Chapter 06: Funeral Prayer
I turned four. Lately, my routine has been repetitive; I walk around, ask the maids questions and secretly train my magic.
Today, things were different from morning.
“Your Majesty, you’ll be wearing this today,” the maid said as she showed me ceremonial clothes that had been well-made and never worn.
By the way, the maids dress me.
… I got used to it. Even when they strip me naked. I mean, the maids do wash me from head to toe when I bathe. It’s not as bad as being bathed.
… Well, I’m used to them bathing me too.
Leaving that aside…
The maids took me out of the building after changing my clothes. It’s the first time I’ve been outside except for when I go to the garden.
I’m a little excited, partly because I’m wearing formal clothing. Maybe it’s my first official duty.
I was a lower-middle class citizen in my previous life, so it’s a little exciting to do something ‘emperor-like’.
There was a carriage and a group of cavalrymen guarding the carriage outside. It’s my first time seeing a carriage, but it’s much bigger than I thought it would be… It’s just because I’m small?
I boarded the carriage as I was told to. The inside was covered in cushions.
I knew why the inside of the carriage was covered in cushions when the carriage began to move. The carriage bounced around a lot, so it might be dangerous to sit inside if there were no cushions inside.
It was fun to ride in the carriage since it was like riding an attraction.
… Am I acting like a child because I’m wearing formal clothes and riding a carriage? I’m not sure if my physical age is affecting my mental age as well.
… It seems possible.
Dejected by this possibility, I got out of the carriage and followed the maids.
We arrived at a place that looked like a church in my previous life. I wasn’t Christian in my previous life, so I don’t know if it actually looks like a church or not.
But I think this building is nice. There was a mosaic made out of coloured glass at the back of the building, which created a sacred aura in the sunlight. There is a drawing of a… ship and its captain? It’s a place that makes me want to pay my respects even though I wasn’t particularly religious in my past life.
That’s why it’s a shame that there’s a platform (like one used by a school principal in the gym when he speaks) there that ruins the atmosphere. It looked like it was made out of jewels, gold and perhaps silver. Honestly, it was distasteful.
I’ve been brought here without any explanation, but I’d like to know what’s going on.
The maid next to me pondered a bit then answered, “A funeral is being held today.”
“Yes. We’re here to see the deceased off.”
No, I know that.
Who is it? Is it the Chancellor or the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies?
“It’s Norm de Alemanne-sama’s funeral.”
“She was your father’s concubine,” a voice came from behind me as if covering for the stammering maid, and the maid turned around and bowed deeply.
“It’s been a while, Your Majesty.”
I turned around and the Chancellor lightly bowed.
… Well, alright. More importantly, who is this concubine?
“Everyone was in grief when your father passed away. Your mother, however, locked the two concubines in a dark tower.”
… I see?
The Queen Regent had me in her belly when my father died, and she imprisoned the two concubines who might have been pregnant as well.
She still kept them locked up even after it turned out that they weren’t.
One of them passed away, so her funeral is being held today, and the Regent and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies aren’t here; only the Chancellor is here…
I see. So, I’m being used for political purposes now?
So, the desired response is…
I need to look sad as well.
Is this what you want, Chancellor?
“That’s right. That’s right.”
The Chancellor nodded his head in agreement. He spoke again, perhaps because he was pleased by my response, “In fact, she killed your two-year-old brother and his mother, even though the mother was only a servant and wasn’t even an aristocrat. She did something horrible.”
… My half-brother?! Was he the heir to the throne before I was born!? No, his mother wasn’t an aristocrat, so it was a grey area. Maybe that’s why the Chancellor turned a blind eye to this…
But still… according to what I’ve heard… my grandfather, the previous emperor, should have still been alive at the time of my father’s death.
The Queen Regent was able to do as she pleased.
… Or is it the other way around? It’s hard to believe that the previous emperor wouldn’t do anything, especially after his grandson was killed. So, he was killed before he could take any action?
The Queen Regent’s father, the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies, assassinated him…?
… It’s highly likely. I’m not sure what to make of that, it’s not like I can do anything now.
“I don’t understand.”
This palace is really a place where I can be killed immediately if I’m not careful.
I sat down on a chair and listened to the clergy’s sermon (he is probably the Chancellor’s brother). Apparently, this kingdom believes in the ‘Holy One Religion’.
They tell stories about the ‘Holy Great Person’ when they are sending off the dead to paradise so that they can reach paradise safely without getting lost. Today, he is talking about the founder of the Holy One Religion.
The people in the back started talking for a moment when the clergy started talking… Maybe they only talk about the religion’s founder when a special person has passed away. For example, kings and emperors. That’s why the Regent faction got noisy.
They say that religion and politics are inseparable, and it seems to be true. I don’t care about it since it has nothing to do with me.
Now, the story was very interesting. The clergy wasn’t a good speaker, but I listened attentively as someone who wants knowledge, and understood most of what he said, although there were some words I didn’t know.
In summary, the story went like this.
The religion’s founder, ‘Ain’ was from a neighbouring continent, then he heard ‘the voice of God’. But Ain suspected that the voice was caused by magic or something and didn’t believe the voice. God showed him several ‘miracles’ but he didn’t believe them. Therefore, God made Ain a ‘Saint’. He was given the power to create miracles.
Ain finally believed God after performing many miracles.
He was told by God to spread the ‘teachings’ and lead the people. Ain, the evangelist, does as he was told and tries to spread God’s teachings, but was severely persecuted.
Then, he embarked on a long boat trip with a few followers guided again by the ‘voice of God’.
Wherein they encountered many difficulties. However, they overcame those difficulties with the ‘power of miracles’ and finally arrived at this continent, the ‘promised land’.
God’s teachings eventually spread and the ‘Saint’ who had fulfilled his role, was called to God’s side.
That was the beginning of the Holy One Religion. I noticed something as I listened to this story. Each of the four walls of this church had a glass painting that corresponded to this story.
The back wall where the entrance was showed Ain receiving the ‘power of miracles’, the wall on the left showed him being persecuted, the painting at the front, which I had been wondering about earlier, showed his voyage, and the wall on the right contained a picture of him arriving on this continent.
I don’t know if this story is true or not, but it was honestly interesting. It made me realise once again that I knew nothing about the history of this world.
It seems like it would be fun to become a historian when I get out of here.
The sermon eventually ended, and the coffin was closed. I closed my eyes and mourned her death.
I had never met her before, but I hoped that she would rest in peace. Her life must have been unfulfilling, and she was used for political purposes even after her death, so it would be nice if she could at least rest in the afterlife.
I, or more accurately, anyone in this place could end up in a coffin at any time. That’s the kind of place the palace is.
It really is a bad place.