Chapter 48 - News
In the Holy Capital of Finity, the major highlight of the city is the enormous church centered directly in the middle of the city. Within the inner rooms of the church lies the office of the highest member within the Church of Finity, the pope Lucien Curtis.
"Damn them!" The Pope slams down on his desk scaring the Cardinal sitting before him. "We sent precious forces to kill that worthless group of royalty, but they still managed to survive!" He slams his desk a second time.
"Your Holiness, I'm sure if we send another group. We..." The Cardinal tries to calm down the Pope.
"I've already done that you fool!" Pope Lucien interrupts the Cardinal. "The first group has disappeared without a trace. The second group was found to be burnt to ash. Even that worthless fatso has been imprisoned without dealing any damage to the Royal Family!"
"Then...should we just ignore them?" The Cardinal meekly asks.
"HOW CAN WE IGNORE THEM?!?!" The Pope refutes at the top of his lungs. The Cardinal scrunches his neck back fearing the Pope's anger. "We need to draw those citizens into the town as soon as possible! Our city is the only one that needs to be on the map! How else are we supposed to acquire the money of those simpleton believers?!"
"Y-yes, yes." The Cardinal furiously nods his head unable to say anything significant.
A young acolyte bursts into the office. "Your Holiness! There's something you need to see!"
"What? We're in an important meeting right now.” The Pope solemnly replies repressing his anger at being interrupted.
“The Head Priest is calling you to hurry to the church hall! Something strange is happening! The entire hall is lit up with <Light Magic> and as bright as the sun!” The acolyte quickly explains trying to rouse the Pope.
“What?! What do you mean lit up?!” The Pope jumps out of his seat.
“Please hurry and see for yourself.” The acolyte holds the door open for the pope.
Rushing to the church hall, the Pope and Cardinal see the entire hall lit with a bright white light. Every person in the hall has knelt down ardently praying at the wonder before them. As the Pope steps into the hall, the light over the altar reaches its pinnacle. The radiant glow spreads through the room blinding everyone.
As the light fades the people in their hall slowly regain their sight, but start to rub their eyes doubting the spectacle before them. Floating above the ground is a blonde haired, white winged angel. Everyone in the hall immediately prostrates before the angel showing their reverence for this holy figure. The Pope, Cardinal, and Head Priest run up to the front to prostrate directly in front of the angel. If Senna had been in the hall, she would have immediately greeted the angel, and her friend, Ariel.
"We welcome the Envoy of the goddess Remilia to the Holy Capital of Finity. To what do we owe the honor of your descent." The Pope raises his head greeting Ariel.
Ariel's blue eyes open wide as she looks at the Pope. "......What...? Where did you say this was?"
"The Holy Capital of Finity Church. Is there some problem your Eminence?"
".................................Sorry. I'm trying to get to the Erein Capital. It looks like I missed. My mistake." Ariel apologizes and disappears in a quick flash of light. The church hall is left completely silent as they stare at Ariel's former location. The citizens of Finity recover and break into a clamor.
"Where did the angel go?!"
"Has the Goddess abandoned us?!"
"She said Erein, did she mean the Erein Capital?!"
"It must be! There's only one Erein!"
"I need to head to Erein! I hope I make it in time to see the angel again!"
"Me too! An angel descending in Erein must mean something big is happening."
Many of the citizens burst into chatter about Erein and begin to plan the necessities for journey in order to be a part of the Ariel's true descent. They can only pray to make it in time with the week’s worth of travel from Finity. A few citizens even plan to fully move there upon the new revelation. An angel intending to descend there must mean that the Goddess holds the Royal capital in a far higher regard than the church capital.
The Pope's face is completely black from this development. His blood boils seeing believers choosing to abandon the church he invested so much money on. On top of that, he will lose his precious revenue once news spread throughout the city.
The Cardinal sees the Pope's stewing rage and quickly drags him back into the office before the Pope loses control made a scene. The Head Priest tries to continue his sermon, but citizens are no longer listening, with some people directly leaving.
Back in the Pope's office, he immediately slams his desk when he sits down. "Lock down the city!!! We're going to war with Erein!!!"
"Your Holiness!! Please calm down! We can't just go to war! The entire reason we tried to assassinate the Royal Family is because we cannot bear the losses if we were to go to war!" The Cardinal tries to convince the Pope.
"I don't care!! We're supposed to be taking Erein's citizens, not letting them gain more!" The Pope slams the desk again causing minor hairline cracks to appear.
"Locking down the city and going to war. The citizens will surely be displeased at the sudden change. Not to mention the time it would take to send a Declaration of War to Erein and back. The supplies in the city surely wouldn't hold for that long." The Cardinal explains.
"That isn't necessary! We will directly attack the city without declaring war!!!" The Pope declares.
"SIRRR!!! That's against decorum!! We would be no better than common thieves if we did such a thing!" The Cardinal expression goes completely pale at the Pope's mad plan.
