Chapter 216: 115. A Minor Connection -2 (Part One)
Inside the headquarters of ‘Nemesis’, located somewhere deep within the forest of demonic beasts.
A Necromancer was nervously chewing on his nails before biting deeply into one and yanking it out completely.
Meanwhile, his fellow Necromancers were barely holding their rage back, their faces deeply red and veins visibly bulging on their foreheads.
“But how?! How did it fail?!”
They held onto this dream for the past fifty years – the dream of making the Necromancer King’s lifelong wish come true.
To achieve this grand goal, they hid themselves from the eyes of the Theocratic Empire and diligently made preparations.
But now, all of their decades-long efforts had come crashing down in an instant.
Firstly, the Ratmen queen.
They devoted themselves to creating a monster that would serve as a biological weapon capable of spreading all sorts of toxins and plagues. They released such a creature in the fiefdom’s sewers without anyone finding out and patiently waited for three months.
Since its reproductive rate was strong, the Necromancers predicted that Ratmen numbering in the hundreds, nay, thousands, would start spreading an unstoppable plague throughout the city in no time at all.
But never mind spreading plague, the whole sewerage system got cleanly purified, instead. And the Ratman queen was killed off so easily.
Secondly, the Lizardmen.
The plan was to have these monsters attack and possibly abduct the travellers arriving or leaving the fiefdom’s surroundings.
The base of operations had been set at a swamp, and by using black magic, the Necromancers managed to brainwash the Lizardmen to do their bidding, but then, some random Paladin showed up from nowhere to throw a wrench in that plan.
All thanks to this unexpected variable, the mutated Hydra the Necromancers had carefully nurtured in order to destroy Elusha fiefdom was killed off, too.
Finally, the Orcs and the Two Headed Ogre.
Their brainwashed Orcs all fell into a trap and got killed off, while the mutated Two Headed Ogre that the Necromancers had paid a hefty price to manufacture kicked the bucket after its back got sliced wide open by the same Paladin.
All those monsters that they managed to create by sacrificing so much and paying incalculable wealth in the past several decades had been destroyed in only a matter of days.
“This is all that Paladin’s fault!”
“Yes, it’s the handiwork of that insane fool! We need to rip him apart to shreds!”
The aged Necromancers loudly roared at each other.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have a way to kill the Paladin. For one, that man was a certifiable monster capable of massacring all the actual monsters the Necromancers had prepared so far.
They just couldn’t think of a way to deal with someone that strong.
“This Paladin, is he really a member of some ruined nobility from the Lome Kingdom?”
The Necromancers shifted their gazes to one particular Necromancer, the man referred to as the Necromancer King’s first-ever believer.
He was a magician named Rudis, an old man with a bent back resembling a hunchback. His hands were gripping a crude bone walking staff.
He spoke up again, “That cannot be true. We’ve already investigated and established that there had never been a noble house called Rufus in Lome. His identity has to be fake.”
“It means that the Theocratic Empire has dispatched a hunting dog. They must’ve picked up on our scent.”
The Necromancers exchanged worried gazes.
They had come to Aihrance, the kingdom of magic, in order to evade the empire’s pursuit, but those damn imperials chased after them all the way out here?
“Even then, they will not stop our grand plan.” Rudis swept his gaze over the other Necromancers while propping his weight on the walking staff. “We are the faithful believers of the Necromancer King. We shall spread death according to his will.”
“We shall open the warp gate connected to the purgatory in Elusha.”
“Sir? In Elusha?”
“But we don’t have a way right now, sir. Every time we come up with a plan, that damn Paladin…”
Necromancers began raising their concerns while glancing at each other, but Rudis simply smiled away. “No, we do have a way.”
He extended his hand to his side and pulled back a piece of dirty rag. A man in his early to mid forties was revealed behind it. He was staring at the ceiling in a silent daze while spit drooled down from the corner of his mouth.
There were clear signs of his head having been cut open only to be sewn shut.
“This is Elusha’s feudal lord, Viscount Atonse. After I ever so slightly fiddled with his head, he has become so much more willing to humour our demands.”
“If monsters aren’t going to work, then we shall simply resort to using humans. We might not be able to physically kill the Paladin, but we can certainly expel him from the fiefdom, even if it’s only temporary.” Rudis reverted his gaze back to the Necromancers. “We shall risk our everything to this plan. Only death awaits if we do not succeed this time!”
