Chapter 57: Elevator
Three days later, Lord Warung’s army entered Marquis Emassache’s fief, which was under the direct control of the Emperor.
Meanwhile the capital was in chaos. Rumours of the approaching rebel army had caused some of the citizens to flee from the capital.
A large number of mercenaries were assembled in the capital and security deteriorated rapidly. Supplies were forcibly collected from many stores to make up for the shortage of food. Of course, this was all ordered by the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies.
The citizens in the capital had horrible opinions about these two. Thank you for being villains.
Also, another reason for the shortage of food for the troops was because the Gotilova tribe had brought a large amount of food even though they were in debt.
To be more precise, the Gotilova’s blatantly brought all the food they could in a short time period while Lord Warung took his time to accumulate rations. It was as if they were saying, “We’re going to war now”. As a result, it was a good cover to conceal Lord Warung’s movements and the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies didn’t detect Lord Warung’s movements until the rebellion.
And the Chancellor who took this as a sign of Gotilova’s rebelling, left most of his troops in his fief.
… Well, he wasn’t wrong.
Incidentally, I hadn’t instructed the Gotilova’s to do this.
And the Atururu tribe was among the mercenaries who had gathered in the capital. I’m sure the Chancellor called them out to be assets in the war effort, but it was… backfiring.
I’m so grateful to the Chancellor for bringing a dependable force to the capital.
The palace was in chaos in preparation for the Emperor’s coronation ceremony.
This was also partly because there was no time to spare before the ceremony, but also because politics was stagnated and in disarray.
The politics of the Empire has not been functioning perfectly up to now because political disputes were taking place due to the divide between the Chancellor and Regent factions. They divided the roles based on their own self-interest.
But this division in roles suddenly collapsed when the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies announced that they would put their disputes on hold. As a result, some problems had several people trying to deal with it while others had no one dealing with it.
I was outside the palace in the midst of all this. To be precise, I was heading for the church that was built on the ‘Founding Hill’.
It was said that the ‘ceremonial sword’ which was essential to the ‘coronation ceremony’ was kept here, and according to the will of the First Emperor, Cardinal, ‘has not been touched by anyone except by the person who becomes the Emperor’. That was why I was here with Count Palatine Vedett right now.
The other aristocrats didn’t have enough time to follow me here just to ‘get the sword’.
I found an old man inside the church which I hadn’t seen since the Founding Festival. He looked like a clergyman… and judging from the decorated hat that he wore; he must have been a high-ranking clergyman.
“It is nice to meet you, Your Majesty. I am glad that things are going well with your plans for ruling the Empire.”
With that, the old man bowed deeply.
Only Count Palatine Vedett was with me. I see, so this is where he’s contacting me.
“Defrott le Moissan’s Father?”
The man who took advantage of the Emperor and his enemies to get the Emperor on his side. The man who manipulated everything during the attack.
He was a dangerous man. But I was able to meet the Chief of the Gotilova and Atururu tribes thanks to him.
“My name is Daniel de Pierce. I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”
Count Palatine Vedett, who was standing behind me, gave me more information about this man.
“He is the leader of the Holy One Church’s Western Faction’s administration office, and publicly belongs to the Regent faction.”
“There are three people under the Great Leader in the Western Faction, and I am one of them. I am mainly in charge of facility management.”
Daniel de Pierce explained then shifted his body half-way and showed us his back.
There was a hidden door there; one that had not been here when I visited the first time.
“I see, so you are saying that taking care of the ‘ceremonial sword’ is one of your duties.”
“It is. Please come this way… I will show you it.”
We followed his lead. Count Palatine Vedett stopped when we reached the hidden door.
“Your Majesty, I cannot go any further.”
Is this another custom?
“So, just one more thing…”
Count Palatine Vedett thought for a while and then spoke again.
“We will be loyal only to you no matter what you decide; even if you desire to conquer the world, we will follow you. Remember that you do not necessarily have to listen to what that man says.”
… I see. I don’t understand what he’s saying but… there’s something unusual in store for me beyond this door.
“Very well. I will keep that in mind.”
“Please do. I will keep watch here, Your Majesty.”
I nodded once before going through the hidden door.
Beyond the hidden door was a spiral staircase.
There was another door when we went down, and a small room beyond that, then another door.
… Something’s wrong.
“The ‘Empire’s Ceremonial Sword’ is usually kept beyond this door.”
Daniel de Pierce said as he held something up to the door.
“But I wanted Your Majesty to know the truth, so I have moved it to its rightful place.”
