We’re now approaching the Empire arc! If there were any mentions of “Empire” or “Imperial“, it would be referring to the Empire, not Imperial Japan (unless otherwise stated).
Conspiracy [Part 1]
“…You’re the Holy Maiden?”
During the Empire’s chief delegate’s stay in the Kingdom, he met face-to-face with the Holy Maiden announced by the Church.
Upon seeing her, his face was immediately clouded with doubt, a warranted reaction coming from an Imperial.
After all, the Empire’s Church undeniably regarded a rare beautiful appearance as the number one indicator for its Holy Maidens.
The chief delegate had the duty to take the Holy Maiden recognized by the Kingdom’s church to the Empire, but this woman called Joanna looked like a very ordinary woman you could find anywhere, no matter how he looked at her.
The only noteworthy thing was that her eyes were black.
But that was it.
There were no black-eyed people in the Empire, but black eyes or black hair was also not considered sacred there, like in the Kingdom, so frankly, there was no value in them.
The Holy Maiden that the Imperial Family wanted was a stunningly beautiful girl, not an average-looking one with black eyes.
What it was like long ago was unclear, but the concept of holy maidens now had become a system where the Empire’s royalties collected beautiful women from around the world solely for their enjoyment.
It was even to the point that some priests satirized that [Holy Maiden] and [h̲o̲r̲n̲y maiden] not only had similar pronunciation, but also had the same role in the eyes of the Empire’s Imperial Family.
The Empire and the Church now were rotten to their very core.
The world’s most powerful country, the Empire, had been seeking to dominate other countries using religion and cotton.
They sent out missionaries who had been made an exception by foreign countries and allowed to immigrate.
These missionaries would preach God’s teachings, win the citizens over to their side, gather information, and present beautiful ladies to the Empire while spreading cotton and raising their standing in each country along the way.
As long as the threat of monsters prevailed, people who were always followed by fear could not stop seeking God’s help.
Facing these people who suffered from social status, livelihood, heavy taxes, and hunger, a slice of bread and a sprinkle of sweet words here and there were all it took for the Church to turn them into a crowd of believers.
No politicians could ignore an organization, in this case, the Church, that had gained the majority of the citizen’s support either.
“…Oh, it’s Joseph.
I will stay in the Kingdom for a while.
Please convey that to His Imperial Majesty.”
The chief delegate gasped in disbelief upon hearing the words coming from Joanna’s mouth.
“…Huh? Could it be that you are… A-At your command!”
His face turned pale all at once, and his body moved on its own to prostrate on the spot.
N-No way… how could this be… Cold sweat trickled down his fleshy cheeks as he was overwhelmed by trepidation.
Joseph, who had been the chief delegate to the Kingdom for many years, also held an equally respectable position in the Empire.
Only a handful of people could address Joseph without honorifics.
He didn’t remember ever having met someone with Joanna’s face before, but the demeanor and little gestures of the girl before him reminded him of a certain someone.
That someone was a too frightening person to be dismissed and made fun of as a “countryside girl who didn’t know her own standing”.
Has His Imperial Majesty chosen the Kingdom as the first vassal nation worth commemorating…? The chief delegate started sweating all over his body.
He visited this country every year.
He would be lying if he said he didn’t hold the slightest affection for it.
Though he didn’t realize until now that the Kingdom could no longer exist as the Kingdom for much longer.
Beautiful people, vast land second only to the Empire, and the remarkable development of silk in recent years…
It would be no wonder if this country were being eyed on.
“Well, it won’t take much longer.
It’s a lenient country where someone can approach the royals with no difficulties just by having this appearance, after all.”
Joanna stroked her chin with a broad grin on her face.
Seeing that gesture which looked like she was stroking a nonexistent beard, the chief delegate started to tremble uncontrollably.
Translator’s comment: Welp, sasuga Emma-sama.
She was 10000 steps ahead of us when she got that right with the h̲o̲r̲n̲y maiden.
Kinda explained why the author was so persistent with the joke too.
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