“Now the next one, please come forward.”
In the church with the divine atmosphere, I was urged to come forward by an elderly priest dressed in divine robes.
The priest stood on a platform decorated with a cross, which had a large blue crystal placed at the centre; and the priest extended his hands over it.
The ceremony about to be performed is called the [Heavenly Blessing Ceremony], and is obligatory in the Kingdom of Meldrake for those who reach the age of 16.
This ceremony is a ritual in which a person receives a suitable job and a special skill — Truly, a literal gift from the heavens.
Jobs range from traditional combat jobs such as warriors, magician and knights to non-combat jobs such as merchants, blacksmiths and farmers.
Furthermore, advanced jobs such as Sorcerer, holy knights and magic swordsmen can also be granted.
As for Skills, they are often associated with a job, and if a higher level job is appears through the [Heavenly Blessing Ceremony], no matter how low the status of a person, they receive preferential treatment and assistance from the country – and can turn their entire life around in a swoop. It can be the greatest event of one’s life.
Most people look forward to this ritual, hoping for a blessing from heaven. ……However I, Chris Sparling, am different. [T/n; the surname is read as Sparring, like fighting but that sounds really stupid so I’m going with Sparling instead]
The Sparling family is famous for its swordsmanship, and its members have received a sword related job across generations. Above all, the job received by the next head of the family greatly affects the influence of the entire family.
My father, Georc Sparling, had a sword-related occupation, but he was given the lowest-ranked job of all previous heads of the family, the basic [Swordsman].
Because of this, my father was even more desperate than anyone else to see a great job appear; and coupled with the fact that my twin brother was born frail, I, his eldest son, was forced to train hard with him since I was a small.
This [Heavenly Blessing] such heavy expectations riding on it.
I think I’ll be fine considering every member of the family has received some kind of Sword related Job………but in the off chance I don’t; my body began to tremble just from the thought.
Most people envy my background, able to grow up with no discomfort in lifestyle thanks to the family but from my point of view, I am more envious of tose who could live without any heavy expectations being thrown upon them.
“Hurry up and go, I’m next after all.”
As I walk slowly, while suppressing the nausea in my stomach, Klaus, my twin brother, calls out to me from behind.
When he was a child, Klaus was frail and had to be nursed by doctors all the time, but when he turned five he showed signs of recovery and now leads a normal life without any problems.
By the time we were old enough to understand things, we should have become normal siblings, but …… Klaus doesn’t seem to be fond of me, he doesn’t respond well when I talk to him, and until now we haven’t even had a proper conversation.
Perhaps because I always seem to get all the attention, and maybe Klaus feels the same.
“Sorry. I’m going.”
Apologising, I took a deep breath and stood in front of the platform at a quickly.
Confirming that, the Priest holds his hands, which look like dead trees, over the crystal and begins to speak some sort of incantation.
It was only a few seconds in time, but it felt like an eternity to me.
Then, as if he had understood the ‘blessing’ that had been bestowed ….. he removed his hands from the crystal and turned his eyes towards me.
“Chris Sparling. Appropriate Job is [Farmer]. Unique skill [Poison Resistance].”
The moment I heard the priest’s words, my vision began to sway, and my heart began to hurt, as if it were being crushed.
Did he just say I’m a farmer ……?
The priest was talking about something, but I couldn’t hear him, and just when all the nausea I had been suppressing was about to leak.
“Brother, your proper job is a farmer!? We-Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but …… it’s going to be alright! Please cheer up!”
Klaus called out to me from behind with a voice so loud and joyful that it echoed through the church.
When I reacted to the voice and turned around, there was Klaus with a ecstatic face.
Reflexively, I almost jumped to cover his mouth, but my job would eventually spread even if I held Klaus’ mouth here.
As I relaxed my muscles and slumped my shoulders, Klaus stopped right next to me, lightly tapping me on the shoulder.
“Thanks to you, I can more comfortably undergo the [Heavenly Blessing]. Thank you.”
As he spoke in a teasing manner, he continued walking with a swagger in his step.
In contrast to my brother, when I walked to the entrance of the church, shrinking my body, I saw my father dauntingly standing at the entrance.
His expression was full of wrath , an anger he had never shown before, which could be felt even from a distance, and without a pause he shouted curses at me.
“You useless worthless fool! I cared for you for so many years yet—[Farmer] and skill is [Posion Resistance]!? What a disgrace!”
I squeaked out an apology but–
As if to drown it, a huge cheer and applause came from inside the church.
When I turned around, I saw Klaus being tapped on the shoulder by the priest from earlier, with a radiant smile on his face.
Soon afterwards, the buzzing gossip reached me and my father at the entrance of the church as well.
“I heard that the boy just now got [Sword God]. Since the first hero, he’s only the fifth [Sword God].”
“That’s ……. Isn’t that crazy?”
I panicked to look at my father only to see the anger had long gone and had been replaced by a jubilance that had never been seen before on his face as he looked towards Klaus on the platform.
I was no longer in his field of vision, and it felt like I was the only one alone in this church overflowing with people.
“Fa-father, um I’m sorry.”
I couldn’t help but utter a few words of apology when I saw the situation, but he only turned to me with pity in his eyes
My heart ached with pain again, and I became unable to even breathe properly.
I almost collapsed to my knees, but before I could kneel on the ground, I was supported from behind and couldn’t even fall.
I slowly looked up to see the figure behind me, and there was Klaus looking down at me, laughing even more unsightly than before.
“Brother. If you collapse here, all the attention will move to you. The [Sword God] has appeared in the Sparling family. If you’re going to collapse, at least go cry in some secluded alleyway, Chris-niisan, the farmer.”
I wanted to punch him, but my instincts had already recognised the clear change in position that had been created in the past few minutes, and I just let my fist flop down without rising.
As soon as Klaus realised that I had no energy to argue with him, he pulls his hand away from mine in satisfaction and walks downstairs to Dad, with cheers from all around.
“Dad. I have just received the Heavenly Blessing of [Sword God]. My brother was unfortunately a [farmer], …….but it seems that the gods didn’t give up on our family, and I was given the proper job to save the face of the Sparring family.”
“Really,Truly …… really well done Klaus! You are truly a son of the Sparling family. From now on you will lead the Sparling family in the right direction.”
Klaus and father shared a passionate embrace, with father holding his eyes as if he were overcome with emotion.
On the other hand Klaus looked simply satisfied, as the people around them applauded loudly at the scene of embrace between father and son.
I continued to gaze at this, trying to keep myself calm and objective, not allowing all the weird and dark thoughts and emotion to break my heart.
The selfish desires of my father and the authority of the Sparling family.
For the sake of such an invisible thing, I had been forced to train hard since childhood, and yet here I am being treated as a useless person because of this pure luck we call [Heaven’s Blessing].
And my father, with tears in his eyes continues to thank Klaus who, before this, he had barely talked to or paid attention to and had more or less abandoned because he was born with a frail body.
Klaus had also turned his anger at his father’s neglect towards me, and hugged his father, the biggest culprit of all, while looking all satisfied.
I’ve done nothing wrong, yet I’m being shouted at and mocked.
—And above all, I am disgusted at how pathetic I am, unable to say anything back and unable to do anything but stare.
Clenching my empty fists as hard as I could, I headed home from the church all alone.
3 responses to “Null Poison Prologue”
MC being hated as a failure for the “blessings”? Should have retorted “Hey! Father, why don’t you hate Klaus for faking illness all those years just to get out of training, since he’s the Sword God? Huh?”