“Are you comfortable in there, your highness?”
Vice Captain Élisabeth respectfully asked from outside the Confessional.
“Yes, it is cozy in here.”
I could hear her laughing at my response. I sat down and looked around.
It looked different from the Confessional I saw in movies.
It is probably to be expected since it is a different religion inside a novel.
The area I was in was wide enough for me to sit down and stretch my legs, and the cushion on the seat was soft.
The ceiling was high too, so I didn’t even need to duck while coming in.
“We will let the first penitent in soon. Please pull the rope to your left if you need anything or are in danger. We will be stationed outside the temple.”
“Yes, thank you very much.”
I looked to the left and saw a long rope dangling from the ceiling of the Confessional.
It had a fancy handle and the color and texture looked so luxurious that it looked like a decorative rope.
To my right was a large wooden window connected to the penitent’s side.
I thought it was a checkered pattern, but upon closer inspection, it seemed to be the downward arrows of the Church of the Almighty God.
I soon hear a penitent walking into the other side.
I took a sip of the sage tea that Ganael had packed for me in a glass bottle.
‘Calm down, you memorized the process.’
“Hello there, beloved believer.”
“Hello, your highness.”
I recognized the voice.
“Yes, it is me.”
I could see a silhouette that resembled that of a tidy butler through the wooden window.
“Are you here to confess?”
“Yes, sir. I did not stand in line and used my position as an attendant for some special privileges. Please forgive me.”
I laughed out loud. It was because I knew that Benjamin was not joking.
I felt myself not being as tense anymore. My anxiety died down a bit too.
[I forgive you, Mr. Benjamin.]
A golden circle, my Holy Domain, lit up the Confessional floor once I gave the Divine Oracle.
I felt that there was an aether reaction on the now forgiven Benjamin’s side, but I could not see it properly from my side because of the wooden window.
“My last confession was one year ago.”
“I see, please tell me what else you would like to confess.”
It was actually easier than I thought to switch back and forth between regular conversation and Divine Oracle.
I did wonder how to differentiate it at first, but I was able to do it after practicing it a few times, pretending that I was turning the aether faucet off when I was not giving a Divine Oracle.
In case you were curious, my test subject was Ganael.
“Prince Jesse, I suspected you.”
“I believed that you might have stolen the Divine item just because you were placed on the Imperial Guard’s list of people to question. I thought that you wouldn’t have done it, but I could not get rid of my suspicions and had to get you to swear it to me, your highness.”
‘Oh yeah, something like that did happen.’
I completely forgot about it because my life was threatened that same night.
I recalled Benjamin’s expression as he asked me in the dew-filled garden to be a responsible priest.
“Please forgive me for the sin of having unnecessary suspicions and insulting an esteemed individual such as yourself with these thoughts.”
Well, I wasn’t that angry even after recalling the incident.
Benjamin was a devoted believer of the Church of the Almighty God and, based on what I had heard, asked to transfer from the Romero Palace to the Juliette Palace to serve me.
He had asked for a transfer on his faith alone, but a prince who was a Bishop got caught up in a major theft incident. I can see why Benjamin would say something like that.
The theft just happened to happen right as I passed through the border.
I felt a bit wronged, but it was nothing major, although Benjamin seemed to have been facing a lot of guilt for questioning a priest.
[I am fine. I’m sure the Almighty God will forgive you as well.]
My voice gently echoed.
There was a much stronger aether reaction than earlier on the other side.
I still couldn’t see it very well.
“Thank you very much, your highness.”
Benjamin sounded as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
It made me smile bitterly, thinking that he must have been struggling with it for a while.
“Your highness, this is when you give the penance.”
“Ah, yes, thank you.”
‘Oh right, there’s that thing.’
The penance is the absolution for the penance’s sins.
I did not understand this part at first when I read it in the < Church of the Almighty God’s Introduction to Theology >.
I wondered if I was supposed to say something like, ‘I forgive you, so pay up.’
Of course, I had a better understanding of it now. I read through many examples before coming here today.
[You must have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with me tomorrow. Ganael will of course be joining us.]
I don’t know how it works in religions in the real world, but the penance in ‘QNW’ is basically whatever the priest wants.
