I am the Monarch – Chapter 326: The Great Warring Period (7)
The Great Warring Period.
Horrible wars were held without an end throughout the continent. Corpses made mountains and blood flowed like rivers, as sounds of clashing steel and screams continued without rest. It was a period of time that made people desire painless death instead.
However, inside the Church that could be called the instigator of all this, beautiful music and laughter flowed out endlessly. Within that building decorated with gold, silver and gems, and on top of the decorative marble flooring, dozens and hundreds of soldiers diligently carried boxes of various precious items.
“Hulhulhul. This is an excessive amount of gifts.”
On the terrace of the greatest and the most elegant building out of its counterparts, an old man stared at the soldiers with a smile. He, who was wearing a long purple gown, was the pope, Beldrica.
“Compared to all the hard work of Your Holiness, they are nothing significant.”
A soft voice flowed from the side. Beldrica glanced at the owner of the voice, the youth with a fragile body and a gentle look on his face, and broke out into another laugh.
“Hulhulhul. It’s nothing much… As the leader of the Church, blessing the soldiers of the crusade is a natural task, Count Crew Hail.”
“Your thoughts are deep… It is an honour for us.”
The youth lowering his head in a polite manner was Count Crew Hail of Lucia Empire who had visited the Church following Roan Lancephil’s request.
‘He really is a rotten man.’
Hiding his inner thoughts, Crew made a warm smile. Beldrica was more corrupt than he had ever expected.
‘To think he would accept bribes this openly. For five days in a row as well…’
Thanks to that, the provisions and supplies they had brought with them were nearing the end.
‘Besides, the citizens throughout the continent are in pain due to the war and yet the person that gathered the crusaders himself – this old man is enjoying alcohol and food everyday…’
A deep sigh unconsciously escaped through his lips. After receiving an enormous load of bribes, Beldrica hosted gaudy parties every day.
Those parties continued throughout the entire day without an end and was completely different from the outside world where people killed or got killed.
‘The Mad Dragon Lunark, Latio of the Tallian Church, the Dark Generals and the Dark Regiments. Different from them but…’
Crew made a tight fist behind his back.
‘We must do something about the Church and the Pope as well.’
That was for the good of the world.
Inwardly, he let out a short sigh. It was then that Beldrica opened his mouth with an extremely regretful look.
“In any case, the prayers of blessing will soon end as well. The time for farewell seems to be approaching which makes me feel very regretful.”
Just as he had said, the prayer of blessing that had been continuing for five days was gradually nearing its end, because all the priests of the Church had taken part. Likewise, Crew formed a sad look on his face and lowered his head.
“We will finish this holy war well and let me come here again on the way back.”
In that instant, a flash of servility filled his face.
“I’m sure the spoils of the war will be great.”
He was implying that a lot of bribes will be handed over.
‘Although this act is necessary, it really is disgusting.’
Crew managed to hide his thoughts while lowering his head. In response, Beldrica made a bright smile and nodded in satisfaction.
‘I heard there were a lot of priceless objects in the Amaranth.’
He wanted to obtain the Travias Spear which was known to be Roan’s favourite weapon. Beldrica’s eyes fell on Crew.
‘The more I see him, the more likeable he seems.’
Beldrica found Crew to his liking and was put in a good mood for the first time in a while. But it was then.
“Your Holiness. Imperial Prince Moyce Ron Estia has come to visit.”
Hearing the urgent voice of the priest from inside the building, his joyous heart of satisfaction vanished. The bright smile hanging on his face crumpled in an instant.
Making an awkward smile, Beldrica turned towards Crew.
“Prince Moyce really is stubborn.”
Crew shrunk his body into a ball with a frightened expression.
“I, Imperial Prince Moyce will for sure try to harass me again.”
His fingers trembled. Beldrica waved his hand and gestured for him to not worry.
“It is okay. I am here as well right?”
After settling Crew down, he gave a small nod at the priest, who then took a few steps back once he got the permission. Soon, a youth with a healthy body showed himself from inside the building.
The man was none other than the 7th Imperial Prince of the Estia Empire, Moyce Ron Estia.
“I greet Your Holiness.”
He slightly lowered his head at Beldrica before glaring at Crew.
“Count Crew Hail. Are you looking down on the Estia Empire?”
A reproachful voice resonated in an instant.
Crew jumped in response before glancing at Beldrica, with a pitiful look on his face begging for help.
