Juno Beelzenia was the Empress of the Beelzenian Empire. Following a serious famine, the empress took control of the Conchita province from Duke Muzuri Conchita due to his poor management. Using the Conchitas to suit her own political agenda for years, Juno ended up becoming close to Muzuri's only daughter, Banica.
Born in the Beelzenian Empire during the third century EC, Juno lived in the imperial palace in Rukolbeni, learning about the imperial family. During her youth, she met Elluka Clockworker and learned about the mage's long history with her family. When a region in the empire began suffering a drought, she saw Elluka sacrifice a ziz tiama in a ritual to summon rain to the province. Over the years, the young Juno witnessed the Mage of Eternity refuse the Emperor's repeated requests she serve the imperial family.
Following the Emperor's death, Juno succeeded him as the new Empress, governing directly over the Beelzenia region and dealing with the empire's constant skirmishes with the neighboring Asmodean empire. In anticipation of the birth of Duke Muzuri Conchita's child in November of EC 296, Empress Juno sent a shield and sword as gifts to the Duke. Following a famine afflicting the Empire in the summer of EC 306, Juno began dealing with the food shortage in Beelzenia. When Muzuri requested her aid to relieve the famine in the Conchita province in September, the busy empress refused.
After the food shortage was resolved, Empress Juno investigated the mass starvation and riots in Muzuri's territory and learned Duke Conchita's heavy taxation was what worsened the famine there, stripping him of his authority and taking over management of the Conchita province for herself; around that time, she also discovered everyone in the Conchita household except for Muzuri, his daughter Banica, and the head chamberlain had died out due to the Gula Disease afflicting them the past decade, pitying the young Banica.
- "It's about time we decide the official date for the wedding ceremony. I think around six months would be good.―Oh, and since we're going to the trouble, let's make it grand."
Later on, Juno began exchanging talks for a political alliance with King Charon of Marlon, offering to marry Banica to Charon's third son, Prince Carlos. After the political marriage was finalized in June of EC 311, the Empress had Banica live with the royal family in Marlon. In February the next year, Empress Juno and several of her ministers visited the Blue Country to reaffirm their nations' alliance and formalize the engagement. Meeting with Charon at Marlon Castle's Right Palace, the two parties discussed the specifics of Beelzenia's assistance in Marlon's war with the Kingdom of Lioness for several hours, including lifting trade restrictions.
That evening, the Empress attended dinner in the castle's dining hall and ate with her ministers, the royal family, and Banica. When Queen Milkicent thanked her for coming to their far-off nation, Juno laughed and insisted their King couldn't leave his country while war raged with Lioness. She then pointed out they also had the matter of Banica's marriage to discuss before drinking her aperitif. After taking a bit of her salad, the delighted sovereign noted it was a good time to decide the marriage date, admitting she figured they set it next August.
She then ranted about making it grand with the help of her senior statesmen like the Five Dukes before pondering if the ill Muzuri would attend his daughter's wedding. She then asked if Carlos agreed with her idea and the third prince hesitantly seconded her plan. King Charon then questioned if they should actually have it in Marlon and Juno insisted, saying the cost of showing off the ceremony to the public would help. She then reminisced about Muzuri's certain delight his daughter would marry into Marlon royalty despite losing their lands.
As she admitted she was looking for a good time to reinstate the Duke, a Marlon soldier interrupted and began making a report to Prince Cult. Overhearing the soldier mention they had imprisoned a mage, the intrigued Empress leaned toward them and questioned the reference. Once she confirmed they captured a male mage serving Lioness' Lord Hedgehog, Juno expressed her disappointment that it wasn't the same mage she knew. When asked, she admitted the imperial family had its own deep ties with a mage.
Prince Cult then explained Lord Hedgehog's position as general of the second army and that his mage could give them an edge in the war. After the second prince dumped a bag of the mage's belonging, Juno saw the peculiar sword and wine glass and suggested they might be magic tools. Once the soldier left with the items in tow, Juno continued ranting as she pleased, occasionally exchanging words with Charon or Cult; unsatisfied with the bland cuisine, she began slowing her rate of eating.
Once she was finished, the Empress put down her fork and knife and thanked them for the meal. When Milkicent pointed out she left half of it on her plate, the embarrassed monarch she didn't have much of an appetite and Charon suggested she was just tired from her journey. As everyone else finished and they watched the servants collect their dishes, the party saw Banica suddenly steal and devour the leftovers like an animal and were frozen in horror. Afterward, the furious King Charon broke off the engagement, fearing Banica was still afflicted with Gula, and the humiliated empress accepted the decision.
