The King glanced briefly over to the Princess before speaking.
“You 12 were not not chosen by us. But instead by the 12 Holy Spirits themselves.”
“So your summoning pattern is just an intermediary?”
The Princess turned to smile at the shortie’s brother.
Oh, brother. What an ikemen…
“Exactly! It was a gift to the royal family so they can act as the summoner of their chosen saints. You see, we have the sacred duty of bringing you here, educating you and getting you to your respective domains. That way the balance of Pangora is ensured and -”
She really likes to drone on this Princess of theirs…
“In other words, you being here and returning is the will of the Holy Spirits.”
Ayumi rolled her eyes at the prince.
That’s a noble’s pride for you. Excited over titles they themselves didn’t earn.
“Our respectable domains?”
12 spirits. 12 temples. It’s obvious… The real question is how many are in this country or are there even any other countries that have this system.
The King clapped his hands. The doors behind them opened and an assortment of twelve people in different religious garbs walked in.
“Each Holy Spirit has its own domain in this world. The domains host the head temples of worship. And the temples are in turn run by the descendents of the past saints. After you have been properly educated you shall become the heads of your respective Holy Spirit’s temple. And then the head of the domain.”
Properly educated…What a slip.
The Princess smiled as she continued her father’s words.
“The first step is for you all to discover which Holy Spirit chose you. Afterwards, we will introduce you to your Priest. Please, turn towards the sacred descents and say Ascente.”
Now it’s a forced game tutorial?
“Ascente” x 12
After Ayumi said the words she could feel her body beginning to grow numb. All twelve seemed to suddenly be surrounded with lights.
It feels cold. No, wet.
Ayumi could see the tiny flickering image of a rat in front of her. WHen it turned its head to look at her she gasped.
The night sky? The stars? Ocean waves? And children… There are tons of children.
As the light dimmed Ayumi and the others could feel themselves starting to settle. The Kings laughter breaking the silence.
“We did not expect the girl to be the Rat’s Saintess.”
Ayumi watched him hit the arm rest part of his throne. The noble, Bartholomew, and the Prince were glaring at Ayumi as if she was a Demon Lord. The Princess on the other hand seemed finally relieved.
“How wonderful, father.”
The Princess turned to Ayumi.
“The Holy Spirit of the Rat is the closest to the Creator Spirit Amaria.”
Eh, isn’t this becoming just a little bit too cliched?
“And then what? Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar…”
Ayumi turned her head at the sound of laughter. The shortie’s eyes were sparkling; while, kimono girl was laughing, Arisa was sighing and stalker-san was beginning to work out the energy to shout again.
“It seems you are well suited for your chosen duty, young Saintess.”
She rolled her eyes at the King.
“On the contrary, I have gained even less desire to be a part of this. Please, at least provide me with enough funds for the average commoner to survive three months, directions to an establishment I can gain easy employment at that is not related to the selling of my body to high tempered nobles, such as the noble personage Bartholomew, and the basic introduction of this world’s monetary system, political systems and of course a guarantee of safety within your Empire.”
Bartholomew’s face turned bright red. While the jokester of the group, the one standing in the Dog’s spot started to snicker.
“You really will not stay?”
Ayumi shook her head no.
“As you cannot return me to my world or give me a degree of professional freedom I shall choose to allow Kichirou-sama to receive my blessing.”
“Tch. For the glorious Kichirou-sama to be worried about her.”
“Let her go, Kichirou. Ayumi is not needed. She will only poison the well.”
What noisy peanut gallery.
“Please wait, Saintess of the Rat…Ayumi-sama! You cannot give up your blessing. On only one occasion has a Saint to be gone to their temple and be reused their spirits gifts to be given to another. And your temple is the first blessing. The closest blessing! The others can’t receive their blessings until the Rat Spirit is fulfilled.”
Ah, Princess. I was almost out of this.
“Not my problem, Princess.”
Ayumi turned to the King.
“I suppose my demands are fair for both sides?”
The King frowned.
“You would condemn eleven others for this?”
“Not just eleven others. I’d condemn your entire world your Majesty Mendacium Von Carter Gallahand.”
The King turned to look at one of the Priests. Ayumi could see a pale bluish grey light light in the center of his chest. She could also see the large smile on his face.
“The Holy Rat Spirit makes no mistakes your majesty. If the Saintess of the Rat is destined for her then perhaps she must simply journey first.”
The King turned to the others.
“I’ll stay for now….”
“Of course, I’ll be with Kichirou-sama!”
“I will not live on an a commoner’s salary. Besides, I must look after, Kichirou.”
“I’ll stay for the Princess!…I mean, I’ll stay for Pangora.”
“I can’t very well and leave my brother now can I.”
“I don’t see the where else we can go for now.”
“That’s the spirit Kimono girl. It can be one giant friendly gathering.”
“I would never tarnish my skin with living the dirty life of a commoner. I shall stay in the suite you have provided.”
“Aika will stay! Aika wants to get to know everyone since we seem to be stuck here.”
“Sure. Why not.”
“Shinrinyoku Yoshiyuki, present!”
Ayumi turned away from the others and looked back at the King.
“Alright. We must respect the Saintess to be’s will. I shall allow Perseus yo escort you with the items you have requested.
Some Knight in well polished black armor bowed. However, the Queen shook her head no.
“No, Perseus shall remain here. Our son, Regem, should escort her. As a show of good faith.”
Ah, Queen I forgot you were even here. She seems more dangerous then her husband with eyes like that.
“No complaints, Regem. Go on.”
The Prince walked over and grabbed Ayumi’s arm, pulling her towards the large doors.
What no goodbye? I’m not that rude.
“Be more gentle, Regem!”
Ayumi’s eyes meeting Kichirou’s just before the doors slammed shut in between them.
Better Off Alone – Alice Deejay
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