—Western Country: Right Light Country.
They are a giant country that surpasses a population of 20,000,000.
The main stage of the story, the Holy Light Country, worships the Angels, but the Right Light Country is a country that worships the Great Light that’s said to have led the Angels.
As a country with history, the system of the country is slightly old.
The old distinguished families have many serfs, and they use them for manual labor, but the serfs were not given proper education.
They probably thought that if they were given unnecessary knowledge, they might cause a rebellion.
Without being given a proper chance for education, the children of the serfs had no choice but to serve as serfs as well, which is an olden system of theirs.
The distinguished families that had land and serfs would elect the head of the Right Light Country, the Pope.
Contrary to how it is called the Pope, it is a mass of self-interest given form, and you could say he is the representative of those families. With this, there’s no way a reformation of the system can be done.
Normally, in this kind of state order, they would decay like in the case of Russia with the Romanov dynasty, and finally fall into ruin, however, the Right Light Country has cheats that others don’t.
First is the land.
This land that has been blessed by the Great Light can raise crops at an unbelievable speed.
The amount harvested can easily surpass other countries by several times, and in this way they can manage to pay the serfs without the need to spare or kill them. Even if they are supporting the food supply of the northern countries who are plunged in war, they still have a lot of surplus.
Unending food supply, and unending war.
This situation gives explosive riches to the Right Light Country every year.
On top of that, the existence of the Holy Braves.
The Irregulars in this country that possess the strength of thousands.
In the Right Light Country, they possess two fragments of ancient times, OOPArts, that’s said to have been left by the Great Light, and the people that are acknowledged by them will become the Holy Braves, having the obligation to be the standard bearer of the country and also their sword.
In this day, that ‘selection’ was being done…
The men living in the Right Light Country that are about to reach 16 years old are gathered at the Grand Church in the new year, and will be made to stand in front of the OOPArts. This day alone -even if you are a serf- you have to gather in the Palace of God without exception.
Their numbers are immense, and it is something that’s done for several days, but because it is also a sacred ceremony, not only are the Pope and the distinguished families present, even the influential people of the Knight Order are present.
It is being performed every year, and within these ceremonies where it was always getting zero results continuously, the Pope whispered as if to kill some time.
“This is practically a waste of time.” (Pope)
“I agree, but this is an important ceremony, so…”
Due to the position of Pope, he had no choice but to be present in the ceremony. By showing his figure sitting at the top of the solemn Grand Church, this also served the important purpose of letting them know their own position.
And in reality, the civilians that didn’t know at all about how rotten the top is had their bodies tremble at the divinity, and when they saw the representative of the Great Light, the Pope, tears flowed down.
“Well, for the masses, once or twice would be the most they get to see me in their lifetime after all.” (Pope)
“That’s right. This is not a bad place to show your saintly figure and have them pledge their loyalty.”
The church’s head also nodded at this as if to flatter him.
The current Pope is indeed a man with a sharp mind, but he is also a man with heavy desires. He only thinks about gathering the support of the distinguished families to gather massive riches for himself.
There may only be few who know about how rotten the top is, but there’s indeed some here.
The Three Binary Stars that are feared by various countries; three sturdy knights.
They were present in these ceremonies a few days back too, but they were dumbfounded.
“Looks like they won’t be showing up this year either.”
“As if a Holy Brave would appear beneath this Pope.”
“But last year the raging fire, Levantine, reacted.”
In the other selection, women of distinguished families reaching 16 years old were gathered.
That OOPArt has only reacted to women of distinguished families since olden times. To everyone’s surprise, the one who was chosen was…an 8 year old girl…
Several decades, at times several centuries would pass without a Holy Brave, so this should be an auspicious event. The birth of a small Brave being celebrated by the whole country was still fresh in their mind.
However, for the three stars, it was honestly not a result they could be happy about. There’s no way they can make an 8 year old girl stand in the battlefield. As knights, they could only be confused by this.
“Even if a child like that is chosen, the state of things won’t change at all.”
“If I remember correctly, it is the daughter of the Fanburg household. If she were to get injured in the battlefield, everyone would get hung.”
“How stupid. The enemy won’t hold back just because of the other party’s household.”
While the three were spitting out complaints, a single man entered the Palace of God. That attire was gaudy to the extreme, and had several bodyguards and an orchestra following behind him. Quite the showy sight.
The ending of the ceremony was close, so everyone was already tired, making the arrival with musical instruments pull even more eyes than the usual.
“Who is that?”
“The fire family that owns the holy spirit knights, the Salamander Knights. The heir of the Luxembourg household.”
“Hmph, that red clothed decoration of a knight order, huh. Having even an orchestra following him goes beyond silly.”
