Chapter 316: Blooming Liu Li
Translator: Subudai11 Editor: Chrissy
If you randomly stopped a man and asked him, what is the Priory of Zion, the answer would mostly be a bewildered face.
Even within Holy Light Religion, the Priory of Zion was not a widely spread secret. Among the present thousands of priests and holy knights, only less than half of them knew the meaning of it.
Simply speaking, it was a group of rebels lurking inside the church. They similarly believed in Holy Light, but not of one heart with the church. On the surface, they obeyed the rules of the church, but secretly, they plotted to overturn it. The official view of the church was that the Priory of Zion was a group of shameless unbelievers. Although they could use the Holy Light, they were actually the church's biggest enemy. However, the Priory of Zion has been around for a long time. For those familiar with the inside story, the Priory of Zion meant that the current dominant voice within the church was not as upright and righteous as they were previously. Perhaps the sea of holy light was paramount, but its human spokesperson was obviously not.
Of course, at least on the surface, the Priory of Zion was still the sworn enemy of Holy Light Religion, the largest illegal organization. For any member of Priory of Zion, there was no reason for the church member to reason with them-upon meeting, they have to be immediately eliminated.
"You said the Archbishop is a member of the Priory of Zion, what evidence do you have?" A priest who had always respected and loved the Archbishop loudly asked.
When Faceless One first claimed that Archbishop and Holy Woman had become traitors, he was skeptical. But now, claiming that Archbishop was a member of the Priory of Zion was simply too much for him, moreover... how would people believe an evidence-less slander?
"Evidence? Since Rowan himself is present, why don't you let him produce the evidence himself? Rowan, why don't you reveal your believer heart so that everyone can take a look? If you're not a member of that secret organization, I will immediately commit suicide in front of you, how about it?"
Faceless One laughed, pulled out a pen and drew a warm smile on his face.
"Oh, Rowan, as long as you show us your believer heart, if I have wronged you, my believer heart will collapse, and I will die before you. I am a man of my word and can make a vow to prove it. So, now it's up to you."
All eyes turned toward Rowan.
If he was just mysteriously being questioned, asking to prove himself innocent, Rowan might scold back by saying: "I don't need to prove my faith to a devil." His decades of devotion was enough to win the trust of the people. However, Faceless One has launched a high-pressure policy, which forced the Archbishop and the Holy Woman. His method was radical and even sinister that he even questioned Rowan's believer heart.
However, now the situation was not the same. By using his life as a guarantee, Rowan could only comply. He had previously proclaimed exaggeratedly Faceless One as the root of all evils and as long as Faceless One was eliminated, the world would be at peace. Then how could he not use this extremely effortless method to eliminate Faceless One?
Rowan had no choice at all.
Facing the gaze of thousands of people, Rowan sighed. "Ah, you're indeed worthy to be the sharpest knife of Holy City. I don't think that anyone has ever discovered this secret for years."
While talking, Rowan opened his heart. A bright white light appeared on his chest, and a white-golden shaped matter appeared. That was Rowan's believer heart.
At the same time, bouts of astonished cries echoed one after the other inside and outside Dragon City.
His believer heart was dazzlingly pure and bright, symbolizing Rowan's unwavering faith in the Holy Light. As the Archbishop of the parish, Rowan's faith was undoubtedly firm and pious. However, on that believer heart, there was a deep mark, as if it was an ugly scar, that extraordinarily caught everyone's attention.
This mark was exactly the thing that triggered those countless exclamations, because it was the symbol of the Priory of Zion!
Faceless One was right, the man who had served the church for decades was actually the greatest traitor of the church.
After his greatest secret has been exposed, the Archbishop seemed remarkably calm. He lightly withdrew his believer heart, put on his robe back and then said, "I knew that the church was hopeless since Jean d'Arc was burned at the stake eighty years ago. A Holy Woman who saved millions of believers was vilified as a heretic, while at the same time, church's top leaders were immersed in Golden King's Treasure House in Taobao City, and even refused to look back at the evil that was happening behind them! Although afterward they posthumously awarded her as a Saintess, they actually forbid the deed of Jean d'Arc to spread. Instead, they constantly erased her influence, making the world forget her existence in order to cover up their own mistakes! Incidentally, the two Holy One who passed the sentence and carried out the execution of the Saintess did not receive any investigation for their mistakes. They did something wrong and killed the wrong people, but they went unpunished. How could such a church not be questioned?"
There was nothing impassioned with the tone of those words. After decades of that secret being stuffed inside his heart, once he poured them out, Rowan was neither happy nor sad.
Because everything didn't matter. He had seen Jean d'Arc once again, so even if he immediately died, even if it brought ruin and shame upon himself, so what? It was just that, unfortunately, in his last moment of life, he was not able to achieve the expectation of the Holy Saintess. This war could not be calmed down by himself alone.
"Hahaha, what an emotionally touching speech, an apostate can really rebel so wonderfully, what else can you say? What a pity, if you don't enter the Priory of Zion, and thus bring ruin and shame upon yourself as an Archbishop, your previous words do have some persuasive power. But now, what I heard instead was just a raving of an apostate. Holy Light believers, there are only two paths before you, either being compassionate and side with the apostate, or use the sword in your hand to prove your faith."
