Chapter 24 The Smiling Princess Part 2 6

 The Princess of Smiles Part 2 6

 Bartholomew, having had a new cup of tea prepared, tips it gracefully.

 The next to be condemned is his own brother, the former Temple Chief.

 He must be more prepared than he has been for the others.

 The expression on her face as she crunches the cookies Alexandra has made is calm, but steady.

 She set the cup down quietly and closed her eyes for a while, as if she was thinking about something.

 It must have been a few tens of seconds.

 Just before the whispering around him became loud enough to be clearly heard, Bartolomeos opened his eyes wide.

 The whispering turns to silence in an instant.


 The former head of the temple, as thin as a dead tree and unimaginable from his former plump physique, stumbles to the place of absolution despite using a delicately crafted staff, and stares at Bartolomeos without hanging his head.

"...I am the emperor of the god-recognized Mysurian Empire. Do not call me by my name in disrespect!"

 And then he unleashes an unbelievable tirade.

 Bartolomeos calmly asks Ferdinand, who can hear the divine voice, what he really means.

"Ferdinand. Are the words of a fool true?"

"No, but there is one word that is missing. God told me to be a king of the exiled."

"Hmm. So you're saying the gods told you that the Empire of Mysia would fall?"

"Yes. I believe Emperor Bartolomeos also received a divine message that the Empire of Mysia will be destroyed."

 Ferdinand's words caused an uproar in the altar room as if he had poked a beehive.

 Some fainted, some screamed, some collapsed, some cried profusely, some were restrained by the knights and rolled on the floor when they tried to escape, some remained calm and sat on their chairs, some looked around and asked for -sama-ko, and a few seemed to be talking about the future in peace.

"Don't worry. The good people who are not here will have a word from God after Alexandra leaves the country. The same salvation will come to those who have done good deeds, no matter how many. To put it more simply, the environment may change a little, but we are promised a life similar to the one we had before."

"Unfortunately, those who do not have a good heart like former Temple Chief Gotthold will not even be allowed to escape from the exiled Mithyr Empire... so be prepared."

"Shut up, shut up, shut up! I'm not sure what to do. There are enough people without having a good heart! There is no need to despair! This is a new country under our rule! It will be even more wonderful than it is now, of course!

 Some of those who were unsure of their past stared at the former Temple Chief with eyes that only clung to him.

 The rest of their eyes are filled with despair.

 It is widely recognized that the destruction of a nation by the power of a god is a natural disaster of such magnitude that the nation cannot exist.

 It will never be fruitful again.

 The many famous water sources will run dry.

 Epidemics may spread.

 Demons will roam the land.

 The sun and moon could be gone forever.

 But there would be no intervention from other countries.

 There is no country in the world that would want a country that has nothing to offer.

"The God-forsaken Empire of Mysia will be nothing more than a cage to keep sinners in. From that moment on, when all good men are gone."

"Having sinners for parents, our past was also foolish and should be condemned... so we were planning to die with our country... but God has decreed that the punishment for me and my sister is to serve Alexandra-sama with a sincere heart. Alexandra-sama with a sincere heart."



 It seems that the two of them were planning to repent for their sins and pray for the happiness of the good people until the end of their lives, together with those who might possibly be converted, in the temple that would cease to function until a little while ago, but while they were praying together with Sylvia, the divine voice descended.

 It is not often that the voice of God comes to an individual.

 The gods must have taken pity on the two who had been tossed about by their sinful parents.

 They decided to redeem themselves by leaving the country with Alexandra and entering a new world.

 They seemed to have lost their way, and little by little, they came into Alexandra's sight, carefully judging whether they were not being neglected, and finally, when they realized that she seemed to be glad to have them by her side.

 He seemed to have made up his mind to leave the country.

"You-sama and the others are my children! You're abandoning your parents! I won't allow it!

"...I didn't want to abandon them either!"

 Sylvia says as she steps next to Ferdinand.

 There was disgust and pity in her voice.

"But that's what we're trying to redeem."

"Parents! There is no greater disrespect than abandoning your parents!"

"There is. Emperor Bartolomeus. Go ahead and accuse the guilty."

but you can't... until the end..."

