The royal castle of Elementia is close to the sea, but it seems that the high temple where the high priest resides is located inland, far from the royal castle.
Generally speaking, I wasn’t very religious, and I was occupied with day-to-day affairs, so I wasn’t very interested in the world of God’s faith.
The territory I lived in it was a rural town, so to reach the temple, one had to go to a slightly larger neighboring town, and the only time I was required to go there was during a ceremony celebrating adulthood. At that time, as I recall, there was an event where we would hear a thank you story from the priest. So, well, it didn’t matter.
Every territory in the continent of the Kingdom of Elementia is required by the laws of the country to always have a branch of the temple according to its size. The number and size of the temple annexes vary according to the size and conditions of the territory.
These annexes were called temples and were worshipped by the people. Temples mainly provided a helping hand to the needy and sick people. Seasonal festivals and matters of life and death involved the temple.
The term “annexes of the temple” is used for the Great Temple of Elementia, because the priests were sent from there, but it is usually referred to as the Temple of XX in the territory of XX.
I was fortunate that I have never had to take care of the temple in terms of my life because my father was a stable school teacher. If we did, it was to listen to a priest at the temple when we came of age, but I left home when I was 13, so I never went there.
In the city of a large territory, it seems that not only temples but also things such as treatment centers and monasteries are being built.
I’ve heard that there is a treatment center and a monastery run by the temple near the high temple in the capital.
Since the country and religion of Elementia are separation of church and state and various restrictions are involved, Zak, not as the Duke of Valmonter, but personally, sometimes secretly received the advice of ‘an acquaintance who happens to be serving in the temple’.
That’s how it went, and today Zak took me to the Great Temple.
The reason for this is because Zak told me that I would be turning fifteen years old at the end of this month and that I should go to the temple to receive a blessing.
Apparently, it is a tradition for nobles to receive a blessing from a priest at the temple on their coming of age.
But when I heard that I would be blessed by the high priest at the high shrine, I was flabbergasted.
“When I told him about your coming of age, he said that he wanted to give you the blessing in person.”
“…The High Priest, really?”
As I shy away, Zak said it was okay because there was nothing to be afraid of and that he wouldn’t let me do anything I didn’t want to do or anything else.
I had no choice but to go when Zak put it that way.
Even for Zak, he is essentially untouchable to me, on a cloud. And as for the High Priest, if I wanted to meet him, he would not be someone I could easily meet either.
Today I was made to wear a white silk dress that was long enough to cover my ankles and a short white back-length veil. It was a very simple dress, but it had lots of sparkling stones sewn into it, and every inch of the garment was decorated with fine silver thread embroidery. It looked very expensive somehow.
The shoes were also white silk, and as expected, the transparent sparkling stones and silver thread embroidery were beautiful.
I was too scared to ask what kind of stone it was. It’s definitely some sort of gem and not glass or stone.
And I could feel Zak’s strong magical power from this dress. But it wasn’t an unpleasant feeling, but rather a protective power.
“This is a special garment prepared by the master for your coming of age.”
“…Yeah, it’s very pretty. And it’s kind…”
‘Kind,’ was how I felt about the feelings towards me in this garment.
“The embroidered birds, flowers and ivy represent the Duke of Valmonter.”
“Oh, it’s also on the main gate and the carriage and all over the house.”
“Yes. And you, my lady, are the only person who has ever been permitted to wear this coat of arms.”
“Just me? Is that okay?”
“Yes, It’s a celebration.”
Silk smiled very happily and I laughed too.
Silk is also a teacher who always teaches me a lot of things.
Normally, I would use Zak’s magic to fly away, but today I left the mansion from the main gate in a large crested carriage.
As the carriage exited, Filgred scattered rainbow-colored sparks several times with a flinting magic stone and chanted in an ancient language that sounded like music..
I am learning the ancient language, so I could hear and understand only the last verse.
“…Sending love and blessings to my family’s loved ones who are climbing the stairs to adulthood.”
The interior of the large carriage we rode in was all covered with light purple dyed silk, with a thick layer of cotton between the cloth and the interior walls, so that it wouldn’t hurt if we accidentally bumped our bodies somewhere.
The tasseled elbow cushions, seat cushions, and back cushions also have just the right amount of elasticity. Aren’t they are all made of cotton from Fisaris?
The inside of the carriage was very spacious and the windows looking out were large and bright.
“It’s magic that prevents one from seeing inside from the outside.”
With that said, I pulled up to the window and started looking out. I think Zak chuckled.
The scenery flows as if it were flying, and the carriage itself must have magic in it.
The carriage should have been rattling along, but it didn’t shake at all inside. Very comfortable. The veil was in the way, so I took it off in the carriage.
Once we deviate from the city scapes, the scenery changed and we were greeted with an agricultural landscape. I did not know that you could see such a view just a little outside. Fields of grain and fruit plantations were beautifully arranged.
“Are you surprised? An agricultural area has also been created in the Royal Capital just in case of unforeseen circumstances.”
“Yes, I’m surprised. I’ve never been here before, so I didn’t know.”
