And so…a few days passed after that.
Today, we are in the spacious grounds.
Right now we are literally in the middle of cherry blossom viewing.
The place was being filled with the merriness of drinking and singing.
At first, the residents were hesitant to eat and drink in a shrine that reveres Gods, but after a while into the cherry blossom viewing, they are completely enjoying it.
Explaining a variety of things probably played a big part as well.
Just that…even though this is the first cherry blossom viewing we will have, there were a number of sea races that were unable to participate.
This place isn’t that far from the sea.
Even so, I can’t move the shrine.
I was thinking about postponing the event because of that, but at that time, Serwhale-san requested me permission to expand the sea and reduce the land.
And said that we should do a cherry blossom viewing with everyone in the future after a few more times.
The Neptunes and Sari decided on the races that would be participating in the viewing this time, and has become a scene where the sea and land races are participating together.
Serwhale-san is currently drinking Sake, eating food, and enjoying the cherry blossom viewing with the land and sea races without exception.
…As I thought, Serwhale-san is truly worthy of being called as ‘-san’.
The crab people are beginning to dance, and the tuna people were earnestly looking at the cherry blossoms and the flowers as they drink the Japanese Sake of Asora in a small cup.
The other person that worked hard in this, Sari, was at my side in the beginning, but when I told her to move around the place, she obediently went to the many other races -centered mainly in women- and was enjoying herself in a calm manner.
Even now…eh? She is not there.
I search for Sari with my eyes.
I found Sari who is now sprawled at the top of a tree branch for some reason.
Ah, she is being brought down by the Lorelais.
This place has a large variety of drinks after all.
She probably drank a mix of things and got drunk.
It seems like there are people nursing them, so there’s no need for me to go.
“An open and tolerant God, is it. It is certainly true that in Edo there were festivals at the Shinto shrines, and it had become a place where people gather and enjoy their time. It is a hard to comprehend part, but after doing it myself and seeing it with my own eyes, I am kind of beginning to understand.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe is with me.
She is not the type that makes much of a racket. It seems she likes to do things in a calm manner.
Well, a cherry blossom viewing is something like that.
There are people that consider the cherry blossoms as a simple excuse to hang out, and there are people who truly enjoy looking at the cherry blossoms.
There are people that consider the drinking as the priority, and there are also people that prefer to go through the many food carts.
Sometimes people consider morning is better, some that night is.
Even so, there’s no need to fight over it.
I think that people have different ways to enjoy things.
You don’t need to get in the way of the enjoyment of others and just enjoy it in your own way.
“It is not like the people of the past viewed their God lightly and made a racket, okay? As long as you possess the emotion of respect as the root, I don’t think the actions that come naturally from it are strange.” (Makoto)
That’s how I think.
There are many unconventional festivals as well, but that doesn’t mean we are looking down on the Gods.
Being merry doesn’t equal to insurrection.
Of course, it is not only on the basis of respecting the Gods, and there’s also the motivation that they will do their best on their next festival.
All of those points together make me like the festivals and the events in the Shinto shrines.
That’s why I am happy that I was able to enjoy cherry blossom viewing in Asora even if it’s slightly different.
If customary grand festivals and seasonal events are born, it would be great.
It has already been decided that there will be a gate connecting this Shinto shrine from the land and the sea.
This is something that I will definitely do.
I want them to visit the shrine at ease, and even if it is a religion, I don’t want them to get lost or have people die like in the Ise pilgrimage.
“There’s someone managing the place, and since the place is so spacious, it can even be used to teach the children.” (Tomoe)
“In my opinion, it doesn’t need to turn into a learning place. I would be happy if it simply becomes one of the places where people can just enjoy their time.” (Makoto)
“Yes. Whatever the case, we have to be grateful for the Gods that have gifted us something nice.” (Tomoe)
Drinking her small cup of Sake, Tomoe looked satisfied.
Her change of mood is kind of…fast.
With the matter of the shrine maiden-san, Tomoe seemed to be kind of snappy, but right now, there’s no signs of that.
Mio, who is mostly just by my side, was also like that, but right now, she is going around the various food carts and bringing me food.
