Chapter 18 - Zenith Church (1)

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He never thought that a day would come when he’d be waiting for tea time.

Jamie was walking around the garden.

He wanted to learn about the relationship between Sears, the Bell family, and Pyro.

He wasn’t sure how much she would tell her young kid, but he wanted to listen.

Eventually, she arrived to enjoy tea time.

“Son, you are here?”

Sears, who arrived first while embracing Sarah in her hands, waved her hand.

Sarah was munching on a cookie that was about half her face.

“Come sit down.”

“Yes.”

Jamie jumped into the chair and sat.

The maid came and poured red tea into the teacups.

“I will drink!”

He took a sip of the hot tea. And after the sweetness came a little bitterness.

Jamie put down the cup and looked at Sears.

“That face looks like you have something to say.”

“I have a question.”

“Hmm. Shall mother guess what my son is curious about?”

Sears scrunched her nose in a playful expression. With a smile, she lightly tapped Jamie’s nose.

“You were curious about your mother’s house and the paladin?”

“Yes.”

“I know whose nature you took after. A curious one you are.”

She straightened herself and stroked Sarah’s hair.

“It was from the days of my great-grandfather, whom I never saw, Jamie.”

“Your great-grandfather?”

“Huh. My mother’s grandfather.”

The former head of the Bell family, Marquess Ispil Bell.

Jamie didn’t know much about him. All he knew was that the Bell family at that time had a greater name than today.

Jamie looked at Sears curiously, and she continued.

“50 years ago. It was even before mom and dad were born.”


It was evening as the sun set.

Jamie gazed at the sunset with a troubled expression.

He heard from Sears about the relationship between Bell and Pyro. He learned the reason why the paladin bowed to her, and he could understand it.

“The benefactor of the church.”

50 years ago, the Pyro church had a great relic, the Mirror of Truth, stolen by someone.

The Mirror of Truth was a symbol of the Goddess Pyro. It could be called the identity of the church.

It was a huge problem that someone had stolen it, but the real problem was the identity of the stealer.

A follower of the Demon King. He made a contract with the Demon King and planned to manifest the Demon King into the world through the Mirror of Truth.

A crisis that could have destroyed the continent’s peace that had been going on for hundreds of years. The Demon King’s followers summoned a force called [Daemon] that drove Seldam into crisis.

Jamie, too was interested in history, so he roughly knew what had happened.

“The beginning of the Posthumous incident was related to the Pyro Church. It was shocking.”

Apparently, the Pyro Church hid the fact about the Mirror of Truth being stolen.

Anyway, the [Daemon] attacked the estate of Posthumous. Their power, which had changed from divine energy to Magi, was tremendous.

After infiltrating the land, most of the estate was occupied, except the gardens of the Lord’s castle. And when the Seldom lands were in danger of being taken away, Marquess Ispil Bell appeared.

He led his elite knights to break down the [Daemon], slashed many followers, and even succeeded in subjugating the direct subordinates of the Demon King who stole the Mirror of Truth.

In the process of subjugation, great sacrifices were made, and Marquess Ispil Bell died from wounds he suffered in the battle.

The Pyro Church had appointed Marquess the honorary archbishop as a token of gratitude and remembrance and pledged to treat all members of the Bell family as bishops for the coming 100 years.

‘To be treated like a bishop, what an absurd compensation.’

That was why the Pyro took the Bell family so seriously.

‘It was worth it.’

Jamie knew about the Mirror of Truth.

The 12 Gods bestowed their symbols on each denomination as supreme holy relics. The Mirror of Truth was Pyro’s symbol and had the power to reflect everything about the subject.

That was why she was associated with ‘mercy and punishment.’

“It isn’t such a bad thing.”

Jamie smiled.

At first, he thought that the association with Pyro would hinder his future plans, but now he had a different opinion.

Being treated as bishop, Goddess Pyro was someone who had to be killed, but shouldn’t he make use of everything that was available?

