Chapter 0361 Faith
Ryo had noticed.
Among the gazes looking at him, there was a mixture of gazes that he had met before.
However, their movement, conduct… size, and breathing were the same as before, but the ‘way they moved’ seemed to be slightly different.
Although he only used <Passive Sonar> in order not to spook them off…
And well, the accuracy of <Passive Sonar> had improved compared to before.
Owning to consistent effort!
The reason Ryo went out of his way to attract all that attention using <Wagon> was so he could probe with <Passive Sonar> subtly.
People’s attention inevitably gravitated toward the more conspicuous <Wagons>.
You wouldn’t think that a person doing such a thing would be probing with sonar magic at the same time…
Ryo asked Monk Karle walking in front of him.
“What’s on the third floor, on the other side of that courtyard?”
Karle’s reaction was unusual.
Ryo felt uneasy. He shouldn’t have asked.
“T-that area is a corner that we monks are not allowed to set foot in. If possible, Sir Ryo, too, shouldn’t even think about approaching there…”
His voice was a little shaky.
“All right. I won’t.”
When Ryo said that, Monk Karle breathed a sigh of relief.
He seemed to be genuinely worried for Ryo.
What a good lad.
There are good people like Karle, and there are terrible people like the one who shot that gaze…
When he met them previously, he believed they were a ‘bishop’.
Even among ‘Priests’, there seemed to be different kinds.
Ryo himself has never been averse to nor, conversely, absorbed in religion.
When he was on earth, he read the so-called ‘Bible’ as part of his studies.
Both the Old and New Testaments.
That was expected of a Western History major.
Some of his classmates succeeded to the position of chief priest of famous shrines.
There was also a Japanese language teacher who took over a temple that had been in existence since the Muromachi era.
In conclusion, some people are good and some are not, regardless whether they are involved in religion or not.
He took the liberty of drawing such a conclusion.
In that context, the monk in front of him, the owner of the gaze, or Cardinal Graham, who is a bit shady and sometimes scary, are not particularly dissimilar.
To begin with, the black alchemy notes that Ryo inherited came from Hassan, who founded the ‘Order’ of Assassins.
When all’s said and done, even assassins aren’t bad people…
…Strike that, assassins are indeed bad people.
“Mr. Graham, here are today’s documents.”
“Oh thank you, good work.”
Ryo completed his job successfully today too.
From there on out, it was personal.
And thus he sometimes posed minor questions to the cardinal in front of him.
“Mr. Graham, can I ask you a question?”
“Hmm? What is it? I don’t have a lot of time to spare today, but a couple of minutes will do.”
Graham held a position near the pinnacle of the Western Church as a cardinal, but he was not swamped with paperwork like a certain king.
He was told once that much of a cardinal’s work is done verbally, not by paperwork.
So, since he didn’t have much time, Ryo decided to cut to the chase.
“I want to know about Cesare, the third bishop directly under the Pope.”
Graham, naturally, probably didn’t expect to be asked such a question.
He was at a loss for words.
Ryo stumbled across this information, of course, because it was mentioned in a conversation when he saved the lives of Captain Bangan and Vice Captain Amalia in the Republic of Mafalda.
“He is one of the four bishops who lead the assassination squad under the direct control of the Pope.”
That was almost all the information Ryo knew about Cesare’s position.
“Before I answer, could you tell me how you know about Cesare, Sir Ryo?”
“Oh, right. Actually, I was in the Republic of Mafalda a while ago at the request of Mr. Hugh, and we had a bit of a fight…”
“Don’t tell me… did you defeat Cesare? And then handed him over to the authorities of the Republic?”
“Yeah, looks like you’re aware of it.”
Ryo’s explanation must have given Graham something to think about.
After thinking for a moment, he continued.
“There was chatter that Cesare had been captured by the Republic. Though he escaped a few days later.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Indeed, he received such an explanation at the Secret Services Agency he stopped by before leaving the Republic.
Graham began to explain about Cesare and the four bishops.
“They are called the ‘Four Bishops of the Pope’. As the name implies, they are directly under His Holiness the Pope, so they have status and power unmatched by the other bishops. In some cases, even more than the archbishops above the bishops. Their names are Abelardo, Brigitta, Cesare, and Dionisi. Each of them leads an assassination squad of about twenty men, carrying out covert operations, like the interference in the Republic this time.”
Graham cut off his speech at that point, moistened his throat with coffee, and continued.
“The assassination squads they lead mean business, but more menacing than that is the high level of individual combat ability that these four possess. It is said that they can sneak into the bedchamber of a country’s leader and take his head in his sleep…. So much so that some even say they are one of the reasons why most of the Western nations do not defy the will of the Church.”
Ryo nodded at Graham’s explanation.
“Basically, they say that they do not operate within this Papal Palace. Due to some kind of ‘restrictions’ or something like that. But personally, I don’t believe in that. Sir Ryo too… well, with your combat power, you should be fine, but still do be careful. Since they might not necessarily come after you individually.”
“Sure. I’ll keep that in mind.”
Graham called out in a slightly louder voice, and Karle, who was apparently waiting in the next room, entered.
“Yes, Your Eminence.”
“Please escort Sir Ryo out. I am heading out to study with the members of the Eighth Priestly Order.”
Cardinal Graham, in the corridor on his way to his study with the Eighth Priestly Order.
“Ah, Cardinal Adolfito, hello.”
The man called Adolfito was in his mid-sixties, about 150 centimeters tall, with all his hair shaved off, and in a way, had a very impressive… presence that couldn’t be ignored.
And of course, he was smiling.
Of the twelve cardinals, he was said to be the one who specialized in backdoor tactics, well versed in covert operations, and would use any means to achieve his goals…
One would find it very difficult to reconcile such a reputation with the way he looked.
Of course, this was true not only for Adolfito but for the other cardinals as well.
None of them had a trace of wickedness… and rightly so.
Because they were high-ranking priests of the Western Church.
Since someone who gives off such an evil presence couldn’t possibly rise to a high position.
And it went without saying, the same could be said about Graham.
“Are you heading to your study meeting?”
“Yeah. Together with the members of the Eighth Priestly Order, on New-sama’s Sacrament.”
Adolfito asked with a smile, and Graham answered with a smile.
New-sama is the founder of the Western Church.
“Cardinal Graham’s papers on New-sama are all highly acclaimed. I would like to be included in your research someday.”
Adolfito said with a smile, and Graham replied with a smile.
“Yes, if you’ll excuse me.”
They exchanged greetings and parted.
With smiles on their faces of course.
Naturally, there was no clicking of tongue, no sighing, no murmuring, nothing.
Even their breathing was normal.
That is the Papal Palace for you.
(It is, and always has been, a suffocating environment.)
Graham thought in his mind without changing his expression, breathing, and of course his pace.
Only when he thought about Founder New, whom he revered from the bottom of his heart, visualized his sacraments, and examined the path he had taken, did he find true healing.
(This place has fallen so far off of New-sama’s vision…)
Graham sighed in his mind and headed to study.