Chapter 449.1: Familiar Faces (1)
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Little Tyrant Doesn't Want to Meet with a Bad End Chapter 449.1: Familiar Faces (1)

All nobles of the Sia Continent, regardless of country, deemed envoys from the Genesis Goddess Church to be esteemed guests.

The Genesis Goddess Church was the largest human religion, after all. Even for non-believers, the influence and power it wielded entitled them to the highest level of respect. While there were plenty of powerful nobles out there, the Genesis Goddess Church practically had a monopoly in the field of religions.

However, this was a gross simplification of reality.

The relationship between the church and the nobles was actually much more nuanced. There were many influences that one had to take into account, such as geographical location.

In the Theocracy, where devout believers of the Genesis Goddess Church were aplenty, the bishops of the church naturally commanded a high social standing, possibly even comparable to that of nobles.

However, in rural villages or places where the church’s teachings didn’t reach, the religious power of the church would be greatly diminished. Sometimes, it might even backfire.

The Austine Empire was one good example of that.

Due to the hostile relationship between the Austine Empire and the Theocracy, citizens of the Austine Empire didn’t harbor any goodwill for the Genesis Goddess Church despite having faith in Goddess Sia. In the Seze Dukedom, the fame and influence of legendary hero Layton Seze far surpassed that of the church.

Brookley Seze was the current patriarch of the Seze House, having inherited its duke title. Under normal circumstances, he would have simply ignored the envoy party sent by the Genesis Goddess Church, but not this time.

The envoy party had visited with a letter in hand.

This letter wasn’t written in the name of the church but in an individual’s capacity. It was addressed to the hero of the Austine Empire, Layton Seze, and the writer had signed himself off as ‘an old friend’.

There was only one person in the Saint Mesit Theocracy who could identify himself as such before Layton Seze—the Origin Level 1 transcendent who had also emerged as a hero of humankind in the previous Holy War, Holy Eminence John.

Even Duke Brookley had no choice but to accept the letter. With it in his hand, he quickly made his way to the depths of the Seze House.

There was a secret dungeon named Uzer Mountain Valley located on the forbidden grounds of the Seze House. Similar to the dungeons in the Country of Scholars, it harnessed special properties.

Uzer Mountain Valley was filled with fairies that could whisk away a person’s pain. The flow of time in this place was also two times slower than in the outside world, which meant that a person could, in another sense of the word, extend their lifespan by staying in the mountain valley.

In view of this unique property, Uzer Mountain Valley was viewed to be one of the most confidential secrets of the Seze House.

However, those who thought of Uzer Mountain Range as a paradise would be gravely mistaken. The fairies that had the ability to whisk away people’s pain were ironically violent in nature, and there were many powerful demonic beasts roaming the land.

Those who entered Uzer Mountain Range with the intention of extending their lifespan would be lucky to be able to escape with their life.

Only a Race Sovereign could hope to live peacefully in a place like this.

The moment Duke Brookley dismissed his guards and entered this treacherous land all alone, numerous malevolent auras arose from around the beautiful mountain valley. Sinister cackles could be heard from the violent fairies loitering in the vicinity.

This was an unnerving place to be in even for a powerful transcendent. Not daring to make a careless move, he raised his head to look at the distant mountain valley and waited patiently.

The next moment, an overwhelming aura suddenly arose from the distant mountain.

It was so powerful that it stiffened the body of the Origin Level 2 Duke Brookley, rendering him immobile. At the same time, the gazes coming from around him dissipated under the pressure of the overwhelming aura, and the violent fairies also halted their approach.

The aura only lasted for a brief moment, but it brought peace back to the mountain valley.

Once the overwhelming aura fully receded, Duke Brookley decisively began making his way toward the heart of the mountain valley. After passing by a small pathway near the fields, a familiar wooden hut appeared before his eyes. The sight of it instinctively prompted him to take on a much more respectful attitude.

He quickly made his way toward the garden by the wooden hut.

There, he saw a white-haired elder sitting in a chair. The latter opened his eyes and looked at him as if having just awoken from an afternoon nap.

