Tsuia Lord Yudence’s Golen (Beddhism) Inspection
A matter that occurred some time before Kehma and the others returned to the village.
Certain information made its way to Tsuia’s lord, Yudence Tsuia.
“What? Monsters are overflowing from the dungeon in Golen?”
“Yes, it appears that [Cave of Desires] has not been thinned out enough…”
According to his subordinate’s report, it was said that the number of monsters inside the dungeon gradually began building up in the days following the parting of Kehma’s group.
Although he did have some understanding that Kehma and Gozoh’s parties were keeping the numbers down, for it to be by that much…
“There is also a possibility that this is a Transition Phase, but it seems to be much too quiet of a change for that.”
“… Hmm. It is likely just an accumulation of the difference from them not being killed. There is still a period of time before Kehma-dono returns… So be it, please put out a culling commission for [Cave of Desires] to the Tsuia Adventurer Guild.”
Saying that, Yudence rose from his seat and put on his overcoat.
“Are you going out?”
“Yeah. I would like to do an inspection myself. I’ll leave the commission to you.”
“Leave it to me, sir.”
The dungeon would be taken care of with that, and Yudence himself just wanted to take a trip to Golen.
A Beddhist mass… and the Saintess’ massage.
Recently—just before Kehma’s group had set off, to be exact—a Beddhism Saintess was born.
She’d originally been giving massages in Golen’s inn, [Dancing Dolls Pavilion], but for some reason, no matter how rough she was, it never hurt. The woman acknowledged as a Saintess worked the [Miracle] of only ever make you feel wonderful. Her name was Rei, or something?
Her miraculous massages had become something of a helpful organizing effect to the church with its currently missing founder, Kehma.
(It appeared she was one of Kehma’s subordinates, too, so there wasn’t any confusion when she’d begun organizing them together.)
Yudence could only make the trip once or twice a week, but he’d become completely addicted to Beddhism.
You could hear the light sounds of people sleeping in a Beddhist mass. The massage miracle worked by the Saintess could dispel all pent-up stress.
To Yudence, who put his duties as a lord before his personal well-being, this was a precious blessing.
… He made sure to not be noticed by his daughter, Maidence, on his way out of the estate.
Although it wasn’t as if he didn’t want to be seen, she’d look at him with that face and want to come along and bring bodyguards. Even for Yudence, he wouldn’t be able to take his eyes off his daughter, so leaving for a Beddhist mass was inconvenient.
＊ ＊ ＊
Slipping past Maidence’s ever-watching eyes, he got on a the stagecoach heading to Golen.
Although he’d decided to wear ordinary townsperson clothing for the sake of his inspection, his bearing and overall movements oozed a grace that he couldn’t hide. At the very least, those riding with him were able to tell that he was some aristocrat attempting to travel incognito.
Just then, Yudence’s eyes met with another passenger’s. Although she wore more standard villager clothing, she also held an unconcealable grace. More importantly, though, was that it was a face he would never mistake for another’s. It was Yudence’s wife, Waltz.
“Dear. I didn’t expect to see you here?”
“… Yeah, same to you. Have business in Golen?”
“Yes, though I dare say not the same as you.”
Saying that, Waltz took out a circular Beddhist holy symbol. It was silver. From the standpoint of a commoner, it was an extravagant expenditure. Yudence happened to carry one, as well.
Furthermore, although Yudence also had a gold holy symbol, he’d chosen to not bring it with him as that would have instantly marked him as a wealthy merchant or an aristocrat.
“I didn’t know that you had joined Beddhism. I thought that you were a devout follower of the White Goddess Faith?”
“Oh? Beddhism is a [Subreligion] that even White Goddess-sama herself has recognized. Nothing is wrong with me joining it.”
That said, the two of them touched their holy symbols together. This was the standard greeting between two followers of Beddhism.
“Ohhoh, did the two of ya join Beddhism as a couple?”
“Oh hey, I’m a Beddhist too, Good Night.”
“There’s a mass goin’ on today, ya goin’? I’m plannin’ to.”
Suddenly, multiple people started to show their Beddhist holy symbols and greet each other. Recently, some traveling merchant started spreading the greeting, saying that exchanging the [Greeting] with a fellow believer would bring good fortune.
Iron brought more than copper, silver more than iron, gold more than silver. And then there was Saintess-sama’s ruby symbol, more effective than even gold. And then and then there was the giant symbol in the church, the most virtuous of them all.
They’d likely grown interested in exchanging [Greetings] with their silver symbols. The two Tsuias responded pleasantly to this.
“Look, this is a holy symbol I made out of wood.”
“Hooh, that’s nice. Please, let me greet it.”
“Sir, let us pray for an abundant harvest of wheat.”
“Wonderful. Tsuia has rich farmlands, allow me to do a greeting, too.”
Moreover, given that handmade symbols were valued for being both virtuous and for holding the dreams of the maker, Beddhism’s was practically oozing of generosity.
“Wheat… I take it you’re from a farming family? What’s this year’s crop looking like?”
