Chapter 15: Afraid of God or Man?
Holy One Church. This was the religion that most nations on this continent have designated as their ‘state religion’. It was a so-called monotheistic religion, and the duty of the Holy One Church was to follow the ‘Teachings of God’ left by Saint Ain. This was called the ‘Great Principle’ and was the first thing my religious studies teacher taught me.
It could be said that this was the only meaningful content of that class.
Apart from that, all that was taught in religious classes was that the Western sect was correct and that other sects shouldn’t be accepted, but I wasn’t taught about what the heresies were or what the difference in doctrines was. I also wasn’t taught anything but the ‘Great Principle’.
So, I was starved for knowledge in this area. I probably shouldn’t have been though.
When Baron Frederic Renan was teaching me the Holy One language, I was reading the text as always and asking questions about words I didn’t understand.
“Baron Renan, what is a ‘spherical world’?”
“The world is ‘shaped like a globe’, Your Majesty. It’s a term often seen in the holy scriptures… Do you not know about this?”
The Baron said in surprise when he saw that I was unfamiliar with the word, but I had never heard that word before. I took the chance and asked Timona about it.
“I don’t know. Right, Timona.”
“Y-yes. We were never taught it, Father.”
He seemed to feel safe around his father, so he reacted honestly. I think this was the first time he had ever spoken properly. His voice was also cute… His voice hadn’t broken yet, so it was obvious.
The Baron closed his eyes and pondered, then he looked up as if he had made up his mind.
“This is something you should know, Your Majesty. So, I will teach you about the holy scriptures today.”
“The holy scriptures are a compilation of the words of Saint Ain which were compiled by his disciples after he was called to heaven. In it, he taught that the world is spherical.”
… Seriously? That’s… amazing. This world already understands gravity and rotation?
“It’s only natural that you’re surprised. Well, to put it simply… Your Majesty, have you ever heard of the ‘sea’ or a ‘boat’?”
“Hmm. I’ve never seen them before, but I know what they are.”
It wouldn’t be strange for me to know that.
“Saint Ain took a ship with his followers and sailed east like God had told him to. Before the teachings of Saint Ain, it was believed that the world was flat and there was ‘nothing’ beyond the sea. After a short while into their voyage, Saint Ain said to his followers, who were anxious, ‘Look behind you. The old continent is already out of sight. This is because the world is round’.”
He was talking about so-called horizons. Come to think of it, there was a similar story in ancient Greece. I heard that the spherical earth theory was rather common among scholars at that time.
“He goes on to say, ‘It is by the power of God that we do not fall. Therefore, we won’t fall as long as we keep our faith’.”
… I see. So, after accepting the actual phenomenon, he reasoned that God was the one who made it so. This religion was completely different in other worlds.
“Well, the Holy One Church has several sects, and one of them is connected to the ‘apocalyptic ideology’ that originally existed on this continent. This is the ‘Inheritance Sect Changed to sect from faction’ and the ‘Holy Imperial Sect’… Maybe this too?”
I think apocalyptic ideology existed in my previous life too… I don’t know much about it though.
“I wasn’t taught about any other sects except the Western sect.”
“I understand. Then, I will tell you the differences between the sects along with the history of the Holy One Church.”
The Holy One Church split into three groups after Saint Ain went to heaven: the ‘Holy Imperial Sect’, the ‘Inheritance Sect’, and the ‘Patriarchalism Sect’.
The Holy One Doctrine was a religion that first spread east of the Heavenly Mountain Range. This was a steep mountain range that stretched from the north to the south in the middle of the continent and was clearly visible from the Imperial Capital.
If the great power to the west of this mountain range is the empire, then the great power to the east is the empire used a different kanji… I’m not really sure what’s the difference…. The ‘Imperial Sect’ was the state religion of the eastern empire, and on top of being designated as a ‘holy nation’ by Ain, they were the first to make the Holy One Church their state religion. They believed that only their empire will be protected as the ‘chosen land’ when the world ends.
