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“Sorry to keep you waiting and thank you for going out of your way to visit us, Chancellor Sarrifissia,” Mom said as she bowed sincerely to Chancellor Sarrifissia who was sitting on a sofa in our living room.
“Thank you for coming to visit me,” I immediately bowed as well.
I completely didn’t show my slight surprise upon seeing how my mom—the Head of the Royal Magicians and the wife of a duke—bowed down to the chancellor who seemed to be very young, as the said chancellor was still sitting and sipping the tea.
It was as if Chancellor Sarrifissia was used to being treated like this.
My mom was probably showing the common courtesy that should be displayed in this scenario. I was amazed she didn’t seem to mind Chancellor Sarrifissia’s response the slightest bit, nor did she seem unwilling to bow down to a chancellor.
“Sarri is fine,” Chancellor Sarrifissia casually said.
“Sarri-sama, I have asked my daughter about what happened, so let me speak on her behalf. She had no recollection that could be used to find the culprits,” Mom said after she sat on the sofa opposite of my chancellor. I also sat down next to her.
But what surprised me was the way Mom spoke with reverence to Chancellor Sarrifissia. I even observed her expression to see if something was wrong, but no, she really revered Chancellor Sarrifissia.
Mom’s position was quite high, so I was using her reaction and attitude towards Chancellor Sarrifissia to know where my chancellor really stood in social hierarchy. I became even more intrigued about my academy’s chancellor after seeing my mom’s treatment of her.
“Chancellor, I’m sorry I can’t be any of help…,” I hung my head apologetically.
“No need to apologize. I know that it is tricky to face against them. The only information we have is that they are somehow connected to the incident in which the siblings were attacked in Chinosato, then,” Sarri-sama said.
“That’s right,” Mom said.
“In any case, I really am glad to see that both you and Kiri are alright,” Sarri-sama gently smiled as she opened her eyes—it had a gentle look as opposed to the stern look I saw during the day I fought with Alt-nii.
I was mesmerized a bit by her weird eyes. I saw it for a little while the other day, but now, I could see them even closer and longer. It was true. In Sarri-sama’s blood red pupils, there was a ‘γ’ symbol in black.
I must have stared too long for Sarri-sama turned her gaze to me. I averted my eyes in reflex and asked, “Kiri?”
“Yes. He suffered from being electrocuted quite a lot when he became the bait. I visited him the other day.”
“That’s right. Kiri was absent for two days as well. I heard that he was going to today’s festival as he was feeling well already,” Mom added.
“Kiri… that’s good to hear. Speaking of festival… Today is the closing ceremony, right? Sarri-sama, will it be fine for you to be here?” I asked in concern after remembering what day it was supposed to be. Because Sarri-sama was the one who officially opened the festival, I guessed she would be the one to close it officially as well.
“It’s going to be held later on. I am going to return after we finish talking,” Sarri-sama said before she turned to look at me and said, “That’s right. Today, I’ve come to speak with you, young lass.”
If I have to say it myself, you also seem young, Sarri-sama…
“I sincerely apologize on behalf of Harmonia Academy—as we failed in protecting you and your friends…,” Sarri-sama stood up and bowed.
“No, Sarri-sama, it’s fine…,” I didn’t expect her to apologize for that—as you know, accidents can happen anytime, anywhere.
“As Lyra said, it’s not your fault. The academy’s staff did their best,” Mom also said.
“…Thank you, Lyra and Ophelia.”
…Addressing Mom by her name only?
When I was dumbfounded at how she addressed Mom, Sarri-sama turned her gaze at Mom and Mom nodded.
…They were communicating without words. I wonder if Sarri-sama and Mom had talked before about this? –Wait, yes, that must be it.
“I will leave the two of you to have a private conversation, then,” Mom said as she stood up and left us. The maids were sensible enough to leave after Mom, but I knew well that at least one maid would wait right near the door to the living room in case we needed them, or in case something happened—the maid would be able to hear it.
“I am going to start talking about the true nature of the ambush you experienced… and to let you know who you might be facing against,” Sarri-sama said with a serious tone. Her eyes were still opened all this time, much to my surprise.
