A screen of light slowly grew clearer above the altar, revealing an old woman with a cane walking over. The woman glanced over and laughed like a nightingale, “And I was wondering who it was. High priestess Ferlyn, what distracts you from the Sacred Alliance to talk to me? I still remember the days when you tried to lecture me… Now you don’t have the freedom to do anything, haha!”
Ferlyn’s face warped in rage, but she snorted softly without saying a word. This old woman was Eshin, the high priestess of the Church in the Sacred Tree Empire and a maverick amongst her creed. Unlike the remaining high priestesses who liked to remain beautiful eternally, she allowed herself to grow older as time passed. Of course, she couldn’t die willingly; that was only allowed if she found a replacement for herself.
Eshin’s temper was just as bad as her character, and to date she had offended most of the other high priestesses of the Church. She also had a special hatred for Ferlyn, the only chosen of their generation. Ferlyn had been famous throughout Norland before she disappeared for a while, randomly reappearing in the Church and officially taking over the Sacred Alliance from the previous high priestess there.
Flowsand was the one who spoke up first, “Eshin, I want to ask you one thing. What is happening with the Sacred Tree Empire and Klandor, especially with regards to the Azuresnow Shrine?”
Eshin looked at Flowsand and sneered, “Oh, another chosen! Two chosen priestesses in the same church, it seems like the Sacred Alliance will go down the annals of history! But then, why would I tell you about the affairs of the Sacred Tree Empire?”
Flowsand’s eyebrows furrowed, “Every minute of this is consuming a great amount of my divine grace, Eshin. I’m not here to listen to your cynicism, just name your conditions. You have one chance.”
“It seems like you have a big problem. Why find me? The Church cannot easily interfere with secular affairs, I don’t know just what beautiful face it is that’s riled up two chosen— Hey!”
Flowsand’s face flushed with anger as she stood up, suddenly growing taller right before Eshin’s eyes. Her appearance changed from that of a beautiful teenager to that of a fully grown woman, possessing a majesty that could not be ignored, “Start packing your bags.”
A trace of panic and bitterness flowed into Eshin’s expression, but she continued to sneer, “Why should I listen to you? Maybe it’s better for your pretty boy to die in Klandor, that will make me feel great. Stop talking to me like this, or I’ll arrange for some people to deal with your little sweetheart. Maybe I should have a dozen ugly slaves fuck him as he dies…”
Flowsand suddenly closed her eyes and went silent. One minute, two minutes… Ten minutes passed in the blink of an eye without a single word, and even the Book of Time started to dim. Ferlyn’s expression had been laced with alarm, and even Eshin’s tough facade was beginning to crack.
Once fifteen minutes had passed, Flowsand opened her eyes and said softly, “I understand. Let’s see this through to the end. It’s funny when a stone begs you to step on it, isn’t it? I’ll make sure you’re useless before I’m done.”
“Flowsand! You might be Chosen, but I’m also a high priestess of the Eternal Dragon! Don’t think I’m afraid of you!”
“All status is illusory in the face of the Eternal Dragon. You’re a high priestess because he chose you, what happens when I tell him otherwise? Even an idiot chosen by a god can be called a high priestess.”
“You… So arrogant…” Eshin couldn’t even form words properly, goosebumps rising up all over her body.
“You still want to mess with me?” Flowsand asked.
“You’re so young… How much grace can you have?”
Flowsand smiled faintly, “I’m offering to go to the Darkness and open a church there.”
“The Darkness?!” Eshin screamed, “Are you crazy?!”
“I am absolutely sane,” Flowsand was calm as ever.
Eshin’s expression turned incredibly ugly, but she still looked at Flowsand with a hint of awe, “That youth… is he that important to you?”
Flowsand pointed to her heart and smiled, “He’s my everything.”
“Alright. You leave me with no choice but to respect you. The Sacred Tree Emperor has sent his sixth and ninth children alongside the Archbishop to Klandor. They are to participate in the sacred ceremony and exchange the Heaven’s Armour set Uriel for the set Midren that they lost to Klandor some time ago.”
“What does this have to do with the holy ceremony?” Flowsand asked.
“Only the blood of the royal family of the Sacred Tree Empire can use Heaven’s Armour. The sixth prince is the descendant of the original Uriel, and he is to have a child with Princess Mountainsea to birth a mix of human and barbarian capable of using both totems and the most famous rune set in the world. When perfectly combined, it will lead to the presence of another peak expert in Klandor.”
“Why would the Empire do that?”
“All I know is that Midren, the set lost to Klandor, is also known as the King of Angels. Awakening it requires more energy than any of the other six sets, and repairs require demigod blood to complete. Its power is said to be extraordinary.”
Flowsand went silent for a few seconds, “… Alright.”
“What else do you need of me?”
“Take away their divine grace. For a period of time, the Church is not to accept any sacrifices from the Sacred Tree Empire. They will think of a response.”
“That’s it,” Flowsand cut off the communication.
Within the Sacred Tree Empire, Eshin looked at the ruins that had dimmed for a long time. The cold sweat had already soaked her robes; no matter how insane she was, she wouldn’t dare take on a Chosen who planned to enter the Darkness. Moreover, Flowsand’s decision touched a scar of her own that she had hidden deep within her heart for nearly a century, showing her a shadow of her former self.
Back in Faust, Flowsand and Ferlyn remained silent for a long time as well. It took nearly fifteen minutes of thought before Flowsand struck up conversation once more, “You heard her, I really do have no choice.”
Ferlyn’s face was warped with rage, “Those barbarians actually want to do such a thing! Aren’t they always flaunting their purity and tradition?”
“Heh, they have no lack of scheming old men themselves. They’ve seen Norland growing more and more powerful in recent times, and know that they need drastic measures to restore balance. Facing the threat of extinction, principles are expendable.”
“Then why don’t you give up?” Ferlyn asked with one final trace of hope.
Flowsand just pointed to her own heart and smiled.
“Sigh. What do you want to do?”
“I certainly hope he can give up on the ceremony and come back, but that’s impossible. Klandor and the Sacred Tree Empire are scheming together for this, so it’s impossible to sow discord between them. The only thing I can do is force the Shrine to give him a fair chance.”
Ferlyn sighed, “Richard is still too young. He thinks he can change everything with his own strength. He doesn’t completely understand the scale of power he is dealing with.”
“No, he’ll do great in the future. It’s only that he hasn’t had enough time to grow. And that’s the one thing I can give him now.” Flowsand’s face was filled with pride as she talked about him.
“And yet he does nothing for you. He can risk his life for Sharon and Mountainsea, but what has he ever done for your sake? Does he even deserve you?”
Flowsand’s expression dimmed, “That… can’t be blamed on him. I am Chosen, we are born to be ignored and forgotten. He has done all he can for me, working very hard to gather many more offerings than any other person could. It might not be the same as risking his life, but that is only because there was never a need.”
A myriad of expressions flashed across Ferlyn’s face before she gave up and changed tone, “I hope he’ll be strong enough to find you in the Darkness one day.”
“I’m sure he will!” Flowsand’s face was filled with confidence.
However, they both knew just how difficult such a thing was. Ferlyn wasn’t even in the Darkness, but the Emperor of the Sacred Alliance couldn’t retrieve her from the Church despite living a stone’s throw away.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo