Chapter 17 - Paladin of Mercy and Punishment (2)

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Jamie was heading back home with Black. His head was messed up.

The Zenith he knew wasn’t the kind to help anyone. And look how many people believed and followed him?

Have Zenith’s teachings changed over the years?

Their books were still there, but the possibility of a different interpretation of the teachings could maybe be ruled out.

‘No, it can’t be that.’

The person who knew Zenith the best was none other than Jamie. He was a person who came from ‘violence.’

Even if it ends with ‘peace,’ Zenith had acquired many people through war.

Since when did the one who led wars help people?

Especially considering his disposition, it didn’t make sense. A ferocious man who would do his very best to help someone? That made no sense.

‘Suspicious.’

Zenith would do nothing good. There had to be a reason behind what was happening.

He wasn’t sure about it, but Jamie thought that what was happening in Haiss right now was a part of the process.

‘I can’t let anything happen in the land that will be mine.’

Haiss will be the land that will be the first stepping stone to bring down the Gods.

He had to stop the upcoming mess from happening for the sake of his future.

Kik!

As Jamie was thinking, Black pointed to somewhere.

A man with dazzling blonde hair was lying in the dark. Judging from his attire, he looked like a traveler.

However, he had something very unpleasant in his body.

Frowning, Jamie ordered Black.

“Go down there.”

Black took its master and softly landed.

Jamie strode over to the man.

“Priest?”

What he felt was the holy power.

He looked at the man’s body. He was wearing an expensive-looking sword around his waist, and his outfit looked luxurious.

Jamie recognized the man’s identity.

‘A high priest?’

Not just the appearance but the enormous divine energy felt in the body was evidence.

The man wasn’t a high priest.

Jamie had been plagued by the people like the man in front of him. When he remembered that time, he frowned.

‘Why is a paladin lying on the ground?’

Kik!

Even Black thought it was weird. Flapping its wings, it glared at the man.

“This jerk.”

Kik!

Black immediately ignored Jamie and looked at the man.

Clicking the tongue, Jamie looked at the paladin.

How should he deal with that?

Maybe kill-

Grab!

The man grabbed Jamie’s ankle.

At the sudden action, Jamie hastily covered his face with Black.

His face was slowly covered. But the man seemed to have hollow cheeks.

“Stomach…”

‘Stomach?’

“Stomach…!”

‘Is something wrong with his stomach?’

“I am hungry…!”

The man who screamed lost consciousness again.

Jamie looked at the man with a puzzled look.

A paladin who had been starving was lying on the side of the road?

He shoved away the leg. His droopy body looked pathetic.

“Ugh, I am drunk~ why is the world spinning like this~”

“Sigh, brother! Get yourself together!”

“Ouch! Oh! hahaha!”

“You are very drunk.”

“I know. Calm down! Okay?!”

Then, three drunk people were walking out.

Two were struggling to support the overly drunk man.

“Hehehe!”

“I will never drink again!”

“To be drunk in this age… Um?”

The oldest of the three stopped and looked somewhere.

“What is it?”

“There seems to be someone over there?”

“Huh?”

The young man looked at where the other one-pointed.

A blonde man was on the floor.

“There are people in the world who are far worse than this man and have fallen on the road.”

“Damn it. one more load.”

“Go one.”

“Kazah, Kazahhh!”

“Brother, shut that mouth!”

A young man covered the drunk man’s mouth from time to time.

“It would have been fine if we didn’t see him, but what to do now? Should we take him along?”

“My elder brother is such a gentleman.”

The man called elder brother smiled and began to lift the blonde man.

“Ugh! Hmph!”

“Brother, stay still!”

“Let’s go.”

With one supporting each, they went away.

Jamie watched them quietly from the shadows.

He didn’t think that people would move around there.

“What was a paladin doing here?”

He didn’t look like a Zenith believer.

It was clear that he belonged to another religion. Was he passing through this place?

Whatever the reason was, the man was lucky.

If those people didn’t appear, Jamie would have killed him.

‘This is better. I didn’t have to do that bothersome task.’

If the paladin had been killed, then the religion he belonged to would have started a search for him.

Jamie was confident that he wouldn’t get caught, but he didn’t want to do something wrong when he wasn’t even connected to him.

“Let’s head back.”

Kik!

Black spread its wings.

Jamie grabbed Black’s leg and returned to the mansion.

And the next day.

“Oh, nice to meet you. Boy!”

At breakfast in the Welton mansion.

The blonde paladin Jamie saw yesterday was sitting on the same table with Jamie and eating chicken legs.


“If it weren’t for the Count’s grace, I would have died on the street!”

Jamie looked at the blonde man.

The man introduced himself as Lars, the paladin sleeping on the street. But why was he here at the mansion?

“Huhu. Why, thank me. It was the soldiers.”

It was the Welton’s who took in Lars last night. It seemed like they found the priest’s card when they searched Lars and informed their superior.

“Weren’t they working for the Count? So it is the grace of the Count.”

As Lars’s words, Count Welton smiled.

“But, what kind of paladin was out dying from starvation?”

“We are human too. Sure, I have heard that there are stages when a person receives their own holy power and lasts longer than ordinary humans.”

“It must be wonderful to be divine.”

“Right? I, too, think that.”

Paladin Lars raised his fork and began to eat.

Count Welton grinned at that.

“You belong to Pyro?”

“Yes. Pyro, the goddess of mercy and punishment.”

“We were surprised as it was the first time we heard about it. Right, darling?”

“That is right. I was really surprised.”

“Could you explain why you were surprised?”

Lars asked.