The true nature of the ambush?
Who I’m facing against?
I frowned a bit as I had very little clue about them. I always thought that those who came after me were my mom and dad’s enemies or those who hated our family. Was I completely wrong?
“…You must be wondering about me. About my weird eyes and why I look so young despite being a human. You must be thinking that if I am as young as my age indicates, I won’t be the chancellor. Am I right?” Sarri-sama suddenly asked.
Her question seemed to be out of topic from what she wanted to discuss, so I was a bit thrown off guard.
I knew the fact that she was a human. Her physical appearance during the opening ceremony didn’t show a hint of mixed race and I heard from someone else that Sarri-sama was indeed a human. The gossip of her and people’s suggestions on why she looked young became quite the trending topic right after the opening ceremony.
I immediately shifted my attention back to her and nodded.
“It’s good to be honest. Then, let me tell you about my story,” Sarri-sama said before she asked me another question, “Do you know what my name means?”
Again, another question that I didn’t expect.
“Sarrifissia genährt von Harmonie. That means [Sarrifissia, nurtured by Harmonia]. That’s my name after I was rescued. My birth name was [Sarrifis ttu ge Hinnom]. It literally means [sacrifice for Gehenna].”
I reflexively gulped. Having a child and naming her ‘sacrifice’ doesn’t seem good…
“As you may have guessed. I was born all along to be sacrificed to Gehenna—the evil goddess. I was nurtured to be the vessel of her. Her deity symbol was gamma and there was once a cult. I was born in that cult,” Sarri-sama continued her story.
“The crown princess of Riviera at that time—ah, that would be the current king’s great grandmother—found out our hideout somehow and interfered during the sacrificial ceremony. Thanks to the ceremony being interrupted midway, Gehenna couldn’t take over my body,” Sarri-sama paused to take a sip of her tea.
Then she added, “It still caused me some effects, though. For example, there was the symbol of gamma engraved to my pupils and my young appearance. My outer appearance couldn’t change at all after that. I was told that my life expectancy was also extended due to the deity’s power that once entered my body.”
“Extended life expectancy…,” I muttered as I immediately calculated. Sarri-sama looked somewhere around 13-16. Then… she should be somewhere in her 90s.
“Thankfully, I didn’t gain immortality or something like that. I was told that I might instantly age when death is near, before finally dying. My current name implied that I had been living in the Harmonia Academy under the care of the Riviera royal family.”
“Then, you’ve been the chancellor for quite a long time already?”
“Yes. At first, I became a theology teacher. After that, I became the principal first before finally I took the place of the chancellor.”
Yeah, Mom’s attitude towards Sarri-sama indicated that she knew of Sarri-sama’s story. She probably had seen Sarri-sama during her time as student as well.
“Another power that I’ve gained is… because I have come into contact with the evil goddess, I can detect the deities’ presences quite well—to some degree,” Sarri-sama added.
“Then, you mean…”
“You’re quite sharp. Yes, that’s when my story connects with your incident. I sensed a similar presence to that evil goddess during your match with your older brother. Hence, I had to interfere using the help of my Familiar.”
“So that was really your Familiar…,” I recalled the terrifying figure of her Familiar and couldn’t really comprehend why her Familiar was like that.
“Yeah. My Familiar is a manifestation of the poor souls of children who were sacrificed. I felt like I could relate with them, so I made them my Familiar,” Sarri-sama added an explanation as if she could tell I was questioning her Familiar.
The souls of children sacrificed…
How painful they might have felt.
How resentful they might have felt.
How terrified they might have felt.
With such strong emotions, it wasn’t weird for them to manifest as a beast.
“Speaking of which, Lyra. Have you had an encounter with any deity before you were attacked?” Sarri-sama suddenly asked.
“…None that I can think of,” I thought a little bit before answering. My meeting with the light-god was 11 years ago, that was before I was reborn.
“I see. You might not have realized it. I sensed the lingering protection from a good deity on top of the evil deity’s presence,” Sarri-sama suddenly dropped a bomb to me.
