“Saint? I am not a Saint, Bishop-nim.”
Grab. The bishop suddenly grasped one of Cale’s hands.
‘How the hell does an old man have such a strong grip?!’
Cale was shocked at the strong grasp that felt as if the bishop was holding onto a golden rope. However, the bishop simply smiled with sincerity and warmth. He also had a look that was full of a sense of duty.
– Human! The bishop’s gaze is weird!
‘I know, right?’
Cale could see through the fake sincere look of duty because of the bishop’s burning gaze.
‘I guess he wants to become the Pope.’
On the other hand, the bishop was observing Cale’s expression.
‘…There was no reaction at all even when I called him Saint. This calmness… It is surprising.’
Bishop Tolis, the person in charge of the Church of the God of Death in the Roan Kingdom, used magic to fly over from Puzzle City immediately after a knight told him that Cale left for the capital with the crown prince.
“It has been a very long time since our god personally bestowed a divine item with a Divine Oracle to the Church of the God of Death. Furthermore, this is the first time in the history of the church that our lord directed a divine item to an individual.”
His voice was warm unlike his burning gaze.
“This is no insignificant matter.”
The Church of the God of Death did not have a Saint or a Holy Maiden.
“Commander-nim, our lord has chosen you.”
The bishop was hoping for something to be true.
He wanted this Commander to not be a very good hero yet.
It would also be fine if this Commander had a strong desire for fame and glory.
If neither of those, maybe at least the desire to gain even more power.
However, the Commander in front of him was truly like the man who had achieved such much merit in just two years.
He needed to cast aside any half-baked hopes.
The bishop approved of Cale after hearing what he had to say next.
“Bishop-nim. Terrible things have happened in multiple locations throughout the capital and many people have been hurt.”
He understood why the God of Death would choose this person.
The bishop immediately responded to him.
“Why do you think I brought so many priests here, Commander-nim? They are not my guards.”
The knight next to them chimed in.
“They are healing priests, Commander-nim.”
“We have already sent some to the Royal Palace as well. We are slightly lacking in manpower because we left most of the high-grade priests at Puzzle City, but there will be priests coming from the nearby temples to make up for their absence.”
Cale realized something after hearing the bishop’s comment.
‘He is someone who knows what he needs to do as bishop.’
The bishop who came to look for Cale as he understood the value of the divine item that appeared in the Roan Kingdom…
Although this guy was greedy for the position of Pope, he was someone who knew what he needed to do as Bishop and as the person in charge of the kingdom’s church.
‘This changes things.’
The bishop continued to speak as Cale scoped him out.
“I simply came today to inform you that such a thing has happened. I will be on my way now as I am sure that you are busy, Commander-nim.”
‘Wow. He knows when to back down as well.’
Something that would put fear in the hearts of the citizens of the kingdom had just happened in the capital. But the Church of the God of Death is causing a scene about a holy item?
It was not a wise choice in front of the citizens who are worried for their lives.
The bishop was clearly aware of this.
‘He’s smarter than I thought.’
Cale had neither a good nor bad impression of the Church of the God of Death since they had excommunicated priestess Cage, but, if he had to choose one direction, he would say that he had a bad impression of them.
Cale thought that he could communicate with this bishop who knew when to back down.
“I will go visit the Church of the God of Death in the near future. May we chat at that time?”
“Of course, Commander-nim.”
The knight who brought the bishop over and Choi Han looked at the bishop in shock. It was because the bishop was acting completely differently from the guy who strongly emphasized that he needed to meet Cale when they were down below.
“Then I will be on my way now.”
“Yes, Bishop-nim. I will contact you and visit you soon.”
The bishop retreated without any hesitation. He turned around and started to walk before stopping for a moment to look at Cale.
“Commander-nim. I believe that it would be difficult to sever this relationship between you and the Church of the God of Death from now on. So, please remember this.”
The knight barely held back from gasping.
‘Being involved with the Church. From the Royal Family to the church, now there is nobody in this world who would dare to mess with the Commander-nim.’
Well, it wasn’t as if anybody was going to mess with Cale Henituse and the Duke’s House of Henituse anyway.