“Good enough. We’ve got some reserve orders comin’ in from Pavuera, too.”
“Hoh? Another upside to that cave. It’s shrunk the distance to Pavuera considerably.”
“Yeah, to the point that we’ve even been gettin’ some peddlers wanting to buy from us directly. We turn ’em down since they’re too suspicious though.”
Sharing information was the natural way of things when people greeted one another with their holy symbols. They were able to have good-mannered conversations like this, sufficient enough for everyone to know that the lord strolled about the town under the pretext of inspections and was called the ally of the common man. Still though, he wasn’t able to hide his aristocratic demeanor during those strolls and would end up being distanced.
It could even be said to be yet another boon he’d received from Beddhism.
“Hmm… I suppose that means a good amount of people are flowing through as well if people like that are turning up. I’ll tell some acquaintances to keep an eye out for them..”
“Ah, thanks. With your acquaintances helpin’ out, Sir, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Another Beddhist blessin’, for sure. Hahaha!”
After exchanging similarly useful conversations like that for a while, they arrived at Golen.
Although the stagecoach shook considerably more than the one he was more used to riding in, it was one of Golen’s models came that with cushions, so he wasn’t in any pain.
Unlike the thick cushions aristocratic ones came with, it was a much cheaper item that wouldn’t be unnaturally expensive for even a commoner to use. It was thanks to these cushions that his rear end didn’t ache from these excursions. Recently, more and more stagecoaches prepared these cheap cushions.
“Alright, shall we go to the Beddhist mass? I’d like to reserve a seat in the front. It’s the quickest way to get the effect.”
“Oh, I always stay in the back. They let me take my time reading until everything begins.”
“… Waltz, you always did get good grades back at the academy, are there any books that interest you there?”
“Yes, there are… Dear, have you not perused their library yet?”
“Err… I-I prefer doing things myself… And I figured they wouldn’t have any books about agriculture.”
Beddhism’s church had a bookshelf. On it were memos on various farming methods from civilians (such as [Sprinkle seashells across your farmland] from Pavuera) that could not be found in the Imperial Capital’s library. As an aside, it didn’t have a the Beddhism Bible on it for some reason. It might have been due to the codex itself being located at the foremost position in the church, but it was worrying that it didn’t seem to care too much about spreading its teachings. On the other hand, it would have been more than troubling if it attempted to spread as aggressively as that Light God’s Decree religion.
“Let’s borrow one today. You will see the splendor of their books. even if it’s just a single manuscript.”
“D-Don’t be too hard on me. Wait, they loan out their books?”
“It’s originally only meant to be for the villagers here, but that can be negotiated upon informing them about your position and paying a security deposit.”
He could only guess at the height of Kehma’s level of thought with him lending such highly valued books to the villagers here. However, Yudence felt that he might have placed too much trust in the townsfolk.
Just then, right as Yudence was about to walk into the church, something pulled on the nape of his neck. It was Waltz.
“Dear. It seems there’s been a thief.”
He looked down to the hole at his feet, followed by the peddler-looking man who was covered in birdlime within it. The man was unable to move.
… He was apparently planning on stealing the books. He’d probably been caught through the use of some kind of magic tool. Although he didn’t know what sort of magic tool it was, it was likely made by the master blacksmith he recalled this village having.
The hole was slowly closing. There were sisters bowing at them from the other side of the hole, so it was probably something of a security measure.
“… I kind of want one for our house.”
“Really, now. It seemed to me like it would sometimes affect an unrelated person, though?”
“True. I wonder if anyone’s complained?”
“From what I hear, if that ever happens, they are given a [Cleanup] and a massage free of charge. It even seems as if the common sentiment regarding that is that they were [Able to fall on1 the thief, the one at fault].”
“What a weird expression… for words to give a feeling of virtue and good omens, religion is strong.”
Of course, they would not receive a free [Cleanup] or massage if they jumped in purposely.
After that, he and his wife were able to join in on the mass.
Folding the cushion he’d brought along for just this reason, he fell asleep. By the time he woke up, he felt completely refreshed… His body was a bit sore since he fell asleep sitting up, but he’d planned to have a massage later on, so that was of no concern.
“You know, dear. Saintess-sama’s massages are on an appointment basis now. Were you aware?”
“… What… did you say!?”
“Ohohoh, this is a reservation ticket. You can’t have it, though.”
“Guu! What is this? My informants didn’t tell me about this!?”
“They appear to have switched to an appointment basis due to becoming so busy after the number of monsters increased so sharply recently. You might have been able to converse with Saintess-sama if you had been reading before the mass… but perhaps you could receive a pressure point massage from a sister?”
“Gununu! Those hurt though!?”
Seeing him squirm, Waltz couldn’t help but giggle.
It turning into a date between the two of them and Yudence, who wound up not actually inspecting the dungeon, returning to be accosted by his steward wondering where he’d been all day with a lightly concealed anger would be a secret forever kept.
As a small mercy, the issue of monsters overflowing from the dungeon was properly taken care of by submitting that culling commission to the guild.