Chapter 169 – Sin and Punishment (8)

Episode 169 Sin and Punishment (8)

The Old Order priests protest to Dolores.

“Saint, did you even realize what you were doing?”

“The deceased Guilty was a devout member of this Church, how dare you read from his letters during his lifetime!”

“It is even a conversation with Cardinal Humbert, and it is confidential, confidential!”

“How dare you release such a thing to the public……!?”

They seemed afraid of losing the credit to the New Order priests.

They say that a crisis is an opportunity, and in a situation like this, healing the sick and comforting the victims is a way to strengthen an image.

So the Old Order priests were eager to get to work on disaster recovery.

This is why Dolores, Mozgus, and other New Order priests complained that they were being prevented from doing so.

…… But their complaints were short-lived.


They froze in their seats as Dolores’s cold gaze met theirs.

It was the first time they had ever seen such a cold, piercing gaze from the normally warm and compassionate woman.

It was frightening to see someone so gentle when they were angry.

Dolores’s single line brought the Old Order priests to a standstill.

And her next recitation had them all turning blue in the face.

“Baron Gorg, murder of a groom who resisted while exercising his right to first night, subsequent suicide of the bride, heavily punishment of the family, resulting in the destruction of the family, pardoned by the payment of a billion gold in donation!”

“Viscountess Moscoe, fraudulently getting her sons hired at the Imperial Central Bank and promoting them up the ranks, resulting in many job candidates with passing grades being rejected due to her sons rushing in! Pardoned with a 200 million gold donation per son!”

“Mr. Guerrasso! Embezzlement, dishonesty, and manipulation of the stock price to the detriment of shareholders to the tune of nearly 20 billion gold! Pardoned with a 50 million gold donation!”

“Madame Pierre! Kidnapping and imprisoning underage boys with nowhere else to go, sexually exploiting them, and forcing them into illegal labor! Pardoned with an donation of 15 million gold!”

“Cult leader Manimani! Intentionally spreading the plague to all corners of the country and paralyzing the local economy! Pardoned with 100 million gold in donations!”



The full extent of Guilty’s indulgence was revealed.

A long list of grave sins that could never be forgiven as they were.

And the sums paid for them were often paltry and inadequate to the crime.


How can someone wear the clothes of a saint while wearing a human mask and forgive something like this?

Even the protesting Old Order priests could hardly believe their ears.

“He sold indulgences to demons like that?”

“For that price? No way. There must have been four or five zeros missing.”

“Especially cult leader Manimani, who deserves to be burned at the stake.”

“I can’t believe Cardinal Humbert and Lord Guilty could do such a despicable thing! There is such a thing as an indulgence!”

“Ha, but the seal on that letter must be…….”

The chatter wasn’t just coming from the Old Order priests.

The agitation spread beyond the people of the Quovadis to the general public.

“How could the Quovadis do this!”

“What a corruption of devotional chant!”

“Calm down! That’s an Old Order problem! It has nothing to do with the New Order priests!”

“Don’t lump the Old Order priests in with this! It’s only a problem with a few of them!”

The chatter intensifies.

The priests were about to get into a fistfight among themselves.

In the midst of the chaos, Dolores finished reading the materials the Night Hound had delivered.

It detailed the dealings of Guilty and Humbert, the ugly realities of what was supposed to be society’s leadership, how the offerings to the gods had been used as investments, how they had been siphoned off for political funding and illegal lobbying, and even how they had colluded with local cults.

There was also evidence of the sale of farming tools such as pitchforks, wood chips, sticks, and even pig bones as holy relics.

The number of holy relics sold had already exceeded 30,000, with propaganda and plans to exempt one year of purgatory for each relic.

The public was shocked to learn about all of this.


The Academy’s boy and girl reporters also stopped taking notes and looked dumbfounded.

The horrific molestation of the Faithful Quovadis had been revealed by a young saint from the same Quovadis family.

In response, Dolores launches into a retort that has kept her up all night.

“I, Dolores of the New Order, reply to these atrocities of the Old Order as follows!”

Once again, the pens of the crowd straightened.

Whispers echoed through the notepads.

Screenshots of mana floated around the room, their flashes popping.

Dolores began her speech in a steady voice.

“First, when our Lord and Teacher, Rune, says ‘repent,’ he means that the entire life of the faithful must be repented! Second, these words cannot be understood as sacramental penance to Rune, that is, confession and absolution performed by the priest in his office. …… Fifth, the Pope has neither the power nor the will to pardon any punishment other than that imposed by his office or by the authority of canon law. The Pope has no power to pardon any sin except by declaring or acknowledging that it has been pardoned by Rune. …… Twenty-seventh: ‘It is only a human theory that the soul is released from purgatory as soon as the money thrown into the almanac makes a clinking sound.’ …… Forty-fifth: The Runic religion must be taught that anyone who sees a poor person and passes him by, offering money for indulgences, is not buying a pardon from the Pope, but rather the wrath of Rune! Forty-sixth: Teach the Runes that those who do not have the luxury of abundant wealth are obligated to save what they need for their families and should never squander it on indulgences! ……Fifty-first: Teach the Runes that to the many people who have been robbed of their money by certain indulgence preachers, the Pope must pay them back, even if it means selling all the churches of the Order! …… Ninety-ninth, to suppress the objections enumerated by the common man, without addressing them with sound reason, but merely by force, is to make the Pope a mockery, and the Runes unhappy! …… Ninety-fifth, to make the Runes have more confidence in entering the kingdom of heaven through many sufferings than by comfort!”

She read the rebuttal, which was as many as 95 articles, fluidly and without stuttering a single word.

Her determination was such that even her opponents, the Old Order priests, were moved to silence for a moment.

At the same time, Dolores felt her legs relax.

She was thankful that the flowing white skirt of her priestly robes hid the tremor.

Mozgus, who was beside her, supported her.

“That was an excellent rebuttal, Sister. You’re absolutely right! This Mozgus is deeply moved.”

“……I’m out of my mind.”

Dolores thought of what had happened last night, or rather, this morning.

After the Night Hound’s departure, the energy that had made her body so hard and strong had vanished like a lie.

She spoke cheerfully, recalling her overflowing strength, but in truth it was only a psychological factor; the strength itself had long since disappeared.

‘The Pope once said. A saint can only be awakened when she finds a true soul mate.’

The resonance of the soul, the assimilation of emotions, the resulting explosion of divine power.

In other words, this means that you gain the ability to multiply your power.

How do we make this ‘awakening’ more than a temporary thing, but a permanent one?

Now that the Night Hound is gone, there’s no one to ask and no one to test.

‘The older classical saints often spoke of awakening in the past, and I wish I had listened to them a little more, instead of dismissing them as empty words.’

Dolores still hadn’t figured out why the Night Hound could be her resonance, her ‘awakening condition’.

There is no way for her to know that this is because Vikir is the only veteran who came from the Age of Destruction and knows the true ‘Destruction’.


The man chosen by Rune.

At this point, only he is worthy of being her ‘soul mate’.

Dolores raised her head once more at this.

Then he spoke in a low voice.

“‘The Night Hound’. I must see him again.”

At that moment.

… poof! … poof! … poof!

The sound of a mana screenshot exploding behind her.

Dolores spun around in surprise to find a crowd of reporters who had somehow gotten this close.

The reporters rushed forward and spoke in unison.

“The Holy Lady has declared a ‘holy war’ against the Night Hound!”