Chapter 24: Long Night in the Capital Part 1
(Hmm…? What’s going on?)
I was asleep in the basement when I noticed something strange and woke up.
My sensitive, jointed legs had detected numerous small vibrations that were gradually getting stronger.
It seemed like something was approaching.
During the day, I wouldn’t have been bothered by this, but it was late at night.
It was highly unlikely for anyone to be heading towards the mansion at this hour.
Had an emergency occurred?
As the vibrations drew closer, multiple spiritual forces suddenly exploded from the source of the vibrations.
The force was comparable to that of a battle beast who excelled in spiritual arts during a serious fight.
Wait a minute! This wasn’t something to take lightly!
A heavy thud echoed through the basement, causing the ceiling to shake and dust and other small debris to fall.
Based on the vibrations I felt through my jointed legs, some sort of spiritual attack had struck the mansion directly.
I didn’t know who the culprit was, but attacking a nobleman’s mansion was an insane act.
What on earth was happening?
Immediately after the explosion, the mansion became a hive of activity.
Shouts and screams, loud enough to reach the basement, mixed with the heightened fighting spirit and spiritual power.
It seemed that the knights guarding the mansion were battling with the attackers.
However, the battle seemed to have become one-sided.
Unfortunately, the attackers had the upper hand.
The power difference between the two opposing sides was overwhelming, and the knights, who should have had the advantage in numbers, were being picked off one by one.
I had seen knights from a distance before, and they were only slightly stronger than Gordon.
It seemed that the attackers, despite being a small group, were all skilled fighters.
I didn’t know what the mysterious attackers’ goal was, but could they also take care of the young master and Georg while they were at it? Then I would be free…no, wait.
I still wanted to kill Georg myself.
“Wait! You evil spiritual caster!”
“Guuuh! Damn fanatics!”
Although I knew that there was commotion happening above, I was chained and trapped in the cage, unable to do anything.
I decided to wait and relax until the situation was resolved.
Right then, I heard a battle nearby in the basement.
I couldn’t make out one of the voices, but the other one was all too familiar.
It was Georg.
Georg was attacking with his spiritual art and seemed to be running towards me.
Even though I could sense he was running, he had a limp in one leg, so his speed was quite slow.
He was also firing off spiritual arts wildly to divert the enemy’s attention while he made his way towards the basement where I was being held.
On the other hand, the attackers seemed to be struggling, which was surprising.
The reason was probably because of this underground passage.
The shape of the underground passage was not complicated.
However, its width was insufficient to avoid the persistent attacks of the spiritual arts.
Nevertheless, if they were to recklessly use high-power attacks to cancel out Georg’s spiritual arts, the road might collapse, and they themselves might be buried alive.
The attackers wanted to avoid that, but they couldn’t break through the passage with brute force.
That’s why they were struggling so much.
It was a battle that showed the importance of using the terrain to one’s advantage.
However, Georg was a trainer, not a combatant, who excelled in the use of spiritual arts attcks.
There were plenty of openings to exploit.
Immediately after a sharp slicing sound, something hit the door of the room where I was.
Through the door, I could hear Georg’s rough breathing as he endured some kind of injury.
And the bright red blood flowing through the gap between the door and the floor… I see, he had been cut.
Was he in front of the door, unable to move?
You, as a living being, abuse nature and twist it into something evil.
Tell me where your battle beasts are located.
At least, as a form of mercy, I will kill them without causing further suffering.”
“Wh-what will you do if I tell you?”
“Dispose of them.
You twisted the truth and claimed to be on the side of ‘justice’ despite being a distorted existence.
You deserve to receive appropriate punishment.”
….Please spare me.
It was the manager who deceived you, not me! I didn’t have a choice because I lack free will.
Are you coming to kill me for that? Come on.
As expected, my unpleasant premonition came true.
Nevertheless, I never thought that the rumored “Justice Church” itself would be coming to kill me.
Did they attack the mansion just for that reason? If so, Georg was right to call them fanatics.
“What’s so funny?”
“Gah! Hahaha… Cough!”
Despite being threatened, Georg continued to laugh out loud.
Suddenly, the door was pierced by a sword covered in blood, along with Georg’s pained voice.
The attackers must have stabbed the door, along with Georg.
Nevertheless, Georg kept laughing.
After a moment, he coughed and spoke clearly, saying that it was impossible.
“That creature exceeded my expectations and became much stronger.
It’s my masterpiece… Even if you manage to survive this, there’s no way you can raise anything stronger than that.
The average human can’t even stand a chance against it.
You can’t even touch it.
Know your place, young one.”
Without shouting or taunting, Georg calmly stated this obvious fact as if he were talking about something trivial.
He must have absolute confidence in his own creation, which seemed like praise, but considering what he had done so far, it was not at all pleasing.
As I listened to their conversation with mixed feelings, I heard a sound in my head… No, it felt like something hard cracked in my soul.
The sound repeated intermittently, getting louder and louder.
Could it be…?
“Is that all you have to say, trainer? Do you really expect me to believe your nonsense?”
“I don’t expect you to believe it.
The only ones who believe in the ‘God of Justice’ and its teachings are you people and those foolish enough to be blinded by them… You don’t have to believe me, but I’ve given you a warning.”
As soon as I realized the possibility, the sword that had been stuck in the door was pulled out.
They were going to put an end to Georg.
