Run, run. While denying that something like this should’ve never happened desperately, the plump-eared priest ran in the Corsas Forest.
The exit is still far away. The ends of the forest could not be seen. Cold sweat can be felt mixed within the sweat of him running through the forest.
The subjugation squad that gathered many elites were all wiped out without a chance of doing anything. It was as if he had seen a nightmare in its entirety.
Luckily, he hadn’t encountered any beasts in the forest yet. However even the tranquil forest scenery felt like a labyrinth trying to beckon him into the abyss.
「That was undoubtedly……, a demon. 」
The scorching white flames that consumed many of the troops in an instant. On top of that, multiple were created, it was no way the deeds of a human.
Not just that, the woman mercenary was facing off the elites from Thoria on the same level, and the decisive factor being that even the twins were using strange techniques.
「What can I……」
It was already a gathering of the elites from the church in the capital. Only backup inquisition soldiers remain in the capital’s church, and they’re not even considered a force at this point.
Certainly, just numbers alone would be ten times more than the squad this time, but the priest understood that it holds no meaning at all.
Even if he wanted help from churches of other countries, the plump-eared priest doesn’t have that much power.
「I have to get Priest Dret’s help, then――」
His breath stopped while he was muttering. His steps stopped, and his eyes widened in fear.
His surprise was natural. After all, the one standing in front of him was none other than the apostle of the Evil God.
While all the troops were being annihilated, the priest who ran first found the Countless Swords Sorcerer ahead of him, as the unsolvable question continued to cycle within his mind.
The young man approached regardless of the priest’s internal state.
「D-Don’t come nearer……! 」
「That’s what I want to say. I don’t have to tell you this but, there’s no need to disturb us when we are staying in the forest quietly right? 」
The sorcerer had chilling gaze.
「Leaving an apostle of the Evil God is not an option. 」
「Don’t decide that on your own. 」
The sorcerer’s expression turned ugly.
「I could’ve easily finished you off then but, I will take this chance to say this clearly. 」
Saying that, a sword from the sorcerer extended towards the priest’s throat.
「I don’t know what Evil God you’re talking about, naturally, I’m not his believer or whatever. What a terrible misunderstanding you had. 」
Of all things, the sorcerer started defending himself. It seems like the sorcerer is not here to cut himself down immediately, as the priest rebuked somehow.
「……A person not believing in the Goddess is saying. 」
「I don’t care who you all believe in but, why am I supposed to follow that? If I have different values than you all, does that much warrant me as an apostle of the Evil God? 」
There’s only one sole god in the entire world. It’s natural for the people to believe in that single being. Those who denies that are none other than members of the evil cult.
Forgetting the fact that a sword is at his neck, the priest’s voice loudened.
「There’s no other possibilities than that for anyone who doesn’t believe in the Goddess, who is the sole god! 」
The sorcerer was glaring at him seemingly wanting to spit.
「Believing in someone that you’ve never seen before, preaching something that you don’t even know is true, and treating anyone that doesn’t go in your favor evil? About what I expected from that woman’s followers huh. 」
「Don’t you dare speak ill if the Goddess! It’s an inexcusable crime to degrade our God! 」
「Degrade? Ha, so you mean you’ve seen that Goddess of yours in person before? Have you talked with her? 」
The priest had no words to retort. Certainly within the records of the church, there exists records that the Goddess herself had descended upon this land long ago.
It’s been said that she had graced the cardinal of that time with words, or helped in sealing strong demonic beings with a bishop of another faraway country. However, that’s something that had happened hundreds of years ago.
At least for the past two hundred years, there were no records of the Goddess’s descent, nor any divine messages. And the final ones that had personally conversed with the Goddess had long but wilted away.
Naturally, the plump-eared priest had never heard the voice of the Goddess, nor seen her appearance. However, that’s natural considered the current age. If he had a chance to meet with the Goddess, then that itself would’ve been a miracle.