Rudis pointed with his staff and loudly declared.
“The Necromancer King, Lord Amon’s blessing shall be with us-!”
(TL: In 1st person POV.)
I ran into this guy named Adolf after the Two Headed Ogre incident and we ended up chatting for a while.
What he said back then proved to be seriously shocking to me.
-It must’ve happened about one year after I was saved by you, Sir Saint. I suddenly became able to use divinity. However, it’s still only on the level of a little hatchling compared to real Paladins.
He basically implied that he could use divinity just because I had ‘healed’ him earlier.
And according to him, he wasn’t the only one either.
-Although the order of awakening is a bit out of kilter, many of those who received holy water from you, Sir Saint, they…
I wandered around the streets of Elusha while rubbing my chin. According to Adolf, the people back in the northern frontier who drank my holy water, as well as those who got healed by me…
…They ended up possessing some amount of divinity, although most of them only had a faint little amount.
Compared to the Theocratic Empire’s Paladins, their level was much lower. Some among them hadn’t even awakened their ability to wield divinity yet, either.
“…Aht! Sir Paladin!”
When I pondered some more, a couple of things related to this matter popped up in my head – or more correctly, a couple of people. My escorting knight Charlotte, and Aslan’s current queen, Tina.
Those two also somehow ended up being able to use divinity.
Not only could they wield divinity when they couldn’t before, they even boasted an abnormal growth speed as well.
Sure, they had a heap of talent to begin with, but it seemed that my influence on them was far bigger than I thought.
Adolf’s growth speed was slower than those two girls. But it must’ve been the difference in the overall knowledge they possessed and the level of talent.
In Charlotte’s case, she acquired a transcendental physique while precariously hanging on the edge of life, and as for Tina the Dark Elf, she received life-or-death training from the hashashins from the moment she was born.
Hang on a minute. I almost forgot about my older brothers, Luan and Ruppel. What will happen to those two, I wonder?
“Excuse me, Sir Paladin!”
-All thanks to you, even those who didn’t believe in the religion now exalt Gaia and you, Sir Saint. And even I’ve become one of those converts.
That’s what Adolf said.
I never intended for that to happen, but somehow, I still ended up having a hand in increasing the number of Gaia’s believers.
I figured that that part shouldn’t pose a problem later down the line, but even then… I couldn’t help but wonder just how many lives I have saved so far. Hundreds? Thousands? I couldn’t quite remember.
One thing’s for sure, though… That number couldn’t be small at all.
In the Theocratic Empire, Aslan, and back in Lome kingdom, too…
I healed quite a lot of people and even distributed holy water. So, if what Adolf had said was true, then all those people…
It was right then, a girl with long black hair and matching black eyes suddenly blocked my path.
I tilted my head while looking at this girl.
She faltered for a moment there from how tense she felt, then an awkward expression floated up on her face. “H-hello there.”
This girl kind of looked familiar.
Where have I seen her before?
I thought about it for a while, but only after checking out her status window through Mind’s Eye did I finally recall who she was.
She was the orphan living in Benikin Church who went missing about a month ago, and we took on the job of searching for her.
“Are you Yuria?”
The girl jumped up in shock when I said that, but she still made a bright expression. “You do remember me!”
Well, uh, sorry about that. I’ve actually forgotten about you.
I quickly put a gag on my urge to blurt out what was on my mind and glanced at her hand.
Yuria was currently carrying a shopping basket. I figured that she was on her way to do some grocery shopping.
“I wanted to meet you and give you my thanks in person, but you must’ve been busy because whenever I went to the adventurer’s guild, you weren’t there.” Yuria smiled brightly before curiously looking at the empty spots at either side of me. “By the way, the Lady Priestess and Mister Peddler aren’t with you today?”
Was she talking about Alice and Hans?
In Alice’s case, it seemed that the two girls somehow missed each other. It hadn’t been all that long since Alice headed to Benikin Church, saying that she’d like to perform voluntary service there as well as to pray to the goddess.
As for Hans, he remained in the inn to decipher the warp magic rune left behind by the Vampires. He told me to prepare thoroughly for it, since he was this close to completely analysing the whole thing.
“They said they have their own matters to attend to.”
When I said that, Yuria looked up at me. “Does that mean you’re having a day off?”
“Well, I guess so.”