Here is another chapter! And, finally we meet him~
ED: clover, eristol
Ignitia is the only country that brought the faith of God to this Federal Kingdom.
It is not only the home of the dragons but also the home of the church and the cathedral.
However, it can’t be called a religious nation.
Ignitia, which is a former country of the Romulus Empire – the ancient empire of the southern continent Karkinos – learned the open-minded way of religion and freedom from the empire and practiced it when they became the ruler of the Ichthyes continent.
They integrated with the local religions by syncretism of gods or by incorporating their gods as a saint or an angel.
Religious circumstances of the Federal Kingdom were established by a policy not to completely overwrite the local religions.
Thanks to that, the northern Lucanrant continues the faith of wolf god Holle1, the eastern polytheism is still valid and the western faith of Bren is also active.
The god of the northern Lucanrant, Holle, became St. Horatius.
The eastern Hafan practices polytheism, but the Chief God is the only one identified as a God and the rest of the gods are regarded as an angel or a saint.
Bren the god of the western Aurelia, as you know, also became St. Brendan.
Apparently, before Ignitia arrived on Ichthyes they seemed to have a pagan god.
That makes me quite understand the interior of this cathedral.
The cathedral of the royal capital of Ignitia was originally the building for Ignitia’s royal castle.
Therefore, it is especially more complicated compared to the other cathedrals.
In this vast cathedral with complicated structure, many paintings, sculptures and mural paintings are displayed.
But, for the moment there are no figures of God among the exhibits I have seen so far.
Because there is no circumstance like a ban on statues, he seems to be a low-key God.
Instead, the interior of the cathedral is a treasure house of phantom beasts and magical beasts that should be originating from paganism.
A relief of a beast that looks like a centaur whose upper body is that of a person and the lower body is that of a horse.
A religious painting with the drawing of a man with four heads on one torso who has a mouth on his abdomen.
A cup in which a humanoid monstro like the first one is carved.
A statue of a goddess with ten or more breasts.
Just by looking around, I found lots of such things.
Even an angel had been designed with the motif of another god on the southern continent.
I was able to see the familiar story of Kingdom of Ignitia on the scriptures as I proceeded along the way, and if I veered away a little from there I would be able to follow the story of each ethnic derivation.
“Church-related buildings are also huge books for faithful believers who cannot read letters, Tir.”
『So this is an alternative altar, huh. It’s a bit of a mess.』
The scriptures are only transcribed using the language used in Ancient Romulus Empire.
Therefore, I can’t read the scriptures yet.
I only know within the range that father and brother had read aloud.
That is why, these scriptures that have pictures to go along with are very fresh.
Although, due to the deep cultural differences and my curiosity, it is a fact that my eyes were moving about.
I was enjoying myself without a care, choosing the path that was full of monstro.
We went around the complicated cathedral aimlessly while ignoring the regular route.
Somehow, maybe because I struggled for a niche hobby and that there were only Tirnanog and I in the surroundings, I didn’t worry about it.
Even if something happens, there is the reliable Tirnanog.
In the first place, I haven’t raised a death flag yet.
In the meantime, we arrived at an area where there was excessive splendor and seemed to have used a staggering amount of money.
Moreover, the story which was painted on the wall was familiar somehow.
What appeared before our eyes was a mural painting of a saint who was swallowed and drifted away by an enormous sea creature.
No matter how I look at it, it closely resembles the content of this iron golem.
No way, is the huge monstro Zaratan a famous being?
『What’s wrong, Erica?』
“This, what do you think?”
『Oh, ooooohhh! It’s my figure!』
“No matter how you look at this, this is Tir, or Zaratan…”
『Kukukuku! So the barbarians of the South worship me! Of course!』
“Well, I wonder how this happened……”
I feel like I can’t afford to buy this bad taste.
I believe it was made by craftsmen from Aurelia who were brought during the cathedral construction.
There were areas harmoniously crafted by Hafan’s craftsmen, which were rather tasteful and astringent, and the areas made by Lucanrant’s craftsmen had a simple and warm style.
There are many Zaratans in other mural paintings in the surroundings.
A story where a ship carrying a saint mistook Zaratan who was floating in the sea for an island and landed.
A story where the people that rode on the back of a huge creature were hit by great flood caused by a divine punishment.
The subject themselves are common stories all over the world, but it is Zaratan, not a whale or turtle, who was drawn.
This beast is surprisingly loved.
“Do you like this mural?”
『Umu. The form of these horns are good. The painters were the ones who understood my coolness well.』
『Umu—that’s right, do not worry about me, you can go looking around. I will know where you are by your smell. I will enjoy my mural a little longer.』
“Is that so? Well then, I’ll accept your kind offer.”
While leaving behind Tirnanog who was appreciating the mural painting of Zaratan more than the painting itself, I also continued to follow the works and steadily progressed along the monstro pictures route.
Because it was the aim, I wanted to appreciate what could only be seen in Ignitia.
So, it is the inherent belief-like part of the South that I mainly checked.
I also thought of it while preparing, but the original belief in Ignitia had a sense of ‘not being very holy’ monotheism.
A flock of monstro that look like Hyakki Yagyō2.
History of saints suffering from such things like martyrdom.
Heroes who had helps from angels, dragons and strange-looking monstro.
Except for the saints and heroes, all of them were depicted as monstro with bad aftertaste in elaborate artworks.
“How unusual. No way, I haven’t seen any visitors looking at those artworks except for me.”
I heard someone’s voice.
I looked back towards where the voice was coming from.
From the stained glass, a light shining in seven colors was cast.
