"Priest Casis. What should we do about this."
Priest Casis is looking up at Lecan with indecisive eyes.
"Lecan. This must mean Eda is capable of the same art, is she not."
Lecan had a slight expectation for Priest Casis changing his target to him after seeing his <Recovery> but that doesn't seem to be the case.
"Not the same. It's weaker and more unstable. But it's qualitatively similar."
"Well then, this temple shall deem adventurer Eda's <Recovery> as being a blessing of the great god Ceres, and I propose adventurer Eda's admittance into priesthood apprenticeship."
"I approve of priest Casis's proposal. It's a birth of our new brethren."
"This means that art will belong to our temple. Of course I agree."
"She's an immediate asset. No, she will reach an even greater height eventually. I'm completely on board as well."
Only priest Pajill gave a slightly different conclusion.
"Adventurer Eda has not proved her art to have come from a blessing of great God Ceres. However, I shall give my approval if she wishes to admit herself into this temple's priesthood."
"The proposal has been approved by four to one. Adventurer Eda. You are hereby to be an apprentice priest of this temple."
"We refuse. "
"Lecan. We didn't ask for your opinion. Your role is done. Leave Eda here and off you go now."
Good grief, so it's come to this in the end anyway huh, thought Lecan.
But he doesn't regard this monkey show to be all in vain.
They responded to the temple's calling and gave sincere answers to their questions. And yet the temple would ignore Lecan's side, and attempt to capture Eda against her will, a fault not of their doing.
He had done everything he could have done to stay in this town. That must have been conveyed to Eda. And she must have realized the absurdity of these priests and the dreadfulness of the place called temples for sure. On top of that, perhaps she's learned a little on the way of argumentative debate. Though Lecan himself is quite bad on this front, it's probably not the best model to learn from.
(Now then, let's head back.)
(Still, that was tiring.)
(This is why I dislike the world of men.)
(I'd like to dive in a dungeon.)
"Eda. Let's go."
Eda held out her hand.
And for some reason, Lecan took it.
Like she's taking a princess by her hand.
"Where do you plan on going, Lecan."
"You think you can leave? Ha Ha Ha. Sure, you're free to go. If you don't care about your families that is."
"Neither me nor Eda have family."
"You must have friends. Those poor folks can no longer live in this town."
That's probably a very terrifying threat to the people in this town.
The townspeople already hold priests in fear and esteem to begin with. They're also aware of the horridness of being targeted by temples. Those people would have no choice but to surrender to this threat. Doesn't matter to Lecan though.
"That's enough, priest Casis. The words coming out of your mouth are very unbecoming of a priest."
"Could the old bone keep it down please."
Priest Pajill glared hard at priest Casis for a while before leaving through a door in the back.
"Priest Casis. You haven't done your research on us. We had just arrived at this town recently. We've no friends. If I had to think up one, it would be Jericho."
"An ape. One gallant Longarm Ape (Zanvald)."
While saying that, Lecan pushed the door with his right hand with Eda's hand on his left.
A loud throat-ripping voice roared behind.
"Soldiers of gods! Arrest that impudent cretin!"
Three temple soldiers charged with their spears pointed at Lecan.
Lecan proceeded ahead while gripping Eda's hand.
The three soldiers are backing off still with their spears high.
"What are you doing! Just kill the man. Capture the woman alive!"
Lecan let go of Eda's hand.
The temple soldiers charged at him all at once.
Since they were no opponent that necessitated Lecan taking his sword out of <Storage>, he simply parried their spears with bare hands and threw in a hit to each of them.
The three soldiers were flung away into the wall.
<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.>
They took another door and arrived at a narrow passage. There's a door at the end of the passage, with a lookout on guard.
"Where are you going?"
"Just you by yourself? Where's the guide?"
"We had one on our way here, no more now. Passing through."
He seemed like he still got something to say, but he made no attempt to stop Lecan by force. Not like he could even if he tried.
After several winding passages, they finally got to the door to the open space.
There were probably shorter routes, but this is what they got by retracing back the path they took on their way there. <3D Perception> does not tell Lecan whether a door is locked or not, nor it enables him a bird's eye view over a huge building. It's not an ability to picks out the optimum route.
There was a time when Lecan partnered with a man who never wavered at picking out paths during his dungeon diving days back in the days. That man probably had an ability to forecast terrains and shortcuts.
(No, wait. There was that <Graph Making> spell of perception type. Wonder what kind of magic is that.)
Lecan opened the door to the open space. They came out next to an altar.
There were worshipers in the open space just like before. However, only three people were concentrating in their prayers, the rest were looking at Lecan with frightful eyes.
Lecan walked in the right side of the open space toward the exit. Eda is following behind him. The worshipers backed away from Lecan.
But a lone man approached Lecan and talked to him in whisper.
"Lecan-san. Priest Casis had just gone out of the front door with temple knights and temple soldiers in tow. They said they would ambush you in front of the door. Just what did you do?"
