Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
Sorry for being late for almost 2 weeks.
Please bear me until 10 May 2018 when the new doctors are scheduled to arrive as reinforcement. Until then, I will need to hold the fort. Consecutive 24 hours shifts? HERE WE GO!
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Chapter 5 As a Person E
WARNING‼! 18++ CONTENT! NOT SUITABLE FOR MINOR!
I, the man, will not take up the time of my readers by detailing the circumstances under which Alice, the maid, roused in me the desire for vengeance which resulted in the way I adopted and which I am about to relate. Suffice it then to say that Alice cruelly and unjustifiably jilted me! In my bitterness of spirit, I swore that if I ever had an opportunity of getting hold of her, I would make her voluptuous person recompense me for my disappointment and that I would snatch from her by force the bridegroom's privileges that I so ardently coveted. But I had to dissemble! Alice and I had many mutual friends to whom this rupture was unknown; we were therefore constantly meeting each other, and if I gave her the slightest hint of my intentions towards her, it would be fatal to the very doubtful chances of success that I had! And so successfully did I conceal my real feelings under a cloak of generous acceptance of her action that she had not the faintest idea (as she afterwards admitted to me) that I was playing a part.
But, as the proverb says, everything comes to the man who can wait. For some considerable time, it seemed as if it would be wise on my part to abandon my desire for vengeance, as the circumstances of our daily lives were such as did not promise the remotest chance of my getting possession of Alice under conditions of either place or time suitable for the accomplishment of my purpose. Nevertheless, I controlled my patience and hoped for the best, enduring as well as I could the torture of unsatisfied desire and increasing lust.
It then happened that I had occasion to change my residence, and in my search for fresh quarters, I came across a modest suite of a sitting-room and two bedrooms which would by themselves have suited me excellently; but with them, the landlord desired to let what he termed a box or lumber-room. I demurred to this addition, but as he remained firm, I asked to see the room. It was most peculiar both as regards access and appearance. The former was by a short passage from the landing, furnished with remarkably well-fitting doors at each end. The room was nearly square, of a good size and lofty, but the walls were unbroken, save by the one entrance, light and air being derived from a skylight, or rather lantern, which occupied the greater part of the roof and was supported by four strong and stout wooden pillars. Further, the walls were thickly padded, while iron rings were let into them at regular distances all round in two rows, one close to the floor and the other about a height of eight feet; from the roof beams dangled rope pulleys in pairs between the pillars, while the two recesses on the entrance side, caused by the projection of the passage into the room, looked as if they had at one time been separated from the rest of the room by bars, almost as if they were cells. So strange indeed was the appearance of the whole room that I asked its history, and was informed that the house had been built as a private lunatic asylum at the time when the now unfashionable square in which it stood was one of the centres of fashion, and that this was the old 'mad-room' in which violent patients were confined, the bolts, rings and pulleys being used to restrain them when very violent, while the padding and the double doors made the room absolutely soundproof and prevented the ravings of the inmates from annoying the neighbours. The landlord added that the soundproof quality was no fiction as the room had frequently been tested by incredulous visitors.
Like lightning the thought flashed through my brain. Was not this room the very place for the consummation of my scheme of revenge? If I succeeded in luring Alice into it, she would be completely at my mercy, for her screams for help would not be heard and would only increase my pleasure, while the bolts, rings, pulleys, etc., supplemented with a little suitable furniture, would enable me to secure her in any way I wished and to hold her fixed while I amused myself with her. Delighted with the idea, I agreed to include the room in my suite. Quietly, but with deep forethought and planning, I got certain furniture made which, while in outward appearance most innocent, as well as most comfortable, was in truth full of hidden mechanisms planned for the special discomfiture of any woman or girl that I might wish to hold in physical control. I had the floor covered with thick Persian carpets and rugs, and the two alcoves converted into nominal photographic laboratories, but in a way that made them suitable for lavatories and dressing-rooms. When completed, the 'Snuggery' (as I christened it) was in appearance a distinctly pretty and comfortable room, while in reality it was nothing more or less than a disguised torture chamber!
And now came the difficult part of my scheme.
