Chapter 312: Blooming Head
Translator: Subudai11 Editor: Chrissy
It was time for the once in ten days assembly of Dragon City Cathedral.
During the assembly, in addition to the lowest level apprentice priest, the several thousand clerics in Dragon City must assemble and respectfully listen to the Archbishop conveying the will of the Holy Light within the magnificent Cathedral, and arranging their latest task.
The power of Holy Light Religion in Dragon City was very formidable. Solely based on the obvious data alone, they have dozens of high order professions. Archbishop Rowan himself was an intermediate high order profession, which in Nine Regions term, was around Yuanying Stage. However, there were seven or eight people with the same level as him, while middle-order professions were in the hundreds. So many priests gathered together to sing praises of the Holy Light's Psalms. The religious power of the faith going through the traction of the Bishop could let the Holy Light within the Cathedral to soar into the sky like a divine sword.
This scene would happen once every ten days, but each time it would still fascinate the people who saw it. This was the rule laid down by Archbishop Rowan decades ago, to keep the imprint of the Holy Light in the hearts of the people, through this once in ten days ritual. As for its effectiveness... it could be seen by the ten-time rise in the number of believers in the last few decades.
Peter, who wore a grey robe, has been busy ever since dawn.
As a middle-ranking priest within the church, if placed elsewhere, he could have been a bishop of a small town, where he could have full authority over an area. However, in Dragon City parish, there were hundreds of clerics like him, so the middle-ranking priest was nothing. Fortunately, however, he got the attention of Archbishop Rowan, which gave him a more promising future compared to the others.
It was ten years ago, by accidental chance, when the Archbishop was inspecting the priests' dormitories. Most of the young priests have a messy room, except Peter who never forgot to always arrange it in good order, which gave a great impression to the Archbishop. Several years later, Peter was gradually assigned to some trivial tasks, which were always done beautifully by him, without the slightest neglect.
Therefore, today, Peter was already in charge of organizing that once in ten days assembly and service. On the surface, it sounded simple, but to arrange thousands of people in order was also a test of ability. Even before the dawn, Peter and his servants have already begun to prepare. At last, one hour before the assembly began, he was ready for work.
Then he waited patiently for more and more priests to gather from all directions and for the arrival of the Archbishop. According to the custom, he would appear in the middle of the square, led the other priests to chant the hymns, drew their faith and stimulated the Holy Light, so that the divine sword of Holy Light shot straight to the sky. After the ceremony, he would then arrange for the tasks of the next ten days.
Peter stood next to the high platform where the Archbishop would usually commence his speech and waited patiently. However, until the agreed time has passed, the Archbishop has yet to appear.
Peter was inwardly astonished. For decades, the Archbishop had never been late to the assembly, unless there was a special duty by the Holy City that kept the Archbishop occupied. Could it be...
Peter signaled with his eyes at the young priest behind him to go to the Archbishop's bedroom. However, before he could finish relaying his order, a strange atmosphere was suddenly felt in the square.
Turning his head, Peter was surprised to find that there was a person who stood on the podium resorted for the Archbishop!
It was a tall, thin, white-robed man. Amazingly, the man's face was blank, without any facial features, which looked eerie and creepy.
"Who are you?"
Peter initially wanted to ask a series of questions, but he found out that he couldn't open his mouth and he was unable to make any noise.
It was obvious that the rest of the people on the square were of the same condition as him. Otherwise, someone ought to have questioned how could a stranger stand on the position of the Archbishop.
"Be quiet." That faceless man lifted up his hand. "I was appointed by the Holy City as the new Chief Inquisitor."
Before anyone could have the time to question him, that faceless man let out a special holy splendor. "This is the proof of the Holy City."
Of the thousands of people present, most of them had enough insight to recognize the Holy City's emblem. After seeing that it was indeed an authentic proof of Holy City, everyone relaxed their vigilance. It was just that, everyone inwardly felt strange. Inquisitors have always maintained a low-key presence, why would they suddenly be so high-profile?
In the past few decades, the inquisitors have never attended the assembly. More than eighty percent of these thousands of clerics have never even met the previous Chief Inquisitor Count Conrad! It was even more unclear to them why the church suddenly replaced the Chief Inquisitor.
"I know that many people wonder that why the Chief Inquisitor has changed from Conrad to me. And why I, as the leader of an organization that shouldn't be exposed to the light, should come out before you all, the assembly of just and honorable. To put it simply, I come with a sacred mission. I need to change the status quo of this city. Many old rules will be broken, and new rules will be established."
Faceless One said, "For example, from now on, I will take the place of Archbishop Rowan in exercising authority over the church parish. I hope you guys can seriously cooperate with my work."
Such a remark immediately incited an uproar within the crowd. As the Archbishop's crony, Peter was so surprised that even the scripture that was initially in his hand fell to the ground.