Instead of answering, Sears asked another question.

“Do you know Bishop Sephira?”

When the name Sephira was mentioned, Lars seemed shocked.

“Ah! is it the one from Apton?”

If one was a priest of the Pyro religion, then one would know Sephira because that person was the archbishop of the ‘Apton’ branch.

Sears smiled and nodded.

“I am from the Bell family.”

“I am pleased to meet you.”

Lars’ eyes went wide at the mention of ‘Bell family,’ and he knelt down on one knee in front of Sears.

That made Jamie almost spit out what he ate.

“I am a Welton now, so you don’t have to do this.”

“Ev-even then.”

“hahaha. It has been so long since I last saw someone from Pyro.”

“I know.”

Jamie looked at his parents in shock.

They seemed to be accepting Lars very quickly.

‘What the hell!’

He understood that the Pyro church in Apton was under the Bell estate.

But that couldn’t be the reason why Lars was bowing down to Sears. A church that belonged to an estate meant that they were tenants. That was all.

What kind of tenant would kneel to a landlord?

The Bell family and the Pyro church must have a different relationship.

And for a paladin to kneel, the other person had to be at least a bishop-level person.

‘Is there something that I don’t know?’

The close relationship between Pyro and Bell could be understood from Lars’s attitude. But no matter how much he thought, Jamie couldn’t understand the reason.

In that case, he had asked.

Jamie asked his father with an innocent look.

“Why is he here?”

“It is complicated to explain. When I get the chance, I’ll let you know later.”

Count Welton said in a soft voice.

Jamie hated it. After the meal, he would go and ask them.

If the Bell family and the Pyro church’s relationship were this strong, it would be a pain for Jamie.

‘Pyro. After all, she is also someone I need to kill.’

“Stop that and rise.”

Sears grabbed Lars’ arm and lifted him up.

Lars looked at her and spoke.

“It must have been the goddess’s will that led me to this palace.”

“Live a sinless life.”

“Mercy which isn’t harsh. I never thought I’d find someone to greet me like this.”

Lars sat down and kept saying that over and over, unable to believe it.

“Go on. The food will turn cold.”

“Thank you so much.”

At the Count’s words, Lars started eating.

The table was as warm as ever, but this morning, it had a different kind of warmth.

‘I’ll just pretend.’

Except for one person.


After the meal, Count Welton took Lars to his office.

They chatted over tea.

“Right. How did you get here? There should be no reason for Pyro members to come all the way to the east.”

Initially, the influence of Pyro in the Seldam kingdom was minimal. Fortunately, the Pyro religion existed in a few places like Apton.

“Did you come here to expand your power in the east?”

“No. I came here for a different reason.”

“Different reason?”

“I was chasing someone.”

Lars’s expression turned serious.

“A person who conducts terrible experiments that no human being should dare to do.”

“There is no other race that does that except for dark magicians, right?”

“It isn’t a dark magician. No, it didn’t look much different from a dark magician either.”

“What the hell is that?”

“A Chimera maker.”

Count’s eyes widened.

It was because he never imagined that the word chimera would come out of Lars’s mouth.

“Are you saying that someone is making chimera illegally?”

“Yes. The bigger problem is not just that, he isn’t making normal chimera.”

“Is chimera normal to put that under a normal category?”

“Hahaha. I didn’t mean it like that. Hm… before I speak, can I ask you a favor?”

“… if I can do it.”

“This issue is top secret even in the church, so we don’t get to speak around. So, if you help me, I can tell you.”

“So, you are asking for cooperation.”

“Yes.”

Lars looked at the Count with a nervous expression.

He didn’t even know that the land he reached was Haiss, of the Welton family, but this had to be a God-given opportunity.

Count Welton was a Sword Master. If they could receive his help, things would be easier.

“Hmm.”

The Count tapped the table and pondered.

“Chimera maker.”

Chimera was an artificial lifeform created by combining the strengths of several living beings. It wasn’t a sin. But the world treated them as sinners.

It was because they used ‘human’ as their materials.

It wasn’t known if all the chimera makers did that, but those who were noticed did that till now.

‘The fact that it is being treated as top-secret in the church.’

The Count looked at Lars.

Paladins didn’t deal with Mana. So they can’t use aura. And it wasn’t easy to know the level of the paladin.

But the Count was a Sword Master. The one who reached the peak of the sword. No matter how different the sources of power were, it wasn’t difficult to read the opponent.

Lars wasn’t just a paladin. The energy inside him was in terms of the level of an expert knight. He didn’t reach Master, but he must be around the level of a knight commander.

And that person was tracking a chimera maker alone.

“I can’t guarantee my help because of my position. But since I know the relationship between my in-laws and Pyro, it is hard to turn a blind eye.”

“I know…”

“I will help.”

Lars’ face lit up.

“Thank you so much!”

“Enough of that. Why is Pyro after the chimera maker? Why did you ask the kingdom for help?”

Chimera creators were the enemy of mankind.

If they asked for support, they would have been given a huge number of troops.

“If we ask, they will certainly be of help, but if that is done, the prestige of Pyro will be reduced.”

“What does that mean? If taking someone’s help brings down the prestige, then you shouldn’t have asked me to, right?”

“I asked because you are Count Welton. Not because of your in-laws.”

And the talk would have never even come up if not for Sears’s name.

“What I am telling you should never reach another ear.”

“…go on.”

“The chimera maker that the church is pursuing. He is.”

Lars’ eyes narrowed.

“He used the holy power of Pyro to create the chimera.”

“… then?”

“There have been more than ten priests who have been sacrificed by his hands.”

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