Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi Chapter 340
The security facility is located south of my mansion, next to where buildings like the armory are centralized.
However, they are not going to the normal destination, so I don’t know where the ones being held prisoner are kept.
「Where’s the pretty girl? Where is she?」
「P-put me down! It’s embarrassing!」
Oops, I was still carrying Celia under my arm.
I guess that’s why people were laughing when I passed by.
「Ah, feudal lord-sama!」
A member of the security unit stands upright when he sees me.
Let’s ask this guy.
「Hey, do you know where the beauty is?」
「Beauty……? My coworker Tomil is beautiful……」
「Did you summon me? Eh, feudal lord-sama!?」
The security unit member who appeared behind him in her late twenties is definitely attractive.
The one I’m looking for should be restrained though. It’s probably not her.
I kiss Tomil anyways. While flustered, she doesn’t resist and rests her hand on my shoulder.
「Fuu, thanks for your lips. But you’re not the girl I’m looking for.」
I gently separate from the blushing girl, then ask one more time.
So they don’t know who I’m talking about if I refer to beauty? I have to explain that she’s a two-person group with another young girl.
「Aah, the one who pointed a knife at the patrol officer―― in that case they’re being questioned in the third interrogation room.」
I pull the hand of the pouting Celia and walk off.
The girl I kissed puts a hand to her lips and stares blankly.
Judging by that reaction, my chances of taking her to bed later with a simple invitation are decent.
I’ll remember her name.
「Enough! If you continue spilling your meaningless garbage, you’ll be thrown in the dungeon!」
「Nothing you say will change the truth. Foolish people like you who know not of God will not be enlightened――」
I found the girl in the investigation room like I was told.
One of them is a woman in her prime age dressed in strange clothes, but definitely pretty.
The other is a young girl…… I think, since she has a white cloth covering her head and I can’t really see clearly.
The woman is talking back to the interrogating officer.
「I’m asking you why you pointed a knife at the patrol officer! Are you trying to cause a disturbance in Rafen!?」
「God reigns over the entirety of this land so anything that happens is by God’s will.」
They’re going off about two separate things.
Rather, what the woman is saying doesn’t make sense.
「Oh, poor non-believers. Pray for good fortune in the presence of the gracious God.」
Even the interrogator is baffled.
He is used to people keeping silent or resisting, but probably not used to this kind of person.
「……this one’s a lost cause. There’s no point trying to question her anymore. Just throw her in the dungeon and be done with it.」
When the interrogating officer gives up, the woman is picked up under the arms by security officers.
「Insolent! Touching me, the shrine maiden, so casually, do you not fear divine punishment!? Let go, lowly fools!」
The woman doesn’t seem to be particularly strong and gets dragged away despite her struggling.
And then the girl covered with the cloth lets out a soft gasp and extends a hand outward.
That hand was terrifyingly white―― not to be confused with fair skin, but actually pure white.
「Let go! Her Grace is calling me!」
The woman’s struggling intensifies.
「Know your place. This girl will be in a separate cell.」
After saying that, the interrogating officer grabs the little girl’s arm.
The moment some incoherent mumbles leak out from the girl’s mouth, the woman’s struggling goes out of control.
「Stooop! Don’t touch Her Grace! AAahhhh!!」
She flails like a madwoman, scratching, biting and headbutting the security officers trying to hold her down.
She doesn’t care that her clothes are torn and runs toward the girl after squirming free.
Seeing such crazed behavior, the interrogating officer releases the girl’s arm and steps back.
The woman stands in front of the girl protectively…… her own clothes ripped so much her underwear can be seen, and blood dripping above her eye probably from getting cut during her wild thrashing.
Foam escapes from the corners of her mouth and still she doesn’t seem to mind one bit. Her imposing stance gives off an incredible force.
「……so talking won’t work. There’s no choice.」
The security officers finally draw their swords.
Not good, any further and she’ll really be cut.
This is where I come in.
「Wait, I heard what was said. ……nu, it won’t open.」
I was going to make a gallant entrance, but the door of the interrogation room is locked.
My voice doesn’t reach them because of the tense atmosphere.
