Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
No button for this month because I am really lazy……
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong (visit https://discord.gg/Z4GTg9p) I really need help in editing.
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Chapter 6 Sinful Bishop Sougé Lester C
High Elf Merula was born in the 『Gahran Spirit Kingdom』, the High Elves Country about one hundred years ago. At that time, the Demon Lord Dominions hadn’t emerged yet, the High Elves protected the 『Gahran Spirit Kingdom』, which consisted of just two large and small islands and lived without interacting with other races. In that secluded environment, despite being a High Elves which didn’t have any interest in the world outside the island, Merula was the quintessence of curiosity.
Since she was still a child, she was interested in everything her eyes caught sight and went around the adults to ask, “what is this?” When she became old enough, she realized the adult deceived her with “lies” for the things that they didn’t know about, and so she decided to pursue the truth with her own feet. Then she researched many things for 20 years. When she became an adult as a researcher, she found a giant enigma.
What is the Spirit that the High Elves believe in?
It was said that High Elves are a race particularly loved by the Spirits. It was said that the evidence for this is that they could use powerful magic. For other races, those powerful magics could only be used by a small group called the magicians, but for them, they could it as it was natural for them to do so. That’s why it was none other than because the Spirits are always by the High Elves’ side and lent their power…… Or so the explanation goes.
Merula took doubts on this Spirit Faith.
(Certainly, High Elves can use powerful magic. But, is it really due to the Spirits? How can they believe in the “invisible" existence like the Spirits?)
There were people who saw the Spirit. However, their testimony was just as fake as saying, 「My deceased grandparent was standing at my bedside.」 In the first place, why they declared that the so-called Spirits had given their blessing on the High Elves, who lived in a country which didn’t permit other races entry, only based in the fact that the Elves could use powerful magics? Perhaps even the other races could use powerful magics because the so-called Spirits give their blessing too to them, wouldn’t it?
Conversely, what about if the High Elves left the island? If the so-called Spirits are always on their side then they should be able to use those powerful magics even if they left the island. Merula couldn’t approve the blind faith that her race is loved by the Spirits without performing any verification.
Knowledge isn’t something that can be completed just on the island alone. Isn’t only after going to the outside world and accumulating various knowledge that she would be able to approach the truth? Merula, who though like this, departed from the Spirit Kingdom just when she reached her 50th birthday. Then by using her own “Ability” to change the color of her iris and masquerading as a Light Elf adventurer, she traveled while accumulating knowledge from one country to another.
There was one thing that she found during this time. After leaving the Spirit Kingdom, Merula’s magic power decreased. It was not clear whether this was because 「High Elves power can only manifest inside the Spirit Kingdom」 or 「Since Merula had left the Spirit Kingdom, she lost the Spirits’ Protection」. She could prove the high possibility that her power will return to the original level if she returned once more to the Spirit Kingdom. However, the Spirit Kingdom considers someone who leaves the country as a traitor. If they return, they will be killed without any question so she couldn’t verify this point.
Back to the topic. Merula, who had continued her journey, took interest in the 『Lunaria Orthodoxy State』, which has similarly unique faith. The Spirit Kingdom extolled the Spirit Faith, but the existence of the Spirit can’t be proven. Then what about the Orthodoxy State that extolled the Moon Goddess Faith? Does the so-called Lunaria-sama and the 『Moon Stele』, where the oracles of Lunaria-sama said to be engraved into, really exist? She thought that perhaps if she understood the relationship between the Orthodoxy State’s with Lunaria-sama and Lunalith, then it would shed light on the relation between the Spirit Kingdom and the Spirit Faith.
And so for the first step, Merula sneaked into the Central Church of Lunaria Orthodoxy in order to see the existence of the Lunalith.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Wa-wait a moment, please.」(Inugami)
Inugami interrupted the Sougé’s story.
「Do you just say that Merula-dono had sneaked into the Central Church?」(Inugami)
「But…… that place’s security is famous for being really strong. It shouldn’t be a place where an amateur can sneak into.」(Inugami)
Sougé scratched his head at what Inugami had pointed out.
