Chapter 213: The Burial Prison Beulah
In the southeastern area of the Gharast Kingdom, there was a prison whose given name meant burial. It was officially called Beulah, the Burial Prison.
Literally, what was in there was not something “alive”, but something that resembled a “corpse”. People said that this infamous place was like a tomb. If you go inside, you would eventually become bones and ashes.
This place was not meant to be a prison for criminals, but rather, a prison for war captives. It was said that the former King, who was called the “King of Architecture”, established this place as a relay fort between the frontlines.
It was rebuilt into its current form after the King’s passing, saying that the water moat that covered the surrounding area was suitable for building a prison.
This prison was built with watchtowers in order to never let the prisoners escape the place. Surprisingly, it was not the leaders of the bandits or the powerful people of the back road that were captured in such a place. Rather, there were many people in there who had not killed one person. Criminals, like murderers and thieves, were subjected to unspeakable physical labor.
Actually, that prison had a different form of physical punishment. It was the act of rupturing the fingers and tearing the limbs apart. In other words, it was pure torture to get out information. Those who were captured in the prison were those who were called ideological criminals or heretics.
These people were rebels who wished to overthrow the country, fools who believed in paganism as something supreme, sorcerers who misled people. There were endless examples, but the troublesome part of all this was that even if you crushed them, someone would immediately inherit those ideals. Inheritance was carried out as if ideology was a property.
Therefore, the government officials said that a mechanism was necessary to cut these rotten roots. Wisdom said there would be no peace in the nation unless all of them were eradicated. Therefore, torture was necessary to hear the names of their companions from their own mouths in order to “pull the rotten potatoes out of the ground”.
Beulah, the Burial Prison. This was the reason why it existed in the first place. All for the sake of stopping the momentum of ideological criminals and heretics, yes, all in order to never step on the outside land ever again.
Even today, people burned their throat in the Beulah prison and spit blood instead of their own voices. That was the everyday tea down there.
In that prison, of course, there were people who worked, like for example, the prison guards. While eating poor quality food in the dining room, one of the guards leaked words with a terribly frustrating tone. The cold stone walls reflected a dull sound.
「…You’re fucking kidding me. What the hell is that woman? 」
It was a rough and crude tone that he couldn’t hide.
There were two kinds of guards who gathered in this prison Beulah. One was national believers who had a deep loyalty to the nation. These guards wanted to break the heads of the wicked humans in order to avenge the nation themselves. It was a feeling close to fanaticism.
And the other one, was the rough guys who were just bragging about their skills while wearing jailer uniforms. Although they were good prison guards, they were forced into this prison because of their violent and insincere attitudes. After all, they were a nuisance to the organizational work of the other prisons.
It seemed the man who spread discontent from his mouth belonged to the latter.
Around the man gathered a group of similar guards who listened to the story. In a place like this, where there was little entertainment, the only fun thing was to hold a woman, or to be dissatisfied or unhappy with others. It was like a leech that stuck to a wound.
The man comfortably accepted the gaze from his surroundings and exhaled his own anger.
「Yes, that 2066. Why is that woman being given such freedom? 」
The man shared his discontentment. Some of the guards around him agreed with his thoughts, and those who didn’t understand asked what he meant.
According to him, the prisoner called by the number 2066 was strangely treated with kindness in the prison Beulah. A private room, which resembled a guest room, was prepared, and she was put under house arrest instead of confinement. She was even allowed to go out to some extent on the premises. Moreover, when he saw it, he couldn’t even say anything to the chief guard. All he had to do was keep his mouth closed. It was said that she even had a person who seemed to be an escort close to her.
The man questioned how that freedom could be given to the prisoner. The humans imprisoned here were profane people who had shaken the nation and hurt His Majesty the King. He said that such people should not even be allowed the freedom to breathe.
The guards around him were beginning to understand why this man was suddenly frustrated.
In short, this man probably tried to reach out to the body of the prisoner. That wrath didn’t come true, so he was complaining and spilling a silly bitterness in the dining room.
However, the guards did not understand why this irregularity was happening. At any rate, in the Burial Prison Beulah, the prisoners were close to tools that the guards could freely use.
Of course, there were some rules. If a guard killed a prisoner, he would be punished. Still, no one of them had ever heard of being blamed by touching a prisoner’s body. In particular, they could treat the Heraldic believers, who were often imprisoned, as tools of pleasure.
It was easy to imagine that if a prisoner, who was untouchable, appeared in spite of such situation. The annoyance would swell in the mind of the guards who wanted that pleasure.
Moreover, the rumored 2066 had a strangely sharp, yet attractive appearance that would be almost impossible not to touch. Only then could one understand the indignation of that man.
