Chapter 0313 Development
The day after the delegation arrived in the Holy City of Marlomar, a civil officials conference was held.
But think about it.
The Central Nations and the Western Countries are incredibly far apart.
It takes more than a month to travel one way, with a myriad of difficulties along the way.
What in the world would two such regions hold a conference about?
In fact, that was a topic of discussion among the governments of the Central Nations.
In the Kingdom, in the Union, even in the Empire, which led the mission.
However, the first letter from the Theocracy that arrived in the Empire stated, ‘We would like to conduct trade negotiations, so send civilian officials as well’.
What were they planning?
“Connecting the Central and Western countries by sea…?”
Ignis, the Kingdom’s Chief Negotiator, muttered involuntarily when he heard the proposal from the civilian officials of the Theocracy.
The first trade negotiations were attended by ten top civilian officials from the Empire, the Union, and the Kingdom, respectively.
Not only the Kingdom but also the civilian officials of the Empire and the Union were probably hearing about the proposal for the first time too.
The entire mission from the Central Nations was in an uproar.
Since, according to rumors, there’s a considerable distance between the Central Nations and the Western Countries, even by sea.
Yes, ‘according to rumors’.
No one has measured exactly how far it is.
At the very least, no government has that data.
Of course, the exact sea route is also unknown.
And, it goes without saying, there are sea monsters in the sea….
The more he thought about it, the more problems sprung up.
Ignis literally held his head in his hands.
Currently, it wasn’t looking feasible…
Even as experienced a negotiator as he was, he had no idea what to expect in the next three months of negotiations.
The civilian officials were just getting started.
The escorts, on the other hand, were basically free.
Each of them was unwinding in their own way.
The first and most active of the lot was probably the water-attribute magician from the Kingdom.
He went to the ‘Kingdom Delegation Reception Section’, which served as the liaison for the Kingdom delegation and made a proposal.
The reception section was located at the first-floor front desk of the Kingdom delegation’s dormitory…
They were taken aback by Ryo’s petition.
And the content was ‘permission to see the golems’.
Yup, ‘just to see them’.
He wanted permission to observe the golems standing like guards at the gate, not the ones in the warehouse.
Because, naturally, he knew that if he said that he wanted to tinker with or look at their magic formulas, it would be rejected immediately.
Even Ryo knew that unless under unusual circumstances, such as the one back in QC Duchy, they wouldn’t show anyone from another country any part of the golem related to its confidentiality.
Hence why he applied for permission to just observe.
That was something the reception section had not anticipated, and a discussion ensued.
After sufficient discussion, the application was approved.
Everyone saw Ryo walking around in front of the front desk, striking several mini fist-pump poses like a tennis player.
And some of them felt relieved.
That Ryo didn’t blurt out something like freezing the Holy City.
That’s right, those people were the guys from ‘Room 10’ and ‘Room 11’.
The three members of ‘Room 10’ decided to go out into the city for the time being.
At that time, they invited the three members of ‘Room 11’ to join them, but Harold, Zeke, and Gowan politely declined.
Because they weren’t in the mood to go out into the city yet….
On account of Harold’s ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’, of course.
They weren’t in the mood because Commander Hugh McGrath was scheduled to negotiate with the Western Church on that matter tomorrow.
Figuring as much, the three from Room 10 then went ahead without forcing them.
“You could have just gone with them without minding me.”
Harold said, Zeke dismissed him, and Gowan agreed.
To break Harold’s curse, Zeke and Gowan also joined this mission to the Western Countries.
They were in no mood for a tour of the city when the success or failure of the matter might be decided tomorrow….
Thus, the three spent the night worrying as they greeted the next morning.
Accompanied by Commander Hugh McGrath, the three members of ‘Room 11’ headed to the Papal Palace.
Of course, the appointment had been made the day before, so they were ushered into the reception room without waiting.
A minute later.
An elderly man wearing scarlet vestments entered the reception room.
“Hello there. I am Cardinal Oskar, tasked with this matter. Pleased to meet you.”
Cardinals are just below the Pope in the hierarchy of the Western Church, of which there are only twelve.
(Whoa…looks like we got ourselves a big shot.)
Hugh sat down thinking that after returning his greeting.
“So, let me get this straight, you have someone who’s suffering from the ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’ and you’d like to break the curse. Correct?”
Cardinal Oskar asked in a calm tone.
“That’s right. Harold, here, is the one afflicted with the ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’.”
Hugh identified Harold beside him.
Oskar nodded once, but continued with a slight frown.
“As you well know, to break the ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’, a drop of the Demon Lord’s blood must be applied to the victim’s forehead. Also, here in the Western Countries, every year, quite a number of people suffer from the Rupture Spirit Curse, so the church stores the Demon Lord’s blood… in normal circumstances.”
Hugh parroted back and frowned as well.
