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136 Troubles and Undercurrents

 .....

Holy City, Church of the Sun, and the Moon.

Shin is currently in Archbishop Ronald's office.

The Archbishop nodded his head repeatedly when he saw Shin, especially when he feels the atmosphere around him. "As expected of you, Young Envoy."

"We just didn't see each other for a little amount of time yet you already improve by this much? Truly worthy of being chosen by 'that guy', your growth is really astonishing."

Shin gives the Archbishop a salute that is unique to their Church before stating his purpose. "Thanks for the compliment. But I didn't come here to receive your praise, Senior. I want to know what has happened."

Then the Archbishop turned silent for a moment before replying at Shin. "I'm sorry about that, Young Envoy. I know this is not our original plan but I really have no other choice aside from changing our plans."

Shin knitted his brows and asked again. "So what really happened?"

Archbishop Ronald releases a helpless sigh before replying. "At first, everything is going according to our plan. But something unexpected happened just recently."

"Just as we are making our first move, the Paladins that I've sent to one of the places where a corrupted nest was located, were suddenly get ambushed by people of the Corrupted Cult."

"Forced with no other choice, I chose to publish some Church notice for those corrupted nest. Aside from lessening our losses, it is better to ask some help from adventurers since we are already exposed to our enemies."

This time, Shin suddenly raises his brows and asked confusedly. "Huh? But how did that happened? We are the only ones that know about this plan so it is impossible for the other side to know about this. Unless-... You tell it to someone else other than us."

The Archbishop suddenly gets slightly offended with Shin's words but he didn't get angry and just said. "Are your trust in me that low, Young Envoy? Of course, I didn't mention this to others. Given that we don't clearly know who are our friends or foes."

"But I also understand your frustration since even I is gotten confused about how did it got leaked."

The Shin suddenly said. "If it is not you, then it must be one or two on your subordinates."

Archbishop Ronald suddenly knitted his brows before saying. "That was also unlikely to be the case because I personally picked those guys myself."

"But how can you be sure that none of them didn't jump on the other ship?" injected by Shin.

And before the Archbishop managed reply, Shin immediately added. "Tell me, are there any Paladins that managed to survived the ambush?"

This time, the Archbishop suddenly realized what Shin wants to say. "Are you telling that one of them may be a spy of our enemy?"

"More likely, but I still need to confirm it myself. So how many survived?" said Shin after nodding his head.

The Archbishop immediately replies after some thought. "Three. There are three survivors. Two of them are severely wounded and are currently in the intensive care unit of our church."

"The other one is also heavily wounded but his injuries are not as severe as the other two. Is it possible that he is the spy?"

The moment the Archbishop finished saying that, a consecutive system notifications sounded on Shin's ears.

*Ding!*

System: Quest initiated!

System: You are suspecting that one of the surviving Paladins is a spy of a Corrupted Cult. And you see this opportunity as the key to finding out the other spies on the Church.

----------------------

Quest Name: Traitor of the Church

Quest Type: Hidden Investigative Quest

Quest Difficulty: Master(SSS)

Quest Details: You and Archbishop Ronald arranged a secret operation against the movements of the Corrupted Cults in the vicinity of the Holy City.

But for some reason, the operation got leaked, and it resulted in the Paladins of the operation to get ambushed by the Corrupted Cult's people.

Somehow, there are three Paladins that managed to survive the attack and you have suspected one of them as the spy of the other side.

Quest Condition:

- Go and investigate to the place where the ambush happened, and bring the suspected Traitor with you.

Note: Will be updated depending on what will happen on the ambush site.

Quest Progress: (0%)

- ???

Quest Rewards:

+5 Levels

+20 000 Reputation Points

+10 LP(Legacy Points)

???

Quest Penalty:

• -10 Levels

• -40 000 Reputation Points

• Being exposed to the 'King' that you are already aware that he is an impostor.

----------------------

And before Shin managed to say anything, another system notification immediately follows after that one.

*Ding!*

System: Due to what's happening on the Holy City and the Quests being issued by the Church of the Sun and the Moon, the 'King' had become suspicious once again.

System: Due to that, the King started eyeing you once again and making your 'The Fake King' Hidden-Main Quest to shot up in difficulty.

....

"What the!?" Shin's eyes suddenly turned wide after reading that system notification. And with that, he immediately opens his Quest Information Window to see the quest update.

And sure enough, there are 'some' changes on the Quest.

--------------------

Quest Name: The Fake King

Quest Type: Hidden Main Quest

Quest Difficulty: Hell (SSS+)

Quest Details: You had discovered from Hanzo that the 'King' of Holy City is an impostor and a member of a Corrupted Cult. And as the Envoy of the Sun and the Moon you are responsible to expose his evil deeds and capture him to atone his sins.

Quest Conditions:

•Expose the true colors of the impostor secretly, so that the Churches eyeing the Corrupted Cults will make their move.

•Find the real King Cassius secretly, before the impostor King succeed on his plans.

Quest Process (30%):

•Expose the secret deed of the impostor King without being discovered completely. (Partially Done)

•Rescue the Real King Cassius.

•Capture the Impostor and take him on the Council of Sacred Churches to receive his verdict.

Quest Rewards:

+5 Levels

+10 Legacy Points (LP)

+500 Fame

+20 000 Reputation Points

????

Quest Penalties:

• -10 Levels

• -1000 Fame

• -20 000 Reputation Points

• Destruction of the Holy City

• A large decease on your Authority on the Church of the Sun and the Moon

---------------------

The Quest Conditions are not choices anymore. Now, he needs to do them together, and with the addition of another one. What's more, the penalty for failing the quest suddenly becomes even harsher than the previous ones.

"Destruction of the City? And affecting my influence on the Church?" Shin's face suddenly turned stiff as he saw those penalties.