How to entrap Alice? Unfortunately she was not residing in London but a little way out. She lived with a married sister, and never seemed to come to town except in her sister's company. My difficulty was therefore how to get Alice by herself for a sufficiently long time to accomplish my designs, and sorely I cudgelled my brains over this problem!
The sisters frequently visited town at irregular intervals as dictated by the contingencies of social duties or shopping. True to my policy of l'entente cordiale, I had welcomed them to my rooms for rest and refreshment and had encouraged them to use my quarters; and partly because of the propinquity of the rooms to Regent Street, partly because of the very dainty meals I invariably placed before them, but mainly because of the soothing restfulness induced by the absolute quiet of the Snuggery after the roar and turmoil of the streets, it soon became their regular practice to honour me with their company for luncheon or tea whenever they came to town and had no special engagement. I need hardly add that secretly I hoped these visits might bring me an opportunity of executing my revenge, but for some months I seemed doomed to disappointment. I used to suffer the tortures of Tantalus when I saw Alice unsuspectingly braving me in the very room I had prepared for her violation, within actual reach of me and of hidden machinery that would place her at my disposal, did I set it working, were it not for her sister's presence! In fact, so keenly did I feel the position that I began to plan the capture of both sisters together, to include Marion in the punishment designed for Alice, and the idea in itself was not unpleasing, as Marion was a fine specimen of female flesh and blood of a larger and more stately type than Alice (who was 'petite'), and one could do much worse than have her at one's disposal for an hour or two to feel and fuck! So seriously did I entertain this project, that I got an armchair made in such a way that the releasing of a secret catch would set free mechanisms that would be actuated by the weight of the occupant and would cause the arms to fold inwards and firmly imprison the sitter. Furnished with luxurious upholstery and the catch fixed, it made the most inviting of chairs, and from its first appearance, Alice took possession of it, in happy ignorance that it was intended to hold her firmly imprisoned while I tackled and secured Marion!
I was awakened by the light flowing through the window and in front of my eyes was Liscia’s face. Because we shared the one pillow together, she was really close. A gentle sleeping face. Every time Liscia breathed in her sleep, her fair-skinned chest, that was wrapped in a blanket, moved up and down. Just by looking at this scene, an indescribable mixture emotions of joy, embarrassment, and love surfaced from my heart that made me gently placed my arms on her cheeks. Then,
Liscia twisted her body as if she felt ticklish and slowly opened her eyes. Perhaps she was still half-asleep. She looked around restlessly, then when she noticed me lying beside her……
「Ah…… Souma. Good morning……」(Liscia)
She greeted with a wide smile. Since her action was unbearably cute, I hugged Liscia and kissed her still closed left eyelid. The half-asleep Liscia laughed ticklishly.
「Geez, Souma~ What are you doing~?」(Liscia)
「Hmmm, I want to see more, but…… Sorry, Liscia, please wake up.」(Souma)
After gently shaking her body, this time Liscia’s eyes fully opened. And when our eyes met, as if accompanied by a “Poof” sound, Liscia face became red and she pulled the blanket until her nose and hid behind it. Perhaps, the shyness was suddenly welling up in her. Surely…… that includes what happened the last night. I patted Liscia’s head.
「Good morning, Liscia.」(Souma)
「Go-good morning. Uuuu……Please don’t look at me too much.」(Liscia)
「Even if you say to not looking at you, yesterday I have comple-…… Hoph.」(Souma)
「Even so embarrassing is still embarrassing!」(Liscia)
Liscia press a pillow on my face. After I put away the pillow, I stretched my hand and body.
「Ugghmmmm…… I don’t want our second time to be in the office.」(Souma)
「Since it’s my workplace, I have to order for the bed to be tidied early in the morning. As much as I still want to make out, I have to get up. It’s a torture.」(Souma)
I got off from the bed and began putting on the clothes that I was wearing yesterday. Since I didn’t bring a change of clothes, I had to return to my bedroom. After I finished putting on the clothes, I asked Liscia.
