Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
Also there is a picture I deliberately forgot to place on the previous chapter, so the aggregator won’t get it. It’s Mary’s picture. Check it out.
Also, new editor in place!
Have a claps!
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 5 As a Person C
A nation’s official religion. In modern developed countries, this concept that had become entirely obsolete. A religion that is believed and officially endorsed by the country as a whole. That religion’s holy days will be celebrated by the country as national event…… Anyway, it’s not all that realistic to apply this in our multiracial country.
「Mary-dono. Do you realize just what your request entails? If we, a multiracial country, give preferential treatment to one religion, this will be a cause for disunity for our nation. Are you asking me to commit such a foolish mistake?」(Souma)
I protested, albeit gently, in order to display my annoyance at her request. I may not look like it, but I am someone with an authority worthy enough to be referred as a “Great King”. If she was just a small fry, she would be afraid to anger me and then behave. However, the girl’s expression didn’t change at all.
「We’re not requesting preferential treatment. Even though, I would be grateful if we are given preferential treatment, we simply wish for our faith to be appointed as a State Religion to begin with. Our Lunaria Orthodoxy preaches tolerance for other people. This attitude also applies to interactions with other religions. We neither wish to expel the believers of other faiths nor demand their conversion.」(Mary)
Saying that, Mary held her open hands high towards the ceiling.
「The Moon in the sky changes its appearances as the seasons change, and changes its face based on the time and place it can be seen. Furthermore, just like how some may see an animal’s silhouette on the Moon while others see a human one, the same thing applies to faith. Even if it appears differently, the belief and faith in God doesn’t change. The unbelievers only have a different perspective in seeing what we see as Lunaria-sama.」(Mary)
……That was quite the poetic opinion. If that opinion expressed her true feeling, then surely she was really tolerant…… But I think that her words are nothing more than a weightless papier-mâché pretension.
「However, isn’t it true that you people don’t recognize the Mother Dragon Faith that believes in the Mother Dragon of Star Dragon Mountains.」(Souma)
「God is in the Heavens and inside one’s heart. To worship a being that physically exists in the world, is only a fear of that being. What could the Mother Dragon do for a believer of the Mother Dragon Faith? The Star Dragon Mountains only interact with Nothun Dragon Knights Kingdom, right?」(Mary)
「It is natural that an awe towards a greater and stronger being becomes a faith. The Mother Dragon is a being beyond human understanding, a symbol of the nature itself.」(Souma)
「That way of thinking is wrong. We believe that faith is a bond between the God, who thinks of humans, and humans, who think of God. We see the Mother Dragon Faith as a misplaced affection to the Mother Dragon. We won’t accept it as a religion. Of course, I could understand why there are people who have such thoughts.」(Mary)
Mary replied fluently. She didn’t say anything particularly strange. In fact, the impression I got from her was one of sound logic. If this was a personal opinion, I wanted to discuss this leisurely with her on another occasion…… However, her premises were wrong on several points.
「…… Since this is a good opportunity, I would like to hear your opinion on this matter. May I?」(Souma)
「In what matter?」(Mary)
「Recently, it looks like there are many spies loitering around this country……」(Souma)
「In this country? Even though this country appears so stable, how unexpected.」(Mary)
As expected, Mary’s expression didn’t change one bit. I couldn’t feel any ripple in her emotion from some time ago. This even made me believe that she really didn’t know about the Orthodoxy State’s dark side.
「…… The moment that spy attacked my subordinate, he said a phrase, 『Infidel scum』. Perhaps, he was a believer of some religion. As a person who worship a God like that Spy, does Mary-dono understand the meaning of that spy’s words?」(Souma)
「Since I am not that spy, it is difficult to ascertain, but……」(Mary)
Mary pondered briefly and replied without any particular enthusiasm.
「Perhaps, he thought that his mission was ordained by God. The people who disturbed his duty were, to him, people who didn’t believe in God. That’s why he saw them as “Infidels”.」(Mary)
「In other words, it doesn’t matter whether or not the other people are really unbelievers?」(Souma)
「From your story, I feel that, yes, it doesn’t matter. Though, this is only my subjective opinion.」(Mary)
「…… No, this is helpful.」(Souma)
……I wonder why. She’s made me even more perplexed. I couldn’t detect any agenda or motive in her words. She honestly replied to all my questions…… Is this really a negotiation? Shouldn’t negotiations be a clash of opinions towards a mutual objective? For this reason, any fact that could become a weakness was hidden and conversation was directed towards an advantageous position. However, I completely couldn’t feel anything in her speech and conduct towards such a direction…… This is difficult.
「…… Let's return to the original topic. So you want Lunaria Orthodoxy to become our country’s state religion?」(Souma)
「How will this benefit our country? Also if you talk about religious tolerance, then what the people put faith into should not matter. So, what is the reason behind the Lunaria Orthodoxy’s request to be made as a state religion?」(Souma)
「I will answer your first question. If Lunaria Orthodoxy is granted a state religion status, then we are prepared to acknowledge Your Majesty, the Great King, as a 『Holy Man』. Your Majesty will not only be a king of a country, but a 『Holy King』. Then, the Orthodoxy State would depute me as personal bishopess, to serve Your Majesty, as if to serve God Himself.」(Mary)
After saying this, Marie bowed…… It was just like what Roroa had said. But I never imagined that it would be the Holy Maiden herself to visit me.
