Section 3: Investiture Ceremony
Rose-san is being awarded a new rank as a priestess.
Technically she has already achieved this new rank, but today is going to serve as the offical ceremony that’ll work as a public announcement.
When I entered the cathedral, I was quickly brought to an adjacent room near the church.
Walking up a set of stairs next to the central alter, the room is on a mezzanine floor where priests and priestesses wait before mass.
[Lapris]: “Oh, you’re late.”
Lapris waved at me as soon as I entered the room. She’s supposed to be an angel sent on a mission by the Goddess, so she has her own personal space next to my chair.
She is currently enjoying that space by leaning over on Plushy Unicorn like she is a couch while munching on sweets.
The best way to describe that pose would be with what Toslin calls it: the “Does she think this is her parents’ house” pose.
Next to Lapris was Linzflare-san who was busy brushing Lapris’s green hair.
Mippo and Moppo were nearby, combing each other’s black hair–probably trying to imitate their older sister.
Phoeniko was perched on one end of Plushy Unicorn, singing freely. The whole scene made for a friendly picture that was relaxing to see.
[Iris]: “Don’t eat so much that you’ll have trouble flying later. This is an important ceremony for Rose-san.”
Almost forgot. Phoeniko was injured during the battle with Sanz Wanz, but when I woke up the next morning, she was standing their at my pillow, greeting me with a chirp.
Apparently she is formed almost entirely out of magic power, so as long as she gets a steady stream of mana from me, her injuries will completely heal after a single night.
[Lapris]: “Got it. But well, even if that did happen, it’d be fine if I just rode on your head.”
Linzflare-san looked happy playing with Lapris’s hair. After she finished combing it, she began tying it up as well. She is the oldest of the gnome sisters, so maybe she enjoys taking care of other people?
[Iris]: “Geez…..I know I’ve said this before, but my head isn’t Lapris’s bed…..oh, it’s starting.”
Rather than a door, there is a thick curtain that separates this room from the rest of the church.
That’s why any noise coming from the church can be generally overheard from in here.
[Lapris]: “So Rose is going to become a Grand Priestess?”
[Iris]: “I believe so”
You can hear a hymn through the curtains.
A solemn tone like a work of art played by more than a hundred priestesses.
Even though I was sure it was bad manners, I slipped my head through the curtain to take a look at the chapel.
[Iris]: “Woah, amazing…..so many people…..”
The cathedral is meant to act as emergency shelter when need and is as large as the castle hall. In fact, thousands of people fled here during Sanz Wanz’s attack.
Now that very building was filled with people like nobles and priests who you could tell held a high status just by looking at them.
[Lapris]: “Oh, is that Rose walking down the middle?”
[Iris]: “…..Hey, don’t stand there.”
I heard a voice at my feel, so I turned around and found Plushy Unicorn. And there was Lapris, clinging to her neck while looking across the curtain.
Mippo and Moppo were also there, looking up at me and holding their stone slabs.
≪Lots of people≫
≪What’s going on?≫
Short letters came across the slabs before magically fading away.
I could hear their voices immediately after I re-edited their beings and summoned them my grimoire.
But things seem to have gone back to normal now, so since they can’t say anything, we’ve gone back to the stone slabs like when we first met.
[Linzflare]: “It is an important ritual. Can you two behave?”
Linzflare-san was the only exception to that, so she put on her big sister face to speak with her little siblings.
Just as Unicorn is usually a stuffed animal and Phoenix is usually a small bird, this is probably what is normal for the gnome sisters.
Convinced of that fact, I turned my gaze towards Rose-san again.
Rose-san was wearing a pure white cloak over her usual armor, probably for ceremonial purposes. The cloak shimmered in the light with each step she took, and I couldn’t help but think…..it looked like a wedding dress.
There is no one there who is holding Rose-san’s hand and escorting her down the aisle…..for now.
She walked straight towards the majestic altar with the hymn rising in volume around her.
[Rose]: “Believer, Rosalith Cuulbacall”
Having reached the end of the red carpet, Rose-san greeted Marie Arone-sama, the head of this church as well as the archbishop who unites all the different churches on the continent.
Mari-sama with her rich blue hair addressed Rose-san from the other side of the altar while wearing a long robe embroidered with the sacred flowers colored in seven differed hues.
[Marie]: “You have protected the people from the threat of a dragon in Relton Village, and in just a few days past, bravely fought and destroyed Sanz Wanz after its resurrection.”
Rose-san knelt down and quietly listened to Marie-sama’s words.
[Marie]: “Your achievements are great, and it is acknowledged by all that your brave actions have saved the lives of tens of thousands of people.”
Marie-sama cut off her words once and lifted up her chin. What she said next was more cheerful than the solemn tone she had been carrying until now.
[Marie]: “Tonight…..by my authority as archbishop, I shall bestow upon you a new rank in recognition of these achievements.”
[Rose]: “My thanks for the honor”
After Rose-san responded with her head held down, two priestesses carrying a large jar walked over from both sides of the altar.
Then the contents of that jar…..holy water was poured into the silver cup placed between Rose-san and the altar.
(Oh, this is….)
I understood what was about to begin as soon as I saw it. No, not just me, but everyone here.
Originally it was meant to be a way to thank and pray to the Goddess while reporting the day’s events.
But now it is meant to show people the way as well as to help them.
Once the surface of the water stilled, the holy water in the silver cup reflected the orange light coming from the altar off its surface.
[Marie]: “Guardian of the world, ruler of reason. Your servant Marie Arone Escriva offers a report. The new power of these brave individuals”
Once Marie-sama finished her prayer, the holy water began to shine with a ghostly white light.
[Marie]: “Rosalith Cuulbacall. Softly…..put your hand on the water’s surface.”
Rose-san stood up to the pedestal and raised her hand towards the cup. And then softly, dipped the tips of her fingers into the water.
The holy water rippled outwards as all those gathered watched on in silence. Hoewver as the water gradually settled and returned to its mirror-like surface,
the light…..gradually gained color.