Chapter 30: The Beginning of a Gospel
「Well then, there’s nothing more to complain about. 」
Voices from a long dialogue spread within the void of a dark space. A place engulfed in darkness. A world of nothing.
It was a world made of shadowy figures. This place was their territory. Everything was at command of these unknown creatures.
「I am the one who has to give my hand first. And, don’t forget it, this place my designated-area.」
The shadow had a peculiar silhouette. It looked like a devil, but with a human form. A being that didn’t belong to the earthly world. It was something unforgettable… Yet, it was something that was certainly indescribable.
「I just moved my little finger. What kind of complain is that! 」
A loud laughing voice appeared from within the darkish place. The laugher didn’t stop. It continued without a break. It was from a crazy and wicked voice.
Everything was disfigured on that dark shapeless world, but that voice resonated forever and forever into the void of the never ending darkness.
The main hall of the temple brought together the wisdom of the heraldic order with the knowledge of the old religion. There was a sign that resembled their coat of arms, the object of their faith. There were stone bookshelves and stone tables. Other objects and decorations of unknown origin were scattered around in the main hall.
It was a masterpiece. I wondered if there was a place anywhere in the kingdom that could accumulate this much wisdom.
The heraldic order was most probably in fear of the persecution of that time. Therefore, they took everything that contained their knowledge. Their letters, their books and everything associated with their faith. They brought those memoirs with them and hid everything in this underground area. They had collected the knowledge of this world and the heraldic order protected it.
I wondered if we should call this a worship of knowledge. This must’ve been an overwhelming part of this kingdom’s history. The persecution against the old religion even caused civil war in the kingdom. Still, I didn’t know the details about this part of our history. However, it was true that the warlike attitude of the kingdom versus the profound worship of knowledge from the old religion were two clashing principles. In a sense, the extensive and exclusive worship of thoughts and philosophy were too extreme. Gathering knowledge to this extreme was rather unusual, and then using that knowledge for a fanatic idealism was far too-fetched. No wonder that this cult momentum declined as time progressed.
「Incredible! Just look at all of this! The main hall and libraries of the heraldic order…I never seen anything like this before!」
Nonetheless, we found the place that was full of knowledge thanks to their fanatic idealism.
Filaret La Volgograd was extremely excited to have found what she has been looking for. She went back and forth multiple of times. All I could see was a bouncing black hair. Her bright eyes could be seen from the distance. She walked with an eager rhythm. She was so thrilled. She certainly was in a very good mood.
But, even so, her enthusiasm was a bit too extreme. This place might have a bigger meaning to her. She certainly didn’t come to this place only for the purpose of exploration. At the very least, Filaret tried to visit this place on a former journey, but she couldn’t find this area back then. Well, now she finally found what she has been searching for a long time.
「Can you stop acting like a butterfly that found a field of tasty cabbages? I understand your excitement, but please, calm down, miss employer.」
「I…I didn’t know that I would find this place, ever. I know I’m acting irrational, but this is too great to be true. I finally found the place that guards the teachings of the Volgograd Family. That’s why I can’t hide the fact that I’m truly happy to be here.」
I’ve never heard of that before.
Certainly, being with her has brought me some memories of my future self. However, her company felt different this time around. The atmosphere around her felt natural and relaxed. No matter how similar the two women were, the Filaret from this timeline behaved differently with me. She was mostly serious in the future and never showed me different emotions. Yet, I could see a cheerful Filaret right in front of my eyes. Of course, she still had her familiar traits that didn’t disappear entirely because she had the same personality. Yet, her companionship felt different to me.
I wondered if something changed before she joined the rescue party in the future. Something must’ve happened in order to change her view of life. Something that shut her emotions away.
I took a deep breath. Then, I stretched my body straight up to have a better look at the inscriptions.
「Oh my, can you read official characters besides the rural alphabet? 」
「Don’t treat me like an illiterate. I can read because my work demands me to. 」
I turned away and touched my head. I moved my shoulder slightly. Well, I couldn’t explain that I learnt how to read on the journey of the rescue party. Ariene taught me how to read and helped me to interpret the multiple characters. Until then, I could only understand some symbols of the rural alphabet that used to help the illiterate people.
I slowly moved my gaze away from her and looked at the ancient books on the stone shelves. The books looked old but extraordinary. Their immeasurable numbers were breathtaking. If I were a collector, a historian, or even a proper evangelist, then this discovery would turn into a big asset. But, I wasn’t any of those. So, these historical remains were not that significant to me.