He heard that the power of the Pyro Church had decreased in recent times. Even then, Gods were Gods.

The influence they had on the continent was huge.

“kukukuk!”

Jamie’s eyes turned purple.

“Jamie!”

Just then, he heard Sears call for him.

Suppressing the black mana as much as possible, he turned and responded.

“Yes!”


Even though no one asked, Ricky was cleaning the church in the morning.

The priests and nuns who had finished the morning prayers praised him.

Ricky, who was never praised in his life, was unaware of this new feeling.

‘I really like this place.’

The boy who was forced to become an adult was gradually returning back to his original age.

A child had to be a child.

Ricky smiled after remembering what the priest said.

After he finished cleaning, he went back to his room. It was time for breakfast, so he thought of going to the dining room with his younger sister.

‘But, today is the day Shino is leaving?’

Shina, a boy chosen by God.

Whatever that meant, it was shocking. There was nothing that Ricky lacked compared to Shino. That made Ricky jealous.

‘No, No, jealousy is bad.’

He shook his head.

It was true that he was jealous of Shino, but that didn’t mean he should just discard the emotion itself.

The priest would say that jealousy narrows the thinking. So don’t narrow the thinking. In order to become a big person, you need to be able to think broadly.

Ricky offered a brief prayer of repentance to God and opened the door.

“Brother?”

“Let’s go eat.”

“Yes!”

Ricky took Anna’s hand and headed to the dining room.

Van arrived there first.

“Yo!”

“You are early.”

“Anna you too, hello!”

“Hello, brother Van.”

Anna waved her hand.

Van waved his hand too.

Ricky considered Van to be a good friend. Although it hadn’t been long since they met, he was a good friend to him and to his blind younger sister.

They sat at the eating table.

“You know that it is today, right?”

“Brother Shino’s leaving day?”

“Anna’s memory is great!”

“He-he.”

At Van’s compliment, Anna blushed.

Ricky took a handful of bread and asked.

“What time?”

“11 o’clock.”

“We can eat and rest too.”

“Yep.”

“I envy brother Shino.”

“Me too.”

Van nodded as if he agreed with Anna’s words.

There probably wasn’t a single person who wasn’t envious of Shina among all people in the orphanage.

Ricky spread jam on the bread and said.

“If we work hard, we will be able to get rewarded too. Until then, let’s all work hard.”

“Right. Fighting!”

“Fighting!”

“Dine quietly!”

Van and Anna went silent at the priest’s words.

Ricky looked at them and burst into laughter.

And then the farewell.

In the hall, Bishop Lincoln was holding the hand of Shino, the short-haired boy.

“Today, our young Shino has been chosen by our parent, God Zenith. Let us all bless him on his path and raise our toast on this significant day.”

When Bishop Lincoln raised the golden cup high, all the believers followed him and raised theirs.

“Bless Shino.”

“Bless him.”

Shino smiled at those words.

From the moment that he heard he was chosen by God Zenith, he couldn’t control his excitement.

He looked at Bishop Lincoln with twinkling eyes.

“Thank you so much, Bishop.”

“Give that gratitude to God. I am proud of you, Shino.”

Bishop Lincoln stroked Shino’s head.

“May God Zenith bless you.”

“Yes. I also wish that the Bishop and everyone else here will be blessed. If it wasn’t for Bishop, I would still be on the streets.”

“Miracles happen to everyone. If we get a chance, let’s meet someday.”

The farewell didn’t last long.

Shino left in a gorgeous white carriage with everyone’s blessing.

Shino leaned on the window and kept waving his hand.

“Thank you! I will definitely come back and repay you all!”

“Goodbye, Shino!”

“Be happy!”

“I’ll follow you soon!”

His friends were sending him support.

Ricky grabbed his sister’s hand and waved it. And then, when the carriage was entirely out of sight, he lowered his hand.

“Will brother Shino be happy?”

“Yes. He will be happy, so will we.”

“Yes.”

The siblings held their hands and went back to their rooms.


The carriage stopped late at night.

