Chapter 5: Solretta
Section 7: Sisterly Pledge
I could feel Hadion’s heart beating against my chest as her breath brushed past my ear. That rhythmic thump soon overlapped with my own, and for one short, incredible moment, it was as if we had melted together into one being.
It was none other than Hadion herself who put an end to that moment.
“I’d hate for someone to get angry again when I was just told to keep the time and place in mind.”
She moved away from me with a wry smile, but not before giving me a small wink. I wonder why. Normally I think about how cool she is, but right now, I’d describe her as more cute than cool.
Whether it be Rose-san or Hadion, is the reason why I think it’s unfair that the two of them are so cute even though they’re older because of the jealousy that comes from my own small, narrow-minded heart?
“So……that was what happened. And I still…….without knowing anything……..I have demonstrated to you an unreasonable and unjustified anger. Please, forgive me.”
Rose-san walked over to the couch. And then that Rose-san, suddenly knelt down.
“It was caused by my own lacking strength. I do not intend to justify my betrayal with the excuse that I was being manipulated. So, you have nothing to apologize for.”
“Still,” Rose-san insisted. She’s probably thinking back to the witch’s cave near Relton village. At that time, Lovas-san had saved Quinn-san’s life, but Rose-san mistook her for a bandit and almost started a fight. Remembering that time, Rose-san had come to greatly regret her words and actions.
“However if you’re going to insist, then I’ll accept your apology and offer my forgiveness.”
“Thank you very much Hadion-sama. And I am aware it is incredibly rude to ask this of you after just begging for your forgiveness, but I do have a request.”
Rose-san continued kneeling down just as she was but finally she turned her gaze away from the ground and towards Hadion instead.
“What is it, gallant maiden?”
“Would you please allow me to become your disciple. I wish to learn from your skills that were able to easily bury even a dragon.”
“Eh, disciple? Rose-san will be, Hadion’s?”
The unexpected development took me by surprise, causing me to suddenly raise a my voice. But I wasn’t the only one. Toslin and Carol may not have said anything, but their eyes were opened wide. However paying our reactions no mind, Haidon nodded her head.
“Very well. Even after a thousand years, you warrior priestesses still diligently study in order to personify the world that the Goddess envisioned. I am more than willing to extend a hand to a like-minded warrior.”
“Thank you for your consideration.”¹
Hadion picked herself up off the couch and moved in closer to Rose-san. Offering her hand, Rose-san accepted it and stood up as well.
“Iris, Toslin, Carol. I would like the three of you to bear witness to the oath we will take here and now.”
“Well that’s, fine but……”
“So we just need to watch, and we’ll be fine right?”
“Yes, that will suffice.”
Hadion grabbed Rose-san’s left wrist with her right hand. Afterwards Rose-san followed suit, grabbing Hadion’s left wrist with her right hand. From there they brought their hands together, entwining the pinky finger of their left hands.
“Rosalith Cuulbacall. From the pure moon, the maiden’s outlook, swear to me. I, Saluena Hadion, shall take thou as a sister and lead you down the right path”
S-Sister? Not a disciple? While a large question mark started blooming over the top of my head, Rose-san opened her mouth and carried on with her part of the oath.
“S-Saluena Hadion-sama. From the pure moon, the maiden’s outlook, I do swear to you. I, Rosalith Cuulbacall, your sister, shall continue to chase your back until the day I may stand by you shoulder to shoulder as a fellow warrior.”
“This vow, I offer to you with a kiss.”
“……..do the same as me.”
“R-Right……. This vow, I offer to you, with a kiss.”
I was surprised to hear that Hadion’s name was Saluena, but I was even more surprised by what happened next right in front of my eyes.
“Eh, ah, eh? Oi, hold……..”
“Wa, waa…….eh!? Kiss, a smooch? Hadion and Rose?”
Rose-san’s lips and Hadion’s lips drew close. I jumped up to my feet. My hands grasped each other tightly in front of my chest.
The two’s pinkies still entwined, they leaned in and kissed. Depending on the angle you were standing, their faces were just far enough apart you might wonder if they actually did it.
“……with this, the vows have been exchanged. From now on, you are my sister. As a sign of our intimacy, you may call me Sally. As for you…..right, I’ll call you Rosa. It’s the name of a beautiful pink flower that grows on the continent far to the east.”
“Y-Yes…..Sally-oneesama. I-I may still be inexperienced, but please take care of me.”
A faint voice leaked from my mouth. My hands which had been tensely clutching each other in front of my breast fell limply to my sides as I plopped back down onto the couch.
“In the order of knights I was a part of, veteran knights would exchange a sisterly pledge with newcomers, raising them up. You might refer to them as master and pupil, or senpai and kouhai, but it’s a garden of women. Isn’t it inevitable that we call it something more stylish?”
“I-It is tradition, something present even now among the Illyan priestesses……… Until now I have always been an observer giving my blessing, but now that I am one of the parties involved and have other people watching me, it really is quite embarrassing…….”
Rose-san’s hands covered her reddened cheeks as she bashfully fidgeted in place. Meanwhile Hadion ran her hand through Rose-san’s hair, as if to show her love to the worked up Rose-san. It was a sight I never would’ve imagined from how these two were acting earlier.
“…….I-Is that how it is? It happened so suddenly I didn’t know what to make of it.”
“That kiss at the end really had my heart thumping. And Toslin’s eyes were like plates she was staring so hard.”
“I-I wasn’t! Maybe a little……..Iris was just as surprised as I was though!!”
“T-That is…….um, I was surprised too. I-I knew about the words used in the vow before, but……”
“Is that so? It is said the thread of fate extends between two people’s pinky fingers. We connect our pinkies to entangle that thread. And then by sealing the pledge with a kiss, it makes that thread strong and thick……..that is the meaning held behind this ceremony.”
“Hee, so the pinky finger had that kind of meaning……..”
“Hm? What what, is something up Toslin? You’ve been staring at my pinky finger since a while ago.”
“Huh? I wasn’t.”
“Are you wondering where my pinky string goes? Hey, were you wondering?”
“That’s why I said I wasn’t looking at it. I wasn’t wondering at all.”
“It’s okay!! My pinky string is definitely connected to Toslin!”
“I don’t remember tying anything off though?”
“If you hold hands that much, then you’re already connected. How about a kiss? Then our thread will get even thicker. Come here”
“Gah, quit sticking to me!! Why would I want to make an unfortunately inseparable relationship even stronger!!?”
“Ahn~, why are you being so shy? Isn’t this a chance to get even closer to the cute Carol? Don’t run”
Carol and Toslin suddenly started chasing each other around the room. My eyes naturally followed after the two’s pinkies. I’m sure the thread connecting these two is already super thick.
“……..Iris-san? You look dazed. Is there something I can do to help?”
Rose-san had moved next to me without my realizing it. She was squatting down right in front of me, looking up.
“I-I really am fine. I’m just…….really happy that Rose-san and Hadion were able to become friends.”
“Yes, you are right. I am sorry to have worried Iris-san. But, everything will be fine from now on.”
Rosa. The name of a beautiful flower.
Certainly her smile is best compared to a flower……..I thought so as well.
1. The phrase Rose uses here is an older one, something usually used between samurai and warriors. Unfortunately english doesn’t have a whole lot of ways to say thanks.