|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1124 words|
The church the Pope took me to was located near the main street of the seventh ward. However, it did not face the main street directly, so the roads around it were a little messier.
The front of the church was a wide garden, and it seemed to be the place they were using to distribute emergency food.
“Half-demons also come for emergency food quite often.”
“Huh, is that so? Still, it’s weird for the Pope herself to make it.”
“I often told the same to Maria too. But now I can understand what she felt then. It is a strange feeling.”
The Pope answered with a cheerful laugh. Apparently, the reason she had slipped out of the main temple was to help out with the food distribution here.
“Maria at the time had been called the next Pope, but she always did this kind of work on her own.”
“She delivers food to the orphanage children even in our village.”
“I am glad to hear that she has not changed. Err, I have not heard your name yet.”
“Ah, I’m Nicole.”
“I see, I am Ashella. Nice to meet you.”
She extended her hand without erasing her smile. Her hand was surprisingly full of scratches, traces of manual labor. It seemed that she was doing such things quite frequently.
After we exchanged a handshake, she pulled me by the hand as is, leading me to a room inside the church. It seemed to be a waiting room used for performing sermons, with small chairs and a table with a water jug on it.
“We have no tea snacks, so please make do with this.”
While saying it, she poured water from the jug and offered me the cup. It was as if she wanted me to drink it right away. Her aggressive nature seemed somewhat similar to Maria’s.
“Ah yes, we had to talk about those eyes of yours.”
“Yes, do you know something about them?”
“I am not aware of the details. But I can tell that they have a strong charming power.”
But the God of Destruction said it was a weak charm. It was different from that.
“Strong, you say. That much?”
“Yes. When I was attacked, you screamed, ‘stop’ and the man stopped, yes? That happened because he was taken over by your power and his movements were restrained.”
“I didn’t plan to restrain—”
“Even if you did not intend it, your power acted on its own to grant your wish. I cannot call a power capable of that weak.”
If so, then the God of Destruction was the wrong one here. Well, it was not surprising for that goddess to make some slip-up or a blunder. She had the most annoying human traits.
More importantly, to think my eyes held such power… No wonder God Hastur gave me this eyepatch.
“Ah, that reminds me, I forgot to thank you.”
“Of course! For protecting me, and for stopping the riot of the half-demons. They are proper humans too, after all.”
“So you accept their existence?”
As far as the World Tree religion was concerned, half-demons were foreign substances for this world. Her stance was quite odd, given that she was the top authority of that very religion.
But she tilted her head in puzzlement at my words.
“Of course I do. There was a half-demon even among the Six Heroes that saved this world. What reason is there to discriminate.”
“Was Ma… Was mother also like that in the past?”
Back when we first met, Maria was, well not exactly cold, but quite indifferent towards me. I was quite used to such gazes, so I just ignored it… but my choice turned out to be correct and she gradually softened up towards me.
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Due to such experiences, I took the World Tree religion as exclusivist towards half-demons. However, I was surprised to find out that Maria of that time had a friend like her. I couldn’t help but think that Maria used to be discriminative.
“Well, I can not deny that she had such a disposition. However, that was the result of the education of those around her. Since she had not lived as long as I, it was natural that she got influenced by other people’s opinions. I am ashamed to admit it, but there are many people among the cardinals who hold such beliefs…”
“And they are stronger even now. It is not going well. More importantly, I was surprised by you. To think Maria’s daughter of all people would stand up to protect the half-demons.”
“That’s… uhh… There was a half-demon among the Six Heroes, so.”
“Oh, yes, Lord Reid!”
She clapped her hands with a bright smile. It seems that even Pope Ashella was infatuated by the past me. Makes me strangely proud.
“I heard about him from Maria. He was apparently a really wussy boy.”
“There was a girl he liked among his comrades, but was dense enough to not even realize it. Yet he kept trying to show off and troubled people.”
“And he did not even realize the fact that he was quite popular, even saying things like he would be single forever?”
“Oh, I’ll definitely make her cry for this.”
She even leaked the information to outsiders. I mean, I guess there were irrefutable parts to it, but I’m not forgiving her for badmouthing her comrade.
Besides, you’re pretty black-hearted yourself. Saint my a̲s̲s̲!
“But she was happy that she gained a troublesome little brother. I had never seen her look so happy before.”
“Really. So I also wanted to meet him while he was alive.”
She lowered her gaze with those words. Perhaps someone precious to Maria, who was like a little sister to her, was also special to her too.
Thinking that, I suddenly remembered about Maria. I remember Cortina wrote a memo for her, asking for help. If it had reached her, she was probably worried that I wasn’t around.
“Oh right. I can’t stand for too long, she’s going to worry…”
“Ah, you are right. Maria can be a worrywart.”
“Sorry. Please let me hear more when an opportunity allows.”
“Of course. I will welcome you with open arms anytime.”
“Ah, well, I’ll be leaving this city in three days, so…”
“Then, l will put a ban on that.”
“Oh come on!”
Even though I knew she was joking, she had enough authority to actually do it so I felt chills. Still, getting to know her was worth the current riot. Although getting rid of it was probably impossible, she would still mitigate the discrimination against half-demons one day. I was convinced of that now.