Then Shin suddenly turned silent for a few moments after seeing his quests' details.

And when Archbishop Ronald saw that Shin suddenly fell on deep thought, he also turned silent and wait for the young envoy to reorganize his thoughts.

'These two quests are somewhat connected so I need to be careful about clearing them. And it is quite obvious that I need to finish the 'Traitor Quest' first since I might get some clue regarding the real King's whereabouts with this quest.'

'But the King is eyeing me once again so there must be someone that is going to spy at me for another time. And given that, I need to make my move as soon as possible before that King's dog managed to find me. I also need to clear the first Quest before the other side notice that I'm doing some investigation.'

'Hmm... I can get out of the Church without being noticed if I use Hanzo's Teleportation Gate, and I can also take the suspected spy with me. So I only left with a single problem. Given that the quest's difficulty exceeds the S-grade, I can't clear it with just myself anymore.'

'Even if I have a powerful summons, our class composition is a little all over the place. No-.... Maybe our team composition is still acceptable. Me, Grimrace, and Hanzo can be the main physical and melee damage dealers. Vladimir can be the magical one.'

'So what we really lacked is the main tank that can receive the damage. We also need a support that can heal, buff, and debuff negative status effects. But where can I find them.'

'I guess, I really need some teammates now. But I don't have any other friends aside from brother Lawless and the others, and those guys are currently occupied with their own quest. Tsk! Now, I realized that having some reliable friends is a must. I can't do everything with just myself.'

After that long train of thought, Shin finally decided to take some rest for a moment. He is still in a weakened state, after all, so he really needs to have wait for a few hours to recover his original attributes.

And if Lawless and the others are still not available even after resting, Shin decided to ask some help from his Big Sis, no matter how unwilling he is that is the only choice that he have.

As for getting some help from mercenaries? Nah! He is not someone that is going to share a big pie to the persons that he doesn't know. He is not that kind after all.

Then Shin suddenly asked the Archbishop. "Can I have room to take some rest, Senior?"

The Archbishop was gotten off-guard at first, but he still nodded after a slight pause and said with full of smiles on his face. "Of course! You are our Envoy so you are always welcome to stay in the Church."

After that, Shin was escorted by a priest to one of the rooms of the church. Then he checks the digital clock on the corner of his eyes before deciding to log out for a moment.

*******

Meanwhile, inside the Royal Palace of the Holy City, the 'King' is currently sitting on his throne while being on deep thought. And there are no other people in the hall aside from him.

Then the shadow behind the throne suddenly flickers. And a moment later, a hooded figure suddenly walked out of that very shadow and stood behind the throne.

And immediately after materializing, the hooded figure suddenly started laughing creepily and sneered at the 'King'. "Ku Ku Ku.... So what are you going to do now, King~♪? You might be successful at building a bunch of nests near the Holy City, but they are being raided by the adventurers now."

"If you didn't make your move as soon as possible, then the Council of Darkness might reconsider dumping you in somewhere else and replace your position with another candidate that is waiting on the line."

The eyes of the 'King' suddenly squinted and replied at the hooded figure without turning his head back. "I already told my people to stay low for a moment while waiting for everything to cool down for a bit. As for the nests, I already arranged some plans for this kind of situation so you don't have to worry."

"Ke ke ke.... Well, if you put it that way, then I really shouldn't be worrying about it. That is not my job after all. But are you sure that you don't need my help on finding the real culprit who sabotages your plans?" said the hooded figure with a teasing tone.

The 'King' suddenly frowned his brows before replying at the hooded figure with a fierce tone. "Didn't you just said that this is none of your business? So you shouldn't get involved on this or you might ruin my plans completely."

"And you don't need to find the nuisance that tried to poke my nests, I already have some idea on who is it. As for that Old Archbishop of the Church of the Sun and the Moon, I also had arranged some things for him."

Then the temperature on the hall suddenly dropped down as the 'King' release some pressuring aura before asking at hooded figure one again. "And why are you in my area of jurisdiction? Are you sure that you can leave your territory just like that?"

The hooded figure laughs once again as if saying that he is not affected by the pressure. Then he said after. "Ku ku ku... Why can't I be here? I can be anywhere I want since my position is quite special. And I don't have to worry about my place since I have a very reliable subordinate unlike you."

The 'King' narrowed his eyes further and said with a threatening tone. "If you don't need something from me, then just go back to your place and don't disturb my arrangements. If you do something stup*d, then I'll come hunting you down."

The hooded figure chuckles once again and said with a playful tone. "Ku ku ku.... As if I'm afraid of you. And let me give you a piece of advice, you better look at your back or else you are going to get eaten alive by the Council."

After saying those words, the hooded figure stepped on the shadow of the throne before fusing with it slowly. Then silence comes back at the hall once again.

The 'King' suddenly grips the armrests of his throne while having a chilling look at his face. No one knows what he is thinking about.

********

At the same time, a black vortex suddenly formed at the place where the Black Rock Mountain was previously located.

Then a hooded person walked out of that vortex. The person has a pitch-black cloak that can cover his/her entire figure so it is impossible to figure out if this person is a he or a she. And this hooded person is the very same person that is talking with the 'King' earlier.

The hooded figure observes the vicinity a little before crouching down and reaching out his right hand on the ground. And that hand is pale white hand, a very pale hand that is comparable to a hand of someone that doesn't have blood circulating in his/her body.

The hooded figure places his palm on the surface of the ground before staying on the position for quite some time. After that, the hooded figure closes his/her right-hand before opening it again while slowly lifting it. Then the soil from the hooded figure's hand fell down on the ground like flowing water of a water falls.

After that, the hooded figure stood up once again before muttering to himself. "Heh! Interesting! Looks like coming here will give me some entertainment."

.....