Even though I am not sure if I can finish the stacked boxes of food that we brought for the cherry blossom viewing.
She really is merciless.
I thought I had eaten quite a lot, and yet, I feel like the amount of food has increased, and I am pretty sure it is not just my imagination.
I also feel like the stacked boxes of food are not matching the numbers of before…
“Well, Mio is enjoying herself in her own way, so that’s fine huh.” (Makoto)
Looking at Mio who is easily slipping through the tumult of people and drunks, I give up on the choice of eating everything.
I will just do my best to my utmost limit.
That’s for the best, probably.
“Waka-sama, regarding the magic power that is being taken when paying visits to the shrine, it seems like it isn’t to the point of bringing any harm to someone’s health.” (Shiki)
“Shiki, I told you that it is fine to take a break from work right now. In the first place, Touda told us that already.” (Makoto)
“However, it seems like there’s differences between people and considering that it is not a set amount, I thought it would be best to investigate just in case…” (Shiki)
“Well, yeah. Thanks, Shiki. For now, come drink and eat. Also, watching the many flowers that Touda has bloomed is kind of nice, you know?” (Makoto)
Touda made the cherry blossoms bloom just like she said.
There are many varieties of cherry blossoms, and there’s also the ones that only bloom in summer and fall.
In Japan, this spectacle can only be seen after growing them in a greenhouse and setting up the appropriate environment, and yet, this view is being spread in this grounds and in the forest.
It is quite the sight.
People that like this could probably be able to stay here for several days looking at it.
“No! I have a mountain of things to do like investigate the vegetation of this land and the environment of this forest.” (Shiki)
“Rejected. You will do cherry blossom viewing. Your work is done.” (Makoto)
“If Shiki is working, other people might begin doing it as well. That’s why, today is a holiday. You have done plenty enough with just the investigation regarding the shrine visiting.” (Makoto)
Shiki has an addiction with work.
I also have a lot of work that I have to prioritize over sleep, so I do understand his feelings though.
In my case, as long as there’s nothing real big, I will certainly be working everyday, but…I don’t think that’s the same as being an addict to work.
The words that Shiki says: ‘I am okay’ and ‘I have free time’, I am beginning to understand that taking those words of his in face value is dangerous.
How to say it, this disposition of his is contagious or should I say, birds of a feather flock together.
The subordinates of Shiki and the people that are closely related to him have the same trait.
Different from Tomoe and Mio, he was originally a hyuman, which is probably playing a big part in it.
Mio and Tomoe seem to have found sleeping as pleasant, but it looks like Shiki was not the type who liked sleep to begin with.
I remember him saying that when he became a Lich and was unable to sleep anymore, he was delighted.
Sadly to say, even when he made a pact with me and obtained a hyuman body, for some reason, he still possesses that constitution of being okay even if he doesn’t sleep -no, maybe it is more fitting to call it an ability.
It does seem like his workplace is the same, so I would like him to be a bit moderate with that special constitution of his.
For now, it looks like he is obediently doing cherry blossom viewing, but I am unsure if he will be able to hold for 30 minutes. It is Shiki after all.
“Touda, about the shrine visiting, I didn’t ask the detailed parts like the differences between people and the issue that it isn’t a fixed amount of magic power taken. There won’t be any problems occurring with that, right?” (Makoto)
After that fight on the name of a custom, we returned to the Shinto shrine with Touda, and we heard from her about the three temples counting the Shinto shrine.
From what she said, what I didn’t know at all was about the part about the homage, worshipping, and praying; well, in other words, the parts that were done when praying in front of Gods.
Saying it simply, just like when someone pays homage in a shrine with money, you also consume magic power here.
“Of course. Well, there are always exceptions in everything, but regarding the difference in individuals, it is simply to consume magic power that’s fitting depending on the capacity of the person. For people that have ten thousand, a hundred is taken: for people that have a hundred, one is taken. That’s how it would work. So it would mean, the people would be offering around 1% of their total in normal visits.” (Touda)
Touda was actively making contact with the residents.
When called, she would immediately appear close and answer, which was slightly mysterious.
