After giving them a tour of the tower, Leylin brought the priests to the drawing room. The metallic golems arrived quickly, presenting tea and snacks in elven porcelain.
“May I know why Lord Baron invited us here?” Xena took a look at these golems that were about as strong as rank 10 Professionals, and increased Leylin’s rating in her mind.
Beside her as a representative of the Goddess of Wealth’s church, there were also priests from the Gods of Knowledge and Suffering. However, Xena was the highest-ranked, and the influence of the Goddess of Wealth was the greatest here. It allowed her to act on behalf of the other two.
“Before all that, I’d first like to give you two gifts!” Leylin clapped, and another golem came forward, placing two boxes in front of them. Once they were opened, a pungent smell wafted out with large amounts of lime powder. It caused Xena to furrow her brows. She slowly drew closer.
“This is…” She suddenly took several steps backwards after seeing what was inside.
“Ah…” “It’s actually…”
If Xena had reacted that way, the other two priests had even larger reactions.
“Lord Leylin, are you using this to scare us?” Xena’s tone was of dissatisfaction, as the box contained two sinister heads. Showing heads to these priests was no sign of goodwill.
“Hehe… I’m obviously not offending you. Please take a closer look…” Leylin had an easy smile on his face.
After confirming that Leylin would not fall out with the church of wealth, Xena endured the nausea and discomfort and began to observe the sinister faces in the box.
After taking a closer look, she found something was wrong. “Hm? This …”
The two other priests also seemed to have noticed something as well, delight showing on their expressions.
“Lord Leylin, this is…” The priest of the God of Suffering, Avdonia, began sounding unsure.
“Indeed, this is the high-ranked assassin that killed numerous men of the clergy during the Pirates’ Tide.”
Leylin pointed at the box on the left, “As for the one next to him, it is the bishop of the God of Murder hidden in the outer seas, Jesfano!”
“Hah… On behalf of all my comrades that met harm, I thank you!” Xena covered the boxes and sighed. The two other priests also thanked him happily.
During the Pirates’ Tide, the God of Murder had dispatched his subordinates to assassinate those of godly duties without regard. This had resulted in massive losses on the gods’ end. The churches that the three priests in front of Leylin represented were also included in the scope of the attacks, so it could be said that they had a feud with these two people.
The fact that Leylin had given them these two heads as gifts made them rather pleased.
“Well then… What does Lord Leylin wish to speak about?” The priest that had come in the bishop of the God of Knowledge’s stead was one that looked like an elderly scholar. The man called Salilus questioned Leylin with an intelligent glint in his eyes. After hearing his words, Xena and Avdonia focused on Leylin.
“Actually, these two heads were surprises that I obtained when exterminating the notorious Barbarians…” Leylin explained slightly.
“The Barbarians? You mean the culprit that started the Pirates’ Tide causing heavy casualties in the outer seas? They’ve been wiped out?” Xena was rather surprised, while Leylin snickered inside.
By defaming the Barbarians over the long term, especially with the king’s announcement, the Barbarians were now complete criminals. There was no way to absolve themselves of this reputation.
“Mm. They weren’t just pirates, they were connected with the God of Murder’s church!” Leylin declared, which then earned him flattery reserved for young heroes from Salilus.
“But…” When Leylin continued however, his tone completely changed, which made the three priests aware that Leylin was about to come to the main point.
“I believe that the outer seas as they are right now are in urgent need of a purge of faith in evil gods. This applies especially to those pirates and natives…” Leylin spoke in a low voice, his true intentions now revealed.
“A purge of faith?” The three of them exchanged glances in their surprise.
“Yes, a purge!” Leylin nodded resolutely.
While he treated the outer seas as his trump card, he could not offend all of the gods. Cyric and Malar’s reputations were rotten to the core, so that didn’t matter, but the few churches on Faulen Island needed to be roped in to his side. They could be considered as the Faulen Family’s natural allies.
As for the unlucky bishop of the God of Murder, Leylin was sorry to say that he could only be treated as just another stepping stone.
“Also… when it comes to dealing blows to the devils and demons, there are many ways we can cooperate in the future. I myself have come up with many new spell formations to detect demons and devils…” Leylin looked extremely furious.
