Chapter 2 – The Situation in Various Countries
『Well then, please tell us the situation in all the other countries.』
On the monitor, Tena called out to the people assembled there.
Sitting around the round table were the important members of the Faith, and of course, the Merry Pope was there as well.
Ever since the country-founding announcement, I sent people out to see how the other countries would move, and the information they gathered was to be presented at this meeting.
As for being there myself, with Tena already recognised as my representative, I left it to her and instead decided to watch on-screen from the top floor of the temple. Also, Lili was sitting next to me, reading a picture book and studying letters. In this world where the literacy rate and printing techniques were oddly high for a medieval European level, learning how to read was indispensable.
Tena sat on a special chair that was placed at the highest part behind the round table, and overlooked everybody gathered there. Just like how my appearance didn’t change when I became a divine, Tena’s appearance didn’t change either when she became an apostle, but for some reason I get the feeling that she was now wrapped in a kind of transcendental atmosphere.
With beautiful blonde hair, a youthful but dignified face, as well as the black outfit with the mysterious atmosphere, it was like she was a princess or a shrine maiden from somewhere. Well, I guess she’s exactly a shrine maiden.
『Well then, I shall begin. In regards to the movements of the Headquarters of the Church of Sacred Light, the Luxiria Theocracy, they immediately repudiated the announcement of our country’s founding. They are appealing to the other nations to agree.』
A commotion ran through the meeting due to the sudden report.
『Calm yourselves. Anri-sama is watching us as well.』
The Pope’s voice rang out through the noisy room, and the noise changed to complete silence.
Well yeah, I am watching, but there’s no need to say it.
『We knew from the beginning that this was how the Luxiria Theocracy would act. The issue is how the other nations will respond. How do things proceed on that front?』
A woman raised her hand at the Pope’s question.
『In regards to that, I will give the first report.』
『You’re… As I recall, the one in charge of the Kingdom of Fortera, weren’t you.』
The Kingdom of Fortera was the nation that originally owned the place that we were in, and as somebody who was a stakeholder, you could say that they were the most important nation to us. I was very curious to know what news the report held.
『The Kingdom of Fortera rejected Luxiria’s appeal. Furthermore, they raised complaints about the dishonesty of the current upper echelons of the Church, and created a new faction, taking a hostile position towards them. Furthermore, in regards to our country’s founding announcement, they did not negate it, and are taking a neutral position.』
The meeting became even more noisy than before.
The Church of Sacred Light was the official religion for all nations in the Human Territory, and this was the first time in history that anybody had opposed it, so a commotion was natural. No, perhaps forming a new faction isn’t actually defying the Church of Sacred Light itself.
『The name of the new faction is called the Origin Faction, and are based on being faithful to the teachings of the Goddess.』
『What reaction did the Luxiria Theocracy have towards Fortera’s declaration?』
『Their Pope stated his own feelings of regret, and they seek a withdrawal of that decision.』
When the Pope received the woman’s report, and asked that question of the man who first gave the report on Luxiria, he received a reply that you could say was natural. But if they were going to withdraw that decision, they wouldn’t have made it to begin with, so it was already decided that the two would be hostile.
『The other nations also appear to be watching the confrontation between Luxiria and Fortera, and things are in a deadlock.』
Still, I wonder what’s going on.
From Fortera’s point of view, our country──we’re a self-proclaimed country, but──our country had stolen their land and declared ourselves a nation, so Fortera should have been the first person to deny us. That’s what I expected as well.
And the result was that they were taking a neutral stand, and taking a hostile position with the headquarters of the Church as well. I don’t understand why they would take a hostile position with the Luxiria Theocracy before taking one with us.
“Has the situation progressed?”
When I turned around towards the voice that called out to me, I found the person who should have been in the Demon Territory gathering information, Leonora. The moment I turned to look at her, she averted her eyes. It was an very smooth motion… She’s gotten used to it, hasn’t she.
“Thanks. I just got back.”
For information in the Human Territory, I can sort of leave it to the Pope and the others, but as you’d expect, that wouldn’t fly in the Demon Territory. Since we’re right in-between both territories, I can’t neglect the Demon Territory either. Because of that, I asked Leonora to gather information there. As you’d expected, I don’t think she’ll tell me anything disadvantageous to her country, but we’re not hostile to the Demon Territory or anything, so just normal information is plenty.