「A-A miracle like that would not easily happen! 」
「That’s quite the blind faith in someone you had never seen nor talked with before. 」
「That’s what having faith means! 」
Even if no miracles happened, even if he never seen the person of his faith, the Goddess is still worthy of his belief. Although it was a natural answer befitting a clergyman from the priest, the reply from the sorcerer was not expected at all.
「That goddess or something of you all, I’ve met her before. 」
Not understanding the meaning of the words he’d just heard, the priest for a moment had a flat expression as he stared at the sorcerer.
「Born as the third daughter of the village chief of a rural village on the outskirts of the Rodelia Kingdom, serving as a soldier to the kingdom for a long time, laying down the foundation to many martial arts and becoming an upper general at the age of twenty-six. Jelia of the Red Catastrophic Butterfly. 」
「W-What are you……」
Although the priest was stupefied at the flurry of words that he couldn’t understand, the sorcerer continued regardless.
「A violent general who can scatter hundreds of troops on her own, killing her enemies with any means, and silences both enemies and allies with her overwhelming strength. A selfish and brutal personality, a despicable human who takes pleasure in seeing others suffer. An incurable madman who would make enemies left and right with her unpredictable actions, but still make them kneel with her power. That’s what you all believe in, the truth behind the trashiest human being pretending to be a goddess. 」
The moment he understood the sorcerer’s words, the priest once again was filled with anger. Saying the Goddess a village girl and a madman, it was a deed without fear for the divinity. It was not something any person born of this world and received her grace could speak of.
「H-How much more do you intend to degrade the Goddess……! 」
「It’s not like I’m asking you to believe, neither did I think you would. Just that I’m telling you the truth since it’s your last moments. Your person of faith is utterly ridiculous. 」
「That’s what I have to say. 」
The sorcerer who had finished saying whatever he wanted withdrew his sword. Although the sword at his throat distanced, it didn’t mean that the priest would live another day.
Rather, it was the inverse. It was only the sorcerer’s preliminary action of ending the plump-eared priest here.
「It’s useless even if you want to beg for your life now. 」
「W-Who would……! I would never beg for my life from such evil being! 」
His opponent is a sorcerer whose strength is literally on the levels of demons. Even with his position of a priest, it’s not an opponent that he could ever match. Despite so, he has no choice but to fight in order to escape from this pinch.
「Yeah is that so. 」
The sorcerer said without a sliver of care kicked the priest backwards. At the same time, the priest who tried to grab the magic stone hidden in his pocket and hit it at the sorcerer’s leg――, realized that he couldn’t feel anything beyond his wrist.
A dull thud was heard as something fell on the ground. However, the priest had no room to know what that is. The intense pain assaulting his mind halted his thoughts.
The spurting blood that wouldn’t stop. The end of his wrist that were cut off with a sharp blade is dyed in blood.
The sorcerer slowly approached. The sorcerer who walked about three steps before stopping could be seen wielding a sword dripping with red liquid.
Understanding that his wrist were cut off that moment, the plump-eared priest had given up. Even though the chance of him escaping the demon with his whole body was already slim, now that he had lost a lot of blood, there’s no way he could achieve that.
The priest had no card left to play. There’s nothing but to wait for the demon wearing the skin of a sorcerer to kill himself. The plump-eared priest that understood his demise opened his mouth for the last time in spite.
「Even if you kill me here, the church would never let you escape. There’re still people in the church who knows the location of your hideout. Even if you silenced all of us, a new subjugation squad will eventually be formed. A heretic like you will never have a place to belong in this whole continent. 」
The sorcerer’s expression distorted a little. He must’ve imagined the future that he and his party will face after this. It is surely not peaceful days, but days pursued by others.
Thinking that his words at least dealt some damage to the demon’s mind, the priest had a smile as he endured the pain. The counterattack that the priest could do was only this much.
「Continue to live in fear of the heaven’s judgement――」
――In fear of the heaven’s judgement within the shadows.
His vision turned dark mid-sentence. Within his fleeting consciousness, the plump-eared priest had no doubts that his soul would arrive at the Goddess, and enjoy an eternal rest.