The floors shook slightly with those words.
The room is going down?
“It is much slower than that.”
He smiled as he said that.
“It will take some time for us to arrive. Unlike electric power, magic lacks instantaneous output.”
This man seemed to know that I was a reincarnated person. So…
“Did you also reincarnate here?”
I asked and the man shook his head.
“I am not, but I am someone who knows about reincarnation.”
Knows…? Don’t you know too much though?
“Saint Ain is called the ‘Instructing Saint’ in the Holy One Teachings… but that was a title of respect given from those around him, and he has never called himself that. He has introduced himself with two names.”
“We’re suddenly talking about the holy scriptures?”
The book that Defrott had handed me was a translation of the original scripture… and contained the doctrine of the Holy One Teachings and notes from Ain. It was quite interesting, and I read a great deal of it since I believed that I needed to know it for ruling the Empire.
“He called himself ‘God’s Most Devoted Believer’ and ‘Aech Propagator’. He mostly called himself the former, and for some doctrines, he called himself the later when talking about the ‘Aech’.”
That was why Ain was called the propagator.
“I am glad you enjoyed the scripture. Our believers all have different interpretations of what ‘Aech’ is. For example, the Holy Imperialists believe that ‘Aech’ is a messenger of God, and the Western Faction believe that ‘Aech’ is the name of God. But… you would interpret this word in a different way, Your Majesty.”
… I see.
Aech… A word that could only be interpreted as a proper noun in this world. But to me… to a reincarnated person, it has a different meaning.
The teachings are from the wisdom of mankind… but from a different world.
In other words, the founder of the Holy One Teachings, Ain, was a…
“He was a reincarnated person?”
“Yes. And we, the ‘Ain’s Storytellers’ are those who know the truth.”
Now that he mentioned it, I did notice some things.
The theory that the world is round. Refusing to fast… I only thought that the doctrine was unique to this world and was slightly different from the religion I knew in my previous life.
But those were the common sense of the previous era, which have been taught as a religion here.
There were plenty of hints, but I didn’t notice them at all.
Then that means…
“There’s no God?”
Saying this in front of a clergyman could get me burnt at the stake… I mean the man in front of me was a clergyman too.
“There is. God asked Ain to pass on his advanced knowledge from his world onto this one.”
“Is that fact? Or an interpretation?”
Well, I don’t know if I’ll believe you even if you say it was fact.
“It is a fact to us, but it can be considered an interpretation since I have no way of proving it.”
Well true. I’m glad he’s a rational believer who can understand that.
“So? What is ‘Ain’s Storyteller’?”
I think I’ve heard something similar… Oh, when Count Palatine Vedett called himself Lothar’s Guardian.
“If we were to describe ourselves with one word then it would be… ‘Reincarnationism’ TN: Just go with it… something like the study of reincarnation’s too long…
“Not of the Holy One Teachings?”
“Our faith is based solely on the words of Ain. That was our contract with him.”
…. Hmmm. I guess I need to know more about this.
“We only believe in one thing. We believe that a reincarnated person who knows the mistakes and failures of their advanced world can lead this world in a better direction.”
Indeed, we know about the ethical problems, environmental problems and religious problems that would occur hundreds or even a thousand years from now. What will be ‘wrong’ and what will be ‘right’ if this world goes on as it is?
We want to make the world a better place. That is the earnest wish of every human. Their underlying ideals are the same even if conflicts arise due to their differences in means or even if someone chooses the wrong methods.
And ‘Ain’s Storytellers’ chose reincarnated people as a means to achieve this. In a sense, we reincarnated people know the answer.
“But… doesn’t that clearly deviate from Ain’s belief in God?”
“Yes. We are heretics who believe in God but prefer reincarnated people. Ain approved of this, but he made three requests on his dying bed in exchange. One was to convey the Holy One Teachings as it is. Every faction accepts people easily or are interpreted in ways that would suit the politics of that time… but that has nothing to do with us.”
“Ironic, that the people with the least amount of faith are the most faithful to the teachings.”
Oops. I let my thoughts leak out.
“Power clouds people’s minds. That’s why Ain couldn’t trust his followers while he was alive.”
… Sounds bloody.
“So, he made you sign a contract.”
“Yes. We were no exception.”
Daniel de Pierce laughed.
“And another one of his requests was…”
The cunning clergyman stared at me in the eyes and said some shocking words.
“That his child was to be kept a secret for 200 years and told only to those who needed to know after the 200 years are over.”
|TN: Just go with it… something like the study of reincarnation’s too long…