Chapter 231: The balance of body and mind
I finished listening to Dongahaha by the time the sky outside started to brighten.
Having answered all my questions without choosing to remain silent, I was about to transfer him to the Church’s underground cell but Cathy and Kefin were there so I delegated that to them.
“I pray for the day that I regret betraying you and the Church.”
Dongahaha said those words in the end and descended from the Flying Ship.
“It matters not to me if you regret it or not. At the moment, I am just putting all my efforts into completing my goals.”
While talking to myself, I rode the lift that returned and rode it down to the large training ground.
Shisho was already doing practice swings at the large training ground.
“Shisho, good morning. You’re up early.”
“Ou, Luciel. I feel more awake if I start moving my body early like now.”
“Well, that’s true … Can I request for a match?”
“Ah, you don’t have to specify just one, I will accompany you for no matter how many matches you wish.”
“Thank you. I’ll loosen up my body for a bit so please wait a moment.”
“Did something happen?”
“I just wanted to move my body a little since I was feeling uneasy by just doing nothing.”
” … I see.”
Shisho sounded like he wanted to say something but in the end, he didn’t say anything and just served as my sparring partner.
Even after everyone else came down, after Cathy and Kefin returned from the underground cells, after the Knight Corps came for their morning training, our mock battle continued.
Even though I lost that time when I used the Thunder Dragon’s powers, now I could put up quite a good fight without it.
I felt that currently, I would be able to win if I used the dragon’s powers when alternating between offense and defense.
But doing something like that would not dispel the gloomy feeling I had in my heart.
Perhaps he noticed it, or that he could not resist any longer, Lionel joined in midway.
It was decided that the two of them would be my opponents so I released my ban on my magic as I could predict that they would be sending merciless attacks my way from then on.
As I was able to concentrate fully on fighting with the two of them, I could clear my head of all thoughts. I gradually felt the haze hanging over my heart dissipate.
After getting thrown to the ground countless times, I had also made the two of them roll on the ground enough times to need two hands to count.
Compared to the past, I have apparently improved slightly.
I began noticing that there was a part of me that felt slightly joyous knowing that.
By sparring with these two people, I was creating a new me for the future.
That was what I was feeling.
Avoiding Lionel’s greatsword, I was about to cut at his chest but then Shisho swung his sword down, attempting to cut me along with a thin layer of skin from Lionel.
I rotated my body and kicked Shisho’s sword from the side.
The next moment, Lionel’s large shield came rushing towards me and I was blown away.
Righting my stance after rolling on the ground, I once again readied my sword.
Suddenly, a large shadow loomed over me and when I looked up, I saw a golem.
I could quickly see the operator Paula and she told me while rubbing her stomach.
After hearing what she said and checking the position of the sun, I realized that a couple of hours had passed since I began my mock battle.
“Ah~ sorry. Then, shall we all go for breakfast together?”
When I said that, the golem returned to soil and Shisho and Lionel had no choice but to sheathe their weapons.
While departing from the large training ground, I noticed that the Knights were all looking at us so I apologized just in case.
“Thank you for letting us train in the large training ground. I apologize if we inconvenienced anyone here.”
However, the Knights from the Knight Corps only gave confused looks without saying anything so we departed for the canteen just like that.
I totally did not imagine that that was the trigger for when there was a large change in my impression among the Knights.
I believe that a relationship based on trust is important.
And there was no trust between me and the former attendants of Pope-sama who were in the canteen.
Thinking that there was a possibility of being served poison, I applied Recover and Purification on everyone’s food.
Since I didn’t know if I would be able to act in time if it was a poison with immediate effects.
“Luciel, you’re being way too high strung.”
I don’t know how my actions were seen through Shisho’s eyes but Shisho only said that one sentence during the meal.
But that single sentence certainly did calm me slightly.
After leaving the canteen, I parted with everyone and went to visit Pope-sama.
I was able to reach Pope-sama’s room smoothly without getting attacked by anybody.
Waiting for me inside the room was Pope-sama with a dignified appearance.
“Good morning, Pope-sama.”
“I feel that Pope-sama is giving off a slightly different air compared to yesterday but did something happen?”
“Umu. Fornoir told me to act more dignified. She told me that if I remain irresolute like before, it would destroy the future that Luciel went through all the trouble to carve out.”
Looking at Fornoir, she had returned to her original black horse form.
“Fornoir has returned to her original form?”
『It’s not an issue. It’s because it won’t be revealed that I am a Spirit if I take this form.』
“What do you mean?”
『I can disappear at will in that form but the magical power consumption is intense and I would return to a Spirit Crystal form in no time. I can’t be your partner like that right? So this form would be best for journeying.』
“She will be accompanying Luciel.”
『I’ll be in your care.』
“Okay. I’ll be in your care too. Incidentally, Fornoir, are you able to fly through a place where Winged Dragons fly around without fear?”
『Are you an idiot? Something of the level of Winged Dragons is not a match for me.』
Looks like I can place my expectations on her since she sounded so confident.
