The [Blessing Ceremony] takes place in the Temple, where sacred power is gathered.
There is always at least one temple in every town or village, and the village we live in, Red Village, also has a magnificent temple built.
Ruby and I came to the temple.
“Wow, that’s a lot of people. It’s not just the people from Red Village.”
There are a lot of people already gathered inside.
Some of them are unfamiliar to me, probably residents of other towns or villages.
“It seems that people from other towns and villages are gathering to receive the ritual. The temple here is the biggest in the area, and it seems like they’re going to get the blessing here. That’s what Village Chief Beril said yesterday.”
I don’t remember any of that, probably because I was so nervous.
I mean, I just felt more and more nervous when I realized that there were a lot of people I don’t know.
If you look closely, you can see the parents of the people who will receive the blessing ceremony.
They must have come to see their own child in glory.
Unfortunately, my mother was busy with work and wasn’t here.
I guess that’s a blessing in disguise. The possibility of embarrassing myself in front of my parents is gone. But still, I’ll have to report the results later.
“Oh, look at the back. There are adventurers here.”
There were a few [adventurers] among them, and probably here to recruit promising talent.
To bring someone who has been blessed with a high-ranked sacred weapon into their party.
As I walked deeper inside the temple under their watchful eyes, I heard a voice calling out for Ruby from somewhere.
“Hey, Ruby, you’re late!”
“The ceremony will start soon!”
“Oh, good morning, guys! Hold up!”
Ruby left me, saying, “I’m off for a bit.”
She has a pretty wide circle of friends. She has a lot of friends in Red Village and even knows people in other towns and villages.
She is the complete opposite of my timid personality.
So I was left all alone and had no choice but to go to some corner and wait for the ceremony to start.
And when I tried to get to the side……
*Boom!* I collided with someone’s shoulder.
Rather, the other party deliberately bumped me on the shoulder.
Who the heck is this guy? Well, that’s pretty obvious.
“Oh, it’s the last one. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, you’re so short I didn’t notice you at all.”
He is a young boy with upswept golden hair and squinty eyes.
It’s Helio Doll, who lives in the same village as me and who is constantly harassing me.
You could say that he is the little lord of Red Village.
I heard that he was also coming to the temple to receive the [Blessing Ceremony]. He is the same age as me, so it is natural.
“What, you’re going to take the blessing ceremony too, Rust? What’s the point if you’re not going to be blessed with any great sacred weapon?”
“……ha ha ha”
I let out a chuckle at the sarcastic remark.
Helio has always been mean to me, and I’m not very fond of him.
I can’t argue back very well with him.
There’s no point in taking the ceremony. Once the wimpy Rust had been blessed with the sacred weapon. You’ll be too chicken to fight the demons anyway. There are only so many of us., so why not go home early?”
“…… Yeah, maybe so.”
Therefore, I always try to cover it up with a bitter smile, like this.
I need to say something back. Even if I knew that I should argue back, I couldn’t because of the bad memories that flashed through my mind.
As a result, I let out a weak chuckle and fall silent.
However, that’s when……
“Hey, Helio. You’re harassing Rust again! Stop it right now!”
“Tch, the annoying guy has arrived”
Ruby returned at the right time.
Ruby always comes to my rescue when Helio and the other boys are being mean to me like this.
Ruby’s reliable back. A sight I’ve grown accustomed to.
For Ruby, who has a strong sense of justice, bullying the weak is something she hates more than anything else.
That’s why she helps me every time someone is being mean to me, and I, somewhere in my heart, have fallen for her.
Helio turned his back to us with a bored look on his face, as if he had lost interest by being interrupted.
“At the very least, as a member of the same generation, don’t do anything embarrassing, Rust.”
I was relieved when I saw Helio walking away.
Huh, it was scary.
Just as I was thinking, “I’m not really good with Helio,” Ruby poked me in the side from the side.
“It’s not ‘yeah’, Rust. You should say something back.”
“We’re going to be grown-ups now that we’re twelve years old, so we need to be more responsible. You can’t be a cool adventurer if you staying like that. Besides, I won’t be able to protect you forever. You have to be strong, Rust.”
That’s right, Ruby can’t keep protecting me forever.
If I can’t fight off a bully or two on my own, there’s no way I’ll ever be the hero I’ve always wanted to be.
Today I will change. I will be different.
As I was gathering my resolve in secret, I heard the voice of a priest echoing in the temple.
“We will now begin the Blessing Ceremony. Those who will receive the blessing, please come to the altar.”
The temple, which had been buzzing with noise, suddenly became silent.
Immediately, a boy came out from among the participants.
“All right, I’ll go first!”
The boy followed the priest’s instructions and walked to the altar.
The altar was bathed in a white glow from the sunlight that poured in through the open ceiling.
