Cardinal Boutier, Empress Frédérique, and I looked at each other blankly for a short moment.
We continued to hear something large flapping its wings.
– Flap, flap!
Demy reacted first.
The little punk was sticking his head out of my arms, trying to get out.
“Demy, no. It is a divine item, but it is still dangerous.”
I tightly held onto Demy. The Cardinal said that the divine item seemed to have awakened.
Divine items were physical manifestations of the Almighty God’s will and authority, gifts she personally gave to the continent.
I was pretty sure that a divine item wouldn’t suddenly change its mind and try to eliminate humanity or anything but……
It was a different story now that this divine item was moving. We needed to be careful since we didn’t know what might-
The ground shook intensely once more.
It was shaking so much in all directions that my knees almost buckled.
The other two red pandas used that opening to quickly move away.
– Kiiiiiiiiiii, kiiiiiiiiii!
They were extremely intelligent.
I could tell that by the fact that they started climbing the spiral staircase without anybody telling them about it.
Seeing the divine beasts reacting like this when they had been quiet just moments ago made me believe that the presence of the divine item must have gotten stronger.
Scraps of rocks were falling from the ceiling.
The rumbling eventually stopped.
‘Is there a set duration of rumbling? If not……’
“Aurélie, go outside.”
“No. I’ll go up with you.”
The Empress and Cardinal were quickly chatting.
I was already running up the stone stairs with Demy.
Even if the divine item was not my responsibility, I needed to make sure that the two divine beasts were safe.
‘Those little punks! I would have scolded them if they were even a bit less cute!’
“Your Eminence, please do as her Majesty said. I do not think that it is desirable for both of you to be in a dangerous place together.”
I basically shouted to her from above the stairs. The Cardinal looked at me with shock.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine. We will go back down soon, your Eminence.”
The Empress was a sword master and I was a strong priest.
I was pretty certain that we wouldn’t die, but to prepare for the worst, one of the two authority figures of the Empire had to be in a safe location.
The Cardinal should know that as well.
She calmly nodded her head and got up.
The Empress confirmed that the Cardinal walked out of the Bell Tower before sticking a rock underneath the open door to hold it in place.
She must have done this in case it wouldn’t open.
“Demy, try calling your friends over.”
I whispered to him while climbing the stairs two or three steps at a time.
Demy groaned as if it put him in a difficult position and pushed down on my shoulders.
It was understandable since I could feel the strong air attribute ether as well.
It must be difficult for a divine beast who is drawn to and made to protect divine items to resist it.
A gentle jump and the Empress, who was on the first floor, landed right in front of my eyes.
Her jumping abilities were unbelievable!
“Should I carry you?”
“No, not at all, your Majesty. I will run.”
The Empress chuckled and ran up the stairs first.
I could hear wings flapping again from the top of the Bell Tower.
The bright light that originally appeared was not visible anymore.
“Why the heck are these punks so agile?”
“I think that they are riled up, your Majesty. It would probably be quicker to coax them into coming down.”
The Empress grumbled. She must have failed to capture them even after instantly catching up to the two troublemakers.
It must be difficult for her to catch divine beasts who had made up their minds to do something as she did not have ether.
Red pandas that even a sword master could not catch……
Thankfully, the Bell Tower wasn’t as high as it seemed from downstairs.
I stopped with the top floor in front of me.
The Empress had a hand on her scabbard while waiting for me.
– Flap, flap! Flap!
The flapping noise was louder and clearer now.
The Empress and I peeked our heads into the top floor to assess the situation.
– Kiiiiiiiiiii, kiiiiiiiiii!
The two red pandas, who were making these two humans work so hard, were lying down with their bellies up as if they were full of joy.
It was a large wing the size of an adult man. I couldn’t help but gulp.
“This was its original appearance.”
The Empress responded in a low voice. I couldn’t help but drop my jaw at this extremely unrealistic sight.
This divine item, the Ark of the Wind Deity, was shaped like a single wing.
It looked as if it was made of some sort of sharp metal, but I was certain it was no ordinary metal.
Instead of a clunking metal sound, it sounded like a bird flapping its wings.
