Duke Daughter 65: The Last Piece
Editor’s Note: FYI Priest Christopher is also Priest Ralph, in case this confuses you.
I produced a book browned and worn with age.
“—No… That is…!!!!” (Pope)
Most people were unaware of the significance of the book I just took out and began to ask about what it was that I was holding… All but two people, of course.
They were Priest Christopher and the Pope, since it is expected that they’re familiar with this document.
“All the priests of the Church know what this book is; it is a book that contains the names and signatures of all of the servants of the Lord.” (Iris)
Even if it is the Church, they are still an organization. Priests do not live on holiness alone and need money to support themselves and their families. As such, their transactions must be recorded. This book is a book of accounts and contains the names of all who serve the Church.
All of the priests’ names are recorded here, including the one I corresponded with regarding the chapel I demolished.
“This book also contains the names of those who signed the contract, those who I made inquiries to, and those who I questioned regarding the matter of the chapel. I was surprised to find them in this book and to discover that they were such high-ranking members of the Church.” (Iris)
“…. Why?! You… Are… You…!” (Pope)
The Pope stared wide-eyed at the book, and his eyes seemed as though they would explode from their sockets.
This was my decisive piece of evidence. No matter what other evidence I could bring or even if I could convince the entire nobility to side with me, this was the most crucial. The Pope and Lady Ellia would not admit defeat if the evidence were not this conclusive.
Thus, this evidence will silence them all.
“I have no idea how you obtained that, but, as Her Majesty indicated earlier, this may have been falsified unless you can show something that proves it to be a genuine article of the Church. If not, then continuing this discussion is pointless.” (Priest Ralph Christopher)
Priest Ralph Christopher said this even though he was the one who provided me with this book. It seems he feels this will be my victory. Lady Ellia took the bait Priest Ralph Christopher set out almost immediately.
“Priest Ralph’s words are right. We must determine whether this document is real.” (Ellia)
“If it needs to be proven as genuine, then may I ask Priest Ralph to determine its legitimacy?” (Iris)
As I said that, I approached Priest Ralph with measured steps. No one attempted to stop me as I handed the document over to Priest Ralph.
He quickly leafed through the pages and looked intensely at the last page.
“… This is…” (Priest Ralph or Christopher)
Then, as if surprised, he returned the book… I must say that this person is an excellent actor. I wonder why he became a priest instead of a politician…
“Yes… This is without a doubt a document of the Church.” (Ralph)
He muttered and trembled as he spoke. His voice carried throughout the room and every priest began to gather around him… Really… Even I do not have this level of acting ability.
“Why can you…?!” (Priest A)
“Here. You may verify it as well.” (Ralph)
At his words, he passed the book to another priest. This passing of the book continued for a while until it finally reached the hands of an elderly sister.
“Quickly tell us if this document is real or not.” (Ellia)
Her hands began to quiver and her face contorted in anger. Now SHE is a horrible actor.
“Yes, your Majesty… This book contains on the last page the seal of the Cardinal and the Pope. These are both special seals that cannot be made without special materials known only by the Church in order to prevent forgery of important documents like this one. This document is indeed genuine.” (Elderly Sister)
The Cardinals’ and Pope’s seals. There are five cardinals and one pope that make up the highest-ranking members of the Church.
“It is as she said, Lady Ellia. This document is real. Furthermore, I believe all will be solved after hearing the testimony of these two individuals.” (Iris)
At my last word, the door swung open and two men were led in by Ryle. They were the two priests… or should I say, “former priests”? We used the full extent of the Duke of Armelia’s power and found them by exhausting Tanya and her vast network of connections.