“I’ll look forward to it.”
『Leave it to me.』
It looks like most mutual understanding can happen even without putting them into words.
I turned my attention to Pope-sama and moved to the main topic.
“Dongahaha regained consciousness before the sun rose and I questioned him. Based on the answers I got, I’ll be heading to the Empire. I will leave the Church matters to Pope-sama.”
“I’ll do what I can. I won’t let another person walk down Dongahaha’s path.”
“I agree. By the way, Pope-sama, were you the one who created the magic tool that envelops the Holy Capital with a barrier?”
“Umu, that’s right. Although the barrier is no longer present.”
“Did you discard it? Or is the dysfunctional magic tool still there?”
“It is no longer functioning but it is still there.”
“If I had the same thing or something similar constructed, will the Church buy it?”
“What do you mean? Are you saying that you can fix it?”
“I still don’t know. However, there is an engineer who said that he wants to try fixing it. Of course, I don’t mind if the remuneration comes after we’ve completed the magic tool.”
“All right. Follow me.”
Pope-sama said as she opened the door opposite to the room I used to transfer to Nelldal and I saw a golden bell inside the room.
“Something this size can’t be carried on your person right?”
“Umu. However, I used to carry it around inside that item bag and I look forward to and await the day it returns to the Holy Capital once again.”
Pope-sama said as she touched the bell before she returned to her throne.
“I did not imagine that things would turn out this way.”
I collected the bell while sighing and when I returned to my original position, I voiced my intention to leave Estia in her care.
“Pope-sama, lastly, regarding Estia, I originally wanted to bring her along but I can’t leave this place unattended so could she be in your care until I end our fight with the Empire?”
“Estia is welcome to stay for however long she wishes to stay.”
“Estia, can I entrust this place to you?”
” … I underst … I won’t say that.”
Her atmosphere changed?
“Luciel, if you are going to the Empire, bring Estia along too.”
It looked like the Darkness Spirit had seized her consciousness.
“Why!? Didn’t she go through all that suffering to finally succeed in escaping from the Empire!?”
“That’s right. That’s why for Estia, I want her to find the opportunity in the Empire to heal the wound in her heart inflicted by the Empire.”
I saw a glimpse of a somewhat crazed emotion flicker through her expression.
“Luciel, even if you worry for the Church, it will be fine with Rosa-san and me here.”
Perhaps Pope-sama realized as she had decided to send Estia off with me.
Although it wasn’t a good idea to bring her along, it was also a fact that it was better to have even a single battle-ready person more.
I accepted the Darkness Spirit’s suggestion.
“All right. I will bring Estia along if that is what she wishes for. But she will really be exposed to life-threatening dangers. Please protect her when it becomes dangerous, Darkness Spirit.”
“I will have no mercy towards any who hurt Estia. I plan to work hard together with Estia as much as possible.”
“You will be scolded by Fornoir if you do anything arbitrarily after all.”
” … I’ll tread carefully … Luciel-sama, I’ll be in your care.”
Looks like she’s back.
However, Estia had eyes that held a different kind of determination compared to those of the Darkness Spirit just now.
“In which case, I will contact you using the Magic Communication Bead once we safely escape from the Empire.”
“Umu. I shall defend this Holy Capital to the death. So I leave it to you, Luciel.”
I got on one knee and bowed.
“Fornoir, so will you be entering the Hermit’s Stable?”
『No. I will return to a Spirit Crystal so call me when you need me.』
” … All right.”
It’s probably because she could come out from the Spirit Crystal whenever she wanted to.
I had a premonition that would happen but I’ll let her do as she pleases for now.
Thus, I bowed to Pope-sama and Rosa-san once before exiting from Pope-sama’s room together with Estia and headed to the large training ground.
“Luciel-sama, if we are able to safely cut our way through the Empire and escape, can I accompany you to Meratoni?”
Overcoming her trauma huh?
I don’t know what kind of emotion does the Darkness Spirit like but I have a feeling that it might weaken it too.
However, if the two of them wish for it then I’ll let them accompany us.
“Just Meratoni only?”
“Yes, I’m fine with just Meratoni.”
After that, I listened to how Estia spent the past three months in the Church before we reached the entrance to the large training ground where we heard angry cries and sword clashes.
“A fight? No way.”
I thought there weren’t any other demonized people remaining.
But perhaps there were still some demonized people from the Executives Department around.
I opened the door to the large training ground hurriedly and for some reason, there was a similar pile of Knights there just like yesterday.
” … What the heck is this?”
“Luciel-sama’s Shisho-sama reverted back to Lv1 right? Why are the Knights losing instead?”
“Ah. Shisho and Lionel are Asura and not human so using human logic to explain it won’t work, at least that’s how I convince myself.”
“Isn’t that harsh.”
Estia said as she covered her mouth with her hand and laughed.
I sighed as I went about treating everyone.
Thank you for reading.