Argh, it can’t be helped.
「Uoooh! I heard the conversation!」
I kick down the door and burst into the room.
「What the!? An intruder!?」
「How nefarious to attack the security unit!」
「It’s an enemy attack! Everyoneー!」
I was able to save the woman from being cut, however I was arrested instead.
「Gosh, I really don’t know what to say……」
I’m being reproached after Celia’s explanation and Myla’s appearance helped to clear the misunderstanding.
「What else could I do? That’s all I could think of at the time.」
Celia, Myla, me and the two girls are the only ones left in the interrogation room.
The woman is glaring at me while shielding the young girl.
「Come now, you don’t have to look at me like that. I’m not going to do anything to you or that kid.」
「Addressing Her Grace as ‘kid’ is rude when Her Grace is the head of all living things and all people, including you, are her children.」
We’re not on the same page as expected, but things can’t move forward if I worry about that, so let’s ignore it.
「Sure, whatever. Anyways, who are you two? Where did you come from?」
「Her Grace is the reincarnation of God, who was thrown out of the land of fools possessed by evil. May that land be cursed forever.」
My head hurts.
I stop Myla from yelling in anger, which would just result in a repeat of the earlier sequence of events.
I focus my attention on the underwear peeking out from the woman’s torn clothes to distract myself.
「So where is this cursed land you speak of?」
「That cursed land is in the south, without God and without a name, for they are one and the same.」
South, huh…… I’ve been hearing lots of things going on down there lately.
「So what’s the name of your God?」
「Know that ignorance is also a sin. Our God is the one and only Altair.」
Myla and Celia look at each other.
They have a general idea what is going on in Altair.
After all, they know about the political upheaval.
「Are you two running from Altair?」
「That name was given to a land of God. Now that the nation has fallen in darkness, it has no name.」
Aargh, so annoying.
I glance at her underwear again. Her breasts look pretty big.
「So you two ran away from former Altair, what were you doing before that?」
This is the important part.
Were they chased out of the country due to the political change because they had a relatively high standing, or was it simply because they were insane?
「Her Grace has no need to do anything. Only to exist there.」
So in other words, unemployed…… that means they were chased for being deranged?
However, the woman continues after a short moment.
「The God Altair has descended to the present world and reincarnated in Her Grace, and as God, Her Grace only needs to display authority and be worshipped.」
Myla whispers to me.
「If I recall, ‘Grace’ is the title of honor which only the Pope in Altair uses.」
I look at the girl who is simply sitting beside the woman.
Cloth is draped over her head so I can see nothing except her toes.
「So you’re the Pope of Altair?」
The girl tugs on the woman’s sleeve.
After bringing her ear close to the girl, the woman declares loudly.
「I am the Pope of Altair, the one and only reincarnation of God, now and forever!」
It all started from wanting to save a pretty lady, now things are complicated.
We move to the mansion.
I need to get Leopolt and the others to determine if she’s the real Pope or not.
「If you are truly the Pope like you say, present proof of it.」
「To doubt God is a sin, however you will be forgiven by Her Grace’s infinite mercy――」
The annoying conversation goes on.
It’s rare for Leopolt to use keigo.
Although I’m sure he doesn’t actually respect them, and is doing so only to move things along.
Once he achieves his objective, I’m sure he’ll change his attitude and talk more crudely. That’s the kind of guy he is.
After a range of questioning, Tristan and Leopolt gathers around me.
「I think there is a high possibility of her being the Pope of Altair.」
Fumu, is that so?
「There are no inconsistencies between the information they have and the information we have. Aside from her clothing being torn, they are not made from your ordinary material or skill. It probably took multiple craftsmen a few months to sew and is not something you can procure on a whim.」
「The political change toppled the religion of Altair. I heard the Pope was executed…… well, if the Pope ran away, they could just have a substitute stand in and declare that she was executed.」
If that is what they’ve concluded though, let’s treat her as the former Pope.
「So why have you come to Rafen?」
「We were going to deliver the truth to the King of Goldonia. However Her Grace suffered an injury on the way, so we decided to stop and rest.」
Oh, now that I look, her leg seems to be in pain.
