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By the time the meeting was over and the conversation with the emperor was over, the sun had already set in the sky.
The Hero turned back to the hideout.
There was still work to be done in the shadows for Nyhill, so she said she would join them at night.
They had decided to return to Rosenstark tomorrow evening.
It was the first time they had leisure time since arriving at the island.
However, the Heros expression was anything but relaxed.
He mulled over what he had heard from the Emperor.
The awakening of the dragons blood.
Changes in appearance and personality that come with it.
Some forgotten memories flashed through his mind.
It was back in school, when he came out of the Library of Memories after seeing Originals memories.
He distinctly felt the presence of both Ban and Cuculli in front of the library.
Ban was because of his mother.
Then why was Cuculli lingering in the library of memories at such a late hour?
At the time, he thought it was just curiosity but now, he seemed to know the real reason.
Did she want to leave memories of herself when she was whole?
Before and after baptism.
Can those two really be considered the same person?
The Hero slowly shook his head.
Even if she receives less influence from the dragon than Dorema, personality changes due to external forces.
After baptism, she might resemble her or even that might not be the case, a completely different being might appear.
In other words, the previous Cuculli was disappearing.
The Hero let out a long, deep sigh.
I should talk to Dorempa about the details at the banquet.
A small banquet hosted by Barun was scheduled to be held at the Imperial Palaces guest palace.
It was an opportunity to converse with members of the Dawn Knights and other important colleagues, so he accepted the invitation.
He said he would attend, as Dorempa had decided to stay nearby until the day after tomorrow when he was ready to go out.
He was about to hear from him in detail about Cuculli and her baptism.
At that time, he was stopped suddenly at the entrance of the hideout.
His habitual senses caught an anomaly.
There were two familiar presences inside.
One was undoubtedly Larze, and the other one
Why are they here?
Although it was a familiar presence, it was someone who shouldnt be in the capital.
The Hero hurriedly headed inside.
The innermost room.
Larze was lying on the bed, fiddling with the nameplate of Depikio Lugo given by the Hero.
It contained something related to Zero, so Larzes eyes sparkled intensely as she examined it.
The Hero stood in front of her, seeming calm.
Larze, although she must have clearly felt his presence, didnt turn her gaze.
The robe was crumpled.
Silver hair spread out like a fan on the sheet.
A pair of white legs half-protruding from the blanket swayed rhythmically.
The problem was that faint moans could be heard from under the blanket Larze covered.
They even wriggled slightly.
The Hero sighed.
What on earth are you thinking?
Her red pupils, hidden behind long and thick eyelashes, finally turned to the Hero.
She looked extremely excited.
It was a face that a child might have just before opening a present.
Well, you see. Waiting was just too boring.
So you did this out of boredom
The Hero lifted the blanket with a dumbfounded expression.
There was the librarian who should have been busy organizing books in the Library of Memories.
Her mouth was gagged, and she was tied up tightly.
This was truly an unimaginable scene.
Uh, uh, uh!
Feeling dizzy, he quickly untied Rosalyns restraints.
At the same time, he spoke firmly.
At that moment, he found himself admiring Ted Redymer, who had been with Larze for a few years, a little more.
* * *
So, what happened was
To summarize Larzes explanation, it went like this.
She already knew that Rosalyn was a vessel containing Zeros memories.
To be honest, it was obvious. So I visited a few times in the past.
It wasnt just a few times, was it? Since you were an undergraduate.
Rosalyn looked at Larze with eyes that seemed more weary than a magical being usually wouldve had.
With her perfect face, as surreal as her white hair.
They looked quite alike.
No matter what Larze tried, she couldnt access Rosalyns memories, so she eventually gave up.
It was natural because she didnt meet the qualifications set by Zero.
The Hero, who had been listening to all this, intervened.
Its going around in circles. So why did you kidnap her?
Larze replied as if asking why he was asking the obvious.
Youre too busy.
Youre going to have to wait until you finish your business here and return to Rosenstark, so how could I wait until then?
The Hero glanced at Rosalyn.
The expression on her face when she realized that the reason for the kidnapping was Larzes impatience was quite something.
The noble Heros heart also churned with rage.
Those damn Holy Church bastards!!
Zero roared with frustration.
