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VERDELET
性別: 男性
年齢: 72歳
契約対象: 石化したドラゴン
契約の代償: 毛
紋章の位置: 頭部
Sex: Male
Age: 72
Pact Partner: Petrified Dragon
Pact Price: Hair
Seal Location: Head

* 神官長という役職
ヴェルドレが務める神官長という役職は、女神の身の安全を確保することを最大の任務としている。女神と接することが許される唯一の存在であり、身の回りの世話なども行う。任務の性格上、神官長が人前に出ることは希である。神官長は同時に、連合軍の総司令官という立場でもあるが、実際に陣頭で指揮を執ることはまずない。これは、あくまでも女神の身を守ることが優先されるためである。
◉ The position called Hierarch
In Verdelet's position as hierarch, the greatest duty of his office was to ensure the safety of the goddess. He was the only being permitted to come in contact with the goddess, and took care of her daily necessities. Due to the nature of his office, the hierarch rarely appeared before the public. Coincidentally, he was also the supreme commander of the Union Army, though as head of the army he never did any actual commanding. This was because to the very end, he put the protection of the goddess as his first priority.

* 封印する能力の使い手
神官たちの頂点に立つ存在だけあって、神官長には各種の神秘的な能力が備わっている。その中でもっとも重要なのが、封印を施す能力であろう。何らかの原因で封印が解かれてしまった場合に、それを修復することができるのは、世界中で神官長ただ1人である。なお、その際に使用するのは一枚の護符と呪文のみ。ときおり精神的な弱さを露呈するヴェルドレだが、神官としての能力は一級品だ。
◉ Wielder of sealing powers
As might be expected from one who stood at the head of all priests, the hierarch possessed all sorts of mysterious powers. The most important of these, was the power to seal. For any sort of situation in which a seal was broken, the only one in the world who could mend it was the hierarch. Furthermore, in such situations he used nothing but a single talisman and incantation. Though Verdelet had occasional moments of emotional weakness, as a priest his abilities were first-class.

* 契約対象―――石化したドラゴソ
ヴェルドレは若かりし頃、ドラゴソと契約を行った。その代償として毛髪を失い、頭部には紋章が浮き出ている。契約の経緯については黙して語ろうとしないが、ドラゴソから得た強大な力が、彼を神官長という要職に就かせた要因であることは間違いないだろう。なお、契約したドラゴソはすでに石化している。また、カイムと同様に契約者であるため、レッドドラゴソの”声”を聞くことができる。
◉ Pact partner---petrified dragon
When Verdelet was young, he made a pact with a dragon. He lost his hair as the price, and a crest appeared upon his head. He does not speak of the details of the pact, but we cannot be mistaken in assuming that the great power he gained from the dragon was the main cause of his rise to the position of hierarch. Furthermore, the dragon he had made a pact with was already petrified. Still, having formed a pact similar to that of Caim's, he could hear the red dragon's "voice".
------
内なる葛藤を胸に秘め神に仕える人格者
The man of god who hides inner conflict within his heart


ヴェルドレは、不安だった。神官長という立場にありながら、彼はときどき、神の真意がわからなくなるのだった。もちろん、神官長とはいえ1人の人間に過ぎない自分に、神の意志がすべて見通せるなどとは思ってはいない。しかし、このところ起きている出来事は、あまりにもヴェルドレの理解を超えていた。天使の教会、帝国軍、そして―――女神フリアエ。神はいったい何を望んでいるのか―――。
Verdelet was worried. While he had the title of hierarch, sometimes, he lost his understanding of God's true motives. Of course, even if he was hierarch he was still no more than a single human being, and could not expect to foresee everything God willed. However, recent incidents had far surpassed Verdelet's understanding. The Angel's Church, the Imperial Army, and---the goddess Furiae. What in the world was God hoping for---?

