Hajime stood there with his hands protecting the face and had both eyes closed, but when he heard the rustling noise, he slowly opened his eyes
Hajime surveyed his surroundings dumbfoundedly. The first thing that came into sight was the giant mural. The mural was about ten meter in width, depicting an androgynous person with long golden hair and a faint smile, in front of an aureole. The background portrayed the grassy plains, lakes and mountains, and the person had both hands extended out, as if embracing them all. It was a beautiful mural, an amazing mural. But, for some reason Hajime felt a sense of coldness from the person in the drawing.
After carefully surveying his surrounding, he found that they seemed to be in a huge hall. He assumed the hall was made out of marble. The whole building was emitting a beautiful luster. The building that was constructed by laying glossy white stones on top of one another, was supported by huge pillars with delicate designs, and the ceiling was in a dome shape. The whole place naturally looked like a cathedral and had a very solemn atmosphere.
It seemed like Hajime and the others were located in the deepest part of the building, on top of a pedestal that was higher than the surrounding area. Hajime looked around, he could only see his classmates with the same dumbfounded expression as him. Apparently, all the students that were present in the classroom at that time was caught in this situation.
Hajime turned around to watch, and as expected, Kaori’s confused figure was there. She did not seem to be injured, so Hajime felt relieved.
After that, perhaps looking for an explanation, everyone gradually shifted their attention to the people around the pedestal. That’s right, Hajime and his classmates were not the only ones in this hall. There were at least thirty people that had both hands crossed in front of their chest, and kneeled as if they were praying. All of them wore a white robe that was embroidered with gold, and they had a staff right next to them. The tip of the staves spread out like a fan, and in place of the ring, several pieces of circular disks hung on top of it.
Among them, an old man around the age of 70 stepped forward, his attire was extremely luxurious even among the white-robed group. He wore a 30 cm tall and delicate thing that looked like an original wizard hat. However, that old man had a domineering aura around him, looking at the wrinkles on his face, as well as his sophisticated eyes, even if people say he was only 50 years old, none would doubt it.
At the same time the staff in his hand was making a “Shing! Shing!” sound, the old man spoke to them with a clear and calming voice that was fitting of his appearance.
“Welcome to Tortus, Hero-sama and his companion. We were expecting you. I am the currently appointed Pope of the Saint’s Church, you may address me as Ishtar Lombard. Let’s get along from now on, no need to exchange conventional greetings.”
After he introduced himself, the old man called Ishtar revealed a smile that was often associated with nice elderly people.
Right now, the place that Hajime and the rest had moved to, had a few ten meter long dining tables lined up side by side. Several great halls they passed by before also had the same kind of dining tables. This hall was just as gorgeous as with the rest, even an amateur could understand; the furnitures, the decorative paintings, the murals, and everything here were the artisan’s supreme masterpiece. Perhaps, this place was used to take a meal or hold a meeting. In the seats of honor were Hatakeyama Aiko-sensei and Kouki’s group of four. After that, the other students took their seats in sequence, Hajime sat at the last spot.
Nobody caused much disturbance as they were guided until here, perhaps their minds were still unable to keep up with reality. Ishtar started to explain the situation, perhaps it was due to the existence of the charismatic Kouki that everyone was able to remain calm. Being surrounded by the students who looked more like the teacher, Aiko-sensei was getting teary-eyed.
When everyone was seated, with amazing timing, the maids entered with pushing carts. That’s right, real maids! These were the genuine maids in every man’s dream, the bishoujo maids! Under this kind of circumstances, the male students were spurred on by their burning desires, most of them fixed their gaze on the maids. However, the girls were sending cold glares at them.
Hajime also couldn’t help but look at the maid that came to serve him… but for some reason he felt a chill down his spine, Hajime promptly set his line of sight straight ahead. At the direction the icy gaze was coming from, Kaori was fixing her gaze on Hajime with a smile from ear to ear for some reason. But of course, Hajime did not notice this.
Ishtar started his explanation after confirming that everyone had received their drinks.
“That… I’m sure you are all confused. I will explain the situation first, I ask of everyone to listen to everything I had to say until the end.”
The words that came out of Ishtar after that were really too fantasy-like, none had any idea of what he was talking about. To put it briefly, first, this world was called Tortus. After that, Tortus was more or less divided into three major races. Humans, Demons, and Demi-humans. The Humans ruled over the northern area. The Demons ruled over the southern area. The Demi-humans lived quietly in the wilderness to the east.
Among these, the war between the Humans and Demons have been ongoing for several centuries. The Demons were inferior in numbers compared to the Humans, but each individual Demons possessed formidable strength, only because of that were they able to contend against the large quantity of Humans. Both sides have not been engaged in a large-scale war over the past few decades, but something abnormal had been taking place in recently. It was the deployment of Magic Beasts by the Demons.
Magic Beasts, they were believed to be existences that transformed from wild animals after absorbing magic power into their body. It was unknown whether they could be classified as a living creature or not. However, each and every one of them could use powerful unique magic, these vermin are strong and ferocious.
Until now, they were always relying on their instinct, the people that can actually tame them are almost nonexistent. Even if they could be tamed, the tamer could only control one or two at most. And this common sense was completely overthrown by the Demons. This signify that the Humans no longer held the advantage in numbers. In other words, the Human race was now facing a crisis.
“The one who has summoned you here was ‘Eht-sama’. He is the Protector God that we Humans worship, the one and only god in the Saint’s Church. He is the Supreme God that created this world. Perhaps Eht-sama had already noticed. If this continues, the Humans will face extinction. You had been summoned to prevent this outcome. The world you come from is ranked higher than ours, every one of you here should possess exceptional power in this world without a doubt. Before the summon took place, Eht-sama passed down an oracle; You are the “salvation” that he sent to us. You must bring out your innate powers, by the will of Eht-sama, overthrow the Demons, and save us mankind!”