 Bartolomeos' voice has the same disgust and pity in it.

 The former temple chief had been selfish since he was a child.

 No matter how much the previous emperor blamed him, no matter how much his mother, the rightful queen, appeased him, no matter how many concessions Bartolomeos made, he kept saying that he was right and only he was right.

 The previous emperors tried to get him to change his mind somehow, bowing to the head of the temple at that time to get him to enter the temple, but to no avail.

 In fact, it made things worse.

 Even though the pious queen visited the temple countless times and tried to warn him, he refused to listen to her and went to the limit of his arrogance.

 She immediately drove out anyone who had an opinion about her.

 He valued only those who were obedient.

 He kicked out the then Temple Chief, who was a man of character but was very old, saying, "You may spend the rest of your life in peace! He was still in his teens when he was appointed as the head of the temple.

 No matter how much the previous emperor and Bartholomew explained that the temple chief was only a temple chief, stripped of the status and authority of the royal family, the power of the temple chief was enormous in the isolation of the temple.

 Also, there were many people who thought that they would be rewarded if they just praised him.


 The temple had been corrupted for decades.

 It was believed that it would be difficult to clean up the corruption without a great deal of brute force.

"For impregnating a concubine and falsely claiming that the child was the emperor's, for keeping the child in the temple and not educating him as a member of the royal family even though he was recognized as the emperor's child by those around him, for mistreating the princess and plotting to assassinate her, for using his position as the head of the temple to brainwash many innocent people, and for countless other false charges. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's had to deal with this. But... it didn't happen."

"Hmph! I'm not a sinner. Behold! Behold this beautiful staff! A beautiful treasure given to me by the golden gods! Ooh!"

 Although all his personal belongings had been taken away from him, he somehow managed to hold up the magnificent staff he was carrying, staggering but still holding it high in the air as if it were something from a history book.

 It was only a picture worthy of a sinful man's end.

 It is also a scene of history.

 There are many instructive scenes recorded in the remaining history books.


 The wand was split in half by a ray of beautiful light that fell from nowhere.

 The inside was hollow, and the outside was not gold, but a thin coating of a similar color that could only be recognized by its distinctive smell.

"...God is angry, Gotthold. From now on, no matter how foolish you are, you'll have to realize that hell awaits you. My absolution will be small, but listen carefully."

 Bartolomeus took a deep breath and was about to speak again when he heard a hymn.

 A hymn was heard.

 Could it be those who could not resist the mad brainwashing of the Temple Chief?

 They were all singing in perfect unison, their throats almost torn.

 Are they trying to lessen the sins of the former temple chief?

 Or are they trying to lessen their own sins?

 Has he become convinced that the only way out is to put his trust in God, and not in the former head of the temple?

"I will not allow you to sing now. When the absolution is all over, sing as much as you like."

 The voice grew louder.

 In a simple act of denial of Bartolomeus' words, a targeted intimidation was applied.

 A few fell, a few spurted blood from their mouths.

 Despite the decrease in the number of people, the volume remains the same.

 Even those who have lost their voice are still moving their mouths.

"...Religion is scary. In this case, brainwashing is scary, isn't it?"

 Martin's voice is flat, and he doesn't sound scared in the slightest.

 In fact, he is probably not scared at all.

 Perhaps he just finds it annoying and intimidating.

 If Bartolomeos raises his hand, the knights who know what they are doing will restrain those who continue to sing.

 The court mage spreads the wards and pushes them inside.

 They continue to sing, but their voices are no longer heard.

 Ziege, shut up! Will you shut up? but it seems to have no effect.

"Are you so uncomfortable with a song that praises me? You don't like it? Come on! Be honest!"

 Bartholomew simply said what he needed to say to the former temple chief, who continued to be irreverent to no end.

"Sinner, Gotthold! Your position as Temple Chief has been revoked. All your personal assets, which you should not have, will be returned to the state. You will be imprisoned in the royal castle. You may warm your throne to your heart's content. Those who are thought to have been brainwashed by the criminals will be released from the brainwashing and will not be charged with a crime. But those who follow their desires will continue to serve the sinner. You won't be able to taste the sweetness. But you will live."