So a reincarnation of God can get hurt too.
「As long as God resides in this world, he is also restricted by human rules. Be that as it may, God――」
Yeah yeah, I get it. Just show me the injury.
The woman slowly takes off the girl’s shoe, which causes her to wince in pain.
「Ah, a blister.」
I was worried when I heard it was a leg injury, but it’s just a blister.
Nevertheless, it is quite apparent her pure white legs are not used to walking so much and the blood oozing from the many blisters look painful.
I can understand why they stopped travelling.
「You could have ridden on a carriage.」
「The non-believing people will want compensation.」
Aah, they don’t have money.
I’m impressed they made it this far from Altair without a single coin.
I would have thought a beauty like her sleeping outside would quickly lead to being kidnapped by bandits and turned into a plaything.
Perhaps their God had something to do with their good luck?
「Take it easy until it heals then.」
I don’t care about her being the Pope of Altair or whatever, however I’m not heartless enough to chase away an injured girl.
Besides, the woman―― the shrine maiden is definitely beautiful. It’s true I can’t keep up with her in certain areas, but her ample bosom and ass can do no wrong.
「It is a natural occurrence as a child of God, but your devotion to Her Grace will eventually be for your benefit too.」
The shrine maiden pats her chest to comfort herself.
The small Pope whose face is hidden also lets out an audible sigh. I’m sure she was hurting a lot.
「Then can I get your names? You should be fine with giving us that, right?」
The two of them look at each other.
「My name is Remia Doistaton Nuphyris, the shrine maiden who serves the God of Altair.」
「So long, which is the family name and which is the first――」
「There is no family or first name. All of it was given to me by God.」
I can’t remember it all. Let’s go with Remia.
Remia answers the question I direct at the little girl.
「Her Grace is the reincarnation of God Altair. Thus she needs no human name.」
Then let’s call her Altair.
「I hope we can get along.」
I extend my hand towards them and neither respond. It’s a little depressing.
「I guess I’ll prepare a place for you to stay.」
Fumu, let’s get them a room in an inn or something.
Maybe Andrei’s place is good enough.
And then Altair whispers something to Remia.
「Her Grace requests this mansion to be her temporary residence. Also, she demands a temple be built immediately.」
「What does this person think she’s saying?」
Celia expresses her astonishment.
I feel the same way. It’s presumptuous to ask for an entire mansion to be vacated.
But before I could reject, Remia goes on.
「Also, she requires 50 young girls to attend to her and 50 young boys to do physical labor.」
Is she telling me to give her slaves?
Now that makes me angry. No matter how pretty Remia is, I’m not going to hand over slave girls.
「I can’t do that. I can let you live in a proper inn, but I can’t give you this mansion, let alone slaves.」
My tone was harsher than normal.
When Altair’s shoulders tremble, Remia’s face becomes dyed in anger.
「So they’re the top of the infamous fanatics of Altair…… I’m sure they were acting outrageously until now.」
Celia and Myla glares at them, their mood killed by what was said.
While I thought they would remain quiet, Remia’s actions surpassed by expectations.
「Villain! Know that you are mere infidels who show their faith once only to betray it later, such blasphemy!」
She is accusing us in an enraged state.
I don’t remember displaying any belief in their religion or whatever, but I apologize if I frightened Altair.
She’s unarmed and her arms are slender. Maybe she will calm down if I let her slap me once on the cheek.
「How dare you disappoint Her Grace!」
I expected an open palm and got scratched instead.
The wound itself isn’t deep, however her nails are long so they left distinct marks behind.
I will likely feel the sting for a while whenever I take a bath.
That was a mistake.
To me, getting scratched by a pretty girl is nothing, but I forgot Celia was beside me.
Celia’s eyes widen in rage when she sees blood drip down my face.
「What do you think you’re doing to Aegir-sama!」
Without any time to stop her, Celia jumps at Remia and kicks her in the side.
While she holds her stomach from the blow, Celia follows up with an elbow strike, sending Remia flying to the corner of the room.
Since Remia doesn’t have any fighting experience, Celia’s hits landed perfectly.
