Arifureta - Volume 1 - Chapter 1
Chapter 1 : Summoned to a Different World
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Hajime stood there with his hands protecting his face and his eyes closed, but when he heard the rustling noise he slowly opened his eyes.
Hajime looked around in utter amazement. The first thing to catch his eyes was a huge mural. The mural was about 10 meters in height, there was a person with androgynous features that had an aureole in the back and long flowing blonde hair with a slight smile on the mural. A grassy plain, a lake, and mountains are drawn in the background and the person had both of their hands extended out. It is a beautiful mural. It is a great mural. However, Hajime felt that the eyes were somewhat cold.
When he looked around, he noticed that they were in a huge hall. He wondered if the whole hall was made of marble. The whole building was done with a smooth white luster, it had huge pillars that was carved beautifully holding it up, and the ceiling was done in a dome shape. The whole place looked like a cathedral and the hall had a very solemn atmosphere.
It seemed that Hajime and the rest were at the top of a pedestal that was located in the deepest part of the building. They were in a position higher than the surrounding area. His classmates also looked around stunned at what they were seeing. Apparently, all that students that were present in the classroom at that time, was caught up in the situation.
Hajime glanced behind. There was Kaori also looking around stunned at was before them. She did not seem to be injured, so Hajime felt relief.
Perhaps, the people that were surrounding the pedestal would be able to explain the situation. Yeah, Hajime and his classmates were not the only ones here. There were at least 30 people on their knees giving prayer with both their hands in front of their chest. All of them wore a white robe that was embroidered with gold, and they had a staff right next to them. At the tip of the staves it spread out like a fan, and several pieces of disks hung around it in a circle.
One particular priest looked to be about 70 years old, what made him stand out was his very formal headwear that was close to 30 cm in height, stepped forward towards them. Though with his old age, he was wearing too flashy of a robe. He might have passed for someone in his 50s if not for the wrinkles that engraved his face.
The old priest spoke to them with a clear and calming voice that fit his appearance, with the staff in his hand.
’’Welcome to Tortus, our Hero and his fellow countrymen. We welcome you all. I am called Ishtar Lombard and I am the Pope of the Church of Saints. Please let's get along.’’
After he introduced himself, he presented a smile that was often associated with nice elderly people.
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Currently, Hajime and the rest moved locations, they had passed through the great hall and saw some tables lined up 10 meters in front of them. Without exception this room was made with gorgeous details. From a layman's perspective, it seemed like all the works that decorated the room was made with masterful technique. Probably this was where they were going to eat. Kouki's group of 4 and Aiko-sensei sat at the head of the table. Hajime sat at the last spot.
Nobody made any noise as they were guided to this area and seated, their minds were still trying to work out what happened to them. It was up to Ishtar to explain the situation, even Kouki with his EX Charisma was silently wondering. Aiko-sensei gathered the students like a teacher should, with teary eyes.
When everyone was seated, with amazing timing, the maids entered pushing carts. Yeah, real maids! Not like those fat Obaa-sans maids that plagued the earth. These were real and true beautiful woman, beautiful women maids that embodied the dreams of a man.
The majority of the class boys stared at the maids because of their adolescent minds. Though the girls were sending cold glares at them.
Hajime instinctively stares at the maid that comes by his side to serve the drinks...but for some reason he felt a chill down his spine and he fixed his staring. When he faced the direction of the chill, Hajime saw Kaori smiling at him. Hajime decided to stop looking.
Ishtar started his explanation after he confirmed that everyone had gotten a drink.
’’I'm sure you are all confused. I will explain first, so please listen till the end before asking any questions.’’
After that, Ishtar arbitrarily explained the situation and it seemed like a fantasy.
First, the world was called Tortus. In this world, there were three major races. Humans, Devils, and demi-humans. The Humans ruled over the north area. The Devils ruled over the south area. The demi-humans lived quietly in the wilderness to the east.
Of these, the Humans and Devils have been in a war for several hundred years. When compared a Devil was much stronger than a Human but Humans had the number advantage. Both sides have not been in a large-scale war in a few decades, but they are preparing themselves. Recently there has been abnormal happenings occurring. The deployment of monsters by the Devils.
Monsters are said to be a variant of wild animals that took in magic and changed. They were not considered real living organisms. They had the power to mimic peculiar magic that other races used, and this made them powerful and dangerous animals.
Until now there were very few people that could tame them. Even if they could be tamed, the tamer could only control 1 or 2 monsters at most. This common thought was completely reversed by the Devils. This meant that the Humans no longer had their number advantage. Now the Human race was facing a crisis.
’’The one to have summoned you here is Eht-sama. He is the god that protect us and the one we worship in the Church of Saints. He is the one that created this world. Most likely Eht-sama realized that if things remained this way the Humans would face destruction. For this reason you were summoned to avoid this future. The world you come from is higher ranked than ours, the people from your world would have exceptional power here. Before the summon, we prayed to Eht-sama. You were the ’’salvation’’ that he sent.
With your powers, we will overthrow the Devils and save the Humans by the will of Eht-sama.’’