 When I tilted my head and wondered how he could distinguish between those who had been brainwashed and those who had not, Ferdinand, who seemed to have understood, told me that he would temporarily use the power given to him by God to distinguish between the two and even lift the power.

 If God's power resided in Ferdinand, then there would be no problem.

 The only thing I'm worried about is how he'll react when he comes to his senses, since he's said to retain memories of the time he was brainwashed.

"Finally... you may not think anything of it, but I'm going to cut you off from your brother now. My brother is dead."


 At Bartolomeos' words, the former temple chief gave him a look he had never seen before.

 Shaking his head in disbelief, he blinked incessantly.

"Huh? He still thinks you can't get rid of him, and he's surprised that you did. I guess he had a human heart, too."

 Martin was strangely interested, but Alexandra was also surprised.

"Wow, if it's me he's throwing away, but you-sama is throwing away me!"

"Aren't you glad? You'll be glad to know that you're no longer with me forever. You will stay in exile and I will leave. The exile will be a cage for criminals and no one will be allowed in or out forever."

 Everyone would have expected him to immediately retort that he should have cut himself off sooner, but the ex-Temple Chief was simply flustered.

 Deep down, he may have loved Bartolomeos as a brother.

 He was the only one who would never betray him, no matter what he did.

"Now, all condemnation is done. Now the gods will deal out more palpable punishments to the sinful. The Mysurian Empire will become a failed state in the foreseeable future. With that understanding, raise your hands if you have any questions..."

"Bartolomé! Oh no!"

 The light pierced the former temple chief's body as he tried to call her something profane in anger.

 But he didn't fall down because a large, glowing arrow was sewing his body to the floor.

"...Could it be that God has been holding back all this time? It's an unbelievable anger."

"Perhaps it is God's own anger."

 Alexandra agrees with Ferdinand and Sylvia, who are speaking with a sense of divine will.

 Judging from the current situation, she seems to be angry at their attitude toward Bartolomeos.

 She even feels happy that her father's hard work seems to have been rewarded.

"Ani, aniue!"

 Bartolomeus doesn't respond.

 Of course not, since they are no longer brothers.

"You're abandoning me, the one who was abandoned by both the father and the mother! Only the older brother! I thought you'd never lose me!

"...So you've come here to regress? What?"

"Yes, is that so?"

 When I looked around at Martin's words, there were many people who looked like Alexandra and the others, but there were also many people who were strangely convinced.

"...Your father and mother were worried about you until the end. They were not cut off. He was protected from assassination, remember? No matter how many times I told him he wouldn't hear. So I abandoned him."

"No! No! No, no, no, no! Aniueeee!"

 The arrow of light disappears and the former temple chief collapses to the floor, crawling across the floor to approach Bartolomeos.

 The moment he managed to reach Bartolomeos' feet, he was pulled back into the warding.

 He left behind several claws and a trail of blood.

"Please don't throw it away! Aniu!"

 Those who were singing hymns stared at the former temple chief, who was still shouting inside the wards, with eyes that had woken up from a cold dream.

 The hymn seemed to have ended before they knew it.

  Seeing the former head of the temple choking and crying like an infant, I don't feel sorry for him.

  In fact, I thought it was cunning.

   A man who had disciplined Alexandra for so long that it could have been called abuse, and yet had never shown any remorse or apologized for it, had become a pitiful being.

"...Is this infantile regression temporary?"

"I think so, sir. God forbid."

"But isn't it quite tragic that the child has been abandoned by everyone he believed in?"

"I see, that's one way of thinking about it. Perhaps it's a fitting end for a fool who can neither reflect nor apologize."

 I can't help but agree with Edeltraut, who murmurs, "A fitting end," with deep emotion, that there is not enough tragedy yet.

 I am fearful of having ugly feelings.

 However, if she runs away from those feelings, Alexandra will be no different from the sinners.

 Alexandra felt a different kind of pain than she had ever felt before, but she smiled a beautiful smile and spoke.

"I'm afraid to say it, but I'm grateful for God's sanction."

 He frankly affirmed his ugliness, saying that he did not have enough retribution.

"I believe it is the only way to salvation..."

 With a sincere hope that the day will come when you will be rewarded as you have been.