「Umm…… Is your body feeling alright?」(Souma)
「Y-yeah…… a bit sluggish, though……」(Liscia)
「I see…… Then I will ask the maids to tidy up the bed.」(Souma)
After I kissed Liscia's forehead, I left the office room. When I opened the door, I found Carla, who was averting her flushed face away and Serina, who was smiling gently, standing there. Ignoring Carla who was standing outside as a guard, why was Serina here? Serina then spoke with a gentle smile the likes of which I have never seen before.
「Good morning, sir. Did you enjoy last night?」(Serina)
Whoaa. Although it was a template question, when she actually said it, it was painful to hear.
「…… You wake early, Chief Maid.」(Souma)
「Because I am also the Princess’ personal maid.」(Serina)
Uttering something that couldn’t be judged as an answer, Serina bowed her head with a refined gesture. I wanted to say, 「Yeah, you just think that this will be absolutely amusing.」, but if I pointed this to her, I had a feeling that she would respond with knife-stabbing words three times sharper, so I kept silent. An undisturbed Super-S Maid won’t torment me. If we ignored her bad habit hobby of 「teasing」 cute girls, she is an extremely capable person.
「…… I leave Liscia and the room to you.」(Souma)
「I understand, Let’s go, Carla.」(Serina)
「Yes, Chief Maid.」(Carla)
After giving a bow, Serina and Carla entered the office. After a while, I could hear voices coming from inside,
『Se-Serina! I am still naked!』(Liscia)
『Since I have to tidy the bed, please get off at once. Otherwise, I will have to ask Carla-san to take you and the bed outside.』(Serina)
『Wait Carla! Don’t lift up the bed!』(Liscia)
『……Sorry. But if I resist the Chief Maid, I will suffer embarrassing things at her hands afterward……』(Carla)
…… Yeah, Liscia. Please stay strong.
Let's change the mood. My resolution is settled. My willpower is plenty. If I want to protect my beloved family, whether a Major Power or a Religious State, let me show them who’s boss.
「Shall I devise a sinister plan or two with Hakuya?」(Souma)
I started walking down the corridor.
I admit I kissed her.
Perhaps I should not have done so. Perhaps I would not do so again. Had I known what was to come I could not have done so. Nevertheless I did.
After all, it was not strange. All things about us conspired to be accessory and incendiary. The air of the Virginia morning was so soft and warm, the honeysuckles along the wall were so languid sweet, the bees and the hollyhocks up to the walk so fat and lazy, the smell of the orchard was so rich, the south wind from the fields was so wanton! Moreover, I was only twenty-six. As it chances, I was this sort of a man: thick in the arm and neck, deep through, just short of six feet tall, and wide as a door, my mother said; strong as one man out of a thousand, my father said. And then—the girl was there.
So this was how it happened that I threw the reins of Satan, my black horse, over the hooked iron of the gate at Dixiana Farm and strode up to the side of the stone pillar where Grace Sheraton stood, shading her eyes with her hand, watching me approach through the deep trough road that flattened there, near the Sheraton lane. So I laughed and strode up—and kept my promise. I had promised myself that I would kiss her the first time that seemed feasible. I had even promised her—when she came home from Philadelphia so lofty and superior for her stopping a brace of years with Miss Carey at her Allendale Academy for Young Ladies—that if she mitigated not something of her haughtiness, I would kiss her fair, as if she were but a girl of the country. Of these latter I may guiltily confess, though with no names, I had known many who rebelled little more than formally.
She stood in the shade of the stone pillar, where the ivy made a deep green, and held back her light blue skirt daintily, in her high-bred way; for never was a girl Sheraton who was not high-bred or other than fair to look upon in the Sheraton way—slender, rather tall, long cheeked, with very much dark hair and a deep color under the skin, and something of long curves withal. They were ladies, every one, these Sheraton girls; and as Miss Grace presently advised me, no milkmaids wandering and waiting in lanes for lovers.
When I sprang down from Satan Miss Grace was but a pace or so away. I put out a hand on either side of her as she stood in the shade, and so prisoned her against the pillar. She flushed at this, and caught at my arm with both hands, which made me smile, for few men in that country could have put away my arms from the stone until I liked. Then I bent and kissed her fair, and took what revenge was due our girls for her Philadelphia manners.