Apparently, once a year, there is a day when the Sun pours out its divine light, and that light illuminates the altar. Only when it is illuminating the altar can one have a conversation with God.
The only people who can interact with God are those who are twelve years old or older. In other words, adults.
In the past, people had no way to fight against demons and monsters, so they were oppressed one-sidedly.
This is because the demon race is protected by a tough layer of skin called [Demon Armor] which cannot be damaged by ordinary weapons.
They made a plea to the gods to help them there and surprisingly, they were able to communicate with them and were given a special weapon that could slay demons and monsters.
This is said to be the origin of the [Blessing Ceremony].
Well, I don’t know if it’s true or not.
Anyway, it was a fact that if a person who was over twelve years old prayed at the altar on a day when the white light was flowing, he could obtain a weapon that could defeat the demon race, so the boy followed suit and put his hands together in front of the altar.
Then the altar begins to shine with more dazzling light.
The light was so bright that I involuntarily closed my eyes, and when I opened them again, a large ax had appeared on the altar.
“Here’s the blessing……”
My eyes widen in surprise.
I’ve been fortunate enough to stand and watch a few ceremonies before, but this phenomenon never fails to amaze me every time.
The shock was even greater because this time I was on the receiving end of the ritual.
As I watched in amazement at the altar, a boy happily picked up the sacred weapon and shouted.
“[Steel Greataxe] It’s a C-rank sacred weapon!”
Immediately, a round of applause rose from the crowd.
By equipping a Sacred Weapon, you can learn more information about it — [Properties].
The name, the rank, and all of the power that resides in that sacred object.
It is also customary for those who have undergone the ritual to announce what sacred weapon they have received.
The boy who had said the name and rank of the sacred weapon in accordance with it stepped back happily.
“I’ll do it next!”
The girl who followed also prayed, and the altar shone with a blinding light.
The girl also shouted loudly as she picked up the green dagger that appeared.
“[Gale Dagger]. I also have a C rank!”
Another round of applause.
The people around him reacted with joy.
“Maybe we’ll have a great harvest this year.”
“Some years, you don’t even see a single C-rank divine weapon”
That’s two already, and it gets more and more exciting.
Sacred weapons are assigned a rank.
From the top, the ranks are A, B, C, D, E, and F. The ranks change depending on the performance of the sacred weapon.
The average is a D rank sacred weapon. Many people will be blessed with that rank.
No wonder the people around me were happy to see two C-rank divine weapons suddenly appear among them.
According to one theory, The chance for a C-rank weapon is one for every 1,000 people, a B-rank weapon is one for every 10,000 people, and an A-rank weapon is one for every 100,000 people. Well, I’m not sure about that.
In any case, after the boys and girls who had achieved excellent results, the blessing ceremony proceeded smoothly.
D rank, D rank, C rank, D rank……
As expected, there seemed to be a lot of D-ranked sacred weapons. The fact that there are no sacred weapons of ranks lower than D suggests that this year’s harvest may be a good one.
“Whoa, what’s with that sacred weapon?”
As he looked at the altar, he saw a long spear on it, clearly distinguishable from the other sacred weapons.
It was beautifully ornamented and gave off a powerful aura.
It was that bully, Helio-kun, who took it and held it up proudly.
“[Lightning Spear], B rank.”
Instantly, the loudest applause of the day was given.
“Oh! That’s Helio!”
“I knew you had it in you!”
“Let me have a good look!”
The village adults, friends, and people from other towns and villages applauded Helio’s ceremonies.
A B-ranked sacred weapon. Amazing, indeed.
Helio-kun has always been a strong fighter, and he also said that he wanted to be an adventurer like me and Ruby.
With that divine weapon, I’m sure he’ll become a great adventurer.
Then, the adventurers who had been observing around us quickly begun to approach Helio-kun.
“Are you interested in becoming an adventurer? Why don’t you come to join our party?”
“We also welcome you, boy! Let’s be adventurers and defeat the demons together!”
The annual invitation for new adventurers at the blessing ceremony.
To become an adventurer, you need to take an exam and pass it.
However, if you are recruited by an existing adventuring party, you can become an adventurer without taking the test.
It’s called a recommendation.
I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that only high-ranking adventurers are allowed to make recommendations, so those guys must be pretty amazing.
How enviable to be approached by so many of them.
As I was looking at Helio, he suddenly looked at us.
He was grinning and loosening his cheeks.
“That smug expression on his face is so annoying!”
“Oh, Ha ha….”
It’s a face that says, “Look at me”.
Ruby didn’t seem to like it.
“All right! I’m going to show off something no less awesome than that guy!”
“…… Good luck Ruby!”
Ruby also stands in front of the altar, not to be outdone by Helio, who has been blessed with a B-rank divine weapon.
Then she bowed to the priest watching beside her and politely said her name.
“My name is Ruby Blood. I look forward to working with you.”