「…… It sounds as if your visit is to offer yourself as a bride.」(Souma)
「If Your Highness Holy King desires so, you may do whatever you please to me.」(Mary)
「I still haven’t accepted nor agreed to your offer.」(Souma)
「Please forgive my impertinence.」(Mary)
Mary once more bowed down. She wasn’t shy at all…… rather than that, her expression was that of someone who didn’t even know that she had done bad things. Aisha, who stood beside me, twitched when I mentioned the ‘bride’ thing, while Liscia wasn’t perturbed at all. She was just observing Mary with serious expression. Just how was Mary reflected in her eyes?
「Then? After I become the 『Holy King』 and the 『Holy Maiden』 serves me, is there any benefit to this country?」(Souma)
「This country has grown so much that it stands on equal grounds to the Grand Chaos Empire. This is also the result of His Majesty's reign. If you can acquire Lunaria Orthodoxy’s influence, then this country could acquire power that could surpass even the Empire.」(Mary)
「Sure, we have become bigger. But don’t you know that in terms of both territory and national strength, the Empire still surpasses us?」(Souma)
Well, at least on the aspect of technological power, though, we have already overtaken them, but let’s not reveal that. However, Marie shook her head.
「About 40% of the Empire’s population comprises Lunaria Orthodoxy believers. This was because the Mother Dragon Faith wasn’t that popular in the Empire that waged expansionist wars against Star Dragon Mountains in the past. In other words, close to half of the Empire’s population follows the Lunaria Orthodoxy. If this country ever found itself at war with the Empire, then with our influence we could divide the Empire in half.」(Mary)
「……Stop speaking something that outrageous so easily. Our country has no intention whatsoever to wage war against the Empire.」(Souma)
「This is just a what-if situation. In short, we are extending an offer to be the most powerful Humanity country that even could surpass the Empire.」(Mary)
……Hmm. Well, if we look at the relationship between monarchs and the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Age and Early Modern Age, this isn’t an uncommon topic. With the combination of the political power of the Monarch and the authority of the Church, they could govern the country and crush any enemies. This might be the simplest method to achieve such result. But only if we ignore the power balance struggle between the monarch and the church that happened afterwards…… However, right now, we are trying to move the age forward. To regress into the older age is something that we must not do. Suddenly,
「May I have a moment of your time, Your Majesty?」(Hakuya)
Hakuya, who had been silently observing our course of conversations, spoke up.
「Please forgive me, Holy Maiden, but I need to talk with His Majesty for a bit.」(Hakuya)
「Yes, of course.」(Mary)
After asking permission from the Holy Maiden, Hakuya approached my throne. Then he brought his face to my ears and then whispered to me.
(「You seem to be under the weather, Your Majesty」)(Hakuya)
(「Yeah…… Somehow, I can’t bring the sun out as I feel a strange sense of discomfort from that girl.」)(Souma)
(「That may be so, but it may be necessary to consider thinking about this differently.」)(Hakuya)
When I asked, Hakuya nodded.
(「I have been observing her from earlier, she seems to be lacking emotions.」)(Hakuya)
(「Yes, I also arrived at the same conclusion.」)(Souma)
(「The Orthodoxy State may have some objective in sending her here, but it looks like Mary-dono doesn’t think anything about it. She is merely relaying the top hierarchy’s intention t us as a Holy Maiden, just like a postal Qui, isn’t it?」)(Hakuya)
(「?! So she is just a messenger!」)(Souma)
So she wasn’t tasked to negotiate! It’s no wonder…… Even though I was discussing with her, it didn’t feel like we were negotiating. Surely, she had been guided about potential questions with prepared answers and was negotiating with me by following this guideline. That’s probably why she answered honestly when asked questions outside those guidelines, just like the spy’s thoughts question.
Or perhaps she had been instructed to honestly answer such questions. Even if the other party skillfully tried to bring out important information from her, if she hadn’t been instructed about it, she could just honestly answer, 「I don’t know.」 This is not a negotiation. This was like a text to speech software reading a mail to another person. I took a glance at Mary. She noticed my glance and then slightly tilted her head while still being expressionless.
(…… I see. Indeed, a girl similar to 『DIVA☆loid』)(Souma)
Back in my previous world, there was text to speech software called 『DIVA ☆ loid』. It was visually represented by a cute girl, could recite text with a girl’s voice, and even sing, which let to big following on video sites. When talking to Mary, it felt like talking to that 『DIVA ☆ loid』.
(「In this case…… How should we negotiate after this?」)(Souma)
(「Well. Please try to get an answer to your second question. However, we should infer the answer not as her personal opinion, but the intention of the Orthodoxy State itself.」)(Hakuya)
「Thank you for waiting.」(Hakuya)
After I confirmed that Hakuya had returned to his original position, I spoke to Mary.