In that moment, before I could even think of a plan, I took action.
In the year 825 of the Altera calendar, a coup suddenly broke out in the capital city of the Harlsia Kingdom.
The ringleaders were Prince Ludwig and Lord August Schneider, Duke of Dalbaren.
The legitimate prince and the duke had the support of the Marius Holy Knights from the Justice Church.
Their goal was religious reform.
They aimed to establish the Justice Church as the state’s religion, above the existing temples, and govern the country according to its doctrine and order.
At least that was the goal of Prince Ludwig and the Church.
In the palace, there was a division of opinion among the courtiers regarding the issue of succession, but there was not enough opposition to cause armed conflict.
This was because Prince Carl had no ambition and was trying to balance the situation to avoid conflict.
However, Carl’s efforts backfired.
No one expected either prince to commit such an outrage, and almost no one could respond to the surprise attack carried out in the middle of the night.
The occupation of the gates, the main facilities, and the majority of the capital city was quickly and almost bloodlessly completed.
This was thanks to the skill of the duke, who knew the capital city better than anyone.
He was able to seize control of most of the city.
The noble district that the Justice Church headed towards for dominion was engulfed in destruction and massacre.
The nobles who supported the coup and those who were virtuous and innocent were left unharmed.
However, those nobles who were considered to be against justice according to the Church’s standards met a tragic end.
The mansions were destroyed by spiritual art attacks, and the knights who were guarding them were mercilessly slain while the entire families, including children, were ruthlessly killed.
Many servants and slaves were also caught up in the collapse of the mansions and died.
They knew the extent of the damage it would cause, yet they still used spiritual art attacks on the mansions.
They claimed to uphold justice and have a compassionate heart.
However, they did not care if innocent people were sacrificed for their sense of justice.
In fact, they genuinely believed that it was something to be celebrated as the foundation of justice.
The blade of justice was also swung at the Duke of Ashvald’s mansion.
The mansion was set on fire, the guards were annihilated, and the duke and his son, who could not escape, were ruthlessly slaughtered.
This was accomplished by a team led by a young holy knight named Kendil.
They arrived just in time before the coup d’etat, and they had calmly achieved half of their mission without suffering any serious injuries.
“The nobles have been taken care of.
By now, Ethan has likely extracted the whereabouts from the trainer and dealt with him,”
“Then in the meantime, let’s collect any supplies we can use.
We’ll use the ill-gotten gains of the villains for justice,”
The doctrine of the Justice Church teaches that by using the ill-gotten gains of the wicked for justice, they can be purified.
However, many criticized them for justifying looting.
Yet, there was no one here to criticize them.
They thoroughly seized everything from the remaining debris of the destroyed mansion, such as the gold buried under the rubble, the contents of the remaining safes, and even the ring of the deceased Duke.
Anyone who witnessed their actions would hardly consider them as messengers of justice.
While searching for items, the team captain, Kendil, detected a small noise.
At the same time, he released a spiritual art attack towards the source of the sound.
The fireball was weaker than the one that destroyed the mansion, but it was still sufficient to kill a living being.
A noise was heard, and Kendil flew towards its source.
There stood a bloodied knight with a pale face.
He was the only survivor of the guards and had suffered fatal wounds; he was resigned to waiting for death.
He had approached without making a sound, as if he knew he was going to die anyway.
Upon realizing that he had been noticed, the knight mustered his remaining strength and swung his sword, deflecting the spiritual attack.
The resulting blast landed in a different spot and exploded.
The knight, propelled by the blast, stepped forward and delivered a sharp strike with the flames of his dying spirit.
However, it seemed that the gap in their strength could not be overcome by sheer willpower or determination.
Kendil calmly avoided the attack and pierced the knight’s throat with his long sword.
The knight breathed out blood and curses before his strength left him.
Kendil wiped the blood from his face emotionlessly and withdrew his sword from the fallen knight’s back, a mark of respect.
As he confirmed the knight’s death, he heard footsteps behind him and turned around to see the deputy captain with a wry smile on his face.
“You’re running ahead on your own, Captain,”
I know that, but I just can’t help it…” Kendil responded, scratching his head with embarrassment.
As a holy knight, Kendil was a first-class fighter, but as a new captain leading his team, he had a habit of rushing into battle himself rather than commanding his subordinates.
He knew this about himself, and so he apologized humbly while scratching his head.
With that out of the way, he and his team resumed their search.
Although the Duke’s mansion had been destroyed, there were still plenty of valuables left behind.
They gathered them in one place and planned to retrieve them after the coup was over.
Everything was going according to plan, and the coup was proceeding smoothly.
They all believed, without question, that the righteous teachings would spread throughout the country once the coup was successful.
That was when a sudden explosion of fighting spirit and spiritual power erupted behind them.
“Form up the formation!”
The Kendil squad sprang into action without displaying any signs of panic, rapidly assembling themselves into their formation.
But as they gazed ahead, they could sense the presence of an immensely powerful monster.
The creature emitted a bone-chilling aura that it didn’t even bother to conceal, sending shivers down their spines.
Although the squad managed to maintain their composure and didn’t tremble, they couldn’t help but feel tense, and their throats turned dry.
Suddenly, one of them swallowed hard, and the mansion’s rubble disintegrated into sand.
And on the other side, they were confronted by a scorpion with its claws stained with blood.
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