She won’t be able to stand for a while.
「Aaaah, look what you did.」
「……it was an expected result.」
Tristan smiles awkwardly while shrugging and Myla watches with her arms folded.
「Celia, that’s enough. Stop.」
Celia wets a handkerchief and tearfully wipes away the blood on my face.
I know, you were worried.
「Are you alright? Call a doctor over here.」
Remia collapses in the corner of the room, coughing violently and showing no signs of being able to stand up.
Celia isn’t that strong so I don’t think she’s in serious trouble, but I’ll still call a doctor just in case.
The small Altair points at Celia and lets out a soft whimper-like sound, almost like she’s trying to say something.
Oh yeah, I haven’t heard her voice yet.
Remia was doing all the talking for her.
The girl points and says something in a weak, fading voice.
「……what do you want?」
Nobody can hear because she’s speaking too softly and the cloth covering her head hides her expression so nobody can tell how she’s feeling either.
When I try to step forward to make out what she’s saying, she responds by taking an equal amount of steps backward.
Altair seems to be in anguish like she’s frustrated about something.
And then I see Remia trying to crawl over to her side.
「Y-your Grace…… guh.」
「Hey, don’t push yourself.」
Remia brings her ear close to Altair, and then declares painfully.
「That girl is a renegade! Execute her at once! Kill her immediately!」
She points at Celia.
I think I heard something snap in my head.
Me getting scratched is not a big deal, however I can’t stand anybody telling Celia to die.
She might be respected, but she is nowhere near the same level as the cute Celia.
There’s also one more thing I can’t stand.
「Myla, hold her down.」
I get Myla to restrain Remia and then stand in front of Altair.
「W-what are…… gehoh- stop!」
Remia is still in pain from Celia’s attack so she can’t go wild like she did in the interrogation room, plus she can’t escape from Myla.
I grab Altair as she tries to say something again, then pull off the cloth covering her in one swift motion.
Her true face is now revealed.
Her arms and legs are eerily white, no, it’s not just her skin. Her hair and eyebrows are also white…… well, more like they don’t have any color to them.
Her red eyes stand out more because of the snowy landscape of her body.
That reminds me of a vampire for a second, but if she was one, blisters on her feet wouldn’t stop her from walking.
In terms of age, she looks around 15 or 16, which is more mature than I initially thought based on her behavior.
She has a really pretty face and her chest is a decent size.
She is larger than Cheri, who I slept with last night, and she can compete with Celia.
Altair, with her swaying white hair tied in two places, stretches out her hand to take back the cloth from me.
My inner demon makes me toss it over my shoulder.
「Fiend! How dare you do that to Her Grace, gehogeho!」
Altair once again seems frustrated, but Remia is being suppressed by Myla and can’t move.
That pisses me off.
「Who do you think you are?」
I fix my gaze into Altair’s eyes.
When the girl tries to look away, I grab her head and turn her back in my direction.
It would be bad if she says “I am God”, and then lightning strikes me, however seeing the girl tremble in fear from my angry voice assures me that won’t happen. She is merely a pretty girl.
「You want to kill my precious Celia? You gotta be kidding.」
My anger can’t help seeping into the tone of my voice.
That just shows how important Celia is to me.
Even if it was God who said they want to kill Celia, I would fight them.
The little girl shudders and writhes as if trying to complain to somebody.
That’s what I dislike the most.
「What are you agonizing about? Are you waiting for somebody to save you?」
I grab her head again and turn her to Remia.
The woman is being held down by Myla.
「See what is happening with her? If you have something to say, say it yourself.」
The young girl shakes her head and closes her eyes as if unwilling to listen to me, meanwhile she groans as if calling for Remia to come right away.
Seeing that, Remia tries her hardest to somehow get to where Altair is.
My mood worsens and I once again yell in a scolding tone.
「Are you a toddler!? If you have something to say to me, use your own mouth! If you can’t do that, then keep quiet!」
It happened as soon as I slam my fist on the desk.
「U…… u…… uueee…… waaaaaaaah!!!」
I made her cry.
It wasn’t what I expected either, she is literally crying like an infant.