When she boxed my ears I kissed her once more. Had she not at that smiled at me a little, I should have been a boor, I admit. As she did—and as I in my innocence supposed all girls did—I presume I may be called but a man as men go. Miss Grace grew very rosy for a Sheraton, but her eyes were bright. So I threw my hat on the grass by the side of the gate and bowed her to be seated. We sat and looked up the lane which wound on to the big Sheraton house, and up the red road which led from their farm over toward our lands, the John Cowles farm, which had been three generations in our family as against four on the part of the Sheratons' holdings; a fact which I think always ranked us in the Sheraton soul a trifle lower than themselves.
We were neighbors, Miss Grace and I, and as I lazily looked out over the red road unoccupied at the time by even the wobbling wheel of some negro's cart, I said to her some word of our being neighbors, and of its being no sin for neighbors to exchange the courtesy of a greeting when they met upon such a morning. This seemed not to please her; indeed I opine that the best way of a man with a maid is to make no manner of speech whatever before or after any such incident as this.
"I was just wandering down the lane," she said, "to see if Jerry had found my horse, Fanny."
"Old Jerry's a mile back up the road," said I, "fast asleep under the hedge."
"The black rascal!"
"He is my friend," said I, smiling.
"You do indeed take me for some common person," said she; "as though I had been looking for—"
"No, I take you only for the sweetest Sheraton that ever came to meet a Cowles from the farm yonder." Which was coming rather close home, for our families, though neighbors, had once had trouble over some such meeting as this two generations back; though of that I do not now speak.
Before, however, I resorted to this desperate measure, my patience was rewarded! And this is how it happened.
One evening, the familiar note came to say the sisters were coming to town on the next day and would come for lunch. A little before the appointed hour Alice, to my surprise, appeared alone! She said that, after the note had been posted, Marion became ill and had been very poorly all night and so could not come to town, though better. The shopping engagement was one of considerable importance to Alice, and therefore she had come up alone; she had called to explain matters to me, but would not stop to lunch, she would get a cup of tea and a bun somewhere.
Against this desertion of me, I vigorously protested, but I doubt if I would have induced her to stay had not a smart shower of rain come on. This made her hesitate about going out into it with the dress she was wearing, as it would be ruined, and finally she consented to have lunch and leave immediately afterwards.
While she was away in the spare bedroom used by the sisters on their visits, I was in a veritable turmoil of excitement! Alice in my rooms by herself! It seemed too good to be true! But I remembered I yet had to get her into the Snuggery; she was absolutely safe from my designs everywhere but there! But it was imperative that she should be in no way alarmed, and so, with a strong effort, I controlled my panting excitement, and by the time Alice rejoined me in the dining-room I was my usual self.
Lunch was quickly served. At first, Alice seemed a little nervous and constrained, but by tactful conversation, I soon set her at ease and she then chatted away naturally and merrily. I had craftily placed her with her back to the window so that she should not note signs that a bad storm was brewing: and soon, with satisfaction, I saw that the weather was getting worse and worse! But it might at any moment begin to clear away, and so the sooner I could get her into my Snuggery, the better for me - and the worse for her! So, by every means in my power, I hurried on the procedure of lunch.
Alice was leisurely finishing her coffee when a rattle of rain against the window panes, followed by an ominous growl of thunder, made her start from her chair and go to the casement. 'Oh! Just look at the rain!' she exclaimed in dismay, 'how very unfortunate!'
I joined her at the window: 'By Jove, it is bad!' I replied, then added, 'and it looks like lasting. I hope that you have no important engagement for the afternoon that will keep you much in the open?' As I spoke, there came a vivid flash of lightning closely followed by a peal of thunder, which sent Alice staggering backwards with a scared face.
'Oh!' she exclaimed, evidently frightened; then, after a pause, 'I am a horrid little coward about thunderstorms: they just terrify me!'
'Won't you then take refuge in the Snuggery?' I asked with a host's look of concern. 'I don't think you will see the lightning there and you certainly won't hear the thunder, as the room is soundproof. Shall we go there?' and I opened the door invitingly.