Lecan remembers this man.
It's the tamer of that Longarm Ape (Zanvald). The master of Parade. He's forgotten the name.
"This temple wanted to take custody of this Eda here, I turned them down."
Leaving the man at a loss for words, Lecan headed straight to the front door. His <3D Perception> showed him Eda greeting and bowing to the man.
The two doors are wide open, same as when they first arrived.
Ten soldiers are standing in a row in a semicircular fashion by the stone steps, their spears at the ready.
Two men wearing imposing armor are lording behind them. They haven't drawn their swords. These two are quite skilled.
Two priests are standing next to the two. Both possess pretty huge mana pools.
Priest Casis is also present. He's wearing a necklace that was absent before. It must be some kind of Grace-laced magic item. He's also holding a cane. Lecan felt an even larger mana than before coming from him.
Lecan climbed down the stone steps with an unruffled expression.
Priest Casis held his cane up and chanted a spell. He probably had done the preliminary cast already.
Lecan felt his body getting numb. His leg stopped for an instant as it was taking a step down. But a moment later, the abnormality affecting his body cleared away, Lecan took another step down the next stone steps casually.
There are nine stone steps in total. This and the great nine gods and stuff, perhaps the number nine holds a special meaning in this country. Lecan finished climbing down while thinking that. Eda followed after.
Priest Casis had begun reciting another spell after that shocked exclamation. Must be the preliminary cast for his next magic. Lecan kindly waited for him to finish it.
Lecan's consciousness was wrapped in a white mist for a moment, but it immediately got swept away. Just like it's always been forever, the enchanted silver ring in Lecan's finger is protecting him from all kinds of status abnormality.
This <Sleep> is the same magic Marakis used. If he remembers right, elementary level of this spell requires the caster to touch the target to be effective. Which means, priest Casis is a user of mid class or above for him to cast this spell from that distance.
But, Marakis was the better caster among the two. Lecan lost his consciousness if even for an instant that time. Priest Casis's magic is feeble. And yet, priest Casis possesses far more mana than Marakis, in fact, the mana put in his two spells just now was of surprising amount.
This means that the amount of mana one possesses does not necessarily signifies their skill in magic. Conversely speaking, those who possess little mana may not necessarily be bad at magic. He's got to be careful about this from now on.
And now that he thinks about it, Marakis did not do the preliminary cast routine. He cast <Sleep> in the middle of an idle talk like it was flowing naturally. One could do that depending on they training they took. Can never let your guard down.
For a moment, Lecan lost the ability to distinguish things, he was incapable of telling left from right, above from below, ahead from behind. But an instance later, Lecan got the ability to distinguish stuff back.
This must be a mid-class mind magic like <Petrification>. Moreover, the mana put in it was clearly quite plentiful.
"You're just full of abnormal status mind magic, aren't you. Priest Casis."
Wonder if that's alright for a clergyman.
Or perhaps, that's exactly what makes him a clergyman.
"T-this can't be. Why didn't it work. There's no way this is happening"
Lecan takes a step forward.
Ten temple soldiers raised their spears, pointing them at Lecan.
At this point, Lecan suddenly felt like pranking.
There was this thing he wanted to test.
Doesn't matter even if it fails.
It'd be interesting, if it did succeed.
Lecan confirmed the positions of the spear tips with <3D Perception>. They're mostly stationary. Good.
As he recited the spell, lights surged out of a spot in front of Lecan's chest, blasting away ten spear tips. Eight <Flame Arrows> vanished afterward, but two landed near the soldiers.
The temple soldiers retreated back in surprise.
"W-what was that, what the hell was that."
Priest Casis was panicking.
The two temple knights drew their swords.
(And nice fighting spirits.)
Getting a presentiment of a fun fight, Lecan reflexively grinned.
Lecan raised the collar of his overcoat with his left hand, put his right hand inside the overcoat and pulled out the <Sword of Rusk> from his <Storage>.
Then he poured full-powered bloodlust into the enemy before him.
The ten temple soldiers in the front row were paralyzed as if they had been bathed in the <Pressure> of a gigantic magic beast.
The two temple knights halted their march without realizing it.
One of the priests suspended his chanting, while the other one dropped his cane.
Priest Casis was quivering with eyes wide open.
Lecan took a step forward with his right hand holding the sword hanging loosely.
The two temple knights are undoubtedly tough, but Lecan's instinct is telling him to defeat the two priests first.
(I was told not to kill a priest.)
(What a bother, but no choice.)
(I'll kick away these soldiers in the front, sending them flying toward the knights.)
(Then I'll jump to the left and pulverize the two priests' jaws.)
(I'll hit priest Casis in the abdomen once.)
(Then I'll run to the right and chop off the two knights' right arms.)
(I'll think about what's in store for priest Casis in earnest afterward.)
That was when a carefree voice of a woman resounded.
"Hey, what are you guys up to over there."