WM – Chapter 206: Takatsuki Makoto heads to the medal award ceremony

I woke up, finished changing, and prayed to Noah-sama.

When I went to the dining room, Sa-san was there as usual, and Furiae-san who is normally oversleeping had already taken a seat. 

Lucy is most definitely still in bed. 

“Good morning, Sa-san, Princess.” (Makoto)

“Good morning, Takatsuki-kun.” (Aya)

“Good morning, My Knight.” (Furiae)

I took a seat while doing my morning greetings, and noticed the mysterious object on the plate.

“Sa-san, what is this black thing?” (Makoto)

“Hmm, the charcoal of what was once bacon?” (Aya)

“…And what’s the black thing at the side of that?” (Makoto)

“The charcoal of what was once egg.” (Aya)

“…There’s nothing else?” (Makoto)

“What! Are you saying you can’t eat what I have made?!” (Furiae)

“Eh?! You made it, Princess?!” (Makoto)

Didn’t you say you wouldn’t do something like cooking?

“Are you saying it is bad for me to be cooking?!” (Furiae)

“I-It isn’t bad…” (Makoto)

I look at the black stuff on my plate. 

No, this is straight up charcoal, ain’t it? 

It won’t kill me, I guess…

I resolved myself and lifted the chopsticks, but Sa-san took away the plate in a snap. 

“Alright, this is today’s for food Takatsuki-kun. I wanted to show that Fu-chan did her best to make it.” (Aya)

Sa-san switched to decent food with a smile.

“I will go wake up Lu-chan.” (Aya)

Sa-san tottered off. 

I look at the face of Furiae-san.

She is averting her gaze awkwardly. 

“…I will do better next time.” (Furiae)

“Ah…okay.” (Makoto)

What happened?

This is rare.

After that, Lucy had woken up, so we had breakfast together with everyone. 

◇◇

I pass my arm through the sleeve of my coat, place the dagger on my waist, and throw in some money in my pocket. 

‘Now then, where should I go today?’, is what I was thinking, but Lucy called me to a stop.

“Makoto, where do you plan on going?” (Lucy)

“Eh? Wander around.” (Makoto)

“Takatsuki-kun, do you know what day is today?” (Aya)

“…Hm? Did I have any appointments today?” (Makoto)

Let’s see, any plans with Lucy and Sa-san…I didn’t right?

“Today is the medal award ceremony for the people that contributed to the defeat of the Demon Lord. Were you not told that?” (Furiae)

Furiae-san told me while brushing the black cat.

“Ah!” (Makoto)

Right right. 

It was today?

“That was close. It is Makoto we are talking about here, so he definitely wouldn’t have returned till night.” (Lucy)

“Sofi-chan told you, didn’t she?! Geez, Takatsuki-kun!” (Aya)

Hmm, I certainly do feel like she told me that as she left. 

Can’t be helped. Looks like I will be staying at the inn for the day.

I trained in the inn for a while to kill time.

Princess Sofia came just past noon. 

“That’s a relief. You were properly here.” (Sofia)

“O-Of course.” (Makoto)

“Don’t lie, Makoto. You forgot.” (Lucy)

“Sofi-chan, Takatsuki-kun planned on going out today too~.” (Aya)

Aah, they easily exposed me! 

Princess Sofia made a ‘geez!’ face as she lightly glared at me.

“Then, let’s get going.” (Sofia)

We head to the Highland Castle together with Princess Sofia. 

◇◇

“What an impressive amount of people…” (Makoto)

There’s even more people than at the time when Sakurai-kun became a captain. 

Because there’s members of six countries here.

Lucy, Sa-san, Furiae-san, and I are participating as people of the Water Country. 

There’s a lot of people gathered already, but it seems they are waiting for the Highland King and the 5 sacred nobles.

It is nice how the big shots can come late.

Nothing to do. 

I use water balls to play something similar to jacktones as a timekiller, and Furiae-san asked ‘can you do other things?’ and it got in my head, and we ended up playing around with a lot of spells. 

Princess Sofia scolded us saying ‘behave’.

A certain group approached us probably after seeing the ruckus we made.

It was an old man that seemed gentle at a glance, but his eyes were sharp.

His attire was like what a priest would wear, but it was gaudier than the ones around.

The Pope-sama of the Highland Church.

There’s Templars at his back.

“Excuse the intrusion, people of Rozes.” 

“Your Holiness Roma. To think you would go through the trouble of coming to us yourself…” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia hurriedly greets him.

“I had business here, so I should be the one coming.” 