“Why don’t you sneak into the room with multiple people tonight?” Someone said after the man let out his frustration in the air.
「Don’t you guys know? Actually, if you get your hands on that woman, you’ll be the prisoners instead.」
Everyone listened to someone else’s voice while their eyes moved incessantly. Everyone turned their eyes to the guard who spoke instead. The jailer hiding his voice distorted his lips quite bitterly.
“…That woman is the foster parent of the great sinner Lugis and Saint Ariene.”
The prisoner number 2066. That was the name of the orphanage’s caretaker Ninz in Prison Beulah.
Apart from that, she never thought the name was that bad. Rather, she had been called by many names, so having a number wasn’t as bad as it seemed to be.
Rather, what seemed creepy was her treatment.
When Ninz sat down on the bed at the room, she felt unbelievably softness. Such softness wasn’t given to people that were prisoners. The private room itself was not too small and was much larger than the rooms at poor inns. Besides, the doors were unlocked. It wouldn’t be easy to get out of the premises, but it would be possible to walk around with little freedom.
It was an incredible treat for the Beulah prison, which was called a burial prison. It was as if Ninz was an aristocratic prisoner herself by getting such treatment.
Ninz had a faint understanding of what this was all about. Still, creepy things were creepy.
Ariene, who once grew up in the orphanage and sent to the Cathedral.
Ninz thought she was being treated like this because Ariene was on the path of being the Saint of the Great Holy Church. If Ninz was executed as a heretic, and the Saint later blamed the person or people who killed her, the person or people in charge would have been excommunicated. It meant that those belonging to the Great Holy Church were more afraid of her than anything else. They certainly didn’t want to spoil God’s salvation. That was why they gave Ninz such treatment.
On the other hand, Ninz wrapped her purple hair lightly with her fingertips, wondering if her imprisonment in prison Beulah was due to the existence of the other child she had raised in the orphanage.
“…Lugis, that little boy. After growing up in the dark, he…”
…Became the great sinner, then the lord of vice, and finally gold. Those names floated in Ninz’s eyelids. She thought that those names were unlikely to be given to a poor child. However, the chief guard politely told Ninz that those titles were unmistakable facts.
She was the foster parent of the great sinner Lugis. That was why Ninz was imprisoned in the Burial Prison Beulah.
Ninz moistened her lips, even though she hadn’t yet revealed that she was a Heraldic person. Allegations may have been raised, but nonetheless, none of these people were sure.
If it became clear, even if Ninz was the foster parent of the Saint, the treatment up to this point would no longer be obtained. Torture would befall on her, or maybe even food poisoning.
The reason why freedom was given while in prison was because the higher-ups had only suspicions. It was because the Saint of the Great Holy Church and the great sinner, her two children, were shaking the balance.
Yes, it was a fragile balance that was likely to collapse easily if something burst. The balance created a distorted situation in which she was in prison but received proper hospitality.
“…It’s not worse than I expected, but it’s still hard to say that it’s good.”
Ninz stiffened her lips, sighing unknowingly about the situation surrounding her. She had no choice but to get caught. Rather, she didn’t regret that she was caught while saving others. Given the situation, she wasn’t better off disappearing in the dark.
However, much was still lost.
After all, if the Heraldic scholars lurking in the Gharast Kingdom lost their lives, it would not be easy to pass information to Saint Matia and Ann. Even a small amount of support would not be possible. In fact, the so called Heraldic Hunting had become a whirlwind around Gharast Kingdom and was gaining momentum.
Ninz wrinkled her eyebrows for a moment, but she quickly reshaped her expression.
As expected, she couldn’t take too much action in this prison. It wouldn’t be easy to write a letter. Ninz had heard that the Heraldic religion fielded an army, but no information was available after that. Ninz couldn’t do anything and she didn’t understand the full facts. Cold impatience licked Ninz’s chest.
“What should I do?”
Some thoughts came to her mind and disappeared each time. All of these thoughts were ideas that were unlikely to be realized so easily. With Ann, the situation would have been a little different.
While keeping an idea in mind, Ninz’s cheeks suddenly collapsed. Laughter leaked from her lips, as if she had imagined something strange and unbearable to restrain.
It was a silly idea. That’s right; it was a joke such as putting expectations on the boy who had been scolded by Ariene all the time for being reckless.
“…But I don’t mind. I can’t move anymore. Then at best, all I can do is put a little expectation on the boy who is now a hero.”
Behind Ninz’s gaze, the figure of the child who was once picked up on the back road was clearly visible in her eyes.
Interesting chap 😉
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Interesting character development… I’m curious about what will be her part in the story from now on.
Thanks a lot for the chapter.