I hear somebody say “aaah, you made her cry”.
「Uwa! Aegir-sama, step back!」
Celia pulls me backwards.
When I look down, I see Altair’s lower half turning wet and water leaks down to the floor.
It looks like she couldn’t control her bladder.
「She’s really an infant……」
Tristan is in shock and Leopolt has already made himself scarce.
Bastard, he evacuated so quickly.
「Ueeeeeh! Biieeeeh! Buueeeeeeeennh!」
Her wailing resounds throughout the mansion.
I feel like I said the right thing and I probably would have done the same if time were to rewind itself.
Still, hearing her cry like this hurts my heart.
「It’ll be impossible to prepare an inn for them to stay in like this. Get them a guest room as far in the corner as possible and get a male servant to watch over them. Make sure to take away anything that can start a fire since we don’t know what they might do.」
「It can’t be helped.」
Myla and Celia also agree that it would be pointless to further persecute a crying girl who just peed herself.
After entrusting the two of them to a servant, Celia comes up to me with an uncertain look on her face.
「I…… did I do the wrong thing?」
I embrace Celia tightly.
「No, you did it for me, right? You would have gotten full marks if you swept her legs next and flipped her over.」
Celia lets out a long sigh of relief when I brush her hair.
「It goes without saying you’re more important to me than them, no matter if they’re the Pope or the reincarnation of God. After all, you’re my one and only cute Celia.」
I squeeze her cheeks.
「I am…… your number one?」
My instant reply brings a smile back on her face.
Putting aside the fact Celia is important to me, those girls and their extreme way of thinking would not be entertained if they went to the capital. Actually, they probably wouldn’t be able to live a normal life. They’ll be thrown in prison immediately.
「Can’t we reform them somehow…… then they would be simply be a pretty lady and a pretty young girl…… then I could enjoy them together……」
Oh crap, I said it out loud in front of Celia.
Her cute smile disappears and her cheeks slowly puff up.
I’ll have to poke them and let the air out.
As I continue to poke Celia’s inflating cheeks, Leopolt comes beside me before I know it.
Celia quickly separates from me and stands up straight.
「Have a look.」
Leopolt silently hands me a letter.
「Don’t tell me it’s a love letter to me?」
Leopolt silently jerks his chin. This guy can’t take a joke.
There is no address or sender, and no seal.
「What is this?」
When I open it up, I see somewhat small characters written in a rounded style.
My eyes widened when I saw the name written on the top of the letter.
「It’s from Wilhelmina!」
I thought the envelope was opened, so it was you who read it first.
「Someone claiming to be her messenger delivered it.」
Celia is bouncing up and down beside me so I sit down on the sofa to make it easier for her to peek.
「Let’s see what it says―― aah, I see.」
The contents of the letter are about the two who were here earlier, the former Pope and shrine maiden.
It was kept brief yet polite and said the following:
“Those girls are without a doubt the former Pope and shrine maiden of Altair”
“I needed to execute them for political reasons”
“But it would be sad to kill off such a young girl, so I let her escape”
“I want them to be kept in the peaceful Goldonia and live their lives as commoners”
Now I know why the two of them were able to make it safely to Rafen.
Wilhelmina supported them from the shadows.
「So Wilhelmina is a nice woman after all.」
Leopolt and Tristan both look serious.
「There is no sender or seal. It means the letter is nothing more than a scrap piece of paper and doesn’t provide proof of anything.」
「This letter being delivered as soon as we arrived back here tells me they have established a surveillance system within our territory.」
Those guys see things in such distorted ways.
「Will she come as soon as she takes control of Vandolea?」
「No, our territory aside, she still is two moves short of taking on Goldonia. Although that doesn’t mean we can relax. We should hasten the reinforcement of our military.」
「What worry warts…… alright then. Is there anything I can do?」
「「Please stay still.」」
Fine, I have a duty to teach Remia and Altair about reality.
Being with them is way better than being with Leopolt and Tristan, besides if things go well, I might be able to make them my women.
「I’m coming too!」
Fumu, having Celia there would be good to teach them about reality.
Alright, let’s get a drink and then head over when Altair stops crying.