Chapter 178 Demon Hunting
In the bushes, a single child had been lying collapsed.
Since the child was lying face-down, his appearance was not visible but the hair colour was light brown and skin was white. From the arms, wings of the same colour as the hair were extending and from the back and below, bird legs with the same coloured plumage were present.
That is, it wasn’t a human child but a Harpy child.
And on its back, 2 arrows were stabbed and maybe one of the arrows had hit the wings, feathers had been scattered all over the place as well.
“Wow~ as expected of the famous and brave Earl Bergunt! Brilliantly done!~”
“Hahaha this was nothing compared to firing a bow on the battlefield, Bishop-dono.”
The two human men on horseback were chatting happily in front of the corpse of the harpy child.
On was a slim clergyman on a white horse and his pace looks exactly like those sly-foxes that appeared in fairy tales.
The white clothing with a design covering his whole body was, as said, for the personal use of only Bishop ranked people.
The other person was a tall and lean young man riding a grey horse.
His hair and eyes were dark green, the same colour that represented the primary magic of wind and his well-trained lean body was covered from tip to toe in silver ornamented light armour.
By their attire, it could be easily told that both of them were men of high standing and status.
“Thank you very much, Bishop-dono, for inviting me today to this event. I haven’t had the chance to draw my bow even once after coming to Pandora so I was worried that my skills would start rusting away like this.”
The man who laughed in a loud voice, Earl Bergunt, led one section of those reinforcements who came to Pandora seeking land and riches after the battle at Goldran.
Among the reinforcements, most of them belonged to the army dispatched by Cardinal Mercedes but as his title suggests, this Earl Bergunt was a noble of Syncrea Republic and belonged to a power different from the church.
“No no, you’re far too kind. In fact, I’m the one honoured as someone great as you decided to take part in this. It really put up a flower on this [Demon Hunting]—–“
The man delivering the smooth words of compliment and flattery was the right hand man of Cardinal Mercedes sent to Pandora, Bishop Gregorius.
Though they belonged to the same Crusaders, both of them were rivals who were fighting to gain rights over Pandora but the reason they are chatting so pleasantly like this is not because that they were old friends or something like that. They simply had a much better reason for this.
“Now then, this Harpy was the last one remaining. Time really flies when you’re enjoying, but it’s time for closure.”
“Yes, it’s truly unfortunate……..ah, but, whether coincidence or the will of our God, I was able to get closer to Earl Bergunt like this so, would you mind joining me for a friendly chat?”
Bergunt fleetingly glanced around his surroundings.
No matter how much paid attention, there was no presence of any other human, meaning, only the two of them were here right now.
Well it was only obvious. They were running on horses to chase after Harpy children who could fly away for some time.
Their play style was more of cornering them slowly instead of instantly killing them but it’ll take some time for either of their attendants to reach here.
That means, for the time being there was no one who could hear their conversation.
“Oh, I’ll be happy to! For me to get to personally hear directly from Bishop-dono.”
“No no, it’s not something like a noble sermon. I specialise in more realistic, profitable talks.”
Hou, giving a small response, he urged Gregorius to continue.
“For example Earl Bergunt, you have been worried that you didn’t get a chance to use your bow till now, am I correct?”
“Truly said, we were a step late in coming to Pandora after all.”
Because of your damn Mercedes faction! But he didn’t go so far and say that.
After hearing the victory of the Crusaders at Goldran, both the church under Mercedes and the forces under Bergunt prepared to leave for Pandora almost at the same time.
But what led to the gap between them was how quickly they could obtain a ship to get to Pandora.
Mercedes was able to gain control over the ships meant for army use faster than anyone else and was able to get his own army to Pandora faster than anyone else.
And by the time the army led by Gregorius had landed on Pandora, finally then Bergunt and others’ turn came.
But, since they had been already late, by the time they reached Pandora, the territory of Daedalus was almost captured completely.
Thus, without any place to go, their armies were currently staying on standby with nothing to do.
“nfufu, what are you saying, almost 90% of Pandora is still under the control of demons, you know? The true occupation and invasion will start from here onwards. That was what you were thinking as well, which is why you are quickly preparing to charge into Spada, right?”
Bergunt who had been giving off a calm atmosphere till now suddenly gave off a dangerous atmosphere now.
It was intimidating pressure only someone who had gone through countless battlefields could have gained.
“As expected of the [Prophet], that title isn’t just for show.”
Why was something that they had been secretly doing to avoid getting noticed by the Mercedes faction so easily found out?
One would be satisfied considering that Gregorius himself proclaimed himself as a [Prophet] without any embarrassment.
If he could actually do something like [Predictions], no matter how much secretive you are, he could guess things right without any proof or basis.
Then, if it really is something that troublesome——–Bergunt could only think that way.