Shino was in a deep sleep. The priest who followed him like a knight lightly shook his shoulders.

“We have arrived, Shino.”

“Ugh. Already?”

“What do you mean already? The moon is up in the sky.”

“Ugh. I slept too much.”

Shino rubbed his sleepy eyes.

And then smiled while asking the priest.

“Is this the main church?”

“… follow me.”

Instead of answering, the priest opened the door of the carriage and went out.

Shino tilted his head and followed.

Looking around, he noticed something strange.

‘Forest?’

Is the main church of Zenith in the middle of a forest?

He was curious, but he didn’t doubt it.

He was the boy chosen by God. A brighter future than anyone else was waiting for him.

The forest was eerie, but when he considered it as a sanctuary, it wasn’t scary.

“Let’s go.”

The priest took the lead.

Shino followed him with a smile.

And they arrived at a building. A building that was so old to be a church.

There was a lot of dust on the building, and the insects’ corpses could be seen.

In particular, there were sculptures of unknown beasts standing on either side of the entrance.

“P-Priest?”

“Let’s go in.”

“Are we in the right place? I don’t think that this is it.”

They were supposed to arrive at the orphanage there, at the main church of Zenith, which had to shine brightly, not an eerie and old building.

“Let’s go in.”

The priest grabbed Shino’s hand with an expressionless face.

He thought something was wrong, but Shino couldn’t resist it.

‘Right. There is no way something is wrong. I have been chosen by God!’

No mistake. God cannot betray him.

Shino took the priest’s hand and followed him.

The inside of the building was weirder than its outside. Cobwebs were everywhere, and bugs crawled on the dusty floor.

A sight anyone would stop at. However, the priest kept dragging the light body of the child.

The priest stood in front of a bookshelf and pulled out a particularly clean book. A secret passage appeared as the bookshelf split in the middle.

It was then that Shino realized that something was wrong.

However, it was too late.

Shino was too weak to resist. And he ended up being dragged downstairs.

The corpses of all kinds of animals in glass tubes could be seen, and brains-like objects were floating in some liquid.

From half-dissected corpses to squashed skeletons.

Several reagents were being made, and something was boiling in a pot.

“p… Priest?”

“…”

“I think, I think we are in the wrong place.”

Shino pretended to not understand and pulled the hand of the Priest.

“Let’s go up. Le, let’s head to the main church… you said the main church.”

The priest turned and looked at him. No emotion in his cold eyes.

Shino could feel a chill run down his delicate spine.

“Priest…”

“I brought him.”

The priest said.

From somewhere, steps could be heard.

Step, step. Although it was a natural step, Shino’s heart was pounding.

All the new clothes he received in the church were soaked wet in sweat.

Thud-kukukung!

The right wall opened with a loud noise.

Someone walked from there.

Shino’s eyes widened.

“B-Bishop!”

“Shino. We met again.”

The one who appeared from the wall was none other than Bishop Lincoln. He was supposed to be in the church. The ones who left Haiss were Shino, the coachman, and the priest next to him.

So how was Bishop Lincoln there?

“You seem scared.”

“B-Bishop. Have I not been chosen by God?”

“It is true. God Zenith has personally asked for you.”

“Th, then why did we come here and not the main church?”

“Because this is the place in which we will reach Utopia.”

Bishop Lincoln stoked Shino’s head.

“Children are born innocent. Unspoiled purity. Which is great.”

“Huh?”

“It is something that adults don’t possess. Isn’t there a saying that children are like sponges who suck up everything?”

Shino couldn’t understand what the bishop was saying.

“So you have been chosen.”

Bishop smiled and opened his eyes.

A small glimmer of madness in his blue eyes.

“Come in.”

“Is it my turn at last?”

An unpleasant voice, as if scratching against iron.

Behind the bishop, an old man with glasses walked out. The hair on the head was sticking out.

The man fixed his glasses and looked at Shino.

“A good test subject.”

This place, this place is full of madness.

Was what Shino thought.

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