…Me, being protected by a good deity?
At that time, the figure of an angelic child I encountered in the chapel flashed through my mind.
“If it’s an angelic child, I may have encountered one just the day before I was attacked…”
“Really? That child might be the messenger of god. In any case, it’s good that you had the protection of a good deity. Perhaps it was the Aion-sama?” Sarri-sama smiled.
Most of us here worshipped Aion-sama, the Alpha. Bahamuth was the Beta, hailed as the dragon god. The Omega deity wasn’t really known although I knew some secluded tribes worshipped them. It was no wonder we would think of Aion-sama first.
But I also thought of the light-god I encountered in my first afterlife. Perhaps it was the work of that god? Was the light-god Aion-sama…?
“Regardless, thanks to the protection you received, the evil deity’s attack was repelled to some degree. Though it was still enough to stir the dark magic inside you to go out of control… At least you’re still here with us,” Sarri-sama’s bitter smile made me shiver a bit.
If not for that protection, would I still be here?
I was very lucky.
“Was the evil presence you sensed… Gehenna?” I asked.
“No. …At least it couldn’t be Gehenna herself. She was supposed to be sealed. It might be her messenger or part of herself that she sent to this world. And I know someone’s working under her. Although the Gamma cult has been reduced to almost nothing…”
“Gamma cult…,” I remembered reading about cults before. It was frightening and seemed to be so distant from my world.
“I’m not sure why they chose to attack you. But after seeing that you had another deity’s protection, that might exactly be why. They might somehow find out that your presence would hinder their objective.”
“But why me?” I reflexively asked.
“…I don’t know myself. Even I still keep asking to this day… why was I born to be a sacrifice for Gehenna.”
Sadness flashed through Sarri-sama’s eyes. I became speechless after seeing her like that.
Of course nobody knew. Fate works in such a strange way. We could only try to live the fullest.
“Since I think you will be involved in another danger in the future, I believe it would be right to tell you all this. So you can be more wary and careful. May the three almighty deities bless you and may you fulfill your mission in this world to the fullest.”
The three almighty deities… Alpha, Beta, Omega. Aion-sama. Bahamuth-sama. …Omega-sama.
And my mission in this world…
Perhaps I wasn’t really reincarnated on a whim. There seemed to be a role I should fulfill. A role only I could fulfill. Though I still couldn’t comprehend why at this time.
But I had already fallen in love with my current life. I would definitely do my best to make sure I could enjoy my current life peacefully.
Perhaps this was the trick that the light-god used on me.
Forcefully reincarnated me, made me love life, then I would take the initiative to defend this peaceful life and my beloved ones even without them asking me to.
It seemed like a scam method, but it worked and I was happy.
My lips slightly curved upwards in reflex.
“I understand. Thank you very much for telling me your story and about the deities, Sarri-sama. I promise I will try my best to be careful. I love the way my life is—though there are still rooms for improvement—so I definitely wouldn’t surrender myself easily.”
I smiled after declaring my promise seriously.
Sarri-sama was surprised, but she followed in smiling.
“I will always welcome you if you want to discuss anything with me, young lass.”
“Then I will take up your offer—but maybe someday,” I honestly answered as I didn’t have the confidence I wouldn’t be coming to her door.
“Well then, that’s everything I have to say. I will excuse myself now, then,” Sarri-sama said as she stood up.
“Yeah, I need to prepare for the closing ceremony. It should be soon.”
With that, I called Mom and we sent Sarri-sama off.
My head was still trying to digest the information, but my mind felt really clear.
Sarri-sama and her past… She surely wanted to forget her past so much as it was only painful memory to her. However, she seemed to embrace that part of her and use it well.
I hope I could be like her, too.
Later in the afternoon, it was finally time for my siblings and Clavis to return home. Of course, the fact that my friends tagged along was also within my expectations.
Sarri’s story part one is now available as VIP/Patreon-exclusive chapter 2~
(I intended to make her story as one VIP chapter but it turned out longer than I expected ><)
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