In order to sell rare books like these, I would need to have, dare I say, an appropriate flair, and some reputation. If people saw a mere “rat” like myself selling large amounts of ancient books, they would think that I stole them. Or, maybe they would think that I was a swindler.
I sighed boringly at these. While caressing my chin, I decided to put on my pockets only small items that seemed suitable to make some profit.
There were lots of different items in here. All of these should make me a lot of money. I took the small items that looked like rarities; I looked for the ones that seemed rarer than the ancient books. Among the items I found on the stone tables, I noticed that one had a familiar design. It looked like my chewing tobacco. Therefore, I put it on my mouth. But, it was different. The smell was terrible.
「Incredible. This is so incredible. It’s like a dream. No, this must be really a dream! I wonder what else they have hidden in here!」
Yes. I kept hearing Filaret’s voice.
While she talked vigorously, she pointed to the vast space of the underground temple. Now that I thought carefully about this place, this vast space was large enough to accommodate dozens of people. It was hard to imagine that they built something like this in the underground.
When we kept moving forward, we found an area full of human bones and blood marks. Remains of swords and armors were scattered around. This was the last refuge of the persecuted heraldic people. Filaret speculated that these people were defeated during the Gospel War and ended up dying in here. I noticed some female corpses lying in a familiar position. It was likely that they died while praying. These women’s must have been very beautiful in their time.
The Gospel War. It was also called the Great Rebellion of the Old Religion. This Great War brought people of several ages into chaos. The Old Religion revolted itself against the hierarchical system of that time. The oppressed people, the persecuted, the downtrodden were the ones that suffered with this conflict. This war dragged all the countries in the vicinity to a war into of confusion and madness.
The Gharast Kingdom, stayed somewhat away from this chaos. But, there were other countries that fell on civil wars because of the conflict between the Old Religion and the New Religion. It wasn’t called the Gospel War or the Great Rebellion for nothing. The influence from these events was not small per se. In fact, Garoua Maria was also victim of this chaos. Even as an independent city-state, there was serious conflicts between the people of both religions. Chaos reigned the inside and the outside the city as well.
Although the war left a bitter mark on history, this place was still phenomenal. The Old Religion was defeated strategically as a whole, but they had small triumphs in villages and rural settlements. Yet, they chose to hide in the underground temple. They chose to die on this place.
To be honest, their sacrifice was not a pleasant thing to see. While I thought about that, something flashed through my mind. Wait a second. I thought we overlooked something serious.
Yes, that’s right. We overlooked the essential part of this place. We’ve forgotten the obvious.
Filaret approached a closed door. She opened it without hesitation because of her curiosity.
…At the end of this door, reached the ones that impersonated the holy knights. Their shining spears are dull and dozens of eyes will be looking at these intruders with hostility.
Filaret’s face became firm and pale in an instant. We could feel shivers crawling from our spines.
A voice echoed beautifully in the main hall. It reverberated in our earlobes.
「I heard there were intruders, but I didn’t think they would reach this far. 」
It was a beautiful woman. Her voice was ethereal and her face was engulfed with dignity and purity. Her eyes were clear. They looked surreal.
「Not only do you harm our faith, but you also stepped inside the holiness of our wisdom with those muddy shoes…What a sin! What an insult! Yes, I condemn you. Capture and punish them for offending the Foundation of our Knowledge!」
Ah, right. I overlooked this part. Where did I leave my head? I should’ve thought about this.
I should’ve thought about everything when I was dragged into Garoua Maria. I should’ve been wary and prepared for this. I only thought about separating Filaret from Helot Stanley. That was successful. But, this was another story. Ah, what a moron I was.
「This can’t be happening. This must be a joke. All the people that survived from the Old Religion traveled east from a long time ago. How is this possible…!?」
Figures wearing armored clothes captured Filaret and held both her arms tight. She twisted her lips and her voice trembled.
They were unmistakable. They were a group of Heraldic Knights. And, the one who gave them orders was that holy woman. She was the one that held all the honors of the Old Religion during the Gospel War. That woman represented the beginning of everything that happened. She was the woman that took a significant role during that vivid part of our history.
Ah, impossible. I was such a fool.
…The Gospel War was not over yet. It didn’t even begin.
Lugis…. Come on man… get your shit together….
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