(Looks like this matter is developing in an undesirable direction…)
“Actually, two weeks ago, someone attacked the first storage facility, where the Demon Lord’s blood also happened to be stored. The jar that contained the Demon Lord’s blood broke and it spilled out.”
Hugh and the three from Room 11 were crestfallen.
“We have a spare in the second storage facility outside the Holy City, and I will arrange to have it brought to you.”
Harold, or perhaps Gowan, involuntary let out such a sound.
“Although we were going to move it only after the first storage facility had been repaired, I’m going to contact them now to transport it over… let’s see, it shouldn’t take more than three days. I’m sorry for the delay.”
Saying that, Cardinal Oskar bowed his head.
“No no please, we can wait… for three days, right?”
Hugh asked, looking at Harold.
His face was brighter than ever.
Of course, there was no immediate solution, but he knew that if he waited three days, he could have the curse lifted.
It’s the uncertainty that drives people crazy.
As long as there’s a lead on the prospect, waiting a little is no problem.
“I will send for you in your dormitory in three days once it arrives.”
Three days later, Ryo visited the golems at the North Gate, and Hugh and the three members of Room 11 visited the Papal Palace.
“Phew, now I’ve conquered the golems in the east, west, south, and north.”
Ryo muttered to himself as he returned to the mission dormitory with the members of the ‘Reception Section’ after enjoying the tour of the golems at the West Gate.
That’s right, he had seen the golems at the north gate on the first day, the east gate golems on the next day, the south gate golems the day after that…and the west gate golems today.
By now, Ryo had become a splendid golem enthusiast…
“The QC Duchy’s golems and the golems of the Holy City both fall under the three-meter class, which is a kind of strength on its own. My 1.5-meter golems would be no match for it in battle.”
Ryo had suddenly become an amateur golem critic by creating his own classification such as the three-meter class golems.
Incidentally, the golems managing the paddy fields that Ryo built in the Rondo Duchy were 1.5 meters in height.
After all, the golems were designed to enter and manage the paddy fields, and if they were tall, in other words, their center of gravity were high, they would fall over quite easily.
And they weren’t designed for combat in the first place.
Not just golems, but anything, the size of which depends on its use.
Ryo, who for some reason, began to think of it as a battle between a 3-meter class vs. a 1.5-meter class, must have started developing muscles for brain, in other words, becoming a musclebrain….
When Ryo entered the dining hall of the dormitory, he found it deserted.
Perhaps it was only natural since most of the civilian officials were already pretty occupied at the Papal Palace and the escort adventurers had taken to the streets.
Amon spotted Ryo entering the dining hall and called out to him.
Alongside him were members of Rooms 10 and 11, as well as Commander Hugh McGrath.
But he felt it strange.
The Demon Lord’s blood was scheduled to arrive at the Papal Palace from the second storage facility and then they were to proceed to dispel Harold’s curse.
And yet… how was it that Harold and the others as well as Hugh, were there?
“I’m back. But why are you guys here? And what about dispelling the curse?”
When Ryo said that, Hugh’s frown deepened.
Then he said.
“The Demon Lord’s blood is gone.”
“Eh? What does that mean…?”
Ryo asked, and instead of Hugh, who was thinking about something with his arms crossed, Priest Zeke began to explain.
“Apparently, the second storage facility came under attack and at that time the jar that contained the demon king’s blood shattered.”
“Wait… was that not the same thing that happened at the first storage facility?”
The same thing happened in the second storage facility.
What in the world was going on?
“The cardinal in charge said that the third and fourth storage facilities were also attacked in the same way. But those didn’t contain the Demon Lord’s blood, according to him… With the church’s storage facilities getting raided… there is no doubt that something terrible is going on.”
As a priest, Zeke probably did not feel good about religious facilities coming under attack.
“Where else can we find the Demon Lord’s blood?”
“We can’t, apparently. In the first place, it seems that the Demon Lord’s blood cannot be stored for a long time in an ordinary jar, and that to do so, it needs to be stored in a jar that’s specially made with alchemy… And only the church has it.”
“But then, that would put Harold in a bad spot, same for the others who are suffering from the ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’…”
In the Central Nations, Harold was the first person in a long time to be plagued by this ‘spirit curse’ as far as is known, but it’s a common ‘spirit curse’ there in the Western Countries.
Hence why the Western Church kept the Demon Lord’s blood… and if it were to be lost, it would put a lot of people in a hopeless situation.
Until then, Hugh had been thinking with his arms crossed and his eyes closed.
“I guess there’s no way around it…”
As he muttered, he opened his eyes and announced.
“Niels, Etho, Amon, and Ryo. I order you to cooperate with the three from Room 11 to search for the Demon Lord’s blood.”
All seven of them opened their mouths in unison.
“What do you mean…?”
Niels asked, speaking for the others.
“More precisely, I want you to find the Demon Lord and take his blood.”
All seven of them were speechless after hearing those words…