I’m an Old Man but also a Saint? — Chapter One: The Knight Who Came to the Village

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T/N: As far as I can tell, no one else has translated this.
I thought it sounded super cute so I went ahead and translated the first chapter.
It’s six pages long and took me forever.
Hopefully I’ve done the author some justice! This is also a completed work with a happy ending (according to the author).

Born in a small, remote village, I have lived the picture-perfect life of poverty: neither starving nor saving.
It’s three days on foot to the nearest town.
Even for the bare necessities such as salt, you either must have the mayor buy it on your behalf, or wait for the rare merchant to come.
Villagers, who live in such remote places and have no money or time to spend on frivolous things, don’t bother going out to the city.

So, like the others here, I have never left the village nor regretted staying.
I’m poor, but I’m happy with how I live, and not going out into the city isn’t a real problem.

…No, there is a problem, actually.

Status Appraisal at age fifteen, mandatory for all residents of this country.
I’ve never been Appraised.
Rather, most people in this village haven’t been Appraised.
This is due to the village being so far away from the city and due to the lack of church in this village, which is highly unusual.

Well, right now, there’s the church building, but… can I really call it a church? Firstly, there’s no priest.
The old priest died decades ago when I was still a young child but no replacement ever came.

Secondly, the building which used to be the church is full of the village’s food.
It’s the only stone building in the village, and it’s cool even in summer, so as far back as I can remember, it’s been used as a storehouse.

On the other hand, since there’s a statue that looks like a shrine, I think it’s okay to call it a church.
The statue is wrapped in cloth and kept out of the way, so it’s difficult to say whether the church actually plays a role, but it is excellent as a food store.

In a sense, since it protects our important foods, it is more worthy of worship than other gods.

…The story went awry.

Due to these circumstances, we who live in a remote village without a church have never been Appraised.
Even if fulfilling obligations is good, if I were asked to do it, I wouldn’t, because even if I was Appraised, I already know I’m without magical power.
I don’t need to leave the fields for six days just to be told that.

My father and mother, grandfather and grandmother had all done so, so there shouldn’t be a problem.
Just because I haven’t fulfilled my obligations, doesn’t mean anyone should bother to come to a village in such a remote place.
And if you do come, don’t interrupt all the villagers.
At best you’ll be scolded.

I thought this way until yesterday.

Yes, until yesterday.

In this village where women are less than forty percent of the population, there are a certain number of men who are gay.
The best men look good, talk well, are rich… so if all the men are sorted that way, it’s only natural that I’m mediocre, bad-mouthed, and my parents died early.
It’s not uncommon for the surplus men to marry each other, but I don’t have anyone.
Before yesterday, I lived quietly alone in the house where I’d grown up.
I had reached my 42nd birthday without any regrets.

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After finishing the field work and returning home, I was immediately called to the village mayor’s house.
I gathered more information about the situation from the conversations I heard along the way, it seemed that a great man came from the capital and said that everyone would be Appraised.
The purpose being the twenty year long search for the saint.
It’s hard to reach such a remote village.

The saint in our village? Hah!

I think the first time I had heard about missing saint, I was almost twenty years old.
A saint is the one who cleanses the whole country of miasma, keeps the demons away, and heals the injured.
There is always only one saint in a generation, but everyone is sure the missing saint is still alive.
It is said that when the power of the previous saint begins to weaken, a new saint will always appear.
I don’t know how it works, but thanks to her magic, the damage caused by demons in this country can be suppressed.
It is also because of the saint that we can live so close to the Forest of Demons without fear.

Rumors that the next generation’s saint wouldn’t appear because the current saint was so powerful had reached our small village.
Rumors which caused the mayor to hold an elder’s meeting to learn more.

‘If the next saint cannot be found, the damage done by the demons will increase.
The temple knights are in a frenzy looking for her, so it was best to keep our heads down until they leave.’ Is the conclusion the elders came to, but contrary to the expectation the search would soon be over, the saint was still missing.

“Although our village was miraculously undamaged by demons, the damage to the country as a whole was serious, and there are whispers about the possibility of a demonic invasion.” said the mayor.

That is why the knight has come all the way from the city to such a remote place.

Is it even necessary to Appraise an old man?

Since it’s a saint, it’s probably a woman, so isn’t it enough to Appraise Lilia, the mayor’s daughter, or Mimi, Dan’s granddaughter? I don’t think there’s a saint in such a poor, remote village in the first place.

When I entered the mayor’s house, following the man who came with my summons, I saw people from all over the village had already fathered.
Since the women are line up in the front and the men in the back, I guess that must be the order of the Appraisals.
I let my companion stand in front of me as I took my place at the end of the line, looking at the man who’d come all the way from the royal capital.

I heard that he was a great man, but is he really a so-called knight? He wore a crisp white uniform and had a longsword on his waist.
He had wheat-colored blond hair and purple eyes like mountain grapes.
He also had a slender body and a beautiful face.
He was probably about thirty years old? Even from behind, I could see the excited blushes of the women.

Are all men from the royal capital like this? Or is this guy extra special?

The line progressed slowly while I think about nothing in particular.
Unfortunately, there was no saint among the women.
As expected in an atmosphere of bitter smiles, the line progressed much faster.
Perhaps, it only took time because the women were so fascinated by the visiting men.
When I took a peek at the Appraisal artifact from my place in the moving line, it looked just like a shiny piece of paper.

I didn’t know how it worked, but it seemed that a person’s status would appear when they touched the paper.
It s

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