Bishop Part 1
“Relius-senpai… there’s someone looking for you.”
“Someone’s looking for me? Who is it?”
“It’s a woman.”
“…What’s her name?”
“Just a woman.”
Ristina-san was staring intensely at me. I figured she was going to tease me again for this. It happened to be a time when I wasn’t too busy with work, so after confirming with Uncle, I headed to the reception desk.
After all, the only women who had business with me were Klua-san or Linear-san. I went to the reception and there stood a familiar woman in a nun outfit ― Linear-san. She noticed me, and casually raised one hand in greeting.
“It’s been a while.”
“Yeah, it sure has.”
“I came to tell you that the day you can meet with the bishop has been decided. Is four days from now okay with you?”
Linear-san had already confirmed my days off beforehand.
“Yes, that day is fine.”
“Alright, so you’re informed. I’ll be waiting for you at the church’s entrance on that day. What time do you expect to be there?”
“How does ten o’clock sound?”
“That’s okay. Alright, we’ll see you then.”
“Okay, thank you very much.”
Linear-san waved again and left, just like that.
I can meet the bishop, huh? Will this help solve the mystery of the Blacksmith, even a little?
I headed to the dining room again, and Ristina-san was still looking at me. This wasn’t like her usual teasing.
“What’s up with you? Do you care that much about me and Linear-san?”
I called her out on it because I was a little curious, but she shook her head in a panic.
“Wha-!? N-no, it’s not like that! Why are you being so weird?”
…What kind of reaction was that? I just asked her a simple question. She was acting somewhat suspicious, and now looked at me with slightly reddened cheeks.
“What’s your relationship with that person you just met?” She asked. For some reason, her expression was oddly serious. It doesn’t seem like she was asking in order to make fun of me.
“I said a while back that I was working in an underground aqueduct, didn’t I?”
“Ah, was it that mouse hunt?”
“Yes. She was the one I worked with then.”
“…You mean a co-worker?”
“Well, basically. Like you.”
“Is that so…”
Ristina-san sighed softly, and some of her tension left her.
“That’s great then. I was sure she was your lover or something!”
“No, not at all.”
“Right, of course! I mean, I was kind of flustered that you might have gone ahead of me!”
“Oh, so that’s why you seemed so serious.”
“Yeah, that’s it!”
Auntie, who was working in the dining room, smiled and looked at us.
“You two are getting along as usual, huh?”
“W-we’re not getting along at all!” Ristina-san shouted suddenly in a panic. The next moment, a guest came in and sat down, so Ristina-san went over to them with a pink face.
Today was the day of my appointment with Linear-san. I was carrying a sword to give to her. When I arrived at the entrance of the church, which was the meeting place, Linear-san was already there, and we said good morning to each other.
“We’ll go to the back, so follow me.”
While we walked, I pondered over when I should hand her the sword, and whether it would be a burden if I gave it to her immediately. Would it be better to wait until after talking with the bishop?
We entered through the gate leading to the area behind the church, which wasn’t a place one would usually see. There were several tombstones lined up there, and one of the sisters was tending to it at the moment.
“Oh, Linear… bringing a man, huh?”
The woman called out to her and calmly teased her at the same time.
“No, it’s not like that. I brought him here on orders from the bishop.”
“Oh my, I see. And it’s not the bishop, but bishop-sama, you know?”
“I know. I’ll address him properly when I stand in front of him.”
“Geez, be careful, okay?”
I bowed lightly, too, and then kept walking after Linear-san. With the church to one side, we could see something like a small cabin a short distance away.
“That’s where sisters and knights stay,” said Linear-san. She probably noticed I was staring at it. According to her, it was mostly knights that used it; they’d sleep there and serve as the night guard.
As we walked through the garden, there were places to rest like benches, but it so happened that no one was using them. We eventually entered the church through a door embedded in the wall.
The altar was located on the left. There were a few people there, but not many.
“Follow me to the meeting room.”
We kept to the right, and came to a narrow passage, passing by several rooms as we walked along it. We were going toward the innermost part of the church.
Was it the bishop’s room? The door was a little more luxurious than the others. Linear-san stopped at the door and knocked, and the door soon opened with a quick answer. A sister was on the other side, but an elderly man could be seen through the gap in the door.
We went in through the door and the sister from before went out into the hallway, as if replacing us.
“Welcome. It’s good to see you, Relius-san.”
“Nice to meet you. I apologize for making such a selfish request of you.”
“No, don’t worry about it. I’ll have a sister prepare a drink for you now, so please wait and take a seat.”
“I’m sorry to trouble you.”
“Not at all. There was something I also wanted to talk about to you, after all.”
The bishop smiled softly. I sat on the sofa, thinking that he seemed to be a gentle person.
“Relius-san, you came here today to hear about the Blacksmith occupation, didn’t you?”
“…Y-yeah, I did. I heard that those with the Blacksmith occupation were mistreated for a while, but you put a stop to that. I was wondering about your reasoning for it.”
“That’s right. I don’t know much about Blacksmithing either, but I’ll tell you as much as I can.”
The door opened and a sister brought me a drink while I listened to the bishop’s story.