It was transparent silver in color and faintly glowed purple whenever it moved from sunlight reflecting off of it.
The tip of the wing joint had a large jewel that was shining purple like a morning glory.
“What do you mean by ‘this was its original appearance’, your Majesty?”
I looked at the red pandas as I asked. They did not show any abnormal signs.
“I mean that this is what the Ark of the Wind Deity looked like until my husband left this world. That rusted almond you were talking about was the appearance it took after Alexandre passed away.”
My eyes opened wide. My thoughts quickly processed like a spinning wheel.
The divine item that was so lively when Prince Consort Alexandre was alive had curled up its body and slept when he passed away.
It was as if it was completely disconnected from the world. That was why even the divine beasts could not detect it.
“Did his Royal Highness frequently come in contact with the Ark while he was alive, your Majesty?”
“Yes. This punk was one of my husband’s research materials.”
“Was he perhaps a Holy Knight or a priest?”
“No. He had less ether than a rat’s ass. He was just a mage.”
I flinched and poked my head out.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
My emotions overtook my rationality.
Everything turned red after seeing a red panda roll away after being struck by the Ark’s wing.
‘There’s nowhere to hit on that tiny guy!’
“Calm down. Didn’t you say that we would coax the divine beasts to us?”
Tap. The Empress tightly clenched my shoulder to stop me from jumping out.
I felt as if I was calming down while looking at her calm cherry-colored eyes.
I caught my breath and nodded my head.
Getting riled up here would not help at all.
We could have gone down if the divine beasts and the Ark were coexisting peacefully, but I needed to pull the two of them away now that the Ark has shown itself to be violent.
“Let’s go up, your Majesty.”
I commented to the Empress. She moved silently and stepped over the last step.
I climbed to the top behind her to see that the only things up there were the four pillars supporting the roof.
Taking two wrong steps would mean falling to the ground.
The top of the Bell Tower had no railing or safety precautions.
There was an ill-tempered divine item, three divine beasts, and two humans barely managing to stand.
– Ring, ring……
The wind was stronger now that we were high up. The bell that was hung high up in the ceiling quietly rang.
I knelt down on one knee for safety.
I then immediately released my Holy Domain. The golden circle lit up the top of the tower.
I could see the Ark flinch.
My voice sank low while looking at the divine beasts who were whimpering while holding onto one of the pillars after being shocked by the divine item’s attack.
I quietly said the names that I had come up with for them a while ago.
[Rhea, Perry. Come to big bro.]
The biggest of the three was Rhea while the second largest with black ears was Perry.
Their names were because Rhea was the mother of gods and Persephone fit the black ears with her darker concept since she lives in the underworld.
The two divine beasts soon trotted over to me.
I quickly reached my arms out and hugged the two of them while the Empress kept her eyes on the divine item.
I quickly sighed in relief.
[Are you okay? You’re not hurt, right?]
[You guys have to listen to Demy from now on. Demy is the boss.]
Demy screeched energetically. His gaze seemed to understand that with great power comes great responsibility.
“Then we can go down-”
I quickly lowered my body. The Ark’s wing was shaking.
I could see that one of the pillars was dented by the flap of the divine item’s wing. The Empress did not wait any longer and pulled out her sword.
“Wait, your Majesty!”
“Let go of me.”
“That is a divine item. It will not break no matter what. You know that to be true as well, your Majesty.”
“It might destroy the Bell Tower if I leave it alone.”
I clenched my teeth. She was right.
We could not leave the divine item like this considering that Alexandre, Grand Duke Yvelines, was resting below.
However, the Empress was a sword master and based on my understanding, sword masters in the QNW world were strong enough that a single one could take down an entire brigade.
“Your sword aura is too dangerous, your Majesty.”
“It would be great if it receives your attack and retreats or moves elsewhere, but that is only an incredibly lucky situation, your Majesty. What if it releases its powers to fight against you?”
The Empress clicked her tongue and sheathed her sword. The rumbling in the air instantly died down.
I suddenly realized that she was just like me a moment ago, unable to overcome her emotions.
The Empress herself almost ended up destroying the Bell Tower.