Gourmet Noble BanicaEdit
- "Lord Banica has indeed become respectable."
- ―Duke Oruhari[src]
When Banica requested she be allowed to journey abroad in January of EC 316, the worried empress accepted the young aristocrat's whim, trusting it would make her stronger. Two years later, Juno received word of Banica's return and agreed to give the young woman an audience. Meeting her in the imperial palace throne room, Juno saw how much larger she'd gotten and noted how much she'd grown; Banica joked that she was her usual large self. Noticing her new style of clothes, the empress asked if it was hard finding someone to tailor them to her size and the aristocrat explained she was able to find capable tailors anywhere in the country.
Satisfied, Juno inquired about her travels and the girl revealed she'd gone to Elphegort, Asmodean, and Levianta. Wondering how she managed to travel through enemy territory, the royal listened to Banica admit she kept her identity hidden the whole time. When Banica stated she'd then gone to the Marlon Island, the concerned empress asked if she met with the Marlon Royal Family and Banica replied she hadn't. When the girl confirmed she somehow got into Lioness despite the war with Marlon, Juno wondered if she should scold the girl before settling to be glad she came back safe.
Afterward, Juno inquired about what the noble observed abroad and watched her servant Pollo bring up a container. Curious, she casually peeked inside to see a ziz tiama and recounted seeing Elluka use it before to the surprised Banica. The young aristocrat then explained it was cuisine in Levianta and, surprised, Juno confirmed the peculiar-looking octopus was actually tasty before applauding her habitual insight into food. Banica then asked the hungry empress if she wanted to try it, confirming she meant cooked. Surprised, Juno wondered if any cook outside of the faraway Lucifenia bordering Levianta knew the recipe.
Banica then assured her she already learned it before calling for Arte and the wicked-looking maid asked Juno if she could borrow the kitchen. Caught off guard, Juno commanded a guard to show her the route. Once the two left the room, Banica told Juno that Marlons discarded whatever ziz tiama they caught, asking if they could open trade for it. Doubting Marlon would do so, Juno listened to Banica insist they could buy it for a low price given the lack of seafood diversity from the waters around Beelzenia. Juno noted they were already importing rare fish and shellfish and shrimp from Marlon and Banica pointed out they could add the unused ingredients to further develop Beelzenia's food culture.
Unable to properly counter her argument, Juno listened to Banica's appeal to her to adopt the creature into cuisine until Arte returned with the chopped up ziz tiama swimming in a red sea. Arte then explained she made a stew due to the amount of tomatoes in the pantry before Banica took the dish and offered it to Juno, explaining Levianta also grew tomatoes which made "Drowning Ziz Tiama" optimal. After confirming that was the name of the dish, Juno abided the noble's offer to try it and cautiously took her fork and put a piece in her mouth, delighted by the unique taste. Banica shared her certainty Beelzenians would look past its grotesque appearance once they tasted it
The Empress agreed to consider importing the creature, confident Marlon would like the deal. Wanting a wine to complement the dish, she ordered Arte to fetch Yatski Lopera and a guard soon answered her demands. When Banica asked about the Elphegortean red wine, Juno admitted that Beelzenian wines couldn't compare before asking if she drank the wine while in the Green Country. After relating about its delicious taste and texture, Banica had a servant show her a potted seedling while the guard returned and poured the empress a glass of wine. Asking what it was, Juno learned it was a trauben tree used to make Yatski Lopera.
Realizing Banica wanted to grow them domestically for their own wine, the empress confirmed it and questioned if they would grow in such a different climate. Banica replied that they'd adjust fine and the empress pointed out they still lacked ingredients to grow Yatski Lopera. Once the noble stated she actually intended to create a wine superior to Elphegort's product, Juno felt her resolve and mentally noted she hadn't actually been playing around abroad. Fully convinced, the empress agreed to hear everything the noble learned during her travels and provide whatever assistance she required before chugging her wine.
Afterward, Juno had the imperial government subsidize all of Banica's efforts to revitalize Beelzenia's food culture, stimulating the economy and adopting numerous new cuisines into the noble diet. Following Muzuri Conchita's death in August, EC 321, Juno nominated Banica as his successor two months later, returning jurisdiction of the Conchita's territories to the new Duke. Over the years, Juno heard many reports of "Phantom Thief Platonic" stealing from the nobility.