Most likely because he is the heir, even the Pope went through the trouble of standing and speaking to him. For the three, this was more than stupid.
That he was aiming for the end of the ceremony must have been because he was confident he would be selected.
“That man seems to have quite the confidence.”
“Let’s see, then.”
“The day when an empty man like that is selected will be the day the world ends.”
The three were sending cold gazes, and the whole assembly was watching with bated breath to see if it would react, the result was…it didn’t.
The OOPArt remained silent.
The Pope speaks to him as if to pacify him.
“Fray-kun, there’s no need to be discouraged. This sacred box, Holy Cross Box, must be broken already. The last time it reacted was such a long time ago it is even hard to remember.” (Pope)
“But your Holiness! There’s no way there’s anyone other than me more worthy!”
“Umu umu, that’s true. The fact that it didn’t react to you is evidence that this box is broken. Don’t you think so?” (Pope)
“T-True… You could say that…”
The Pope was dealing with the young man called Fray in a courteous manner different from his haughty attitude till now. His household is one of the highest even within the Right Light Country.
If he were to get in a bad mood, even the Pope would be in trouble.
The three who saw this exchange laughed out loud at Fray who was leaving displeased.
They are the type that stand on their own strength, so they all have a strong rebellious spirit.
Even if the person is a rich kid of a distinguished family, they don’t show any restraint.
“For a person that had an orchestral entrance, that’s one pathetic back figure.”
“…He fits the bill for an actor in a tragedy.”
“Indeed. A coward who can’t even walk the streets without his lackeys trying to be the Holy Brave? What a joke!”
The voice of the three who were unhesitant even in this place made the Pope do a bitter expression. The day when other people were to say such insulting remarks would be the moment their heads would be instantly cut off.
However, these three are knights that have a reputation even in other countries, and in the current worsening state of things, they are existences that are hard to let go.
“Be careful with your words. You don’t want to be stabbed from the back in a place other than the battlefield, right?” (Pope)
The words of the Pope that could be taken as a threat were pushed aside by the three as if it were a passing wind. If you are coming, come; that’s the kind of bold attitude they had.
“…You thoughtless idiots. Fine, let’s just finish this already.” (Pope)
The guards hurriedly move at the words of the Pope. The remaining serfs and commoners were made to stand one after the other in front of the box, and were made to leave at once.
Everyone was watching over this as if this were just an extra.
The last one to show up was a thin and tall weak-looking man. His hair was ruffled, and maybe he was doing farm work, his clothes were covered in mud. On top of that, the glasses he had on were cracked.
Seeing that appearance of his, the three stars also sighed deeply.
They were thinking ‘there’s not even the need to look at the result of such a weak man’. The Pope must have thought the same thing, he stood up from his seat as if it was a bother, and was about to leave.
But the moment that man took a step into the Palace of God…something happened.
There was not even the need to stand in front of the box, the Holy Box was overflowing with a dazzling light! Each step the man took towards it strengthened the light it was releasing, and in time, it turned into a white light that one couldn’t even open their eyes at.
The three stars let out a groan at the light that had sent their hearts into a frenzy.
“W-What…what is happening?!”
“U-Unbelievable…the Holy Box has reacted…”
“What a light! Are you telling me that weak-looking man was chosen?!”
The man with cracked glasses stands in front of the box as if being guided to it.
That divine sight had everyone at a loss of words, and the man raised a loud voice.
“Great Light, God that shines on this land! Grant me the power to protect the weak! Grant me the power to put an end to these foolish wars! Grant me the power to provide bread to the children that can’t even live to see tomorrow!”
A loud shout that shook the soul came out from the man’s mouth.
The three stars had their bodies shake at that voice, and their bodies began to tremble to the point that they finally couldn’t even stand.
“Grant me the power…the power to save the needed…RIGHT THIS INSTANT!!”
After the man finished shouting out loud, the Holy Light finally opens while still letting out a dazzling light.
Inside there’s a Light Sword letting out a divine light, a giant Morning Star that can crush any monster, and several tens of strangely shaped metals.
The Pope had his mouth agape in surprise, but maybe he regained his senses, he hurriedly opens his mouth and celebrates this unbelievable event.
“S-Splendid… You are this era’s Holy Brave!!” (Pope)
What surfaced in the mind of the Pope was the historic event of several thousands of years in the past where the two Holy Braves were gathered, and the path to glory that this will bring.
The two Holy Braves were gathered while he was in the position of Pope.
This could only mean that the Great Light was telling him to rule over the whole continent.
