The moment Bishop Akim revealed his inner feelings was brief. He soon returned expressionless.
“If you think you can get out of this case with a good relationship, you are wrong, Marchioness Rosan. Colton has no power.”
Artizea was lost in thought for a moment.
Brother Colton’s follow-up was something that was the least expected in planning. It was natural for errors to occur.
‘It’s the Sainthood. I knew it was going to be a troublesome variable.’
Bishop Akim’s dislike of Brother Colton was well known without any special investigation.
Brother Colton renounced the complex liturgy and overly difficult doctrines of the temple, and resigned as bishop.
He said that repentance, service, and faith were the only ways to truly follow God’s will and be redeemed.
Disillusioned with the temple, many priests followed Brother Colton. The common people also respected the poor monks.
While pious old nobles respected Bishop Akim, Brother Colton was often chosen first.
For the self-righteous Bishop Akim, all that must have been a thorn in his eyes. He couldn’t stand the fact that Brother Colton received more respect from the people than he did.
This is a dispute between the faction that values doctrine and the faction that values capitalism in the temple. At the same time, it was also a matter of Bishop Akim’s feelings.
‘Still, I don’t think we ever fought in earnest like this before.’
Artizea turned her memory back.
Then there was Lysia.
Bishop Akim tried to seek glory through Lysia, and Brother Colton tried to protect her by obeying her because she was a saintess.
There were differences in the detailed actions. However, once Lysia became Empress, it made no difference who moved by her side.
But now it is different.
Brother Colton left the monastery to engage in secular work, such as the charity business*. And Bishop Akim doesn’t know why.
It was not strange to misunderstand that Brother Colton had changed his mind and was trying to work in earnest and expand his influence.
Then she was with him, a person who had bribed the entire temple with hefty bribes.
Bishop Akim apparently interpreted it as an act that she did in order to support Brother Colton and gain the favor from the temple.
Some people can only understand the world that way.
‘That’s a relief.’
It was a more serious situation than a confrontation between the moderates and the extremist in that they were mixed with emotions.
But it wasn’t the worst case scenario in terms of the reason why.
Artizea also had in mind the possibility that Bishop Akim would be the “returner”. If he was, the situation would have been difficult to resolve easily.
Artizea said, hiding her sigh inside.
“Is the temple now trying to blame me for having a madwoman as a mother?”
“You are a madwoman. Do you think you can get away with it like that? This is treason.”
Bishop Akim said so.
“It was the first time I knew that a bishop had the right to investigate treason.”
“It’s no use trying to get away with clever words.”
“I separated myself from my mother and became the Empress’ lady-in-waiting. I think bishop knows that there are not many stories about me.”
“The rumors of the public are not very reliable. Especially when it comes to conspirators.”
“Which conspirator in the world wanted to assassinate their base of power?”
Artizea smiled softly.
If there was no room for compromise, she did not have to try to work with Bishop Akim. And she didn’t even have to hide herself.
“Bishop, have you joined hands with Grand Duke Roygar?”
“If Brother Colton had Grand Duke Evron on his back, did you think Grand Duke Roygar would be necessary to confront him?”
“Marchioness Rosan, please don’t be rude.”
“You would like to tie me up with Evron Grand Duchy, but if it is treason as you call it, that will be difficult.”
Artizea gave a faint smile casually.
“If you tie me and my brother together and punish me for treason, the resentment will disappear, so the temple can do whatever they want, and my husband is fighting Karam in the north, so you must have thought that he couldn’t get his hands on this so far? His Majesty will not be able to do anything if the temple comes forward and finds evidence of treason.”
And Grand Duke Roygar wants to tie her and Lawrence to this treason.
If only one Miraila did it, it was nothing more than what a capricious woman did out of jealousy.
However, if Artizea was also participating in that, it was a definite treason.
“Bishop, you better be careful. I made an arbitration proposal on behalf of His Majesty the Emperor. It has nothing to do with this.”
“Then prove it.”
Having said that, Bishop Akim put two pieces of paper down in front of Artizea.
“I heard that Marchioness is a smart person, and you studied the ancient language quite hard.”
“Are you really not involved in any of this heresy?”
Artizea pulled the paper.
One was a curse word transcribed by Bishop Akim, and the other was a blank piece of paper.
Artizea did not look at what Bishop Akim had written, but wrote the ancient language on the blank piece of paper with a skillful handwriting.
〚 I pray for the death of ————. 〛
She wrote so briefly, leaving the subject blank.
And she wrote this time with her left hand. It was to confirm her clumsy left hand writing.
〚 I pray that those who hate me and those who make me suffer will fall into misery. 〛
Artizea returned the paper to Bishop Akim. Bishop Akim couldn’t hide his surprise when he saw the paper.