The bishop said something else that shocked the knight once more.
“Please remember that our Roan Kingdom’s Church of the God of Death is always behind you, Commander-nim. Please contact us whenever you may need our assistance.”
Cale chuckled internally at the Bishop specifying that it was the Roan Kingdom’s Church of the God of Death and not all Churches of the God of Death and responded somewhat sincerely.
“Thank you very much, Bishop-nim.”
The bishop then smiled as if he was satisfied before quietly walking back. He motioned with his hand toward the knight who tried to follow him to stop him and then approached the around 20 priests who came with him.
“Assist in the restoration of the Ducal Estate.”
All of the priests except two moved past the bishop and walked toward the knight in charge.
One of the two remaining priests cautiously asked.
“How was it, Bishop-nim?”
The other priest also warily looked at the bishop.
The bishop looked toward the main building of the Ducal Estate.
Cale Henituse was looking at his direction through a broken window. The bishop naturally turned his gaze and opened his mouth after his back was facing Cale.
“He is not someone we should make a plea toward. He is someone we should make deals with.”
The bishop thought about the Cale Henituse that he believed he understood.
He was as amazing as the rumors but, in some aspects, different from the rumors.
“It is difficult for a hero to become a Commander. It is not a position you can get by doing well fighting on your own.”
Cale Henituse’s eyes were extremely desolate and indifferent to be called a hero.
Of course, he must have some hidden warmth in them as he was able to achieve numerous merits.
“…He does have a mood that is suited for death.”
He quietly mumbled and gave orders to the two priests.
“Start opening the temple doors all hours of the day and protect the homeless nearby.”
“And that excommunicated priestess. Did they say that she is close to Commander Cale?”
“I am not sure if they are close, but I have heard that she and Marquis Taylor do have some level of relationship with him.”
The bishop closed his eyes and recalled some things.
“Cage-, I remember her.”
There were a good number of priests who had been excommunicated by the church. However, he was able to remember Cage.
“She was a lively one, wasn’t she? However, she was all over the place.”
“Contact that child.”
The priest flinched at the bishop telling him to contact an excommunicated priestess and looked at him. There was a bit of repulsion in his gaze.
The bishop chuckled at him.
“Although the Church of the God of Death has a long history, it has never been a major church. However, we now have a chance for the hero of the Eastern and Western continents to be connected to the church. Do you know the meaning of that?”
“Do you also know the meaning of our temple being the connecting point with that hero?”
The priest lowered his head.
The bishop looked at him and continued to speak.
“What is it? Does what I am doing seem far from being sincere?”
He spoke with laughter in his voice.
“Well, it’s not like you saw wrong. But it isn’t new.”
Similar to how the Roan Kingdom had this image of doing whatever they needed to do to survive prior to the war… The Church of the God of Death was only a so-so church in the Roan Kingdom where all sorts of religions were allowed.
It was only normal for the Vatican to treat such a church as mediocre.
“We can’t miss this opportunity.”
The bishop made that comment before starting to walk.
“I will go contact the Vatican.”
He turned his head.
Cale was looking at him.
“That’s a relief. It looks like we’ll be able to chat and understand each other.”
He smiled and headed toward the temple.
Cale quietly observed the bishop who looked at him once and left the Ducal Estate.
– Human, that bishop gramps is a bit cold!
“Cale-nim, when will you be going to the Church of the God of Death?”
The black Hawk opened its wings and floated up.
Cale responded to the three individuals looking at him.
“We will go immediately after reporting to his highness.”
He looked at the black Hawk, Sui Khan.
“It looks like there’s a lot to hear anyway. Isn’t it easier to hear it all at once?”
* * *
The attendant who had been working for less than one year in the palace was completely quiet as he walked.
He gasped while looking around.
The Crown Prince Palace.
There were knights every few steps in the hallway and the entire Roan Royal Palace was full of knights and soldiers on patrol nonstop.
Mages were casting all sorts of defense-type spells outside the window along with offensive spells. They were getting ready so that they could go into battle at any moment.
‘…It’s the pillar from the King’s Palace.’
He could see a large pillar stabbed into the Crown Prince Palace’s rear garden.
