Adelia’s pronouncements elicit grim expressions from the temple people. As the main forces governing the temple, they were also aware of the existence of chaos.
“I’ll help you as much as I can, and may Vishna’s blessing be with you on your journey.”
Adelia raised her head, grinning broadly, and addressed the crowd.
“Let’s go to the Sacred grounds.”
The journey from Biltawil to the Taklok Desert was pressed for time. The goal is anticipated to take at least two weeks to complete, which would leave them extremely exhausted because they can only take breaks for a very short period of time.
Initially, adjusting to the situation was the most difficult task. Furthermore, people were more easily worn out due to the hot, dry road from Biltawil to the Taklok Desert.
‘They are probably at their breaking point.’
Ivan was used to this type of forced march, so it was nothing new to him. His knights didn’t need to worry a bit either. Perhaps the Paladins can withstand this much. Except for Adelia and the temple priests.
Since they were never trained to use their bodies, they have a difficult time adjusting to this type of setting.
This was also something Melinda and Ivan were concerned about just before they started moving in earnest.
For a while, Ivan halted the march to assess the party’s health.
“What’s the status of the back row?”
“The priests are more exhausted than I anticipated, but they are getting better by blessing one another, so I don’t believe there will be a problem with our schedule.”
In other words, he doesn’t have to worry about the priests.
“What about Adelia?”
Ivan’s question about Adelia caused Melinda’s expression to change. Ivan scowled. If she’s in bad shape, Ivan won’t continue this march.
“Your report is late.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. It was a little unexpected…….”
“Yes, the Viscount is very very…… She’s full of energy.”
Yes? For a moment, Ivan doubted his ears.
He instinctively turned his attention to the shade he had set up for sitting. There were people stretching to regain even a little of their physical strength. Among the throng, Ivan had no trouble locating Adelia.
Adelia appeared to be in excellent condition, as Melinda stated. Her complexion was more rosy than anyone else’s.
“……Perhaps her strength is greater than mine.”
Melinda shook her head and muttered something that was both half-joking and half-true. Ivan approached Adelia with a friendly smile.
“Are you all right?”
Ivan felt strange when Adelia asked. He observed Adelia in detail with a look, ‘I think I should be asking that.’
Adelia appeared to be in great shape, as Melinda noted. It was not an exaggeration to say she was more energetic than a trained knight.
“……isn’t it tiring?”
“Oh, I’m fine.”
Adelia nodded calmly, as if nothing had happened.
“It was actually hard to tell you this since it was uncertain, but now I think I can tell you for sure.”
“I believe Vishna gave me something other than divine power.”
Ivan hesitated before slowly opening his mouth to ask what she was referring to.
“Did you receive Jeongjin’s blessing?”
Jeongjin’s blessings. It was a blessing that only a few chosen holy knights could receive. Receiving Jeongjin’s blessing does not automatically transform you into a skilled swordsman, despite how grand the words may seem. Simply put, your endurance improves.
Adelia answered with her head down.
“I think so.”
When the mystery was finally resolved, Ivan grinned.
“It’s a relief; you’ll be less tired.”
He was genuinely relieved. In fact, Adelia was his primary concern in this arrangement. If Adelia wasn’t in good shape, Ivan was prepared to abandon the plan at any moment. Even if Adelia doesn’t want to.
“Yes, I think the plan won’t have any issues, and the priests are doing pretty well, too.”
To hide his thoughts from Adelia, Ivan smiled and nodded.
“If you’re having trouble, let me know at any time. The more you overdo it, the worse the problem becomes.”
“I will. Don’t worry.”
Only after hearing Adelia’s definitive response did Ivan turn to look at the others.
The short break is over. The party continued their journey to the Taklok Desert. But before that, they had to cross a river.
Before entering the desert, they must cross the Omaya River, which separates the Biltawil and Taklok desert.
“Oh, my. The water level has increased dramatically.”
“There’s nothing we can do because the flood season has just ended.”
The Omaya River was quite large in size, but the water level was low and the current was weak, making it simple to cross with a boat of appropriate size. It’s a different story when there’s a flood.
