"One, two, three, four! Yes, then bring your upper half down――"
I'm desperately moving my body to the solemn music that's being played. But, for me who's far from good at exercising, the head priest's instructions are too difficult.
"Rei-san, you're falling behind. Everyone, stop for a moment. Once again, we'll do it over from the top"
At the words of the head priest, everybody including me returned to the starting positions, and we began dancing to the music.
As for what I'm doing right now, it's a practice for the Offering Dance the Church's nuns perform during the Harvest Festival. As for why I'm doing this despite not being a nun, the story goes a few days back
"Wou, wouldn't you be interested in the Offering Dance?"
Today as well I went along with Claire-sama who went to learn from Lily-sama. When Lily-sama's lecture reached a stopping point, she said that.
"The Offering Dance?" "It is about the Harvest Festival, is it not?"
Although at first I couldn't remember, with Claire-sama's words a drawer in my memory opened. Ah, it's about that.
"Ye, yes. It's a ritual performed by the Church during the Harvest Festival, it's about offering a dance to the Spirit God" "Why are you asking us for such a thing?"
If I remember correctly, it's nuns who are supposed to perform the Offering Dance.
"Tha, that… Actually, vacant positions appeared for the dance… The Church is looking for substitutes" "Aren't there substitutes inside the Church?" "No, not just anyone can perform the dance. If the magical power isn't high…"
It seems all the excellent magicians are currently away from the Bauer Cathedral. There should be many excellent water magic users in the Church, but it seems they've been mostly recruited to provide medical treatment in the strife with the Naa Empire.
"Tha, thanks to that, the Church is in the situation where they lack personnel for an important ritual that the Harvest Festival dance is. If possible, could you cooperate?" "We're indebted to Lily-sama, so I won't hesitate to cooperate, but don't the dancers need to be nuns?" "Na, naturally it's preferable if they are nuns, but this year the Offering Dance itself is on the brink of not being held, so everybody is welcome"
So it was such a pinch.
"No, not to mention, like that Lily's wish to dance with her beloved Rei-san would come true"
Lily-sama's blushed and wiggled. Somehow she suddenly turned vulgar.
"How about it. Won't you cooperate?" "Hmm…"
What should I do. As Claire-sama is greatly indebted to her, I'd like to return the favor by cooperating. But, because practice is necessary to perform the Offering Dance properly, the time spent with Claire-sama will be reduced accordingly. While I was hesitating,
"Why not. Cooperate" "Claire-sama…"
Claire-sama urged me to cooperate. What kind of turn of events is that.
"But, I hate that the practice will decrease the time I spend with Claire-sama" "In that case, should I also participate?" "Wi, will Claire-sama also participate!?"
Claire-sama's offer seems to have come as a surprise to Lily-sama.
"Is it no good?" "Fa, far from it! It's a great honor! Hawawa… If Lily doesn't report it to the pope…"
According to Lily-sama, the participation of Claire-sama, who's a high-ranking aristocrat with high magical power, has a great significance to the Church. But――.
"Please do not use it for politics too much?" "Tha, that… Lily will be careful"
Lily-sama became disappointed at Claire-sama's warning.
"E, even so… Claire-sama is quite different from the rumors"
When our talk reached a stopping place, such a thing came out of Lily-sama's mouth.
"What kind of rumors are they?" "Ah… Err, um…" "Well, it does not matter. At any rate, it is a worthless matter. In reality, I do not think those rumors are incorrect?"
While spitting out self-torturing lines, Claire-sama tilted her teacup.
"That, that's not the case! Claire-sama is far more wonderful than the rumors say! There's no arrogance, no selfishness… Ah" "Such are the rumors about me"
Claire-sama smiled bitterly at what Lily-sama unintentionally blurted. Not that it matters, but Lily-sama has an attribute of saying things inadvertently. Lily-sama cautioned us to strictly keep Yuu-sama's matter a secret, but the biggest danger to it is undoubtedly Lily-sama. Was it okay to appoint her as a cardinal, I thought such impolite things.
"Cardinal Lily is considerably different from rumors as well?" "A, ahaha… It's said often…"
Claire-sama said with an evil smile worthy of a villainess, to which Lily-sama smiled awkwardly.
"What's the public opinion on Lily-sama?" "Saint" "… Ha?" "As I said, a saint"
After staring blankly at Lily-sama, I faced Claire-sama again.
"You're lying" "Hey Rei, is that reaction not impolite?" "Ah, sorry Lily-sama. Unconsciously, I spoke my mind" "Tha, that's an inadequate follow-up…"
Lily-sama wept copiously. But, right.
"Li, Lily too think calling her a saint is too much. Lily doesn't have the nature of a saint" "Who's the source of that rumor?" "It was the Prime Minister Salas"
Ah, that person. Now that you mention it, Lily-sama has the same silver hair and red eyes as Salas-sama.
"I don't have too good impression of that person" "Why is that? He is an excellent person?" "Lene's case" "Ah… That could not be helped. As a person responsible for the politics of the country it was natural to say that"
Although I can understand the sentiment, Claire-sama comforted me. What's the matter, Claire-sama. Somehow, you're awfully kind. For me, it's Claire-sama who looks like a saint.
Well, Lene's case is not the only reason I dislike Salas-sama. In the first place, isn't the name Salas somehow hard to remember?
"Besides, it is not praiseworthy to insult the father in front of his daughter" "Ah, sorry, Lily-sama. I unintentionally spoke my mind" "As Lily said, that's an inadequate follow-up…"
Again, Lily-sama wept copiously. But, right. We repeated the same gag.
"At, at any rate, you will accept the matter of the Offering Dance?" "I have no reason to refuse if Claire-sama participates" "I shall also participate with pleasure if it can serve as a thanks for everything done for me until now" "Tha, thank you!"
Lily-sama vigorously stood up and bowed her head. Her wimple flipped over.
"You are exaggerating, Cardinal Lily. This much is nothing" "N, no. Harvest Festival is that important ritual for the Church. Not being able to hold the Offering Dance, it would be first such disgrace since the founding of the Church"
Even if it doesn't matter to ordinary people, it seems to be a serious affair for the Church. Only religious people can understand this feeling. Because I only have the knowledge from PrayFeel, honestly, I can't understand it.
"Truly thank you. May you two be blessed with protection of the Spirit God"
Lily-sama who raised her head and smiled, wasn't the usual scatterbrained small animal. I thought that her being called a saint is, just a little, not a mistake.