Chapter 63: Secret rituals

Hillian held the “deep sea” stone in both gloved hands.
He brought it up to his forehead, lowering his gaze and bringing the stone to his forehead.

At first, I was confused by what was happening.
Hillian didn’t chant any strange words or speak to the stone, but eventually, something happened.

For a while, Hillian and the stone were connected, with a pale blue light appearing between them and enveloping both Hillian and the stone.
Hillian’s long hair floated as if he were underwater, even though there was no wind, and for the first time, Hillian spoke in the language of Sinn Fe.

“‘Neural circuit connection, approval for mineral language decoding begins… Approval confirmed.
Meaning confirmation initiated… Meaning confirmed,'” Hillian spoke.

Although I could understand the Sinn Fe language, what Hillian was saying sounded more like  something else than magic.

I thought the conversation might be more formal, but it was so efficient that it felt like a secret code for handling confidential information, rather than a spell.

As I gazed at the scene, I wondered if this was what a religious ceremony in Sinn Fe was like.
The room was silent for a moment and Hillian returned the stone to its box.
Hillian, looking extremely tired, Randy-sama stood up and offered Hillian a cup of water from the pitcher with his own hands.

Hillian accepted the cup politely, removing his gloves and taking the cup with slightly shaking hands.
He took a deep breath and drank the water in one gulp.

“…Hey, Hillian? Is this process very hard on your body?.

“Yes, it is… I wouldn’t say I’m not tired.
Have you ever ridden a horse?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Imagine it then.
Making the horse’s will match your own… And in this case, it’s a wild horse since it’s the first time I’ve met this stone and it’s from a different country, not one that was bred.
You approach the wild horse without getting kicked and ask what it wants to do, and if the wild horse permits, you ride on its back.
That’s what I do, even if I have to force it.
If I get kicked, that’s it, but since the Dragnate Kingdom is a country with a strong faith, the wild horse won’t go wild.”

I tried to imagine what Hillian was describing, but I couldn’t quite understand the idea of acclimating a rampaging horse to that mystical scene.
However, I understood the meaning of Hillian’s words.

There was a pause before the stone shone, probably because of the exchange between the stone and Hillian about whether to be cautious.

“I have the skill to perform such a rite, but I think that the craftsmen of Seanapse country also do it.
Well, other first-rate people do it unconsciously.
It’s a feeling of hearing a voice from a voiceless thing, about what you want to become and what form you want to take.”

I may not be a master of anything, but I’ve heard that a great cook can hear the voice of ingredients.
—It’s said that the dishes made in that state are particularly delicious.

Is Hillian someone who has mastered it? I wondered.
Being a civil servant in another country while still having priestly abilities is quite impressive.

As I pondered with a content expression, Hillian finally smiled at me.

“You appreciate the present wonders, yet you say nothing about them.”

“Something that shined? But isn’t religion about listening to the words of God and spreading God’s will?”

“That’s correct, but there’s no official religion in the Baratonia Kingdom and the Faithnum Empire’s religion are…”

I understand.
The information was distorted.
The religious leaders in the Faithnum Empire are plagued by corruption and have failed to fulfill their duties as priests.
It has become a place for power struggles and opportunities for people to rise from the lower ranks.

This is also the reason why I have no faith.
However, it’s not fair to assume that all religions are corrupt just because the religion in the Faithnum Empire is corrupt.

In the Dragnate Kingdom, they worship stones and believe that power resides in these stones.
These stones are known as power stones and are considered talismans.

“This and that are different stories.
The Faithnum Empire has an unwritten law that states that they will not interfere with the religions of other countries.
The religion of the Sinn Fe Kingdom should be respected, as should the religion of the Dragnate Kingdom.”

“Is that so… then, would you like to hear the conveyed meaning of the ‘deep sea’?”

This would be a confirmation of ‘Do you believe me?’

I nodded seriously.

“The ‘deep sea’ wants to stay close to the ‘flames.’ Eventually, it will become ‘spring’ and ‘eternal spring.’ What do you think?”

In other words, it seems that the ‘deep sea’ must be paired with the ‘flames’ to be acquired.

I apologize for having to confirm multiple times, and if you heard it from the sibling stone, you can understand that it is difficult to separate.

I was not sure about the terms ‘spring’ and ‘eternal spring,’ but I believed it was preferable to keeping the sibling stones together.

“Then, let’s take ‘spring’ and ‘eternal spring.’ Can we pay the fee here?” I asked.

“I am grateful that you have reached the same conclusion as the priest in our country, not just the miracle of the priest in Sinn Fe Kingdom.
If you could bring the fee later, I will pay it to the owner properly.
We have already received the budget, so we have prepared a first-class stone within that.”

I guess it means that there is nothing here that you can’t really hold on to.

“If you ever permit it, I would like to visit the shrine of Dragnate Kingdom someday,” I continued.
“I may not be able to hear the voice of the stone, but today, thanks to Randy-sama and Hillian, I was able to experience a mystical encounter.
Thank you both for presenting such a beautiful stone.”

Smiling, I thanked Randy and Hillian and as I packed the stone to take it home, I was treated to tea and was able to relax.

It was probably due to Hillian’s exhaustion, but as he sipped tea, he was able to unwind.
We then took the stone and headed to the high-end hotel in the town of Dragnate Kingdom, which we had reserved for our lodging today.

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