「Well, that may be true, but Merula has this kind of ability, 」(Sougé)
As Sougé replied, he placed his hand on Merula’s head as if to prompt her to do something. Even though Merula showed a disagreeing look, she muttered something, and at the next moment,
*poof* Merula vanished. Even though she was just there a few moments ago, right now he couldn’t detect her figure anywhere. However, Inugami's nose detected the presence of Merula. He can’t see her, but she was certainly present. Seeing how Inugami’s eyes were darting around the room, Sougé cracked a laugh, 「Kakkakka」, and then placed his hand at the place where Merula was not long ago.
「She might look like she’s gone, but Merula didn’t move away from her place. If you try to touch her, you can see that she is still he-…… gwugh!」(Sougé)
Suddenly Sougé was knocked over from the chair. While confused at what had happened, Inugami put himself on guard in respond, before Merula suddenly appeared with an angry face and clenched fist. It looks like she had just giving Sougé a good wallop.
「Don’t take advantage of the situation and touch my breast! You sexual harasser man!」(Merula)
Merula shouted angrily towards the fallen Sougé.
「Damn, it hurts…… Chest? I thought that I clearly touched the hip…… gwagh!」(Sougé)
「Sorry for not being curvy!」(Merula)
After giving an unnecessary remark, Sougé ate another trampling attack. Although he was taken aback, Inugami threw a question.
「Merula-dono can disappear?」(Inugami)
「Yes, Though I do not really understand the theory behind it, I can blend the colors of my body and clothes with the surroundings. Back in the Spirit Kingdom, I could also make the surrounding people disappear, but for now, the best I can do is just myself.」(Merula)
Sougé made a comeback, 「Just like a chameleon, right?」, and awarded with another kick. But it was a perfect comparison between her disappearing method and a chameleon’s camouflage. If Souma was here, he would have pointed out that Merula’s ability was an ability to manipulate light reflection, a perfect form of optical camouflage. Unfortunately, there was no one in this place who could point this out. 「…… So that’s it.」, said Sougé while returning back to his seat.
「This lass sneaked into the Central Church with this ability and reached the Lunalith location.」(Sougé)
「Even though she disappeared from sight, her presence and scent can still be detected, yet she had sneaked in very successfully.」(Inugami)
「Well, she might just be lucky. That location is not a room that can be entered other than by His Holiness the Pope or the Cardinals. The security at the entrance is tight, but because of that, once someone entered, it was hard to get found out by other people. Well, Merula intruded into the room by going past the Pope’s entourage……. Well, thanks to her sneaking around, it seemed that they had considerably strengthened the security.」(Sougé)
When Sougé moved his eyes to her, Merula turned her face away as if she was guilty of something.
「Since you state that the security was strengthened, her intrusion was detected?」(Inugami)
「Yeah. She might deceive mortal’s eyes, but of all the things she could do, she touched the Lunalith. Because of that……」(Sougé)
――― Somehow or another, she ended receiving an oracle.
◇ ◇ ◇
According to Merula’s story, that location looked like a room constructed out of non-natural materials. In the center of the dim high-ceiling room, there was something like a pitch black stone monument enshrined. Its height was about 5 to 6 meters, its length was about 2 meters with 1 meter in thickness. When observed closely, it was clear that the stone monument shed a thin and pale light.
(So, this is Lunalith…… So it really exists.)
The object of the faith of the Lunaria Orthodoxy, where the oracles from the Goddess Lunaria was engraved into. Merula, who was excited since it actually existed, immediately entered her researcher mode and began observing and investigating the Lunalith.
(Currently, although the “object” emits light, there are no letters or anything on its surface. However, Lunaria Orthodoxy says that this Lunalith is where the Lunaria’s oracle is handed down.)
Merula walked around the Lunalith in a circle.
(Hypothesis: 『Lunalith is engraved with the oracle of Lunaria.』 If this hypothesis is true, then Lunalith is engraved with “oracle” in some way, whether that “oracle” is a letter or a picture is unknown. If this hypothesis is false, then the oracle is not inscribed in Lunalith. In this case, it can be speculated that the Lunaria Orthodoxy had setting up a signified luminescent object as the Lunalith and utilized it as the source of their authority…… However……)
Thinking until this point, Merula shook her head.