As soon as he finished, Faceless One began to become transparent and then disappeared, reabsorbed back into his real body, and continued to press Bedivere. However, on the battlefield, the atmosphere began to change rapidly.
The priests who once sympathized with the Archbishop and was doubtful about Faceless One have made their decisions.
The Archbishop's story was wonderful, but that wonderful story could not conceal the fact that he was a traitor. The meaning of Priory of Zion, at this point in time, on the battlefield, even those who initially didn't know about it, have become aware through words of mouth. There was no need to reason out-the Priory of Zion was the enemy of the church, so any sympathy or support for the Priory of Zion must be regarded as an act of treason and must be punished without exception!
If initially towards Faceless One, a mysterious person who suddenly became the new Chief Inquisitor, people have a very big suspicion, but this time, most of those suspicions have already disappeared. Faceless One was acting aggressively because his opponent was an Archbishop who acted like a bully and held his post for more than forty years! Everything in Dragon City was under his control, so if there was no thunderbolt-like surprise, who knew what would happen?
Therefore... although inwardly they still somewhat could not bear it, but, all in all, a member of Priory of Zion must die!
In Holy Light Religion's side, determination filled the air as the priests and holy knights shared a common hatred.
"Hahaha, Rowan, thank you for your short exposure so that our army can become more powerful. Now, it's time to start a big attack and sweep both the apostates and the heretics!"
Along with the naked laughter of Faceless One, Holy Light Religion believers began to press heavily. In order to be closer to the front, the priests' formation became denser. And although the likelihood of getting injured greatly increased, under the banner of holy war, seeing the victory, people didn't care about it too much. At this time, proving their courage to sacrifice themselves was more important.
At the same time, Wang Lu, who sat on the sideline while watching the whole thing, critically and lightly said, "Operation picking flowers, commence."
The battle entered its final moment. The battlefield was like an egg, and the Dragon City Guards were compressed into a group by the army of Holy Light Religion. After losing their three fortresses, Dragon City Guards lost their home advantage, and thus were forced to maintain a flesh and blood line of defense, which was increasingly shakier.
At this point, the casualties that the Dragon City Guards were withstanding were not too big. Previously, with the shifting of several lines of defense, they used the precious space for breathing room. After experiencing the fierce battle, the more than thirty high order professions of Dragon City Guards have only lost around three or four people. Middle-rank casualties were more severe, but it was still less than one-fifth. For elite soldiers like Dragon City Guards, they didn't suffer too much of a setback in terms of morale. On the other hand, on Holy Light Religion's side, the casualties were more than double. This time, Faceless One had also mobilized the high order professions from Holy City, which, along with the local force, amounted to more than eighty high order professions. Similarly, they lost a tenth of that, and their middle-rank casualties were even more disastrous. This actually created a semblance of balance between the two sides.
However, the evenly close situation stopped here. After losing all their strategic depth, the defensive advantage of Dragon City Guards almost completely shattered. They could no longer rely on the familiar terrain and prior array arrangement to display their special tactical skill. These advantages were quickly annihilated by the opposite party's force. Now, they must rely on their flesh and blood to face the force that was several times superior than their own.
Dragon City Guards were like a highly squeezed egg that could shatter and rupture at any time.
And they have no way of reversing the situation. Their strongest leader, Bedivere, was in the air, caught in the bitter struggle. His shining knight heavy armor was already covered with scars, and even the inscriptions on the knight sword have flickered. The sword light has turned gloomier, and though it could still cut off a huge mountain, its power has fallen by more than half; it was only a matter of time before his defeat.
The high order professions of Dragon City Guards, those who faced more than two times the same level opponent, could only rely on the taboo techniques like burning life and the likes to force for a balance. The middle rank power level could rely on tactical command of few against many, however, Holy Light believers have also gradually adapted to the command of Bright Archons. In terms of tactic, they began to rapidly catch up, and faintly, they began to overcome the other side's momentum.
No matter from which point of view, Dragon City Guards were already doomed to failure without a doubt.
At this point, the result was certain unless there was another sufficient force to affect the situation. However, within range of thousands of miles from Dragon City, how could there be any external force that was enough to subvert the situation?
In the air, Faceless One once again almost succeed in his sneak attack of stabbing Bedivere with his infinite-curse-filled dagger, continuing to tilt the balance towards his victory. However, at the same time, his attention was actually down below.
If there was anything that could turn the tide right now, it would be... that Nine Regions people who used a strange method to block him from capturing Marina and Irene.
Come on, let me see the skills of Nine Regions people.
Just as he thought about it, in the battlefield, on a spot where more than a hundred priests gathered, more than ten magnificent sword lights suddenly broke out, as if a multicolored flower suddenly bloomed.
Though the flower was gorgeous, it contained deadly murderous intent. Each petal was a sharp sword which was fatal upon being touched. Along with the blooming of this flower, the more than a hundred priests, in the blink of an eye, were instantly stirred into a mud.
However, in its stamen and pistil, a girl in a gorgeous dress slowly recovered the more than ten flying swords that were scattered outside, while on her face, her smiling face was as beautiful as a flower.
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