Chapter 221: Apology
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Having worked for the Church for many years and held the executive position, Dongahaha resolutely admitted to his crimes and it seemed like he wished to be executed.
From my standpoint, having spread malicious rumors about me, made his subordinate Knights undergo demonization, and personally summoned demons, I felt that it was reasonable to execute him.
But on the other hand, I could understand his sorrow.
As he viewed the Church as his home and the Church personnel his family, he probably did not want to see the prevalent jealousy, envy, and bias inside in the Church go on any longer.
At that exact moment, he heard the news that I could no longer use magic.
That’s why he quickly took action.
Claiming that I could have so many achievements because I did something that would warrant divine punishment …
Doing so might only be temporary but it would allow his subordinates to work in the same direction as him and he might have wanted to take control of the Church.
Thinking it through, now I could understand why the Church Knights held that much hostility against me.
My superior, who had outstanding business results, once reached a ranking that was quicker to count from the bottom when his client’s business collapsed and his results dropped.
When that happened, I heard malicious gossip regarding my superior.
“As expected, without that undertaking, that person isn’t that amazing after all.”
“If I could catch an undertaking like that, even I …”
Saying it that way, they justified their own results and reassured themselves.
However, after experiencing bitterness for three months, my superior once again had a comeback with the top sales and half a year later, the people who spoke ill of him behind his back were no longer in the company.
One day, when I was on the way to have a drink with that superior, I asked about his mental fortitude.
His reply was only an ordinary one.
“Congratulations for your comeback. Thanks to you my results have been overshadowed once again though.”
“Ou. I’ll overshadow everyone’s results and receive all the incentives for this term.”
“Well, I can also see my own promotion coming as well so I will work hard without deluding myself. Furthermore, even if I don’t do anything, your results might just drop again.”
“Kukuku. You bastard, you’re a great guy~. You don’t backbite me but just ordinarily spite me in person.”
“Eh? As expected, even though you stood out with your achieved results, are you still mindful of the rumors?”
“I’m still human after all. Well, it’s true that I underestimated that undertaking. I had to pitch introduction sales to the customer management, advance the business talks that were placed on hold and visit the company that I was in the care of at that time and three months had passed before I knew it. It was like that but I did hear those rumors constantly.”
“I don’t think there are any large differences with what you do but since you could achieve such outstanding results, I guess there’s probably some decisively different part that differentiates you from the rest.”
“It’s because I’m a sore loser. Once I’ve lost, I will analyze the reason in detail and make use of it the next time.”
“If you can produce results with that, then you are amazing after all. By the way, do you consider the impact you have on the surroundings because of your outstanding results?”
“Impact and such, do you think about such things? If you only focus on such stuff, you’ll go bald you know? You should avoid such things. Furthermore, if you only keep focusing on the results of your peers, the company would dispose of you and it would only be a waste for you alone. Moreover, there are ups and downs in life so I decided to just work hard when it’s the time to work hard.”
Recalling that conversation I had in my previous life, I looked back at my own actions and sighed at how my position matched that of my superior in the past.
“To work hard when it’s the time to do so … huh. If I worked hard here, would the Church and Pope-sama improve?”
Regardless of whether she sentences them or not, unless I get all the information on demonization out of him and locate the one who has been pulling the strings behind the scene, I had a premonition … that I would one day get pulled into this mess even if I distance myself from the Church after this incident.
Pope-sama looked at Dongahaha with a sorrowful expression while Dongahaha was prepared to accept Pope-sama’s judgment.
However, Bulltooth and the others that have been quietly listening to Pope-sama and Dongahaha’s conversation began appealing for leniency as they did not wish to be sentenced to death.
“Pope-sama, we were told by Dongahaha-dono that there is a secret art passed down in the Church that could make us stronger and we merely accepted to have that art used on us. We were just following Dongahaha-dono’s orders. Please at the very least spare us from capital punishment.”
“That’s right. We were just following orders. The commands from above are absolute after all.”
“If we are given this one chance, we will become the new cornerstone for the Church.”
“I swear to become the shield that protects the Church and the spear that slays the enemies of the Church. Please have mercy.”
“Pope-sama.” “Pope.” “Pope-sama.”
Bowing their heads, they appealed towards the Pope.
“Gahaha, these are the best selection of Knights and those with power in the Church currently. In addition to being the elite, they have neither chivalric spirit nor pride. Now, give your verdict.”
Dongahaha mocked the knight squad and once again asked for her verdict.
Dongahaha’s manner of speech that made it seem like Pope-sama and his position was switched caused the surroundings to stir but Pope-sama slowly nodded and once again spoke to Dongahaha.
“Dongahaha. Do you have any words you wish to say to me or any grudge against me you wish to speak of?”
“No, I don’t.”
I assumed that he would have spoken about his own father that he revealed during the fight with us but Dongahaha only shook his head and replied.
“What I hope for is only Pope-sama’s resolution and the revival of the Church.”
” … I see. Come to think of it, your father was also an honest person with a strong sense of justice. If I didn’t request that of him …”
” … Are you referring to your request for him to retrieve an item before the labyrinth manifested?”
“Yes. If I didn’t do that, your father wouldn’t have passed away.”
