400 Years Old Virgin Demon King
Chapter 12 – That time I appealed to the Pope but was asked to submit
The religion that appears in this story is a completely fictional religion that exists in a fantasy world. It is in no way connected to any real world religions.
Indignantly, I decided to go pay the Pope a visit…but first, I took a detour to a certain place and talked with a certain person. After that was finished, I went to the grand cathedral where the Pope lived, which was in the center of his lands.
“Huh, so this is the grand cathedral. It looks a lot like St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. This world has more similarities to my world then I thought.”
Suzuna said as she looked admiringly at the grand cathedral. She had been with me when the news of my excommunication had arrived, and upon hearing that I was going to meet the Pope in order to protest, she, for some reason decided to come too. From the looks of it, she wants to see different places in this world. Well, I wasn’t particularly inconvenienced by her, so I allowed it.
“Let us go and see the Pope then.”
“What about the appo…I mean, don’t you have to make a reservation?”
“Such courtesies are not required from Demon Lords.”
I boldly entered from the front of the grand cathedral. Of course, guards came to stop me, but they were quickly disabled and with a quick mind-reading spell I was able to find out where the Pope was and head for that direction.
“I am sorry to intrude at this busy time. I am the Demon Lord. I have come to make a protest to the Pope.”
We said as we pushed our way into the Pope’s office. Suzuna, who was with me did not have a shred of nervousness in her voice. Perhaps it was due to being a heathen from another-world that she did not understand the importance of the people here.
There were several people in the room, but the one who sat in front of the desk was likely the Pope. He was a portly older man with a long white beard and wore lavish clerical robes.
“To protest, you say?
While I’m sure he was surprised, the Pope managed to answer without showing it, he was completely composed. Hmm, this Pope was a crafty old fox. This was not going to be easy.
“Exactly. This is about you declaring me as an ‘enemy of God’ and excommunicating me. I have no memory of ever turning my back on God. And so, I would like you to tell me, on what grounds have you determined that I am an enemy of God.”
The Pope ever so slightly raised one eyebrow upon hearing this.
“Indeed. I have done nothing but worship the one true God. I have made no idols to worship. I have never used God’s name in vain either. Even while I was training with magic, I would take one day off for the Sabbath, even now I continue to rest on the Sabbath. I never disrespected my father and mother before entering the monastery. I have not once committed murder. And not only have I never committed fornication, I have stayed a virgin for four hundred years. I have never stolen something that belonged to another. I have never lied or deceived. I have never coveted my neighbor’s wife or fortune. And I have never broken any of the old testament.”
The Pope listened to my declarations and widened his eyes a little. It seemed that he was very surprised. Most likely he had collected information on me in advance. That I have never killed anyone, that I’ve allowed the royal families to continue, he must have deduced that even if we became enemies, that I wouldn’t resort to such violent means as annihilating the Church. He also would know that I was but an ordinary human three hundred and eighty years ago. He probably thought that if I were the same as I was then, that he could force me to grovel to the Church’s authority. That’s why they started with such a forcible measure like ‘excommunication’ to threaten me. Normally someone who was under suspicion would receive a message from the Pope and there would be talks and accommodations made. That was how the Vatican did things.
However, it appeared that the Pope and surrounding cardinals had not anticipated that I would be knowledgeable in their doctrines.
“Oh…you call the ten commandments ‘the old testament.’ And what do you mean by ‘before you entered the monastery’?”
“Hmm. I was once a monk in training for ten years at a monastery. It was before I made any official vows, and so I was not given a name. So even though I left the monastery, I did not commit the crime of abandoning my religion. And at this monastery, I learned not just about magic, but of course, ‘the teachings of the Savior.’ And so I know that the ten commandments that I referred to earlier are of the ‘old testament.’ I know that while they are intended to be kept, they do not count as turning your back on God should they be broken.”
The ‘Orthodox Church’ that this Pope commanded worshiped the ‘one true God.’ That name was holy and not to be spoken. And the basis of his teachings was told by ‘the Savior.’ The ten commandments were given by God to a prophet before the time of the Savior. And it was considered the will of God that they were to be strictly observed until the advent of the Savior. And the Savior changed all that.
“I see… So you are saying that you believe the teachings of God and ‘the Savior’?”
“I do indeed. The basis of the Savior’s teaching is ‘philanthropy.’ The Savior said that ‘God is love.’ And so I believe that God loves everyone and will save us all. The Savior said, ‘love thy neighbor.’ And so I will love all of my neighbors, and I will work for the good of the world.”
Belief in these things is the basis of the Savior’s teachings. And this is the new promise made between God and man that the Savior brought, the ‘new testament.’ Everything else is a mere trifle. That is what I believe. It is said that as a price for this new promise, the Savior took on the sins of humanity against God, and was executed. But a miracle occurred and after three days he was resurrected and ascended up to heaven. It is said that this was the proof of the new promise.
The truth of whether the Savior was resurrected or not is not important to me. I can only believe that a miracle happened. That is what faith is.
In any case, one thing that I have realized after putting all this into words is that behind my enjoyment of working for the good of the world, is my faith in God.
It’s not something that I am usually conscious of, and so it’s hard to notice.
“Well, that kinda sounds like Christianity… but a devout Demon Lord…”
Suzuna mumbled to herself, it seemed that there was a religion with similar teachings in her world. Well, her assertion that ‘Demon Lord’ did not quite fit the impression of someone who was devout was true.
Here the Pope, who had been contemplating began to speak to me.
“It seems that you really do properly believe the teachings of the Savior. It is quite different from the stories that I had been fed. We must correct this excommunication that was affected by false information. However…”
He closed his mouth once before continuing to address me.
“But you must prove to the Church that you are faithful. You will kneel before me as the representative of God and make a vow of obedience and receive my blessing. That is the condition of reversing the excommunication.”
So there it was. In that case, there was only one answer I could give.
“Ridiculous! I am the Demon Lord. In other words, I stand on the top of common authority! I will allow for the separation of faith and the authority of the Church, but I have no intention of bending the knee before you!! I think that secular and religious authority should be divided. The separation of Church and State. And so I will not obey the Church. However, if the Church so wishes, I will recognize your vested interests.”
I did have a faith in God, but that and the recognition of the Church’s authority and power were different matters. I have witnessed it for myself, through the ten years of monastery life, that the insides of the Church were rotted. I knew from the inside that there were many high ranking clergymen who were more interested in wealth and power than their own faith. But I am not so simple-minded as to declare them as evil and reproach them. If the Church would acknowledge me, I was willing to recognize their vested interests.
However, upon hearing my answer, the Pope’s facial expression hardened and he returned to making threats.
“So you have no objections to excommunication staying unreversed? Are you ready to make an enemy of the Church, no, of every believer in this land?”