“Everyone! Let’s celebrate in great extent this brilliant achievement! This evening we will open a grand party, and show the whole country and the other countries that our light has come!!” (Pope)
Voices of approval were raised here and there from the whole place, and they raised their fists. And in reality, with two Holy Braves, the surroundings should be easy to steal from.
They can finally defeat the western countries who they have been competing with since long, Magic and Rozen.
Within this space where everyone was merry, the man silently carried the box, and said this expressionlessly.
“There’s no need.”
“W-What’s the matter…? Today you are the main guest, you know?” (Pope)
“I would like to turn those wasteful expenses into bread and soup for the poor.”
“Wait there! In this kind of auspicious day, it is a matter of course that the country would celebrate. Things are different now. Looks like you will have to learn about the sacred festivals.” (Pope)
Saying only till there, the Pope claps his hands and made several guards move.
He was trying to gather all the influential people of the country to strengthen his own standing. And in reality, due to the two Holy Braves appearing, the standing and political power of the Pope will surely jump.
While the surroundings were busily moving, the newly born hero was flustered.
It seemed like things were moving in a direction he didn’t think of. Even though he is a commoner that’s not even counted, now there were people of distinguished families coming to him to give their greetings with a smile.
It was as if he had suddenly been thrown into a big storm.
“…We must protect that man no matter what.”
The leader of the three stars, Kaya, mutters this, and the other two nod without a word.
Seeing the Brave being flustered, they hardened their resolve that they must become his barrier.
If he were to get imprisoned in this country’s influence and politics, its rotten social class system, and the people of the distinguished families, even if he is a man with a hard to come by personality, there’s no knowing if he might end up taking a sudden change.
Strangely, that feeling had ended up being right on the mark.
Because from this day on, it would be the beginning of the long fight between the Holy Brave and the Three Binary Stars against the political influences.
This was an event that happened 9 years ago before ‘Maou’ appeared in the continent.
- Chapter 77: Cross Road
— Right Light Country: Coat.
The central land of the Right Light Country, Coat, was currently heating up.
The children were running around, the adults were exchanging drinks, and even the bend old people were merry.
It can’t be helped, since just a few days ago…a real Holy Brave had appeared after several centuries.
More accurately speaking, it has been more than a millennium since the Holy Box has moved.
Until now, it had only shown small reactions that you wouldn’t even be able to tell if it actually moved or not, and even a small light was ‘a reaction!’ and would be widely talked about in the country.
Being told these kind of stories that were hard to tell if they were the truth or lies many times was simply not something pleasant. Within the other countries, this would actually be made a joke, and it was in a state where they could only ignore it.
But this time is different.
The Holy Box had really accepted a young man, and had been chosen as the Holy Brave. However, the man of this story ignored this, and seemed to not even care about it.
(What’s that about Holy Brave…How stupid…)
One man was walking a dim back alley wearing his hood low.
The atmosphere around this man was abnormal within this country’s festive mood.
Maybe there’s quite the amount of money in his pocket, he was looking around here and there, and had eyes like that of a person that can’t lower his guard.
(The Goddess of Fate…Moira-sama will for sure bless me…!)
The man had smoothly progressed through elementary, middle, and high school grades of the School of God, and then he safely broke through the proficiency exam, managing to obtain the standing of ‘Priest’ that everyone in the Right Light Country would envy.
Being able to obtain a position like that at around the age of 28 even when he is not from a distinguished family could be called a fantastic achievement.
It is an age that can’t considered young anymore, but the path to becoming a priest is incredibly steep, and even when people get to 34-35 years old, there’s few who have the title of ‘High School Graduated of the School of God’.
The standing of a priest in the Right Light Country is incredibly high, and they tend to look down on military officers and the upper class.
It is thought that standing in the entrance of being a priest and rising up from there is the way to get closer to the Great Light, and you would get a higher position even after death.
(I am the one who will get closer to the light and climb the path of fame…!)
The reverence of the people, courteous pay, concrete protection, pension after retirement; if you become a priest, you could say you will be stable for life.
That’s why there’s an uncountable amount of people in the country who aim to become priests. Most of them have their dreams crushed in the middle, and they would return to their homeland without anyone knowing.
(That I have this much affinity is proof of that.)
The people aiming to be priests have a strong affinity to Light and Holy magic.
Aside from that, there’s also the requirement of being from a good family, and having no criminal records on you as well as your family.
The man had a strong affinity with the Light and Holy elements, but because he is from a poor family, no matter how many times he tried to take the appointed exams, he left the gates without results.
No matter how much he studied, no matter how much he prayed to the Great Light, it was a repeat of barren days without any results.
An everyday life where he was repeating the same things as if broken.
The ‘rejected’ that was pushed onto him.