The Pope-sama said this and faced me.

“Rozes Hero-dono, you have my gratitude in the Demon Lord subjugation.” 

“O-Okay…” (Makoto)

I respond while being on guard.

This guy hates me for being an Evil God Apostle, right?

“If possible, I would like to ask you to convert to Althena-sama right at this moment, but Princess Sofia wouldn’t allow that. But there’s no reason not to convert to the Water Goddess Eir-sama, right? You are the Rozes Hero after all.” 

“That’s…Eir-sama has allowed it…” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia answers in my stead. 

“It is not about allowing or not. Our daily lives are thanks to the divine protection of the Holy God-samas. We are grateful for this, and have a duty to serve them. Allowing an Apostle of an Evil God as a Hero is…something that must not happen.” 

“T-That’s…” (Sofia)

The strong tone of the Pope was making Princess Sofia falter. 

(Again with that talk…) (Makoto)

I was getting weary of this.

(It is annoying how the believers of Althena are so hardheaded, right?) (Noah)

Noah-sama spoke to me.

“But let’s stop that talk for now. Takatsuki Makoto-dono is the 2nd biggest contributor in today’s medal award ceremony. I will take my time to convince you.” 

Oh? The Pope withdrew unexpectedly easily. 

Princess Sofia made a relieved expression.

“The problem is the Moon Oracle there.” 

The Pope looks at Furiae-san as if he were looking at a mortal enemy.

“…….”

Furiae-san was silent. 

“In a few days, the Great Demon Lord Iblis will resurrect. And yet, the reincarnation of the Calamity Witch that betrayed humanity 1,000 years ago and went to the demons is freely walking around. I will state it here! The resurrected Great Demon Lord Iblis will once again make contact with the Moon Oracle. When that happens, we would basically be carrying a worm in us. We cannot let the Moon Oracle roam free.” 

“Noel-sama said that we will be cooperating with the Moon Oracle though…” (Sofia)

“Princess Noel is a problematic one… Leaving aside the annulment of discrimination towards the beastkin and demi-humans, to show it to Dirty Blood as well is just…” 

Those words made the face of Furiae-san turn dangerous. 

This is bad.

I speak up before Furiae-san says something.

“Princess cooperated in stopping the rebellion that was about to happen in Symphonia. She wouldn’t be switching to the demon side at this point in time.” (Makoto)

“Princess…? Now that you say that, you are the Guardian Knight of the Moon Oracle, right. How foolish… Even though just being an Evil God Apostle alone is already atrocious enough…” 

This old man is going ‘Evil God’ ‘Evil God’ to the Goddess that I follow… Well, I guess she is seen as one though.

“But it is true that she does have contributions in the past. Instead of imprisoning her in the underground prison, we can have her be confined in a guest room. If it is that, there should be no problems, right? Now, come with us.” 

“““?!”””

The Templars surrounded us.

Oi oi, you are being way too forceful! 

Lucy, Sa-san, and I hurriedly step forward to protect Furiae-san. 

The knights of the Water Country were confused, but they also moved in order to protect us.

It ended with a stance as if the Water Country is facing the Templars of Highland. 

What are we going to do about this…?

“This is troubling… I don’t want to take forceful means though…” 

The Pope was making a troubled expression (most likely an act) and was crossing his arms. 

This is already forceful and beyond though.

“Hey, Pope old man, can’t we just kidnap that one?” 

A frivolous voice resonated.

‘Who is it?’, is what I thought, and it was one of the templars.

That face is…

“You must not do that, Sun Hero Alexander.” 

“What a pain. I would shut them up with one hit.” (Alex)

The Sun Hero Alex speaks with a grin on his face. 

…Was he like this?

“Stop, Alex. Althena-sama won’t allow such barbarity. Well then, people of the Water Country, once your feelings change, please do come to the Holy Maiden Anna’s Great Church. We will keep an eye on the Moon Oracle there. Once the Great Demon Lord subjugation is finished safely, we will free her. I will be taking my leave now…” 

“Aah, looks like your lives have been spared~.” (Alex)

Saying this, the Pope and the Sun Hero left with the templars.

What was that…?

“Was that guy always like that…?” (Lucy)

“He didn’t speak at all before, right?” (Aya)

Looks like Lucy and Sa-san had the same impression.

His character changed way too much…

“Tch!” (Furiae)

Furiae-san clicked her tongue in bitter annoyance.