Right, and I should see what Leonora thinks about the information from just now. She is royalty, so she might know what a country is planning. I’m worried about the fact that she’s a muscle-head though.
The discussion was still continuing, but since I heard the most important parts, I decided to take a break and discuss the situation with Leonora over tea. She crossed her arms, and sank into thought for a while. While patting Lili who was next to me, looking at the sweet bun with glittering eyes, I waited for Leonora to gather her thoughts.
“Hmm, three things come to mind.”
“What are they?”
Leonora really is reliable. I’m sorry for thinking that you were a muscle-head.
“The first is that they’re very simply afraid of you.”
I was stupid for praising you. No, well, I certainly do think that they’re scared of me, and as a guess that probably isn’t wrong, but it was a pretty disappointing answer considering how much I was looking forward to it. While I was laying down on the table, Lili pat my head with her small palms. What a good girl.
“The second is that the Fortera and the upper echelons of the Church of Sacred Light had some kind of discord to begin with.”
“Yeah. Earlier when the Forteran Army invaded, I told you, 『If a problem within their country is dealt with by the Church or the Order, they will come to owe them a favour.』 didn’t I? In other words, the Church of Sacred Light knew that it would come to that, and yet they still tried to form the Order of the Sacred Light. It might that they simply put precedence over opposing the Evil God, but there’s also the possibility that they had some kind of discord with Fortera.”
“In other words, forming the Order of the Sacred Light was to put pressure on Fortera?”
“It’s nothing but conjecture, but yes.”
I see. Then if we take that as the truth, then certainly it does seem reasonable that the Kingdom and Theocracy would be quarrelling.
“The third is… the relationship with the Demon Territory.”
What kind of relationship would that be?
Seeing me tilt my head just a little, Leonora continued to speak.
“Even within the Kingdom of Fortera, this spot is the closest to the Demon Territory. Fortera is the frontline against the Demon Territory, but if a country appears here, that situation will change. It wouldn’t be strange for them to determine that there are large merits for losing just a small amount of territory.”
In other words, using us as a shield against the Demon Territory?
If they did that, then it would certain explain their neutrality towards us. If they want to use us as a shield, then it wouldn’t be good to have either an antagonist, nor a friendly relationship. The former would just make a new enemy in place of the Demon Territory, and the latter would mean that they wouldn’t be able to push us to the enemy.
And by taking a neutral stance with the Evil God Nation──as long as they weren’t choosing to become our enemy, they would necessarily worsen their relationship with the Church of Sacred Light. And it was because they knew this in advance, that they revolted against the Luxiria Theocracy. That kind of thing?
“Both are possible, and it isn’t the case that there can be only one reason either, after all. It might have surprisingly been the result of all three reasons combined.”
That might be it.
For now, the fact that the most likely enemy Fortera, had now fallen into a deadlock with Luxiria was something very convenient for us.
We should work to fix our appearance as a nation while we still can.
“Speaking of which, what about the Demon Territory?”
“Ahh, they’re basically just watching. As the Demon Race, they aren’t fond of the ‘Evil God’, but that was because it was an idea used by humanity to demonise our Dark God. As a completely different person to the Dark God, there’s no reason to be hostile to you. If it seems that through me, they can come to a mutual understanding with you, they’ll probably be keeping this kind of relationship for the near future.”
I felt relieved after hearing that.
At the very least, it seems that for now, I’ll be able to concentrate on the problems in the Human Territory.
Feeling full, I rubbed my drowsy eyes while patting Lili on the head, and let out a sigh of relief.
『I suppose that just about sums up the situation in the other countries, and the management of our own. Finally, there is one thing that I would like you to convey to Anri-sama for me, Tena-sama.』
『What is it?』
It seems that they wrapped up all the complicated stuff while I was resting, but the Pope began talking about something.
『The truth is, I have thought of a plan to make Anri-sama’s splendour known to the other countries as well. I would by all means like to verify the details with Anri-sama.』
What is he planning…?
I’m worried. Terribly worried.