“Don’t make a scary face like that. Though we are affiliated to different organisations, we are currently working under the same name of the Crusaders. Also, even if not that, aren’t we the followers of the same White God?”
Spreading his arms, Gregorius preached of brotherhood but Bergunt’s suspicions didn’t disappear at all.
“Well, with the intention of give and take, we are thinking of handing over the chance of being the vanguard to attack Spada to you.”
Hearing those words, Bergunt’s vigilance slightly loosened.
“Is that what His Highness Cardinal Mercedes thinking or is that your personal decision, Bishop-dono?”
“Both, actually. We of the church are not thinking of doing something as greedy as putting direct control of the church over all of the territory of Pandora and leave nothing for the nobles. There are people who follow and worship the church which is why it exists. We do not want to create suspicion among the nobles who consist of a large population simply because of a petty thing like disputes over lands.”
Even while knowing the fierce fight over land happening behind the scenes, Bergunt felt like giving a wry smile to Gregorius who labelled it as a ‘petty thing’.
“Both His Excellency Cardinal and me are thinking of sharing the limited lands between us on good terms. We, of the church, obtained Daedalus this time. Then, you people should get the next land of the same approx size next, right?”
“fuhahaha! The church is fine with giving away half of Pandora? What a modest way of thinking as expected of clergymen who serve God!”
Of course! Gregorius replied laughing as he didn’t sense the sarcasm in Bergunt’s words.
“But still, His Excellency Cardinal Mercedes possesses generous thoughts like sharing the lands but what about Cardinal Ars? We don’t know how he thinks. After all, he’s still young and he was the one who first led the invasion of Pandora after all. It won’t be weird of him to hold other aspirations as well, right?”
Bergunt had also heard normally about what kind of person Cardinal Ars is, of course, ‘normally’ meant in terms of a noble so the information was much better.
It didn’t end with just his magnificent record of how he released the lands from the heretics with the help of 7th Apostle Sariel and 12th Apostle Mariabelle, he also knew specific info about his skills and abilities and how he reached the position of a Cardinal so quickly as well.
“The lands of Pandora are simply obtained in the process of spreading and offering to our God, that is, Cardinal Mercedes doesn’t mind even if those lands were further halved as well.”
Bergunt finally seems to be satisfied so once again he turned back to his gentle but yet somewhat daring smile.
“fumu, fumu, I see, if the church is ready to share the lands with us for such modest thoughts, it seems Cardinal Mercedes, who possesses benevolence truly equal to God, would be more suited as the next Pope surely.”
In the Cross Religion, the right to vote in deciding the next Pope in the [Conclave] didn’t belong to just clergymen but to also the members of the parliament and the nobles as well.
For a cardinal with the rights to become a Pope obtaining favour of the nobles held what kind of meaning, even a slightly educated man could discern.
“And, above all, it’s important to become the biggest contributor to offering Pandora to the God as the oracle proclaimed. To obtain God’s trust holds much more significance than getting simply riches and land after all.”
“HaHaHa, it is as you say! Brilliant! To be able to say that without hesitation, I think I have seen a true clergyman in front of me.”
It’s great you understand. Gregorius coolly answered.
“For the time being, we shall give you the currently in construction, Alsace fort, for the purpose of capturing Spada.”
“Alsace……fuhaha, it’s that interesting village where that ‘devil’ appeared eh?”
The battle and capture of Alsace had become famous enough that even Bergunt who was in Daedalus had heard of it.
After all, it had generated a huge amount of sacrifices which could be considered a stain in the records. It was obvious that it’ll become famous, after all, bad information flies even faster.
“I believe you already know but Spada is beyond the rugged Gallahad mountain ranges and the only highway connecting to it is from Alsace.”
“I had heard that for mere demons, they had maintained it quite well as well.”
“Yes, it’s a fact. We can’t doubt an Apostle’s words, can we?”
And, though not as big of a rumour but Bergunt had heard that it was 11th Apostle Misa, who had secretly come to Pandora, that had ended the battle.
“The problem is whether or not we can capture the Spada’s fortress in the Gallahad Mountains.”
“Though mere demons, there was also the case at Alsace, please do not be negligent against them, okay?”
“What, now that we are in a ‘cooperative relationship’, we can prepare without any anxiety and will focus on the enemy in front of us.”
Bergunt who answered that had a sharp light in his eyes like a bird who had found its prey.
“nfufufu, I’ll be counting on you then. Oh right, it’ll take some time till the completion of Alsace fort. After all, we are working towards accepting newcomers in Daedalus as well so it’s taking some time.”
“I don’t mind. In fact we won’t mind taking over a temporary random place till then. Kukuku, leave everything to us. The glorious flag of our Cross will soon be seen at the royal castle of Spada!”