"What thieves? We’re the righteous ones crusading against the Monarchy. Yes! This isn't a war! It's a CRUSADE!!! The Erein Monarchy is suspected of deceiving and corrupting an angel and must be eliminated!! Stifle all leaks and have the soldiers prepare for battle immediately!!” The Pope declares refusing to listen to any argument.
The Cardinal continues to try and convince the Pope, but ultimately fails. After leaving the Pope’s office, the Cardinal mutters to himself. “Should I escape the city while I have the chance?”
Regardless of what the Pope desires, discussions of the angel and the shining cathedral have already spread throughout the town at lightning speed, trying to stifle it is already impossible.
Back in Erein, Senna sits in Guildmaster Elsa's office patiently waiting for Guildmaster Elsa to calm down. Elle stands to the side quietly listening to the conversation while enjoying the scolding Senna's going to receive. "...And...have you come to our branch just to cause trouble?" Guildmaster Elsa Elsa asks restraining her bundled irritation.
"No, of course not. I thought I'd show off a little bit while I waited. I'm fairly unknown in the town after all, and I thought it would be better than my normal reaction to perverted idiots." Senna replies.
"Which would be?" Guildmaster Elsa asks.
"Cripple, heal, and repeat until I make sure he's not interested in approaching me again." Senna blandly answers.
"...Haaaa..." Guildmaster Elsa stares at Senna for several minutes before letting out a long sigh. "You're right. That is better..." She hangs her head back taking some time to compose herself. "And? Was your report legitimate?"
"Of course~ I even had it approved and stamped by the Royal Family. That should have been obvious based on the stamp with the royal insignia, no?" Senna tilts her head.
"It's because it's too damn ridiculous that I'm asking!" Guildmaster Elsa slams Senna's report on the table.
Senna shrugs. "I can't do much about how trustworthy I am. It would be best to speak to someone in the castle then."
"Of course I plan to do that." Guildmaster Elsa's eyes narrow waiting for Senna's reaction.
"Good. Then I don't need to write another new report." Senna happily gives Guildmaster Elsa a thumbs up.
"Youuu-..." Guildmaster Elsa grits her teeth at Senna's annoying response, but ultimately hangs her head deciding to move on. "What's your purpose in town?"
"My job with the Royal Family is complete, so I can focus on other priorities. Earn money, buy necessities, try the local food, then leave." Senna lists a few motives while skipping over others.
"Then you plan to take some of the higher ranked missions?" Guildmaster Elsa asks.
"Maybe... I haven't seen them yet, so I can't say. I'll take jobs that interest me, but I plan to focus on jobs that let me interact with some of the townsfolk, learn the lay of the land, and improve my apothecary repertoire." Senna lists a few of her job motivations.
"I see...Well I can hope you don't besmirch the name of the Guild." Guildmaster Elsa replies. Losing her patience with Senna, she decides to take out her trump card. "Now then, here's a report I received from the Guild in your hometown." She takes out another report.
"Eh?! Something from Timberharbor?" Senna jumps in her seat at the unexpected news. She didn't expect the Guild to have such a handy messaging system that they could converse across continents.
"Yes. I'll read it now verbatim." Guildmaster Elsa replies.
"What?! She's alive?! Identifying features? White hair, one gray eye, one blue eye. She resembles a pampered young lady when she's dressed in normal clothing. Overwhelming strength and magic that could level a building in seconds. She's a natural weirdo that performs ridiculous stunts without batting an eye. Not to mention a magnet for trouble that makes one question her ability to survive it all. If you need more identification, then ask..." (Vermer, the Timberharbor Guildmaster)
"What was that?! Senna's alive?! Senna! Where are you now?! I'll come over right away!" (Anahid)
"Fool! You're pregnant and you were just asking for leave!" (Vermer)
"I don't care!!! My sister's alive! I need to go make sure she's safe!" (Anahid)
"Davor! Restrain your woman!! Make sure she doesn't leave town without permission!!" (Vermer)
"The connection cut after the sound of fighting. Most likely, the communication crystal shattered from their struggle to restrain your sister." Guildmaster Elsa finishes looking up at Senna.
"......" Senna leans forward with her face buried in her hands. Her face is beet red from the embarrassing report. She quietly sits for several minutes while suppressing her shame. "And what do you need from me regarding that humiliating report?"
"To see your reaction of course." Guildmaster Elsa smirks seeing Senna disrupted for once. "Looks like they're really talking about you."
"Of course they are. Who else would they be talking about?" Senna huffs.
"It is important to check everything." Guildmaster Elsa replies. "Your evaluation will still have to be put on hold. Your basic abilities definitely exceed the requirements, but your performance is still up for question. You only have a few A rank missions completed with your clan, while everything else is B rank and below."
Senna shrugs apathetically. "That's fine. I personally wouldn't care if you just wanted to leave me at an A rank or even B rank. I'm in no hurry to complete the more complex missions nor raise my rank."
"That's your choice. However, if the guild calls on you, you'll have to answer the summons." Guildmaster Elsa declares.