Evil Food Eater ConchitaEdit
In November, EC 323, Juno received Duke Oruhari's invitation to celebrate Banica's miraculous recovery from fatal illness at his mansion and readily accepted, hoping to see the lord again. Attending later that month, the empress ate while awaiting Banica's arrival. Noting she still hadn't appeared, Duke Oruhari revealed her carriage had recently past the nearby checkpoint and assured her it wouldn't be much longer.
As she ate her Drowning Ziz Tiama, the empress expressed her amazement with the massive feast the duke prepared and Oruhari replied that the cook worked extra hard for her. Laughing at the sycophantic lord, Juno teased that he actually made it to meet Banica's high standards and the Duke reluctantly admitted she was right. When the Duke recalled how respectable Banica had become, Juno admitted her hope to find her a good husband to marry. After Oruhari related the obese Duke had a good personality and would find a partner quickly, Juno considered him and confirmed his wife had died.
As she suggested his children should have a new mother, Duke Oruhari interrupted to criticize her habit of rushing to proposing marriages before stating that the age gap between him and Banica was too large and his children were already self-sufficient adults. The Empress immediately pointed out she never actually mentioned Conchita and Oruhari called her vile. When Banica finally arrived, Juno stared in shock at the Duke's beautiful, slender figure along with everyone else. After the main dinner was finished, she watched in disgust as the aristocrat devoured live insects for dessert.
In EC 324, Juno received a report that Phantom Thief Platonic was spotted in the Conchita territory. By November, the Empress began sending messengers to the Conchita Mansion requesting the Duke meet with the her in the capital, receiving no reply each time. When rumors spread of Banica's cannibalism and undead armies guarding the estate, Juno sent another messenger to summon the Duke along with twenty imperial soldiers as an escort.
Over the next four months, Juno learned the unit had disappeared, hearing rumors that they turned traitor or became white monsters patrolling the mansion grounds; she also learned Asmodean seemed to be preparing their armies for fullscale war and worried Banica may have allied with Emperor Burglar during her travels years priors. Fearing the high possibility Banica plotted civil war and that Asmodean would use the opportunity to invade, the Empress told the surrounding provinces to monitor the Conchita province for signs of rebellion but not invade the territory.
Return of the MageEdit
- "Regardless, if you had captured Platonic, you should have handed her over to the fuedal lord right away. Why didn't you?"
"I'm under no obligation to do so."
- ―Juno and Elluka[src]
In July, Juno received a report from Duke d'Autriche that Phantom Thief Platonic had been caught in Lucifenia and that he wished to judge the infamous thief himself. Suspecting the thief may have attempted stealing from Banica almost a year ago and had valuable information, she sent an order for the thief to be escorted to the imperial palace. Around that time, she began noticing the connection between the Conchita incident and previous incidents, expecting the Mage of Eternity to already be involved and visiting her soon.
Three days later, in July, a soldier reported that Elluka Clockworker had arrived with Phantom Thief Platonic and the surprised Empress permitted the Mage of Eternity entrance. Seeing Elluka bring Platonic before her bound but without resistance, the Empress cleared her through before inquiring why the mage was with the thief. Once Elluka confirmed she brought her from Lucifenia, Juno pointed out the earlier report of their amicable cooperation and Elluka explained she had captured the thief when she tried stealing from her and made the girl her maid as punishment.
Surprised the phantom thief targeted someone other than nobility, Juno questioned why the mage didn't bring her to Duke d'Autriche immediately and Elluka retorted she wasn't obligated to. The Empress replied that she was to observe imperial law while within the country and the Mage of Eternity added that she was also a bit worried about the thief's face. When asking if she sensed she was up to no good, Elluka denied it before relating how cute the girl looked.
Realizing it was just the mage's whim, Juno relented and admitted she wasn't planning on charging Platonic for her crimes anyway. When the shocked Platonic exclaimed that she wasn't getting executed, Juno put the matter aside before noting Elluka's unexpected arrival may have been convenient. Turning to Elluka again, she told the mage she had a problem she'd like her to solve, explaining the situation with Duke Banica. The Mage of Eternity agreed to the request and left with her "maid" in tow.
