Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
Here, the stage moves from the royal capital straight to the east. There is a religious nation, the eastern country.
Although it is far behind the Empire, its national power is close to that of the Kingdom. It could be said that it is one of the largest countries on the Ost continent.
In the capital, the Cathedral City, and the Grand Church that stood in the center of the city is a literal center of politics and religion.
At present, a grand assembly was about to take place in the cathedral attached to the grand church.
「…Hey, are you really okay?」
A young man with a worried look on his face leads his staggering friend by the hand into the cathedral.
There was not a single chair in the large space with a carpet covering the entire floor. There were already many people there, but the two of them managed to find a spot and sat down on their knees.
「Somehow, yeah, it was really dangerous this year」
The young man who answers is tightly blindfolded. He was being led by the hand and staggered because he could not see his surroundings.
「It’s getting more and more awful every year. It’s the opposite of me. I envy you, honestly」
When told as such, the blindfolded young man looked embarrassed, yet somewhat proud.
However, he immediately felt concern for his friend and apologized.
「I’m really sorry for bothering you like this」
「Don’t worry about it. I did it so you can get closer to God」
Today’s Mass is the most important of the year because it marks the end of the month of Maladan.
The reason why the young man was wearing a blindfold was to keep women out of his sight.
Otherwise, he might burst with suppressed desire.
「Damn it, the women’s voice are echoing」
The blindfolded young man holding his ears with both hands. He must really be on the verge of his limit.
Fortunately, the noise of the people filling the cathedral was quickly subsiding.
A large double door at the entrance they came from. The figure of the fat archbishop appeared there
「Your Eminence, the Archbishop」
Amidst the chatter that leaked from both sides of the aisle, the Archbishop walked straight to the stage at the back of the main sanctuary.
The carpet was long and the sound of his footsteps was almost nonexistent.
The only sound was the voices of the choir that had begun to sing on both wings of the stage.
The stage at the back of the cathedral was raised one level. Behind the choir, priests and nuns were lining up without any gaps.
The altar was set up further above the stage, towering high like a Bon Odori* tower.
The archbishop struggles to climb the rope ladder and reach the altar. And while sweating on his forehead, he rolled up the rope ladder himself.
(*TL Note: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bon_Festival)
The Archbishop wipes his forehead with a purple sash that hangs from his neck and looks around the cathedral. It is filled with believers kneeling on the floor.
The eastern country is a monotheistic religion, so the believers are the people. A similar scene can be seen in every church in the country.
(I guess it’s time to get this started)
The little girls on both sides of the altar are singing their hearts out. After waiting for them to finish, he speaks to the believers.
「For this one month, I have forbidden everyone to have any kind of intercourse with men or women, or even to do anything on your own. It must have been really hard for all of you」
In the crowd, the boys’ shook their heads vertically.
「However, this has two major purposes. The first is to learn patience」
After taking a breath, he continued.
「The other is to learn to be grateful」
The desire is suppressed and the pressure is increased. Eventually, it breaks down the walls of one’s mind
The face, the style, the age. The obsession with such trivial things disappears, even if only temporarily.
「Now that Maladan is over, what you have in mind should be a deep appreciation for the opposite sex」
The people gathered in the cathedral were like a bow that had been pulled to the limit, so to speak.
『Anything is fine as long as it’s of the opposite sex』
They’re probably in such a state already. When the arrow is released, all that remains in their heart would be great satisfaction and gratitude.
The Archbishop knew this well from experience.
「God created man and woman according to his own image」
The Archbishop shifts the topic to a biblical verse.
「Therefore, we are incomplete. Only when a man and a woman are united can we be complete」
With a stained glass window as the background, he continued to talk cheerfully. Despite his fat frame, he seemed almost divine.
「God’s thoughts and will are difficult for us, imperfect as we are, to understand. But what about when we are perfect? Will we be able to perceive, even if only slightly?」
Then he took a deep breath and swallowed his saliva to moisten his throat.
「We are human beings, and therefore, the time we have to be perfect is short. To improve the quality of the time we have is what we should aim for」
He leaned forward with a force in his voice as he watched over the audience that quietly listened to him.
「Today, as we continue to endure, we will reach greater heights. And the time it takes to come back will be longer than usual. I hope you will keep that in mind and deepen your understanding of these teachings!」
The Archbishop let out a deep breath and his expression relaxed.
「Well, that’s all I have to say. We will now begin the 『Communion Rite』. Choir, please begin praying」
Boys and girls in nuns’ uniforms on stage. They folded their hands in front of their chests and sang their words to the melody.
『――When you pray alone, you must avoid being seen. Lock your door if you can, but if you cannot, be aware of your surroundings. Especially your family――』
As they prayed, the excitement and enthusiasm in the cathedral gradually increased. When the singing was finished, the communion rite would begin.
The sound of the believers gulping down their saliva could still be heard even from high above the altar.
Immediately after the choir shut their mouths, the believers scrambled to the stage. Kicking down those around them, they attacked the choir one after another.
The girl was pinned down by a young man, and the boy by a young woman. They were followed by middle-aged and old men with inferior physical strength.
Of course, it’s not just on stage. There was also a lot of mingling among the believers.
(It’s spectacular, as always)
Believers attacking and being attacked by each other. The Archbishop squinted with satisfaction as he watched them.
There is no doubt that mutual understanding has deepened.
(The wave has even reached the far end of the stage)
When he looked at them, he could see their followers spilling out. They looked like a bunch of zombies.
The priests and nuns had trained and honed their skills. But they were no match before the power of numbers. The line was quickly broken and they were swallowed up.
The only one who was safe inside the cathedral was the archbishop, who had used a rope ladder to climb up to the altar and pull the ladder up.
(Getting along with each other is indeed a beautiful thing)
The priest with pheromone chest hair disappears in the middle of a turbulent stream of middle-aged women.
The job-hunting college girl nun surrounded by a group of old men with big bellies. She is already sandwiched between them and keeps letting out sweet screams.
The cathedral swirled with gratitude to God. The altar standing high in the midst of it was like a ship in a stormy sea.
(O God, we thank you for blessing us with this year!)
There were events that made him want to cover his eyes, such as the massacre by the self-proclaimed sage. It is hard to say that this year was a good year.
But it was not the worst year either. If you look at history, there are many worse years than this one.
(May next year be better than this year)
The archbishop knelt down and prayed to heaven.