Getting the favour of the good faction via proclaiming his wish to attack the devils and demons was a part of his plan. He could keep subduing them in the shadows to expand his strength, which made it like killing two birds with one stone.
“Oh? Please allow us to discuss this for a while…” Xena looked towards the priests beside her and answered, finding herself put in a spot.
From Leylin’s actions, it was apparent that he was making a declaration to dominate the outer seas. Most importantly, with the annihilation of the Barbarians and uprooting the God of Murder’s church, there now seemed to be no other opposing forces on the sea.
As those of the clergy, they would first have to consider the benefits to their churches. Everything else was secondary.
Unifying the outer sea and cracking down on faith in evil gods and devils was unquestionably beneficial for the gods they had faith in. Of course, this was only if they stood on the same side as Leylin and worked together with him.
‘He has the ability to destroy the Barbarians in secret… Seems like the rumours that the Faulen Family has control over the Scarlet Tigers is true…’ Xena glanced at Leylin, who was all smiles, and pondered over this.
‘With huge armed fleets on the surface and a pirate group in the shadows, as well as huge trade benefits and shipping routes supporting him, it is undeniable that he shall be king of the outer seas. Rejecting his goodwill at this time is very unfavourable to the goddess’ upcoming plans…’
Xena was actually very unwilling to see a single organisation becoming the dictator of the outer seas. She would rather this region be a place for free trade. However, she was currently left without choice.
The moment she infuriated a large organisation like this capable of unifying the outer seas, there would be a huge blow to trades in this region. This was also disadvantageous to the spread of faith in the Goddess of Wealth. Xena kept weighing her options.
‘But… attacking the evil gods, devils and demons?’ Xena shot Leylin a glance. While she had no clue what he was actually thinking, doing this meant she could tell what faction Leylin was in. At the very least, he was not on opposing ends with the Goddess of Wealth.
“In this regard... Please give me some time, my Lord. I need to discuss this with other members before I can make a decision!” While she already had a general inclination to agree, Xena still answered this way.
“The same goes for us.” At the other side, Salilus and Avdonia gave the same answer.
“Of course! This is just my intent. My family also has no plans of sending out troops on a large scale as of yet…” Leylin knew that these priests needed the permissions of their churches and even gods, which was why he didn’t pressure them. Whatever it was, this would be beneficial to them. He was sure that those with foresight could see this.
“As for the new detection spell and spell formations that you mentioned…” Before leaving, Xena displayed her strong interest in what Leylin had mentioned.
“Those are things I put research into and created unwittingly. They’re about half a fold more effective than ancient detection techniques, and the same goes for the range!” Leylin spoke indifferently, but that only caused the priests’ eyes to glint.
Demons and devils were the most hated beings in the prime material plane of the World of Gods! Altars and spells that could detect and distinguish them, especially those as effective and with as large a range as Leylin had said, were definitely the dreams of the churches.
“To be able create new spells alone… I was actually doubtful of my Lord’s talent in spells, but my doubts have been set aside.” The priest of the God of Knowledge, Salilus, spoke with conviction.
Even if it was the simplest distinguishing and detection spells, being able to create a whole new spell model meant that Leylin’s knowledge in terms of spells had reached a very profound level. Wizards like these were more capable of reaching the realm of legendaries. This was how it was recorded in many documents. Leylin had exhibited his abilities here, and Salilus could not help but brighten up.
“Many thanks for the praise. I can discuss matters related to this more comprehensively if you wish to!” Leylin was, on the surface, still a follower of Oghma. Naturally, he had to give this bishop preferential treatment, as well as give the other two some pressure.
“Of course, of course!” Salilus nodded with his eyes wide, while the other two looked wary.
After sending the three priests away, Leylin strolled back to his room.
‘There aren’t anymore issues in persuading them…’ he thought, ‘I’ll have a reason to purge the outer seas and call for help. All that’s left is to make preparations…’
By purging the faith of the natives in the outer seas and stealing their soul strength, he could constantly advance, speeding up his contact with the legendary realm. In the meanwhile, he could also expunge the devils and demons. This was Leylin’s main plan that would never change!
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