It was one of the pillars of the destroyed King’s Palace.
‘How could something like this happen in the royal palace?’
The King’s Palace was destroyed and the king had disappeared.
They were even uncertain as to whether the king was still alive.
Furthermore, the prime suspect is the heir to a ducal family and that ducal family was destroyed.
Most importantly, the royal family was powerless when all these things happened.
The kingdom that is said to be the strongest of the entire Western continent was powerless.
‘It’s like a nightmare.’
The attendant’s body stiffened up from anxiety.
However, he could not stop walking. The gazes of the knights were scary.
“What is it?”
He pulled something out of his pocket as soon as he arrived at his destination and was questioned by a guard.
“This is food for his highness.”
The knight slightly raised the cloth on top of the basket in the attendant’s hand and nodded his head.
“Okay, you can give it to me. You may leave.”
The attendant promptly responded and quickly headed out of the crown prince palace.
‘But why would his highness want something like this at a time like this?’
There was one thing the attendant questioned.
‘Why did he suddenly order for us to bring up some cookies? Is he eating cookies instead of eating properly? I guess his highness really likes cookies.’
The attendant thought about another possibility as well.
“They said that the Commander-nim and Sir Choi Han headed to his highness’s study. Is it possible that one of those two sirs really likes cookies?’
The attendant could not get an answer for all his curiosities.
As for crown prince Alberu Crossman, he was discussing new facts with the people who came to see him.
The crown prince brushed his face with both hands as Raon chewed on a cookie Alberu gave him.
He organized his thoughts and resumed speaking.
“This is Sui Khan and he is the reincarnation of Lee Soo Hyuk?”
The white-haired red eyed young boy responded softly yet in an informal manner. The crown prince observed the young boy who was extremely different from whom he had known while he was the Dark Tiger.
“You’re oddly different from the Lee Soo Hyuk I saw.”
“That existence and I are different people. In addition-”
Sui Khan’s voice trailed off before he read Cale’s gaze as Cale looked at him. He also noticed the crown prince’s gaze of observation.
“In addition, I am still getting used to this.”
“Getting used to it?”
“You could say that I, Lee Soo Hyuk, am being fused together with Sui Khan. Although my mind was going in and out, I have already lived for over 13 years as Sui Khan despite my mind going in and out. The habits and etiquettes that I have learned until now are properly fusing with me.”
Alberu’s eyes clouded over after hearing the word etiquette.
Cale, who had been silent, opened his mouth.
“Thirteen years old?”
Alberu looked at Sui Khan with an odd gaze. He knew that the flow of time was different in this world and the other world thanks to his time as the Dark Tiger, however…
‘He’s quite tall to be thirteen years old.’
Although Sui Khan was feeble, he was quite tall. ‘Do Hawk beast people have a different growth speed than us?’
Sui Khan shrugged his shoulders instead of responding. He then added on.
“I’ll hold off on the detailed explanation until next time. I don’t really have any problems right now.”
‘Other than the issue in my family.’
Sui Khan held those words back to himself.
“This is the bigger issue right now after all.”
The crown prince nodded his head.
He had wondered what the heck Cale Henituse had picked up this time after seeing him walking in with a black Hawk on his shoulder. A complicated incident seemed to have happened in the short period of time Cale was away from Alberu. However, that was not important to Alberu right now.
Although it was quiet right now, the information about the explosion at the King’s Palace and the disappearance of the king would spread throughout the continent. Just working hard to not become sensitive was consuming a lot of Alberu’s energy.
“Alright, let’s organize this.”
However, he was slowly filling up with energy right now.
It was because he could see a path.
“The events of today are related to the Hunters, I presume we can assume that the second child of the Flynn Merchant Guild and young lady Orsena are involved as well?”
“Yes, your highness.”
Cale calmly answered back.
“Of course, the second child of the Flynn Merchant Guild and young lady Orsena’s involvements are only likely possibilities without any clear evidence. We have no way of knowing whether the two of them are our enemies or anything.”
“That’s right. And youngest lady Orsena said that it was white magic that attacked the Duke’s Estate?”
“Yes, your highness. Youngest lady Orsena is unable to wake up after making that statement.”
Alberu’s gaze headed toward Sui Khan.
“And although you don’t know everything about the Hunters you remember to some degree?”
“And the God of Death bestowed a divine item that allows traveling between dimensions to Cale Henituse.”
“The Hunters are an organization that travels across dimensions?”
Sui Khan stopped responding and lowered his head after feeling a sensation on the back of his hand. Raon had placed a cookie on it.
“Eat a lot, little Sui! You need to gain some weight!”
“Okay. Thanks Raon.”
Sui Khan petted Raon’s head and ate the cookie. Cale watched Sui eating that cookie with a slightly baffled expression on his face. But he soon started to speak.
“Now it is time that we hear the things we should know, team leader.”
Sui took another cookie from Raon’s hand before continuing to speak.
“There are a total of five families currently active within the Hunters organization. They are traveling across worlds and dimensions to hunt Single-lifers.”
Choi Han looked at Sui Khan. Sui Khan was also looking at Choi Han.
“We are unable to know everything about them. However, we focused on one thing to dig deeper about. What do you think that one thing is?”
Choi Han responded.
“The power to travel across dimensions?”
The reason these individuals who are in different dimensions were able to create an organization and get stronger was because of their freedom to cross dimensions. Choi Han did not need to add an explanation.
Sui Khan nodded his head.
“Yea. That is correct. However, traveling across dimensions is not something regular living beings are capable of doing.”
Traveling through dimensions was something that placed a heavy burden on the user to the point that even the gods struggled.
Alberu opened his mouth.
“Did you guys figure out the source of dimensional travel?”
Cale recalled a memory.
The Hunters he had met during the sealed god’s illusion test…
‘Take this offering of karma.’
One of the two Hunters killed her ally and made that comment before disappearing from that world.
“They use lives and blood as payment to dodge the imbalance and punishment created by dimensional travel.”
Lives and blood.
Choi Han quietly mumbled as if memorizing it for himself.
“We currently believe that this is the power of a spell and device made by two of the Hunters’ households.”
“Where are those two families?”
Sui Kahn had a suspicious smile on his face after hearing Cale’s question. Cale immediately asked.
“I guess it is not this world.”
“Yeah. It is a different world.”
Sui Khan opened up two fingers.
“The lives and blood that are the cost… The world where white mages use the first of these costs, the death of a living being, as collateral for spells… It is best to go to this world first if you are planning on going to another dimension.”
Alberu, Choi Han, Cale, and Raon’s eyes clouded over after hearing those words. It seemed most likely to be related to the incidents at hand right now.
“And the second cost, blood. A world where a church of blood that worships blood is located.”
Cale’s eyes opened wide for a moment.
“…A church of blood?”
Those words sounded familiar to him.
The man who had read novels for many years nonchalantly commented.
There was something that came to mind when he heard the church of blood.
“That’s right. The Blood Demon is the leader of the Church of Blood. You know so well, Cale.”
Cale blinked a few times before saying something else.
“…The Central Plains?”
“Yes. They are there. Of course, the Church of Blood is hidden so we were unable to find the exact location.”
Sui Khan shrugged his shoulders.
“Cale, you said that you read a lot of wuxia novels, right? Of course, they are probably quite different from the Central Plains and Church of Blood in those wuxia novels.”
Cale buried his body into a couch and gasped.
‘Central Plains? Blood Demon?
How does this make any sense?
No. Why would a wuxia world not exist when there is a fantasy world and even a world where monsters appear in modern day earth?
It would make no sense if something like that didn’t exist.’
Raon handed Cale a cookie and chimed in after seeing Cale sighing without doing anything else.
“Human, where is the Central Plains? Will we be able to smack the Hunters in the back if we go there? Let’s go to the first place first! I’m very angry right now!”
Cale silently closed his eyes.
All he could see was darkness.
However, he soon opened his eyes and responded to Raon.
Wherever the Hunters may be, first of all…
“We need to smack them in the back.”
He could see the pillar of the destroyed King’s Palace through the window behind the crown prince’s shoulder.
Wuxia world! Wuxia world! But honestly, I’m not looking forward to translating all the chinese terms that are going to pop up -.-
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