‘This weak coward is the Grand Commander of the Lucia Empire huh…’
Beldrica clicked his tongue inwardly. He had heard of how there was an excellent individual in the Lucia Empire that would be leading the crusaders this time around.
‘But that was a false rumour.’
A look of ridicule surfaced within his eyes but skills and talent did not matter to him.
‘It is a prey fitting my palate.’
Beldrica found Crew, who he could knead as he pleased, to his liking. Crew looked like the kind of person that would offer him even the Lucia Empire if given enough care.
‘I need to deal with this personally.’
Seeing the pitious gaze on Crew’s face, Beldrica waved his hand.
“Prince Moyce. Please don’t raise your voice like that.”
His expression and tone were gentle as if he was talking to a child. Holding onto Moyce’s hands, he made a bright smile.
“The Lucian army camping themselves near the Imperial Capital of Regium is not to your liking, and I understand it is worrisome but in fact, it’s nothing to really worry about.”
The reason Moyce scolded even after coming to the Church, was because of the Lucian army that had camped themselves on the wide grassland between the Imperial Capital and the Church while being blessed.
At least that was what Beldrica and the Church thought. Beldrica glanced at Moyce and then at Crew.
“The soldiers of the Lucian Empire just want to receive a prayer of blessing before participating in the holy war.”
As soon as his words finished.
“However, our Estia Empire currently has a weaker defence force around the Imperial Capital due to our forces leaving on the crusade. In such a situation, we cannot leave a large army of a foreign country next to our Capital.”
Hearing that, Beldrica made a slight frown, seemingly in contemplation for a while before heaving out a small sigh.
“If you are really that worried, I’ll have our Church’s priests, holy knights and monks observe the Lucian camp. There’s no need to worry that much.”
A sharp light flickered below the wrinkled eyebrows. It was a gesture telling him to fall back but Moyce could not do that. There were still things to be done.
‘Damn rotten old man.’
With a dissatisfied look on his face, Moyce turned towards Crew.
“It’s not that I do not understand your will, Your Holiness, but ever since a long time ago, people of the Lucia Empire had wicked personalities. We don’t know what they are planning behind the scenes despite their smiles. If they really want to receive a blessing, it would be better for the Lucian army to just move their camps outside our borders.”
In other words, Moyce was implying for Beldrica and the priests below him to follow the Lucian army outside the borders. A crack was formed on the bright smile of Beldrica as a look of displeasure flashed across his eyes.
However, now was not the time for them to fight, and besides, the prayer of blessing was nearing its final stages in the first place.
Letting out a few mutters, Beldrica waved his two hands in an attempt to calm the stiff atmosphere. At that moment, the same urgent voice escaped onto the terrace.
It was the same priest that gave the notice of Moyce’s visit.
Beldrica who was already not in a good mood asked with thorns in his voice. After glancing at Moyce and Crew once, the priest answered with a trembling voice.
“The Estian army that came with Imperial Prince Moyce and the Lucian army camping outside the Church…”
His face turned pale.
“They are fighting.”
It was a completely unexpected report.
Beldrica frowned and the priest raised his voice, seemingly feeling slightly frustrated.
“The Estian army and the Lucian army are having a battle!”
As soon as his words left.
Unable to hold back, Beldrica let out profanities and straight after, Moyce followed suit.
“Damn! Look what happened! In the end, things turned out the way I told you didn’t it?”
Turning his head, Moyce glared at Crew as a sharp killing intent overflowed out his two eyes. His right hand found the handle of the sword hanging on his waist.
“I will cut this guy’s neck off in this instance and…”
Before Moyce could finish his words,
“Do not behave rashly!”
With an unpleasant look on his face, Beldrica waved his right hand. Suddenly, an oppressive, suffocating force parried Moyce’s arm away.
Moyce turned towards Beldrica in faint surprise.
‘This old man…’
He knew Beldrica wasn’t just a senile old man. Beldrica was the leader of the Church that had the continent’s hegemony laying in his hands, and was a father-like existence of all priests.
It was expected for him to have an enormous amount of divine power but Moyce hadn’t thought that it would be at the level that could dismember his mana with a hand gesture.
‘Tch, I see there is a basis for such arrogance huh.’
Moyce bit on his lower lips slightly. It was then that Crew held onto Beldrica’s long sleeves with fear written on his face.
