Behind the Scenes 01: Saint Summoning Ceremony
A little while ago.
In the Slantania Kingdom a gloomy atmosphere engulfed a room at the royal palace.
“Well then shall we hear the report?”
The Prime Minister, Dominique Goltz said with a perplexed expression.
There were eight people sitting on the left and right of the conference table: the Defence Minister, the Interior Ministers, all Knight Order’s Captains, the Court Mage Division’s Head Magician and lastly, the King sat at the far end of the table.
It was Joseph Hawk, the Defence Minister who spoke next. His low heavy voice echoed.
“The situation has not changed, it is still unfavourable. Each of the Knight Orders have been sequentially subjugating and we have somehow managed to withstand it. But at this rate, the demons will eventually flood the forest.”
Demons are born when a certain concentration of miasma was gathered. The stronger the miasma was, the stronger the demon was. Miasma occurred relatively close to humans and it was still unknown as to why miasma occurred. Miasma easily accumulates in dark places where people do not live: such as forests and caves.
It wouldn’t have been a problem if it only accumulated but demons were born from it. Those demons migrated near villages and towns, causing harm to humans. The miasma in the surrounding area became thinner when a demon was defeated. The thickening of miasma could be prevented by continuously defeating demons.
In peaceful times, it was possible to prevent the demons from flooding villages and towns thanks to the Knight Order’s periodic subjugations. However in Slantania, once every few generations there was a period when the speed of the miasma thickening exceeded the speed at which the demons were defeated. This was what was happening at the current time.
The Knight Orders coped with it by raising the frequency of their subjugations. However since the number of subjugation increased year by year according to the miasma, the Defence Minister and the knights agreed that they could only endure it for another year or two. If they couldn’t withstand it, then the demons would flood out from places that easily accumulated miasma and attack the surrounding villages and towns.
The Interior Minister, Alphonse Hummel, spoke after the Defence Minister.
“Various aristocrats have also reported that it has become increasingly difficult to cope with the miasma.”
The Knight Orders subjugated the demons in the outskirts of the capital but regional aristocrats appointed people in their territories for subjugation. Those appointed people were not farmers but mercenaries from various places.
The mercenaries gathered together to form mercenary groups. The feudal lords commissioned the mercenary groups to subjugate demons in exchange for a reward. That was how they maintained the safety of their territories. But the rewards that the feudal lord gave out couldn’t match up with the amount of demons and coping with them became difficult.
Mercenary groups were also putting their lives on the line. If the reward was too low, they wouldn’t work, even if it was for somewhere they lived. If the mercenary groups didn’t work for some reason or if one mercenary group, alone, was not enough, sometimes the Knight Orders at the Royal Palace would lend a hand. However, they had their hands full with the situation around the capital and weren’t in any position to help out the other territories.
The Prime Minister further deepened the crease between his eyebrows at the response given by the Defence Minister and Interior Minister. Next Michael Huber, the Special Division’s Captain, was asked a question.
“How is the search for Saint-sama?”
“…… I am sorry to say but we have yet to find her.”
Huber’s voice was also gloomy and heavy.
In times when the miasma thickened, a maiden called the Saint would appear somewhere in the kingdom. The purifying magic used by the Saint was powerful and made it possible to defeat the demons one after another. Because of the Saint’s appearance, they could overcome the period by suppressing the flooding demons.
From that continuous history, at that time, they anticipated the Saint’s appearance somewhere in Slantania and so the Special Division searched in various places. They believed that they would immediately find the Saint but contrary to their expectations, three years had passed since they’d began their search and they still haven’t found her yet.
The Special Division earnestly searched the kingdom around every nook and cranny before the steadily approaching time of destruction. But they never found her, they’d thought she wasn’t born yet and visited the same places many times. But still they couldn’t find the Saint.
A heavy silence fell upon the room.
“Would you like to rely on a legend?”
Yuuri Dreves, the Court Mage Division’s Head Magician, quietly grumbled. His whisper resounded throughout the quiet room and everyone sitting at the table turned to look at Dreves. Dreves glanced at the surroundings and slowly lifted the documents placed in front of him.
“There is a ceremony called the【Saint Summoning Ceremony】.”
“That is…… That certainly is a famous story but isn’t it just a fairy-tale?”
“No, it is a true story. The contents of the ceremony are written in here.”
“What did you say?”
“There was a grimoire detailing the ceremony performed at that time amongst the books stored in the prohibited book chamber.”
“Are the contents reliable?”
“I do not know. The method is written in here but the procedure is quite complex. A number of mages will also be needed to perform the ceremony. There’s a 50% chance of success or failure.”
“Something like that……”
“But I think that it is better to try it out rather than wait and do nothing as the demons overflow.”
The【Saint Summoning Ceremony】was a ceremony constructed in ancient times when the Saint did not appear no matter how thick the miasma got; just like the situation they were encountering. The sages in the past used all their knowledge to construct this ceremony in order to summon a maiden who would become the Saint from far away.
It sounded like this ceremony was exactly what they needed, but the ceremony had only been performed once, at the time of its creation and had since been dormant until it was needed again. Therefore, even if they performed the ceremony, they were uncertain about whether or not it would succeed.
Many mages and tools were needed for the ceremony so even just performing it was costly.mIt wasn’t worth it to perform the ceremony in peaceful times, but since they were already approaching their limits, such trifle things weren’t a problem.
The King, who sat silently while listening to the conversations around him, spoke.
“We will perform the 【Saint Summoning Ceremony】. Court Mage Division, start the preparations immediately. Everyone else, continue with your duties.”
Thus for the first time in hundreds of years, the Slantania Kingdom performed the【Saint Summoning Ceremony】.
The【Saint Summoning Ceremony】succeeded.
A maiden from a different world was summoned by the ceremony. However a problem occurred. Two maidens were summoned. According to the documents, up until they did the ceremony again, only one Saint has ever appeared at a time. Was one of them the Saint? Or were they both Saints? Or were none of them Saint? The only person who could judge this was the Court Mage Division’s Head Magician, who’d collapsed due to the backlash of the ceremony, and was currently sleeping at the time.
More problems occurred.
The leaders of Slantania only learnt about the existence of the two saint candidates on the following day after the 【Saint Summoning Ceremony】was performed. The success of the ceremony was immediately reported to the King by the Crown Prince, who had desired to supervise the ceremony, himself. The Crown Prince had only reported that the 【Saint】had been safely summoned, he made no mentions of the number of people summoned.
At that moment, the leaders of the kingdom thought that things were finally going to settle down, but they were at their wits end when they were notified the next day. They were notified that for some reason the Crown Prince only greeted one of the saint candidates and that he’d left the other candidate behind in the room.
Furthermore, the other saint candidate tried to leave the castle because she was angry at the Crown Prince for ignoring her and leaving her there. Fortunately because of the knights who were stationed there took action, they were somehow able to stop her from leaving immediately, but the leaders could guess that her impression of the kingdom was considerably bad.
“I wonder what she’s doing now……”
The King’s tired and exhausted voice resounded throughout the place.