LTBE - Chapter 413.1: Her News (1)
An entire month?
Roel frowned upon hearing Arwen’s words. He quietly contemplated over the matter before nodding softly.
Perhaps noticing the grim look on Roel’s face, Arwen quickly added on.
“According to our intelligence, there hasn’t been any outbreak of chaos in the church or the royal palace, so it’s unlikely that anything major has occurred. The sudden disappearance of Her Highness Nora might be unnerving, but it’s unlikely that the situation is as severe as you think it out to be.”
“I understand. Thank you for your help, Arwen.”
“You’re too courteous. It’s only right for me to do this much given our ties,” replied Arwen with an amicable smile.
The overflowing affability from the middle-aged man was a terrifying reaper of goodwill, even for Roel. He shook his head, thinking what a sly old fox Arwen was, though, at the same time, he found his nervousness easing as well.
The Sorofyas commanded the largest intelligence network across the Sia Continent. They had talents specialized in gathering and interpreting intelligence from ruling houses in all countries.
They wouldn’t dare to go too far in the Theocracy out of fear of stirring a diplomatic issue, but it was still easy enough for them to get a gauge on the political atmosphere.
Nora was the princess of a country, and there were great implications if anything danger were to befall her. It would be impossible to conceal the news. If even the Sorofyas were unable to find anything amiss, it was likely that whatever problem Nora was facing was still manageable.
That alleviated Roel’s worries considerably.
Based on the information he had gathered thus far, it didn’t seem like things had reached a disastrous state yet. Looking at it from another perspective, it was quite the news for an individual to awaken her bloodline to Gold-tier. It would make sense for Holy Eminence John to want to keep the matter under wraps, which could explain why the discreetness of this affair.
Roel was spared from the pain arising from the awakening of his bloodline thanks to the System, but ordinary transcendents weren’t as fortunate. They had to face significant danger and excruciating pain in the process. It would already be a blessing if the transcendent was only bedbound for a month afterward, considering how many had screwed up and lost their lives.
Given Nora’s talents and the Xeclydes’ resources, it was unlikely that she would lose her life in the midst of her awakening. She would still have to pay a hefty price in the process, but that should be manageable for the Xeclydes.
Roel thought that he shouldn’t let his imagination run wild lest he did something unnecessary and worsened the situation.
In fact, now that he was a bit calmer, he realized that he should have anticipated Nora’s disappearance. The power granted by a Gold-tier bloodline was immense, so the price one had to pay was bound to be proportionately great as well. He probably wouldn’t have been surprised if anyone in Nora’s position had disappeared for three consecutive months.
It was just that his worries were confounding his logical mind.
Het let out a silent sigh before following Arwen into the merchant association headquarters to take a rest. There, he quietly awaited the arrival of the night.
With the Xeclydes’ house ring in his possession, Roel could have marched directly into the royal palace for an audience with Holy Eminence John, but the additional requirement of confidentiality left him with no choice but to source for an alternative method.
For that reason, he decided to patiently wait till sunset before making his move.
In the Holy Capital, the Genesis Goddess Church and the royal palace had dozens of subordinate departments under their command. Some were renowned throughout the Sia Continent whereas others were humble and discreet.
However, there was only one department that had the power to stage a confidential meeting with Holy Eminence John for him—the Inquisitor Hall.
That was the headquarters of the inquisitors, home to many powerful transcendents. They were warriors who fought on the frontlines against the evil cultists, the most devout believers of Goddess Sia.
There was a fundamental difference between saying something and doing something.
Most humans had the self-restraint to persist in their values and principles in everyday life, but in times of emergency, many would still succumb to the weakness in their hearts and fall to temptation.
However, inquisitors proved their own faith through their very actions, defending what they believed to be justice.
Inquisitors faced far greater danger than any other army on the Sia Continent. While normal soldiers only fought on the battlefield, inquisitors were constantly on the battlefield every second of their life, even when they were off duty.
Evil cultists were unlike enemy soldiers; they wouldn’t step out and demand a fight. Instead, they were often camouflaged amidst the populace, hidden beneath a veil of anonymity. That was what made them particularly difficult to deal with.
There was a vague understanding amongst the inquisitors that they were more likely to be assassinated in their everyday life than to die in a direct confrontation with the evil cultists. There were plenty of new recruits who died every year after letting their guard down in their everyday life.
Even so, there were still many others who trained hard to take the place of the deceased.
Under the propagation of the Compassion Origin Attribute, while those who sought justice and kindness often met their end in their undertaking, many others rose up in their place to further their will. The torch was being passed down through the generations, refusing to be snuffed out.
Perhaps that was why it was often said that evil will never triumph over good.
Role held great respect toward those warriors who silently contributed from the shadows. Some of them chose to hide their names and live reticent lives so as to not implicate their loved ones. Some of them had hideous faces warped under the effects of vile curses.
But one’s nobility was independent of one’s appearance.
In his view, those warriors were as brilliant as the sun. Their existence brought light to the common populace, allowing them to live their daily lives without worrying about the darkness lurking in the shadows.
Putting their credibility aside, the Inquisitor Hall was directly under the command of the Holy Eminence himself. The nature of their duties demanded a high level of confidentiality, so they didn’t need to be accountable to anyone else.
If Roel was Holy Eminence John, he would have ordered the Inquisitor Hall to liaise with him.
It was a freezing winter night. The torch hanging by the entrance of the Inquisitor Hall swayed with the cold draft, illuminating the surroundings with flickering brightness. A veiled black-haired man slowly approached its solemn gates with a leisurely gait as if he was entering a tavern.
Unlike the other departments under the Genesis Goddess Church, there were no guards at the entrance of the Inquisitor Hall, though it would be more exact to say that there were no visible guards.
As Roel entered the building, he could sense over ten gazes falling on him from all directions. Beyond the gates sat an upright uniformed guard behind a table.
“Report your name, the purpose of your visit, and present any token that can affirm your identity.
“Roel Ascart. I’d like to meet your chief.”
Roel took off his veil and handed over an identification token he had prepared beforehand. The guard maintained a perfect poker face despite hearing Roel’s name, though the tension in the air loosened up right away.
“Lord Roel. Please give me a moment as I report this matter to my superior.”
Roel gave a nod of approval before he closed his eyes and patiently awaited the other party’s return. He chose not to talk to the inquisitors hidden in the surroundings or do anything that would potentially agitate them.
The inquisitors in the shadows exchanged glanced and nodded in acknowledgment.
Roel’s position was not the same as before. Becoming the victor of the Challenger Cup had greatly increased his influence, such that he had become one of the representative figures of the Saint Mesit Theocracy. Not to mention, he was known to have close ties with the Xeclydes. He was a new powerhouse in the making.
It was clear that he had already noticed their presence. If he had spoken even a word, they would have no choice but to step out and stop surveying him. That was the minimum level of respect they would have to show to him.
But he chose not to do so. Instead, he closed his eyes and waited quietly, an implicit act of cooperation. His meticulous consideration of the situation left the inquisitors with a good impression of him.
Slowly, Roel could feel the eyes on him dispersing.
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Soon, the guard returned and led him into the depths of the Inquisitor Hall. They passed through a long corridor before finally arriving at a room dimly lit by a single candle. In the room sat a red-haired man, who calmly assessed Roel with an austere face.