The Divine Sisters were agents of the Oracle Think Tank, an agency formed to fight against internal and external threats for the safety and security of Keter Sanctuary. They were also an order of battle nuns.
“And he was crowned as the greatest and most holy patron of the dragons in the name of Keter Sanctuary… Okay, that concludes today’s lecture.”
Sister Faciata bowed her head and smiled faintly, and the crowd before her smiled back with a sigh. Faciata was not a good speaker, but there was something about her voice that soothed people. Crowds would come every morning just to hear her speak.
“Let’s proceed with counseling. Is anyone in need of help?”
Yes! Yes! Yes! The young men and women waved their hands emphatically.
Faciata smiled once more then let the first person up on stage.
Southwest of Sacred Albion, the capital of Keter Sanctuary, lay Lake Euclark.
When viewed on a map one could see that the lake was long and thin, and was located near the center of the great plains.
Legend says the lake is actually a great gash in the land formed when a great dragon attacked long ago. How terrifying must a dragon be to leave such a scar on the landscape? It seemed ironic that 3000 years later this remnant of a deadly attack now served as the main water source for the surrounding area, allowing the local people to prosper.
Blastlake Temple, which Faciata visited regularly, was on the southern shore of Lake Euclark.
“Sister Faciata, please.”
The sun was beginning to set as the last person seeking counsel finished saying their piece.
No matter what the people’s troubles were, whether it was a sick child or a failing love life, Faciata never showed any signs of fatigue. It wasn’t just because she was an elf—she genuinely enjoyed talking to people. Even the rambling reminiscences of an old man were as fresh in her mind as if they happened yesterday.
“So, what can I do for you?”
“Perhaps this is something I should talk to the Second Order of Knights about.”
“This temple exists to bring you and your prayers closer to the Heavenly Floating Islands of Ketergia, home of the knights. Please, carry on.”
Faciata’s tone was calm, but her expression was serious.
She sensed that a mission was about to start, but the crowds didn’t know that.
“Thank you. Lake Euclark gives us small fish and shellfish in the shallows, and there are larger fish in the deeps. It provides for us all year round.”
The man seeking help was the chief of a fishing village on the south shore of the lake.
“Yes, you provide many a delicious dish for us.”
Once again Faciata beamed. The sisters who worked near the lake enjoyed the plentiful fish that it provided.
“Thank you… However, the stocks seem to be running low as of late.”
Faciata bowed her head.
“I wonder if the fish charm is fading. I shall remake it for you.”
The chief waved his hand, refusing her offer.
“It’s the large fish in the middle of the lake. And we know why it’s happening…”
The sound of rushing water came from the lake, almost as if it was intentionally interrupting the man. The crowd screamed.
“It’s here! Oh no, it’s so close…!”
The people seemed to disagree with her decision, but Faciata held firm.
“I shall go alone. I will need a small boat.”
“We’ll send some men with you. If anything were to happen to you, we’d…”
Faciata once again let out a little laugh.
“I will be fine. Surely Hwang will know it well, right?”
Faciata sought permission from an unexpected person. Old Man Hwang was the former chief of a nearby village. He was over 80 years old. The old man, who never missed any of Faciata’s lectures, began to speak.
“Hmm? What was that?”
The current village chief, who had his ear close to Old Man Hwang, translated for him.
“I think we should give Sister Faciata a shot.”
“Leave it to me!”
Before anyone could stop her, she had already untied the boat and was rowing into the lake.
Faciata was a proficient rower. Faciata and Old Man Hwang used to have rowing races when he was a young boy. He never managed to beat that elf in her wimple and nun’s robes.
“I’m here. Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
Faciata started talking quietly to the lake; the water was perfectly still.
Faciata waited with her eyes closed.
Lake Euclark, which formed in an area that was once entirely arid, created a unique ecosystem unlike anything else nearby. Faciata had lived in the temple long enough to hear all the tales people had about the lake.
And about what lurks within it.
A massive, ferocious monster.
It was said to live mostly in the northern end of the lake but could appear in the south depending on the weather.
There was a disturbance in the water not far from the little boat.
“You’re facing the Divine Sister Faciata, beast.”
Faciata sounded a little tense as she brought out six pieces of metal.
A plate made up of noughts and crosses appeared out of nowhere, almost like a magic trick. As Faciata continued to wave her hands they formed into seven explosive charges. They looked like a line of candles on candlesticks. Her dainty yet strong fingers danced around almost as though they were alive.
A fin that had appeared from under the water came rushing at the little boat…
A huge freshwater shark, as long as two adults put together, attacked Faciata.
“Ah, so you’re just a shark after all!”
Faciata didn’t sound at all worried by it.
She avoided the shark’s attack by moving her feet and made a motion with her left hand.
The first of her bombs exploded on the surface of the lake.
“Hmm, you’re a tricky one. But you’re causing trouble for all the fishermen and even for the other fish in the lake. I can’t let you be.”
Faciata continued talking calmly as she sat in her little boat.
“But then, I suppose the lake is free for all. I would appreciate it if you could leave calmly, but…”
She set off another explosive with a smile.
The shark, normally one of the more intelligent species of fish, was in a state of utter confusion.
It clearly never had this level of resistance from another animal before. It had always been the biggest fish in this lake.
“Leave my dear followers be. If you don’t, I’ll have no choice but to get serious.”
The shark, which had dived deep under the boat, decided to retreat. It was getting ready.
“Teehee. I know exactly what you’re planning to do.”
Faciata waited patiently in her boat.
Faciata’s ears twitched.
She jumped straight in the air without warning.
As the shark surfaced and tried to swallow the boat, two more of Faciata’s explosives went off.
One final roar echoed across the surface of the lake.
The fishermen all embarked from the southern shore, calling for Faciata in despair.
It was then that…
“Hi, everyone! The beast has been quelled.”
Her voice rang out from within the smoke that obscured the lake. It was the same calm voice that had ended the lecture.
The tattered little boat appeared, carrying the nun in spotlessly clean robes. She bowed her head and smiled.
Faciata had won.
In addition to ensuring the safety and devotion of their followers, the Divine Sisters had another important mission.
Keter Sanctuary was established by the ruling class living in the Heavenly Floating Islands of Ketergia.
While it may never reach the heights of the days of United Sanctuary, the heavenly nation that had saved Planet Cray so many times, those who lived on the floating islands were able to reside in a paradise filled with all the goods, transport, information, magic, and technology they could ever want. The difference between them and the rest of the nation who toiled their lives away on the surface was stark.
The surface dwellers’ feelings of antipathy toward the islanders were always smoldering just beneath the surface. If left unchecked, such feelings could have led to rebellion, and the Sanctuary would once again fall to ruin.
That is why the Battle Sisters and Divine Sisters were established to tend to the people living on the surface.
They were a bridge connecting those above with those below, an attempt to reestablish the lost solidarity.
That is why Faciata continued to pray, talk, love, and fight.
“And he was crowned as the greatest and most holy patron of the dragons in the name of Keter Sanctuary… Divine Punishment.”
The Divine Sisters were agents of the Oracle Think Tank, an agency formed to fight against internal and external threats to the safety of Keter Sanctuary and were also an order of battle nuns.
《Notes about Terminology》
An order of battle-ready nuns formerly known as the Battle Sisters.
In the Chakrabarthi Divine Era they worked as agents of the Oracle Think Tank to counter threats from both internal and external threats. Their work was fundamentally secretive and never officially recognized, but they worked tirelessly to keep the connection between the surface and the Heavenly Floating Islands of Ketergia alive, and to keep the citizens who dwelt below believing in the divine.
Supervising Editor: 中村聡