“Princess, it is okay.” (Makoto)

“That’s right, Moon Oracle. The Water Country is your ally.” (Sofia)

“…Thanks.” (Furiae)

Furiae-san’s expression softened lightly at the words of Princess Sofia and me. 

Even so, that was nerve wracking.

It might not be good to stay too long in Highland…

◇◇

“A few words from the Prime Minister.” 

There was trouble, but the attendees arrived and the ceremony began. 

First is the Prime Minister, then the Five Sacred Nobles, and the royalty doing their greetings. 

And soon after it began, I noticed…

…Is this ceremony super long? 

Eh? Is today going to end with this? 

“Sofia, do you know the schedule of today?” (Makoto)

“Of the ceremony? It is here.” (Sofia)

The program that Princess Sofia showed me was a long long list of scheduled entries that made me dizzy. 

By the way, my turn is almost at the last part. 

I would have to stay on standby till then.

I also took a look at the line of participants. 

-White Great Sage-sama (absent)

-Crimson Witch Rosalie-sama (absent)

(So nice to be free!) (Makoto)

Haah…so boring.

Can’t I sneak out…?

{Sofia, I am thirsty, so I am gonna go get some water.} (Makoto)

I whispered to Princess Sofia at my side. 

{…Please come back by the time your name is called, okay?} (Sofia)

She pointed this out while giving me a judgeful eye. 

But I have gotten the permission of the Princess (I didn’t).

Let’s kill some time somewhere.

-Stealth.

In order to not get in the way of anyone, I use the Skill to leave. 

{Makoto, where are you going?} (Lucy)

{Takatsuki-kun?} (Aya)

{My Knight?} (Furiae)

All my party members called me out. 

You girls are way too keen.

{A short walk…} (Makoto)

{Wait, I will go too.} (Lucy)

{Ah, not fair, Lu-chan. Me too, me too!} (Aya)

{Eh?! Wait, if My Knight is going, I will go too!} (Furiae)

Uwah, it feels like it is going to turn into a big group.

{So, where are we going, Takatsuki-kun?} (Aya)

I don’t really have a place I want to go to.

There’s a lot of time before my name is called.

But it wouldn’t be good to go too far.

After thinking for a bit…

{When in doubt, go to the Great Sage-sama’s house.} (Makoto)

{Eeh…won’t she be in a bad mood being daytime?} (Lucy)

{The residence of the Great Sage-sama is dark and it is hard to relax in…} (Aya)

Lucy and Sa-san don’t seem to be that into the idea.

‘Guess I won’t be going’, Lucy said, and Sa-san went ‘me too’.

{What about you, Princess?} (Makoto)

{The residence of the White Great Sage, huh… I will have a word with her about putting her hands on My Knight.} (Furiae)

Looks like Furiae-san is coming with me. 

We used Stealth to stealthily leave the audience stands. 

Due to the ceremony taking place, the knights walking around the Highland Castle are few. 

There’s lookouts, but they didn’t mind us. 

We managed to reach the residence of the Great Sage-sama without problems.

“Hello~.” (Makoto)

I gave my greetings and entered the house. 

Furiae-san nervously followed behind me.

Relying on the candles lighting up the rooms and Night Vision, we walk through the corridor. 

What a whimsical house.

When we arrived at a deep room, the Great Sage-sama was sleeping there on a big sofa.

Her sleeping face is that of a regular child.

“She is sleeping, My Knight. Is it okay to have come in just like that?” (Furiae)

“It is okay, it is okay. I am her Guardian Knight after all.” (Makoto)

“I don’t think that’s what a Guardian Knight entails…” (Furiae)

“Let’s wait till she wakes up.” (Makoto)

“Okay…” (Furiae)

Furiae-san made an amazed face on me. 

Well, fine. 

I decide to rummage through her room.

…No, I won’t be stealing.

I am just looking, looking.

There’s a whole ton of books and magic tools in the Great Sage-sama’s room.

I actually wanted to have a long look at this place since a long time ago.

Furiae-san was checking out an old book that was on a bookshelf with great interest. 

I was wondering if there was an interesting magic tool around, and went into a room deeper inside.

If there’s something interesting, I will have her lend it to me.

While I was thinking that…

“What’s…this?” (Makoto)

At the back of the many bookshelves, there’s a strange opening as if it were being hidden. 

At the very middle of it, there’s a big square box.

It is a box big enough to have someone inside.

This is…a coffin, right?

A pitch black coffin.

Why is a coffin inside a room…?

Could it be that this is her bed since she is a vampire?

But she is sleeping on the sofa right now.

Hmm, what could this be?