(This point of speculation is not likely. If it’s for a source of authority, this method is too roundabout. Actually, rather than enshrining a stele where oracle is given down, it is far easier to “invent” some kind of item that was used by Goddess Lunaria.)
Merula turned to the front (perhaps) of the Lunalith.
(Let us verify the case where the hypothesis is true. This case can be roughly divided into two patterns. Pattern 1: The “oracle” is given at a regular or random timing. Pattern 2: The “oracle” is given to the receiver by performing some kind of operation.)
(In Pattern 1 case, the receiver, like the Pope, couldn’t receive an “oracle” at any timing as the receiver likes. Which means, the will of the sender, Goddess Lunaria, will play a greater factor. In Pattern 2 case, the receiver, like the Pope, can receive an “oracle” at any timing as the receiver likes. Which means, it can be inferred that Goddess Lunaria is an existence who, most of the time, didn’t interact with the believers.)
Merula slowly reached out her hand toward the Lunalith.
(The Lunalith is emitting light. It can be conjectured that Lunalith, as a device, has an active state. Perhaps by through some kind of manner, even I could make an “oracle” to be handed down, then it will prove that it is Pattern 2, which means that the hypothesis is true.)
Then her hand touched it. At the next moment,
The front side of Lunalith was glowing. Then, on the black surface, several golden lines appeared and formed patterns. From the regularity of the pattern, Merula understood that it was a "letter". However, that letter script was not only very different from the Continental Common Script but also from any script from the country that Merula traveled before, so she completely couldn’t decipher it at all.
(Anyway, it seemed the so-called oracle has been given down. The next question is whether or not the Pope of Lunaria Orthodoxy can read this character……)
Just when she was pondering about such matter, she heard many footsteps suddenly approaching behind her. The footsteps were forceful so she realized that they were running.
(Can it be…… by touching the Lunalith, they detected my intrusion!?)
Merula erased her figure with her ability, and she hurriedly moved close to the room’s wall. Immediately afterward, six heavily armored men barged into the room. The shield in their hand was engraved with the crest of the Lunaria Orthodoxy. They were a member of the Orthodoxy State's elite unit the 『Holy Knights』. One of the men, who seemed to be the leader, scanned around the room and spoke out.
「…… There is still someone’s presence here. He must be concealed somewhere! Both of you, seal the entrance! The rest, search the room!」(Holy Knight Leader)
(This is bad!)
The leader of the Holy Knight sensed Merula’s presence. Furthermore, if the entrance was sealed, it will be a matter of time before she gets caught. Merula made a quick judgment and started running out before the entrance was completely sealed and exited the room while pushing one of the Holy Knight away.
「~! He is running away! Throw your weapons towards the exit!」(Holy Knight Leader)
「Yes, Sir!」(Holy Knight)
Receiving the order from the leader of the Holy Knight, the Holy Knights that guarded the entrance, took the dagger stored behind the shield and threw it towards Merula’s escape direction.
Because the corridor was narrow, one of the daggers thrown by the Holy Knights pierced into Merula's shoulder. At that moment, her concentration was lost and Merula's figure came into sight. The Holy Knights who saw Merula’s appearance yelled in surprise.
「The intruder is an Elf? Stop!」(Holy Knight)
Merula gathered her willpower and once again disappeared before escaping. Because she was bleeding, there were blood tracks, and she ended up being pursued for quite a long time, but she managed to elude her pursuer by jumping into a small river that flowed around the Central Church. However, since she entered the water while bleeding, she lost too much blood, and so, Merula lost consciousness while being swept away by the river.
◇ ◇ ◇
「So, I found she being washed away like a scrap rag down the river, picked her up, and then take her into my care. So that it wouldn’t be suspicious for her to enter and exit the house of an unmarried man like me, she took the looks of a prostitute.」(Sougé)
Sougé was repeatedly hitting Merula’s back. Merula made an annoyed face, but since it was the truth that she had been rescued, she didn’t say anything. Inugami then tilted his head.