“I’m sorry, Bishop Akim, you know this is foolish, right? If I had been involved in the curse, I would have had my mother write down the exact sentences, copy them, and then burn them. Without leaving a booklet in the mansion.”
“The bishop and I know that this is a much more effective sentence.”
Bishop Akim has no evidence. Even if Artizea tries to copy poorly, she cannot write in the same typeface as the curse words from the Rosan mansion.
Perhaps Bishop Akim will also make Artizea’s ladies-in-waiting copy it, but he will not find a match either.
Because the person who copied it is already dead.
“Come to think of it, Bishop.”
“I’m on the weak side, I don’t know if you know.”
“What do you want to say?”
“Even so, I am very tired from my mother’s work. I don’t think it will be easy to survive in this environment for a long time.”
Artizea said so and stood up.
Bishop Akim’s face was distorted. But he did not try to rebuke Artizea.
Bishop Akim was almost certain that Artizea was the author of the cursed book.
So he intends to yank the young Grand Duchess into confessing.
Once he secured her handwriting and obtained the testimony that she was the one who wrote the book, he thought he could do whatever he wanted.
But Artizea was too casual. She even handed over the handwriting of her left hand, as if she already knew he would doubt her right handwriting.
Bishop Akim felt the complexity in his head. It was time for him to find another way.
Artizea came out of Bishop Akim’s study, feeling tired. Hayley asked.
“Is everything all right?”
“It wasn’t what I expected.”
Artizea spoke briefly and left the hallway. Only then did she see Hayley holding a small basket in her hand.
“What is that?”
“I got it from the kitchen.”
Inside the basket was a sweet orange tart and apple juice. It was not something that could be easily made in a temple.
“I think Sir Ansgar asked from outside. He seemed to have talked to Bishop Nikos personally to take care of Your Grace.”
“Would you like to go for a walk in the courtyard? It would be nice to eat there.”
But the two could not go out into the courtyard. This was because the apprentice priests who had been ordered by Bishop Akim prevented the two from going out.
Hayley was almost angry.
“Are you treating us like prisoners now?”
Artizea stopped her. Because she didn’t think it was necessary to openly quarrel. It was evident that the embarrassed apprentice priests had no right to decide whether or not to allow them out.
The two returned to their small living quarters, spread snacks on the bed, and sat down next to each other.
“Now, you must have understood the atmosphere of the temple, right?”
“Yes. Behavior control is very strict, such as forbidding people from going out or having Her Grace go to the prayer room, but also in the kitchen, some priests are very careful. There were people who came here on purpose and told me about the outside world.”
“There must be some influence from Brother Colton. Bishop Akim is overworked, the Archbishop is moderate, and the majority of lower priests would not want to be so directly involved in secular politics as they are now.”
“That’s why Bishop Nikos told the kitchen to take care of us. He’s a safe man, so he’s probably trying to ameliorate my discomfort a little, just in case.”
“Then, wouldn’t it be the first thing to prevent such an act like confinement?”
“Because interrogation of heresy itself is under the domain of Bishop Akim, and it is also supported by citizens.”
“What are you going to do? You didn’t expect to be locked up like this, did you?”
“If I had known, I would not have come voluntarily. I was just planning on investing a day or two to inflate the face of the temple and negotiate. Well, what should I do?”
Before meeting Bishop Akim, she thought about using Bishop Nikos. But that won’t solve it.
“Bishop Akim has joined hands with Grand Duke Roygar.”
“If he had joined hands with Grand Duke Roygar, would he be driving Your Grace as treason?”
“Yes. The purpose of Grand Duke Roygar is to execute even my brother as treason, and Bishop Akim is to make me, who is close to Brother Colton, a heretic and a traitor, so that there is no place for the monk in the temple.”
“What are you going to do? Two or three days is enough time to forge evidence.”
Artizea munched on the orange tart and nodded her head.
“Fake evidence……. That’s a good idea.”
It would not be possible to claim that Artizea wrote the book in the Rosan Mansion.
But they can bribe a maid or a servant to accuse Artizea of getting the book from somewhere.
If they had decided to forge the evidence, they could have created witnesses that she was involved in the purchase of children who were likely to be sacrificed.
The old woman who was about to try the curse with Miraila is now in the hands of the temple.
“Shall I contact Sir Alphonse?”
“Stop. It would be crazy to go to war with the temple. Why don’t you just leave? It’s okay to just put a notice to the Archbishop.”
“It is worth fighting Bishop Akim.”
“Don’t worry. I know. I know Your Grace’s extent.”
Artizea did not deny and only shook her head gently.
Will she finish quickly, or will she organize it carefully?
Bring a cause and narrow Bishop Akim’s position, and the moderate faction will take care of the rest.
Not only Bishop Akim, but Artizea was also weighing it. About how to proceed.
cough cough Summer will be coming early cough cough