The next month, Elluka returned and reported that she found the alleged corpse soldiers ravaging the territory and discovered that there was no sign of Banica or her servants at her manor. Assuming the lord had fled abroad, Juno closed the mage's investigation into the matter. When Elluka revealed she had also found a baby unattended in the manor, they determined it was Banica's son and the Empress considered adopting the child. Met with opposition from her constituents, Juno settled for the child being raised by one of her servants instead.
After publicly announcing that Duke Banica Conchita had gone missing, Juno took control of the Conchita province and soon after incorporated it as part of Beelzenia, merging Rukolbeni with the town of Gasto as a massive cityscape. Not long after, Asmodean entered full-scale war with Beelzenia as Empress Juno defended against Emperor Burglar's onslaught until her death.
Decades after Juno's death, Beelzenia and Asmodean exhausted themselves from their constant warring, leading to Lucifenia's independence and her Empire's swift decline. Centuries later, theories of Juno's short sleeping were speculated among historians but never verified. While discussing her peculiar "Sleepless" condition, Hanne Lorre recounted the tales of Juno's sleeping habits to Margarita Blankenheim.
Personality and TraitsEdit
- "Oh? I never actually said it was Banica, now did I?"
"... My word, you're a vile woman, your Majesty."
- ―Juno and Duke Oruhari[src]
Juno was a firm yet benevolent woman. She acted rather gracious and courteous with her allies, though quick to resolutely admonish or even punish them for their failings and blunders. Juno herself was rather open-minded overall; she firmly believed in women having equal potential to men in politics and society, certain that Beelzenia's future prosperity would require gender equality. Despite her good nature, she did have a more playful side to her, often teasing others and involving herself in any situation that caught her fancy.
However, Juno still upheld herself to the responsibilities of her position and took governing the Empire very seriously. While not opposed to pardoning criminals to suit her needs, she had high expectations of those of respectable positions to observe the law and act in the interests of Beelzenia. She was not without sympathy, however, as she did recognize the tragic circumstance behind Duke Muzuri's fall from grace and often looked for a good opportunity to restore his authority.
Juno especially pitied Muzuri's daughter, Banica. In spite of rarely meeting the woman face-to-face, the Empress grew attached to the girl and treated her like a surrogate daughter in many ways. Always hoping to provide the girl lasting happiness, Juno constantly searched for a suitable husband for the aristocrat and was always concerned for her well-being. Having been impressed by Banica's talents and new ideas, Juno greatly trusted in her efforts to expand Beelzenia's food culture. At the same time, Juno feared the implications of Conchita's later apostasy, though still willing to adopt her child.
She also respected Elluka Clockworker, although finding the mage's capricious personality somewhat frustrating.Still, her fascination with the mage lent to enjoying bragging about their association in good company. While not a true socialite, she made it a point to attend gatherings she had strong personal or political investment in, and absolutely loved sharing her ideas to the point of ranting if left uninterrupted. She also had a love for food, usually eating large portions when liking the food, willing to even import faraway foods that surpassed the local brands in taste. After being introduced to the Drowning Ziz Tiama dish, Juno made it a staple of her diet thereafter.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
As Empress of the Beelzenian Empire, Juno held absolute authority over the dominion and directly controlled the Beelzenia region from the imperial capital. After the disappearance of Banica Conchita, the Conchita province was permanently added to the territories she managed. Demonstrating a great deal of political tact, Juno was extremely cautious but resolute in her policies, focusing on stabilizing her massive empire over ambitious territorial expansion.
Like most in the imperial family, Juno was quite overweight and lacked much physical prowess. Despite this, she displayed an impressive vitality, known to sleep for only four hours each day. Likewise, the Empress had developed rather refined tastes as a gourmet, though not as well known for her palette as Duke Muzuri. On top of which, the woman possessed speech and etiquette befitting her status.
Conceptualization and OriginEdit
- Juno's name is possibly derived from the month of June is, the sixth month in the Gregorian calendar.
- Her name may also be taken from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and protection of the state and childbirth.
- Her surname, Beelzenia, is a reference to Beelzebub, the patron demon of Gluttony.
- Deadly Sins of Evil: Evil Food Eater Conchita (first appearance)
- Deadly Sins of Evil: Gift from the Princess who Brought Sleep (mentioned only)
- Waltz of Evil: The Deadly Sins of Evil Guidebook (mentioned only)