“I, if we don’t handle the situation as soon as possible, the Empire’s forces might take a great hit.”
It wasn’t important which empire he was talking about. Crew’s hands and voice trembled which appeared extremely pitiful.
Beldrica shook his head with a deep sigh.
‘There are things I’ve received, so I should take care of it.’
No, rather, it was a situation that should be taken care of because there were still things to be received. Beldrica gave a faint smile, gesturing for them to not worry.
“Do not worry everyone. I, no, our Church will handle it.”
Hearing that, Moyce formed a slight frown.
“The Church? Don’t tell me you’re talking about the holy knights, monks and priests? I heard there weren’t many left behind since they all followed the crusaders…”
When his words reached that point, Beldrica’s smile turned brighter as he shook his head.
“That’s not all there is to the Church.”
He gently waved his hand. When the priest that had given the report quickly lowered his head, Beldrica raised his chin up with a look of arrogance on his face.
“Go north. There…”
Likewise, his voice was full of arrogance.
“You will find the Divine Regiment.”
In that instant, Crew who had his shoulders crouched with a frightened expression screamed in surprise.
“The Divine Regiment!”
He seemed genuinely surprised.
Even Moyce let out a small mutter. Satisfied by the two’s reaction, Beldrica nodded his head.
‘The Divine Regiment can be referred to as the true power of the Church.’
No-one knew the true identity or its size. It was time for the secret regiment, the Divine Regiment to show themselves.
‘Once the Divine Regiment arrives, they would easily be able to stop the Estia Empire and the Lucia Empire from fighting.’
He was confident. Besides, he could ask the two empires of their responsibility to gain a lot of wealth. Arrogance overflowed out from his eyes.
On the other hand, seemingly in awe of the name Divine Regiment, both Moyce and Crew had their eyes and the lips shut. Due to that, Beldrica’s arrogance saw no limits and soared up but unbeknownst to him, Moyce and Crew were singing songs of joy inside.
The two collected their breaths and settled their excitement down.
Goosebumps appeared on their skin.
‘We managed to drag the Divine Regiment out.’
Thrill flowed down the back of their neck.
An act that had continued for five days – the result of this act which they carried out while swallowing down the disgust was extremely sweet.
Everything was going according to Roan’s plans.
If not for Beldrica being near them, Moyce and Crew would have loved to scream cheers of joy and if possible, they would have liked to have a toast but right now, they had to hold themselves back. Moyce formed a helpless expression and heaved out a deep sigh.
“Hu. If Your Holiness is willing to go that far, I will also try my best to calm my soldiers down.”
His eyes fell on Crew.
“Of course, we need to clarify whose fault it is.”
Killing intent filled his voice. Their act was starting yet again.
Crew let out a hiccup before pulling on Beldrica’s sleeves.
“Y, Your Holiness. If it’s okay with you, I would like to remain inside the Church.”
Hearing those words, Beldrica thought it was pathetic but still found it pitiful and soon, he gave a nod.
“You may do so. I’ll also give you a few holy knights.”
His eyes moved onto Moyce.
“To prepare for the off chance something happens.”
There were thorns in his words. Moyce and Beldrica’s gaze intertwined in mid-air.
Both of them had unpleasant emotions surfacing but quickly had them vanish. Soon, Moyce lowered his head with a short sigh.
“Then let me take my leave.”
While giving out an aura of cold displeasure, he left the terrace and only then did Crew let out a deep breath in relief.
“Now I feel alive.”
Holding onto his trembling knees, Crew gave off an awkward smile. Beldrica stared at that scene in silence before giving a faint smile.
“Then please have some rest. I will convey the word of god to those causing a disturbance in front of the Church.”
It was a soft yet powerful voice. Crew gulped before quickly lowering his head, and it appeared like he had been completely overwhelmed by Beldrica’s aura and force.
‘Right. Lower your head like that in fear and remain like that.’
Beldrica seemed satisfied. After a slight nod, he carried his feet and in the end, Crew was the only person remaining on the terrace. He was still crouching his body down with a deeply frightened expression like the typical coward, but his inner thoughts were completely different.
‘Good, even the Pope has left.’
Everything was according to plan, and now, it was time for him to personally move.
‘Then, should I start searching? His Majesty Roan Lancephil’s godfather…’
A faint, hazy smile hung on his lips.
<The Great Warring Period (7)> End.