Who knows if the first one to break was his everyday life or the man himself…
In time, a group of scary-looking people appeared at the back alley the man was walking in.
The man in the middle was wearing small glasses, and had an appearance that resembled a snake.
This slim man seems to be the leader of this group.
“Well well, Priest-sama. We have been waiting for you.”
“…Wasn’t there a better day for this?”
“It seems like the whole country is in a merry mood. I thought we should use this opportunity, you see.”
“Bunch of heretics…”
“This country trusts in the Great Light, and we trust in money. That’s the only difference. And, inside your pocket, there’s the ‘God’ I looove the most.”
The priest made a frown at this, but the slim man simply laughed. Accurately speaking, since the day he met this man, his broken days had broken even further.
There’s already no way to return them to how it was.
“…I have prepared the gold. What about the goods?”
“Of course, we have quality goods this time as well. I thought that no matter how much ‘medicine’ there is…it wouldn’t be enough for the compaaasionate Priest-sama, you see.”
“This is all the money I could prepare… I can’t buy anymore than that.”
Seeing the large quantity of narcotic drugs, Trance, the priest unconsciously gulps.
But with the earnings he has, he can only buy a few of them.
The thin man shakes his head disappointed, but maybe he thought of something, he suddenly showed a wide smile.
“It is a trade with no other than Priest-sama, so this time around, I will sell them to you at a bargain price.”
“What? Junkie…what are you plotting?”
Who knows if that name is a joke or not, but…the slim man that was called Junkie shrugged his shoulders and says as if troubled.
“Plotting, you say? How cold. I have simply judged that you are someone to be trusted from the many transactions we have had here. Providing a few incentives for a precious customer is important.” (Junkie)
The Priest snorted, but he felt like shouting ‘lucky!’.
He thought that he was considering his social standing and importance.
And in reality, Junkie weights a priest heavily. Having a customer of Trance that’s a respected existence and is supposed to be in a pure standing is not something possible.
It is basically as if a still-active police bureaucrat was selling drugs at the shadows of the investigation network. Being out of hand would mean something like this.
“So you are going with the route of using me as a customer that rots the tops?”
“The more rotten the top gets, the better your position will get. We can provide you with many other gifts aside from Trance if you so wish.” (Junkie)
“…Gifts, you say?”
“Yes. Whether it is things, alcohol, women; whatever you wish, even if it is secrets from other countries. The higher your standing in society, the more wounds people hide, you know.” (Junkie)
The priest thought that this was practically the whispers of the Devil.
If he grabs the hand he has stretched out, he will definitely be dragged deeper into the abyss. Even if his body has already been dragged all the way to the neck, he couldn’t help trembling.
“That’s how you, the Daedalus Company, have brought many people to their ruin, right? You damn noxious insects that eat into the continent.”
The scary-looking people got angered at this, but Junkie calmed them down with the rise of a hand.
Looks like they have been trained quite well.
“Depending on the perspective, noxious insects are also important, you know? There’s cases where exterminating them have brought about unexpected tragedy… Just like how a sparrow is a beneficial bird, and also a pestilent one. Light is always accompanied with darkness. That’s just how nature works.” (Junkie)
“Never run out of words… In time, your Daedalus Company…no, Icarus, will receive divine punishment.”
“Haha! Well well, that’s so scary I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight.” (Junkie)
The priest clicks his tongue and throws the leather bag in his pocket, and in return, he received a large quantity of Trance.
Using this, he will be able to earn further fame.
The scary-looking group melted into the merry crowd of people.
Junkie who was now in the main street turned around once, and directs his gaze at the central area of Coat. At that place there’s a gorgeous Grand Church that would make people prostrate.
If it is a believer, they would fall on their knees and end up in tears seeing that divine sight.
“Divine punishment, huh… What a joke.” (Junkie)
Words that could be taken as scorn or cursing came out from his mouth.
Junkie placed a hand below his neck, and he grabbed tightly the reverse cross necklace there.
“Who cares about this country, Daedalus, or Icarus… Everything is for the sake of our great leader, Utopia-sama.” (Junkie)
That low mutter seemed to be referring to something far in the future, and it was ominous.
On the other hand, the priest…smiled at the unexpected godsend.
“What’s that about the Holy Brave. Not doing any work at all, without having any struggles; he is just a damn brat that luckily drew a winning ticket. I, on the contrary, even if I end up getting covered in mud, with my own power and wits, I will climb far and beyond!”
—In this year where a big turning point had occurred with the Selection Ceremony…a new Holy Brave was born, and a priest burning in ambition ran.
They will be meeting a certain Demon Lord in the future, but their fates are distinctly separated.
One side will leave a big footprint in history; and the other will be erased completely from it.