It is because a priest is someone who uses aether, which is known as the ‘Authority of the Almighty God.’
“Your highness, something like that is not a penance……”
[You asked me for forgiveness. You said that you apologize for suspecting me. This is the penance I am giving you.]
I could hear Benjamin sighing loudly on the other side.
“I understand. I will carry it out properly.”
I smiled and took a sip of sage tea.
Benjamin was happy to get forgiveness, and I was happy to not have to eat alone in front of my attendants.
I guess it went well.
* * *
“Hello there, beloved believer.”
“……Hello, your highness.”
“Ganael? Is that you?”
“M, my last confession was last month.”
I failed to hold back my laughter.
I could feel my second penitent, Ganael, getting antsy on the other side.
“Your highness, this…! Benjamin-nim got to do it so I wanted to do it as well…… You did say you would hear my confession last time.”
“That’s right, I did say that. Let’s hear it.”
I responded and Ganael coughed a few times to compose himself.
I naturally paid close attention as I was curious to know what he wanted to confess.
“Your highness, on your first day at the palace…… I brought you some books for you to read.”
“Yes, I remember.”
“But…… Umm, one of the magazines…… It had an article that talked bad about you. I, I really didn’t know. I did not bring it to you with such thoughts on my mind, your highness…… I was just rushed and brought a few things over without looking at them……”
I could hear the young boy start to get teary. I kind of blanked out thinking about what he could mean.
‘Is he talking about the < Biweekly Riester > since he said magazine? It talked crap about me?’
“I committed the sin of degrading an esteemed person like yourself…… Please forgive me……”
“Hold on, Ganael. I’m not sure I understand what you are saying.”
“I’m sorry, your highness……”
‘Is he talking about how it called me the ‘Scoundrel of the Holy Kingdom?’ ’
The article said that I was a well-known playboy and that I was involved in many scandals, but I had not thought much of it.
In fact, I remember thinking that it was great that I learned more about this character Jesse since I didn’t have much information.
He had been concerned about it after all this time.
[It is okay, Ganael. I had fun reading it. It was very helpful as well.]
[There is nothing to forgive, but I will still forgive you. I mean it.]
“Thank you very much……”
The bright aether reaction appeared on the other side as my forgiveness echoed.
I came up with an extremely fitting penance as I heard Ganael sniffling on the other side.
[Your penance is to continue recommending great books for me. You will also need to bring me as much new information as you can.]
[Yes, especially as it relates to his highness, Imperial Prince Cédric, and young lady Christelle de Sarnez.]
Ganael did not seem to question the fact that I mentioned two people I had no interactions with yet.
I guess he wasn’t thinking much about the content of the penance since he was happy to receive my forgiveness.
“Yes, sir, I will carry it out properly.”
It was great for me too. I needed to have information to avoid them.
Now that Christelle has woken up, it was necessary to know about her and the main lead’s whereabouts in advance.
* * *
Once Ganael left, I couldn’t tell whether this was a time for confessions or a Dear Abby podcast.
“So, you’re saying that you told a woman who is not your wife your middle name and your wife kicked you out?”
“Yes, sir. But I swear on the name of the Almighty God that I did not cheat! She was just a woman I met at the bar……”
‘You crazy bastard, why would you tell a woman you met at the bar your middle name? More importantly, why are you meeting a woman at a bar? Isn’t that cheating?’
I felt as if I had eaten 100 sweet potatoes without any water.
I felt as if I was watching one of those relationship advice programs that my brother would turn on and swear at whenever he was vacuuming the house.
“Beloved believer, your middle name is something you should only share with close family members or your partner. At least, that is how it is in the Holy Kingdom. Is it different in the Empire?”
I said things I had read in the < Biweekly Riester > as if they were my own words.
Everybody on the continent has a middle name in between their first name and their family name, and this middle name was something you only shared with your family, spouse, fiance, or a very close friend.
‘Who will be the woman to hear Prince Jesse’s middle name?’
That article that was discussing my potential relationships with different young ladies whom I didn’t even know the faces of was how I learned about this.