ヴェルドレは書き物をしていた手を休めると、隣室のほうを見やった。壁1枚を隔てた向こうは、現女神フリアエの居室である。彼女のことを思うと、ヴェルドレの胸は痛んだ。13歳のときに目の前で両親を惨殺され、その心の傷も癒えぬまま、兄や許嫁とも引き離されてしまった少女―――。神はあまりにも酷い仕打ちをする、とヴェルドレは思わずにいられない。初めてフリアエと対面したとき、とても14歳の少女とは思えない空虚なその目に、戦慄すら覚えた。外見こそ可憐な少女だが、彼女のまとっている空気は、まるで死期の近い老人のそれだったのである。フリアエは―――空っぽだった。
Verdelet gazed at the adjoining room as he took a break from his writings. Beyond the single wall that separated them, was the present goddess Furiae's living room. Thinking of her, Verdelet felt an ache in his chest. At the tender age of 13, having still to recover from the trauma of seeing her parents slaughtered before her eyes, the girl had been separated from her brother and fiance--- Verdelet could not help but think that God had dealt her far too cruel a blow. When he first met Furiae, there had been an emptiness in her eyes not at all typical of a 14-year-old girl, the mere memory of which sent a shiver through his spine. She certainly appeared to be a pitiful girl on the outside, but the air she gave was entirely like that of an old woman on the verge of death. Furiae was---a hollow shell.

神官長であるヴェルドレの職務は、女神の安全を確保することである。これまで彼が手がけてきた女神たちは、最初のうちこそ頑なな態度を見せていた者でも、接していくうちに少しずつ心を開いてくれる場合が多かった。しかし、フリアエは違った。彼女が女神となってからすでに数年が経つが、彼女のほうから話しかけてきたことは数えるほどしかない。もちろん、話しかければしっかりと答える。しかし、その口調は平淡で、いっさいの感情が感じられなかった。今やヴェルドレは、彼女の心を開こうとする試みを完全にあきらめていた。
As hierarch, Verdelet's duty was to ensure the safety of the goddess. Until now, the goddesses he had worked with would be obstinate at first, but many of them would open up towards him over time. However, Furiae was different. It had already been several years since she became the goddess, and yet he could count the number of times she had spoken to him on one hand. Of course, when he spoke to her she never failed to reply. But her tone stayed quiet, and not once could a sign of emotion be felt from her. Verdelet had now given up on all attempts to open her heart.

こんなとき、ドラゴンがいてくれれば―――。思いはいつもそこにたどり着いてしまう。絶大な権力を持ち、大勢の人々から尊敬を集める神官長という立場は、実は、恐ろしく孤独な存在でもあった。ヴェルドレの命令1つで命を捨てる者の数は、恐らく数万は下らないだろう。しかしヴェルドレはそれより、対等に話ができるたった1人の相手が欲しかった。かつて、その役割を担っていたのが、契約相手のドラゴンだった。だが、ドラゴンはとうの昔に石化し、永遠の眠りについている―――。ヴェルドレの口から、長いため息が漏れた。
At a time like this, if the dragon were here--- His thoughts always found themselves wandering towards this conclusion. He had immense power, and had gained respect from a great many people as hierarch, but in truth, this was a dreadfully lonely existence. If Verdelet gave a single command, tens of thousands of people would lay down their lives to carry it out, no matter how trivial. But more than that, what he really wanted was a single companion with which he could converse as an equal. Before, the one to carry that role had been the dragon that was his pact partner. But the dragon had fossilized long ago, and fallen into eternal sleep--- A long sigh escaped from Verdelet's mouth.

そのところ毎日のように入る戦況報告は、今ヴェルドレたちがいる城に危険が迫っていることを知らせていた。女神と共に流浪の生活に出る日もさほど遠くないだろう。そうなったとき、自分は女神を守りきれるのだろうか―――。「神よ、お力を!」思わず口をついた祈りに、応える者はなかった―――。
News of the war seemed to be coming in every day, notifying them that danger was approaching the castle they currently resided in. It seemed the day was not far away that he and the goddess would be living a live of vagrancy together. I wonder if I will be able to protect the goddess when that time comes--- "Oh God, give me strength!" He let out an involuntary prayer, but there was no response---.

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August 2017

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