The Orcs, Eldwas, Mist Lizards, Arkes, Winged-kin, Gorgons, and the fairies that are traumatized by Ema; it felt like she was going around introducing herself to everyone.
Truly a business-like attitude.
Thinking about her role here and in the Kuzunoha Company, I feel like she has the disposition for deployment.
Just that, in my opinion, if I were to go head hunting for personnel, rather than people who are outstanding, I would prefer people that have reasonable skills and will be working together until the end.
I have finally noticed that those are the requirements I am looking for.
It is also because we haven’t done the pact yet, but I feel like Touda is the former type.
I feel some sort of stiffness in her that’s hard to express in words.
It doesn’t only apply to her. I have felt this kind of thing a lot of times while in this world.
In the companies of the Showa era, being diligent was more important than skill when looking for personnel, but it is probably an old way of thinking in this era.
But leaving aside the seniority system, I am thinking about putting into practice the lifelong employments.
Living that kind of lifestyle, we will do our very best and reward the employees for their service.
That’s what I want to do.
Oops, my thoughts derailed.
“In that case, people like me would be offering quite a lot.” (Makoto)
“Yes. But it shouldn’t feel like a burden at all.” (Touda)
“That’s true. The first time we did the homage, I didn’t feel anything after all.” (Makoto)
“Please do think of it as expendable magic power.” (Touda)
“Then what was that about the fixed amount and the exception you were talking about?” (Makoto)
“The answer would be the same. When it is a strong wish -a wholehearted wish- like for example; wishing for it every day several times, or taking years continuously wishing for it. Depending on the case, it might affect your very life.” (Touda)
“When you make a wish so strong and wholeheartedly…” (Makoto)
“Yes. If you wish strongly, you will end up offering a large amount of magic power. Thinking about the belief of the people of Asora towards this Shinto shrine, I don’t think it will be possible.” (Touda)
Wish for it strongly, moreover, they have to do it continuously for that to happen huh.
It is certainly true that this is a case that’s hard to consider in Asora.
“Right. It is true that there’s currently no need to worry about it.” (Makoto)
I taught everyone that when they pay homage, they have to tell the Gods of their current objective. Towards a God they can’t see.
I told them that it was like a pledge to yourself.
Not the: ‘please make it come true’, but more like: ‘I am working hard in this objective, so please watch as I show satisfactory results’.
When they show results, they will come again and give their gratitude, and make their next pledge.
Also, I wanted them to have a different sensation of a God. Instead of that Goddess, it would be more like, a God that is close but you can’t touch. That kind of relationship.
“That’s how I think as well. Shiki-san’s worries are plausible, that’s why, I told him it is fine if he investigate as much as he wanted though.” (Touda)
“The magic power that is being offered will gather in a vessel, right? Is it fine to assume that the balls that you showed us are the *divine vessels* where it resides?” (Makoto) <Divine Vessel=神体><In this part, divine vessel refers to Shintai: an object where a deity resides.>
What Touda showed us as the divine vessels were two transparent clear balls and one ball that had a variety of colored lights inside it.
The transparent ones are the ones from the Buddhist temple and the Parthenon, and the one with light inside is from the Shinto shrine.
In other words, the light inside the ball is our magic power.
I was slightly bothered that it was all in the same ball.
Because the presence of those divine vessels should have differences between each other.
“The divine vessels, is it. Hm, there’s no problems with your interpretation, but strictly speaking, the vessels are more close to eggs. That ball will change its appearance as it accumulates magic power after all.” (Touda)
As expected of a unique Shinto shrine.
So it is its form before being born.
Well, that’s fine.
In the first place, having magic power sucked as you go paying homage is not normal anymore.
“…By the way, Makoto-sama, offering magic power when praying to Gods works the same way even in Earth. Actually, this world is the strange one for not taking this system.” (Touda)
She read my mind?!
No, that’s not it. It is a system that’s used universally?!
No way that’s true!
“That’s way too farfetched. Even when I visited shrines in my world…” (Makoto)
“Most humans are not aware of the very concept of magic power, so it is a matter of course. They don’t use it, and they can’t detect it. Even if they were to consume a small quantity of it, there won’t be any harm for humans. It is an amount that wouldn’t even need one day to recover after all.” (Touda)
It is certainly true that I wasn’t aware of my magic power when I was in Japan.
