"I'm convinced, dealing with children really is your life calling."
"Yeah nah. More importantly, we need to deal with this."
"Ah, indeed we do."
"If Eda were to refuse the temple's invitation at this town, what would happen if she went to other towns?"
"Nothing in particular. <Purification> users are one thing, but they won't share information regarding <Recovery> users even if those users went someplace else. They would likely hide it from other temples even. But as a precaution, you should avoid towns where Ceres Temples are erected."
"You, don't tell me you have no idea what temple this town has?"
"Oh dear. Didn't you even work at the orphanage once."
Nike had already explained to Lecan why temples would go into frenzy trying to recruit <Recovery> users before, and she would give additional explanation now.
Nine gods are revered as great gods in this country, each having a temple.
The capital has all temples for all nine gods. The temple of God of Judgment who's also God of Heavens, Erekus only exists at the capital.
Each town can only have one temple built. In other words, which one of the eight gods will have a temple in a town is set. There are towns without temples as well. Those towns are regarded as having lesser values.
Erecting a temple needs permission from the capital, but the decision which town gets which temple is made in conferences attended by Temple Heads. Influences and ranks of those temples depend on how many <Purification> and mid-class and above <Recovery> users they have. In short, the temples that have more <Recovery> users who can use mid-class <Recovery> and above are permitted to erect more temples, they also have higher right to speak in the conferences.
Ordinarily, the number of temple buildings won't increase unless a new town is built. Nike has no clue where and when a new town is gonna be built, but the right to build a temple in that new town is a source of competition among these temples, as such they're desperate to add even one more mid-class <Recovery> user to their rank.
"What kind of god is Ceres?"
"We're starting from there? She's dark god of pestilence."
"God who rules over the world of the dead you see."
"Hou. Is it among the more influential one?"
"Who knows. Think they're about mid ranked though I'm not sure myself. Charms to ward off sickness sell in any town, so they should be solid monetary wise at least."
"Hum? Any town, can they even sell those charms in towns with other temples."
"No no. That's not how it works. Even if a temple is say, dedicated to god Fiifii, that doesn't mean people can only worship Fiifii in that temple. You're free to worship god Raikores, or god Gyaban there. But with Fiifii temple, the doctrines taught will be mostly about god Fiifii, and rituals are carried out in Fiifii's methods. Charms to ward off sickness issued by Ceres Temple are surely an important source of income for all temples."
"Do other gods besides the great nine not get worshiped?"
"Oh they do, Shrines and Wayside Shrines dedicated to other gods exist in every town. However, only organizations for the great nine gods determined by this country are recognized in this country."
"Are there particular doctrine or manners I need to be aware of for marching into Ceres Temple?"
"It's way too late for that. Head there without minding about those stuff. Ah right. You can tell them that the three of us are in the same party, but it's a good idea to emphasize on Eda-chan being your pupil and that it's you who taught Eda-chan all the magic she knows."
"Hou? Let's go with that then."
"I need to tell you some things. First, I told you the fate of <Recovery> users, though it's all true, I also exaggerated it a bit. They do get to be kept on leash by nobles and temples, but they also get to live safe fulfilling lives."
"No surprise there."
"And well, temples are ultimately necessary components in this world, you see. No one knows what's gonna happen if gods aren't worshiped right. And those temples also act as spiritual supports for people, without them, many things become inconvenient. And the temples are the ones that provided for the poor and the weak."
Lecan understands that well.
He was greeted by a huge shock when he visited the temple-managed orphanage.
He never knew there existed such a warm wholesome orphanage.
If the orphanage Lecan grew up at was at least half as comfortable as that place, perhaps his life would have taken a completely different turn.
He has no intention to demolish that orphanage.
"But the bigger an organization, the severer the corruption within. And ironically, the good priests are also those who are indifferent to position and power. As such, some of the avaricious bunch managed to climb up the rank."
"Guess that's just how it works."
"Vouka's Ceres Temple is on the more decent side. It's just that I've been hearing about weird rumblings within for the past decade."
"Hum? Is it because of this Casis guy?"
"The third-rank priest Casis is a symptom of these weird rumblings. The town lord doesn't think well of him, but he can't exactly meddle with temples."
"What should we do then?"
"You're going to head straight to the temple, hear them out while also fully intending to refuse if they try to take Eda in, right?"
"That should suffice then. I have nothing to worry about if you're with her. You can simply say that the temple summoned you. Make sure you keep that silver ring on you."
"What? We're up against those kinds?"
"You're up against those kinds. You're probably going to be judged by several priests, when that comes to pass, say this. In accordance to Article 35 of Ceres Temple Law, I demand the attendance of two or more third-rank priests in the hearing."
"Article 35 of Ceres Temple Law huh. Duly noted."
"Oh and, showing any weakness during the negotiation will put you in disadvantage. Be prepared to depart this town depending on the end results."