The eastern empire developed churches and other ‘prayer places’ as a national project and the number of Holy One Church believers increased rapidly. However, there were those among the old believers who separated themselves from this. These were the ‘Inheritance Sect’ and the ‘Patriarchalism Sect’.
The ‘Inheritance Sect’ believe the ‘chosen land’ was the place where Ain first landed. The ‘Patriarchalism Sect’ on the other hand, believe that there was no ‘apocalypse’ in God’s teachings, and they weren’t told that they needed to pray in church.
Apparently, there was ongoing debate on this issue. In short, they have been arguing over what was ‘God’s teachings’ and what were ‘Ain’s rules and ideology’.
Well, I was dubious about whether ‘God’ exists… but I won’t say that since I’ll be burnt at the stake.
Then, the Holy One Church was further divided into different sects after this.
The moderate ‘Patriarchalism Sect’ and the reformist ‘Holy Imperial Sect’ split off and came together to become a state religion in nations that were hostile to the Empire east of the Heavenly Mountain Range.
The fundamentalists among the ‘Inheritance Sect’ separated and formed the ‘Revolution Sect’.
Then there was the problem of the ‘Western Sect’ that was believed in this nation.
In the beginning, the Lothar Empire accepted the ‘Inheritance Sect’ and made them the state religion. However, the place where Ain and his followers first landed which was designated as the ‘holy land’ by the ‘Inheritance Sect’ was in a vassal nation of Lothar Empire. The ‘Inheritance Sect’ which wanted to reclaim the holy land by force, and the Lothar Empire, who wanted a peaceful solution, separated.
The Lothar Empire started the new ‘Western Sect’.
… Oh, could it be that they created it for their own convenience?
Incidentally, the ‘Western Sect’ was criticised as heresy by the other Holy One Doctrines.
… He didn’t teach me that. Hey, is it alright for you to teach me this?
“Your Majesty, I respect the customs of the Western Sect and believe that it has grown better than the other sects. The Western Sect prioritizes harmony. It should never be used as a weapon to subjugate different races.”
Ah, this guy’s no good. He’s got a determined look on his face.
The Baron knows what he was doing. He knew that this topic was taboo and that he shouldn’t teach me it.
“That was an interesting lesson. I liked it. Tell me something else I don’t know.”
I said in appreciation, fearing that the people from both the Chancellor and Regent’s faction, who were watching, would capture the Baron at any moment.
However, they made no moves for now. I was relieved, believing that they would overlook this much.
But three days later, Timona Renan disappeared. They told me that he had returned to his fief.
The following week, Baron Fredreic Renan did not show up for class, and that was when I finally learnt that the Baron was facing the Inquisition.
Going back to the day when Timona Renan disappeared.
At that point, I had a pretty good idea of what was going on. The brother of the Chancellor, George V… the highest-ranking leader of the Western Faction, had acted. The Baron was definitely captured, and Timona Renan was, at best, under house arrest, and at the worst, in prison.
At night, I magically put the guard to sleep and beckoned towards the attic.
I have to go to Count Palatine Vedett to find out more, but I didn’t know where he was.
I wanted to use the observer in the attic as a guide.
But the person in the attic didn’t come down easily.
Frustrated, I kneaded and contracted heat energy as fast as I could.
Eventually, when the pressure was too much to bear and the mana began to glow, the person finally came down. It was a man.
My voice was so low that it even surprised me.
But still, the man only bowed his head without speaking.
“Take me to Count Palatine Vedett.”
When I said that, the man finally said, “Please reconsider,” with his face down.
“I’ve given it enough thought. Now take me to him.”
I could feel mana leaking out of my body. I was probably flustered.
But at the same time, I was also thinking calmly. I can save the father and son depending on the situation.
“The only choices you have right now are to let me kill you or to lead me straight to him. Just so you know, I haven’t forgotten that you directed your bloodlust towards me before.”
The man said in a twisted voice, “I’ll show you where he is.”
… You made me waste time…