Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「The Pope’s Power」
Before long, the sky above Soulia began to darken and eventually transitioned into the night of the seventh and last day of the siege.
I was standing atop a building that was taller than those around it, taking in the view.
Gently tapping the 『Holy Thunder Sword』 against my shoulder, I sighed.
Beneath me, I could see several divisions of soldiers searching the cityscape.
Thanks to my widespread use of 【Dimensional Step】 I was able to preemptively deal with the spider-chimeras, keeping the causalities among the soldiers minimal.
Taking the high ground allowed me to easily spot the large bodies of the spider-chimeras.
Also, since Palermo had been the control tower for these guys, it was easy to dispatch them after he was gone.
I think I’ve slain a majority of the spider-chimeras, but it might be a couple of days before the inner wall’s gates could be opened.
Soulia was a rather large area, with thousands of buildings covering the ground within the outer walls. The guards and soldiers didn’t have enough manpower to search all of them and destroy the undead.
It was unlikely that the cleanup process would be completed quickly, even if the citizen were allowed to take part in a human wave tactic.
I heard Ponta’s miserable cry atop my helmet while I had been scanning the streets below and watching over the soldiers.
It was almost dinner time.
With that thought, I decided to put today’s search efforts on hold.
“You wanna go and see what Ariane-dono and Chiome-dono are doing?”
Ponta’s tail became lively when I told her that we were going back.
Bonfires had been lit along the city’s inner wall, so I used those as a landmark to make my way back with 【Dimensional Step】.
Once I was close enough, I dropped to the streets below and walked the rest of the way to the gate.
The soldiers on guards froze when I walked up and greeted them.
Was that a good or a bad reaction?
I passed them by and entered the small door next to the gate, two people were waiting for me once I made it past the wall.
“You’re a little late, aren’t you?”
“Good evening, Arc-dono.”
Ariane and Chiome.
“Well, the city was larger than I expected, it might take several days to finish the job. How did things go on your end, Ariane-dono? Did you find anything in the church?”
After joining up with them and explaining how the search for the undead was going, the two shared a look and shrugged their shoulders when I asked them how things were going.
“We didn’t find any other undead amongst those involved with the church. It’s just……”
Ariane’s somewhat tired voice trailed off before Chiome spoke up and continued where she left off.
“……It’s just that some of the church’s members can’t be found. Either they’d been killed during the siege or went into hiding after Palermo’s death…… the details are unclear.”
While a few church officials had vanished, only one of them had probably been an intelligent undead.
“Our actions here, as well as in Tajiento, have probably been leaked to the Hiruku Theocracy by now……”
The two of them nodded in agreement with my conclusion.
Palermo had a description of the person who killed Charos on the Southern Continent.
By now, we were under the careful watch of the Theocracy’s eyes or they were already planni
ng a way to remove the obstacles in their way.
Although it was by my own doing, I became a famous person without even knowing it.
A crease appeared between Ariane’s eyebrows, which she started massaging with her index finger.
“The Pope of the Hiruku religion…… What exactly is his objective? Normally, a small group like us shouldn’t have caught his atten……”
Ariane let out a sigh when her golden eyes fell upon me.
I shrugged my shoulders and chuckled as I watched Ariane’s response.
“That would normally…… be the case.”
The three of us were in possession of extraordinary strength…… we would need to be dealt with eventually.
…… Okay, three plus one.
While stroking the fur under Ponta’s chin…… I vaguely thought of a few situations that three people couldn’t handle alone.
Although the three of us could deal with the problems at hand, we were extremely short-handed.
As I thought about such things, I looked down at Chiome. She’d been quiet for a while and judging by her expression her mind was far away right now.
“Something wrong, Chiome-dono?”
Her cat ears immediately reacted to my question and she returned to her usual blank expression as she looked up at me.
“No… Its nothing, really……”
Ariane quietly gazed into Chiome’s blue eyes after she gave an evasive response.
Their eyes were intertwined with one another, and eventually, Chiome spoke up again.
“Were my captured brethren among the undead soldiers I’ve slain?”
Ariane and I shared a look when she said that.
The majority of the undead soldiers appeared to have been skeletal in appearance, like me. It was possible that they’d been entirely composed of human bones…… which had probably been collected from corpses.
Although humans were the most numerous race, I couldn’t say that elf and beastman corpses wouldn’t be used if there were an abundant number of them available.
The Hiruku doctrine demanded the removal of elves and beastmen from human countries.
What became of the removed people…… didn’t need to be said.
“I don’t mean to say anything offensive, but if someone is turned to an undead, it might be for the best to put them to rest, rather than let them endlessly wander the world.”
Chiome’s eyes moved down to her hands after she listened to what I said.
She was probably thinking of her brother Sasuke.
He had been turned into a tool of the Hiruku Theocracy, and she had been forced to cut him down herself…… so the Hiruku religion might be her archenemy.
Ariane placed a worried hand on Chiome’s shoulder, but while her ears twitched, Chiome said nothing as she looked up at Ariane.
Ponta’s ears also moved in sync with Chiome’s ears.
There was a moment of silence, but then someone chuckled and the tense atmosphere was lifted.
It came from Zahar, one of Lille’s royal guards.
“What are you doing here? We have yet to truly show our gratitude for your help today. Although it’s rather modest, the royal cooks have prepared a meal for all of you. In accordance with Ariane-dono’s request, your meals had been taken to her room.”
Ponta began puffing her chest in anticipation when she heard what Zahar said.
Ariane had a bit of a smug face when I turned towards her.
In order to have dinner with other people, I would need to drink the spring water to rid myself of my skeletal appearance, but that ran the risk of wearing off halfway through the meal.
I would have to decline the invitation in that case, but now I could thoroughly enjoy the meal made by professional royal chefs.
It felt as if I could hear the phantom growls from my absent stomach when I imagined a good meal after a long day’s work.
“I’ll arrange for someone to come fetch me once your meal is done. Since the king has agreed to your first demand, permission to browse the treasury has been granted. Pardon my question, but are you really satisfied with merely having a look?”
Zahar couldn’t seem to comprehend our ´choice, but Chiome vigorously nodded her head, and Ariane spoke on behalf of her friend.
“Thank you, but merely looking is not a problem. We’re just searching for clues……”
Zahar simply said “Is that so?” and nodded at her brief statement.
He probably thought that there was no need to get involved any further, and called out to the soldier who had been standing behind him.
“This guy will show you to your room.”
After finishing his business here, Zahar marched off as the soldier rigidly saluted him.
He must have a lot of things to do, considering his position.
We followed behind the mechanically moving doll that was our guild to our room and my mind wandered back to a certain topic.
Just who in the world was the Pope of the Hiruku religion?
Based on what I’ve seen, he appeared to be a necromancer.
Was it ironic that the pope was a necromancer, or was it a witty setting that had been chosen intentionally? In any case, a skeletal Heavenly Knight like myself shouldn’t be calling the kettle black.
Moreover, if the Pope was like the necromancers in the game, they wouldn’t be much of a direct fighter. Instead, they used their magic to create undead who fought in their stead. If someone used it correctly, it would be a power that could conquer the world.
It would be great if the undead that attacked the capital had been the entirety of his army, but that was unlikely, considering what happened in Tajiento.
……there were so many unreasonable existences in this world.
With that thought in my heart, I sighed.