“Regarding that lie, I know everything about it. The reason why the labyrinth manifested that day, the reason why my father died, and the reason why the plan to conquer the labyrinth was abandoned. So I won’t pass on while holding hatred against you.”
Dongahaha said that with a smile and quietly closed his eyes.
Pope-sama was surprised before her expression of sorrow intensified as she looked like she was about to cry but she was desperately holding it back.
But those words just now? Apart from knowing that the barrier had disappeared, did Pope-sama pretend to not know about other matters too?
“Everyone, I believe you all heard Dongahaha’s words? Everyone most likely understands that he is still faithful to the Church. And I hope that everyone also places your hands on your heart and asks yourself the same question.”
Pope-sama resolved herself and began speaking.
“The achievements of Luciel who became a Sage is exceedingly large. It’s probably true that there are aspects where he is given preferential treatment. However, is there anyone present who can claim that they have put in similar or greater effort than Luciel had? Step forward for me to see if there are … I guess there are none.”
Nobody stepped forward and the ones who held complaints didn’t move.
“As the Pope, I wish to first apologize to everyone.”
“Please wait, Pope-sama should not apologize.”
“Catherine, I have made mistakes. It is natural to have to apologize after making mistakes. Isn’t that right, Luciel? In the past, that was also what my father and mother taught me.”
“Nevertheless, apologizing here would … 『slump』 ”
The moment I thought a shadow appeared behind Catherine-san, Catherine-san slumped to her knees like a doll whose strings were cut.
The black shadow quickly supported Catherine-san and held her in a princess carry.
“She’s completely gone overboard. This is her punishment. Luciel-kun, please continue.”
Garba-san said that and walked to the back.
“『Cough』, Go ahead Pope-sama.”
“Umu … there is a reason why a labyrinth manifested in this Church Headquarters. That’s because I left the Church Headquarters. I also did not know that the ones who knew of the days I wasn’t present would start to expand the Church Headquarters.”
… I didn’t know that it was on the days where they knew she was away.
Perhaps that was some kind of an important day? … If Pope-sama departed from the Church on that day, isn’t it too heavy to impose a punishment on herself for it?
If the labyrinth manifested because of the people who gave the instructions for the expansion then it wouldn’t be Pope-sama’s fault …
Pope-sama closed her eyes as she recalled the past and began to talk.
“After finding out that the barrier stretched across the Holy Capital disappeared and that a labyrinth manifested, I fainted for a few days from the shock. And the Knight Captain at that time took command to conquer the labyrinth. However, none of the vanguards returned. From then, as everyone knows, the labyrinth was unconquered until Luciel conquered it. I sincerely apologize for the great number of lives lost due to my fault.”
At Pope-sama’s bow, the Knights all were sent into a panic as some knelt down, some saluted and some were left in a daze but none of them lashed out.
“As I said before, it’s undeniable that Dongahaha moved for the sake of the Church … however, I know that I will be betraying everyone’s trust if I forgive them after their evil acts.”
But tears were overflowing from Pope-sama’s eyes.
“The crime for causing chaos in the Church, dyeing your hands in evil arts to perform demonization and summon demons is extremely heavy. As such … as such … all memories will be erased, your job will be revoked and you will be expelled from the Church.”
I thought that it would be capital punishment but Pope-sama avoided that sentence.
“There are probably some who wish for their death sentence. However, the Church exists to save the people. In the future, I will not forgive any further killings in the Church.”
Pope-sama declared as she cried.
And after hearing the verdict, apart from Dongahaha, the ones involved all looked like their souls had left their bodies.
They would fall into a situation where it was unknown how it would turn out after their memories were wiped.
In that sense, it might actually be easier if they had been sentenced to death.
Among that crowd, Dongahaha slowly spoke.
“I respectfully accept that sentence. … Pope-sama, if you had the resolution to give the orders, you would have been able to grasp the labyrinth or the Executives Department a lot earlier. I hope that you would hold onto that resolution and return the Church to its former noble glory.”
I understood that Dongahaha acted for the Church until the end.
“Sage Luciel. I believe you despise me. However, as an apology for the rumors I spread, before the sentence is executed, I have something I must tell you.”
“What is it?”
“The mastermind behind this incident and the demon race incident is the Principality of Blange. However, if you don’t firstly rush to the Empire, darkness will engulf the Empire. Once that happens, this Holy Capital will also be hit by war. Although you have no obligation to this, I entrust the Holy Capital, the Church Headquarters, and Pope-sama to you … 『cough』”
Dongahaha suddenly coughed out blood and collapsed.
I immediately activated Extra Heal and somehow maintained his life but he would probably face Pope-sama’s sentence without regaining consciousness.
Thank you for reading.
Tseirp(TL): So in the end, did Dongahaha have two plans in mind?
1) Actually usurp the Church and take control (By removing the largest obstacles which would be Luciel and the Valkyrie Paladin Corps) so that he can change it for the better? (Don’t see how killing off the ones that are actually good will help with that though) OR
2) Actually provoke Luciel so that he would come to stop him and that the Pope would have to gain the resolution to start taking action by having to punish them … with the added bonus of removing the ones with ability but no loyalty to the church that he chose to demonize?