"Of course, that's the plan."
"I'm planning to also leave myself if you two get driven out of the town by the temple."
"They do say <a shrewd rabbit would dig up four nests>. I've secured several bases of operation at a few towns in this country, see."
Nike going with them would mean she would teach him medicine making, that'd be nice. Nike is also capable of casting <Exchange (Coznot)> magic. All the equipment and medicine piled up in her house can be instantly transported away to other town, affording large-scale moving inconspicuously.
"Oh and also. You may antagonize the corrupted priests, but you must not make enemy out of the temple. And you absolutely can't kill a priest. At least not where the public eyes can see you."
Lecan squinted his eyes, digesting her roundabout way of telling him to restrain acting in a way that antagonize the entire temple organization, yet it's ok for him to be hostile to priests, just not the temple.
"The vice temple head herself is quite an open-minded woman."
"The vice temple head is a woman?"
"Cause women are not allowed to hold the Temple Head position. She's more than qualified to be one though in reality."
"What's third-rank priests?"
"First-rank, second-rank and third-rank priests are what they call senior priests, those who are allowed to speak in temple's administrative conferences. I believe they also have the right command temple soldiers. By being a temple head, you'd be a second-rank priest. There's only a handful of first-rank priests in the whole country, each has the suffrage for all temple heads."
"Any tough guy around?"
"You mean in battle? I don't think there's any. Not in this town's temple."
"Any <Purification> user in this town's temple?"
"How many <Purification> and <Recovery> users each temple possess is absolute confidential information. That said, none I'm aware of."
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"We're heading to the temple."
"I'll reiterate, I will protect you."
"Listen well to what I'm going to tell you."
"Do not answer, no matter what they ask you."
"Say, please ask Lecan, instead."
"Ah, I see. I got it."
"What is it, Nike."
"If by any chance you ended up having to leave the town."
"Go to the pharmacies we visited before and pass this on them. There'd be no medicine and delivery anymore."
"Could you also inform the Adventurer Association while you're at it?"
"I'll head over to the lord's place myself."
"I recalled something."
"What is it?"
"First, on the 18th, or the night we departed the town back then, Marakis and beast user Jiba got assassinated in their jail."
"Oh, I see."
"Vouka's branch head of Zaikaz Company was also assassinated in the jail."
"How pitiful, or I'd have said that were their opponents not that Dovor and Gido, that would be too much to ask from the lord's soldiers."
"On the 19th, the lord's soldiers conducted a search in Midosco's mansion and found something that should not have been. He was put on trial, and with evidence and testimonies that came to light, he was charged with the crime of rebellion, and got executed on the 24th."
"Ah finally. Took them long enough."
"Chaney said he wanted to meet Shira."
"Ah, I remember something too."
"Eda-chan and I got invited by Knight Tomaj Douga and spent a night at the lord's mansion."
"Is that it, just 'hou'?"
"Sorry for the trouble."
"You owe me one, you hear me. Oh and, you recall how Tomaj didn't believe that you conquered the dungeon alone when we met him on our way to Kogurus?"
"Yeah, he didn't."
"However, the soldiers who stood guard at the dungeon's entrance this time were familiar with your face. They saw you going alone for sure. And, he didn't seem to be aware of my name back then, but he apparently found out later that I'm a Gold-rank adventurer."
"You dived into the dungeon while leaving me, a Gold-rank adventurer, behind, and even conquered it. It seemed to finally dawned on him that you really conquered the dungeon solo."
"Is there a problem with being solo."
"I wonder? They were clamoring about something though. He proposed and asked me many things, but I declined it all except for one thing."
"He wanted to know what you got from defeating the Dungeon Boss."
"Ah. It's <Dagger of Harut>."
"Hee. That's a pretty nice find. OK then I'll pass it on to Knight Tomaj. Not sure about its market price, but I did hear rumors of the royal family buying one for one white gold coin when it showed up in the auction recently."
"White gold coin?"
"Oh my, Eda-chan. That's some amazing expression you got there. <Dagger of Harut> is one of the commemorative treasures handed down by the king during the selection of crown prince after all. It's the most famous equipment that grants resistance to curses, and highly effective at it. That price sounds just about right actually."
"How many gold coins is one white gold coin?"
"I see. By the way, Nike."
"I've used up all the mana recovery medicine and stamina recovery medicine you gave me. Can I have more."
"I've got no more on me. But, can't you just use <Recovery> on yourself."
Lecan had completely forgotten that <Recovery> could also be used to recover stamina.
He has never even used <Recovery> on himself. This is because recovery magic that were in his former world could not be cast upon oneself. But it can be done in this world.
Lecan also possesses the power to directly absorb mana from magic gems. But using magic gems aren't really economical, and the mana recovery medicine Shira made is superbly effective, it's giving him a new boost in motivation to learn how to make it.