– Flap, flap!
“I’m certain that there must be a way to calm it down, your Majesty. Divine items are not demonic beasts; there is no way that they would harm the living.”
I quickly organized the thoughts in my head as I said that.
First was the clue that the Empress mentioned.
The Prince Consort was a mage, but researched divine items during his life. His subject was none other than the ark.
The divine item had gone into a deep slumber, almost as if it was dead, once the Prince Consort passed away.
It probably woke up because of my ether.
My power was not normal; it came from the divine item, the Paten of Wishes, and the Holy Water in it……
‘It is the cleanest form of ether. It is a noble and pure form of the Authority of the Almighty God.’
It was the crystallization of pure ether.
I recalled what Grand Duke Yvelines, umm, what Prince Consort Alexandre wrote in < Kaboom! Yves’ Great Adventure >.
I remembered it well since I read it recently.
“Your Majesty, is there a reason his Royal Highness was buried here?”
‘I’m sure there is.’
I leaned against one of the still undamaged pillars and looked right at the woman who was leaning against the pillar on the other side.
I was certain that there had to be a story behind why the Empress’s husband was buried at the edge of a cliff.
“This was his territory.”
“I’m sure you understood the meaning behind my question, your Majesty. What is the reason he was buried in the Bell Tower and not the Summer Palace?”
“……It is because of that divine item.”
She frowned as she responded.
Her face made me think of Imperial Prince Cédric.
“He wasn’t a priest but Alexandre managed to tame that thing.”
“He tamed it?”
My eyes opened wide.
My arms must have tightened from the shock as Demy and his family all grumbled.
“Sorry, sorry. I’ll be careful. Is that possible, your Majesty? No, please wait.”
A page suddenly popped into my mind at that moment. I silently recalled the words on the page.
‘Okay, Yves. Caress the divine item and sing it a lullaby please.’
‘Aren’t you tired of that word by now? The Ark of the Wind Deity is like a free bird. You must win its heart if you want to make it yours.’
A thunderbolt-like realization struck the back of my head.
I felt chills all the way down to the back of my knees as I looked at the divine item in front of me.
What ‘Nikky’ explained to ‘Yves’ about the divine item was not a figure of speech or a story. It was based on his own experiences.
‘How did someone who didn’t even have ether…… No, that’s not important right now.’
“We need to caress the Ark and sing it a lullaby.”
“I don’t understand such bullshit.”
‘So you’re Yves.’
Realizing that made me laugh even in such a situation.
How romantic was the backstory of the parents who became main characters in a fairy tale for their loving son?
“That is what it said in < Yves’ Great Adventure > your Majesty. The Ark of the Wind Deity is like a free bird and you have to win it over for it to listen.”
“It is one of your husband’s best sellers. Have you not read it, your Majesty? It’s a masterpiece.”
I smiled and took one step away from the pillar.
I had the three red panda musketeers in my arms go to the Empress. She scrunched her eyes.
“I must do it, your Majesty. I’m not sure how daddy guardian managed to tame it, but I believe it woke up this time because of me.”
The Empress mumbled. I took another step forward and before taking a peek behind me.
– Shaaaaaaa- shaaaaaaaaa……
I could see waves crashing against the sharp cliff. It was as if they wanted to pull the Bell Tower down.
I debated asking Demy to use some vines to create a harness for safety.
However, doing so might lead to the destruction of the Bell Tower or the foundation of the Bell Tower. Doing so may even lead to the cliff breaking down.
If I was super unlucky and hit a rock I’d be dead, however, I should be able to survive if I fall in the water.
‘……Let’s just not fall off.’
I observed the divine item again. I then reached my hand out very slowly.
The Ark slowly flapped its wing once.
It seemed to have calmed down a bit, as I spoke to it while using my Holy Domain to slowly release ether.
My hand was getting closer to the divine item.
[It’s fine. I won’t harm.]
My body floated up. I was no longer looking at the Bell Tower. I was looking at the clear sky.
‘I meddled a bit too much.’
Mm… daddy guardian. Jesse’s naming sense as bad as Lee Soo Hyuk’s.