Chapter 220: Powerful drug
When we returned to the large training ground, waiting for us was orderly ranks of Knights and staffs working in the Healer’s Guild.
And standing at the forefront were Shisho and party as well as the Valkyrie Paladin Corps, who had restrained Dongahaha and the demonized knights that were responsible for the tumult this time round and made them sit down.
It seemed like the knights that went berserk had regained their consciousness as well and were similarly sitting restrained.
The knights all showed astonished expressions for an instant when they saw that I had actually brought the Pope to the large training ground but they silently focused their attention on Pope-sama and me.
“Everyone, thank you for waiting. Now, Pope-sama will announce the verdict for the turmoil that occurred this time. Pope-sama, if you may.”
Pope-sama stepped in front and continued walking with a dignified expression until she stopped in front of Dongahaha and began speaking to him.
“Dongahaha, has the Church become a detestable place to you?”
” … No, Pope-sama, since the past until now, this Church is like a home to me. And the people here are like my family.”
Dongahaha was shocked for a moment when he was suddenly addressed to but he immediately recovered and slowly answered Pope-sama’s question with a faint smile.
Pope-sama’s abrupt action was due to her wish to speak with Dongahaha as the condition of her sentencing everyone in person.
“Before I pass the sentence in front of everyone, I wish to have some time to talk to Dongahaha … ”
“I am okay with Pope-sama doing it whichever way Pope-sama wishes to.”
It was only a small condition to negotiate for but seeing how Pope-sama’s voice was tapering off at the end of the sentence, I decided to let her make all the decisions.
… Nevertheless, Dongahaha’s expression was extremely calm when he claimed that the Church was his home and the Church personnel his family so it didn’t seem like he was lying.
I can’t imagine this was the same person who wanted to destroy the Church moments ago.
” … I feel the same way too. But if that’s the case, why did you spread rumors about Luciel and even used evil magic to let demons infiltrate the Church Headquarters?”
Pope-sama nodded with a smile in agreement with Dongahaha’s words but her face immediately clouded over and she questioned why he caused the series of events.
“I am terribly sorry towards Sage Luciel but once I found out the truth that he couldn’t use Holy Attribute Magic, I worried for the Church’s future. That’s why I did what I did.”
“It’s certain that there would be a significant impact on the internal and external affairs of the Church if Luciel could no longer utilize Holy Attribute Magic. However, if that situation really came true, we should still be able to overcome it with everyone’s cooperation.”
“It’s impossible! The interior of this Church has already become rotten. That’s why, before it rots even further, I decided to destroy everything.”
Dongahaha looked at me and apologized before he once again faced Pope-sama and clearly stated his intention of destroying the Church.
However, I could not hide my surprise that he, as the leader of the Executives Department, claimed that the Church was rotten.
I had thought that the Executives Department was the one responsible for working behind the scenes in the Church, causing the deterioration of the church but from the way he put it, it sounded as though he was saying that there were other forces at work as well.
I can’t imagine there is a different factor that has been corroding the Church with the rise in the reputation and authority of the Church recently so I couldn’t understand the real meaning behind what he said.
“What do you mean, I’ve heard that the Church’s authority has been steadily returning.”
Pope-sama held the same doubts as well as she further questioned Dongahaha.
“The reputation of the Church has not changed much. Sage Luciel’s fame has risen but the guidelines Sage Luciel made has at most made the people not hate the Healers.”
Those words shocked me.
I did work hard for my own sake but I did also have some intention of achieving it together with the people from the Church.
But the end result was only my popularity and fame increasing … I thought I had explained it clearly that others put in the effort as well and that it was definitely not something done on my own.
“If the evaluation of the Healers has gone up, the evaluation of the Church should have gone up as well?”
Pope-sama asked the same question I had in mind.
However, his reply was different from what I imagined.