Ruby put her hands together in front of the altar and prayed to God.
I can’t even imagine what she’s thinking about.
But even watching from the side, I could feel how serious she was.
Then the altar begins to glow with a bright light.
Somehow, I felt the glow of the altar was stronger than the others’ ceremonies.
When the light eventually subsided, a large sword was placed on the altar.
“Oh, that’s ……”
Even the hilt of the large sword is dyed red.
The blade is thick and disproportionately large for a girl to wield.
However, Ruby lifted the great sword lightly and uttered the name and rank of the sacred weapon in a reverent manner.
“Let’s see, …… [Flaming Dragon’s Great Sword], A rank?”
For a moment, the temple was silent.
Everyone turns to look at Ruby, wide-eyed.
“Oh, my God! It’s an A-rank sacred weapon!”
“I’ve never seen one up close before!”
“It’s so beautiful!”
Ruby herself didn’t seem to be aware of it right away.
When she realized the greatness of her sacred weapon after a while, she looked at me, holding it up with a broad smile.
“Look at me, Rust! I’m an A-ranked sacred weapon! I’m the highest-ranked one!”
“That’s amazing, Ruby…….”
The gods truly gave you a sacred weapon that is no less powerful than Helio-kun.
I knew Ruby was amazing. She had a strong sense of justice, she was cool, and she had the talent to be an adventurer.
As a childhood friend, I am also very happy.
As she secretly enjoyed herself, adventurers soon rushed to Ruby’s side.
It’s not often that you see an A-ranked sacred weapon. Therefore, it is inevitable that there will be a lot of invitations.
Ruby is troubled by the many invitations she receives. Then, a woman comes out of the crowd.
Her white hair stretches to her waist as if it were bathed in light. Her skin is also perfectly white and pure. Her face is well-shaped.
The woman, who could easily be called a beauty, stood in front of Ruby after cutting through the hordes of adventurers with only her domineering presence.
“Hey, that’s ……”
“Ah, No way…”
“It’s the Hero Pearl…..”
The name sounded familiar to me, too.
The title given to the strongest adventurers — [Hero].
And now, the strongest known adventurer is a female adventurer named Pearl Lightning.
Also known as [The Hero Pearl]. So that’s who she is.
But what in the world does she want with Ruby?
“If you want, you can join my party. Ruby Blood.”
Ruby wasn’t the only one surprised.
I gasped, and so did the people around me.
“Oh, She’s being recruited into a hero’s party!?”
“That’s great, Ruby!”
“You should definitely join them!”
The Hero Pearl frowned at the bustling noise around her.
“It’s too noisy to talk here. I’ll explain it to you over there, Ruby Blood.”
“Are you sure it’s me? Can I join your party……?”
“Are there any other participants named Ruby Bloods besides you? Come follow me.”
When Ruby was told that, she happily followed behind the hero.
But just before she disappeared, she stopped.
Then she glanced at me and firmly showed me her clenched fist.
“Good luck Rust!” That’s the impression I got from her.
Ruby then disappeared into the crowd, following Pearl.
All I could do was stare blankly at the back of her head.
“That’s great, Ruby. ……”
I can’t believe that legendary hero, Pearl Lightning, is recruiting her.
So, I can’t help but wish for the same.
“I wish I had a sacred weapon like that.”
it didn’t need to be an A rank. I want a weapon that can fight the demon race.
And I want to be recruited into some party and become an adventurer with Ruby.
I made up my mind and walked over to the altar.
“You’re the last one.”
“I’am Rust Stone”
After greeting the priest, I began to prepare for the ceremony.
Put my hands together in front of the altar and pray to God.
It seems that we are free to pray for whatever we want. But what I will say is obvious.
Please give me strength, God.
I want to be strong enough to be fighting alongside Ruby.
Power as strong as Helio-kun’s.
The power to become a hero.
“Please, God. ……”
Instantly, a dazzling light shone from the altar.
The light is as strong as Ruby’s ceremony earlier.
Inevitably, my expectations, and those of the people around me, grew.
Gradually, the light converged and a single sword appeared on the altar.
Everyone’s excited eyes focused on the sword.
“This is ……”
My eyes widened.
The people around me stared at the altar with stunned expressions.
Because on top of the altar was something that seemed to be against all expectations.
How am I supposed to handle this fact?
Isn’t there some mistake?
To confirm this, I grasped the handle of the Sacred Weapon.
However, there was no mistaking the facts that I could see.
I tried to follow everyone else’s example and say the name and rank of the sacred artifact I had been given, but I couldn’t say anything.
Because the sacred weapon in my hands is ……
Name: Rusted Sword
Attack Power: 1
Benefit: Strength +0, Endurance +0, Agility +0, Magic +0, Vitality +0
Durability value: 10/10
It was a tattered, rusted sword that looked as if it was about to rot away.
That’s a lot of damage for sure…