Chapter 276: Zabuton

I surrendered myself. I went easy on him, so please reduce my penalty because I unbound myself and escaped.

「Nah, I’m not really mad. It might’ve ended up being a bigger pain in the neck if that happened after we asked that guy’s status. And since it’s a ‘black spirit’, it can’t be helped, right? Ah, and it’s settled that you’re a ‘mage’, huh. 」

I returned to my previous position beside Retze. In the end, I got a pinch and a whisper on my side, but thank goodness my sentence was reduced, apparently.

「Oh, it’s Retze. What a relief. Thanks for helping us. 」
Mr. Talisman seemed relieved after he confirmed that it was Retze. As for the thanks, it’s for everyone.

「It’s been a while, huh, Meykel. Never thought we’re gonna meet in a place like this. So, what’s that? We’re not kidding when we said the Deputy Guild Master is here, you know? 」
He’s Retze’s acquaintance, apparently.

I could see Butler gagging Zabuton Robe before binding him, all while having a gentle smile plastered on his face. He’s stepping on the guy’s back while pulling the ropes, but everyone pretended not to see that.

「That guy’s an acolyte in the temple. He’s the son of the former chief priest. He hadn’t been promoted to saint even after he came of age two years ago, so he threw a fit and said he’s switching to being an adventurer. 」
What’s that, what’s that? Why did Mr. Talisman describe him like a teenager going through puberty?

「Ahh. So it’s about that, huh. Well, the former chief priest was also highly respected, and this guy has exceptional healing skills to boot. I heard he can even regenerate missing limbs. 」
「Yeah, it’s that, and it’s difficult to handle. Well, the Adventurer’s Guild’s hands are also tied, since the majority of those who return with missing limbs are high ranking adventurers, after all. 」
I eavesdropped on the duo’s conversation, and some folks here also did the same.

Alright, got it. I just have to capture Zabuton, stick it to a different priest and the problem on the Guild’s side will be solved, huh?

「Let’s move on while they’re still knocked out and can’t cause trouble. 」
Dinosso instructed, so we talked while walking.

Khan carried Zabuton Rope so it’s good, but we could only walk slowly because of the other folks possessed by the black spirits. Even if we manage to reach the 21st level without any incident, we still have to stop for the night.

I had tons of things I wanna ask, but it might be bad if I ended up asking questions that should be considered general knowledge among adventurers in front of Mr. Talisman, so I behaved myself.

『Zabuton-kun, can you speak? 』
Zabuton seemed to have noticed that I was asking it, so it raised its upper body (?) and waved one of its corners.

Seems like it’s one of those who can’t speak but could understand humans.

『Do you like the guy you’re possessing right now? 』
It waved its corner again.

Alright, the first step is cleared. I do believe the person or spirit’s opinion is important and should be considered, although I’m reluctant to think about that when it comes to Zabuton Robe.

『Have you considered possessing other folks? 』
It curled its lower body (?) and energetically pointed with its upper corners.

『You’re bound by that? 』
The upper half bobbed up and down enthusiastically.

A sash with spells written on it wrapped one-fourth of the underside of Zabuton — ah, Zabuton is floating so it’s clearly visible — and it’s similar to Az’s back then.

You who has my blood flowing within you, should a person with a colossal amount of mana arise, possess them and come to their aid. May the compensation be that person’s mana — huh. 』
There’s also a lot of stuff about ensuring the safety of the possessed person, blah blah. I just grabbed it and threw it away, of course.

Zabuton hurriedly folded itself and checked its lower body.

『If you find a person you like among the guys related to the temple, possess them, alright. Ah, but you’ve been bound against your will, so you might not like that. It’s fine, you can do whatever you want. 』
It was probably free before a person with a huge reservoir of mana appeared, but I don’t have any idea how many generations ago the contract was made. It must’ve been bound for quite a long time, huh?

『Ah, right. Go ahead and suck mana out of that guy so that he won’t wake up for two, three days. 』
Oh? Can I? — Zabuton lifted its upper body as if asking it. After a while —

It rode on Robe’s back — he’s still being carried by Khan — and started sucking his mana. Take your time sucking him, okay.

『What did you do to the spirit? 』
『I believe there’s a black looking object possessing it, so I discarded it. 』
Khan interrogated me, but I ignored him. It’s a black spirit, a black spirit, I said.

『Retze told me that you have a tendency to speak politely when you’re aware that you did something bad… 』
Retze!!!!

When I turned to look at Retze, he was still talking to Mr. Talisman.

『Come to think of it, do you know anything about acolytes? 』
『Oh, you’re changing the subject now, huh. If it’s still the same as during my era, then acolytes are children sheltered by the temple. Either they’re already possessed by spirits that are part of the lineage of the deity being worshiped, or they’re individuals that are easily possessed. They are kept and taught in a way that’s convenient for the priests. They’re confined to areas in the temple where spirits of the same lineage tend to gather until they reach adulthood, since that’s the time when it’s harder for spirits to possess them. 』

Khan explained it in a way that I can easily understand. The process might have evolved into something far more troublesome, but I have a feeling that it’s not that different.

『I see, so they’re shut in situations that make it easier for them to get possessed, huh. 』
Then, if they don’t get possessed as expected, they’ll be expelled from the temple and they can only become ordinary priests.

『This is just how I understood it. The temple probably has its own explanation. 』

『Fae’s Bough』accepts all sorts of spirits and it’s closely related to the towns. In contrast, the temples are organizations that gather a particular type of spirit.

There are various types of temples, ranging from those that serenely manage 『Fae’s Bough』like a feudal lord, down to exclusive and extremists temples. The way they handle things also vastly varies.

Even though it’s true that we can’t live without fire or water, it’s not so much about excluding spirits as it is about humans worshiping different spirits and fighting among themselves. What a pain in the neck, really.
Spirits are more indifferent. They might even accidentally cancel each other’s existence just with their mere presence! It’s like when fire spirits swallow up nearby wood spirits, or water spirits flush earth spirits — it’s a natural thing that happens everyday, so although they do express confusion from time to time, they usually don’t mind each other.

For better or worse, spirits experience major upheaval of emotions mostly when humans are involved.

『Let’s ask Retze about it. No, wait. I’ll ask. 』
Wait a sec, Khan? Can I ask why you had a change of heart?

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Comment (1)

  1. Hikikomori

    Thanks for the treat.

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