“Fii hasn’t seen anything except the city of Royal Capital and the downtown area so far.”
“Yes, but…I like it, it’s very nice.”
“Is that so.”
Zak was dressed in white, just like me, instead of his usual black robes, and he was even more beautiful than usual. I feel like my eyes were going to glaze over.
Yet somehow, I always felt comfortable and very safe beside him.
Maybe my heart is full…
Two years have passed since I was 13 to now being 15 years old, and I’ve experienced a lot.
I wanted to be someone who could be around this person, so I’m going to do my best to try and take in all kinds of knowledge as best I can.
The ability to purify is now familiar to me, and I can use it as simply as breathing. I’m glad.
On holidays with Zak, I went to Cross Island and learned how to handle various magical powers.
Under his guidance, I also secretly worked in a treatment center in an unknown territory, and helped prepare meals in temples around the country. All of them were very good to me.
The first time I came to the Great Temple, it was a chalk building with magnificent grounds.
The green grass was beautiful, the waterways flowed here and there throughout the grounds, the large and small fountains were beautifully arranged, and the white columns in the corridors connecting the buildings to each other at equal intervals were extremely beautiful.
Everywhere was pure white, with silvery powder mixed in with the white of the pillars and walls, and the occasional glimmer of light reflected here and there, creating an extraordinary, beautiful space.
When we arrived in the carriage, I walked down the white corridor with Zak, accompanied by a priest who came out to meet and guide us. When I entered the antechamber, I found the Marquis of Tizar inside. He was also dressed in white formal wear.
“Duke Valmonter, thank you for inviting me to my daughter’s coming of age ceremony today.”
“Marquis Tizar, this is a celebration of your daughter’s coming of age. Of course.”
“Thank you. I’m sorry to see that you have prepared everything for my daughter Fiaragent.”
“It is my fiancée’s coming of age. It was selfish of me to want to provide everything.”
Marquis Tizar bowed deeply to Zak.
Zak had privately approached the royal family with a proposal to have me live in his home as his fiancée. Of course, father had agreed to that story. (***Welp, I guess they’re engaged now??? Lol)
He said that by doing so, I would have the strongest backing in the country and would be able to deter the royal aristocracy from sidelining me, who wanted my magic power.
“Thank you for coming, father.”
I kept my voice calm. I take care to speak slowly and gracefully.
“Fiaragent, I am very happy to see you coming of age in good health, even though you were very sick and weak. Congratulations.”
It’s the story setting, and since it means that I was sick and had been cured at the Duke of Valmonter’s house until now, father was a fine actor, too.
“Yes, thank you, father.”
I had to get on with it properly.
Then I plucked at the edge of my white dress and bowed. A glimmer of light rustled from the dress.
There are other priests and other people around, so it’s a strange conversation, but it’s very flippant. Thanks to the veil, I didn’t have to worry about my expression, which was very helpful.
After that, we were invited to the room with the altar. The pillars of the wooded white corridor on the way there were very magical.
There are a number of rooms between the altars in the main shrine, and it is said that they vary in size depending on the event, but I was relieved to see a rather small altar.
In between the altars, there was a grandfather priest with a long white mustache and beard, wearing a gorgeous priest’s uniform that looked like something that a high-ranking priest would wear. There was another priest beside him, a young attendant. I thought the white-bearded old man was the high priest.
There are only five people in the room, as it seems to have been paid.
I can sense a strong magical power and a pleasant purification power from this person.
“This is a good day for everyone. Duke Valmonter, thank you for listening to my request today.”
Even though he was the High Priest, I thought he was awfully laid-back in his manner.
Besides, he bent his knee towards Zak. Probably, it is not something he should do in public. It must have been the payment for that.
“It’s your wish. I would not be able to deny it.”
“Thank you very much, sir. Now please, come on over here.”
Then the white bearded High Priest held out his hand to me.
I placed my own hand on top of his.
The moment I touched the High Priest-sama, a green-gold glow swelled from it and spread throughout the room.
My magic power and the High Priest’s magic power overlapped and resonated with each other.
I was told later that in that moment, not only in this room, but also throughout the whole building, a large pillar of green-gold light was rising up to the heavens.
“Ah! What a…This is the purification magic that is handed down in the ancient texts to purify the miasma…!”
The High Priest was in tears.
“Oh, how precious! I have no regrets if I die after this.”
“You are not likely to die yet.”
Zak said in a very boring way.
Me and father Tizar couldn’t get into it, so we just kept silent and watched the events unfold.
After that, without delay, I received a blessing from the High Priest and was told, “Please come back to visit us anytime,” and then we were on our way home.
In the back, when I was talking to Zak, I referred to Zak as ‘Your Highness,’ and Zak said to me, ‘Who are you talking to?’ Of course, he was paid by the people. The sidelined priest-sama maintains a blank expression.
The High Priest had gone out of his way to see us off to the carriage on the way home, and father Tizar’s was very much sorry about that.
According to what Zak told me later, the High Priest was of elven blood and seemed to have known Zak for a long time.
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