“Well, it is the same in the Empire as well. But you see, I…thought that I made a new friend, and……”
“You became such good friends after a few hours that you told her your middle name?”
“That…… I apologize for my actions. Please forgive me, your highness……”
‘Did he meet his destined best friend for life or something? Did he find his BFFL? What the hell did the two of them do to get so close?’
I clicked my tongue and released my Holy Domain. The floor lit up as if a light had been turned on.
[This is not something for me to forgive. Your wife is the one who needs to forgive you. Go back home and kneel in front of the door, tell her the truth, apologize to her properly, and swear that you will never do something like this again. You should probably sign a contract and I would recommend giving up drinking as well.]
“That…… That is too cruel……”
[This is your penance, beloved believer.]
The golden circle flashed and moved 360 degrees clockwise.
The aether reaction for forgiveness did not come up. It was the expected result since I refused to forgive him.
[You should also accept it if your wife chooses not to forgive you.]
I gave him no way out with that last part.
I don’t know the relationship between the couple, but if he begs for forgiveness and she refuses to forgive him, that just shows how much of her trust he has betrayed until now.
“I, I will do as you commanded……”
The man was almost whispering at this point as he opened the door and walked out of the Confessional.
I sighed while hearing his dragging feet as background music.
“Seriously, what kind of……”
I felt guilty at first.
I wondered if I, as someone who didn’t believe in the ‘Church of the Almighty God’ or even knows much about it, could act as a priest just because I had aether.
Even if I was doing it to save myself and was just a character in a novel, it wasn’t easy to trick the living and breathing people in front of me.
Especially with something as sensitive as religion.
But this bastard just now and the one earlier, what did he say again, oh right, he took someone’s money and then said, ‘Is it that big of a sin to tell them to wait 10 years until he has the means to pay it off,’ like seriously……
After that, I felt like I was overflowing with conscience and morality.
I would have probably gotten two free refrigerators for all of my good karma if this was the olden days.
I turned my head in shock.
The noise came from the other side, but it sounded different from the Confessional door opening.
“Who is there?”
I opened my Holy Domain as I asked. This was not the one for confessions, but for self-defense.
My body reacted faster than normal after having been attacked by those twin assassins before.
I heard a person’s voice and the sound of cloth being pulled.
“Are you a penitent here to confess?”
I put my nose up against the wooden window and looked through to the other side.
It was still hard to see, but I could definitely see a lot more than I could from a distance.
‘……It’s a kid?’
“Are you okay? Are you sick?”
I cautiously asked.
The little kid who had his head down was barely sitting on the penitent’s chair.
His black hair was shaking, making it obvious that he was not okay.
The noise I heard just now wasn’t the sound of someone walking or the door opening, so I had no idea how he got in here.
“Where are your pare……”
The kid jerked his head up at that moment.
His orange eyes that were as clear as the sun were looking right into mine.
“……What are you doing here?”
The boy frowned as he asked. I started speaking in disbelief.
[You must have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with me tomorrow. Ganael will of course be joining us.]
Benjamin can’t say anything now!
Penance is very interesting, Jesse difference (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)
…Did the kid teleport or something? Perhaps he was expecting another priest(though the only person that comes to mind is the cardinal, since is known that she used to handle the confessions).
The interactions with Ganael and Benjamin continue to be wholesome.
Thanks for the chapter!
Thx for the chapter!
Thank you so much for the chapter. I loved those penance! uwu And I really love this trio siblings XD
I can’t wait for moreeeee
Is that kid the prince??🤔
The rumors about original Prince Jesse are sort of strange. Between the Jesse in the article and the Jesse now, current Jesse fits the bill of the descriptions his little sister gave much better… Gentle, devoted, and works hard at priestly duties, etc.
I wonder if this is the child the cardinal wanted Jesse to help?
Can’t wait for the next chapter!
The little kid is EDITED FOR SPOILERS
hahaha benji and gan abusing their power 😂😂😂😂tho in gan’s defense, he saw benji did it first so he just followed 😂😂😂
Lmao the little kid is edited for spoilers sounds funny.
Thenks for the chapter!
Is it the kid he is going to helped?
Or is it the chibified crapdric haha