「By the way, I have not yet heard the answer to the second question I asked earlier. What is the reason behind the Lunaria Orthodoxy’s request to be made as a state religion?」(Souma)
「It is for all Humanity.」(Mary)
Mary answered without any hesitation.
「The Demon Lord Territory suddenly appeared in the Continent’s Northern side. Although at present, their expansion seems to have stopped, as long as Demon Lord Territory exists, there will be no peace for Humanity. In order to obtain that peace, it is essential to invade the Demon Lord Territory and eliminate the Demon Lord. However, the demonic monsters of Demon Lord Territory are so strong that it is impossible for any country to deal with the threat individually. There is a need for all of Humanity’s nations to fully cooperate and consolidate their power.」(Mary)
「Therefore, I wish for Your Majesty to become a Holy King. With Your Majesty’s power combined with the influence of our Lunaria Orthodoxy, together we could bring many nations together. After we uniting many nations and ensuring their cooperation, even the Empire would yield. Since 40% of the Empire’s population comprises Lunaria Orthodoxy’s believers, the Empire cannot ignore this fact. With Humanity’s nations united, we will attack the Demon Lord Territory, defeat the Demon Lord, and liberate the North.」(Mary)
Mary was replying grandly. It was just like a Crusade. To unite the nations with the power of religion towards liberation of lost lands. So, they wanted me to become their banner bearer as the Holy King.
(But…… that is simply what it looks like on the surface.)(Souma)
By taking into account the invisible people who stood behind Mary, their intention came to light. Mary seriously believed that it was to liberate the North, but the intention of those behind her was different. To unite Humanity, that’s the hint. There is already a structure in this world which brought Humanity together into one. It’s the 『Humanity Declaration』 initiated by Maria-dono. Although this pact had a defect, I believed that, for the time being, it had functioned effectively.
Maria-dono, who was deemed by the Orthodoxy as “impersonating” a Holy Maiden, was gathering fame and honor as the leader of 『Humanity Declaration』. The Orthodoxy State could not tolerate this situation. After all, the more Maria-dono gained recognition, the more their own Holy Maiden’s influence diminished. A religious country is one ruled by religious influence. In other words, the loss of such influence is a life and death problem for the State.
(That’s the reason why the Orthodoxy State wanted to create an international cooperation structure, different from the 『Humanity Declaration』. A new structure that could emphasize their own influence.)(Souma)
And it seemed that they wished to have me as the figurehead. I sent a glance to Hakuya. who noticed it, closed his eyes and nodded, then he shook his head. Perhaps he had arrived at the same conclusion as I did. Furthermore, it seemed as though he wanted to say: we must not accept it…… Well, of course. Anyway, there is something that I ought to ask.
「By the way, what will happen if I refuse this Orthodoxy State’s proposal?」(Souma)
「Though it is regrettable, I guess it will be better to give up on it. We shouldn’t force you too much.」(Mary)
Huh? This is unexpected, she back down easily. I thought that if I didn’t accept their demands, they would say that they would incite the believers inside the Kingdom and raise rebellions. While I had such thoughts, Mary continued speaking without changing her expression at all.
「However, perhaps… Perhaps we will wait.」(Mary)
「Yes. Your Majesty may change your mind, or perhaps “a new candidate for Holy King will appear”.」(Mary)
Well, well…… so this is it, huh? In other words, if in the future a country becomes slightly stronger or if a monarch who had gained fame emerges, they would propose the same to them as well. Perhaps, if this is true then the fate of 「40% of the Empire’s Population is believers, we could divide the country if we want to」 will befall us. Mary might not have noticed, but this was a very frightening threat.
(This is…… something that I could just immediately decide right now.)(Souma)
Either to accept it or to reject it, I couldn’t decide without giving it a thorough thinking. At least, I would like to have a thorough discussion with Hakuya. I stood up.
「I understand the Holy Maiden’s request. However, given its importance, it is impossible to give an immediate reply. I would like some time to carefully consider it. Let us continue this conversation another day.」(Souma)
「Certainly, Your Majesty. I pray that you will come to a good decision.」(Mary)
Mary obediently exited the Audience Room. Even though the negotiation didn’t reach any conclusion, there was no disappointed expression on her face. I had been observing Mary’s face really seriously. Even during this conversation, her expression practically didn’t change at all. As if she was a doll-like girl.
(Puppet………… An artificial…………!?)(Souma)
――― There I noticed. The true meaning behind the "sense of discomfort" I had felt from her.
Accept: DEUS VULT!
Refuse: DEUS VULT!
If this is CK2, I think I’ll put my trusted loyal cardinal to become the Orthodoxy’s Pope and assassinate the other cardinals with Satan’s power (press ~).
Next chapter? Perhaps Tuesday or Wednesday.
 European Middle Age is from 5th Century to 15th Century while Early Modern Age is from 15th Century to 18th Century.
 Hatsune Miku!
 Hatsune Miku!
 In case, you still didn’t get it, Divaloid is, of course, a stand in for Vocaloid.
 Yup. This is crusade. To unite the nations with the power of religion towards liberation of
lost Holy Lands. Deus Vult.