His gaze was fixed on the army below, densely packed like ants.
The symbol engraved on the flags they were waving was familiar to the Hero.
The symbol of the gods drawn on the door of the Baruns clinic.
Although it was now a defunct religion with its lineage cut off, in the First Age when divine power existed, it was the largest religion believed by over half of the population.
His head ached.
It was that feeling again.
Unknown knowledge penetrated the Heros mind.
The Holy Church, after he appeared.
They were the first and most actively hostile group to reject him.
To them, who believed that humans were the most superior beings, he was an unacceptable existence.
So they sent punitive forces whenever they had the chance, and today happened to be one of those days.
Zero couldnt help but be furious.
Just a few days ago, he had warned the Holy Church not to take rash actions until he had a chance to talk to him.
It was deliberate disregard for each other.
In a situation where even gentle soothing is not enough !
Moreover, it was a full-scale punitive force.
There were countless holy knights, and the gleaming white radiance that only high-ranking priests could emit seemed to number in the dozens.
I have to stop this advance before he arrives somehow.
It was his area of responsibility.
It was the moment Zero desperately flew over the ranks of the Holy Church.
He could only abruptly stop flying.
Zero, standing straight in the air, looked with trembling eyes towards the wasteland on the other side.
More precisely, towards the silhouette wearing a black robe.
From below came cries like screams.
The devil of the oracle has appeared!
Meanwhile, even to the Heros eyes, the military power of the Holy Church was formidable.
It was a force capable of quickly annihilating even formidable high-ranking stakes.
However, the presence radiated by him was so sinister that it made even the numerical superiority and the faith of the fanatics pale in comparision.
The fighting spirit of the Army is fading away.
The leadership of the Order, aware of this, shouted with a booming voice.
All forces, charge!
Destroy the demon in the name of the gods!
The paladins were the first to go.
They galloped through the wasteland on the finest breed of warhorses.
All sorts of blessings poured down upon them.
They were the type that not only increased strength and stamina but also cultivated various resistances.
The silhouettes of the paladins elongated, then shot towards the man at a speed that was hard to perceive.
At that moment, with the sun setting in the west and the wasteland covered in shadows, the light they emitted in the darkness was incredibly radiant.
The gods are watching over us!
Even the foot soldiers, emboldened by that divine sight, advanced with blessings.
From the waiting ranks of priests, bursts of white light erupted.
The cluster of light coalesced into the form of a giant lance in the blink of an eye, floating in the air.
The Holy Spear.
In this era where divine power had disappeared, it was difficult to gauge its exact strength.
However, in terms of momentum, it was no less than any top-tier destruction magic the Hero had seen.
It was an attack that was overwhelming to pour onto one person.
However, Zeros expression as he watched was dark.
Zeros gaze shifted back to him.
He was slowly walking forward, undaunted even in the face of the massive army before him.
A voice tinged with bitter hatred echoed through the wasteland.
It was a voice so powerful that it seemed unbelievable that only one person could produce it.
The ground trembled as it reverberated.
If there really were gods, you wouldnt have met me today.
As soon as the words were spoken, the footsteps of the Holy Church charging with momentum abruptly stopped.
Thousands, tens of thousands of eyes shook as if they were one, focusing on him in the distance.
There, an unbelievable scene unfolded.
The priests were casting spells of evil.
Its the devils trickery!
Its just a deception. Dont be swayed!
Dare you impersonate a god!
A magnificent light poured down on him as well.
It was the same type of divine radiance that enveloped the Holy Church in blessings.
No, it was even denser.
That, thats the devils power.
Then, when the Holy Spear floated above him, the advance of the Holy Church could not help but come to a halt.
For a moment, a deathly silence fell over the wasteland.
H-How many are there
I-It cant be, you devil.
There were as many as thirty of the Holy Spears.
The flowing radiance illuminated the dusk wasteland as bright as midday.
Although it was the light they had followed and believed in all their lives, it seemed more sinister than anything else.
He completed the replication, and his hand slowly rose.
The Sacred Spear rose above his head.
Some of the leading holy knights couldnt help but turn their heads and scream.
However, even their anguished movements couldnt stop him.
His hands descended.
The light enveloped the wasteland, obscuring everything for a moment.
Zero closed his eyes.
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