Can’t go opening it…

The moment I approached the coffin a bit…

“Oi.” 

“Wa?!” 

My heart jumped.

The Great Sage-sama had shown up at my back.

“What a rascal you are. To sneak in while I am sleeping. Night crawling?” 

“Yeah, that’s right.” (Makoto)

“Are you an idiot? As if there’s a guy who would bring a woman while night crawling. Come here.” 

“Okay.” (Makoto)

We had some light talk as we returned to where she was before. 

We didn’t really touch on the coffin I saw before. 

“So, what’s your business? The ceremony is ongoing, right?” 

“The Great Sage-sama was sleeping, so I had to stay by your side as your Guardian Knight.” (Makoto)

I say this with a grin. 

“Hoh, quite the words there.” 

She responded with a grin of hers.

After that, the Great Sage-sama poured tea for me and Furiae-san.

How kind.

I sip it down.

I was thinking about what to talk about, but Furiae-san was strangely silent. 

The Great Sage-sama spoke instead.

“Now that I think about it, I will be travelling faraway tomorrow.” 

“Really?” (Makoto)

“Yeah. The army of the Sea Monster King Forneus apparently appeared in the Earth Country.” 

“Eh? Isn’t that really bad?!” (Makoto)

This isn’t the time to be holding a medal award!

“It is most likely just to keep us in check. The Great Demon Lord is going to be resurrecting soon. They probably don’t intend to attack seriously.” 

“I see.” (Makoto)

Forneus is the Demon Lord that rules over the sea monsters. 

If the battlefield is the sea, I could also be able to do something, so I am a bit interested. 

“I may be changing the topic, but…Spirit User-kun, Moon Oracle, be careful of the Pope. He has been presenting me with advice for making you my Guardian Knight. Since he is saying that, he must be plotting something.” 

The Great Sage-sama threw a timely topic.

“We were thrown into a pain of a situation regarding that not that long ago.” (Furiae)

Furiae-san made a frown as if she was remembering the displeasing emotions of just before.

“The Pope of this generation is a pagan hater of the highest degree. It seems like he has a reason for that, but…I would really like the internal conflicts to be left for after defeating the Demon Lord.” 

“Preach it.” (Makoto)

I was completely in agreement with what the Great Sage-sama said.

Seeing the attitude of the Pope, I don’t think that’s going to be so simple though.

At that moment, I asked something that suddenly crossed my mind.

“Now that I think about it, Great Sage-sama, the Sun Hero Alexander that is together with the Pope-sama, just what kind of guy is he?” (Makoto)

“That guy, huh… I don’t know too well myself. It is a man that suddenly appeared around half a year ago all of a sudden.” 

Even the Great Sage-sama doesn’t know, huh.

“But his ability is the real deal. To think there would be a Hero who has that much mana and aura sitting out of office until now. I thought the skilled people in the West Continent had been excavated…  Maybe they brought him from outside the continent. I suspected that he might have come from a parallel world, but…it doesn’t seem to be the case.” 

“I see…” (Makoto)

He is a weird guy.

His personality is completely different from before. 

“B-By the way…!” (Furiae)

Furiae-san who was silent until now approached the Great Sage-sama as if she had resolved herself. 

“Hm?” 

“Great Sage-sama! Can you please not make My Knight into your Guardian Knight without my permission?!” (Furiae)

“Hoh?” 

She peeked her fangs with a grin at the words of Furiae-san.

“Are you jealous?” 

“T-That’s not it! What are you saying?!” (Furiae)

“Having more than one isn’t that rare of a situation. There’s no real inconvenience with it.” 

Right right, you have to get all the buffs you can! 

“The Spirit User-kun has already used 4 of the 5 major pacts… I advised it, but 4 is a lot. The blood pact might have been unnecessary.” 

“Hm?” (Makoto)

4?

The pacts I have formed currently are:

-Noah-sama’s Soul Pact.

-Furiae-san’s Word Pact.

-Great Sage-sama’s Blood Pact.

“It is only 3.” (Makoto)

“What are you saying? I didn’t notice before, but you have already made a Body Pact with that red haired mage. Well, it seems like it is a provisional pact, so it isn’t shown in the Soul Book, but I can see it with my Appraisal.” 

…Hm?

Red haired mage…there’s no doubt she is referring to Lucy.

Lucy and I have made a Body Pact?

“M-My Knight…you…since when?” (Furiae)

When I look at my side, there’s Furiae-san trembling as if she were looking at a traitor. 

No, wait, this is a misunderstanding! 

…It is, right? 

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