It’s unusual but Youko brought a guest.
Her name is Niz and she politely greeted me.
A very polite person.
It seems like she wants to perform a dance of offering in front of the world tree.
Although it’s a religious ritual, I allowed her since she desperately requested and said it will be performed as a celebration for the growth of the world tree.
Even Youko said that she’ll take responsibility if anything happens.
Is she Youko’s friend?
Just an acquaintance?
Is that so?
「Umu, I’m uneasy to be her friend, very uneasy.」
When I saw her, I felt like she’s a beautiful silver-haired woman….but now, I can only see her as an ordinary village girl in thick clothes.
「She camouflaged. It is similar to what the fairy queen is doing.」
「I don’t want to admit this but she’s an excellent messenger of god. Specifically, the serpent god. I can only say words of admiration on how she endured the severe training to be recognized by god.」
It’s unusual for Youko to say that much.
「I enjoyed fighting so I put all my strength there. When it comes to religious rituals, I can’t even come close to her feet. By the way, in terms of battle, she won’t even come close to my feet.」
Youko called out those who were free to watch and study the dance of offering.
I’ll watch it too.
Of course, the location is outside because it will be performed in front of the world tree.
Thinking about it, it should be unusual to perform it during this time of the year….
However, the tree suddenly grows. Is it because I planted it using the AFT?
Normally, a tree grows during spring or summer.
If that is the case, does this mean that I’m the one who caused this trouble?
Perhaps it is needed for the ritual, Niz danced while wearing a shrine maiden-like outfit. Her dance is simply stunning.
There is a distinctive character in her nonchalant behavior.
And I can even feel the holy atmosphere.
It’s the same as when ancestor-san is performing a ritual seriously.
But why is she looking down?
Since it’s a dance, I think it wouldn’t matter if she lifts her head up.
Niz was surprised when cat approached her when she was performing the dance of offering.
I’m sorry for that.
She showed a good dance.
According to Youko, if someone performed that ritual, you should pay money as a reward.
I was wondering how can we repay her for even traveling here and performing a ritual and it looks like I only need to pay her money.
I feel like the world tree was also happy with her performance.
Youko already prepared a bag of money for her but I also put my share.
No no, you don’t need to hold back.
Life’s difficult so it will help you a lot.
We will prepare the inn for you so please stay today.
Dinner will b….eh?
Don’t say that…
Then, take some souvenirs.
Please don’t decline.
She returned immediately because she doesn’t want to be a nuisance if she stayed here this winter.
I think it’s still just fine.
I can now understand why Youko is uneasy.
She’s probably weak to cold that’s why she’s wearing such thick clothes.
By the way.
It’s cold already.
I went to the shrine and prayed.
Ah, everyone, you don’t have to go out with me.
Let’s pray together.
If Niz had remained, I would have asked her to perform a dance of offering in front of the Big Tree Shrine.
I wonder if it can only be dedicated to the world tree.
For me, I value this big tree more than the world tree.
Should I only not pray but dance too?
No, it takes courage to imitate that beautiful dance after seeing it.
I also shouldn’t wake up Zabuton and the spiderlings hibernating on the big tree.
That’s what my feeling is telling me.
After praying at the shrine, I withdrew.
Let’s prepare a warm drink in my mansion.
A few days later.
「Niz has decided to stay in Village Five.」
「I think she would like to move forward without being covered with mundane things. Eventually, she’ll hear from god.」
「Please support her. Whatever she needs, you can freely take it from the village’s budget.」
「I’ve already arranged it to be like that. During her stay, she seems to be working for the church. Celes will report it to you.」
「I understand. If anything happens, let me know.」
Everything will be fine if I leave it to Youko.
I’m an ordinary person so I’m kind of anxious to deal with the divine.
What is it, cat?
Want to play with me?
I’ll stroke your stomach.
Do you want to pat him too, Youko?
You don’t need to be afraid.
Gulf and Daga were practicing swordsmanship in the mansion.
Of course, they are using wooden swords.
It seems to be a practice match but Daga has won 5 times while Gulf won 1.
While watching the two, Ursa said something.
「Uncle Gulf’s sword is easy to understand. Uncle Daga’s sword is hard to understand.」
Gulf probably knows what she means but I don’t so I ask her.
「It is easy to know when he’ll attack.」
Is that true?
I watch Gulf and Daga.
I don’t get anything at all.
Gulf’s attacks are illusionary.
There are times when it is fast or slow, and there may be patterns, but I don’t get it at all.
However, I understood that what Ursa is saying is not a lie from Daga’s movement.
Daga seems to know the timing of Gulf’s attack.
There were several times that he’s one step ahead of him as if he can see the future.
This is the world that amateurs can’t comprehend.
However, how can Ursa get it?
Is she a sword genius?
Should I let her walk the path of the sword?
I thought of the moment when she was still small. She was holding a wooden sword and happily waving it that time.
If she wants to, I wouldn’t mind.
But now, she only needs to practice sword for self-defense.
While I was looking at Ursa like that, Gulf barked.
When I look at him, he already won against Daga.
After that, Gulf continues to win.
During their break, Daga asked Gulf.
「You seem to have noticed.」
「Yeah. I finally understood. That’s dirty. You should have told me.」
「If you don’t notice it yourself, you can’t fix it.」
「Maa, you might be right….」
「But don’t be conceited. It only means that I have one less advantage.」
「Umu. Devote oneself.」
I did not understand the meaning of their conversation so I asked Ursa.
「Uncle Gulf raises his tail a little when he’s about to attack. It is difficult to from the front but if you look at the movement of his fur around his flank, you will know when he’ll attack.」
She’s a sword genius after all.
It is impossible for me.
I can only ask Gulf or Daga to train with you.
「I can’t. Gulf, you spar with her.」
「Are you going to do something else?」
「I’ll report to Ria-san and Ann-san that you found out your habit.」
「….eh? Was there anyone else who knew about it other than Daga?」
「Most of the villagers know. Ah, no one told anyone about it. Everyone’s become aware of it on their own.」
「…..that not something I want to hear.」
Despite saying that, Gulf looks like he’s happy.
The battle between Gulf and Ursa….Gulf won because of height difference.
「Ah, that was dangerous.」
「Father, I want a longer sword.」