A serious look filled the faces of those dispatched from the temple as they looked at the river flowing rapidly.
“Can we even cross this?”
Rowen asked Ivan in a low voice on behalf of Eustaf’s direct Order of Paladins. Ivan looked at Adelia while giving an uninterested nod.
“Yes, she’s going to stop the flow of the river.”
“What do you mean….”
Rowen scowled, displaying his confusion over what he had said. He moved his gaze to where Ivan was looking.
Can the saint intervene in this situation? But how can she handle nature using human power? ….
Rowen’s heart sank as he noticed Adelia moving freely in the direction of the river. He was concerned whether it would be risky or if she would be carried away by the current.
However, his concerns soon vanished as if they had been washed away.
It was the first time in his life that he had seen it. A true miracle.
“Oh my God. Is this for real?”
Rowen was speechless as he stared blankly at the miracle that had bloomed from Adelia’s fingertips. She actually stopped the flow of the river by just making a gesture, as the Grand Duke said.
“It’s a miracle.”
Miracle. This was the only word he could use to describe it. That was adequate. It truly was a miracle.
Beces covered her mouth and observed the group seated at the round table in somber silence.
‘This is not good.’
Their master, Lasette, was raising the corners of his mouth, but they could tell he was upset. They would not have survived this situation if they didn’t have that much tact.
“……I see, do you mean the saint has already escaped?”
The second brother, Montras Exis, broke the eerie silence by speaking. Beces responded calmly, sweeping her silver hair back.
“Yes, the Cardinal and the Emperor had already moved.”
“You were careless.”
Beces silently averted her gaze. She wasn’t sure if that carelessness was aimed at them or at her.
“Catching a bird that has flown away requires a lot of effort.”
Lasette, who had remained silent throughout, opened his mouth. When he began to speak, everyone became tense.
“The fact that the saint was taken by Vishna’s devoted dog is never a good situation for us.”
“Did Vishna get involved?”
Lasette firmly shook his head and smiled slyly when Montras asked.
“No. It is impossible for the gods to intervene in the middle world after they have calmed the chaos. It is the same for Vishna. And I don’t know what’s going on, but I can feel that Vishna’s divinity has become lighter recently.”
“But you all know we shouldn’t be relieved, right?”
Lasette regarded the brothers with a stern gaze, feeling disappointed by the incident’s outcome. In response to his gaze, the brothers had to crouch.
“I’m not trying to be mean, but I’m also not trying to be stagnant; it’s time for a change, and now that the situation has changed, we’ll have to change our plans.”
“I think so, too.”
“Bring the saint by force; it doesn’t matter if our existence is revealed.”
“Leave this to me; I’ll do it perfectly, unlike the witch.”
Kale, who had been silent, asked Lasette with bright eyes. The word “witch” made Beces wince. She still maintained a tight lip despite the slight wrinkles on her forehead. In contrast, Lasette raised his mouth corners as he observed such a Kale.
“I’ll delegate responsibility to the second and third brothers; there should be no failure.”
Montras and Kale bowed deeply at Lasette’s command. Lasette turned his gaze to the other brothers as he continued to observe the scene at leisure.
“And the rest……”
Lasette tapped the circular table at a constant speed, stretching his words. Everyone awaited his words anxiously, with the exception of Montras and Kale.
“Yes, we’d better break the foundation.”
From Lasette’s point of view, the biggest reason why Adelia Yurpheon could last this long was the empire. This was thanks to her closest friends, Grand Duke Hamilton and the Emperor, with whom she had a close relationship.
“Prepare to ignite a civil war.”
“If it’s a civil war… Are you going to do it in the Empire?”
The seventh brother, a fallen imperial nobleman, cautiously inquired. Lasette answered with a smile that seemed genuine.
“… However, it will still be difficult for our forces to inflict a major blow on the Empire.”
“I guess so. It’s time to use our card.”
Lasette recalled the image of a shivering man. A pitiful expression. When he saw the face of the man who regretted his choice, he couldn’t even feel sorry for him.
“Make use of the Valkyrs.”