Alice hesitated. Was her guardian angel trying to give her a premonitory hint of what her fate would be if she accepted my seemingly innocent suggestion? But at that moment came another flash of lightning, blinding in its intensity, and almost simultaneously a roar of thunder. This settled the question in my favour! 'Yes, yes!' she exclaimed, then ran out. I closely following her, my heart beating exultingly! Quickly she passed through the double doors into the Snuggery, the trap I had so carefully set for her! Noiselessly I bolted the outer door, then closed the inner one. Alice was now mine! mine!! At last I had entrapped her! Now my vengeance was about to be consummated! Now her chaste virgin self was to be submitted to my lust and compelled to satisfy my erotic desires! She was utterly at my mercy, and promptly I proceeded to work my cruel will on her!
"Cannot a girl walk down her own carriage road of a morning, after hollyhocks for the windows, without—"
"She cannot!" I answered. I would have put out an arm for further mistreatment, but all at once I pulled up. What was I coming to, I, John Cowles, this morning when the bees droned fat and the flowers made fragrant all the air? I was no boy, but a man grown; and ruthless as I was, I had all the breeding the land could give me, full Virginia training as to what a gentleman should be. And a gentleman, unless he may travel all a road, does not set foot too far into it when he sees that he is taken at what seems his wish. So now I said how glad I was that she had come back from school, though a fine lady now, and no doubt forgetful of her friends, of myself, who once caught young rabbits and birds for her, and made pens for the little pink pigs at the orchard edge, and all of that. But she had no mind, it seemed to me, to talk of these old days; and though now some sort of wall seemed to me to arise between us as we sat there on the bank blowing at dandelions and pulling loose grass blades, and humming a bit of tune now and then as young persons will, still, thickheaded as I was, it was in some way made apparent to me that I was quite as willing the wall should be there as she herself was willing.
My mother had mentioned Miss Grace Sheraton to me before. My father had never opposed my riding over now and then to the Sheraton gates. There were no better families in our county than these two. There was no reason why I should feel troubled. Yet as I looked out into the haze of the hilltops where the red road appeared to leap off sheer to meet the distant rim of the Blue Ridge, I seemed to hear some whispered warning. I was young, and wild as any deer in those hills beyond. Had it been any enterprise scorning settled ways; had it been merely a breaking of orders and a following of my own will, I suppose I might have gone on. But there are ever two things which govern an adventure for one of my sex. He may be a man; but he must also be a gentleman. I suppose books might be written about the war between those two things. He may be a gentleman sometimes and have credit for being a soft-headed fool, with no daring to approach the very woman who has contempt for him; whereas she may not know his reasons for restraint. So much for civilization, which at times I hated because it brought such problems. Yet these problems never cease, at least while youth lasts, and no community is free from them, even so quiet a one as ours there in the valley of the old Blue Ridge, before the wars had rolled across it and made all the young people old.
I was of no mind to end my wildness and my roaming just yet; and still, seeing that I was, by gentleness of my Quaker mother and by sternness of my Virginia father, set in the class of gentlemen, I had no wish dishonorably to engage a woman's heart. Alas, I was not the first to learn that kissing is a most difficult art to practice!
When one reflects, the matter seems most intricate. Life to the young is barren without kissing; yet a kiss with too much warmth may mean overmuch, whereas a kiss with no warmth to it is not worth the pains. The kiss which comes precisely at the moment when it should, in quite sufficient warmth and yet not of complicating fervor, working no harm and but joy to both involved—those kisses, now that one pauses to think it over, are relatively few.
As for me, I thought it was time for me to be going.
◇ ◇ ◇
―――A few days later.
I informed the Holy Maiden Mary who was staying on the Lunaria Orthodoxy Church in the Capital City about a second audience and summoned her to the castle. Thus, in the 『Audience Room』 within the Royal Castle, having the same members and arrangement as the last audience several days ago, Mary and I faced each other.
Mary was still as beautiful as when I saw her for the first time several days ago and still felt artificial in some respects. After we exchanged formal greetings, I decided to immediately cut to the chase of the real issue.
