Japanese dishes, but so far, I have not found any rice in this world. Damn it.
“It’s hard to say it’s my hometown food. It is the food of my home world, though.”
“Hmm. I guess there are as many countries in the world of rare persons as there are in ours.”
“Yes, well. The life of human beings may not be so different in any world. It begins with hunting, then people gather to form communities, and eventually they begin to cultivate the fields and──”
“And then the fighting begins. It is a very deep story.”
Saying this regretfully, Archbishop Deckard ate his pizza with a bite and now reached for the fried chicken. He seems to be quite a glutton for food.
“Yes. May I ask you, what do you think of peace, Kosuke-sama?”
Archbishop Deckard took a bite of the fried chicken in his hand, chewed and swallowed it, and suddenly asked a philosophical question.
“I remember hearing somewhere that peace is a period of preparation for the next war. I generally agree with this opinion, and I imagine it as a fragile thing that will surely collapse someday. To put it simply, it is a state of equilibrium.”
It was a sudden question, but I answered his question immediately without hesitation. He nodded his head after hearing my answer.
“I see. I suppose that’s one of the truths. In this time of war, the balance of the world is in a state of great turmoil. The balance has been broken, and disorder is causing disorder. The same human races are quarreling, despising, and killing each other. That is far from the harmony that God desires.”
“I think that Kosuke-sama was sent to correct the balance and bring harmony to this turbulent world.”
“Well… isn’t that a bit much to ask?”
As far as I know, the main source of warfare in the world today is the conflict between the Holy Kingdom and the Empire. If I took him at his word, my mission would not only be to win the independence of the Merinard Kingdom from the Holy Kingdom but also to go beyond that. In other words, my mission is to end the conflict between the Holy Kingdom and the Empire. That is something…
“Please give me a break; it’s so tedious it makes me want to vomit. No matter how you look at it, it’s beyond my capacity.”
I still don’t know exactly how powerful the Holy Kingdom and the Empire are. However, this is a conflict between countries that would send tens of thousands of troops to suppress a rebellion in a single country. Just the thought of it makes me dizzy.
If I wanted to destroy both the Holy Kingdom and the Empire, I might be able to do so, but I have no intention of making such a demon king move, and I don’t think I would be able to come up with a good way to settle the relations between the two countries that have repeatedly fought bloody battles. I don’t think I can come up with a way to make things right between the two countries, which have been at each other’s throats for so long. I really don’t.
“Hohoho, is it troublesome? It sure is a pain in the ass.”
“Archbishop-sama, your words.”
“Hohoho, this one is rude.”
Archbishop Deckard, who had been interrupted by High Priestess Katerina, apologizes and reaches for a cheeseburger. Incidentally, High Priestess Katerina ate a beef-like steak with a fork and knife. How about Ellen, you ask? She’s just eating pancakes and crepes with sparkling eyes.
“Well, we’ll talk about this later. Kosuke-sama, if you don’t mind, can you tell us about your world? I’m curious to know what it’s like in the world of the rare person.”
“Well, I’m interested, too.”
“So am I.”
Archbishop Deckard’s proposal was accepted by Isla and Grande. Ellen is also munching and gulping and looking at me with great interest. The high priestess Katerina also seemed to be interested and was giving me a hard look.
“Well, that’s fine.”
I had to choose a topic, but it was a little easier than talking about peace. I thought so and began to talk about it. I started to talk about the story I had once told Sylphy about my former world.