So I have been offering magic power to the Gods every time I went to the shrine?
No, at the temple as well huh.
The church also?
Ah, now that I think about it, I haven’t attended church once.
“For some reason, I feel like I have peeked at the dark side of the world.” (Makoto)
“In a faraway future when magic power is known in Earth, there’s the chance that they will learn of this reality.” (Touda)
“But well, leaving aside that talk, regarding the divine vessel, I think it won’t be long before it shows form. Just with Makoto-sama’s magic power, it has already received an enormous amount after all. But when speaking of its completed form, it would still need a long time. I will report when there’s some sort of change, so you can just enjoy yourselves.” (Touda)
“Well then, I will go back to the residents to talk about Makoto-sama.” (Touda)
“When the cherry blossom viewing is over, we will do the pact in the presence of Tomoe and the others. Remember that.” (Makoto)
“Yes. I am looking forward to the name I will be receiving.” (Touda)
Oh, she appeared where the Gorgons are.
When it is with those people, talk about me just gives me a bad feeling though.
Even so, it will probably turn into a girls talk, so I don’t think I want to hear it at all.
Talk between women is pretty toxic at times.
I can say for sure that it is without doubt something that’s best for men to not hear.
Well, I have an older and younger sister, so in my own house, moreover, in my very room, I could hear fragments of those kind of talks.
That’s why I know they are toxic.
Touda has most likely adapted to the Gorgons without any problems and enjoying a conversation with them.
There’s no need to worry about that, so I decide not to mind anymore.
…The party is going at full swing huh.
Since coming here, I have gone to many countries and have met a variety of people, but as I thought, I like this place the best.
Everyone has different shapes and appearances, so in a glance, it feels like chaos itself though.
But I absolutely want to protect this place.
Asora can be considered the very tracks of my stay in this parallel world.
With that reason in mind, I felt like I had to burn this sight into my eyes.
“Mio, we have enough food alrea—wait, what’s that?” (Makoto)
It is Shiki.
There’s no way I would mistake him.
But, why is Shiki under Mio’s arm completely wasted?
“Please don’t say that. I went to the place of the Orcs, and I felt quite the possibilities in this ‘Surprise foiled frying’. I thought Waka-sama should definitely try it once.” (Mio)
“No Mio, I will gratefully eat that, but…what happened to Shiki?” (Makoto)
“This? He had equipment prepared and was doing a secret talk with a number of people about entering the forest, so I brought him down.” (Mio)
“Even though we are having a cherry blossom viewing, this person really has no manners. I was discussing with Tomoe-san and Touda about having festivals like this every now and then -of course, it won’t be as grand as this one- and we were planning on what date they would be, and yet, this Shiki is just…” (Mio)
“Well, it is certainly true that it lacks manners. Yeah.” (Makoto)
Bringing him down is also questionable though.
Moreover, they are already talking about doing more of these festivals.
At some point in time, Tomoe was where Touda and the Gorgons are.
That must mean Mio was there not that long ago huh.
And, Mio saw that Shiki was planning on going to the forest.
“It would trouble the people if he were left on the ground, so I brought him here where there’s space. I will throw him somewhere where people can’t see.” (Mio)
You are throwing him?
That means you are going to be throwing him at some random place, right?
No wait, don’t go throwing him.
Abandoning him is also a no.
“No, I will look after him. Let’s have him lie down.” (Makoto)
“No way, to have him rest on Waka-sama’s lap is just…!” (Mio)
Who said I would have him rest on my lap?!
I won’t do that!
That would only make it hard for me to move.
I see. Mio must have drunk quite a lot already.
I believe that she won’t get controlled by the alcohol, but her self-control might loosen slightly.
“No, I will just have him rest.” (Makoto)
“Then I will take his place!” (Mio)
She is not listening at all.
Well, this is also an everyday occurrence here, and a part of what I have done in this world.
But the nice mood about my determination I had going a while ago has been dampened a bit though.