「Sougé-dono is a priest from Lunaria Orthodoxy, right? You felt like rescuing her?」(Inugami)
「At that time, I thought that she was just a collapsed person. I was surprised when I found out several days later that her portrait was posted in the town and she was searched by the Church as a 『Witch』.」(Sougé)
「Even so, you didn’t present her over to the church?」(Inugami)
「…… Well, since I had rescued her, I didn’t feel like to simply presenting her over.」(Sougé)
While saying this, Sougé gulped down the liquor in the glass.
「Hearing her story, she accidentally received an oracle from the Lunalith, right? In Lunaria Orthodoxy, it's supposed to be a very limited person, such as Pope, who could receive an oracle from the Lunalith. If the fact that an unbeliever High Elf could receive an oracle was spread, then it will be a big blow to the Church. Since their specialness will be gone. The decrease of the Church’s authority will means the decline of the unifying force of this country. That’s why they officially declared Merula as a 『Witch』 and searched for her in frenzy, in order to erase that troublesome presence.」(Sougé)
「…… I am grateful to Sougé for this.」(Merula)
Merula honestly said so.
「For taking a wanted person like me into his care and treating me, and furthermore to give shelter to someone like me who have nowhere else to go, I couldn’t thank him enough.」(Merula)
「Oh. You are awfully honest, now?」(Sougé)
「This is my true feeling. I thought about repaying it, so that's why I undertook all the household chores while I am being sheltered here.」(Merula)
Merula got up and then thrust her finger at Sougé.
「You are too sloppy! Since you never tidy things more properly, you always have to search for them!」(Merula)
「Those words, don’t they suit you more?!」(Sougé)
Sougé also didn’t want to yield to her and stood up.
「When I left the house to you, before I knew it you changed the underground wine cellar into an incomprehensible experiment room! You can’t modify a room without the owner’s permission you know!」(Sougé)
「I can’t help it because I am a researcher. I had paid for the materials with my own pocket, so it should be fine, right?」(Merula)
「Ah, the ornaments you brought from your homeland that you made me to sell for you? It was really hard to make it to be not traceable, you know……」(Sougé)
Sougé dropped his shoulder in frustration. Both of them had a no-winner tug of war. Sougé then said, 「Good grief for goodness sake……」, and took a seat.
「…… As you can see. As long as you don’t do something about her, I can’t go to the Kingdom.」(Sougé)
「Eh, wait a moment!? What this going to the Kingdom, all about?」(Merula)
Inugami also explained to Merula that to counter the Orthodoxy State’s scheme, Sougé was invited as a Bishop in the Kingdom of Friedonia. Merula who heard that explanation thought for a moment and then nodded it as if she had made a decision. She then spoke to Sougé.
「What a good timing. I also want to go to Kingdom of Friedonia.」(Merula)
「Hey, hey, you okay with it? Can you decide it that easily?」(Sougé)
「Well, if you’re not here, then I will lose a place to stay. That’s why for my safety, I want to go to the Kingdom together with you. I had investigated almost everything that I want to investigated in this country, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to research in a new land.」(Merula)
After replying, Merula then turned her face to Inugami.
「So what will it be? Will the King that you served accept a woman who is being searched by the Orthodoxy State as a Witch?」(Merula)
「……Let’s see. His Majesty constantly says 『If you have a talent, then I will use it』. Someone with a wide knowledge like you will surely be received with open arms.」(Inugami)
「Then it’s decided. Let's go, Sougé.」(Merula)
Merula said this with a grin, and so Sougé smiled wryly.
「Geez, don’t decide it on your own.」(Sougé)
Despite saying so, Sougé is also not being that opposed either.
「…… Well, it can’t be helped, so don’t cause any problem, okay?」(Sougé)
Sougé accepted the invitation to travel to the Kingdom of Friedonia, thus the Kingdom would receive two new talented people. The Lunaria Orthodoxy, Sinful Bishop Sougé Lester and the High Elf researcher, Merula Merlan. What impact will these two people have on the future of the kingdom?
No one knows yet.
I CALL IT: IT’S A FREAKING 5 METER-TALL iPHONE! WITH SAMSUNG OLED SCREEN! Nah, just kidding.
NEXT CHAPTER: Souma is visited late into the night by a certain older lady.