We didn’t stay at the orphanage for too long since we had to go to the church next. I noticed that the children had already become close to Nier. They were close enough for Nier to allow the boys to touch her sword with a smile on her face. Nier really likes children and she understands how to interact with them. I just wish she could focus her energy on me. After hearing my recount, the dean looked very disappointed. However, I promised him I wouldn’t just give up, and that I would continue trying. I guess that could give him some confidence. To be honest, I don’t really want to keep him waiting like this since I can’t guarantee that I will be able to solve the problem. Being in despair right from the start is better than holding on to hope, only to die in the end.
But how many people can actually withstand holding onto the pain of despair right from the start?
Nier and I bid goodbye to the orphanage and headed to the large church. The church wasn’t built much differently to the gothic design I knew. It was just that it somewhat resembled the palace. It had a hollow square design from a bird’s eye view. In the centre was a circle. It looks like this church can house people. Overhead the spot where you pray in the church was the huge angel-statue. The statue looked the same from below. It looked like a massive clock.
I raised my head up and looked at the grey structure in front of me. The colourful glass illustrated a heroic epic and holy story. People dressed in a red, white and black long robe walked past me with fast steps. There was also a dignified looking young individual dressed in a simple grey long-robe carrying books who walked into the church. Perhaps they were apprentices.
I don’t know what taboos the religions here have, nor do I know what rules the church has. I don’t believe in god, but some overwhelming belief was pushing me, making me question my own religious beliefs. Since everyone here believed in god, it might seem wrong if I don’t.
I can’t think like this. There’s no such thing as deities or gods. We in the working class are most noble.
I stood firm in my belief that god doesn’t exist and then took a big step onto the marble steps. Nier followed behind me. She softly whispered: “Your majesty, remember what you promised me.”
I nodded and stepped into the church. After entering the church, I discovered that the interior was very ordinary. There were just rows of benches and a tall statue of the god at the forefront which was so tall I could only see his chin when I looked up. There were a decent number of people seated at the rows of benches below. They all had their heads lowered and hands clasped. Maybe they were praying.
A clergy dressed in a long white robe came up to me all of a sudden. He looked at me with a smile and asked: “Mister, is there something I can help you with?”
His kind smile resembled that of a child’s. I shook my head and looked at Nier who stood behind me. Nier looked at me vigilantly like she was afraid I’d do something.
I shook my head and then replied: “No, I’m fine, thank you.”
“It’s alright my child. You must have a lot of worries at your age, so you need not hold it in. Please share it with our god. I believe that god will definitely help you overcome it.”
The clergy left after he said that to me with a smile on his face. I looked at the rows of benches and found an empty spot to sit down. Nier sat next to me and looked at the statue of god ahead of us. I smiled bitterly. If there was any meaning in praying, this world would be more beautiful because it’s the one form of hope that isn’t worth a penny. However, I think that only thing worth money that a person possesses once they place their hope with god is their prayer.
God is the most useless existence in this world, or rather, the world would be better off without god. As opposed to saying god exists, it’s better to say that god exists because of people. If people didn’t believe in god, god wouldn’t exist. In other words, without suffering, god wouldn’t exist. If god exists, suffering will inevitably exist. People will achieve salvation when they no longer need god. While it sounds like I’m ridiculing, it’s a matter of fact.
I looked at Nier and softly asked: “Nier, do you believe in god?”
Nier replied without a moment of hesitation: “No.”
“Because I only believe in her majesty. When I was on the verge of starving and freezing to death when I was young, it was her majesty who saved me, not god. Therefore, I only believe in her majesty.” Nier looked at the statue of god ahead of us and calmly continued, “Her majesty never relied on the power of god once to win her battles when she conquered the south. She relied on her bravery and intellect. God never appeared, so why do I have to believe in god?”
Just as we were about to express our shared agreement on the topic, a friendly voice spoke to us from behind: “Children, you cannot question god.”
We stood up and turned around. An individual dressed in a long red robe wearing a red hat stepped out. He looked somewhat chubby but his movements were very agile. A few others also dressed in the long red robe but without the hat followed behind him. Nier looked at him and frowned as she was slightly disgusted by him. However, she still spoke politely nonetheless: “Greetings, archbishop.”
I looked at the fatty in red standing before me shocked. He looked at me and I saw his chubby chin jiggle. He revealed a smile and said: “You need not mind the formalities, your majesty. I heard you came here to pray today, so I rushed over. I believe god will be moved by your worries. It looks like you are suffering a lot, your majesty, otherwise you would not question god.”
I heard Nier scoff from behind. I looked at the archbishop in front of me, smiled helplessly and replied: “Perhaps it is because god didn’t help me with my troubles. If my sincere prayers were ineffective, I think that everyone will begin to question god.”
I never imagined I’d be discovered so quickly. It looks like the church recognises me. Now, how do they know me? I’ve never appeared before.
The archbishop didn’t react to my words. He just smiled and replied: “I think you need to be patient, your majesty. God is fair. He will not show bias because of one’s identity or wealth. I believe that your worries will reach god’s ears. Before god gets to it, how about letting us help you? Sometimes we can help god solve some problems.”
The archbishop looked at me and made a hand gesture. It looks like he wants to speak to me upstairs. I noticed Nier tugging my shirt sleeve from behind. But it’ll seem rude if I don’t go with him in this situation. I don’t believe they’ll try something funny here. Moreover, there’s no proof that the church wants to hurt me yet. The church definitely conducts misdeeds; it’s just that I don’t know how corrupt they are yet.
I nodded and then turned around to quietly say to Nier: “It’s fine, Nier. Just follow me closely.”
Nier looked at me and let out a helpless sigh. She then put her hand back below her cape. I reckon Nier’s hand is pressed on her sword handle right now. The archbishop smiled. I still couldn’t tell what category his smile belonged to, but I intend to treat it as a villainous smile and deal with him as a villain.
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1 Bonus Son-con Chapter
Thank you for all your generous donations, we have reached the goal, and I will now get to translating the bonus chapter.