“No. Even among the Knights, the people’s evaluation has only improved for the Valkyrie Paladin Corps. The evaluation of the other Knights might have increased somewhat but there is no great difference. And the leaders that have been steering the Church all this time are treated as incompetent.”
Pope-sama asked Dongahaha to elaborate.
“Because over these couple of decades, the Church has not guided the Healers. Unscrupulous Healers increased and they were left uncontrolled. And when the number of monsters increased, the Knight Corps were not dispatched unless necessary. This bred discontent.”
“That was …”
“Yes. Because a labyrinth manifested in the Church Headquarters. However, that is completely irrelevant to the residents who do not know it.”
“But when Luciel became an S-rank Healer, the Church should have gradually regained the people’s trust?”
“Yes, that is true. Without him, the Church and Healers would have been treated with malice. However, that was until he became too powerful a drug …”
After becoming an S-rank Healer, I don’t recall taking any actions that would inconvenience the Church so I listened to Dongahaha’s words.
” … Did Luciel do something?”
“I mentioned it when the guidelines were being drafted. That Sage Luciel might become too powerful a drug …”
Dongahaha closed his eyes as he shook his head side to side and gave a vague answer.
“But you were also involved in the creation of the guidelines and laws.”
“Yes. However, I did not wish that Sage Luciel would do anything more. But, he is probably the type of person to find satisfaction in being a hero. Immediately after leaving the Church, in addition to conquering a labyrinth and defeating a dragon, he attributed to the stability of Ienith, achieving two large feats.”
I was completely cornered but it’s strange how it was seen that way when viewed from the side.
But I was putting in an effort to survive so what’s wrong with that?
“It’s true that Luciel raised achievements. However, it’s an irrational argument to say that everyone other than Luciel is incompetent because of that.”
“Yes. But the ones to decide that are the people who do not know the internal affairs of the Church. Prominent achievements will overshadow the surroundings.”
That reminded me of the words my superior who was the top salesman said to me in my past life.
“What do you mean?”
“Among the people here, many hold dissatisfaction that only Sage Luciel has been getting recognized. In the first place, not diligently acquiring skill within the Church nor changing their behaviors, it would be strange that they would be appreciated … but not taking that into consideration, they just line up complaints and dissatisfaction as they impeded each other’s progress, that is their daily life. This can be said to be the same for both Healers and Knights.”
“That is the responsibility of the leaders …”
“That would be me for the Executives Department, Knight Captain Catherine for the Knight Corps and Granhart for the Exorcists.”
Dongahaha acted for the sake of crushing the Church for Human Supremacy.
Catherine-san could no longer lead the Knight Corps and was captured by the Executives Department.
Granhart-san could not stop my successors he sent to the labyrinth and they were killed by the Evil God.
It was a situation where only Dongahaha was performing properly as a leader.
And if his claims of the people impeding each other’s progress is true, then the Church has surely been deteriorating …
“Since when did you set this plan in motion?”
“Since Sage Luciel lost his magic three months ago. Well, after I encountered the demon race about half a year ago, I have been doing various preparations though … ”
Pope-sama had a stunned expression with her mouth half-opened like she couldn’t believe it.
” … If Luciel was in a state where he couldn’t use magic, what would you have done?”
“I would have given out an official notice of his execution and if nobody came to help, I would execute him for the sake of the Church’s foundation.”
Pope-sama changed the topic slightly but what came back were words of indifference.
Even though I wasn’t prepared for it, I knew that there were such plans so I could bear with it.
Dongahaha spoke of the truth indifferently so I found it strange why there was no sign of him throwing his grudge at Pope-sama.
” … For things to turn out this way, is it my fault after all?”
“Kukuku. You’ve always loved to blame yourself. You would not survive the fight with the demon race that way.”
“The demon race!?”
” … Hmm, I spoke a little too much. Could you sentence me already? If a soft-hearted person like you could even do it. Gahahah.”
Dongahaha laughed loudly as he stared upwards at Pope-sama.
Thank you for reading.