A boy was walking in that light.
Looking at him from inside the dim room, it looked as if the light in the back was surrounding him.
My eyes gradually got used to the light.
He was a bit older than me, maybe a little bit younger than the eastern young noble Klaus Hafan.
Sparkling sunshine, smooth blonde hair about the shoulder length.
Clear amethyst eyes.
Pure white skin that was not burned on the day.
He looked like a statue – or the neat facial appearance of someone out of a shoujo manga.
Among the people of Ignitia who were already reputed as beautiful, he was pretty beautiful.
A small golden dragon cuddled up on his shoulder.
I also felt that the color of its scales was in harmony with the boy’s golden hair, which was a dark color for those of Ignitia.
Huh? He’s a boy, right? He really looks like a girl, though.
If he is a girl, he would easily place first or second as the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen in my two lives.
A white shirt, a black ribbon around his neck, black pants, and a pair of knee-high boots—yup, he’s a boy, alright.
“Who are you?”
“Heeh, you don’t know me?”
His statue-like expression broke and he smiled like a mischievous prankster.
Is he a celebrity?
Certainly, he is a beautiful, eye-catching boy.
Maybe a son of a noble?
Or, is he a boy actor from a famous theatrical company in the royal capital?
“Hmm, this is convenient for me.”
He stroked the golden dragon with a gentle gesture.
Oh, this person is beautiful from his head to the tip of his nail.
When he looked down a little, I could see splendid eyelashes that few could match.
“……What do you mean? I wonder what is convenient for you.”
“Oops, about this. Please don’t mind it.”
However, there are circumstances that people don’t want to be questioned at any rate.
Unless it does extraordinary damage to me, I wonder if I can let him deceive me for a while.
He makes me feel that way.
But, I’d like to hear about his name once.
“I am Erica, you are?”
“Oops, I’m getting ahead of myself. I apologize for my rudeness. I am the son of the clergy here and my baptismal name was ‘Angel’. What are you doing in a place like this, Erica-ojousan?”
He called himself an angel.
Usually, if someone else had said that, I would’ve burst into laughter.
But, I feel like I can forgive him since he is this beautiful.
I don’t know the custom of Ignitia, but it seems likely that the clergy’s son’s name is ‘Angel.’
“I just came from the West……um, I was just sightseeing.”
“Well, if you are an alchemist of Aurelia, then that energetic iron golem that I saw over there is yours, Ojou-san?”
“Heeh, amazing~~! To think that such a small lady can manipulate that thing.”
I kept affirming while diverting my eyes.
If I keep telling lies forever, it seems that I will become surprisingly stressed out.
『What’s wrong, Erica. An enemy?』
While making light footsteps, Tirnanog came closer.
Oh, he is fast.
I should have walked around for quite a while, but he found me already?
As expected of our family’s guardian beast.
“Do not attack. This person is the son of a priest of this cathedral……in other words, he is safe.”
『I see, that’s too bad.』
“Also, please be quiet for a little bit.”
『Umu. Leave it to me. I am always quiet.』
The self-proclaimed Angel-san suddenly held Tirnanog to his chest.
Angel-san was looking inside from the gap between armor.
For some reason, his golden dragon also looked at Tirnanog’s eyes with a somewhat overwhelmingly suspicious expression.
Hii, it would be bad if his identity is exposed.
“Heeh, this is interesting. So golem can move naturally like this……Oh, are you also interested in this, Goldberry?”
“How does it work? Hm? It looks like there is something inside—”
“U-um, I……I may be from Aurelia, but I am not that good at alchemy.”
“I cannot do the conversion of magical power well, so I used a golem creation technique by directly engraving spells on the metal.”
“I see, even within your weak field, you made efforts to do what you can and made it this far. You’re a hard worker, huh~?”
“That’s why, I feel embarrassed if you keep looking at that child so much. My coarse work may be seen.”
“Hm~ I think it’s a good idea. I don’t know much about golems.”
With a mysterious expression, he kept looking at me and Tirnanog alternately.
Uh, it is painful to be seen with those pure eyes.
I feel that the lie in my heart is becoming a burden.
I should change the topic.
“A, ah! Excuse me!”
“Do you have any suggestion on the murals of the cathedral? I would like you to tell me if there is a place that I would regret not seeing!”
I diverted the conversation with a lack of casual topics and recaptured Tirnanog from the arms of Angel-san.
Fuuh, it is better to be slow and steady rather than being hasty.
Especially this time, I feel like the golden dragon named Goldberry is already suspecting something.
I am afraid of the intuition of the wild, so I have to take a precaution.
If Tirnanog is kidnapped, I would have no excuse for my ancestors.
“Alright~ You have shown me interesting things. In return, I also have to show a great thing to you, Ojou-san.”
“If you like this kind of slightly disgusting things, then there is only that place. I will show you the place with the rarest and strangest things.”
“Eeh……is it alright?”
“But I will get angry if it leaks out. It’s a special service for you only, Erica-ojousan, a big service of lavish hospitality!”
In a dramatic gesture, he bowed exaggeratedly.
This is a good omen.
I got a beautiful and friendly tourist guide who is familiar with the church here.
Isn’t this quite lucky?
Thus, I decided to ask the boy named ‘Angel’ to be a guide for the cathedral tour.
1 Holle was taken from the German folklore, Frau Holle, who is known as the feminine spirit of woods and plants. (source)
2 Hyakki Yagyō or Night Parade of One Hundred Demons is a concept in Japanese folklore. It is a parade which is composed of a hundred kinds of demons. (source)