Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
The Northern Continent, just southeast of the Great Leburan Empire.
Through a narrow channel, the water from the Beak Sea flowed into the continent from the southwest.
Across that channel, on the shore opposite of the Great Leburan Empire, sat the Hiruku Theocracy, the holy land of humankind’s predominant religion.
Beyond the bay sat the Rooteos Mountain Range, which bordered the three adjacent countries. It was this mountain range that had protected the country from invasion before the religion had been established and obtained its influence over the continent’s other nations.
In the middle of the Rooteos Mountain Range was a particular mountain called Mt. Arthus, that housed a massive mithril deposit.
For centuries, the capital of the Hiruku Theocracy has taught its believers that the country’s capital was an utopia that never suffered from war or monster attacks.
While the patriarchal system of government from the time before the religion’s founding still existed, the king of this holy land was a king in name only.
The person that held the real power in the Hiruku Theocracy was the Pope, who resided in the temple halfway up Mt. Arthus. A temple that could only be reached by climbing the “Stairway of Faith”.
Those who make the trek up Mt. Arthus come across a massive cathedral that had been built atop the overlooking cliff.
The dignified majesty emitted by the cathedral was at a level where even foreigners could grasp the Pope’s might.
Despite its size, only a few people were allowed to set foot inside the cathedral.
Currently, one woman’s footsteps could be heard as she walked along the gleaming white stone floor of the main hall.
The woman had graceful feature and long blond hair, her revealing white clothes emphasized her large breasts. At first glance, her sultry walk and revealing clothing made the woman seem like a dancer or harlot.
However, the luxurious bracelets and other accessories that adorned the woman’s body were things that those classes of women could never hope to possess.
As the woman continued to walk towards the exit, someone else’s shadow approached her.
The seemingly mild-mannered man who walked up had neatly styled black hair, was dressed in flashy canonical robes and had a slight smile on his face when he recognized the woman he was walking towards.
Both of them stopped in the center of the hall and stared each other down.
The smiling man was the first one to speak, but his eyes remained locked with the woman’s eyes.
“Oh, Cardinal Castitas. It’s a rare sight to see you here. I was certain you were spending your time fishing for men in the Western Empire……”
The atmosphere around the woman named Castitas immediately changed at the smiling man’s insult, yet she still managed to maintain a captivating smile while showing off her large chest by crossing her arms.
In the Hiruku Theocracy, those who took on one of the several cardinal’s names were second to only the Pope in terms of power. The full name of the scantily clad woman was Erin Luxuria.
Erin lustfully licked her lips as she stared at the man who held the same position she did.
“Ara, I was doing the work the Pope had assigned to me. Because there has been movement in the west I used a transfer stone to come back and make my report. Isn’t it unusual for you to be here as well, Cardinal Liberalitas? Normally you carry out your duties without fretting over the insignificance of the outside world, yet here you are having an audience with his holiness…… did something unexpected occur?”
At Erin’s prodding the smiling face of the man called Cardinal Liberalitas, whose true name was Palermo Avaritia, became discolored.
“Hmm! I will not be exiled to the Southern Continent like that fool Carlos. The two Ghost Knights I sent to collect monster stones suddenly vanished, so I’m here to appeal to the Pope for replacements.
After a brief moment of shock at what Palermo had just told her, Erin took a step towards him with a meaningful smile on her face.
“Hm〜m, two Ghost Knights vanished. Where did you dispatch them? Or did you simply take the knight as a mean to strengthen your personal forces?”
The practiced smile that had been on Palermo ‘s face disappeared as a blue vein began pulsing on his forehead.
“You……! Are you implying I would give the pope a false report!?”
It was a sudden injection of a calm voice that managed to break the tension between them.
“That’s enough you two.”
The two of them ceased glaring at each other and quickly took a knee in the direction the voice originated from.
The two cardinals respectively lowered their heads as the Pope of the Hiruku Theocracy approached.
“Thank you for your presence, Thanatos-sama.”
The Pope’s approach was almost undetectable as he walked along the polished floor without making a sound.
The Pope held a decorative staff that was representative of the power he wielded and wore an even more luxurious robe than the cardinals.
On the Pope’s head sat a mitre with multiple holy symbols sewn into it that only he was allowed to wear. The mitre also had a veil attached to it that completely concealed the Pope’s face.
He was none other than the man the entirety of the Hiruku Theocracy united behind, Thanatos Shirubiwes Hiruku.
Without removing his veil the Pope began speaking to the two cardinals.
