Chapter 27 – A priest is doubtful
When I wake up, a priestess I do not recognize is looking at me with her eyes wide open, seemingly panicked.
“You’re finally awake.”
She says with a happy tone and a smile, and hands me water.
Why was I asleep I remember rumors starting that a miko had appeared.
There are many gods in this world, and true believers can hear their voices.
This country used to have someone that could hear the voice of god, but that person passed away eight years ago.
And thus, in this country without someone that could properly hear the voice of god, it was suspected that a miko had appeared.
We had to find her, so myself and nine other priests performed a ritual that we knew could result in our deaths.
I managed to hear the voice of god, and pass along the information we received, just before fainting.
That is all I remember.
“Did you manage… To find the miko”
“Yes, we did.”
I feel relieved.
I hear that I am the first priest to awaken, and that I have been bedridden for four months.
At least no one died, and just being able to wake up after performing a ritual to forcibly hear the voice of god is good enough for me.
I also feel a lot of regret.
The miko lived in a remote village for eight years, but if we had someone that could properly hear the voice of god, we could have welcomed her as soon as she was born.
As I think about this, the priestess leaves the room saying she will bring food.
Among the sudden surge of information we received in the divine message, I could faintly see what the miko looks like.
I couldn’t see clearly, but I did see the miko, and that thought races through my mind.
Ah… the miko.
The one loved by god.
I wonder what she is like.
I am filled with joy over living in an age when god has granted us such a miracle.
I want to see the miko as soon as possible.
I cannot help but feel I have to take action for her sake.
Some people come to see me.
They all seem happy that I am awake, and treat me with sympathy.
I have never even heard high ranking priests until I played a part in something as important as succeeding in hearing the divine message, but now they come to me personally.
I have mixed feelings about this, but it is fine.
After all, we managed to find and bring in the miko.
I tell them I want to meet her, and three days later, arrangements are made for me to stand before her.
The miko has yet to make a public appearance, but still, even commoners speak of her beauty.
I am displeased about the young miko not receiving a proper education.
I am but a lowly priest, and I am not involved with those of higher ranking, but is this their policy
I even fear that they are purposefully giving her a poor education in order to more easily control her as a pawn.
I am nervous thinking about what this country plans to do with her.
I feel like the miko needs to live her life in peace, and for that, she needs to be given a proper place to learn.
She certainly needs to understand what her position as the miko means, but in the end, all of this is nothing more than my opinion.
The idea that the previous educator of the miko was expelled for having an improper attitude makes my head hurt as well.
They say she brought misfortune onto this land, but I still have a hard time processing what happened while I was asleep.
For now, I am focusing only on having an honest conversation with the miko.
At least that is what I think as I make my way there.
When I finally stand before her and see her, those thoughts are completely blown away.
“I’m the miko!!”
The girl that confidently proclaims this certainly is beautiful.
Blue eyes and golden hair.
Yes, golden hair… I cannot take my eyes off it.
“…My name is Ilmu.”
I do not remember what we talked about.
We had a bland conversation and I took my leave.
I head towards my room in the living quarters for priests adjacent to the temple, in a state of confusion.
I was worried after hearing rumors about the miko, but I looked forward to seeing her nonetheless.
I was thrilled about meeting someone loved by god, but something was not right.
The miko I saw for a brief second in the divine message did not have golden hair.
I only saw it briefly, and it was not very clear, but it was not such a beautiful golden color.
If anything, it was a more subdued color.
Common brown hair you can see anywhere.
It was only for a second, so perhaps I am mistaken.
Perhaps I am remembering wrong…
No, I do not think so.
My mind is still in a state of confusion, but I start thinking about the possibilities.
Did the miko dye her hair… Surely not.
Hair dye is expensive, and not something you can come across in a remote region.
Surely it would come off after being washed anyway, so there is no way the people taking care of her don’t know her real hair color.
I do not even want to think about this possibility, but could it be that the miko currently in the temple is not the real miko
I shudder as this idea crosses my mind.
—A priest is doubtful
(The priest that has just woken up is suspicious about the older sister.)