Ishtar said this with a very rapt expression. He was most likely recalling what the oracle had told him. More than 90% of Humans followed the teachings of the Church, those who have heard the oracle is often assigned to a position of power.
Hajime suspected this so called ’’Will of God’’. He felt that Ishtar was distorting what the world really was and what it faced. People that wanted to protest suddenly appeared. It was Aiko-sensei.
’’Please don't joke around! In the end, these children will be fighting in a war! I won't allow such a thing! I will absolutely not allow such a thing! Please let us return! Surely, their families will be worried about them! What you have done is merely kidnapping!’’
Aiko-sensei was angry. She was a very popular social studies teacher that was 25 years old. She had a baby like face with her 150 cm height. Her hair was done in a bob cut. For her student's sake she tried her best and it was very heartwarming. There was often times when the students were protected by her even though her physique was not that adult like.
The students often called her Ai-chan, even if she got angry when they referred to her as such. She was aiming to be a dignified teacher.
She was angered at the unreasonable summoning and stood up against it. Ah, Ai-chan is trying her best again. There were students who were looking at Aiko-sensei's admonishment of Ishtar with a fuzzy feeling. The following words from Ishtar froze them.
’’I sympathize with your feelings. Unfortunately we have no way to return you.’’
Silence filled the halls. There was a cold air that appeared throughout the whole area. Everyone gaze at Ishtar, not knowing what to say to that.
’’That's impossible, what do you mean not possible? If you can summon us, you can send us back!’’
Aiko-sensei shouted out.
’’As I said earlier, it was Eht-sama that summoned you. The magic that interferes with other worlds is a magic we humans cannot use. Whether or not you can return it is left up to Eht-sama to decide.’’
’’Such a thing...’’
Aiko-sensei lost her strength at that point and dropped into her chair like a stone. The students started to rustle at that.
’’Lies! Why can't we return?’’
’’Iyaa. I just want to return!’’
’’Don't even joke about war! Don't mess with me!’’
’’Why, Why, Why...’’
The students started to panic at the situation. Even Hajime was not okay with this. However, being an Otaku he had read many situations like this before. Therefore, he expected these patterns. Since it was not the worst pattern, he was a lot calmer than the other students. Incidentally one of the worst pattern was being summoned to be a slave.
While everyone was taken off guard, Ishtar was just calming watching the students' reactions and choose to let it flow naturally. However, Hajime could see that behind that calm expression there was contempt for them. The priest was probably thinking that they should be honored to be picked by Eht-sama.
Still, the panic did not settle down. Kouki at this moment stood up and slam the table with a bang. This sound surprised the students and got their attention. When he confirmed that he had everyone's attention, Kouki began to talk.
’’Everyone, there is no reason to make so much noise in front of Ishtar-san. He had nothing to do with it. ...Me, I'm going to fight. The humans of this world are facing a crisis, that is a fact. Knowing that, I cannot ignore their pleas for help. If I was summoned to save humans, we may be able to return after we have saved them. Ishtar-san, how about it?’’
’’Right, Eht-sama will answer the wishes of the Saviors.’’
’’We all have special powers right? Since I came here I've been feeling this sense of power.’’
’’Yes, that's right. Roughly, each of you have power that is several times higher than the people from this world.’’
’’Then it's okay. I'll fight. I'll save the people, and then we can all go home. I'll save the world and everyone, you'll see!’’
Kouki gripped his fist tightly as he declared this. Vainly, Kouki showed his bright smile that sparkled. At this moment, there was no doubt that his EX charisma was very effective. The students that earlier had an expression of despair began to regain calmness and vigor. Kouki's eyes that shined so brightly, seemed to have found hope in this situation. Half of the school girls sent admiring glances at him.
’’I thought you would say something like that. If you were to do it alone, I would worry about you. I'll also fight.’’
’’At this moment that is all we can do. It's not like I hate it, I'll fight too.’’
’’Eh, If Shizuku-chan is going, I'll try my best.’’
The usual group of 4 agree with Kaori. The rest of the classmates seem to approve and went with the flow. Aiko-sensei tried to argue against it with watery eyes, but against Kouki's display it was useless.
After all, it seemed that everyone was going to participate in the war. Most likely the classmates did not truly understand what it was meant to go to war, they were just fantasizing it. Most likely they agreed as a mechanism to escape the grim reality they were in, or else their spirits might have caved at the surreal situation. Hajime just observed Ishtar while thinking these things. The priest had a very satisfied expression on his face.
Hajime noticed it though. While Ishtar was giving the explanation, he observed Kouki, he confirmed what reaction they would have to the story. With Kouki's strong sense of justice, it was easy to see his reaction to the tragedy that would befall humans. After he just told them about the ruthlessness of the Devils, Ishtar specifically emphasized the cruelty. Ishtar probably had good insight. He was wondering who had the most influence in the group.
It was probably natural for someone in the world's largest religion, but what a tricky person. Hajime added Ishtar as someone to be careful of in his head.
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The one waiting for them after the summon was not a priestess or princess, but a really old guy!