She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner! 58

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The Tiny Cardinal

Passing through a grand stone gate with engravings harking back to Bauer’s ancient dynasty, Rei and I entered the hallowed grounds.
The construction featured white walls similar to the ones seen in the many infirmaries scattered across the land, but I could tell that these walls were textured with history.
The interior was illuminated by a dazzling array of lamps and candles.

We had arrived at the Bauer Grand Cathedral.
The Spirit Church had branches in various lands all across the world, but kept its headquarters here in Bauer’s capital.
For the record, it wasn’t as though other religions did not exist.
Just that the majority of them derived their beliefs from the Spirit Faith, so paganism was extremely rare.

Being the Grand Cathedral of the collective faith of so many around the world, it was no wonder its construction was spectacular.
While inferior to Bauer’s Royal Palace, it should go without saying that it eclipsed the François’ main residence.
Considering modesty and frugality were pillars of the faith, the sheer scale of the building displays just how much influence the faith held.

Well then, I had not come here as a simple tourist.
I came with a purpose in mind.

“Wonderful that we’re here, but just who should we be talking to?”
“Ah, I was told that if we find someone at the front, they’d be more than happy to talk to us.”

Rei relayed to me what she had been told when she arranged our visit.
Really… She just didn’t understand.

“If we follow official procedures, we’ll only hear the prim and proper stories that the church wants us to know! What I want to know is the truth!”

Having said that, I immediately walked past the front desk rushing into the premises.
Rei hurried after me.

“You say that, but what do you intend to do? We may be able to find records within the church, but I can’t imagine that they’d just let us read them…”
“It’s not as though we’ll need to rely on records.
We simply need to find someone to talk to.
Ah, just a moment, you there―”

Passing through the entrance and into the place of worship, I called out to a nun who sat offering her prayers.
Her slender frame shook in surprise in response.

“!? W-What might be the matter…?”

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Perhaps startled by my interruption, she looked like a frightened little critter.
Her black wimple hid her silver hair and crimson eyes, but she was actually quite the beautiful young lady.

“I’d like to ask some questions regarding the church.
Could you spare your time?”
“Ah… Eh… Erhm… We’re still in the middle of service so…”
“In that case, we will wait until you’re finished.”

I sat myself next to the nun and spent my time looking around the sanctuary.
As I did, I could see Rei make a face of exasperation before sitting next to me.
Just what was that about?

“Eh, Erm… Well…”
“Eep! I-, M-My apologies…”

The nun seemed to want to say something, so I urged her on, but she shrank down and apologized instead.

“It’s not as though you’ve done anything to apologize for.”
“… I-, I’m sorry.”
“Once again… At any rate, go on and pray.
We’ll be waiting for you here.”
“… Ah, A-Alright…”

The nun sent a glance toward Rei.
Without saying anything, Rei only shook her head.
Again, just what was all this about?


The nun resumed her prayers.
At first, she seemed acutely aware of our presence, but soon immersed herself in her act of worship.
The frightened critter had disappeared, and in its stead was a nun earnest in prayer.
She had a certain mystique to her, she looked divine.

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That was all well and good, but Rei… You really…

“Just why do you seem so spellbound?”

The nun certainly was sweet and adorable, but to think that Rei would offer that gaze to someone else whilst sitting right next to me!

“No, I’m not spellbound or any… th-, ah!? Jealousy!? Claire-sama, are you jelly!?”
“Just what are you saying!? I certainly am not jelly! Or rather, what does it mean to be jelly!?”

Rei seemed to have returned to her usual gibberish so I sharply snapped back.
When I did so,

“Keep quiet before the altar, you half-wit octopi!”

The young lady exploded, blurting insults along with her reprimand.
I doubt my ears, but the line just now had been, without a doubt, voiced by the young lady next to me.

“Ah! Ahm… I’m so sorry…! At times, Lily, uhm… Just talks a little strange…”

In the face of Rei’s bewilderment, the nun, who we now knew as Lily, panicked to try and explain.
She said it was a little strange, but that sounded like a certified insult… But wait, Lily…?

“Lily…? I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere before… Well, no matter.
So? Have you finished your prayers?”
Sorry to have kept you waiting.”

Lily corrected her posture.

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“I would like to inquire about the church’s operations.
A brief outline would be fine to start.
Would you mind explaining some things?”
“The church’s… operations? If that’s the case, it would be best to inquire with the receptionist…”
“I’m not interested in the church as the church wants to present itself, I want to know the truth of the church, including any of its current problems.”

Lily responded to me in bewilderment.
It seems she didn’t understand what I was getting at.

“Please, could you please tell us what you know? Claire-sama is trying to think of what she can do to reduce poverty among the commoners.”
We thought a closer look at how the church functions might give us a place to start.”
“… I-, I see.
That does make sense.
Well, if you’re alright with it being Lily, Lily would like to help.
Uhm, incidentally―”

Rei’s explanation seemed to give Lily the context she needed to understand.
But then, she just started staring at Rei.

“L-Lily… Has Lily perhaps had the pleasure of meeting you sometime before…?”
“Actually, Lily-san, I seem to get that same feeling.”

I felt my irritation welling up as I watched the two share their exchange.
In the end, unable to hold myself back I blurt out,

“Isn’t that just the oldest pickup line in the books!”

“!? N-No, that’s not it! Lily certainly did not intend it in that…!”
“That’s right! Claire-sama, you should know I only have eyes for you.
Ah, but are you jelly? You really are jelly this time, right?”

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“Just what does it mean to be jelly!? Really, I’ve just about had enough of your nonsense vernacular, could you just stop!?”

As we once again shared one of our frivolous exchanges,

“I’ll say it again, but keep quiet before the altar you senile eggplants!”
“Awawawa… I-, I’m sorry…”

Yet more insults.
Her words were, without a doubt, beyond what you could consider a slip, but according to her, she had no bad intentions.

“Lily-sama, is something the matter?”

As a tidily dressed elderly man passed by, he called out to us to confirm the situation.
Wait, Lily…Sama?

“Ah, Bishop Lona.
These individuals expressed interest in the church, so I wanted to take the opportunity to explain some things.”
“Such a trifle task isn’t something that Lily-sama should concern herself with.”
“B-But… She’s a noble… Not to mention the sole daughter of our kingdom’s Finance Minister.
It’s seldom that someone of such stature takes interest in the faith…”

After having heard all that, I had finally realized.
Her hair and her eyes matched the hue of Prime Minister Salas’ own.
Beyond that, her habits featured embroidery differentiating her from an ordinary nun.
And finally, her name, Lily.
She was―

“Excuse me, I missed my chance to introduce myself.
Lily’s name is Lily Lilium.
As the daughter of Prime Minister Salas Lilium, I serve as a Cardinal of the Spirit Church.”

Translator Note: Aaahh, we finally get to meet her ;~;

Also seeing that even Claire found Lily to be pretty somehow gives me so much hope for the 3ship… I mean I know ultimately it’s not to be, but… *coughs*, sorry I think I lost myself for a bit there.

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