“Palermo, I’ll believe what you say about the missing Ghost Knights, there are a few spares in the basement. Erin, don’t ridicule your colleagues so much.”
The two cardinals lowered their heads even further at Pope Thanatos’ comments.
“According to Erin’s report, the Western Empire’s army has been mobilized in response to an attack by the Eastern Empire. The West’s defenses will be spread thin for a while. I ask that the two of you continue your patronage in the coming days.”
The Pope gave the two a satisfied nod at their reply before turning away from the two.
While his footsteps made very little sound, the Pope’s humming could be heard as he walked away.
When he passed by a window a sudden gust of wind blew in and lifted the veil from the Pope’s face.
However, not a single person has ever seen his face.
Namo’s Explanation Blurb:
I don’t have any Idea if the author is just getting heavy-handed with his name-calling, or if this was supposed to be subtle… In any case, the names of the peoples in this chapter are mostly Latin and carry quite some… let’s say “religious” connotations. Coupled with the way these Cardinals have a public and a private name, I believe that most will agree with me that something is afoot.
Based on the last names of the characters introduced, I believe the author is playing with christian concepts here, the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Virtues (notice the capitalization^^).
“Luxuria” originally means ‘extravagance’ or ‘excess’. At first, when you hear about the Seven Deadly Sins, you would connect this with Greed, but “Luxuria” as a sin originally referred to “feeling an intense desire in the body”. Think of “feeling hungry/thirsty”, “wanting to have sex with a certain someone” or “wanting to have a better house/field”.
Over the centuries, the sexual connotation became the dominant one, and “Luxuria” went from “wanting to have things (in excess)” to “wanting to have (unbridled) sex”. Which became the Deadly Sin of “Lust”.
Since Lust is a Sin, it’s opposite would be the Virtue “Castitas” aka “Chastity”. I don’t think chastity needs any lengthy explanations… a person encompassing Lust is sleeping around with everyone, desires power and/or expensive objects, while a person of “Chastity” is pure, or clean in a physical and moral sense. Or (if you get away from the sex), someone with integrity, morals and faithfulness. Virginity is optional…
“Avaritia” is more straightforward to explain: It is latin for “Greed” and stands for the “inordinate desire to have/acquire more than one needs”. In essence, it means that one has already covered their needs but still wants more in order to fulfill an unfulfillable wish of satisfaction.
“Liberalitas” is the Virtue opposed to Greed, and might be better known as “Caritas”, “Charity” or “Generosity”.
It means to give freely onto others and it should be obvious why it stands opposed to Greed, since you give from yourself so others might feel better. At its root, it stands for the love one feels towards humanity (and god of course).
With that in mind, one can see some foreshadowing here, considering that the seven second-most powerful people of the Hiruku religion has a family name that stands for one of the Seven Deadly Sins, while publicly they are called by the name of their opposing Virtue. If one knows the Seven Deadly Sins, one can make an educated guess what the other 5 Cardinals will be called!
PS: Thanatos is greek and the name of the personification of Death. The greek predated the romans, so keeping this in mind, one can read the following into the situation in the Hiruku Kingdom:
Thanatos(aka Death) stands above the seven Sins/Virtues (since he is their boss) AND he predates them. Being “Death” also implies that he will outlast them by a long time!
If I had to sum up this volume in one word it would be Transition. For now the slave rescuing has been shelved, Arc has his body now, his relationship with the elves and Chiome’s clan is being strengthened, the centuries long cold war between empires is starting to heat up, the battle for the throne is about to start, and overall the world and it’s machinations were explained in greater details. I would have been satisfied with that much and waited for Arc’s story to heat up again. However, when I saw the Pope’s name and reread chapter 13, it was like everything clicked into place and I could see a way this novel could end. With everything that we learned in the background story, it’s clear that this world is heading for a World War and Arc’s actions have set things into motion.
Had he not resurrected princess Julianna, killed the Hydra, and damaged the slave trade the war might not have been as bad as it seems like its gonna be. I believe that the next couple of volumes are gonna see Arc becoming more experienced with his powers and him gathering more allies as the situation just becomes larger and more out of control. Up till now the only thing that was missing was a credible enemy for Arc to face, but that changed with the introduction of Thanatos. Now the only thing that needs to happen is the death of Rhoden’s current king, who hasn’t even been shown once, and the civil war that initiates the whole cluster fuck will begin. And at the end of it all the fate of the world will be decided by the final battle between the Necromancer that shepherds humanity with a cruel religious doctrine and the free-spirited Heavenly Knight that champions the demi-humans and the helpless. I really hope I’m right.