「How do you read your name?」
「Fujinomiya Soujirou. My first name is Soujirou.」
「Soujirou-sama…Soujirou-sama are you aware of the job of Acolyte?」
I know about priests but I don’t know about acolytes. Based on the skills Sistina held it was a bit difficult to tell what she actually was. Especially the lovemaking arts…for that tidy and pretty Sistina to act out during the night…
Oops looks like my facial expression looked a bit lewd.
「I have no idea.」
「Then allow me to explain.」
According to Sistina’s explanation those known as Acolytes are regarded as fairly special existences.
Based on my knowledge they would be something like maids that were specially trained by the Temples or something like that.
However, they are not simple lady attendants or ‘maids’.
The Acolytes are attached to the Temples and abide by a contract. In order to become an Acolyte they serve at the temple from near infancy. They undergo intense training and must continue to obtain high evaluations.
As a lady attendant they must at least master all forms of housework skills as well as the art of self-defense before they can call themselves Probationary Acolytes.
From that point forward they learn either Healing arts, Guard Arts, or Negotiating Arts before becoming known as a proper Acolyte with great usefulness. Probationary Acolyte+Healing is a Recovery Acoylte, Probationary Acolyte+Guard is an Imperial Guard Acolyte, and Probationary Acolyte+Negotiations is a Diplomat Acolyte.
If they learn two of the three arts they will be known as a High Acolyte. If they learn all three arts then they will be known as a Master Acolyte.
Amongst all Acolytes there are only 20-30% that manage to become High Acolytes. Among these only around 10% manage to become Master Acolytes. Sistina should be equivalent to a Master Acolyte.
Even further above normal Master Acolytes are those who manifest Special Skills. So once Sistina manifested a fairly rare and precious Extra Skill upon becoming a Master Acolyte she should hide it from the general public.
Certainly since just being an Acolyte caused her to be aimed at by bandits, if it was known she was a pre-contract Master Acolyte with a special skill I could imagine the horrible trials she would have to go through.
Sistina probably told me all this with blunt honesty as I had already seen everything within her status window.
Since it was already known she might as well explain it completely so I understood that it should be kept a secret. She probably said all this in hopes I would keep my mouth shut.
Furthermore, something that made Acolytes even more special in this world was they all had the 『Contract』 skill.
This 『Contract』 skill could ensure the enactment of any contract exchanged between two parties by enforcing heavy punishments upon those who broke it. It was nigh unbreakable.
This special skill had a characteristic that had to do with the Acolyte themselves. If they wished to use this power for someone else the Acolyte would have to enter a special contract with them. This contract is drawn up using the Acolyte’s skill and requires both parties to sign it before reciting a ritual chant to seal it.
This has the effect of preventing the Acolyte’s power from being used for evil as well as raising the amount of power the Acolyte can use to enforce the contract. They cannot utilize their power if the contract is not used.
This is also the reason why Acolytes do not exchange contracts lightly. Unless it is a person they believe they can serve with all their body and soul they will not enter this special contract.
Because of that it is not only the Acolyte that needs to be evaluated, but the person they would serve as well.
The matter of who the Acolyte wishes to serve is left almost exclusively up to their own discretion and even the Temple where they were taught barely has any say.
「The Husband and Wife came to the Temple and donated a huge amount of money to encourage them to send an Acolyte to contract with their son. The Temple’s eyes were a bit blinded by the large amount of money and entreated all of the pre-contract Acolytes to go meet their son.
Of course according to tradition Acolytes have no need to listen to the Temple’s requests regarding contracts. Because of that there weren’t any Acolytes who listened to the request. But the Husband and Wife visited the Temple over and over to talk and ask about it. They were very respectable people and their son’s reputation was quite good.
Because of that I decided that I would go have a look at their son before coming to a conclusion. They were both overjoyed that I decided to give them a chance…and entreated that I would like their son if given the chance…so to please not contract with anyone until I had at least met him…」
Sistina said as her face began to take on a saddened look.
「…so that’s why I am still in an un-contracted state. Without being in a contract I am unable to use my power except in my own self-defense. I could not use my abilities to save them.」
Certainly Sistina had been untouched when I found her and was simply being surrounded by the bandits. If they had laid a hand on her she could have broken through the limitations using self-defense as the reason and destroyed them. The bandits must have known about this.
That being said I’m not sure I buy not helping if she saw people dying in front of her…
「I understand what you want to say Soujirou-sama. Even so an Acolyte cannot make a move. 『Only upon entering a contract may an Acolyte make use of their power』 This is a law that no Acolyte is allowed to break. It’s not wrong to consider it equivalent to a curse. However, it is because of this law that any contract enforced by an Acolyte is considered absolutely trustworthy. Once they violate this, an Acolyte can lose their power….once that power is lost I would not be able to help…」
It appears that this world has its own set of rules. As I didn’t know anything I couldn’t really blame Sistina.
Especially after looking at the expression on her face right now…I couldn’t say anything.
「Soujirou-sama….you’re a strange person.」
「Indeed. Within the window you showed me you did not have a single battle skill. Even without that you were able to move like that. In that case all of that was your own personal ability. And your job Magic Swordsmaster (CSM)…I do not know of it.」
Sistina suddenly looked at me with a piercing gaze and I recoiled internally thinking 『This damn god gave me such a rare job?』 as I lowered my opinion of that upward correcting deity.
「Ah~ but there’s so many jobs out there…every so often there’s one that you won’t know…」
I tried to throw her off the scent.
「Soujirou-sama. You saw my special skill correct?」
「…you mean the Book thing?」
「That’s correct. 『The Book of Wisdom』. The skill I obtained when I became a Master Acolyte.
This skill allows me to gain knowledge of anything I have awareness of. It has various conditions to use and isn’t omniscient, but if I am able to understand and research the words that make up something I can obtain near complete knowledge of it.」
It appears that when she activates the skill knowledge of a subject flows into her. It does seem that there are various inconveniences to its use though.
I expect it would give understanding of any word that was fed into it, but if you asked the skill 『If OO was XX, what’s the best thing to do?』 it would give you complete understanding of the question but would not produce an answer.
This means that Sistina was a database for nearly any word or phrase in this world.
So when she input 『Magic Swordsmaster』 no suitable response returned.
Because no answer was forthcoming it could be said that no one in the history of this world had obtained the Magic Swordsmaster (CSM) job.
「I am not looking for an answer. I am sure you have your own circumstances so I will not be asking. But please tell me one thing.」
「Yes, what do you want to know?」
「What do you plan to do from now on?」
What do I…?
….My job from god is to just live a long life. As long as I survive I can do whatever I want. There’s not really anything special that needs to be done so…after looking at the serious look on Sistina’s face I couldn’t come up with a real answer.
「Sorry, I don’t know what kind of answer you’re looking for, but I don’t have a particular objective. I want to settle down somewhere, live my daily life, earn enough money, and live true to myself. That is enough for me….though if there was a cute girl like you around I’d be even happier.」
If I was gonna be honest then I might as well throw everything out there. From what I’ve heard Acolyte’s are pretty amazing so she shouldn’t care too much about a stranger like me who she’s barely connected to.
If she took me to town that would be enough for me. It would be a shame that my fate with her pretty face and two grand peaks would be at an end, but it couldn’t helped if that was the case.
「…..I see. I understand. Then Soujirou-sama….would you please enter into a Contract with me?」