At first glance, there was nothing special about Layton Seze that set him apart from an ordinary old man. His hair and beard had turned snowy white, though his physique remained as towering and brawny as depicted in the sculptures made of him. He had faint wrinkles that weren’t too obvious and a pair of deep eyes that reflected the vicissitudes of life.

Those who met eyes with him couldn’t help but feel deep respect toward him.

“You’re here, Brookley. Did something happen?” Layton asked his descendant with a composed deep voice.

At that question, Duke Brookley stepped forward and respectfully presented the letter to Layton before explaining the matter.

A letter from the Genesis Goddess Church was not to be made light of, but there was a stir in Layton’s expression when he learned that it was from Holy Eminence John.

There were hardly any familiar names to him left in this present era, let alone old comrades. He understood that a letter written by Holy Eminence John in his personal capacity was an appeal to their old friendship.

Layton chose to accept the letter from Brookley and began reading it, but he fell silent for a long while afterward.

Noticing the lack of response by his ancestor, Duke Brookley’s heart slowly calmed down. By this point, he was already certain that the letter was sent in vain, for the Theocracy had made a grievous lapse in judgment.

The world had naturally assumed that he, the current patriarch of the Sezes, was the one who made the decision to interfere in the Theocracy’s internal war, but the true mastermind was actually the old man sitting in front of him.

Mobilizing the Sezes’ troops during this time could have huge repercussions on the fate of humankind and the entire Sia Continent. Duke Brookley understood that, and he dared not make a decision by himself when there was an ancestor sitting above him.

Layton, as the hero of the previous Holy War, was deemed to be the protector of humankind. While the Ackermanns’ plan would bring about significant benefits to the Austine Empire, there was no denying that it would weaken the forces of humankind as a whole.

For that reason, just as Duke Brookley had expected, Layton initially objected to the mobilization of the Sezes’ troops.

Yet, when Layton received a set of military intelligence reports about the parties involved in the Theocracy’s internal war, he had a drastic change in attitude. In spite of his initial disapproval, he immediately ordered Duke Brookley to begin mobilizing the troops.

That had left Duke Brookley incredibly confused.

It had been a very long time since Layton had interfered in any decisions made by the Seze House. He had stepped down from his position in hopes that his descendants would be freed from his influence and learn how to stand on their own two feet.

True to his intent, Layton would only offer suggestions whenever his descendants came to visit, never making a clear stance. In fact, the last time he had proactively taken action was almost a hundred years ago, when the previous Holy War broke out.

Duke Brookley couldn’t help but wonder what could have prompted his usually passive ancestor to take such decisive action. He had been keeping an eye out for that, and as a result of interacting with Layton over the past few days, he soon stumbled upon a realization.

It was the Ascarts.

For some reason, Layton was exceptionally interested in the Theocracy’s Ascarts. It was to the extent that Duke Brookley was almost convinced that it was the reason why he had decided to mobilize the troops.

But that only brought about more doubts.

The Ascarts were a renowned noble house in the Sia Continent, being one of the Theocracy’s Five Eminent Noble Houses, but that was insufficient to catch the attention of the Sezes.

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In terms of heritage, the Ascarts were upstart nobles who had only risen through the ranks in the Third Epoch, nowhere close to the rich history of the Sezes.

In terms of influence, while the Ascarts shared a similar position in the Theocracy as the Sezes did in the Austine Empire, the Elrics, with whom the Sezes once had a political marriage, weren’t weak either.

All in all, Duke Brookley couldn’t understand why his ancestor was so interested in the Ascarts. He even investigated their family history, but Layton didn’t appear to have any special ties with the Ascarts.

As for major news surrounding the Ascarts, there was one that particularly stood out. The successor of the Ascart House, Roel Ascart, had recently won the Challenger Cup, becoming its youngest ever champion. Due to that, he was declared a noble by the five major countries of the Sia Continent.

However, such accomplishments shouldn’t have been of much significance to Layton, who had been through countless storms and received the highest of glories.

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