「Now then, about the issue of recognition of Lunaria Orthodoxy as the State Religion……」(Souma)
「If you could accept several conditions, I could accept it.」(Souma)
「What? It is not too difficult. Furthermore, it is only two. First, I won’t become Lunaria Orthodoxy’s Holy King. I want your side to also stop nominating me without permission. I want a firm promise on this matter.」(Souma)
「May I ask why? If you become the Holy King, then will you not rise above all Lunaria Orthodoxy believers in every country?」(Mary)
The puzzled Mary slightly tilted her head to the side, so I slowly shook my head.
「Because I am not a Lunaria Orthodoxy believer. If an unbeliever like me is suddenly appointed as the Holy King, it will only provoke a backlash from the believers. So I will respectfully decline that honor.」(Souma)
Although Mary seemed to be disappointed, she promptly backed down. Of course, this was no more than an official facade. I don’t want to become a Holy King and put this country back into an era when religion constrained science. The objective of this condition was to prevent the Orthodox State from arbitrarily appointing me as the Holy King without my permission and turn me into their figurehead against the Empire.
「Then, for the second condition…… I’ll have the Prime Minister Hakuya to explain it.」(Souma)
After I declared so, Hakuya bowed and moved a step forward.
「Then, let me explain. The other condition that we would like to present is that we wish to invite a bishop from the Lunaria Orthodoxy State who will oversee the affairs regarding Lunaria Orthodoxy believers inside the Kingdom.」(Hakuya)
「Of course, we will accept this condition. I will humbly accept that position.」(Mary)
Hakuya waved his hand to Mary who was holding her hand in her chest.
「Please, that couldn’t possibly be accepted. We don’t wish to trouble Holy Maiden-dono with this position. What we intend to do is to invite a certain person to our country.」(Hakuya)
「There is someone you want to invite? This might be rude, but may I know who this person is?」(Mary)
「Bishop Sougé Lester.」(Hakuya)
The moment she heard Hakuya mentioned Sougé Lester, Mary's slightly narrowed her brow. I saw it only for a few seconds, but she was obviously felt a hatred. It was the first time the doll-like Mary showed a human-like expression. Mary then asked with a slightly stiffened expression.
「Hakuya-dono…… Do you know what kind of person that man is?」(Mary)
「Yes. I have heard that he is a very sharp-minded person.」(Hakuya)
「He is only cunning. That… man is a fallen sinful bishop. He is an insolent man who swindled large amounts of money from various believers, drank wine, and philandering with women. While a priest should be abstaining from the pleasure of the world, that person is tainted by worldliness and acts without self-constraint. Even His Holiness the Pope and the Cardinals also view him as a problem. Even for me…… I don’t like that man.」(Mary)
It was a clear rejection. So he is a man who even disliked by the doll-like girl. I became a bit interested in him.
「How come a man like him became a Bishop?」(Souma)
When I posed this question, Mary pursed her lips briefly, after which she opened her mouth to speak up.
「…… Although I am embarrassed to say this, we who are adorned with the robe of the priesthood are supported by donations from the believers. Since Sougé had gathered a substantial amount of money through numerous methods, there are Cardinals who are nominating him as a Bishop……」(Mary)
Ah, I could vaguely see it. Perhaps, that Sougé guy had bought off some of the Cardinals. Excepting the Holy Maiden, it seemed that the top hierarchy of the Orthodoxy State, rather than just smelled like worldly men, they felt more corrupt and smelled fishy instead. That’s why even if they want to remove him, they couldn’t. Mary turned towards Hakuya.
「However, I heard that even in the Church there are rumors that the Church ought to expel him soon. I believe that it is simply a matter of time until he is excommunicated. So why would you invite a man like that?」(Mary)
Despite the opposing party’s glare implying major objection and disagreement, Hakuya’s calm smile stood unbroken.
「Isn’t this a good opportunity? If he will be expelled, then let's have our nation take care of him. His Majesty Souma likes unparalleled talented people and has commanded that if there is such a Bishop like that, then His Majesty would like to meet him.」(Hakuya)
Really? But no, I don’t ever remember saying that. This whole plot was something that Hakuya had fabricated on his own. After all, I was not even aware of Sougé’s existence until now. Mary directed her eyes full of dissatisfaction at Hakuya.