Ishtar currently had an absent-minded expression, perhaps he was recalling the time when he heard the oracle. Just as Ishtar had said, more than 90% of the Humans are the followers of the Saint’s Church. Every time, those who heard the oracle was without a doubt someone with huge influence in the Saint’s Church.
He didn’t doubt the “Will of God”, far more than that, he was unable to contain his joy. Hajime felt this world was unreasonably twisted and the sense of crisis that couldn’t be described with words. Suddenly, the person who stood up to protest appeared.
It was Aiko-sensei.
“Please don’t joke around! In the end, all you want is for these children to participate in a war! That kind of thing is absolutely out of question! En, as a teacher, I will absolutely not allow such a thing! Let us go back immediately! Surely, their families must be worried! What you are doing now is merely kidnapping!”
Aiko-sensei who was panting in anger was only 25 years old. She was a very popular social studies teacher. Her petite body was approximately 1.5 meter tall, she had a baby face, and her hair was done in a bob cut. The students couldn’t refrain from smiling recalling the figure of Aiko-sensei who was rushing about all over the place for their sake. Many students wished to protect her after seeing the work hard she did for her students, even though the majority of her efforts were in vain. The students often called her Ai-chan, but if they called her as such in front of the person herself, she would get angry.
This time too, she was angered by the unreasonable summoning, and stood up against it. “Ahh~ Ai-chan is trying her best again……” There were students who were looking at Aiko-sensei talk back to Ishtar with a fuzzy feeling. However, the following words from Ishtar froze them.
“I understand how you’re feeling. However…… It is impossible for you to return now.”
Silence filled the halls. It was as if there was an ice-cold pressure pressing down on them. Everyone gazed at Ishtar with a questioning expression.
“I-impossible…… W-what did you just say? If you can summon us, you should be able to send us back!?”
Aiko-sensei cry out loud.
“As I said earlier, it was Eht-sama that summoned you. We humans do not have the ability to use magic that interferes with another world. Therefore, whether or not you can return is up to Eht-sama to decide.”
Aiko-sensei lost her strength and slumped down on the chair. The students in the surrounding also started to make a ruckus.
“No way!? We really cannot go back anymore?”
“No! Anything but this, let me return!”
“Don’t even joke about the war! What the hell!”
“Why, why, why……”
The students started to panic. On the other hand, Hajime was pretty composed, only because he was an Otaku, he had read about many situations like this before. He had anticipated a few patterns, but this was not the worst thing that could happen, thus he was a lot calmer than the other students. Incidentally, one of the worst pattern was being summoned as a slave.
When everyone was in a difficult situation, Ishtar didn’t have the intention to open his mouth to calm the masses, he only watched the calmly. No, Hajime could feel there was a hint of contempt behind that calm expression. Ishtar was probably thinking why would they be unhappy to be selected by Eht-sama.
When everyone was still panicking, Kouki stood up and slammed the table with a bang. At the same time the students were astonished by the sound, they fixed their gaze on Kouki. When he confirmed that he had everyone’s attention, Kouki began to talk.
“Everyone, it is meaningless to make so much ruckus in front of Ishtar-san. He also had no other choice…… W-what I mean is, let’s fight. It is a fact that the humans of this world are facing a crisis. Ignoring their pleas for help after knowing all this, I cannot do it. Moreover, since we were summoned here to save the mankind, we may be able to return after this is all over…… Ishtar-san, isn’t that right?”
“That’s right. Eht-sama will definitely answer the wishes of the Saviors.”
“We all have special powers right? I’ve indeed felt an unfathomable power surging up within me since coming to this world.”
“En, that’s right. Roughly, each of you should possess powers that are several times to a few dozen times more powerful than the people of this world.”
“En, in that case, I’ll fight. I’ll save the people, and then we can all go home. Regardless of the world or everyone here, I will save them all!”
Kouki clenched his fist tightly as he made this kind of declaration, while pointlessly exposing shiny teeth. However, just at this moment, his charismatic leadership finally took effect. The students who had given up all hope earlier, gradually regained their calmness and vigor. They were looking at Kouki with sparkling eyes, that was the expression one would reveal when they found hope in despair. Half of the female students sent feverish glances at him.
“Ah damn, once you put it like that. It would be worrisome to let you go alone…… I’ll also fight.”
“You are not the only one here…… I can’t watch this any longer…… I’ll fight too.”
“Eh, u-um, if Shizuku is going, I’ll also try my best!”
The usual group of four were in favor with Kouki. After that, the rest of the classmates also expressed their approval and went with the flow. Aiko-sensei shouted “Noo~” with teary eyes, but her tears was powerless in the face of the mood set by Kouki.
As a result, the entire student body will be participating in the war. Perhaps the students did not truly understand what it meant to go to war. Perhaps it was a means to escape reality and prevent their minds from breaking apart. While thinking these kind of things, Hajime secretly observed Ishtar, and saw him expose a very satisfied expression on his face.
Hajime noticed how Ishtar was secretly observing Kouki while explaining the circumstances. He predicted what kind of action that he would take. When he talked about the tragedy that befalls mankind, it was easy to understand Kouki’s reaction due to his strong sense of justice. After that, he specifically emphasized the cruelty of the Demons. Perhaps Ishtar had already seen through everything, he could tell who had the most influence in this group.
This should only come as natural for the elder of the world’s largest religion, they are people one should be careful with. Hajime added Ishtar as someone to be careful of in his head.