Replacing the authority of Archbishop Rowan? What is the meaning of this? Rowan has been managing the Dragon City parish for more than thirty years, which was done in a very conscientious way, and without any serious oversight. Nowadays, most people thought that he would stay in the same Archbishop position until he retired-the senior clergy of Holy Light Religion was a lifetime's position, so that meant until his death. Therefore, why should the newly appointed Chief Inquisitor take away Rowan's authority? And even if someone has to replace Rowan, then it should be a promoted local priest. In Dragon City, there were ten to twenty high-rank priests who were eyeing the Archbishop position, and each of them has the capital to back them up. At the very least, the Holy Woman of the parish could hold it, at least her popularity was strong enough. How could the inquisitors who have always been walking in the shadow suddenly jump to the front?
"Because there's no one available to replace it in Dragon City parish." Faceless One made a seemingly helpless gesture. "Your Archbishop and Holy Woman have defected to the enemy, meaning that Holy City could not trust the local parish clergies, so they let me take control of the authority."
It was as if there was a thunderclap. Peter was dumbstruck and his heart was jumping crazily.
The Archbishop and Holy Woman have defected? H-How could this possible? There must be a mistake!
Looking around him, the people on the square were also similarly in doubt, their eyes were filled with shock.
Faceless One begrudgingly gave further explanation, taking his time to say, "The defection of the two was influenced by the Dragon City Master Bedivere. Filled with ambition, Bedivere attempted to use the top to bottom infiltration to disintegrate the influence of Holy Light in Dragon City. Fortunately, the Holy One in Holy City was so discerning that he exposed his plot ahead of time. Now that the two traitors have defected, we must bravely pursue the enemy, nailing the traitors and the manipulator behind the scene Bedivere on the stake. Well, in short, we must launch a war against Dragon City."
Launch a war against Dragon City? Peter's heart was tightened. These words were extremely far away from the minds of Dragon City priests. Although everyone knew that Dragon City and the church might end up in a war, everyone felt that they at least would not see that day!
"Hm, this war thing must start as soon as possible. And since all the staffs are basically here, I think we should start now. We will hit them while they are still unprepared."
Who in the end was caught unprepared here?
"But, if there's no proper command, we would just be like a mob. Therefore, I give you your commanders." Faceless One lifted his hand and in front of the Cathedral square immediately appeared over a hundred bright golden figures.
Peter looked up and immediately recognized these golden figures.
They were puppets of Holy Light, designed to crusade against heresy. They had no independent thought but was unparalleled in the war. These Bright Archons could establish a mental link with dozens of priests through their common faith to the Holy Light, and then give each of them a precise command, which made them able to skillfully grasp every detail of the battlefield; they were a natural war machine.
These Bright Archons were very powerful in the large-scale war, a rare super-class basic commander. Holy Light Religion has always regarded them as the trump card and would only be deployed in order to deal with unusually stubborn opponents. Now, unexpectedly, there were more than a hundred of them! Such a scale was not less than a holy war!
"Let loose of your spirit, I have assigned your respective commanders. At the appointed time, you just need to do according to the order. With this, dealing with the heresy is very simple."
The priests on the square were in a state of disbelief. There was so much change in a short time this morning that it overwhelmed them. They also felt that this Faceless One was too vigorous and resolute...
Seeing that nobody spoke about the consequences of the war, Peter who was the nearest to the podium had to muster up the courage to say, "Your Grace Chief Inquisitor, launching a holy war is a very serious affair and must be cautiously handled."
Faceless One said, "Are you questioning me for carelessly handling the affair?"
"I do not dare. It was just that, this is all too sudden for us."
"As the current manager of Dragon City parish, with the authority from the Holy City, I do not need to solicit anyone's opinion in regard to launching a holy war. As for being too sudden..." Faceless One turned around. "If not too sudden, don't tell me I should let a spy like you to tip them off in advance?"
Facing that pale face, Peter felt that it was impossible for him to hide all the secrets in his heart.
Indeed, he was the mole placed in the church by the Dragon City. In the decades of dealing with each other, Dragon City and Holy Light Religion have infiltrated each other to the very high level. Even he, as the trusted subordinate of the Archbishop, was not the highest. Since the two forces didn't have any big frictions for decades, these moles didn't have enough merit. They didn't need to come forward to do any big moves. But just do things in day to day operation that if accumulated could change things dramatically. Therefore their existence was actually very hidden. For example, even the Archbishop didn't see that he actually has ties with the Dragon City.
However, now his identity has been laid bare by this foreign Chief Inquisitor.
Boundless fear fell from the sky and enveloped his mind.
"Mm, in short, since we're going to go to war, we must first clean up the traitors."
Faceless One waved his hand, and suddenly, Peter felt his head hot. And then, with a crisp popping sound, he didn't know anything anymore.
At the same time, on the square, there were similar hundreds of blooming heads.
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