「To dispatch him as a Bishop means that he will stand at the top of the Lunaria Orthodoxy believers who reside in this country, won’t it? I do not believe that he is fit for that position.」(Mary)
「If that is really the case, then it will merely be an issue of having another person replace him. If he is a person who doesn’t measure up to our expectation, then we won’t mind, “dealing” with him ourselves.」(Hakuya)
Whoaa…… My my, Hakuya, you have a really terrifying evil smile. Since in the first place, he has a clever-looking face, this should appropriately be called as a 『Freezing Smile』. Mary had nothing more to say, thanks to his impressive presence.
「…… That will be fine. If by any chance, he can’t come to this country, then I will be replacing him instead.」(Mary)
「Yes. We will be depending on you at that time.」(Hakuya)
These two had already maneuvered around and fathomed on each other intention. A violent confrontation between a poker face and an evil face, rather than clashing sparks, the surroundings were wrapped in a freezing atmosphere. Even Liscia and I were repelled by their mood. Aisha, who also wasn’t used to this, felt sick.
At any rate, with this we could assume that the negotiation had concluded. To summarize the details that we decided this time, it would be these three points.
· Friedonia Kingdom accepted Lunaria Orthodoxy as a State Religion
· Lunaria Orthodoxy State will not appoint Souma as the King Holy.
· The Orthodoxy State will have to dispatch Sougé Lester as a Bishop.
As soon as the discussion finished, Mary left the audience room. They could not trick me into becoming a Holy King, but since they were able to make the Kingdom recognize Lunaria Orthodoxy as the State Religion, this could be said to be an adequate result. With this, she should return to the Orthodoxy State peacefully. I waited until the report that she had left the castle to finally release the nervousness wrapping me.
「Fuu…… With this, perhaps we could succeed?」(Souma)
「Most likely, I dare say. The Holy Maiden-dono too should be satisfied that she has achieved some results.」(Hakuya)
I shrugged my shoulders when Hakuya grinned.
「Hakuya, you still have your evil face.」(Souma)
「…… Pardon me.」(Hakuya)
When Hakuya returned to his usual calm face, I asked.
「Then, tell me, have you made any preparations to invite a bishop like that Sougé fellow?」(Souma)
「Yes, Your Majesty. The Black Cat Squad led by Kagetora-dono has already infiltrated the Orthodoxy State. Perhaps they already brought Sougé-dono to the border. I am confident that they will escort him into our country in the next few days.」(Hakuya)
That was an extreme cautionary measure. It was almost as if they were acting like bodyguards.
「Is there a special reason to depute the Black Cat Squad as his bodyguards?」(Souma)
「By seeing the Holy Maiden-dono’s reaction, they would hesitate to dispatch a person who would become a disgrace to the country as the Bishop. The sHoly Maiden-dono also accepted that conditions only so that Lunaria Orthodoxy will be recognized as a State Religion. However, even after we have their guarantee, there is a risk that they will annul it because of “a reason”. For example, they may claim that Sougé-dono is “injured in an accident”, so they would have to dispatch another person. For this reason, I had to send the Black Cat Squad beforehand to accompany him.」(Hakuya)
Injured in an accident…… yeah, right….. This was just my own mental image of them, but this is something that I believe the Orthodoxy State would do. If it would only just stop at mere injuries, it would still be fine, but nothing prevented them from things like, “imprisonment” (read it as: “His whereabouts are unknown”) or in the worst case, “assassination” (read it as: “He passed away from an illness.”) To think that far ahead and anticipate it, as expected from Hakuya.
「It looks like the Kingdom’s celebrated 『Black Robed Prime Minister』 title is not just for show. After all, your serpentine deviousness had taken it that far.」 (Souma)
I poked fun at Hakuya, when Liscia, who stood next to me, sent an unamused look at me.
「Speaking of serpentine deviousness, wouldn’t it suit Souma more? After all, you have deceived that pure and innocent Holy-Maiden-sama.」(Liscia)
「I wish you don't spoke like I am the villain here. There were no lies in my words to her, you know?」(Souma)
My words about recognizing Lunaria Orthodoxy as a State Religion is not a lie. However…….
「I only changed the “meaning” of the phrase: 『State Religion』.」(Souma)
Two serpents, tricking a woman to take the poisonous apple, the result: Fall of Eden.
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