76.1 The Passing Year, The Coming Year
Mistral says it is an incredible dance and that she greatly appreciates the night kagura. Priscilla-chan also earnestly watches while doing her utmost to stuff the food from her hands into her mouth. Incidentally, due to us watching the night kagura while standing, Mistrial and I are taking turns holding the small Priscilla-chan so that she can see the stage.
I’m surprised. The two of them are taking more of an interest than I expected. I was worried they might not be interested in this because they are from different cultures with different customs. I was ready to have to lead them someplace else if they weren’t.
Where could we go on the last day of the year? I doubt the fountain at the park or the crowded shops in the business district are places to go on the night of the new year.
Maybe the royal castle? Around now, the normally rugged stone castle is beautifully decorated. It should be glittering from all the lights shining on it.
Many people who don’t gather at the temple head to the royal castle. The plaza before the castle has been opened to the public, and because the royal family presents itself at the royal observation room every new year, people will go there to see them.
Speaking of which, it’s being said that Risita will also be making an appearance this year. If that’s the case, then the plaza before the castle might be more packed than usual.
If it’s how I think it will be, I can’t recommend taking a trip to the royal castle either. If I were just with Mistral, it would be one thing, but Priscilla-chan would do as she pleases even within a crowd of people. I’m positive we’d absolutely lose sight of her.
I wonder what Ristia is up right now? Is he at a lavish ball with various aristocrats? Slatton, Cleisio, and also Neimie should also be with him. Naturally, the fourth princess, Seris-sama will be there.
With the event at the temple being the highest priority for the shrine maidens Kiira and Inea, they shouldn’t be at the royal castle. Those girls can only truly stay with Risita all the time after successfully completing their year away without any mishaps and officially marrying him.
Not being able to get married until the year long departure is completed, aren’t I the same? I also can’t formally marry Ruiseine until after the next year.
What about with Mistral? Do dragon tribesmen have their own wedding traditions?
I glance at Mistral. Maybe she noticed my gaze because she too glances my way and smiles.
“What a wonderful dance. While we too have lively dances, they are nothing like this one. This leaves a very solemn impression.”
“Yeah, this dance has been handed down for thousands of years. It is performed as an offer to the Megami-sama of Creation, so it’s very sacred.”
“So this is what Ernea wanted us to see?”
“Fufufu, unfortunately, this isn’t what we’re here for. Of course, I’m not saying this isn’t great either.”
I make a meaningful laugh and go back to watching the night kagura. Mistral tilts her head at my lack of an answer, but also returns her attention to the stage with me.
Then, as if perfectly timed, the dance ends and the music stops. At the same time, hustle and bustle returns to the plaza.
“It’s over?” (Mistral)
“No, watch the stage.” (Enrea)
“Nntto, finished eating.”
“Yes, now wipe your mouth. The new year is almost here.” (Enrea)
The dance coming to a stop is proof that the new year is close.
I wipe Priscilla-chan’s mouth for her and take her trash.
“Nntto, hold. Can’t see much.”
Priscilla-chan strains herself to make herself as tall as possible.
When the night kagura ended, Mistral set her down. Except, once her face was clean, she demanded to be picked back up. Is it because she likes being held, or is she just very interested in the night kagura?
Mistral makes a wry smile and lifts her with both hands.
Except, that won’t be all that important soon.
Deep down in my heart, I smile.
On the stage, the shrine maiden-sama and priests who finished dancing go back into the temple. In their place, someone comes from the temple.
Her clothes are much purer than what the dancing shrine maiden-sama were wearing. The khakkhara she carries is larger and more beautifully decorated than the one the far off Ruiseine is carrying.
This shrine maiden-sama’s straight, long, black hair goes all the way down to the back of her knees. Thus, while holding her long hems, the long haired shrine maiden-sama goes up onto the stage.
Men and women follow after her onto the stage. The shrine maiden and priest garments they are clad in are just as chaste. From behind the shrine maiden, they stand at her sides. All of the shrine maiden-sama are holding khakkhara.
I properly answer Mistral’s question this time.
“The shrine maiden-sama with the black hair at the front represents the temple in this country. She is the head shrine maiden-sama. What I wanted to show you is this.”
While the shrine maiden-sama and priests line up on stage, everyone in the plaza begins to sit down.
“Now, let’s sit. Starting here, we watch while seated.”
At my encouragement, Mistral and Priscilla-chan sit down.
Of course, I’m also sitting.
Looking around, I see people kneeling with their backs straight. There are also people praying with their hands together.
The plaza before the temple is filled with solemnity. With everyone seated, the hustle and bustle has quieted down. Before anyone realized it, silence has come to the plaza before the temple.
“Ah, it’s Ruiseine.”
Priscilla-chan, also picking up on the solemn mood, murmurs in a low voice.
Standing near us is Ruiseine. Mistral drove her away, but it looks like she was nearby.
“Fufufu, it’s because I’m in charge of this area here.”
Ruiseine smiles at Priscilla-chan.
T/N: It took a while, but here is the next chapter. These past few months were rough.