"Of course~" Senna flashes a smile.
"Fine. And? Do you have any other surprises for me?" Guildmaster Elsa asks.
"No surprises. I do have a question that's been bugging me for some time though." Senna answers.
"And?" Guildmaster Elsa prods her to continue.
"You're the first ever beastman or actually beastwoman that I've ever met. So I'm not sure if this is a rude question or not... Your daughter Elle, why does she hide her ears and tail instead of showing it off like you do?" Senna motions to the cat ears atop Guildmaster Elsa's head.
Guildmaster Elsa and Elle's eyes bulge at her question. Elle is comparatively more shocked as she takes several steps back bumping into the wall. "You noticed?" Guildmaster Elsa hisses with an aggressively defensive tone.
"Because my eyes are special." Senna replies. "It's not like I plan on saying anything. I'm simply curious since you're not the only beast person I've seen concealing their ears."
Guildmaster Elsa glares at Senna for a long while before responding. "It's a custom of the beast tribes to conceal their ears while they are still unmarried."
"Ahh...That's interesting~ That means there's no need for a ring in that case." Senna nods. She wants to persist and ask a few more questions, but their wary gazes force her to shelve the idea for now. "Then regarding the bet just now. What would you like me to do?"
"The questioning just now is sufficient." Guildmaster Elsa curtly replies. "What about you?"
"For Elle's loss? Hearing about the ears is good enough." Senna smiles and stands up. "Well if that's all I'll get going."
"Um..." Elle speaks up. Her voice is still trembling after her secret is revealed.
"Hmm?" Senna pauses before she starts to walk away. "Don't worry. I'll keep my promise and not say a thing about our discussion." She laughs patting Elle's shoulder.
"No. That's not it." Elle interjects. "Why did you use such a low stake?"
"Oh that? Based on my experience, trash that no one wants needs to have a low price in order to be appealing." Senna gives a self-mocking laugh as she leaves the room. Elle and Guildmaster Elsa look at one another, but. Senna's answer only gives them more questions.
Senna looks at the other jobs available at the higher ranks reading everything. She mentally makes a note of the various gathering and hunting jobs, but doesn't officially take anything. She heals Trash as she leaves and spends the remaining morning wandering around town. She sells off her weaker potions to the Apothecary and receives a high price for their potency. Senna restocks on various ingredients while tasting some of the local food.
She spends the afternoon with Mika, much to her delight. Mika shows off interesting places that she has discovered and joyfully devours Senna's cooking. Senna also forces Mika to practice precise kills on the unfortunate monsters nearby to try and lean Mika away from her pyro-maniacal tendencies. Thankfully, Mika's abilities have spiked and can easily solo kill any B rank and lower monsters. The sole A rank monster they run across, Senna 'handicaps' it by breaking a leg before letting Mika battle it. All in all, they have a productive day before the two of them return to town.
Senna and Mika eat in a local pub, but after one taste Mika refuses to eat anymore. Much to her surprise, a visitor plops down in front of Senna with a very displeased expression. Senna quietly casts a <Wind Barrier> before speaking. "Hello Princess Iris. What are you doing here? And in disguise no less."
"Why haven't you come home?" Princess Iris sits in front of her with wearing a brown wig concealing her blonde hair. Freckles have been drawn on her face. In combination with her commoner clothing give Iris a rustic look. She pouts unable to suppress her displeasure that Senna's been away all day.
Senna and the plain clothes Royal Guard give a wry smile seeing Iris' inflated cheeks. "Princess, I've spent the day working."
"I know that! But you're not working now. We've prepared dinner and everything for you!" Iris retorts.
"Impossible. I told Sebastian and the chef that I wouldn't be back until late." Senna refutes Iris' claim.
"Urghh…... I just want you to come back." Iris mumbles to herself twiddling her fingers. When she looks back up, she sees Senna smiling at her. Feeling her face heat up, Iris slams the table as she stands up and points at Senna. "Enough! I order you as the Princess of Erein to come back with me!"
"...Puu...hahaha." Senna tries to keep a straight face, but fails bursting out laughing at the unexpected order. Iris blushes as Senna laughs at her. "Alright fine. I'll finish up here and head to the castle alright?"
"Y-yes." Iris sits down hanging her head to hide the crimson blush on her face.
"Okay." Senna finishes up her meal and pays off the bill before returning to the castle. The guard departs at the entrance as the three of them make their way to Iris' room.
Finally got this out! A few family outings last weekend kept me busy and general lack of motivation made it hard to get the chapter out. Not to mention my gaming and reading addictions. XD
I’ll do what I can to get the chapter out next weekend. I should be able to make it.
In the meantime, I’m in the works of revamping my diet. I got told that my cholesterol is way too high, so I need to fix it…and exercise more… I’m a giant sloth when it comes to exercise. :P My diet I know areas I need to fix, nonexistent fruits and veggies, too much meat, lots of rice, too much junk food. So I just need to balance those. I still need to figure out a good variety of snacks in between meals though.